politics

From this place, and from this day forth begins a new era in the history of the world – The Battle of Valmy

From this place, and from this day forth begins a new era in the history of the world – The Battle of Valmy

On September 20, 1792, the Battle of Valmy was fought. It was the first major victory by the army of France during the Revolutionary Wars that followed the French Revolution. Although being a small and localized victory, Valmy became a huge psychological victory for the Revolution at large. Overall, it permitted the development of the French Revolution and all its resultant ripple effects, and for that it is regarded as one of…
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Harry Johnston and the “Scramble for Africa”

Harry Johnston and the “Scramble for Africa”

On June 12, 1858, British explorer, botanist, linguist and colonial administrator Sir Harry Johnston was born. His interest in zoological specimens gave him a lucrative part-time income, illustrating books for the new sciences of biology, geography and anthropology. Moreover, he is probably best known for being one of the key players in the “Scramble for Africa” that occurred at the end of the 19th century. “In our land the educated poor, who…
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Scientist and Politician François Arago

Scientist and Politician François Arago

On February 26, 1786, French mathematician, physicist, and astronomer François Arago was born. Arago discovered the principle of the production of magnetism by rotation of a nonmagnetic conductor. He also devised an experiment that proved the wave theory of light and engaged with others in research that led to the discovery of the laws of light polarization. “Connaître, découvrir, communiquer—telle est, au fond, notre honorable destinée. To get to know, to discover, to…
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George Bernard Shaw – Playwright, Critic, Polemicist and Political Activist.

George Bernard Shaw – Playwright, Critic, Polemicist and Political Activist.

On July 26, 1856, Irish playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics George Bernard Shaw was born. As a writer, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938). “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to…
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Vilfredo Pareto and the Law of the Vital Few

Vilfredo Pareto and the Law of the Vital Few

On July 15, 1848, Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist and philosopher Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was born. He made several important contributions to economics, particularly in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals’ choices. The Pareto principle was named after him and built on observations of his such as that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. “The assertion that men…
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The Council of Constance puts an end to the Three-Pope-Controversy

The Council of Constance puts an end to the Three-Pope-Controversy

On April 22, 1418, the Council of Constance ended, which should put an end to the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V. The Council also condemned as a heretic and facilitated the execution by the civil authority of Czech priest, philosopher, and early Christian reformer Jan Hus. The Council of Constance The main purpose of the Council of Constance was…
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The Sugar Act and the American Revolution

The Sugar Act and the American Revolution

On April 5, 1764, the Sugar Act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain. The Sugar Act, also known as the American Revenue Act or the American Duties Act, was a revenue-raising act superseeding the earlier Molasses Act of 1733, which had imposed a tax of six pence per gallon of molasses, had never been effectively collected due to colonial evasion. By reducing the rate by half and increasing measures to enforce…
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William Morris – Decorative Artist and Socialist Activist

William Morris – Decorative Artist and Socialist Activist

On March 24, 1834, British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement William Morris was born. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant role proliferating the early socialist movement in Britain. “If you want a golden rule that…
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Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots

On February 18, (or February 8 according to the old Julian calendar), 1587,  Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed after having found guilty of plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. In the Western world, we all might have heard about the rivalry of Queen Elizabeth I [5] and Mary, Queen of Scots. I have learned about the story back at high school in my German lessons, when we were reading Friedrich Schillers ‘Maria…
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The Political Thought of Heinrich von Treitschke

The Political Thought of Heinrich von Treitschke

On September 15, 1834, German historian and political writer Heinrich von Treitschke was born. He was one of the best known and most widely read historians and political journalists in Germany at his time. Von Treitschke was an outspoken nationalist, who favored German colonialism and opposed the British Empire. He also opposed Catholics, Poles and socialists inside Germany. “Martial force is the basis of all political virtues; in the rich treasure of…
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