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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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Could the Russians have defeated Germany by themselves?

An article in The Times newspaper over the weekend reported that a majority of Russians think that their country could have defeated Germany in World War 2 without any help from the Western Allies. Could they, I wonder? Hitler’s invasion of Russia In June 1941 the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa: the invasion of the Soviet Union. […]

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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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Labels in world history

I have received quite a few comments over the years from folk who feel that organising history – especially world history – in terms of such labels as “Iron Age”, “Industrial Revolution” and so on, is misleading. They feel that they are all rough approximations of reality, and therefore can give an impression of simplicity which bears […]

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One civilization, or many?

Now here’s a question – what exactly is a civilization? This is a harder question than you might think, and I’ve tackled it before, both in a blog post and an encyclopedia article. However, my answers there do not take into account a further question I sometimes mull. Look at this map of Europe in […]

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