When there was no clearing done by humans, were all the areas providing “tree-friendly” conditions coated by vast expanses of forest, or were there any naturally occurring grassy plains as there are nowadays (that is resulting from wood cutting, like those in Britain – I reckon that until the logging activities throughout the middle ages, forests there were not scarce either)?

By what means could forest be naturally prevented from spreading wherever there are favorable conditions?

I stumbled upon the following remark from Freeman Dyson:

The most important invention of the last two thousand years was hay. In the classical world of Greece and Rome and in all earlier times, there was no hay. Civilization could exist only in warm climates where horses could stay alive through the winter by grazing. Without grass in winter you could not have horses, and without horses you could not have urban civilization. Some time during the so-called dark ages, some unknown genius invented hay, forests were turned into meadows, hay was reaped and stored, and civilization moved north over the Alps. So hay gave birth to Vienna and Paris and London and Berlin, and later to Moscow and New York.

Is it really true, that hay was only invented in the Middle Ages in Europe? Is hay really such an important invention? What about other civilization like e.g. the Mongols who used a lot of horses. Didn’t they also have hay?

Is there any account of the politics of the revisions of Vermont’s constitution in 1793? When Vermont was admitted to the Union on March 4, 1791, it continued to function under the constitution of 1786 that was written while Vermont was an independent country (and which in turn superseded the constitution of 1777).

On this matter it is very easy to surmise that a major motive of the revision was deletion of the lengthy condemnations of the two former enemy states, Britain and New York. It seems especially inappropriate to continue to speak officially of New York as an enemy after admission to the Union. (It just occurred to me that I don’t know at what point the confiscations from, and deportations of, “Yorkers” ended in Vermont. In 1784 after the U.S. concluded peace with the British (and the British ceded Vermont to the U.S. although Vermont’s government didn’t recognize that), the governor of New York was actively threatening to invade Vermont and asking for the support of Congress in so doing.)

But a surmise about the motives is not an account of events. In particular, did the Council of Censors recommend the revision? (Robert Mello’s definitive biography of Moses Robinson says nothing about the 1793 revision. I conclude that Robinson — at that time a U.S. senator — did not participate this time around.)

Hitler’s plans were very ambitious and he favored extreme expansionism.

He is said to have said (not exact):

Some countries are spread over continents and some are mere cities

However, in his conquest of Europe (and maybe beyond?) he was sure to face opposition from Britain and other world powers which he did eventually. My question is, would it ever have been possible to win the war? Even if Britain had fallen, it would have fought on through it’s colonies. America couldn’t have been kept out of the war if the entire world was falling.

Could have Germany ever fought against and defeated the entire world?

My dad and I recently thought of something. Pegging a currency to another, at least in the modern-day world, helps to keep it stable. So why couldn’t the Weimar Republic peg the Mark to another currency, for example the Dollar, to fix their hyperinflation? Was it because of the reparations they needed to pay, or part of the Treaty of Versailles, or something else?

Livius.org describes the Uruk King List, translating it and also listing what years those kings are believed to have ruled (from other sources). In the list, it says Antiochus I Soter ruled for 22 years according to the Uruk King List, but he is conventionally known to have ruled only 20 years, from 281-261 BCE.

Why does the Uruk King List say he ruled longer, and why don’t we accept that number?

I know that today, if I take a cruise of the Mediterranean, then each time the boat stops in a new country, and I wish to go ashore and see the sites, that I will need to have appropriate documentation. At some location near the docks, I will be greeted by a uniformed agent of the host nation, who will inspect my passport, ensure the proper visas exist if required, and possibly search any day-pack I am carrying. I am interested in learning the history of this concept, at least from the last few hundred years.

As an example, let us suppose that I am a sailor from S, crewing on a barquentine carrying metals prevalent in S’s mines, but absent in N. Meanwhile, we in S really like the textiles they produce in N, and willingly trade. We sail back and forth a couple times a year- taking metal one direction and bringing textiles back the other direction. Sometimes, when we moor at the docks in N, I and my mates might wish for a period of shore leave. We want to stay in the inn, pour down the ales, and flirt with the barmaids.

As such a sailor, when would I have first encountered any sort of check by the hosts? When would I first have needed identification or a document like a passport? When were the first ministries/ departments of customs and immigration created, and where?

Similarly, what about those tradesmen who accompanied the crusades, crossing several borders along the way? Or perhaps minor nobles going to visit one another? When did border checks begin, and how did they evolve into the formal event we have today?

I have attempted a little research, but so far all I can find are articles discussing major immigrations, i.e. of religiously oppressed peoples, not the casual traveler or visitor.