A group of Union soldiers during the Civil War.
American History

Common Soldiers of the American Civil War

April 17, 2020

By Gary Gallagher, Ph.D., University of Virginia Too often history textbooks focus on the grandiose paradigm shifts that emanate from wartime instead of shedding light […]

Union and confederate flags
American History

North vs. South: Prelude to the American Civil War

October 9, 2019

The Anerican Civil War is so vast, complex, important, and engaging, that it has inspired literature that conservatively runs to more than 50,000 books and pamphlets. More than one book or pamphlet a day has been published about the conflict since April 1861, when the firing on Fort Sumter helped precipitate it. Review the background of the war, and learn what was happening in the North and South before the first shots were fired. […]

Compromise of 1850
American History

Politics before the American Civil War

October 9, 2019

Slavery may have been the key issue that ignited the American Civil War, but a series of political battle lines, compromises, negotiations, and institutional challenges all served as catalysts for war. Take a look at the political storms of the mid-19th century and examine the politics of the American Civil War. […]

Painting of John Brown's Harper's Ferry insurrection on October 17 1859 Captain Albert's militia firing on Brown's insurgents from the railroad bridge.
American History

The Shock of John Brown’s Raid

October 8, 2019

The presidential election of 1860 was the most momentous presidential election in the history of the United States. More was at stake than at any other time in U.S. history. Investigate the opening scene of the crisis: John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. […]

Mehmed V proclaimed Sultan. (Image: By Le Petit Journal/Public domain)
European History

The Ottoman Empire at War

September 28, 2018

In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire was ill-prepared to enter a total modern war. This was a war that would be waged primarily against the British Empire and the Russian Empire at the same time. Yet, war is more than just a matter of numbers and statistics. Sometimes, one can beat the odds. Discover the circumstances the Ottoman Empire was up against and why it’s extraordinary they did as well as they did.


"Battle of Assunpink."
American History

Famous Battles of The American Revolution: The Second Victory at Trenton

December 1, 2017

Washington’s surprise at Trenton threw the British occupation of New Jersey into a panic. Carl von Donop—who was in command of the outposts at Trenton, Burlington, and Bordentown—now imagined himself outmaneuvered and cut off by unseen Americans, and he ordered a pullback to Princeton, where he furiously began throwing up entrenchments. […]

Battle of Agincourt (Image: Chroniques d’Enguerrand de Monstrelet (early 15th century) /Public domain)

The Democratization of the Hundred Years War

December 1, 2017

During the first phase of the Hundred Years War, the kings of France and England tended to hire lots of mercenaries who were paid by campaign. When there was no fighting, the pay stopped. This caused serious societal difficulties because one of the last things you want is a lot of unemployed armed individuals. […]

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