Sunday, January 22, 2017

An American Creed

A creed is a list of fundamental beliefs that all (almost) share. Christians have the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed.  Obama referred to an American Creed.  This article refers to an American Creed based on iconic statements from American history.

Among those statements is Franklin Roosevlt's "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" from his first inaugural address.  This is one of the most stupid statements ever (Hitler and the Nazis having got into power just  few weeks earlier).  I do not understand how historians celebrate that statement.  Here's my post on this together with a video of FDR's statement.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

When Did the French Revolution Begin to Go Wrong?

Lots of revolutions in the news last year and more to come in 2017.  I predict Venezuela.  But so many of them go bad.  The template for revolution going bad is the French Revolution of the 1790's.  Here's a story about the execution of Louis XVI.  Then there's the murder of Murat.  Then the French Civil War began.

Up to this point the killings could have been taken as the necessary actions to change an entrenched despotism.  But now it went to execution.  Then came the Reign of Terror.  What would have happened had the French Revolutionaries kept to the high road?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mongols Invade Japan

In 1267, Kublai Khan's emissaries returned with the news that Japan 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.

This is the first in a new series on Kublai Khan's attempted conquest of Japan

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ivan the Great Establishes Russia

It is hard today to think of Russia 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 Moscow. The story of how Russia went from there to the Russia of today is one of the most consequential of history.

At the birth of Ivan III (1440) Russia 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 Moscow and those of Lithuania stood Novgorod and Pskof, the two chief Russian republics, hesitating to declare their allegiance.

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, Muscovy or Russia 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 movement.

This is how the selection begins.  It continues here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fall of Troy

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 Greece.  The distinguished authority on ancient Greece George Grote summarizes the mythos of the Fall of Troy in the series which begins here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Having Trouble With Your New Year Resolution to Read a History Book?

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.

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.

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

Take Your History Blog to the Next Level in 1017

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.

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).
V. Scheduling
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.
XIV. Promotion.

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)  ------------->