Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Joan of Arc Archive

The Joan of Arc Archive. An examination of the life of this saint, scanned images of her letters and other original manuscripts, quotations, and other items of interest.

From the site:

She was born on January 6th around the year 1412, to Jacques and Isabelle d'Arc in the little village of Domremy, in the Barrois region (now part of "Lorraine") on the border of eastern France.

The events in France during these years would set the stage for Joan's later life and the circumstances surrounding her death.

Although at the time she was born a shaky truce was still in effect between France and England, a civil war had erupted between two factions of the French Royal family which would allow the English to re-invade. One faction, called the "Orleanists" or "Armagnacs", was led by Count Bernard VII of Armagnac and Duke Charles of Orleans (whom Joan would later regard with special warmth); their rivals, known as the "Burgundians", were led by Duke John-the-Fearless of Burgundy. The forces of his pro-English son, somewhat ironically named Philip "the Good", would later capture Joan and hand her over to the English; one of his loyal supporters, an unscrupulous pro-Burgundian clergyman and English advisor named Pierre Cauchon, would later arrange her conviction on their behalf.

Friday, March 18, 2005

History of Dominican Republic

History of Dominican Republic. This is a good write up and overview to the history of the Dominican Republic.

From the site:

The island of Hispaniola, of which the Dominican Republic forms the eastern two-thirds and Haiti the remainder, was originally occupied by Tainos, an Arawak-speaking people. The Tainos welcomed Columbus in his first voyage in 1492, but subsequent colonizers were brutal, reducing the Taino population from about 1 million to about 500 in 50 years. To ensure adequate labor for plantations, the Spanish brought African slaves to the island beginning in 1503.

In the next century, French settlers occupied the western end of the island, which Spain ceded to France in 1697, and which, in 1804, became the Republic of Haiti. The Haitians conquered the whole island in 1822 and held it until 1844, when forces led by Juan Pablo Duarte, the hero of Dominican independence, drove them out and established the Dominican Republic as an independent state. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire; in 1865, independence was restored. Economic difficulties, the threat of European intervention, and ongoing internal disorders led to a U.S. occupation in 1916 and the establishment of a military government in the Dominican Republic. The occupation ended in 1924, with a democratically elected Dominican Government.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Japanese Occupation in Singapore

Japanese Occupation in Singapore. This is an interesting article by a student who lives in Singapore. I can locate pictures of him but his name seems to be completely missing from the site.

From the site:

Accounts of Japanese Occupation in Singapore tend to veer towards the deprivations suffered by the general population and atrocities meted out by the invaders. Rightly so too, as such a slant reflects the deep psychological and physical scars suffered by the community. For the POWs in Changi, survivors from the killing fields of Sook Chin and victims of the Kempei Tai, the Japanese occupation was a primal hell. Its brutality swamped subsequent accounts. Chen Su Lan’s Remember Pompong and Oxley Rise concentrates only on the author’s pell-mell escape to Pompong Island in the bid to escape the Japanese invaders and an interrogation by the Kempei Tai. The remaining chapters summarize Chen’s knowledge of various Sook Chin sites.[1] The biographical treatment of Elizabeth Choy by Zhou Mei is similarly vivid and graphical vis-à-vis Choy and her husband’s incarceration at Stanford Road.[2] A compilation of interviews written by Foong Choon Hon, The Price of Peace, underscores the heroism of Force 136, Chinese Volunteers, the Malay Regiment and to a lesser degree the communist MPAJA.[3]

Seen at this light, Lee Kuan Yew’s autobiography, The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew is a curious read, especially Chapter 3: The Japanese Invaders.[4] Neither heroic nor valiant, Lee’s single chapter highlights how a smart enterprising young man with instinctive entrepreneurship could survive profitably in times of war. Although, Lee acknowledged the fears generated by the Japanese Occupation and its wanton excesses, those passages seemed almost perfunctory. Peppered throughout the chapter were subtle hints of Lee’s profound respect for the invaders! For example, Lee was full of admiration for the Japanese iron fist rule: “As a result I have never believed those who advocate a soft approach to crime and punishment, claiming that punishment does not reduce crime. That was not my experience in Singapore before the war, during the Japanese Occupation or subsequently.”[5] Another alternative reading of the Japanese Occupation, Yap Pheng Geck’s Scholar, Banker Gentleman Soldier disabuses its readers from suspecting his wartime conduct. His collaboration with the Japanese was coerced. “We had to live and fend for our families,” this prominent banker eloquently rationalized. “Most of us had to be in hiding all the time because of fear of the Japanese. Those of us who were bolder took the consequences [sic] and managed to survive.”[6]

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. The definitive source of information regarding the history of Cleveland, Ohio. This is a very well constructed site with lots of good information.

From the site:

When the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History appeared in 1987, it was nationally acclaimed as the best single source of information about any aspect of Cleveland's past. More importantly, its appearance sparked a great deal of interest in local history and helped to bring to the editors' attention a wealth of new information about the city. The accumulation of new information contained in the numerous books and articles published and new collections of papers gathered during the past nine years made it clear that there was a need for a new edition, and the bicentennial anniversary seemed the appropriate occasion and helps to explain why this edition is so different from the first. In many respects it is entirely new. In the first place, it appears in two distinct volumes. The first is the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History which covers the history of business, industry, government, social agencies, events, and general topics. The second volume, the Dictionary of Cleveland Biography, contains only biographical entries, including over 900 original biographical articles found in the First edition as well as 772 new entries, representing a broad spectrum of Clevelanders engaged in a wide variety of endeavors.

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History contains all of the original articles from the first edition, revised and updated. In addition, there are nearly 400 entirely new articles and 28 new interpretive essays. Photographs, carefully selected from the rich photographic archives of the Cleveland Public Library, the Cleveland Press Collection at Cleveland State University, the Plain Dealer, and the enormous collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society, have been added to this edition. Each of the photographs has been chosen to enhance the reader's understanding of the particular article which it illustrates. The maps from the original edition have been carefully redrawn and corrected, and new maps have been added. The tables have also been updated and several new tables added.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

History Directories.

History Directories. I have previously mentioned several excellent Web directories that list history sites such as Yahoo! and the Open Directory Project. These are good sources for history sites on the Web as the directories are manually reviewed by real humans. Hence, spam and crank sites dealing with history are usually weeded out leaving a high quality list of history sites. If you see a site listed on more than one of these, odds are it is a good resource.

Here are a few more that should be noted and used to find good history information:

Skaffe History - This is small directory (less than 200 sites) of history resources. It has an active editor listed so it probably will grow in quality in the future.

Illumirate History - This has almost 4000 history sites listed. In addition, most of the sites are accompanied by one or more reviews of editors weighing in with opinions on the quality of the site.

GoGuides.Org History - Similar to the Skaffe list in size, this has a small collection of quality history links with some subdividing by category.

Kids and Teens History Directory - This directory has over 1200 history sites which are geared towards children and teenagers.

Joeant History - The Joeant editor community is very active and the history portion of the site is rich with good sites.

Web-Beacon History - I am not too familar with this directory but this is a nice list of history sites on the Web as well.

Monday, March 14, 2005

History of Estonia

History of Estonia. This is a good general overview to the history of the European nation of Estonia.

From the site:

Estonians are one of the longest-settled European peoples, whose forebears, known as the "comb pottery" people, lived on the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea over 5,000 years ago. Like other early agricultural societies, Estonians were organized into economically self-sufficient, male-dominated clans with few differences in wealth or social power. By the early Middle Ages most Estonians were small landholders, with farmsteads primarily organized by village. Estonian government remained decentralized, with local political and administrative subdivisions emerging only during the first century A.D. By then, Estonia had a population of more than150,000 people and remained the last corner of medieval Europe to be Christianized.

In 1227 the German crusading order of the Sword Brethren defeated the last Estonian stronghold. The people were Christianized, colonized, and enserfed. Despite attempts to restore independence, Estonia was divided among three domains, and small states were formed. Tallinn joined the Hanseatic League in 1248.

Despite successful Russian raids and invasions in 1481 and 1558, the local German barons continued to rule Estonia and from 1524 preserved Estonian commitment to the Protestant Reformation. Northern Estonia submitted to Swedish control in 1561 during the Livonian Wars, and in 1582-83 southern Estonia (Livonia) became part of Poland's Duchy of Courland.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Nos Los Inquisidores - Harley L. McDevitt Collection on the Spanish Inquisition

Nos Los Inquisidores - Harley L. McDevitt Collection on the Spanish Inquisition. Extensive collection of documents from the Spanish Inquisition, maintained at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

From the site:

In November 1996 the University of Notre Dame purchased from Libreria Porrua in Madrid a significant collection of books and manuscripts relating to the activities and history of the Inquisition in Spain, Portugal and the New World. The core of the collection had been purchased by José Porrua from a private Spanish collector in the mid 20th century. Understanding the importance of the collection, the Porrua family continued to acquire materials until the collection reached its current size of 565 items. Through an estate gift of Harley L. McDevitt (ND '29) the University of Notre Dame was fortunate to acquire the entire collection in 1996.

The strength of the collection lies in its diversity of materials representing the Spanish Inquisition. Nationally, this collection complements and builds upon well-known Inquisition collections at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University.

Although the Inquisition was in force in Spain in the 14th century, it was not until the late 15th century with the marriage of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon that the Inquisition became an instrument to promote racial purity and Catholic orthodoxy throughout the two kingdoms. Publications of the Holy Office contained in the collection depict the development of the administrative machinations as the Holy Office prosecuted these tasks during this period. Further, the Holy Office's careful record keeping found in these documents captures Spain's social and political life of the period.