How Black Suffragists Fought for the Right to Vote and a Modicum of Respect

Hallie Quinn Brown and other “homespun heroines”. Hallie Quinn Brown knew the power of black women and urged anyone who heard her to let it flourish. Read her remarks from 1889 and you might believe she saw the future or at least had the capacity to call it into being: “I believe there are as[…]

Parlor Politics: The Activist Legacy of Harriet Beecher Stowe

She was a famous activist in her day, arguably the most famous in the world. By Tom Christopher Katherine Kane, executive director of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Connecticut, has no doubts. As she escorts me through Stowe’s home, a 4,500-square-foot Victorian “cottage,” Kane points out that the issue at the heart of[…]

A History of Elective Monarchy since the Ancient World

Many kingdoms were elective historically, though the candidates were typically only from the family of the deceased monarch. Introduction An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected monarch, in contrast to a hereditary monarchy in which the office is automatically passed down as a family inheritance. The manner of election, the nature of[…]

A History of the Notion of the ‘Divine Right of Kings’

Only divine authority can judge unjust monarchs and any attempt to depose, dethrone, or restrict their powers runs contrary to God’s will. Introduction The divine right of kings, divine right, or God’s mandate is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It stems from a specific metaphysical framework in which the king[…]

Lots of Leaking: Bloodletting since the Ancient World

It is claimed to have been the most common medical practice performed by surgeons from antiquity until the late 19th century. Introduction Bloodletting is the withdrawal of blood from a patient to prevent or cure illness and disease. Bloodletting, whether by a physician or by leeches, was based on an ancient system of medicine in[…]

A Hole in the Head: Trephination in Prehistoric and Ancient Times

Evidence for trephination occurs from the Neolithic period onwards. Introduction Trephination (also known as trepanning or burr holing) is a surgical intervention where a hole is drilled, incised or scraped into the skull using simple surgical tools. In drilling into the skull and removing a piece of the bone, the dura mater is exposed without[…]