Saturday, July 24, 2004

History Quotes

History Quotes This is a nice collection of history quotes which have been compiled by Jeff Coons.

From the site:

What follows are a series of quotations about history and the historian's craft. They have been culled from a variety of sources and they appear here in totally random order. Their purpose is to incite, energize and stimulate your historical imagination.

* * *

"'History,' Stephen said, 'is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.'" James Joyce

"Since history has no properly scientific value, its only purpose is educative. And if historians neglect to educate the public, if they fail to interest it intelligently in the past, then all their historical learning is valueless except in so far as it educates themselves." G. M. Trevelyan.

"To each eye, perhaps, the outlines of a great civilization present a different picture. In the wide ocean upon which we venture, the possible ways and directions are many; and the same studies which have served for my work might easily, in other hands, not only receive a wholly different treatment and application, but lead to essentially different conclusions." Jacob Burckhardt

"History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity." Cicero

"The past is useless. That explains why it is past." Wright Morris

"Faithfulness to the truth of history involves far more than a research, however patient and scrupulous, into special facts. Such facts may be detailed with the most minute exactness, and yet the narrative, taken as a whole, may be unmeaning or untrue. The narrator must seek to imbue himself with the life and spirit of the time. He must study events in their bearings near and remote; in the character, habits, and manners of those who took part in them. He must himself be, as it were, a sharer or a spectator of the action he describes." Francis Parkman

Friday, July 23, 2004

World History Web Resources: An Annotated Guide

World History Web Resources: An Annotated Guide Michael Lorenzen at Central Michigan University has put up this guide to world history Web resources. I discovered this when I was reading his literacy blog yesterday. Michael also keeps his American Presidents blog current.

From the site:

I have prepared this guide to help students find the best history resources on the Web. Unfortunately, there is a lot of garbage on the Web. Some of it is from people who have real biases on issues and they are trying to portray historical events in a skewed manner. Others simply write and post material which they sincerely believe to good history. The reality is that many of these people have no training in history and the end results of their efforts is misleading, wrong, or strange. I hope this guide simplifies the search process for history on the Web. Don't just type a search phrase into Yahoo! or Google and use what you find. Some of the worst sites do well in search engines and relying on them could seriously harm your grades!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

History of Afghanistan

History of Afghanistan This is a general overview of the history of Afghanistan. For such a small area, this nations sure has a violent history.

From the site:

Afghanistan, often called the crossroads of Central Asia, has had a turbulent history. In 328 BC, Alexander the Great entered the territory of present-day Afghanistan, then part of the Persian Empire, to capture Bactria (present-day Balkh). Invasions by the Scythians, White Huns, and Turks followed in succeeding centuries. In AD 642, Arabs invaded the entire region and introduced Islam.

Arab rule gave way to the Persians, who controlled the area until conquered by the Turkic Ghaznavids in 998. Mahmud of Ghazni (998-1030) consolidated the conquests of his predecessors and turned Ghazni into a great cultural center as well as a base for frequent forays into India. Following Mahmud's short-lived dynasty, various princes attempted to rule sections of the country until the Mongol invasion of 1219. The Mongol invasion, led by Genghis Khan, resulted in massive slaughter of the population, destruction of many cities, including Herat, Ghazni, and Balkh, and the despoliation of fertile agricultural areas.

Following Genghis Khan's death in 1227, a succession of petty chiefs and princes struggled for supremacy until late in the 14th century, when one of his descendants, Tamerlane, incorporated Afghanistan into his own vast Asian empire. Babur, a descendant of Tamerlane and the founder of India's Moghul dynasty at the beginning of the 16th century, made Kabul the capital of an Afghan principality.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Teaching about Japan

Teaching about Japan This essay gives ideas for teaching about Japan in American classrooms. This includes ideas for history instruction.

From the site:

Present a historical perspective whenever possible. This notion is very closely tied to the idea of multiple cultural perspectives. Both Japan and the U.S. have a national historical consciousness of past events, and these often differ markedly. Furthermore, these historical perspectives often influence contemporary concerns such as trade and diplomatic relations. For example, U.S. textbooks inevitably herald the coming of Perry to Japan. The good Commodore is credited with the "opening of Japan." Most textbooks then go on to extol the virtues of increased trade. Japanese textbooks, however, stress that raw silk production at that time could not match market demands. Domestic shortages and rice hoarding ensued. Soon traders cornered the market and prices rose dramatically. Domestic economic chaos resulted. Two very different history lessons are taught here.

Similarly, Japanese textbooks characterize the United States after World War II as a "taikoku" or "huge country." Profitable trade, burgeoning industry, and a high GNP are stressed. This image of the U.S. continues today. Is it any wonder that Japanese trade negotiators seem surprised that a nation like the U.S. feels economically threatened by Japan? These images die hard, but they can be used to help enhance historical and cultural understanding.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt This is a brief biography of the life of Teddy Roosevelt.

From the site:

Theodore Roosevelt ( October 27 , 1858 - January 6 , 1919 ) was the twenty-fifth ( 1901 ) Vice President and the twenty-sixth ( 1901 - 1909 ) President of the United States , succeeding to the office upon the assassination of William McKinley .

Sickly as a young man, he took to physical exercise and became a sporting and outdoor enthusiast, frequenting such areas of natural beauty as the Grand Canyon . His energetic example influenced many to take up physical exercise during the urban sports boom in the early part of the century.

Roosevelt was born in New York City , October 27 , 1858 . He graduated from Harvard University in 1880 . He was a member of New York State Assembly from 1882 - 1884 . He moved to North Dakota after the death of his wife, where lived on his ranch, then returned to New York City in 1886 , where he was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as a member of the United States Civil Service Commission 1889 - 1895 , when he resigned to become president of the New York Board of Police Commissioners. He resigned this position upon his appointment by President William McKinley as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He held that post from 1897 to 1898 , when he resigned to fight in the Spanish-American War .

Roosevelt rose to national prominence during the Spanish-American War as commander of the " Rough Riders ". Before and after the war, he distinguished himself in New York City and State politics, as police commissioner and state governor. He made such a concerted effort to root out corruption and "machine" politics that, it is said, Republican leaders in New York advanced him as a running mate for William McKinley in the 1900 election simply to get rid of him.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Wikinfo | Vietnam War

Wikinfo Vietnam War This is a good essay on the Vietnam War from the online Encyclopedia Wikinfo. This is a good source for history articles of all kinds.

From the site:

The Vietnam War was a war fought between 1964 and 1975 on the ground in South Vietnam and bordering areas of Cambodia and Laos (see also, Secret War), and in bombing runs (Rolling Thunder) over North Vietnam. Fighting on one side was a coalition of forces including the United States, the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. Fighting on the other side was a coalition of forces including the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the National Liberation Front (NLF, Viet Cong), a communist-led South Vietnamese guerrilla movement. The USSR provided military aid to the North Vietnamese and to the NLF, but was not one of the military combatants. The war was part of a larger regional conflict involving the neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos, known as the Second Indochina War. In Vietnam, this conflict is known as the American War (Vietnamese Chiến Tranh Chống Mỹ Cứu Nước, literally War Against the Americans and to Save the Nation).

Origins of the War

The Vietnam War was in many ways a direct successor to the French Indochina War, sometimes referred to as the First Indochina War, in which the French fought, with the economic support of USA, to regain control of their former colony in Indochina, after the japanesse surrender, against the independence movement, Viet Minh led by Communist Party leader Ho Chi Minh.

After the Viet Minh defeated the French colonial army at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the colony was granted independence.

According to the ensuing Genova Conference, Vietnam was partitioned, ostensibly temporarily, into a Northern and Southern zones of Viet-Nam. The former was to be ruled by Ho Chi Minh, while the latter would be under the control of Emperor Bao Dai. In 1955 the South Vietnamese monarchy was abolished and Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem became President of a new South Vietnamese republic

Sunday, July 18, 2004

History of Algeria

History ofAlgeria This is a brief but well written essay on the history of Algeria.

From the site:

Since the 5th century B.C., the indigenous tribes of northern Africa (identified by the Romans as "Berbers") have been pushed back from the coast by successive waves of Phoenician, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Arab, Turkish, and, finally, French invaders. The greatest cultural impact came from the Arab invasions of the 8th and 11th centuries A.D., which brought Islam and the Arabic language. The effects of the most recent (French) occupation--French language and European-inspired socialism--are still pervasive.

North African boundaries have shifted during various stages of the conquests. Algeria's modern borders were created by the French, whose colonization began in 1830. To benefit French colonists, most of whom were farmers and businessmen, northern Algeria was eventually organized into overseas departments of France, with representatives in the French National Assembly. France controlled the entire country, but the traditional Muslim population in the rural areas remained separated from the modern economic infrastructure of the European community.

Indigenous Algerians began their revolt on November 1, 1954, to gain rights denied them under French rule. The revolution, launched by a small group of nationalists who called themselves the National Liberation Front (FLN), was a guerrilla war in which both sides targeted civilians and otherwise used brutal tactics. Eventually, protracted negotiations led to a cease-fire signed by France and the FLN on March 18, 1962, at Evian, France. The Evian accords also provided for continuing economic, financial, technical, and cultural relations, along with interim administrative arrangements until a referendum on self-determination could be held. Over 1 million French citizens living in Algeria at the time, called the "pieds-noirs," left Algeria for France.