Searching for: "Charles River Editors"

  • Charles River Editors

    The African slave trade is a complex and deeply divisive subject that has had a tendency to evolve according the political requirements of any given age, and is often touchable only with the correct distribution of culpability. It has for many years, therefore, been deemed singularly unpalatable to implicate Africans themselves in the perpetration of the institution, and only in recent years has the large-scale African involvement in both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Slave Trades come to be an accepted fact. There can, however, be no doubt that even though large numbers of indigenous Africans were liable, it was European ingenuity and greed that fundamentally drove the industrialization of...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    The United States and Canada today share the longest undefended border in the world, encompassing 5,525 after the U.S. purchased Alaska, and though they have long been allies, the border has not always been peaceful. During colonial times, generations of the British war with France meant generations of threats and of actual attacks by Canadian militia and allied Indians from New France. The British ended that threat from Canada by defeating France in 1763 and forever ending French rule in North America. When the 13 colonies rebelled against British rule, the Canadian colonies remained loyal, despite invitations from the American rebels and an invasion by American forces. When the Revolution...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    In the 19th century, the young United States was exposed to the profound changes that historians call the Market Revolution. Cities experienced drastic changes as manufacturing and trade created jobs that hungry job seekers from the countryside migrated towards, but the hype triumphed over the realities, and more unemployed recent migrants lived in the cities than the number of gainfully employed workers. Urban stresses dominated American cities and also attracted the attention of reformers. The rural areas also experienced profound changes from the intrusion of commercial trade, which penetrated the agricultural regions and affected the prices of supplies and transport. This also...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    The history of the United States is to a large extent a history of armed conflict. The nation was first forged in war, a tough fight for independence against one of the world’s largest empires, and that fight would resume less than a generation later with the War of 1812. Then there were constant low-level conflicts with Native Americans as the nation expanded westwards, and occasionally the country engaged in full-scale war against the Sioux, Comanche, and Apache. The country also fought the Mexican-American War, starting in 1846, and the bloody Civil War starting in 1861. These conflicts helped the United States establish its modern boundaries and what kind of nation it would be. In...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    The creative impetus of organized society in the Fertile Crescent initially came from southern Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians introduced writing and other hallmarks of civilization to the region just before 3000 BCE, but in less than 1,000 years, things changed dramatically. Mesopotamia experienced the rise and fall of the Sumerian based dynasty in Uruk in the early 3rd millennium BCE, followed by the Akkadian Dynasty in the mid-3rd millennium, and the Third Dynasty of Ur in the late 3rd millennium. Each of these dynasties claimed hegemony over large parts of Mesopotamia during the apogees of their power, with the Ur III Dynasty even expanding its influence (but not control) into Syria...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Today, "The Anarchy" is used to describe the period in English history from the death of Henry I in 1135 to the Treaty of Winchester signed by King Stephen and his successor Henry II in 1153. Despite the name, it was an episode of civil war rather than of lawlessness and is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it was the first time in English history that a woman claimed the throne of England in her own right. It occurred after the death of the last Norman king of England and laid the grounds for a distinctively English monarchy as opposed to a Norman colony. This bloody era provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives, characters, and power struggles of...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Africa may have given rise to the first humans, and Egypt probably gave rise to the first great civilizations, which continue to fascinate modern societies across the globe nearly 5,000 years later. From the Library and Lighthouse of Alexandria to the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Ancient Egyptians produced several wonders of the world, revolutionized architecture and construction, created some of the world's first systems of mathematics and medicine, and established language and art that spread across the known world. With world-famous leaders like King Tut and Cleopatra, it's no wonder that today's world has so many Egyptologists. The 5th century BCE Greek historian Herodotus wrote that...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    "Forward, sons of the Greeks, Liberate the fatherland, Liberate your children, your women, The altars of the gods of your fathers, And the graves of your ancestors: Now is the fight for everything." - The Greek battle hymn sung before the Battle of Salamis according to Aeschylus Dominated to this day by the sprawling white marble complex of the Acropolis, Athens is a city which is immensely and rightly proud of its past. For a period of roughly three centuries, the polis of Athens stood, if not in a position of unchallenged supremacy among the cities of Hellas, then at the very least among its three most important polities. Its fledgling empire, though small by the...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Africa may have given rise to the first humans, and Egypt probably gave rise to the first great civilizations, which continue to fascinate modern societies across the globe nearly 5,000 years later. From the Library and Lighthouse of Alexandria to the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Ancient Egyptians produced several wonders of the world, revolutionized architecture and construction, created some of the world's first systems of mathematics and medicine, and established language and art that spread across the known world. With world-famous leaders like King Tut and Cleopatra, it's no wonder that today's world has so many Egyptologists. In just a few lines of his renowned Iliad, Homer...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Perhaps not surprisingly given how advanced they were in comparison to contemporaries, the Egyptians invented one of the first writing systems ever, and for centuries, people thought these ancient texts held some sort of secret, be it aliens, advanced technology lost to the world, or mystical cures for all of the world’s ills. Even the ancient Egyptians saw their writing systems as full of mystery and hidden knowledge - according to Egyptian mythology, writing was invented by the ibis-headed god Thoth, the most intellectual of the gods. He was a scribe, also associated with mathematics, medicine, and astronomy, and could appear as either an ibis or a baboon. Thoth was originally a lunar...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Africa may have given rise to the first human beings, and Egypt probably gave rise to the first great civilizations, which continue to fascinate modern societies across the globe nearly 5,000 years later. From the Library and Lighthouse of Alexandria to the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Ancient Egyptians produced several wonders of the world, revolutionized architecture and construction, created some of the world’s first systems of mathematics and medicine, and established language and art that spread across the known world. With world-famous leaders like King Tut and Cleopatra, it’s no wonder that today’s world has so many Egyptologists.  Although the Egyptians may not have passed...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    The Gaza Strip is one of the most controversial hotbeds of conflict in the 21st century, but wars are nothing new to this area of the world. Like other places across the Middle East, it has exchanged hands for three millennia and seen empires rise and fall. In the same vein, the current borders of the area known as Gaza have ebbed and flowed, to the extent that the Gaza Strip didn't have its present borders until the 20th century. Before then, Gaza City and the land around it were linked strongly to the rest of Canaan, the Sinai Peninsula, and Egypt. Although borders changed, there has historically been a significant difference between the Mediterranean coast of Canaan and its hilly...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Modern perceptions of ancient Greece are almost always based on Athens and Sparta, which is why other city-states and other military units besides the hoplites have been overlooked for thousands of years. For this reason, Greek cavalry forces, including their composition, purpose, techniques, equipment, and developments, are still not very well understood when compared with their naval or infantry counterparts. In fact, one of the most important epochs in the history of Greek warfare was the transition from the use of chariot warfare to mounted fighting and infantry-based action. The heroes of Homer’s epics, the Iliad and Odyssey, used chariots both on and off the battlefield as a...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Dominated to this day by the sprawling white marble complex of the Acropolis, Athens is a city which is immensely and rightly proud of its past. For a period of roughly three centuries, the polis of Athens stood, if not in a position of unchallenged supremacy among the cities of Hellas, then at the very least among its three most important polities. Its fledgling empire, though small by the standards later set by Alexander or the Romans, or even by those of its ancient enemy Persia, nonetheless encompassed cities as far afield as Asia Minor and Southern Italy, a remarkable fact considering such expansion was achieved by the inhabitants of a single city and its immediate surroundings, rather...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    The need to eat and drink is a biological necessity for everyone, but along with that, food and drink are often at the very center of social life. This was no different in ancient Greece, but, if anything, the social importance placed on food and wine in the Greek world was even more pronounced and had profound consequences for the rest of the world. As one modern historian aptly put it, “How classical Athens was fed is not a matter of marginal importance. Nothing less than the material base of a brilliant civilization is at issue.” Indeed, it was through the ability to create a food surplus that the ancient Greeks were able to establish their poleis and, from these, go on to...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    When one thinks of the world's first cities, Sumer, Memphis, and Babylon are some of the first to come to mind, but if the focus then shifts to India, then Harappa and Mohenjo-daro will likely come up. These cities owe their existence to India's oldest civilization, known as the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappan Civilization, which was contemporary with ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt and had extensive contacts with the former, making it one of the most important early civilizations in the world. Spread out along the rivers of the Indus River Valley, hundreds of settlements began forming around 3300 BCE, eventually coalescing into a society that had all of the hallmarks of a...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    People associate the story of ancient Jericho with walls, and for those who are Biblically inclined, they think of the walls that God brought tumbling down to the sound of trumpets. For historians who are more archaeologically oriented, it may suggest the prehistoric walls uncovered by Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger between 1907 and 1911. To modern societies, walls suggest the division between people and defenses erected out of hatred and mistrust. However, while the story of Jericho does indeed involve walls, they represented something far different than that. More than anything else, ancient Jericho was a point of convergence between cultures, kingdoms, religions, and societies....read more

  • Charles River Editors

    The concept of international trade was born in the ancient Mediterranean, which provided the perfect set of circumstances needed to produce an intricate trading system whose influence can still be seen in present-day economic practices. The ancient Mediterranean was home to a diverse range of cultures and landscapes, encompassing deserts, forests, islands and fertile plains. Different natural resources were available in different geographical areas, and with the advent of sailing ships around 3000 BCE, people were suddenly able to travel much further afield than ever before. This created an opportunity to trade local resources in international markets in exchange for exotic goods not...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    During the several centuries that ancient Egypt stood as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, civilizations of the ancient world, conflicts with its neighbors often played a central role in hieroglyphic texts and art from temples and tombs. The three primary enemies of the Egyptians were the Libyans who occupied the Western Desert and its oases, the so-called Asiatics who lived in the Levant, and finally the Nubians to Egypt's south. Among the three peoples, the Nubians were the most "Egyptianized" and at times were integral to the development of Egyptian history. Truly, the Nubians were the greatest of all sub-Saharan peoples in pre-modern times and deserve to be studied in their own...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Smyrna was one of the various cities that enjoyed brief yet important periods of influence in which they spawned important dynasties, were the scenes of history-changing battles, and were the sites of great advances in philosophy, science, and economics. However, despite the fact it endured in influence for more than 2,000 years, Smyrna never truly gained the reputation of better-known locales in the ancient world. Located on the west coast of what is today the nation-state of Turkey, at its height, Smyrna was a relatively stable and influential Greek city that embraced cultural influences from its Anatolian neighbors. Today, ancient Smyrna is known for being the location of one of the...read more