America Moves to the City: Urban Growth in the Late Nineteenth Century

The industrial boom of the late 19th century led Americans and immigrants to leave farming life and head to the city. Introduction Americans increasingly moved into cities over the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a movement motivated in large measure by industrialization. Eleven million people migrated from rural to urban areas[…]

A History of Reconstruction

African Americans gained political power yet faced the backlash of white supremacy and racial violence. Introduction I’ll never forget a student’s response when I asked during a middle school social studies class what they knew about Black history: “Martin Luther King freed the slaves.” Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929, more than six[…]

A 19th-Century Artist’s Effort to Grapple with Representing Tuberculosis

For the grieving painter who lose his wife to the disease, art functioned as a kind of medicine. Introduction Like everyone else, artists have been challenged by new conditions and routines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have had to adjust what they make as well as how and where they work, coming[…]

Hands, Holes, and Hashtags: Exploring a Medieval Medical Manuscript

All of the extra features, such as marginal glossing and pointing hands, tell you about how the manuscript was used. The first manuscript that I ever encountered face-to-face was Wellcome MS. 550. This volume, mainly in medieval Latin, dates from the early 15th century, and is a compendium of different medical and surgical writings. As[…]

The Collapse of the Carolingian Empire after Charlemagne

Infighting between Louis the Pious’s sons and external threats from different civilizations contributed to the collapse. Introduction The Germanic tribe known as the Franks established and ruled the Frankish Empire from the fifth through the tenth century in the ancient territory of Gaul(encompassing portions of modern-day France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands). The Carolingian[…]

The Decline and Collapse of the Byzantine Empire

The rise of Turkish power in Anatolia eventually gave rise to the Ottoman Empire which rapidly conquered the Byzantines. Introduction The Byzantine Empire experienced several cycles of growth and decay over the course of nearly a thousand years, including major losses during the Arab conquests of the 7th century. In the 11th century the empire[…]