History (from Greekἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects including art and artifacts.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, and investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history", or, the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722BC although only 2nd-centuryBC texts have survived. (Full article...)
The battle was the result of the invasion of France by England during the Hundred Years' War. King Philip VI of France (r. 1328–1350) called on the Scots to fulfil their obligation under the terms of the Auld Alliance and invade England. David II obliged, and after ravaging much of northern England was taken by surprise by the English defenders. The ensuing battle ended with the rout of the Scots, the capture of their king and the death or capture of most of their leadership. Strategically, this freed significant English resources for the war against France, and the English border counties were able to guard against the remaining Scottish threat from their own resources. The eventual ransoming of the Scottish King resulted in a truce that brought peace to the border for forty years. (Full article...)
Late 15th-century artistic portrayal of the battle: Edward IV (left), wearing a circlet and mounted on a horse, leads the Yorkist charge and pierces the Earl of Warwick (right) with his lance; in reality, Warwick was not killed by Edward.
Formerly a key figure in the Yorkist cause, Warwick defected to the Lancastrians over disagreements about Edward's nepotism, secret marriage, and foreign policy. Leading a Lancastrian army, the earl defeated his former allies, forcing Edward to flee to Burgundy in October 1470. The Yorkist king persuaded his host, Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, to help him regain the English throne. Leading an army raised with Burgundian money, Edward launched his invasion of England, which culminated at the fields north of Barnet. Under cover of darkness, the Yorkists moved close to the Lancastrians and clashed in a thick fog at dawn. As both armies fought, the Earl of Oxford on the Lancastrian right routed the Yorkists opposite under Lord Hastings, chasing them back to Barnet. On their return to the battlefield, Oxford's men were erroneously shot at by the Lancastrian centre commanded by Lord Montagu. As cries of treason (always a possibility in that chaotic period) spread through their line, Lancastrian morale was disrupted and many abandoned the fight. While retreating, Warwick was killed by Yorkist soldiers. (Full article...)
Her first duties with the newly formed United States Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War. During the War of 1812 she made several extended length cruises in company with her sister shipPresident and captured, or assisted in the capture of twenty British merchant ships. At the end of 1813, due to a lack of materials to repair her, she was placed in ordinary for the remainder of the war. In 1815 she returned to service for the Second Barbary War and made patrols through 1816. In the 1820s she helped suppress piracy in the West Indies, made several voyages to South America, and was the first U.S. warship to visit China. Congress spent her last ten years of service as a receiving ship until ordered broken up in 1834. (Full article...)
Yamashiro was modernized between 1930 and 1935, with improvements to her armor and machinery and a rebuilt superstructure in the pagoda mast style. Nevertheless, with only 14-inch guns, she was outclassed by other Japanese battleships at the beginning of World War II, and played auxiliary roles for most of the war. (Full article...)
The Singapore strategy was a naval defence policy of the British Empire that evolved in a series of war plans from 1919 to 1941. It aimed to deter aggression by the Empire of Japan by providing for a base for a fleet of the Royal Navy in the Far East, able to intercept and defeat a Japanese force heading south towards India or Australia. To be effective it required a well-equipped base; Singapore, at the eastern end of the Strait of Malacca, was chosen in 1919 as the location of this base; work continued on this naval base and its defences over the next two decades.
The planners envisaged that a war with Japan would have three phases: while the garrison of Singapore defended the fortress, the fleet would make its way from home waters to Singapore, sally to relieve or recapture Hong Kong, and blockade the Japanese home islands to force Japan to accept terms. The idea of invading Japan was rejected as impractical, but British planners did not expect that the Japanese would willingly fight a decisive naval battle against the odds. Aware of the impact of a blockade on an island nation at the heart of a maritime empire, they felt that economic pressure would suffice. (Full article...)
The CFM56 first ran in 1974. By April 1979, the joint venture had not received a single order in five years and was two weeks away from being dissolved. The program was saved when Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Flying Tigers chose the CFM56 to re-engine their DC-8s and shortly thereafter it was chosen to re-engine the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker fleet of the U.S. Air Force – still its biggest customer. The first engines entered service in 1982. Several fan blade failure incidents were experienced during the CFM56's early service, including one failure that was a cause of the Kegworth air disaster, and some engine variants experienced problems caused by flight through rain and hail. Both these issues were resolved with engine modifications. (Full article...)
Born in Benalla, Victoria, Waller entered the Royal Australian Naval College at the age of thirteen. After graduating, he served with the Royal Navy in the closing stages of World War I. Between the wars, he specialised in communications and was posted as signals officer to several British and Australian warships. He gained his first seagoing command in 1937, as captain of the destroyerHMS Brazen. In September 1939, he took charge of HMAS Stuart and four other obsolete destroyers that together became known as the "Scrap Iron Flotilla". In 1940, these were augmented by other ships to form the 10th Destroyer Flotilla, supporting Allied troops in North Africa. (Full article...)
In the years before the conflict, Finnish society had experienced rapid population growth, industrialisation, pre-urbanisation and the rise of a comprehensive labour movement. The country's political and governmental systems were in an unstable phase of democratisation and modernisation. The socio-economic condition and education of the population had gradually improved, as well as national thinking and cultural life had awakened. (Full article...)
Graph showing Stoke City F.C.'s progress through the English football league system 1889 to the present
After her conversion, Furious was used extensively for trials of naval aircraft and later as a training carrier once the new armoured carriers like Ark Royal entered service in the late 1930s. During the early months of the Second World War, the carrier spent her time hunting for German raiders in the North Atlantic and escorting convoys. This changed dramatically during the Norwegian Campaign in early 1940 when her aircraft provided air support to British troops ashore in addition to attacking German shipping. The first of what would be numerous aircraft ferry missions was made by the carrier during the campaign. After the withdrawal of British troops in May, Furious made several anti-shipping strikes in Norway with little result before beginning a steady routine of ferrying aircraft for the Royal Air Force. (Full article...)
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) operated Vultee Vengeancedive bombers during World War II. The Australian Government ordered 297 of the type in late 1941 as part of efforts to expand the RAAF. This order was later increased to 400 aircraft. A few Vengeances arrived in Australia during 1942, and large-scale deliveries commenced in early 1943; further orders were cancelled in 1944 after 342 had been delivered.
The RAAF was slow to bring its Vengeances into service, their first combat missions being flown in June 1943. The main deployment of the type took place between mid-January and early March 1944, when squadrons operated in support of Australian and United States Army forces in New Guinea. This force was withdrawn after only six weeks as the Vengeance was considered inferior to other aircraft available to the Allied air forces. All of the RAAF's five Vengeance-equipped squadrons were re-equipped with Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombers. Vengeances continued to be used in training and support roles with the RAAF until 1946, and some were transferred to the Royal Australian Navy between 1948 and 1950 for ground training. (Full article...)
The Western Mediterranean in 264 BC: Rome is shown in red, Carthage in purple, and Syracuse in green
The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the first of three wars fought between Carthage and Rome, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the early 3rd century BC. For 23 years, in the longest continuous conflict and greatest naval war of antiquity, the two powers struggled for supremacy. The wars were fought primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters, and also in North Africa. After immense material and human losses on both sides, the Carthaginians were defeated.
The war began in 264 BC with the Romans gaining a foothold on Sicily at Messana (modern Messina). The Romans then pressed Syracuse, the only significant independent power on the island, into allying with them and laid siege to Carthage's main base at Akragas. A large Carthaginian army attempted to lift the siege in 262 BC, but was heavily defeated at the Battle of Akragas. The Romans then built a navy to challenge the Carthaginians', and using novel tactics inflicted several defeats. A Carthaginian base on Corsica was seized, but an attack on Sardinia was repulsed; the base on Corsica was then lost. Taking advantage of their naval victories the Romans launched an invasion of North Africa, which the Carthaginians intercepted. At the Battle of Cape Ecnomus the Carthaginians were again beaten; this was possibly the largest naval battle in history by the number of combatants involved. The invasion initially went well and in 255 BC the Carthaginians sued for peace; the proposed terms were so harsh they fought on, defeating the invaders. The Romans sent a fleet to evacuate their survivors and the Carthaginians opposed it at the Battle of Cape Hermaeum off Africa; the Carthaginians were heavily defeated. The Roman fleet, in turn, was devastated by a storm while returning to Italy, losing most of its ships and over 100,000 men. (Full article...)
De Magere Compagnie (completed 1637), which depicts a company of schutterij, a voluntary city guard or citizen militia in the medieval and early modernNetherlands. Frans Hals was commissioned to create this, but he was unable to complete it after three years, and the company hired Pieter Codde to finish it. Group portraits such as this of schutterij were known as schuttersstuk, and were popular among the guards themselves.
The first successful permanent photograph, created in 1826, is titled "View from the Window at Le Gras". It required an eight-hour exposure in bright sunshine and was printed on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea. Due to the long exposure, the buildings are illuminated by the sun from both right and left.
Petra is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba, the great valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock.
Jews captured by SS and SD troops during the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are forced to leave their shelter and march to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. The SD trooper pictured second from the right, is Josef Blösche, who was identified by Polish authorities using this photograph. Blösche was tried for war crimes in Erfurt, East Germany in 1969, sentenced to death and executed in July of that year.
Edward Gibbon (1737–1794) was an English historian who published The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. Born in Putney, Surrey, he became a voracious reader while being raised by his aunt, and was sent to study at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in Switzerland. Returning to England, in 1761 Gibbon published his first book, Essai sur l'Étude de la Littérature. This was well received, but Gibbon's next book was a failure. In the early 1770s Gibbon began writing his history of the Roman Empire, which was received with great praise.
An 1805 depiction of a Khoikhoi family dismantling their huts, preparing to move to new pastures. The Khoikhoi are a native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen. Most of the Khoikhoi have largely disappeared as a group, except for the largest group, the Namas.
A Chola dynasty sculpture depicting Shiva. In Hinduism, Shiva is the deity of destruction and one of the most important gods; in this sculpture he is dancing as Nataraja, the divine dancer who unravels the world in preparation for it being remade by Brahma.
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Ramón Emeterio Betances y Alacán (April 8, 1827 – September 16, 1898) was a Puerto Rican independence advocate and medical doctor. He was the primary instigator of the Grito de Lares revolution and is considered to be the father of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Since the Grito galvanized a burgeoning nationalist movement among Puerto Ricans, Betances is also considered "El Padre de la Patria" (Father of the [Puerto Rican] Nation). Because of his charitable deeds for people in need, he also became known as "El Padre de los Pobres" ("The Father of the Poor").
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
A Japanese depiction of a Portuguese trading carrack. Advances in shipbuilding technology during the Late Middle Ages would pave the way for the global European presence characteristic of the early modern period.
Gold stag with eagle's head, and ten further heads in the antlers. An object inspired by the art of the Siberian Altai mountain, possibly Pazyryk, unearthed at the site of Nalinggaotu, Shenmu County, near Xi'an, China. Possibly from the "Hun people who lived in the prairie in Northern China". Dated to the 4th–3rd century BC, or Han Dynasty period. Shaanxi History Museum.
World Colonization of 1492 (Early Modern World), 1550, 1660, 1754 (Age of Enlightenment), 1822 (Industrial revolution), 1885 (European Hegemony), 1914 (World War I era), 1938 (World War II era), 1959 (Cold War era) and 1974, 2008 (Recent history).
Roman Empire 117 AD. The Senatorial provinces were acquired first under the Roman Republic and were under the Roman Senate's control; the Imperial provinces were controlled directly by the Roman emperor.
Engraved world map (including magnetic declination lines) by Leonhard Euler from his school atlas "Geographischer Atlas bestehend in 44 Land-Charten" first published 1753 in Berlin
Cishou Temple Pagoda, built in 1576: the Chinese believed that building pagodas on certain sites according to geomantic principles brought about auspicious events; merchant-funding for such projects was needed by the late Ming period.
Cossacks became the backbone of the early Russian Army.
"If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don't know, search for it." An engraving from the 1772 edition of the Encyclopédie; Truth (center) is surrounded by light and unveiled by the figures to the right, Philosophy and Reason
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