Saturday, March 05, 2005

Afghanistan: War Without End?

Afghanistan: War Without End?. Experts discuss the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the U.S. reaction to heightened tensions in the region in December 1985. Transcript of News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

From the site:

Soviet troops crossed the border into Afghanistan six years ago today. Afghan guerrilla fighters immediately took up the physical fight against them; the United States and others took up the rhetorical one, and both fights continue as we speak tonight. President Reagan's birthday message today was: the Soviets are using barbaric methods of war, and the United States still stands with the Afghan freedom fighters against them. The anniversary word on the physical war itself is that it remains the same, only worse.

The fighting has intensified in the past year. The Soviets have brought in more firepower against guerrilla hideouts. They have launched more attacks on the towns and civilian populations that sustain the rebels.

Friday, March 04, 2005

History of Uruguay

History of Uruguay. This is a short but informative overview to the history of the South American nation of Uruguay.

From the site:

The only inhabitants of Uruguay before European colonization of the area were the Charrua Indians, a small tribe driven south by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay. The Spanish discovered the territory of present-day Uruguay in 1516, but the Indians' fierce resistance to conquest, combined with the absence of gold and silver, limited settlement in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish introduced cattle, which became a source of wealth in the region. Spanish colonization increased as Spain sought to limit Portugal's expansion of Brazil's frontiers.

Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold; its natural harbor soon developed into a commercial center competing with Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires. Uruguay's early 19th century history was shaped by ongoing conflicts between the British, Spanish, Portuguese, and colonial forces for dominance in the Argentina-Brazil-Uruguay region. In 1811, Jose Gervasio Artigas, who became Uruguay´s national hero, launched a successful revolt against Spain. In 1821, the Provincia Oriental del Rio de la Plata, present-day Uruguay, was annexed to Brazil by Portugal. The Provincia declared independence from Brazil in August 25, 1825 (after numerous revolts in 1821, 1823, and 1825) but decided to adhere to a regional federation with Argentina.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

World Wide Web Virtual Library: History

World Wide Web Virtual Library: History. Extensive University of Kansas-maintained directory of history resources, sorted into research methods, topics, eras and epochs, and regions.

From the site:

The World-Wide Web Virtual Library's History Index began operations in March of 1993 as HNSource, a lynx-based information server. In September of 1993, at the invitation of Arthur Secret, who had been assigned by W3.org the task of developing a World- Wide Web index, HTTP functions were added to HNSource, which then assumed the additional identity of The History Index, the first of the World-Wide Web Virtual Library's index sites. For several years, this site was maintained as a single megapage, with categories being thrown off as separate files only when it was necessary to keep the Index from becoming larger than 275 Kb. As the number of History-related sites increased, it became more difficult to maintain satisfactory coverage, to stay abreast of changed addresses and non-operative URLs, and to keep an optimum balance between broad coverage and an effective level of selectivity. The establishment of an integrated and international network of indexes appeared to be the best solution to these problems, and several maintainers of major gateways outside of WWW-VL joined to lay the foundations for such a network. After extensive discussion within this group, a set of common standards for network sites was established, and the group began bringing their individual sites into conformity with those standards.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

History of German Polar Research

History of German Polar Research. Alfred Wegener Institute provides a short account of early German polar activities, with biographies of key figures. Includes information about ships and stations, and a section of questions and answers for school projects.

From the site:

The history of Germany's polar research activities started in 1868 with its first North Pole Expedition. Captain Koldewey and his crew reached a northerly latitude of 81° for the first time ever with the sailing ship "Grönland". On 10 October, the expedition returned safely to Bremerhaven - thus marking the all-important beginnings of German polar research.

Early polar research activities in Germany were concentrated on investigating geographic conditions in order to obtain a first idea of these hitherto unexplored regions of the world. In later years, attention was focused more on geomagnetic and meteorological questions. The huge unexplored polar regions awakened the curiosity of geologists and biologists. Alfred Wegener, considered the most important polar researcher from Germany, led numerous expeditions to Greenland. He died in November 1930 during an expedition to Greenland's ice cap. The polar research institute newly-established in Bremerhaven in 1980 was named after him.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Exploration, the Fur Trade and Hudson's Bay Company

Exploration, the Fur Trade and Hudson's Bay Company. This is about the fur trade in Canada and how it led to the exploration of the country and the formation of the Hudson's Bay Company. Contains history, personalities, stories, and a timeline.

From the site:

This site is about the fur trade in Canada and how it led to the exploration of the country and the formation of the oldest and largest company in Canadian history: Hudson's Bay Company. In fact, the history of the fur trade, Hudson's Bay Company and the exploration of Canada are so intertwined that they can not be separated. So read on and learn more about Canada!

For all parts of this site, an excellent source of extra information is The Canadian Encyclopedia, created and maintained by Historica.

Notes for Teachers and Researchers

This site has been written so students ages 9 and up can use it easily. It includes in-text queries to encourage higher-level thinking. It also has teaching suggestions for this topic, with learning expectations and outcomes identified.

Monday, February 28, 2005

History of Samoa

History of Samoa. This is a short overview to the history of the Pacific island nation of Samoa.

From the site:

Migrants from Southeast Asia arrived in the Samoan islands more than 2,000 years ago and from there settled the rest of Polynesia further to the east. Contact with Europeans began in the early 1700s but did not intensify until the arrival of English missionaries and traders in the 1830s. At the turn of the 20th century, the Samoan islands were split into two sections. The eastern islands became territories of the United States in 1904 and today are known as American Samoa. The western islands became known as Western Samoa (now just Samoa), passing from German control to New Zealand in 1914. New Zealand administered Western Samoa under the auspices of the League of Nations and then as a UN trusteeship until independence in 1962. Western Samoa was the first Pacific Island country to gain its independence.

The 1960 Constitution, which formally came into force with independence, is based on the British pattern of parliamentary democracy, modified to take account of Samoan customs. Samoa's two high chiefs at the time of independence were given lifetime appointments to jointly hold the office of head of state. Malietoa Tanumafili II has held this post alone since the death of his colleague in 1963. His eventual successor will be selected by the legislature for a 5-year term.

Since 1982 the majority party in the Fono has been the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP). HRPP leader Tofilau Eti Alesana served as prime minister for nearly all of the period between 1982 and 1998, when he resigned due to health reasons. Tofilau Eti was replaced by his deputy, Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Pakistan History Page

Pakistan History Page. Contains detailed information on the history of Pakistan and North Western India from the Indus Valley Civilization to the modern ages.

From the site:

When the pall of darkness recedes from the firmament of the past unfolding the first pre-historic vision of Pakistan, we descry the imposing spectacle of a splendid Civilization spread over a thousand-mile length from the glistening snow-capped mountains of Kashmir to the glittering sand dunes facing the Arabian Sea. This was Indus Valley Civilization, one of whose distinguishing characteristics was its independent existence, completely detached from what is today known as India. This independent entity had its own government, its own culture, its own religion, its own history, its own art and architecture, rules and regulations. From this centre radiated great ideas and ideologies, techniques and trades, which enriched every aspect of human life. Taking this period as the starting point of our known past till our own times the land of Pakistan has invariably led an independent existence.

Another unique aspect of Indus Valley Civilization was that it embraced within its fold almost the entire country now known as Pakistan, with two important centres of culture and administration-one at Harappa on the bank of Ravi in Sahiwal District of the Punjab and another at Moenjo Daro on River Indus in the Larkana District of Sind. According to more recent discoveries other important centres and sizeable towns of Indus Valley Civilization were situated at Chanhu Daro in Nawabshah District, Judeiro-daro near Quetta and Shahi Tump in the Valley of the Kej (Mekran). Modern archaeological research has brought to light a large number of smaller centres spread over Baluchistan, Frontier and Kashmir. And at it's peak this Pakistani civilization stretched from parts of northwest India to southern Afghanistan. It's colonies have been found as far away as Turkmenistan in the north, Bahrain and southeast Iran in the west, near Bombay (India) in the south, and in western U.P.(India) in the east.