Searching for: "Daniel Houle"

  • Charles River Editors

    Along the sandy shores and ancient forests of crystal blue Lake Erie, a proud, brave, and confident people lived long ago, building homes, raising crops, hunting game, rearing children, and surviving through harsh winters and hot summers. None of their tribe remains today to tell their story, but their name lives on in the waters of a Great Lake. The Erie Tribe would have been completely lost to history if not for the archeological evidence and archival records that have been uncovered to prove that they existed. The Erie was a relatively small nation; at its height, their population numbered about ten thousand. Archeologist Frederick Houghton writes that archeological evidence proves that...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    In the wake of taking Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire would spend the next few centuries expanding its size, power, and influence, bumping up against Eastern Europe and becoming one of the world’s most important geopolitical players. It would take repeated efforts by various European coalitions to prevent a complete Ottoman takeover of the continent, and one of the most important battles among those efforts took place at Vienna in 1529. At the time, the Ottomans were led by one of their most famous sultans, Suleiman the Magnificent, and different chroniclers have analyzed Suleiman's behavior in different ways. There is a plethora of opinions as to his motives for attempting the...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Mankind's obsession with felines is an enigma in and of itself. Unlike dogs, famously known as man's most excitable, trustworthy, and loyal friend, cats are oftentimes indifferent, guarded, and yet finicky little furry creatures who only yearn for attention and affection when one is neck-deep in work or otherwise preoccupied. And still, people adore them all the same. In a recent poll that surveyed 600 American college students, 60% of the participants identified themselves as “dog lovers,” whereas only 11% pledged their love for cats. The remaining 29% regarded themselves as fans of both critters or fans of neither. Be that as it may, there is said to be anywhere between a...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Nearly 50 years after Napoleon met his Waterloo, generals across the West continued to study his tactics and engage their armies the same way armies fought during the Napoleonic Era. Despite advances in military technology and the advent of railroads for transportation, all of which made defensive warfare more effective, acclaimed military geniuses like Robert E. Lee used flank attacks and infantry charges against superior numbers in an effort to win decisive victories, and it would not be until World War I that concepts of modern warfare made the Napoleonic Era of the early 19th century outdated. The French army which became known as the Grande Armée existed for just 10 years, from...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Otto von Bismarck, the leading German statesman of the 19th century, once joked, “There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the US of America.” He said this not because the Americans were a great concern for him - his main interest in the US was trade -, but as the architect of the first unified German state, he was setting the tone for what two generations of German nationals would feel about America’s apparent invulnerability. It would always be better, thus, to keep America away from Germany's business. Nonetheless, during the two major wars of the 20th century, America and Germany did indeed clash against each other, and in both cases, American entry...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Even after the British took control of Egypt, knowledge about the Nile remained sparse, most importantly the source of the river, and exploration all over the continent took place among adventurers of various nationalities. Other countries also sought to get a foothold on the continent, to the extent that near the end of the 19th century, Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor, brought the plenipotentiaries of all major powers of Europe together to deal with Africa's colonization in such a manner as to avoid provocation of war. This event, known as the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, galvanized a phenomenon that came to be known as the Scramble for Africa. The conference established two...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    'They have soldiers. We only have arguments.' – French Foreign Minister Théophile Delcassé Near the end of the 19th century, Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor, brought the plenipotentiaries of all major powers of Europe together to deal with Africa's colonization in such a manner as to avoid provocation of war. This event, known as the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, galvanized a phenomenon that came to be known as the Scramble for Africa. The conference established two fundamental rules for European seizure of Africa. The first of these was that no recognition of annexation would granted without evidence of a practical occupation, and the second, that a practical occupation...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Even after the British took control of Egypt, knowledge about the Nile remained sparse, most importantly the source of the river, and exploration all over the continent took place among adventurers of various nationalities. Other countries also sought to get a foothold on the continent, to the extent that near the end of the 19th century, Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor, brought the plenipotentiaries of all major powers of Europe together to deal with Africa's colonization in such a manner as to avoid provocation of war. This event, known as the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, galvanized a phenomenon that came to be known as the Scramble for Africa. The conference established two...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Given how tightly the Serbs have historically been clinging to the Battle of Kosovo, which was fought on June 28, 1389 on the Kosovo plain in southern Serbia against the fledgling Ottoman Empire, it’s somewhat surprising what actually happened there. There can be no doubt that it is regarded as an important and indeed iconic battle in European history, but at first glance it is difficult to see why. Though neither side fielded more than 40,000 men, it was a bloody battle that all but spelled the end of the Serbian nation. The Ottoman Sultan Murad I arrived backed up by a neighboring beylik from Anatolia, and together they faced the Serbian Prince Lazar, together with allies from...read more

  • 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

    For much of the 20th century, Latin American governments in large part lived under a system of military junta governments. The mixture of indigenous peoples, foreign settlers and European colonial superpowers produced cultural and social imbalances into which military forces intervened as a stabilizing influence. The proactive personalities of military heads and the rigid structures of such a hierarchy guaranteed the “strong man” commanding officer an abiding presence in the form of executive dictator. Such leaders often bore the more collaborative title of “President,” but the reality was, in most cases, identical. Likewise, the gap between rich and poor was often vast, and a...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    The ambitious and fearless emperors who built the legendary Roman Empire from scratch, the broad-shouldered and bronzed gladiators with their iconic plume helmets and glinting swords, and elaborate parties attended by toga-wearing Romans fueled by alcohol, violence, orgies, and other godless acts all paint a picture of Roman life. Indeed, many people are well-versed with these unique scenes of Roman history, but few are familiar with the equally riveting years preceding the dawn of the Roman Republic, and even less people are acquainted with the fabled Seven Hills sitting east of the Tiber River – the core geographical components of Rome, and the very foundations that the Eternal City was...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    If the world had a navel, it would be the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth where one can still stand on dry land. The photographs of this unique lake seem to be taken from a science fiction movie, or a land devastated after a nuclear holocaust. To others, the fluffy shores could remind them of Antarctica although it is in one of the warmest spots on the planet. Its white, creamy masses, scattered along golden beaches, are not ice floes or frozen water, but effervescent salt formations. The famous Jordan River, where the Hebrew people entered the Promised Land and Jesus was baptized, flows into the lake, but the basin is so deeply sunk into the face of the planet that the waters never...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    It is rare to find a single battle that is truly decisive in shaping the course of subsequent history, but occasionally a battle becomes pivotal in retrospect, defining and shaping what comes after it. The Battle of Zama, which pitted the army of the Roman Republic against the forces of Carthage on the plains of North Africa, was one such battle, and it featured two of history’s greatest generals on opposing sides. Fought between two empires fighting for hegemony in the Mediterranean and beyond, the victor would become the most important power in the region and dominate the civilized world for centuries, while the loser would decline in power and vanish almost completely in less than 100...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    The Mongols were pushed out of the region by the Poles and Lithuanians, who then occupied state territories in the 14th century. Poland seized areas in the west, known as Galicia, while Lithuania occupied a northern area called Volynia. The Mongol-Tatars, however, retained control of the Crimean Peninsula, using it as a base for trade, including that of slaves, with the Ottoman Empire. The Tatars would actually strengthen their grip on the Crimea after the Golden Horde’s demise and continue terrifying other European powers. By allying themselves with the Ottomans, the Tatars seemingly lost the potent position they had when they were a part of the Mongol Empire, they were still close to...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    There was no shortage of targets for thieves in the West, and some infamous criminals struck dozens of times. Billy the Kid was rumored to be responsible for 21 deaths, and Jesse James was involved in holding up at least 19 banks, trains, and stagecoaches with his vicious gang, resulting in the deaths of some 20 men. The Sam Bass Gang, captained by another hot-tempered gunslinger and seasoned bandit who terrorized the Midwest, as well as the Lone Star State, carried out what is now remembered as the largest heist in the history of the Union Pacific Railroad, fleeing with $65,000 in gold coin and valuables (equivalent to approximately $1.5 million today). Few could compare to the frightening...read more

  • Phaistos Publishers

    In addition to being one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid of Giza is extraordinary for a number of reasons. It is one of the greatest feats of engineering in the ancient world, to the extent that it remained the tallest built structure in the world from the time it was finished up until the Lincoln Cathedral was completed around 1300 CE. The fact the nearly 520 feet tall spire of the cathedral was erected nearly 3,800 years after the Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed, a testament in its own way to the longevity of the pyramid itself. Even since then, it remains a monument that has stood the test of time, remaining the only one of the original seven wonders still...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Imagine a feline with the spirit of a lion, the sneakiness of a puma, the terrifying walk of a black bear, and the strong arms of a gorilla. Sounds cool? Now add some huge dagger-like fangs… even cooler, right? This amazing creature was best known as the saber-toothed tiger; an animal so fearless, he could beat beasts even twice their size!  As cool as he sounds, this Ice Age feline earned quite a villainous reputation; you can even see them be the bad guys in movies! Ever watched the movie Ice Age? All saber-toothed tigers, except Diego, seemed to be dangerous; or do you remember Wolverine’s enemy, Victor Creed, “Sabertooth”? Yes, he was scary.   Beyond his...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    In September 2012, on a chilly morning, a Russian kid named Yevgeny Zhenya and his dogs were walking to school, when an awful smell made them stop. The 11-year-old wanted to find out what smelled so bad, and with the help of his furry friends, he went to explore the land. They stumbled upon a giant pair of heels that were covered in an immense pile of snow! What could such a giant thing be? The creature he found turned out to be a 16-year-old mammoth whose body had remained whole for over 30,000 years! Since 1901 no one had made such an important find, making this discovery quite special; they even named the creature after the little boy who found him! After dinosaurs, few...read more

  • Phaistos Publishers

    “Shining shoes as a boy, shining on-screen as a star, shining even among the blinding bright lights of Las Vegas that became his adopted home, Tony Curtis was never less than a megawatt personality, one that always seemed lit by a childlike glow of wonderment.” Start naming superstars from the enchanted Golden Age of Hollywood, and chances are that Tony Curtis shared a marquee with them—and when it comes to many of the women, he also shared a bed. Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Burt Lancaster? Yup. Marilyn Monroe, Janet Leigh, Natalie Wood? Yup. Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin? Yup. Debbie Reynolds, Yvonne De Carlo…well, you get the idea. Curtis appeared in more than 100...read more