Blog

How far back can the causes of World War 2 be traced?

At Church on Sunday, our minister made a point which I hadn’t considered before. And as a historian maybe I should have done. It being the season of Advent, she was talking about the coming of Jesus into the world. And she said that each of the four gospels started their narrative at a different […]

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The earliest warships, and their historical context

I’ve been reading a really interesting book recently, called The Sea and Civilization, by Lincoln Paine. One of the things that I have learnt in reading it is that the Phoenicians were the first to use specialist warships. This is, I suppose, hardly surprising, given their reputation as the leading merchants and seafarers of the […]

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Be careful what you wish for – you might get it!

My reading of world history tells me that the saying, “Be careful what you wish for – you might get it!”, can be as true for nations as it is for individuals. Britain against France The British comprehensively defeated the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). In US history this is known as the […]

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Christopher Gadsden: American Revolutionary and Designer of the Don’t Tread on Me Flag

This is the third guest article contributed by Jen Grant, blogger for American Flags What I’ve found really interesting in this thoughtful article is the insight it gives into the careers of one of the many minor figures involved in the American War of Independence. Great historical events have their leading lights, but they could […]

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Whatever happened to the Ancient Mesopotamians?

By time of fall of the Babylonian empire to the Persians, in 539 BC, the civilization of ancient Mesopotamia had lasted for some three thousand years. It can be divided into different periods, the major ones being the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian. Some historians view these as distinct civilizations, but there was such […]

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Unlamented victims of the Industrial Revolution

I am often grateful for the industrial revolution. Cheap, mass-manufactured goods, inexpensive food produced with modern farming methods, exotic fruits and fish shipped in from thousands of miles away, swift travel to far away places to experience new sights and sounds, good and (comparatively) painless dental treatment – none of this could have happened without […]

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China was not poorer than Europe throughout history!

This weekend’s Economist magazine had an article (“A not-so-golden age”) which I found odd. It questioned the claim that China had historically been a wealthy country. In recent years historians have come to believe that, until the late 18th century, China was wealthier than Europe. It was only then that a “Great Divergence” set in. […]

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