Researching Tuberculosis Patients at an Army Hospital in New Mexico, 1899-1912

The Fort Bayard military reservation was established in 1866. Introduction It started with a “heavy cold.”[1] In May of 1904, U.S. Army Capt. Ward Pershing experienced “prolonged exposure” while marching from Fort Leavenworth to Topeka, and by June had developed a phlegmy cough.[2] The cold had only gotten worse the following April, when Pershing sought[…]

War and Trauma: A History of Military Medicine since the Ancient World

It was in fact during the Napoleonic wars at the beginning of the 19th century that the organized practice of military medicine began. By Dr. Charles Van Way, IIIColonel, US Army Reserve, Medical Corps, RetiredEmeritus Professor of SurgeryUniversity of Missouri – Kansas City School of MedicineDirector, UMKC Shock Trauma Research Center War is an actual,[…]

How Plague Helped Make Ancient Rome a Superpower

Epidemics haunt history, but they shape history too, as happened in 212 BCE at Syracuse. “The dogs were the first to feel the mischief; next the birds flagged in their flight and dropped down from the black clouds; and then the beasts of the forest were laid low. Soon the infernal plague spread further, depopulating[…]

The Plague in Ancient Athens: A Cautionary Tale

Thucydides indicates that this plague was extraordinary in that “a pestilence of such extent and mortality was nowhere remembered.” In his book, The History of the Peloponnesian War, the ancient Greek historian Thucydides provides the setting. Athens and Sparta had been the two principal leaders of the united Greeks who vanquished the mighty Persian Empire fifty[…]

Religious Liberty: Thomas Jefferson’s Other Legacy

His commitment to religious liberty helped to prevent violent sectarian conflict. January 16th marked National Religious Freedom Day in the United States, commemorating Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. These are trying times for Jefferson’s reputation and it’s understandable that Americans frustrated with ongoing racism focus on his slaveholding legacy. Some of his[…]

Benjamin Franklin: Not a Deist, but Not a Christian

He believed that religion promoted virtuous behavior and that Jesus was the greatest moral teacher who ever lived but was not God. Ezra Stiles (1727–1795), the Calvinist president of Yale College, was curious about Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) and his faith. In 1790, he asked the nation’s senior statesman if he would commit his religious beliefs[…]

John Wesley and Evangelicalism in the 18th Century

The single most important figure in the history of Evangelicalism was John Wesley, the founder of the Methodists. Evangelicalism was a movement in Protestantism during the 18th century in the English-speaking world.  There was a similar movement in German-speaking Protestantism called “Pietism.”  This movement has had tremendous intellectual, social and political consequences.  Although it was[…]

John Calvin and the Birth of Evangelicalism in the 16th Century

John Calvin was a leader of the Swiss protestant reformation and a pastor of the Evangelical Church of Geneva. Introduction John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was a prominent Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. Jean Chauvin (or Cauvin) was[…]

The Revolutionary Summer of 1862: How Congress Abolished Slavery

Secession and the Civil War were about slavery and race. Introduction In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln recalled, “All knew that” the “peculiar and powerful interest” in slaves “was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even[…]

John Brown’s “Tragic Prelude” to the U.S. Civil War

John Brown first became a nationally known figure in 1856 through his actions in the Kansas Territory, three years before Harper’s Ferry. Who Was John Brown? “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” John Brown, shortly before his execution, 1859[…]

The Dorr Rebellion: Insurrection to Change Electoral Rules, 1841-1842

Rhode Island was still using its 1663 colonial charter as a constitution. It required that voters own land as a qualification to vote. Introduction The Dorr Rebellion (1841–1842) (also referred to as Dorr’s Rebellion, Dorr’s War or Dorr War) was an attempt by middle-class residents to force broader democracy in the U.S. state of Rhode[…]

President John Adams and the Fries Rebellion, 1786-1787

Congress recently passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, criminalizing dissent and increasing the power of the executive branch. Introduction The Fries Rebellion, also called Fries’ Rebellion, the House Tax Rebellion, the Home Tax Rebellion and, in Deitsch, the Heesses-Wasser Uffschtand, was an armed tax revolt among Pennsylvania Dutch farmers between 1799 and 1800. It was[…]

The Latest on the Failed United States Coup Attempt

We’re just a few days removed from the attempt by outgoing President Donald Trump’s supporters to take over the US Capital. Thousands of insurrectionists, some of them heavily armed, interrupted Congress’s formal declaration that Joe Biden had won the election. Just before chaos erupted, Trump himself gave a speech where he used incendiary terms to[…]

Top 5 Tips to Help Navigate the World of Matchmaking Platforms

If you’re single and seeking a love interest, the chances are 2020 will have been a tough year. The global pandemic has severely curtailed opportunities for socializing, closing bars and nightclubs. This has led to increasing numbers of individuals considering signing up to a dating site. If you’re new to online dating, here are five[…]

A History of Petty Presidential Transitions

Presidents who behave badly during transitions usually share something in common – they’re viewed as the worst presidents overall. In 1797, President George Washington was determined to unambiguously hand over the nation’s reins for the first time. He attended the inauguration ceremony of John Adams, his vice president, to show his support. At its conclusion,[…]

Sore Losers: The Duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr

Hamilton was a Federalist. Burr was a Republican. The men clashed repeatedly in the political arena. On July 11, 1804, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met on the dueling grounds at Weehawken, New Jersey, to fight the final skirmish of a long-lived political and personal battle. When the duel was over, Hamilton would be mortally[…]

‘Nouveau Hercules’: Colossus of the French Revolution

It could be an early scene in a monster movie. In fact, it’s an image of the French Revolution. This article, The Revolutionary Colossus, was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ As the French Revolution entered its most radical years, there[…]

England’s Glorious Revolution: Cavendish and the Dukes

Of interest was the war threatening between England (and its allies) and France, and the dynastic quarrels that were giving rise to it. By Dr. Christa JungnickelHistorian of Science By Dr. Russell McCormmachHistorian of Physics Introduction Repeated rejections by the aristocracy of attempts by the crown to increase its power culminated in the Revolution of[…]

The Formation of a French School: The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture

The Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, established in 1648 oversaw – and held a monopoly over – the arts in France until 1793. Introduction In a room filled to the brim with painting and sculpture, well-dressed men in powdered wigs assemble around a desk while stragglers chat with their neighbors. Jean-Baptiste Martin’s small painting[…]

A History of Renaissance Architecture

Renaissance architecture was an evolving movement that is, today, commonly divided into three phases: Early, High, and Mannerism. Introduction Renaissance architecture originated in Italy and superseded the medieval Gothic style over a period generally defined as 1400 to 1600 CE. Features of Renaissance buildings include the use of the classical orders and mathematically precise ratios of height and[…]

A History of Mental Illness since the Ancient World

Examining how past societies viewed and dealt with mental illness. Prehistoric and Ancient Beliefs Prehistoric cultures often held a supernatural view of abnormal behavior and saw it as the work of evil spirits, demons, gods, or witches who took control of the person. This form of demonic possession was believed to occur when the person[…]

Ancient Philosophers on Mental Illness

Exploring how the ancient philosophers from Plato to late antiquity understood mental illness. Abstract This article outlines when, how and in what kind of contexts the phenomenon of mental illness was recognized in the ancient philosophical texts, how mental illness was understood in terms of the body–mind interaction, and how mental disorders of the medical[…]

Terror on Wall Street: The Bombing of September 16, 1920

The bombing was never solved, although investigators and historians believe it was carried out by Galleanists (Italian anarchists). Introduction The Wall Street bombing occurred at 12:01 pm on Thursday, September 16, 1920, in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The blast killed thirty people immediately, and another ten died later of wounds sustained in[…]

Reconstruction and Terrorism: The Colfax Massacre of 1873

In the wake of the contested 1872 election for governor of Louisiana and local offices, white terrorists killed almost 50 freedmen. Introduction The Colfax massacre, sometimes referred to by the euphemism Colfax riot, occurred on Easter Sunday, April 13, 1873, in Colfax, Louisiana, the seat of Grant Parish, where an estimated 62-153 black men were[…]

Witch Trials in Early Modern Europe and New England

The height of the witch frenzy was marked by the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum (“Hammer of Witches”). Legal Basis for Witch Trials Historians have identified a number of crucial legal developments that led to the panic surrounding— and subsequent trials of— witches in Early Modern Europe. One was the idea of “heretical fact,” put[…]

The European Witch-Hunts, 1450-1750

The witch-hunts of early modern Europe took place against a backdrop of rapid social, economic, and religious transformation. By Adam Jones Introduction For three centuries of early modern European history, diverse societies were consumed by a panic over alleged witches in their midst. Witch-hunts, especially in Central Europe, resulted in the trial, torture, and execution[…]

The Origins of the Weimar Republic and Its Collapse in 1933

Introduction The experience of democracy that has lasted just over ten years is characterized by strong social tensions and political instability. What interests us is to understand this seizure of power by the Nazis in a peaceful manner and the advent of the regime of the Third Reich, since Hitler would soon suspend the individual[…]

The Rise and Decline of the Weimar Republic

The Weimar Republic came to bear for many the humiliation of World War I and the blame for all its accompanying hardships. Introduction “Weimar Republic” is the name given to the German government between the end of the Imperial period (1918) and the beginning of Nazi Germany (1933). Political turmoil and violence, economic hardship, and[…]

Temple of Music: Leon Czolgosz and the Murder of President William McKinley

The crowd began beating Czolgosz and McKinley said, “Go easy on him, boys.” Introduction Leon Frank Czołgosz was an American steelworker and anarchist who assassinated American PresidentWilliam McKinley on September 6, 1901, in Buffalo, New York. Czolgosz was executed seven weeks later on October 29, 1901. While some American anarchists described his action as inevitable,[…]