Modern Europe

A:

Because of his single-mindedness and brutality, Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin is responsible for the deaths of an estimated 20 million people. The casualties began early in his reign during the 1920s.

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  • Why are there gargoyles in the Notre Dame cathedral?

    Q: Why are there gargoyles in the Notre Dame cathedral?

    A: The gargoyles on Notre Dame cathedral were built as water spouts to prevent damage to the masonry by deflecting rainwater from the sides of the building. After the installation of drain pipes in the 16th century, the gargoyles were merely ornamental.
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  • What did Queen Victoria do that was important?

    Q: What did Queen Victoria do that was important?

    A: Queen Victoria established the modern role of a monarch in a constitutional monarchy and exerted her influence to promote the British Empire's expansion and reforms benefiting the poor, according to the website of The British Monarchy. During her 67-year reign of Britain, the Empire experienced immense social, political and industrial change. Her longevity, combined with her grace and reclusive nature, led to her becoming a national icon of moral strictness.
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  • What are some of the problems facing Europe today?

    Q: What are some of the problems facing Europe today?

    A: As Europe approaches the second half of the 21st-century's second decade, it faces pressing issues of anti-EU sentiment, sluggish economic growth and high unemployment. While many are calling for a greater degree of integration between the European Union's member-states, growing concerns regarding the region's struggling businesses and sluggish GDP growth are giving rise to Euroscepticism, or a lack of faith in the EU's ability to bring about significant improvements. According to a report released in October of 2013 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 120 million Europeans were at risk of falling into poverty.
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  • From where did the Titanic set sail?

    Q: From where did the Titanic set sail?

    A: The Titanic set sail for New York from the White Star Dock in Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912. Most of her crew also came from or lived in the area.
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  • What do the colours on the Union Jack represent?

    Q: What do the colours on the Union Jack represent?

    A: On the British Union Jack flag, white represents peace and honesty; red represents hardiness, bravery, strength and valor; and blue represents vigilance, truth, loyalty, perseverance and justice. The term "Union Jack" refers to the flag being a union between three national flags. A "jack" is a small flag flown on a ship's bowsprit, which was the first place the Union Jack was commonly displayed.
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  • Who were the conquistadors?

    Q: Who were the conquistadors?

    A: The conquistadors were soldiers and explorers from the Portuguese or Spanish Empire that sought out the new world during the Age of Discovery, which began around the 15th century. They were notorious for their use of violence and political manipulation to subdue other cultures and aid in their own exploration.
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  • What are two outcomes of the Berlin Conference in 1884 and 1885?

    Q: What are two outcomes of the Berlin Conference in 1884 and 1885?

    A: The most notable outcomes of the Berlin Conference in 1884 and 1885 are Articles 34 and 35 of the Berlin Act. These articles address the possession and occupation of the coasts and hinterlands of Africa.
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  • What caused the Yugoslavian Civil War?

    Q: What caused the Yugoslavian Civil War?

    A: The Yugoslavian Civil War occurred because the country was initially created as a federation of diverse ethnic states, and once central government was no longer strong enough to keep them all together, the patchwork nation began to fall apart. In 1990, Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia agitated for independence, but Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic refused to address their demands. When Slovenia declared independence, Serbian forces moved in and initiated the war.
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  • How did Mexico gain independence from Spain?

    Q: How did Mexico gain independence from Spain?

    A: Mexico gained its independence from Spain when Miguel Hidalgo called for a war against the Spaniards; Mexico won the war in 1821. Before the war was over and Mexico gained its independence, the Spanish army murdered Hidalgo.
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  • What was the purpose of the Magna Carta?

    Q: What was the purpose of the Magna Carta?

    A: The purpose of the Magna Carta was to guarantee land owners and English gentry that they would not be unfairly taxed. The complaints that lead to the Magna Carta were not dissimilar from those that prompted the American Revolution.
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  • What was the Defenestration of Prague?

    Q: What was the Defenestration of Prague?

    A: The Defenestration of Prague is an incident of Bohemian resistance to the Hapsburg authority that was central to the start of the Thirty Years War. It happened on May 23, 1618. In response to Roman Catholic officials in Bohemia closing Protestant chapels, an assembly of Protestants tried and found guilty the imperial regents of violating the Letter of Majesty. They then threw the men and their secretary out the window.
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  • Where did Shakespeare go to school?

    Q: Where did Shakespeare go to school?

    A: Though much mystery surrounds the life of William Shakespeare, it is believed by many historians that he likely attended grammar school near his home in Stratford, at the King's New School. No records of other schools he may have attended or degrees of higher education have been discovered.
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  • What is East Prussia called now?

    Q: What is East Prussia called now?

    A: In 1945, East Prussia was dissolved, and the lands were distributed among Poland, Russia and Lithuania. As such, there is no single name that refers to the former province as a whole.
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  • How long did it take to build the Titanic?

    Q: How long did it take to build the Titanic?

    A: Built in Belfast Ireland, the Titanic took approximately 3 years to complete. Construction began in 1909, and the ship was completed in 1912, the same year as her maiden voyage.
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  • How did Napoleon change France?

    Q: How did Napoleon change France?

    A: Napoleon changed France by creating the Napoleonic Code, negotiating a long-term agreement with the Roman Catholic Church and reforming the tax and education systems. Though Napoleon's reign ended in 1815, his reforms lasted well beyond his time in office.
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  • Why was Winston Churchill a good leader?

    Q: Why was Winston Churchill a good leader?

    A: Winston Churchill was widely regarded as a strong, capable leader in large part owing to his ability to inspire others, as well as his gift as an orator and his sustained courage and insight into military and political strategy. Churchill took charge and helped British citizens take heart during the darkest days of World War II. No matter how much the Germans bombed England, he maintained a positive attitude.
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  • Who was Peter the Great, and what did he do?

    Q: Who was Peter the Great, and what did he do?

    A: Peter the Great was the czar of Russia from 1682 to 1725, according to A&E's Biography, and he was responsible for reforming Russia, bringing it into the modern age and setting the stage for Russia to become a world power. Previously, Russia remained isolated from the West and missed out on many of the societal gains that resulted from the Renaissance, a problem Peter corrected during his rule.
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  • What countries made up the Triple Entente?

    Q: What countries made up the Triple Entente?

    A: The Triple Entente consisted of Great Britain, France and Russia. It was formed through a variety of different diplomatic agreements and treaties between the three countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and helped smooth over previous rivalries the three countries had with one another. The Triple Entente stood as a counterbalance to the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
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  • How did Napoleon come to dominate most of Europe?

    Q: How did Napoleon come to dominate most of Europe?

    A: Napoleon conquered most of Europe with an array of insightful tactics. He used military strength, political maneuvering, forced alliances, annexation and idealism to bring large swathes of Europe under his control.
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  • What is Queen Elizabeth I famous for?

    Q: What is Queen Elizabeth I famous for?

    A: Elizabeth Tudor was queen of England for 45 years, and her reign is referred to as the Elizabethan era or the Golden Age of England. When she first ascended to the throne, Elizabeth inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious strife and threatened by the military power of France and Spain. By her death on March 24, 1603, England had become a major world power in every respect.
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  • What role did Leon Trotsky play in the Russian Revolution?

    Q: What role did Leon Trotsky play in the Russian Revolution?

    A: In Vladimir Lenin's government in the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky first played the role of Commissar for Foreign Affairs and then the leader of the Red Army. In the Bolshevik government, he was second only to Lenin and seemed destined to succeed him until Joseph Stalin outmaneuvered him politically and banished him from the Soviet Union.
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