politics

Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers

Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers

On January 18, 1698, French philosopher and political thinker Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, generally only referred to as Montesquieu, was baptized. He is best known for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is taken for granted in modern discussions of government and implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. “If I knew of something that could serve my nation but would ruin…
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J’Accuse – Émile Zola and the Dreyfus Affaire

J’Accuse – Émile Zola and the Dreyfus Affaire

Title page with Émile Zola’s famous public letter ‘J’accuse…!’ On January 13, 1898, French novellist Émile Zola published an open letter in the newspaper L’Aurore entitled “J’accuse” (“I accuse”, or, in context, “I accuse you”). In the letter, Zola addressed the President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. The Suspicious Bordereau…
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The Golden Bull and the Holy Roman Empire

The Golden Bull and the Holy Roman Empire

On December 25, 1356, the final chapters of the Golden Bull were decreed by the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg and Metz headed by the Emperor Charles IV. The Golden Bull fixed, for a period of more than four hundred years, important aspects of the constitutional structure of the Holy Roman Empire. It mainly regulated the modalities of election and the coronation of the Roman-German kings and emperors by the electors until the…
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How the Radio became a Mass Medium – The Volksempfänger VE301

How the Radio became a Mass Medium – The Volksempfänger VE301

On August 18, 1933, the original Volksempfänger VE 301 was presented at the 10. Große Deutsche Funkausstellung in Berlin. The purpose of the Volksempfänger-program was to make radio reception technology affordable to the general public. Nazi Propagandaminister Joseph Goebbels realized the great propaganda potential of this relatively new medium and thus considered widespread availability of receivers highly important. The first model, the Volksempfänger VE301 was developed by the company Dr. G. Seibt…
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The Case of the Chief of the General Staff Alfred Redl

The Case of the Chief of the General Staff Alfred Redl

On May 25, 1913, officer of the Imperial Austrian army Alfred Redl committed suicide. Redl, who rose to head the counter-intelligence efforts of Austria-Hungary, was one of the leading figures of pre-World War I espionage. His term in office was marked by innovation, and he used advanced technology, for the time, to ensnare foreign intelligence agents. But he was himself a paid spy for the Russians. Claims that Redl also worked for the…
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Nothing is Stronger than an Idea whose Time has come – The Life of Victor Hugo

Nothing is Stronger than an Idea whose Time has come – The Life of Victor Hugo

On May 22, 1854, French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement Victor Hugo passed away. Hugo is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, 1831. In France, Hugo is known primarily for his poetry collections. “So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in…
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Dr. Spock’s Famous Book on Child Care

Dr. Spock’s Famous Book on Child Care

On May 2, 1903, American pediatrician Benjamin McLane Spock was born. Spock‘s book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the best-sellers of all time. The book‘s premise to mothers is that “you know more than you think you do.” It influenced generations of parents worldwide. “Don’t be afraid to trust your own common sense..[]..What good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is usually best.”…
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Egon Erwin Kisch – The frenzied Reporter

Egon Erwin Kisch – The frenzied Reporter

On April 29, 1885, Austrian and Czechoslovak writer and journalist Egon Erwin Kisch was born. Kisch styled himself Der Rasende Reporter (The frenzied reporter) for his countless travels to the far corners of the globe and his equally numerous articles produced in a relatively short time (Hetzjagd durch die Zeit, 1925), Kisch was noted for his development of literary reportage and his opposition to Adolf Hitler‘s Nazi regime. “And there is nothing more…
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Ramesses II – King of Kings am I

Ramesses II – King of Kings am I

Ramesses II was born 1303 BC, third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Ramesses II often is regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. His successors often referred to him as “the Great ancestor”. The reason, why we include this ancient Egytian ruler in SciHi Blog is not only his historical relevance. Recently we have been invited to join the Ramesses II exhibition at…
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The Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer

The Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer

On April 22, 1904, American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was born. Oppenheimer was the wartime head of the Los Alamos Laboratory and is among those who are credited with being the “father of the atomic bomb” for their role in the Manhattan Project, the World War II undertaking that developed the first nuclear weapons. Oppenheimer‘s achievements in physics included the Born–Oppenheimer approximation for molecular wave functions, work on the theory of electrons…
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