By studying genealogy, world history does become surprisingly important. I know very little about the history of Nieuw Amsterdam/New York. If I came across a family of Native American extraction, born there in 1600, for example, with a record from 1680, what would I call the place? Deciding on the right name is not always as simple as you think. The cemetery just up the road from me established in 1870 would have at least 4 addresses that I can think of. The records are on the current district council website which uses the current placename. The gravestones which are genuine primary sources for a death don’t show placenames. The probate of the will of a person buried there will use another version of the placename. The death certificate might only show a town name. FAG uses the current, modern name. As an American, you would struggle with all the historical permutations, as do I. The guidelines are great when a source has the full placename in the language of the person - in practice, placenames can be tricky to determine. I agree the guidelines are important, but they are not always easy to adhere to.
In my experience, duplicate profiles get created because the original profile is lacking data or sources. Being too prescriptive about placenames often means nothing is used - not even a country - when that is clear enough from the information available. I’d be happy enough to see Germany or Deutschland on a pre-1871 profile. Any placename clue, even a modern, English one, is better than no placename at all.
Update: I’ve just read that WikiTree is looking at having place coordinates. Yay!!