Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Story of Southern Rhodesia

The Story of Southern Rhodesia - Four chapters about British colonization of Rhodesia from E. D. Morel's history of European imperialism in Africa, The Black Man's Burden. Turn your popup blocker on. This site has good content but lousy advertising techniques!

From the site:

The portion of the Continent south of the Zambesi is -- with some exceptions -- suitable for settlement by white races, so far as the climate is concerned. The exceptions are the vicinity of the Zambesi itself, the desert and waterless coast regions of Damaraland, and a fairly wide belt of Portuguese territory on the East Coast. The whites are, however, incapable, save in a very limited degree, of performing the more arduous forms of manual labour. The actual development of the country, both agricultural and mineral must depend, therefore, either upon African labour or upon imported Asiatic labour -- to which the whites are opposed for various reasons, which need not here be discussed.

For a century the healthy tablelands and plateaux of this region have been the scene of the kind of racial conflict which occurs when an invading race, of a higher culture than the aboriginal population and possessed of superior offensive and defensive weapons, disputes with the latter for the occupation of the land. Natural man presently finds himself threatened in his liberties. Civilised man is filled with the terror which comes from the knowledge of overwhelming odds. Mutual fears inspire reciprocal cruelties.

An unusual amount of light has been thrown upon the incidents of this racial strife in South Africa, because of the contest and rivalry between various sections of the invading whites: between the Dutch and French Huguenot element on the one hand -- known to us as "Boers" -- and the British on the other, and between British and German. This rivalry has engendered a natural desire on the part of the warring sections to advertise and accentuate the shortcomings of the other, thus adding to the sum of general knowledge. Other causes have also contributed. Before Southern Africa became a political and international storm-centre, and the Mecca of large financial interests, when the troubles between colonists and aborigines were looked upon by the Home Government as a nuisance, British Secretaries of State were disposed to display a sense of impartiality in judging of such troubles and a freedom of expression in commenting upon them to which the present generation is quite unaccustomed. The older British Blue Books dealing with these native wars and the part played by the colonists in provoking them, are marked by a vigorous candour inconceivable in these days, except when it is a matter of State policy to paint the black records of an opponent even blacker than they are.

Friday, December 03, 2004

History of Canada

History of Canada. This is a good overview to the history of the North American nation of Canada.

From the site:

Canada, which has been inhabited by aboriginal peoples, known in Canada as the First Nations, for about 10,000 years, was first visited by Europeans around 1000, when the Vikings briefly settled at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. More permanent European visits came in the 16th and 17th century, as the French settled there.

In 1763, at the end of the Seven Years' War, France chose to keep its Caribbean Islands and to leave its North American colony, New France, to Britain.

After the American Revolution, many British Loyalists settled in Canada.

On July 1, 1867, with the passing of the British North America Act, the British government granted local self-government to a federation of four provinces formed from three of its North American colonies, Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The former Province (colony) of Canada formed two provinces of the new Dominion of Canada, being partitioned into Quebec and Ontario along the old boundary between Lower and Upper Canada. The term Confederation refers to this act of union and is often used for the resulting federation.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Vikings on Greenland

Vikings on Greenland - Presents a brief essay about the history of the Vikings in Greenland, and their explorations further afield, with a map to show their travels.

From the site:

Around the year 960 the boy Erik and his father got a problem with a murder, and they had to leave their home in "Jæren" in Southern Norway.

Erik had inherited his fathers militant mind, and he did not act better on Iceland, than his father has acted in Norway, and soon, that was in the year 985, he was outlawed for 3 years because of two murders. In other words: People were alloved to kill him, if they wanted to! Erik, who later on got the sur-name "the Red", had heard about a man, called Gunbjørn: He had during a storm lost his direction and seen land far to the west.

Why not try to find this unknown land, now when he had to escape from Iceland, anyway?

He put his boat to the sea. He had problems with drift-ice, but was obstinately sailing towards the south to the place today called "Kap Farvel" (Cape Farewell), and then sailed north. Here he found fertile valleys with green grass for cattle, rivers with good fishing - grounds, and in the ocean there were walruses and and seals.

He wintered on the island which he called "Eriks Island" south of Greenland, and during the following years he saw rather a great part of south-eastern Greenland.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Major Events in Dutch History

Major Events in Dutch History - Covers some major events in Dutch history, such as the Anglo-Dutch Wars, colonial history and the World Wars. With pictures.

From the site:

The Dutch had always depended upon sea trade to keep their economy stable. The Netherlands was a limited resource country whose strength lay in their dominance of the seas. The economy of the Netherlands depended on their maintaining this dominance and remaining the strongest sea force in Europe. England had a very strong navy and was a source of much competition for the Dutch. England wanted the sea routes for themselves. The Anglo-Dutch Wars were fought over the possession of the seas and trade routes. They were fought between 1652 and 1684. At the end of the four Anglo-Dutch Wars, England ended up with sea control, and the Dutch were completely defeated.

The first Anglo-Dutch War lasted from 1652 until 1654. It was fought between the "Stadtholderless Dutch Republic" and "the Commonwealth of England." England gained control of the seas for the summer of 1653. This severely damaged Dutch business confidence and alarmed ship holders. The Dutch had always been very much in control of the waters, and were the center of trade for Europe. When it seemed as thought they were losing, their economy began to weaken as a result of Europe's sudden lack of business confidence. Luckily, for the Dutch and for Europe's businesses, the Stadtholderless Dutch Republic managed to retain control of the seas.

The second Anglo-Dutch War began in 1665, and lasted until 1667. Charles the II of England declared war on March 4th, 1665. At the start of the war, the English came on so strong that European states were once again faced with the prospect of total English domination of the seas. All through the summer of 1665, the English held the seas under their control. This damaged the business confidence of the Dutch severely once again. However, by 1667, the Dutch managed to regain control, and England had lost control of even their coastal waters to the Dutch. If England had controlled the North Sea any longer between 1665 and 1667, the Dutch economy would have been completely destroyed. One of the reasons that the Dutch managed to regain control of the waters was that in 1667, the plague broke out in England, greatly weakening the country. England was forced to surrender. The third Anglo-Dutch War began in 1672, and ended in 1674. All through the summer of 1672, the English controlled the seas. Once again, Dutch business confidence was greatly damaged. The Dutch were in danger of immense economic defeat, until they preformed an amazing naval campaign in 1672. This is what ensured their survival against the English. It forced Charles II by his own subjects, to quit the war in 1674.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams. This is a biography of American President John Quincy Adams. He is also well know for being the successful lawyer for the famous Amistad Supreme Court case.

From the site:

John Quincy Adams ( July 11 , 1767 - February 23 , 1848 ) was the sixth ( 1825 - 1829 ) President of the United States . He was the son of President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams . He is the first President whose father was also President. The second one is George W. Bush .

The first President who was the son of a President, John Quincy Adams in many respects paralleled the career as well as the temperament and viewpoints of his illustrious father. Born in Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1767, he watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from the top of Penn's Hill above the family farm. As secretary to his father in Europe, he became an accomplished linguist and assiduous diarist.

After graduating from Harvard College, he became a lawyer. At age 26 he was appointed Minister to the Netherlands, then promoted to the Berlin Legation. In 1802 he was elected to the United States Senate. Six years later President Madison appointed him Minister to Russia.
Serving under President Monroe, Adams was one of America's great Secretaries of State, arranging with England for the joint occupation of the Oregon country, obtaining from Spain the purchase of the Floridas, and formulating with the President the Monroe Doctrine.

Monday, November 29, 2004

History of Bulgaria

History of Bulgaria. This is brief overview to the history of Bulgaria.

From the site:

The first Bulgarian state was recognized in 681 A.D. and was a mixture of Slavs and Bulgars. Several years later, the First Bulgarian Kingdom or the "Golden Age" emerged under Tsar Simeon I in 893-927. During this time, Bulgarian art and literature flourished. Also during the ninth century, Orthodox Christianity became the primary religion in Bulgaria and the Cyrillic alphabet was established.

In 1018, Bulgaria fell under the authority of the Byzantine Empire. Byzantine rule was short-lived, however. By 1185 Bulgarians had broken free of Byzantine rule and, in 1202, they established the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Ottoman domination of the Balkan Peninsula eventually affected Bulgaria in the late 14th century, and by 1396, Bulgaria had become part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) and the Treaty of Berlin (1885), Bulgaria gained some autonomy under the Ottoman Empire, but complete independence was not recognized until 1908.

During the first half of the 20th century, Bulgaria was marred by social and political unrest. Bulgaria participated in the First and Second Balkan Wars (1912 and 1913) and sided with the Central Powers, and later the Axis Powers, during the two World Wars. Although allied with Germany during World War II, Bulgaria never declared war on Russia.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Camp David Accords -- Framework for Peace

Camp David Accords -- Framework for Peace - A survey of the 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, with sections: Prelude, Preparations, Negotiations, and Legacy; from the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.

From the site:

The history of Arab-Israeli relations is one of bitter conflict. A history with roots deep into the past and whose progeny have entangled the entire modern world. Every generation since World War II has witnessed the violence and terrible suffering endemic to this region. And often the region's suffering has spilled over. Recent history, however, has promised hope. The beginning of that promise, the framework for peace, was built at Camp David in 1978.