History (from Greekἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects including art and artifacts.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, and investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history", or, the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722BC although only 2nd-centuryBC texts have survived. (Full article...)
Although she was struck many times by Confederate shells, gunfire never significantly damaged the ship or injured the crew. Her only casualty in combat occurred when she was struck by a spar torpedo carried by the CSS David. Eight crewmen were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher in 1865. The ship was destroyed by fire in 1865 after she was placed in reserve. (Full article...)
Edward was under pressure from the English Parliament to end the war either by negotiation or with a victory. As his forces gathered, Edward vacillated as to where in France he would land. Eventually he decided to sail for Gascony, to succour the Duke of Lancaster, who was facing the much larger main French army. Hampered by contrary winds, Edward instead made a surprise landing on the nearest part of France, the northern Cotentin Peninsula. (Full article...)
The two armies clashed at Kalavrye on the Halmyros River in what is now European Turkey. Alexios Komnenos, whose army was considerably smaller and far less experienced, tried to ambush Bryennios's army. The ambush failed, and the wings of his own army were driven back by the rebels. Alexios barely managed to break through with his personal retinue, but succeeded in regrouping his scattered men. At the same time, and despite having seemingly won the battle, Bryennios's army fell into disorder after its own Pecheneg allies attacked its camp. Reinforced by Turkish mercenaries, Alexios lured the troops of Bryennios into another ambush through a feigned retreat. The rebel army broke and Bryennios was captured. (Full article...)
Nguyễn Khánh, the leader of the coup, in 1964
The December 1964 South Vietnamese coup took place before dawn on December 19, 1964, when the ruling military junta of South Vietnam led by General Nguyễn Khánh dissolved the High National Council (HNC) and arrested some of its members. The HNC was an unelected legislative-style civilian advisory body they had created at the request of the United States—South Vietnam's main sponsor—to give a veneer of civilian rule. The dissolution dismayed the Americans, particularly the ambassador, Maxwell D. Taylor, who engaged in an angry war of words with various generals including Khánh and threatened aid cuts. They were unable to do anything about the fait accompli that had been handed to them, because they strongly desired to win the Vietnam War and needed to support the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Instead, Taylor's searing verbal attacks were counterproductive as they galvanized the Vietnamese officers around the embattled Khánh. At the time, Khánh's leadership was under threat from his fellow generals, as well as Taylor, who had fallen out with him and was seeking his removal.
The genesis of the removal of the HNC was a power struggle within the ruling junta. Khánh, who had been saved from an earlier coup attempt in September 1964 by the intervention of some younger generals dubbed the Young Turks, was indebted to them and needed to satisfy their wishes to stay in power. The Young Turks disliked a group of older officers who had been in high leadership positions but were now in powerless posts, and wanted to sideline them completely. As a result, they decided to hide their political motives by introducing a policy to compulsorily retire all general officers with more than 25 years of service. The chief of state Phan Khắc Sửu, an elderly figure appointed by the military to give a semblance of civilian rule, did not want to sign the decree without the agreement of the HNC, which mostly consisted of old men. The HNC recommended against the new policy, and the younger officers, led by I Corps commander General Nguyễn Chánh Thi and Air Marshal Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, disbanded the body and arrested some of its members along with other politicians. (Full article...)
From late 1987, the British authorities were aware that the IRA was planning to detonate a bomb at the changing of the guard ceremony outside the governor's residence in the British Dependent Territory of Gibraltar. When Savage, McCann and Farrell travelled to Spain in preparation for the attack, they were tracked at the request of the British government. On the day of the shootings, Savage was seen parking a white Renault in the car park used as the assembly area for the parade; McCann and Farrell were seen crossing the border shortly afterwards. (Full article...)
Discussion of a war memorial for Northampton began shortly after the armistice in 1918, and from July 1919 a temporary wooden cenotaph stood on Abington Street in the town centre. The Northamptonshire War Memorial Committee commissioned Lutyens to design a permanent memorial. The monument's design was completed and approved quickly, but its installation was delayed by six years until the site could be purchased from the Church of England, which required a faculty from the local diocese. The memorial was finally unveiled on 11 November 1926 after a service and a parade including local schoolchildren and civic leaders. (Full article...)
The ship participated in most of the major fleet actions conducted by the German Navy during the First World War, including the Battles of Dogger Bank and Jutland in the North Sea in 1915 and 1916, respectively. She also took part in the Battle of the Gulf of Riga in 1915 and Operation Albion in 1917 in the Baltic. Moltke was damaged several times during the war: the ship was hit by heavy-caliber gunfire at Jutland, and torpedoed twice by British submarines while on fleet advances. (Full article...)
Australian soldiers from the 2/16th Infantry Battalion arriving at Kaiapit after the area was captured by the 2/6th Independent Company
The Australian 2/6th Independent Company flew in to the Markham Valley from Port Moresby in 13 USAAFC-47 Dakotas, making a difficult landing on a rough airstrip. Unaware that a much larger Japanese force was also headed for Kaiapit, the company attacked the village on 19 September to secure the area so that it could be developed into an airfield. The company then held it against a strong counter-attack. During two days of fighting the Australians defeated a larger Japanese force while suffering relatively few losses. (Full article...)
Indiana served in the Spanish–American War (1898) as part of the North Atlantic Squadron. She took part in both the blockade of Santiago de Cuba and the battle of Santiago de Cuba, which occurred when the Spanish fleet attempted to break through the blockade. Although unable to join the chase of the escaping Spanish cruisers, she was partly responsible for the destruction of the Spanish destroyersPlutón and Furor. After the war she quickly became obsolete—despite several modernizations—and spent most of her time in commission as a training ship or in the reserve fleet, with her last commission during World War I as a training ship for gun crews. She was decommissioned for the third and final time in January 1919 and was shortly after reclassified Coast Battleship Number 1 so that the name Indiana could be reused. She was sunk in shallow water as a target in aerial bombing tests in 1920 and her hull was sold for scrap in 1924. (Full article...)
GeneralGregor MacGregor (24 December 1786 – 4 December 1845) was a Scottish soldier, adventurer, and confidence trickster who attempted from 1821 to 1837 to draw British and French investors and settlers to "Poyais", a fictional Central American territory that he claimed to rule as "Cazique". Hundreds invested their savings in supposed Poyaisian government bonds and land certificates, while about 250 emigrated to MacGregor's invented country in 1822–23 to find only an untouched jungle; more than half of them died. MacGregor's Poyais scheme has been called one of the most brazen confidence tricks in history.
The English army of some 10,000 men had landed in northern Normandy on 12 July 1346. They embarked on a large-scale raid, or chevauchée, devastating large parts of northern France. On 26 August 1346, fighting on ground of their own choosing, the English inflicted a heavy defeat on a large French army led by their king Philip VI at the Battle of Crécy. A week later they invested the well-fortified port of Calais, which had a strong garrison under the command of Jean de Vienne. Edward made several unsuccessful attempts to breach the walls or to take the town by assault, either from the land or seaward sides. During the winter and spring the French were able to run in supplies and reinforcements by sea, but in late April the English established a fortification which enabled them to command the entrance to the harbour and cut off the further flow of supplies. (Full article...)
Born in Philadelphia to a family active in Whig politics, Randall shifted to the Democratic Party after the Whigs' demise. His rise in politics began in the 1850s with election to the Philadelphia Common Council and then to the Pennsylvania State Senate for the 1st district. Randall served in a Union cavalry unit in the American Civil War before winning a seat in the federal House of Representatives in 1862. He was re-elected every two years thereafter until his death. The representative of an industrial region, Randall became known as a staunch defender of protective tariffs designed to assist domestic producers of manufactured goods. While often siding with Republicans on tariff issues, he differed with them in his resistance to Reconstruction and the growth of federal power. (Full article...)
A group of Australianinfantry wearing Small Box Respirators (SBRs) at the Third Battle of Ypres in September 1917. After the introduction of poison gas in World War I, countermeasures were developed. SBRs represented the pinnacle of gas mask development during the war, a mouthpiece connected via a hose to a box filter (hanging around the wearer's neck in this picture), which in turn contained granules of chemicals that neutralised the gas. The SBR was the prized possession of the ordinary infantryman; when the British were forced to retreat during the German Spring Offensive of 1918, it was found that while some troops had discarded their rifles, hardly any had left behind their respirators.
A medieval ship flag captured by forces from Lübeck in the 1420s showed the arms of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Pomerania. At the time, Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united in the Kalmar Union. The flag is believed to originate from the reign of king Eric of Pomerania due to its inclusion of Pomerania's griffin symbol. For the following five hundred years, the flag was displayed as a war trophy in a Lübeck church until destroyed during a World War II air raid on the city. An 1880s copy of the flag is preserved in the museum at Frederiksborg Palace, Denmark. The saint accompanying the Virgin Mary and infant Christ is Saint James the Greater, identified by his scallop shell emblem. The flag was made of coarse linen. All figures and heraldic insignia were created using oil-based paint.
Petra is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba, the great valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock.
Scars of a whipped slave named Peter, photo taken at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1863. In his own words, "Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer." The slave pictured here escaped from a plantation in Mississippi, made his way to Union forces, and joined the U.S. Army at the Union garrison located at Baton Rouge.
Slavery in the United States began soon after the English colonists first settled in North America. From about the 1640s until 1865, people of African descent were legally enslaved within the boundaries of the present U.S. mostly by whites, but also by a comparatively tiny number of American Indians and free blacks. By 1860, the slave population in the U.S. had grown to 4 million.
"The Trumpet Calls", a recruitment poster for the Australian Army in World War I. When the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, Australia followed without hesitation. This was considered to be expected by the Australian public, because of the very large number of British-born citizens and first generation Anglo-Australians at the time. A total of 331,814 Australians were sent overseas to serve as part of the Australian Imperial Force with a casualty rate (killed or wounded) of 64%.
Cotton MS Augustus II.106, one of four surviving exemplifications of Magna Carta. This document, sealed by King John of England on 15 June 1215 (O.S.), was drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular king and a group of rebel barons. The charter promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown. The document was reissued and renewed several times over the centuries, though its political impact decreased as later laws were passed. The charter was significant because the king had agreed to limit his power, so that although it dealt predominantly with the king and the barons, since the late 16th century it has been considered a symbol of liberty and the freedom of the individual.
The Arg-e Bam, in Kerman Province in southeastern Iran, is the largest adobe building in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient citadel has a history dating back around two thousand years, to the Parthian Empire (248 BC – 224 AD), but most of its buildings were constructed during the Safavid dynasty. A strong earthquake on 26 December 2003 largely devastated the fortress and the nearby modern city of Bam. The Arg-e Bam, including the governor's residence, the main tower, the Four Seasons Palace and the hammam, were nearly totally destroyed; this photograph from 2016 shows the citadel partially reconstructed.
A Chola dynasty sculpture depicting Shiva. In Hinduism, Shiva is the deity of destruction and one of the most important gods; in this sculpture he is dancing as Nataraja, the divine dancer who unravels the world in preparation for it being remade by Brahma.
Jews captured by SS and SD troops during the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are forced to leave their shelter and march to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. The SD trooper pictured second from the right, is Josef Blösche, who was identified by Polish authorities using this photograph. Blösche was tried for war crimes in Erfurt, East Germany in 1969, sentenced to death and executed in July of that year.
Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Peruvian Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level, as viewed from Huayna Picchu. Established c. 1450, the settlement was abandoned at the time of the Spanish Conquest the following century. Although it remained known locally, it was not brought to international attention until after Hiram Bingham visited the site in 1911. Machu Picchu is now a popular tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and restoration efforts are ongoing.
A baseball team composed mostly of child laborers from an Indiana glassmaking factory, as photographed by Lewis Hine in August 1908. Hine (1874–1940) was an Americansociologist who promoted the use of photography as an educational medium and means for social change. Beginning in 1908, he spent ten years photographing child labor for the National Child Labor Committee. The project was a dangerous one, and Hine had to disguise himself – at times as a fire inspector, post card vendor, Bible salesman or industrial photographer – to avoid the factory police and foremen.
King Arthur (Welsh: Brenin Arthur, Cornish: Arthur Gernow, Breton: Roue Arzhur) was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and modern historians generally agree that he is unhistorical. The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas. Arthur's name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin.
Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the Matter of Britain. The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain). In some Welsh and Breton tales and poems that date from before this work, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh otherworld Annwn. How much of Geoffrey's Historia (completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown. (Full article...)
A Japanese depiction of a Portuguese trading carrack. Advances in shipbuilding technology during the Late Middle Ages would pave the way for the global European presence characteristic of the early modern period.
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Gold stag with eagle's head, and ten further heads in the antlers. An object inspired by the art of the Siberian Altai mountain, possibly Pazyryk, unearthed at the site of Nalinggaotu, Shenmu County, near Xi'an, China. Possibly from the "Hun people who lived in the prairie in Northern China". Dated to the 4th–3rd century BC, or Han Dynasty period. Shaanxi History Museum.
A painting depecting the Qing Chinese celebrating a victory over the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan. This work was a collaboration between Chinese and European painters.
World Colonization of 1492 (Early Modern World), 1550, 1660, 1754 (Age of Enlightenment), 1822 (Industrial revolution), 1885 (European Hegemony), 1914 (World War I era), 1938 (World War II era), 1959 (Cold War era) and 1974, 2008 (Recent history).
"If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don't know, search for it." An engraving from the 1772 edition of the Encyclopédie; Truth (center) is surrounded by light and unveiled by the figures to the right, Philosophy and Reason
The Ezana Stone records negus Ezana's conversion to Christianity and conquests of his neighbors.
Cishou Temple Pagoda, built in 1576: the Chinese believed that building pagodas on certain sites according to geomantic principles brought about auspicious events; merchant-funding for such projects was needed by the late Ming period.
Roman Empire 117 AD. The Senatorial provinces were acquired first under the Roman Republic and were under the Roman Senate's control; the Imperial provinces were controlled directly by the Roman emperor.
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