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The Qing Dynasty lasted from 1644 to 1912

A Golden Age

Early in the 17th century, an attack on China occurred from the north. Forces from Manchuria, called Manchus, defeated armies of the weakened Ming Dynasty and occupied northern China. The invasion continued until the surrender of the Ming Dynasty in 1644. In stark contrast to previous imperial regimes, the rulers of the Qing Dynasty of China were the Manchu people, and not the majority Han population.

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A noble political experiment attempted at a time of little stability

The Weimar Republic was the government of Germany from the end of World War One until the election of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. It held hope and promise for a new era of democracy and stability. Yet from the start, Weimar was besieged by extremism from both the left and the right, as well as a deep financial crisis.

Early Years

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Not the most well-known conflict in the United States or Britain, for Canada, the War of 1812 was a crucial event in its history on the road to becoming an independent nation

Barely thirty years after the American Revolution in the British American colonies, tensions between Britain and the United States remained high. Many Americans, still loyal to Britain, had fled to Canada after the Revolution and remained wary of their neighbors to the south.

A rapidly growing U.S. population was looking to expand westward from the original Thirteen Colonies. This put American interests in direct conflict with numerous native First Nations tribes living near the new republic.

In Europe, a bitter war was raging between Napoleon’s France against several countries, including Great Britain. As both Britain and France attempted to blockade…

Mystery of the Doomed Franklin Expedition

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May, 1845. Two ships numbering over 100 sailors departed west from the United Kingdom, aboard the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror. Their destination, the frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean in northern Canada. Their mission was to cross the Northwest Passage through the Arctic corridor, finding a clear pathway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The leader of this dangerous expedition was Sir John Franklin. At 60 years old, this was Franklin’s fourth Arctic expedition. On one of his previous expeditions, Franklin had come close to starving to death. Yet, Franklin was considered…

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Some call the Spanish Civil War a prelude to World War Two. It was a brutal conflict, lasting from 1936 to 1939. The opposing sides in the conflict were bitter rivals, divided even amongst themselves at times.

The causes of the war were varied and can be traced back decades. Spain was a weak country at the end of the nineteenth century. Having already lost most imperial possessions, the Spanish-American war of 1898 was another humiliating defeat.

In 1923, a bloodless coup saw the disenfranchisement of King Alfonso XIII, who was replaced by the military dictatorship of General Primo de…

The Divisive Election of 1800

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Although some recent elections have been close and controversial, you can go all the way back to the 1800 American presidential election to see the story of a divided electorate and an incredibly close vote.

The two parties at the time were the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. The rival parties had many ideological differences.

The Federalists wanted a stronger centralized federal authority over the nation and over popular opinion, while the Democratic-Republicans believed in popular rule and greater states rights.

The opponents for president were the Federalist incumbent John Adams and the Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson…

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The Iroquois Confederacy was an alliance of first five and then six First Nations in what is now the American northeast and southern Canada. Also known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (meaning “people of the long house”), the nations included Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and then Tuscarora.

Living there for many centuries, Iroquois culture and society was active by 1000 CE. The Confederacy has been dated back to as early as between 1570 and 1600. At it’s height, the society had a population of up to 12,000.

According to legend, the various tribes were constantly at war with each other…

Photo by Juan Di Nella on Unsplash


The French Revolution was a significant event in modern European history. It marked the beginning of the end of government by absolute monarchs, kings who claimed to rule by divine right. The causes of the French Revolution are many but can be traced to the monarchy’s severe debt problems, high taxes, poor harvests, and the influence of new political ideas arising from French philosophers and the American Revolution. Beginning as a movement pushing for moderate government reforms, the French Revolution rapidly turned radical and violent, leading to the abolition of the monarchy itself and the eventual execution of King…


Mark Shiffer is a freelance writer. With a degree in History, Mark enjoys writing about many topics in history and putting them into context.

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