How has the Role of Horses Changed in Human Societies?

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By the 9th Century BC, Neo-Assyrians used horses to replace chariots.

Most studies suggest that domestication of the horse took place along the Eurasian steppe. However, it is not clear where exactly and most likely there were several independent domestication attempts. Interestingly, wild horses before domestication show a wide range of interspecies variation; however, it is believe that only one type of species became domesticated.[1] Most likely, the horse was domesticated by 4000-3500 BC. All domesticate horses are classified as Equus ferus caballus, with Equius ferus as being the species that domesticated horses derive from.[2]

Initial domestication may have been done as a means to develop horses as traction animals, or use in agriculture and plowing, and also for riding.[3] Probably at around the 3rd millennium BC, the horse began to spread across Eurasia and into China, Europe, and India. This could have been associated with the migration of Indo-European and Eurasian groups that were likely migrating across Asia during this time. These populations may have introduced horses, therefore, to new regions such as the Near East, India, and China.

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Origins of the French Revolution – Top Ten Booklist

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Storming the Bastille

The French Revolution has been seen as a world-altering event. The revolution demolished a long standing monarchy and showed that it was a natural form of government. The Revolution also showed that it was possible to change society, using reason, for the better and worse. The French Revolution inspired many to agitate for democracy and equality around the world. It also unleashed an extraordinary amount of violence and paved the way for Napoleon’s takeover of France. Many historians (not all) have argued that the French Revolution can be seen as the start of the modern world.

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What was George Washington’s military experience before the American Revolution?

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George Washington and William Lee 1780

The Second Continental Congress voted unanimously to put George Washington in charge of the Continental Army in 1775. Washington was only 43 years old at the time, a gentleman planter and local Virginian politician. He had not served in the military for over 20 years and his military service records was not particularly distinguished. What qualified Washington for the supreme confidence the young American rebels placed in him?

George Washington entered the working world in his teens as an enthusiastic young surveyor. He especially enjoyed working on the frontier in western Virginia, mapping the unsettled lands controlled by his neighbor, William Fairfax. Washington’s brother, Lawrence, also happened to be married to Fairfax’s daughter. When George was 19, Lawrence died of tuberculosis and Fairfax took it upon himself to give George a leg up on life. [1] He urged Governor Robert Dinwiddie to appoint Washington as an adjutant in the Virginia militia, a position of varied responsibilities, mostly teaching the rowdy underclasses how to be soldiers.

At that time in 1753 the French and English were jostling for position to exploit the western lands of America beyond the Appalachian Mountains. When Dinwiddie got word that the French were building forts at the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela rivers (modern day Pittsburgh) he sent his 20-year old aide on an expedition with a letter informing the French of the British claims in the region. The French thanked Washington for coming, put him up for three days and sent him back to the Virginia capital of Williamsburg with a notice that they planned on staying. [2]

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What were the Root Causes of the Spanish Civil War?

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General Francisco Franco in 1936

The Spanish Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars in Twentieth Century in Europe. The war was not simply a Spanish affair, but drew in other several other nations, including Italy, Portugal, Germany and the Soviet Union. The war was a result of many factors, some of which will be discussed here. The main cause of the Spanish Civil War, was the failure of Spanish democracy. This was because there was a refusal by the Spanish parties and groups to compromise and respect democratic norms.

Spain was a very divided, unstable and weak country in the 19th century. Once a great power, Spain lost almost the last of its colonies after it defeat in the Spanish-American war.[1] It was technically a monarchy, but power had frequently been in the hands of military dictators. The country was bitterly divided. The acute poverty of the Spanish people meant that many were drawn to Communism, Anarchism and Socialism. [2] These ideologies call for popular governments and the re-distribution of resources, such as land and wealth.

Spanish anarchists, socialists and communists were secular and wanted to remove the influence of the Catholic Church from Spanish society. The elite and the middle class were especially conservative. They dominated the economy and feared that the Communists would confiscate their property. This is typified in the fact that much of the best land in Spain was owned by a relatively small proportion of the population. Furthermore, the wealthy and the middle class, especially in rural society was Catholics and resisted any idea that there should be a separation of Church in State in Spain.[3]The elite and the rich landowners, the ‘agrarian oligarchy’ were terrified of communism, especially after the Russian Revolution in 1917.

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Did the Battle of Fredericksburg Change the Identities of Irish Soldiers?

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The Battle of Fredericksburg – Dec. 13, 1862

Whose blood was spilled December 13, 1862 on the battlefield in Fredericksburg, Virginia? During the American Civil War, the Battle of Fredericksburg was but one meeting ground of Irish immigrants from both the Union and Confederacy. Once fellow countrymen, these soldiers were forced to assume new perspectives on their identities amidst the chaos of war. The ability to consider themselves Irish immigrants vanished when they donned a blue or gray uniform. With the Battle of Fredericksburg as an example, where the predominantly Irish 24th Georgia regiment of the Confederate States of America (CSA) engaged the Irish Brigade of the Union Army in battle, ethnicity clashed with nationality.

Once the first shots were fired, these men were no longer Irish brethren; they became enemy combatants. The Irish soldiers, who defined themselves primarily through ethnicity, were instantly adopting a new national identity; therefore, the blood spilled on that tragic day was that of Confederates and Americans. The bodies that filled those blue and gray uniforms were no longer Irishmen as nationality prevailed over ethnicity.[1]

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How did the marathon emerge?

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Runners training for the first marathon in 1896

The marathon is seen today as grueling long-distance, usually over 26 mile race. The battle of Marathon, fought between the Greek and Persian armies, and the resulting run by a Greek warrior to tell the victory is usually cited as the origin of this sport. While there is truth in this story, the history of the marathon is complex and its presence in many major world cities shows it still stands as one of the great events that tests human will and skill.From Ancient to the Modern Olympics

The earliest history of the marathon is likely legend based on some facts. The story of the legend states that the Greek messenger Pheidippides ran back to Athens in August/September 490 BCE, a distance of almost 26 miles, to inform the Athenian assembly that the Achaemenid army fighting at the battle of Marathon had been defeated. Very likely this story did not occur this way, as contemporary accounts do not corroborate this story and the story of Pheidippides’ famous run only emerged in the 1st century CE. Plutarch in his work, On the Glory of Athens, mentions this famous event. Potentially more likely, although it is still unclear, there was a runner, perhaps called Pheidippides, who ran to Sparta from Athens to seek assistance from the Spartans as the Achaemenid army advanced.[1]

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Why did the Italian Renaissance End?

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The Duomo in Florence, Italy 

The Italian Renaissance was one of the most exciting periods in human civilization. It witnessed a great flourishing of the arts, literature, philosophy, architecture and politics. Many of the important artistic and political figures appeared during the Italian Renaissance, including Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Machiavelli and Raphael. The Renaissance’s days of glories occurred from approximately 1400-1500. However, several factors led to the end of the Renaissance and the end of one of the most creative periods in human history.

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