The Civil War Diarist Who Chronicled the Confederacy’s Fall

Raised in plantation privilege, Mary Boykin Chestnut was unprepared for the trauma of war and defeat. “February 18, 1861…. I do not allow myself vain regrets or sad foreboding. This Southern Confederacy must be supported now by calm determination and cool brains. We have risked all, and we must play our best, for the stake[…]

African American Spirituals: From Cotton Fields to Concert Halls

After the Civil War, touring groups of black college singers popularized slavery-era songs, giving rise to a new musical genre. “Swing low, sweet chariot….” These words are familiar to many Americans, who might sing them in worship, in Sunday school, around campfires, in school, and in community choruses. But the black singers responsible for introducing[…]

Christianity Used as a Justification for Slavery in 19th-Century America

White Christian slaveholders argued that slavery was a necessary evil because it would control the sinful, less humane, black race. Slave owners had many justifications for why holding people in bondage was acceptable. From the idea that African Americans were a lesser race who needed taking care of by white patriarchs to the economic justification,[…]

The English Reformation: Fighting the Oppressors to Become Them

Henry VIII and his heirs became equally as oppressive as the Catholic Church whose chains they threw off. Introduction The English Reformation began with Henry VIII of England (r. 1509-1547 CE) and continued in stages over the rest of the 16th century CE. The process witnessed the break away from the Catholic Church headed by[…]

Shillings, Gods, and Runes: A Semitic Superpower in Ancient Northern Europe

New linguistic research suggests early Germanic language and culture was strongly influenced by the Mediterranean superpower Carthage. Introduction Remember when Australians paid in shillings and pence? New research suggests the words for these coins and other culturally important items and concepts are the result of close contact between the early Germanic people and the Carthaginian[…]

Ancient Semitic-Speaking Peoples

The languages they spoke are usually divided into three branches: East, Central, and South Semitic languages. Introduction Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples were Western Asian people who lived throughout the ancient Near East, including the Levant, Mesopotamia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa from the third millennium BC until the end of antiquity. The languages[…]