The History Portal
History is the discovery, collection, organization, analysis, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean a continuous, typically chronological record of important or public events or of a particular trend or institution. Scholars who write about history are called
historians. It is a field of
knowledge which uses a
narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it sometimes attempts to objectively investigate the patterns of cause and effect that determine events. Historians debate the nature of history and its usefulness. This includes discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. The stories common to a particular
culture but not supported by external sources (such as the legends surrounding
King Arthur) are usually classified as
cultural heritage rather than as the "disinterested investigation" needed by the discipline of history. Events of the past prior to written record are considered
Amongst scholars, fifth century BC
Herodotus is considered to be the "father of history"; the methods of Herodotus along with his contemporary
Thucydides form the foundations for the modern study of history. Their influence (along with other historical traditions in other parts of their world) has spawned many different interpretations of the nature of history which has developed over the centuries and are continuing to change. The modern study of history has many different fields, including those that focus on certain regions and those that focus on certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. Often, history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
unification of Germany
into a politically and administratively integrated
officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the
Hall of Mirrors
. Princes of the German states gathered there to proclaim
as Emperor Wilhelm of the
after the French capitulation in the
. Unofficially, the transition of most of the German-speaking populations into a federated organization of states occurred over nearly a century of experimentation. Unification exposed several glaring religious, linguistic, social, and cultural differences between and among the inhabitants of the new nation, suggesting that 1871 only represents one moment in a continuum of the larger unification processes.
The model of diplomatic
spheres of influence resulting from the
Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 after the
Napoleonic Wars endorsed
Austrian dominance in Central Europe. However, the negotiators at Vienna took no account of Prussia's growing strength within and among the German states, failing to foresee that Prussia would challenge Austria for leadership within the
German states. This
German dualism presented two solutions to the problem of unification:
Kleindeutsche Lösung, the small Germany solution (Germany without Austria), or
Großdeutsche Lösung, greater Germany solution (Germany with Austria). Reaction to Danish and French
nationalism provided foci for expressions of German unity. Military successes—especially Prussian ones—in three regional wars generated enthusiasm and pride that politicians could harness to promote unification. This experience echoed the memory of mutual accomplishment in the Napoleonic Wars, particularly in the
War of Liberation of 1813–14. By establishing a Germany without Austria, the political and administrative unification in 1871 at least temporarily solved the problem of dualism.
Major-General Sir Isaac Brock
(6 October 1769 – 13 October 1812) was a
. Brock was assigned to
in 1802. Despite facing desertions and near-mutinies, he commanded his regiment in
) successfully for many years. He was promoted to
, and became responsible for defending Upper Canada against the United States. While many in Canada and Britain believed war could be averted, Brock began to ready the army and
for what was to come. When the
War of 1812
broke out, the populace was prepared, and quick victories at
crippled American invasion efforts.
Brock's actions, particularly his success at Detroit, earned him a
knighthood, membership in the
Order of the Bath, accolades and the sobriquet "The Hero of Upper Canada". His name is often linked with that of the
Native American leader
Tecumseh, although the two men collaborated in person only for a few days. Brock died at the
Battle of Queenston Heights, which was nevertheless a British victory.
Did you know...
- ... that
Giovanni de Ventura, a
plague doctor who may have worn a
beak doctor costume (pictured), was restricted by
a covenant to treat only infectious patients? In the nose of the mask, there were types of plants that were used to filter the sickness from the wearer.
- ... that in some
archaic Greek alphabets, an Ε could look like a Β, a Β like a C, a Γ like an Ι, an Ι like a Σ, or a Σ like an Μ?
- ... that the
Chinese government has published a
list of sixty-four important cultural relics that are forbidden to be exhibited outside of China?
- ... that the 1886 novel
Albertine expedited the abolition of public prostitution in Norway?
- ... that
Carl Sagan worked with the US Air Force on
detonating a nuclear device on the Moon?
- ... that
Olympic gold medals have been made out of silver, jade, and glass?
- ... that in 1945 a Japanese
battalion was rearmed to serve alongside the British
5th Parachute Brigade in the
- ... that
Solomon was accidentally
castrated as an infant?
Trinity nuclear test was the first nuclear detonation in the world. Conducted by the
United States Army on July 16, 1945, the successful test would set the stage for the coming
Atomic Age. This image, captured by
Berlyn Brixner, shows the fireball that developed 0.016 seconds after ignition; the explosive had a yield of 20 kilotons of dynamite.
On this day
Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.
"In recent times, European nations, with the use of gunpowder and other technical improvements in warfare, controlled practically the whole world. One, the British Empire, brought under one government a quarter of the earth and its inhabitants."
John Boyd Orr
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