Lots of revolutions in the news last year and more to come in 2017. I predict
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Lots of revolutions in the news last year and more to come in 2017. I predict
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Thursday, January 12, 2017
In 1267, Kublai Khan's emissaries returned with the news that
refused to accept inclusion in his
empire. Diplomacy having failed,
military conquest would follow. The
struggle would be like the Battle of Britain with the invincible empire against
the tiny island nation but without the airplanes and friends overseas to help. Japan
This is the first in a new series on Kublai Khan's attempted conquest of
Saturday, January 7, 2017
It is hard today to think of
as a minor power,
much less as an oppressed tributary of another power but as our story begins
that is the state of things in the territory around the city of Russia . The story of how Moscow went from there to
the Russia of today is one of
the most consequential of history. Russia
At the birth of Ivan III (1440)
was all but stifled between the great Lithuanian
empire of the Poles and the vast possessions of the Mongols. In vain had a
succession of Muscovite princes endeavored to give unity to the little Russian
state. Between the grand princes of Russia and those of Moscow stood Lithuania and Pskof, the two chief Russian republics,
hesitating to declare their allegiance. Novgorod
By the creation of new appanages the Russian princes continually destroyed the very unity for which they labored. Moreover, at a time when the great nations of the West were organizing,
or had no settled relations with their civilization.
The opening of the Renaissance, the progress of discovery, the invention of
printing -- by these the best spirits in Russia were stirred to fresh
aspirations for national organization and participation in the great European
This is how the selection begins. It continues here. http://dld.bz/fshuP
Thursday, January 5, 2017
While we know that this event happened the stories about it belong to the common cultural foundation of Greek civilization. They were myths and legends but important to the national heritage of ancient
The distinguished authority on ancient Greece George Grote summarizes the mythos
of the Fall of Troy in the series which begins here. http://dld.bz/frJcp Greece
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Start with a single 5 minute story. Then read the entire selection. Then read the book. 1, 2, 3.
Search. Lots of history sites to choose. Look for those sites that have authoritative passages from established historians. Or, if you get frustrated with that, try History Moments. http://dld.bz/fnjFG
Yes, I know. Still more frustration. How to pick something from that lengthy list? That's the trouble with having more choices -- more choices to choose from. Alright, I'll choose somethng for you. Suggested pic for today: The exciting story of the first expedition to reach the South Pole. http://dld.bz/frtZh
As for all of those books, choose a book from The Basic History Library (free): ------------->
Yes, this is a little self-serving because I refer to my own collections but I do not know of anyone else who is doing what I am doing. Also, it is free.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Among my production goals at History Moments is to publicize the work of the great historians from the past. My New Year essay summarizes the steps I use to enhance these blog posts. This is just the list; I expand on it in my essay here. http://dld.bz/fqVBp
Writing your own is hard work; serializing another's is hard, too. Here's what's involved.
I. Selection: an important event or topic; an important historian who wrote about that; what part of that historian's book to use
II. Getting text ready for use.
III. Footnotes: putting them at the bottom of the page or at the end of the book is so last 20th. century.
IV. Assigning Categories, Tags (for Wordpress), or Labels (for Blogger).
VI. Extra information gathered.
VII. Graphic images.
VIII. More information offered for the reader who wants to pursue the topic in greater depth.
IX. The template.
X. 5 minute stories.
XI. Output Files.
XII. Inserting into the blog.
XIII. Post-production navigation issues.
Serializing works from the great historians of the past may seem easy. Judge for yourself. The importance is to increase public awareness of our great heritage from history's best.
If you have a New Year Resolution to read more history, try downloading The Basic History Library (free) ------------->
Saturday, December 31, 2016
drove the election of the otherwise unlikely Donald Trump and the Republican
domination of government. In United States Europe, it
drove Brexit and the destabilization of the rest of the European Union. It’s
related opposite Emigration drove the societies of Latin
America and the Middle
Was terrorism a related topic? While hotly debated, would Muslim terrorists had so many opportunities had not wide-scale immigrants been available to hide among? Terrorists struck not just in the cities of
Europe and but
in the skies as airliners crashed. After such wide-scale Muslim migrations, is
Radical-Muslim terrorism going to be the new norm for the future? Just asking. America
While such a huge story, why was important parts of it barely reported on at all?
1) What of the root causes of these migrations? Have they changed over the last few years? If Radical Islam is not such a problem then why is
so very hard to defeat?
2) Why should destinations be limited to the
States , and
Australia Western Europe? There are lots of other
destinations. For example, South America, Central
Asia, and Siberia.
Granted such migrations may take on more aspects like the pioneers of the
American Old West but that is still a viable alternative and in many cases, a
Apart from terrorism, what impact will migrations, particularly Muslim migrations have on Western societies? During 2016 Muslim immigrants voted with leftwing parties based on those parties’ greater acceptance of immigration. As things settle down in the future, will devout Muslims continue to support (via party support) abortion, homosexuality, and indeed, the whole LGBQT agenda?
Here's History Moments New Year Eve Round-ups in years past. How I miss Jibb-Jab! http://dld.bz/fqKXj
Download The Basic History Library (free). ------------->
Friday, December 30, 2016
Will more college students enroll in history courses if they are easier to pass and on topics of current interest? -- History of Football, for instance?
Sports history, and suchlike are fine with me but when they are Instead Of core history courses, then that's a problem. Making history easier for the students by eliminating core requirements actually make the History Departments less popular -- by devaluing the discipline and the degree.
Here is an article, titled, "University of
Drops Washington History Requirement -- For History
Majors!" that also refers to the disturbing trend in other colleges. http://dld.bz/fqE6Z U.S.
Quote: "One of the major reasons the humanities in general are in decline is the widespread (and entirely incorrect) assumption that history, literature, and classical disciplines teach nothing valuable and are a joke. By no longer requiring history majors to study the past of their own country, schools like GW seem determined to double down on making the humanities seem pointless, and therefore even more unpopular."
If "nothing valuable" means nothing that will advance a career path, then this may be how it is perceived. The answer is to explain relevancy not to dumb down the discipline and hence, this major for a college degree
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Today we begin our selection from History of the Swedes down to Charles X by Eric Gustave Geijer published in 1845. The selection is serialized in five installments for daily reading.
Eric Gustave Geijer, the famous Swedish historian, writer, composer, and advocate of Swedish culture takes up the story from here. http://dld.bz/fqpgn
Many more stories here: http://dld.bz/fqpgp
Sunday, December 25, 2016
From "Every Day Life in the Colonies" by G.L. Stone and M.G. Fickett.
It was a warm and pleasant Saturday — that twenty-third of December, 1620. The winter wind had blown itself away in the storm of the day before, and the air was clear and balmy. The people on board the Mayflower were glad of the pleasant day. It was three long months since they had started from
, in Plymouth , to seek a home across the ocean. Now
they had come into a harbor that they named New Plymouth, in the country of England New England.
Other people called these voyagers Pilgrims, which means wanderers. A long while before, the Pilgrims had lived in
; later they made their home with
the Dutch in England ; finally they had said goodbye to
their friends in Holland and in Holland , and had sailed away to England . America
There were only one hundred and two of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, but they were brave and strong and full of hope. Now the Mayflower was the only home they had; yet if this weather lasted they might soon have warm log-cabins to live in. This very afternoon the men had gone ashore to cut down the large trees.
The women of the Mayflower were busy, too. Some were spinning, some knitting, some sewing. It was so bright and pleasant that Mistress Rose Standish had taken out her knitting and had gone to sit a little while on deck. She was too weak to face rough weather, and she wanted to enjoy the warm sunshine and the clear salt air. By her side was Mistress Brewster, the minister's wife. Everybody loved Mistress Standish and Mistress Brewster, for neither of them ever spoke unkindly.
The air on deck would have been warm even on a colder day, for in one corner a bright fire was burning. It would seem strange now, would it not, to see a fire on the deck of a vessel? But in those days, when the weather was pleasant, people on shipboard did their cooking on deck.
More of this story here: http://dld.bz/fpF6Q
Many more stories here: http://dld.bz/fnjFG
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
Because it is there. The people from the Ancient and Medieval periods of history would have been astonished at such an answer. Petrarch (1304 - 1374) may not have been the first naturalist in history but his poetry added an appreciation of nature and a love of scenic beauty to human culture more significantly than ever before. In a way, he was to appreciation of nature as
(a century later) was to Columbus .
Neither man was the first but both men made their discoveries matter. Jacob
Burkhardt, that great progenitor of
cultural history wrote of the journey that became the subject of the poet's
major work: America
"The ascent of a mountain for its own sake was unheard of, and there could be no thought of the companionship of friends or acquaintances. Petrarch took with him only his younger brother and two country people from the last place where he halted. At the foot of the mountain an old herdsman besought him to turn back, saying that he himself had attempted to climb it fifty years before, and had brought home nothing but repentance, broken bones, and torn clothes, and that neither before nor after had anyone ventured to do the same. Nevertheless, they struggled forward and upward, till the clouds lay beneath their feet, and at last they reached the top. A description of the view from the summit would be looked for in vain, not because the poet was insensible to it, but, on the contrary, because the impression was too overwhelming. His whole past life, with all its follies, rose before his mind; he remembered that ten years ago that day he had quitted Bologna a young man, and turned a longing gaze toward his native country; he opened a book which then was his constant companion, the Confessions of St. Augustine, and his eye fell on the passage in the tenth chapter, “and men go forth, and admire lofty mountains and broad seas and roaring torrents and the ocean and the course of the stars, and forget their own selves while doing so.” His brother, to whom he read these words, could not understand why he closed the book and said no more."
More of Burkhardt' piece on Petrarch here. http://dld.bz/fptke
and don't forget The Basic History Library (free): ------------->
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
It was perhaps the most important of ancient cities. It's legacy is vital to our world today. Yet it's beginnings are murky. But can we get any idea at all of how it all began, really? Barthold Georg Niebuhr wrote,
"According to an important statement of Cato preserved in Dionysius, the ancient towns of the Aborigines were small places scattered over the mountains. One town of this kind was situated on the Palatine hill, and bore the name of Roma, which is most certainly Greek."
So what really happened? Niebuhr and others have laboriously fished history out of the murk. But no critic can ever destroy the beauty and charm of the old Latin chronicles or diminish the glory of the day that saw the first walls rise about the seven hills of the most important of ancient European cities.
More information here. http://dld.bz/fnVHu
Friday, December 16, 2016
It seems to me that he was created the template of the modern revolutionary/tyrant. The late Fidel Castro comes to mind. The thing for me is that the people of his own time demonstrated their dislike for his rule.
The English Civil War’s aftermath resulted in the death of the King, Charles I and the rule of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell’s regime was unable to survive long after his death. The English substituted the son of Charles for the son of Cromwell. This was “The Restoration”.
I got a series on this in History Moments.
The series shows three different points of view of Cromwell’s record and of the Restoration — very different points of view. Carlyle shows us in Cromwell one of his most admired heroes; Green gives us the modern historian’s dispassionate conclusions; while the contemporary narrative of the old diarist, Pepys, preserves the personal observations of a participator in the scenes which he describes. Charles II had spent years in exile on the Continent. He was finally proclaimed King of England at
, Westminster May 8, 1660. Pepys describes his convoy from to Holland , and his reception by the people who
had invited him to return to his country and his throne. Dover
The first installment of my series: Of Cromwell’s Rule In
begins here: http://dld.bz/fnjHP England
Many more stories here: http://dld.bz/fnjFG
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
In 1911 and 1912 the Imperial Government was overthrown and
was proclaimed a republic. Western people interpreted the Revolution
through the perspective of the European and American experience. The Emperor's advisor wrote: China
"It can not be denied, however, that the social system under which the Chinese people have lived for untold ages has in some ways made them more fit for self-government than any other people in the world. It would be well if Europeans — and especially Englishmen — would try to rid themselves of the obsolete notion that every Oriental race, as such, is only fit for a despotic form of government. Perhaps only those who have lived in the interior of China and know something of the organization of family and village, township and clan, are able to realize to how great an extent the Chinese have already learned the arts of self-government. It was not without reason that a Western authority (writing before the outbreak of the revolution) described
as “the greatest republic the world has ever seen.” China
's present government would have the
world believe that the thousands of years of experience and thought have no
further relevance for today's behavior, I suggest this may not be so. China 's history may be more relevant to
the unfolding decades of the 21st. century than most people think. China
This series on the Revolution comes from three different authors with three different perspectives. http://dld.bz/fm9TY
The Civilization of China by Herbert A. Giles is in The Basic History Library (free). ------------->