With a tip of my hat to James McGrath, I would like to call attention to this post by Jonathan Bernier. I think it brings up some rather important points. This is not an answer to your questions, but rather a bit of guidance in how one answers questions accurately. To quote:
The critical historian is one who formulates a question, attends to the data relevant to answering that question, weighs possible answers, and then affirms that answer which handles the relevant data best.
But you need to read the whole thing to get what author Jonathan Bernier means by that.