Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Village Labourer 1760-1832

The Village Labourer 1760-1832 - First published in 1911, this study in the government of England before the Reform Bill takes a detailed look at the consequences of the acts of enclosure, which dramatically changed life in the countryside.

From the site:

This edition differs from previous editions of The Village Labourer in two respects. The original Chapter One has been omitted: this chapter described the concentration of power in the hands of a small class, which was the leading feature of our political development in the eighteenth century. Secondly, the Appendices have been reduced, but the student who wishes to pursue the subject of enclosure further will find, at the end of this volume, full details of four important and representative enclosures.

In their preface to the edition published in 1913 the authors discussed some of the controversies that had arisen on the topic of the enclosures. It seems worth while to reproduce here the substance of that preface. Two main criticisms have been passed on the treatment of enclosures in these pages: the first, that the writers have drawn an unjust picture, because they deliberately excluded the importance of enclosure in increasing the food supplies of the nation; the second, that the hardships of the poor have been exaggerated, and that, though the system of enclosure lent itself to abuses, there was no evidence that wrong was done in the mass of enclosures.

Friday, December 17, 2004

History of Burma

History of Burma. This is a good general overview to the history of the Asian nation of Burma. I realize that the legal name of the country is now Myanmar but who the heck calls it that?

From the site:

Burma was unified by Burman dynasties three times during the past millennium. The first such unification came with the foundation of the Pagan Dynasty in 1044 AD, which is considered the "Golden Age" in Burmese history. It is during this period that Theravada Buddhism first made its appearance in Burma, and the Pagan kings built a massive city with thousands of pagodas and monasteries along the Irrawaddy River. The Pagan Dynasty lasted until 1287 when a Mongol invasion destroyed the city. Ethnic Shan rulers, who established a political center at Ava, filled the ensuing political vacuum for a short time.

In the 15th century, the Toungoo Dynasty succeeded again in unifying under Burman rule a large, multi-ethnic kingdom. This dynasty, which lasted from 1486 until 1752, left little cultural legacy, but expanded the kingdom through conquest of the Shans. Internal power struggles, and the cost of protracted warfare, led to the eventual decline of the Toungoo.

The final Burman royal dynasty, the Konbaung, was established in 1752 under the rule of King Alaungpaya. Like the Toungoo Kings, the Konbaung rulers focused on warfare and conquest. Wars were fought with the ethnic Mons and Arkanese, and with the Siamese. The Burmese sacked the Siamese capital of Ayuthaya in 1767. This period also saw four invasions by the Chinese and three devastating wars with the British.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

History & Culture of Turkmenistan

History & Culture of Turkmenistan - Information on this countries history starting from early rulers in the 4th Century B.C, arrival of Oguz, Soviet regime and ending with independence on October 27, 1991. Created and hosted by the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Washington, DC.

From the site:

Tools from the Stone-Age have been discovered along the Caspian Seashore and near the modern port of Turkmenbashi, establishing thepre-historic presence of humans in the area that is today known asTurkmenistan. The remains of farming settlements in the Kopet-DagMountains date back 8,000 years. The ancient cultivators in this regionused the mountain streams to irrigate their crops. They also survived byherding livestock and by hunting wild game.

As early societies learned to make pottery and metal tools, they began totrade with other peoples of central Asia. This profitable trade however,also attracted foreign invaders. By the 6th century B.C., the powerfulPersian Empire had established the provinces of Parthia and Margiana, inwhat is now Turkmenistan. From their base south of the Kopet-Dagrange, the Persians controlled trade through central Asia and subdued themany nomadic peoples who lived on Turkmenistan's arid plains.

Early Rulers

In the 4th century B.C., the Persian Empire was defeated by the army ofAlexander the Great. In 330 B.C., Alexander marched northward intocentral Asia and founded the city of Alexandria near the Murgab River.Located on an important trade route, Alexandria later became the city ofMerv (modern Mary). The ruins of Alexander's ancient city are still visiblealong the banks of the Murgab River.

After Alexander's death in 323 B.C., his generals fought for control of hisempire, which quickly fell apart. The Scythians—fierce, nomadic warriorsfrom the north—then established the kingdom of Parthia, which coveredpresent-day Turkmenistan and Iran. The Parthian kings ruled their domainfrom the ancient city of Nisa. At its height, Parthia extended south andwest as far as the Indus River in modern India.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Earthquake History of Hawaii

Earthquake History of Hawaii - Much of the early record of Hawaiian earthquakes comes from the diary of Mrs. Sarah J. Lyman, a missionary's wife at Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. She began her account in 1833 and continued it until her death in 1885. This record was then continued for eleven more years by her descendants.

From the site:

On February 19, 1834, a strong shock threw down stone walls, stopped clocks, upset bottles, and sloshed milk out of half-full pans. Standing and walking were rendered difficult. A similar earthquake occurred on December 12, 1838. No volcanic activity was noted for either event.

On March 27, 1868, whaling ships at Kawaihae on the west coast of Hawaii observed dense clouds of smoke rising from Mauna Loa's crater, Mokuaweoweo, to a height of several miles and reflecting the bright light from the lava pit. Slight shocks were felt at Kona on the west coast and Kau on the flanks of the volcano. On the 28th, lava broke out on the southwest flank and created a 15-mile flow to the sea. Over 300 strong shocks were felt at Kau and 50 to 60 were felt at Kona. At Kilauea the surface of the ground quivered for days with frequent vigorous shocks that caused lamps, crockery, and chairs to spin around as if animated. One shock resembled that of a cannon projectile striking the ground under the proprietor's bed, causing him to flee, according to the narrative published by C. H. Hitchcock in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America in 1912. Between March 28, 1868, and April 11, over 2000 distinct shocks were felt at Kona.

The main shocks struck on April 2, at 4:00 p.m., and again on April 4 at 12:30 a.m. A magnitude of 7 3/4 was estimated for this earthquake (by Augustine Furumoto in his February 1966 article on the Seismicity of Hawaii in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America) based on the extent of intensity reports. Instrumental recordings, the usual basis for computing magnitudes, were not available at this early date. The shock was felt throughout the islands as far as Niihau some 350 miles away. The ground rolled like a ship at sea and many walls tumbled down. A landslide three miles long and thirty feet thick swept down the hill carrying trees, animals, and men. Thirty-one people and thousands of cattle, sheep, horses, and goats were killed in the one slide. A seawave struck the coast from Hilo to South Cape, being most destructive at Keauhou, Puna, and Honuapo; 180 houses were washed away, and 62 lives were lost to the wave alone. A 10-foot-high wave carried wreckage inland 800 feet. Not a house survived at Honuapo. A stone church and other buildings were destroyed at Punaluu. Maximum wave heights were 65 feet, the highest observed on Hawaii to date.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

James Madison

James Madison. This is a decent biography of American President James Monroe. He is known for his work with the Federalist Papers and his presidency during the War of 1812.

From the site:

James Madison (March 16, 1751 - June 28, 1836) was the fourth (1809 - 1817) President of the United States. He was co-author, with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, and is viewed by some as the "Father of the United States Constitution."

Born in 1751, Madison was brought up in Orange County, Virginia, and attended Princeton (then called the College of New Jersey). A student of history and government, well-read in law, he participated in the framing of the Virginia Constitution in 1776, served in the Continental Congress, and was a leader in the Virginia Assembly.

When delegates to the Constitutional Convention assembled at Philadelphia, the 36-year-old
Madison took frequent and emphatic part in the debates.

Madison made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing, with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the Federalist essays. In later years, when he was referred to as the "Father of the Constitution," Madison protested that the document was not "the off-spring of a single brain," but "the work of many heads and many hands."

In Congress, he helped frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first revenue legislation. Out of his leadership in opposition to Hamilton's financial proposals, which he felt would unduly bestow wealth and power upon northern financiers, came the development of the Republican, or Jeffersonian, Party.

Monday, December 13, 2004

History of Cape Verde

History of Cape Verde. This is a short but good look at the history of this island nation off of the coast of Africa.

From the site:

In 1462, Portuguese settlers arrived at Santiago and founded Ribeira Grande (now Cidade Velha)--the first permanent European settlement city in the tropics. In the 16th century, the archipelago prospered from the transatlantic slave trade. Pirates occasionally attacked the Portuguese settlements. Sir Francis Drake sacked Ribeira Grande in 1585. After a French attack in 1712, the city declined in importance relative to Praia, which became the capital in 1770.

With the decline in the slave trade, Cape Verde's early prosperity slowly vanished. However, the islands' position astride mid-Atlantic shipping lanes made Cape Verde an ideal location for resupplying ships. Because of its excellent harbor, Mindelo (on the island of São Vicente) became an important commercial center during the 19th century.

Portugal changed Cape Verde's status from a colony to an overseas province in 1951 in an attempt to blunt growing nationalism. Nevertheless, in 1956, Amilcar Cabral, a Cape Verdean, and a group of Cape Verdeans and Guinea-Bissauans organized (in Guinea-Bissau) the clandestine African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which demanded improvement in economic, social, and political conditions in Cape Verde and Portuguese Guinea and formed the basis of the two nations' independence movement. Moving its headquarters to Conakry, Guinea in 1960, the PAIGC began an armed rebellion against Portugal in 1961. Acts of sabotage eventually grew into a war in Portuguese Guinea that pitted 10,000 Soviet bloc-supported PAIGC soldiers against 35,000 Portuguese and African troops.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

World History Blog Getting Recognition

World History Blog Getting Recognition. I thought I would post a note about the positive recognition that this blog has recently been receiving.

This includes being featured in USAToday.Com as a Hot Site. The brief commentary read, "World history’s a pretty broad topic, even for a Web journal. Miland Brown therefore has his work cut out for him, but as a historian and fellow at the World History Research Institute, he’s pretty clearly the person for the job. Mr. Brown’s blog is edging toward its first anniversary, and visitors will find a rich and varied collection of links and thoughtful commentary."

The WHB also was noted as a good resource by the Scout Report in a recent In the News report on the popularity of the word blog.

I have made several changes to the Blog as a result. First, I have changed the descriptive information at the top from "features all aspects of world history" to "features different aspects of world history." That sounds a little less ambitious and more humble I think. Second, I have turned off the option for posting comments. Unfortunately, as this blog has gotten more popular, I have been receiving numerous spam postings. It is easier just to turn it off.