Saturday, May 07, 2005

History Channel

History Channel. I recently dumped my cable and picked up satellite tv. In the process, I discovered that there is more than one History Channel! There is also History International, History Channel en Espanol, and the Military History Channel. I find it very difficult to get away from the TV now as there is always at least one good history show that I am interested in.

The main History Channel site is informative. In addition to TV schedules, it also has a history quiz, a discussion forum, video and audio clips, and a collection of resources for teachers. This is an excellent site to complement a wonderful television resource.

Friday, May 06, 2005

History of Indonesia

History of Indonesia. This is a general overview to the nation of Indonesia in Asia.

From the site:

By the time of the Renaissance, the islands of Java and Sumatra had already enjoyed a 1,000-year heritage of advanced civilization spanning two major empires. During the 7th-14th centuries, the Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya flourished on Sumatra. At its peak, the Srivijaya Empire reached as far as West Java and the Malay Peninsula. Also by the 14th century, the Hindu Kingdom of Majapahit had risen in eastern Java. Gadjah Mada, the empire's chief minister from 1331 to 1364, succeeded in gaining allegiance from most of what is now modern Indonesia and much of the Malay archipelago as well. Legacies from Gadjah Mada's time include a codification of law and an epic poem. Islam arrived in Indonesia sometime during the 12th century and, through assimilation, supplanted Hinduism by the end of the 16th century in Java and Sumatra. Bali, however, remains overwhelmingly Hindu. In the eastern archipelago, both Christian and Islamic proselytizing took place in the 16th and 17th centuries, and, currently, there are large communities of both religions on these islands.

Beginning in 1602, the Dutch slowly established themselves as rulers of present-day Indonesia, exploiting the weakness of the small kingdoms that had replaced that of Majapahit. The only exception was East Timor, which remained under Portugal until 1975. During 300 years of Dutch rule, the Dutch developed the Netherlands East Indies into one of the world's richest colonial possessions.

During the first decade of the 20th century, an Indonesian independence movement began and expanded rapidly, particularly between the two World Wars. Its leaders came from a small group of young professionals and students, some of whom had been educated in the Netherlands. Many, including Indonesia's first president, Soekarno (1945-67), were imprisoned for political activities.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Presidential Addresses of James Buchanan

Presidential Addresses of James Buchanan. He is considered a minor American President today but he is also the President who failed to prevent the Civil War from starting. Late in his term he watched helplessly as states left the Union and seized federal property. The first shots of the war were fired under his watch. In his final State of the Union, he said, "Why is it, then, that discontent now so extensively prevails, and the Union of the States, which is the source of all these blessings, is threatened with destruction? The long-continued and intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern States has at length produced its natural effects. The different sections of the Union are now arrayed against each other, and the time has arrived, so much dreaded by the Father of his Country, when hostile geographical parties have been formed. " Blaming the North didn't stop anything...

Selected Speeches:

Inaugural Address of James Buchanan. From 1857.





History Bookstores

History Bookstores. Everyone knows that if you want cheap books you visit Amazon. However, sometimes it is better to visit a bookseller who specializes in history. The offerings maybe the same but that additional knowledge might make for a better shopping experience.

Here are a couple I have noted with descriptions from the sites:

Byzantine Books - Online bookstore designed to bring texts, and other materials, associated with the field of Byzantine Studies before a general and scholarly audience.

The Aerie, Books Etc. - Featuring books on the Arts, Culture, History, and Literature of the Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and other Celtic Cultures and the European Medieval & Renaissance Periods.

Castle Furnishings - Selection of books relating to medieval and renaissance topics.

Little Miami Publishing Company - Specializes in history, reference, and genealogical books for the professional and family historian.

Bender Publishing - Books related to German Third Reich and US history with an emphasis on uniforms, medals, awards, organization and acoutrements.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Radical History Review

Radical History Review. Analyzes and challenges hierarchies of class, race, gender, sexuality, and empire from a variety of oppositional perspectives. My political outlook definetly swings to the right so I am quick to filter what I read at this site but there is a lot of good and interesting content produced by this journal.

From the site:

The Radical History Review organizes the journal around theme-specific issues only (i.e. World History, The Americas, Empire, Transnational Labor Movements, etc.) RHR welcomes submissions of articles and essays that correspond with the theme-specific issues being planned and currently posted Calls for Papers. Submissions that are unrelated to these themes will not be considered. We urge readers to regularly check the RHR website for updates on future issues.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The First Significant Overseas War: Australians leave for the Waikato War in New Zealand (1863)

The First Significant Overseas War: Australians leave for the Waikato War in New Zealand (1863). This article is by Scott Davidson. It appeared in the Electronic Journal of Australian and New Zealand History.

From the site:

Over 2400 Australian volunteers were recruited from Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland to fight in Waikato and Taranaki, New Zealand in the Maori Wars from 1863 to 1864. The majority enlisted for the enticing offer of 'land for service' while others for adventure, work and free travel to New Zealand. Whole families were uprooted and women and children left behind lost the support of their men. Local government and the newspapers shifted from wholehearted support to outright condemnation.

While news was hitting Sydney of General Grant leading Federal forces up the Mississippi River against Vicksburg and Port Hudson in the American Civil War, recruitment had begun in the Australian Colonies for their first significant overseas war. It was August 1863 and the recruiting was for the Waikato War in New Zealand. The only other instances of Australian Colonial military involvement abroad had been when Australian born soldiers had fought with the British in the Crimean War and the Australian colony of Victoria had supplied naval support for the Taranaki campaigns of 1860-62 in New Zealand.

The Waikato War was to be the colonies first taste of major recruitment. A variety of men enlisted with concerns for the agreement of land offered while the press and local governments shifted from support to outright condemnation depending on the colony and how the recruitment directly affected them. The public celebrated the recruits' departure while families left behind had to deal with how to feed and clothe themselves. At the end of the Waikato War, the Australian colonial troops fortunate enough to survive were to discover that the cost for trying to achieve a better life and adventure would not always be worth the attempt. At the outset of recruitment however there was no shortage of willing and able recruits.

Monday, May 02, 2005

History of Djbouti

History of Djbouti. Despite the mispelling of the country name, this is a good overview to the history of the African nation of Djibouti.

From the site:

The Republic of Djibouti gained its independence on June 27, 1977. It is the successor to French Somaliland (later called the French Territory of the Afars and Issas), which was created in the first half of the 19th century as a result of French interest in the Horn of Africa. However, the history of Djibouti, recorded in poetry and songs of its nomadic peoples, goes back thousands of years to a time when Djiboutians traded hides and skins for the perfumes and spices of ancient Egypt, India, and China. Through close contacts with the Arabian peninsula for more than 1,000 years, the Somali and Afar tribes in this region became the first on the African continent to adopt Islam.

It was Rochet d'Hericourt's exploration into Shoa (1839-42) that marked the beginning of French interest in the African shores of the Red Sea. Further exploration by Henri Lambert, French Consular Agent at Aden, and Captain Fleuriot de Langle led to a treaty of friendship and assistance between France and the sultans of Raheita, Tadjoura, and Gobaad, from whom the French purchased the anchorage of Obock (1862).

Growing French interest in the area took place against a backdrop of British activity in Egypt and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. In 1884-85, France expanded its protectorate to include the shores of the Gulf of Tadjoura and the Somaliland. Boundaries of the protectorate, marked out in 1897 by France and Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia, were affirmed further by agreements with Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I in 1945 and 1954.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Crafting the War Machine

Crafting the War Machine. This is an insightful article which examines the Macedonian army as it was developed by Philip and Alexander. It was written by Russell Glen.

From the site:

The Macedonian war machine was like none other before it. Never previously had flexibility and strength been so inventively merged into one symbiotic beast. At the hands of Philip of Macedon and his infamous son Alexander, the Macedonian army thrusted, charged and crushed its way across vast expanses of hostile terri­tory. The success they achieved, combined with the drive and stra­tegic brilliance of its commanders, forged an empire unparalleled in antiquity. Through tactical success after tactical success the army continually adapted and evolved to take advantage of whatever sit­uation was available, defeating vastly superior numbers of enemy troops and overcoming previously insurmountable obstacles. While it is true that the Macedonian army was but one tool used by the Macedonian rulers, its legacy, both in the form of the empire it founded and the new era of military thinking it ushered in, was the greatest advancement in military thinking until the conquests of Napoleon; and even he “perused again and again the campaigns of Alexander . . . and modeled [himself] upon them” (Kiley 2002). What gave this military its fantastic strength? How was it so able to adjust and overcome time and time again, regardless of odds, location or foe? From the sands of Egypt to the river valleys of India, the Macedonian army introduced the world to the advance­ment of combined-arms tactics.

The army was both created and led by legendary commander-in-chiefs who merged the relative strengths of the ancient militaries of the time and adapted them to work together in one, efficiently deadly war machine. The military became more than just a patch­work of its separate parts. As Iphicrates noted, it became a unified body of military might, ready to react to any situation as quickly and cooperatively as was possible. Philip, and Alexander after him, astutely studied the tactics of the age, analyzing the titanic clashes of the Greek heavy phalanxes and the finessed attacks of the Per­sian cavalry. From these age-old military institutions they con­structed their revolutionary military, constantly disregarding the contemporary thinking. Through continued evolution, and the usage of an aggressive style of battle that deftly took advantage of the newfound force, the Macedonian military proved for all history the necessity of combined-arms tactics.