The interwar years were some of the most turbulent in the history of Britain. Given the strong trade and diplomatic links between Britain and the rest of Europe and North America, the former’s economic stability depended on several external factors. The Great Depression that struck the United States in 1929 had repercussions across Europe. The mass unemployment witnessed in Britain during this period is not merely a coincidence. On the political front the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany gave rise to distrust and apprehensions of war. In this respect, the social history of interwar Britain is one highly influenced by unravelling economic and geo-political conditions. To go with widespread unemployment there were also conflicts across class lines. The General Strike and the hunger marches that were witnessed during this period were expressions of public frustration. Although the national government was outwardly sympathetic to public angst, and on occasion participated . . . Read More
In many ways, women are history’s largest minority. Their voice was for most part suppressed under male domination. It is only in recent decades that they have attained legal and nominal equality with men. America has been a theatre for women’s rights going back to the late 18th and 19th centuries. The Catholic Church provided a semblance of political emancipation for women. This it achieved through allowing Sisters to assume high offices within the rigid hierarchy of the institution. Though there was a degree of democracy and representation within the Church, in practice, “internal governments combined authoritarian and hierarchical structures with participatory and egalitarian elements.” This meant that Sisters were subject to the authority of officers, but in turn influenced the officers through elections and consultations. In this somewhat compromised democratic system some members were disenfranchised to vote. Even in the absence of a . . . Read More
The time period between the American Revolution and the Reconstruction were one of uncertainly and instability in American socio-politics. Having valiantly won its freedom from the British Crown, the fledgling nation was taking cautious first steps toward self-assertion. But even as America’s presence as a global power was taking root, its society was beset by longstanding issues. The social issues could be broadly divided across the twin axes of race and gender. Racial discrimination of colored people and gender oppression of women were two chronic malaises.
At the time of the Declaration of Independence and the framing of the Constitution, blacks were considered as unequal to whites. This is reflected in the early laws of the country where segregation and slavery were legally sanctioned. The basis of these draconian laws was the prejudiced conception of blacks as only three-fifth human (whereby whites are the benchmark of full humanity). Such unscientific . . . Read More
John O’Neill’s career in service of his country is one spent in frustration and futility. Despite valiant efforts by this sincere and hardworking law enforcement agent, the terror attacks on September 11 2001 could not be prevented. More tragically, John O’Neill himself would perish in the attack as he was then working in the World Trade Centre as a security officer.
John O’Neill has had an impressive career path covering various roles within and without the FBI. Always drawn to the allure of a special agent for the FBI, John’s first job was as a fingerprint clerk and tour guide at FBI Headquarters in Washington. He was barely twenty years old when he started out with FBI in this modest fashion. He climbed up the career ladder steadily thereafter. His appointment as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) in Chicago is a notable milestone. But it is the World Trade Center (WTC) bombing at Oklahoma in 1993 that would prove to be a turning point in his . . . Read More
Abraham Lincoln’s greatness as President lies in his extraordinary ability to take crucial decisions that would prove pivotal to the nation’s history. The Emancipation Proclamation, which essentially promised blacks of their right to equality and liberty, is one of its kind – not just in American history but in political history as a whole. The proclamation and the Gettysburg Address are two exemplary documents whose appeal is intellectual, emotional and moral. This essay will argue that the moral force of the two documents derive from the founding doctrines of the country as well as from scriptures.
The Gettysburg Address was delivered amid very tumultuous events. The Civil War has already brought loss of human lives and material wealth. Even the very conception of the nation is being questioned by the two warring factions. Lincoln was clearly a shaken man due to the tragedy unfolding under his command. Yet he was duty bound to . . . Read More
The three Punic Wars that were waged between Roman and Carthaginian Empires are significant events in ancient geopolitical history. The rise of the Roman Empire coincided with the decline of the Carthaginian Empire because each tried to benefit at the cost of the other. With every outbreak of war between these two great empires, the Roman Empire ended up garnering greater territorial expansion and political influence in the broader Europe. The three wars spanned a period of more than a century, starting from 264 BC and ending in 146 BC. The outcome of the wars established the enduring legacy of the Roman Empire as one of the greatest in the whole of history.
The influence of the Punic Wars on Western Civilization
The Punic Wars were important also for their influence on subsequent diplomatic and military strategies. Many theories pertaining to political and military strategy were conceived and codified during these three wars. These theories . . . Read More
Desiderius Erasmus is one of the most influential Catholic theologians in the entire history of the faith. He is remembered not only as a prominent member of the Church but also as a great Humanist. He took a middle path approach to resolving conflicts between religion and rationalism. He was despised by both sides for his preference for compromise over conflict. But his positions and views were based on pragmatism and not cowardice. The proper way, for Erasmus, was to never resort to fanaticism even if one is right. He understood well the nature of evil and he too hoped to see truth replace error and right triumph over wrong. But
“he showed discretion in his choice of tactics. If you wish to bring about peacefully true and lasting reforms, you do not, like the fanatics, indiscriminately attack not only the ideas you oppose but also the honesty, integrity, and sincerity of those who hold them. If you wish to convince a person he should change his ways, . . . Read More
The Lewis & Clark Expedition is one of the pivotal moments in the history of the United States. Two centuries ago, under the orders of the then President Thomas Jefferson, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark set about with a team of thirty three personnel to explore, observe and chart the vast expanses of territory to the west of the continent. Titled very aptly the Corps of Discovery, the team started their journey in Wood River, Illinois in 1804 and reached the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the continent a year later. The entire route taken by the team measured 3700 miles. It covered several states, including “Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington”. (“Lewis and Clark Bicentennial,” 2001) The expedition marked a key event in the course of the nation’s history. This is acknowledged during the bicentennial celebrations of the event that transpired in 2005. On the . . . Read More
Document analysis: Extract from Bernt Engelmann’s autobiographical memoir, In Hitler’s Germany, (1986), pp.1-4
While political violence during the reign of the Third Reich is copiously documented, the intimidation and oppression in the lead up to Nazi capture of power is less well known. Bernt Engelmann’s autobiographical memoir In Hitler’s Germany, written half a century after the event in 1986, serves to fill this lacuna. In the extract in question Engelmann recounts a dramatic event he experienced when he was a school kid growing up in late Weimar Germany. Even eight months before Germany came under the grip of the Third Reich there were troubling early signs of what is in store. Engelmann’s Jewish French teacher (Dr.Levy) was vilified and victimized right before his eyes and for not fault of his. Merely by the fact of his religious faith and by his legitimate act of removing a Swastika flag from the school mast, Dr. . . . Read More
The Journey of Man, presented by Dr. Spencer Wells, is a very important documentary film that sends out a message of human solidarity. As Dr. Wells says in the introduction, it is the retracing of the all routes of human migration out of Africa in the last 50,000 years. It is a fascinating story constructed on a grand timescale. The drama and significance of this story lies in the high stakes involved for those early humans who ventured into alien territories. There are several facets and themes to the documentary film. But the most striking and profound is that of human solidarity amidst diversity. This essay will expound on this thesis.
In this most compelling story of natural history, the pivotal moment was the great Ice Age that set in 50 thousand years ago. Up until this point, the entire human population (technically of the species Homo sapiens) were confined to just the African continent. This is understandable, for most of the early hominids . . . Read More