History

Confronting American Genocide on the California Coast

Benjamin Madley— As the sun rose on July 7, 1846, four U.S. warships rode at anchor in Monterey Bay. Ashore, the Mexican tricolor cracked over the adobe walls and red-tiled roofs of California’s capitol for the last time. At 7:30 a.m., Commodore John Sloat sent Captain William Mervine ashore “to

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Sarah Osborn: Early American Evangelical, Part II

Catherine Brekus— The following letters are taken from the writings of Sarah Osborn, an evangelical woman who lived in Newport, Rhode Island, during the eighteenth century. Osborn was a published author, a rarity for early American women, and she became well known during her life for leading a religious revival

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Sarah Osborn: Early American Evangelical, Part I

Catherine Brekus— What can the story of an eighteenth-century woman’s life tell us about the rise of evangelical Christianity in America? This is the story of Sarah Osborn, a woman born three centuries ago, and the strange yet familiar world in which she lived. Strange, because she rejected many of the

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Finding the Medieval in Pop Culture

Michael Alexander— The rise of the visual media, film, television, video, DVD and other forms of electronic transfer, has transformed the mediation of the stories which human beings need, stories previously transmitted through the spoken, the written and the printed word, or by words spoken in live theaters. The visual

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Reconciling Deism and Puritanism in Benjamin Franklin

Thomas S. Kidd— Americans incessantly debate the role of religion in our nation’s origins. Was America founded as a Christian nation? Or was the American Revolution mostly championed by Enlightenment skeptics? Some of the Founders, such as George Washington, spoke highly of religion, but their personal beliefs were unclear. The

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Brazilian Politics During the Cold War

Herbert S. Klein & Francisco Vidal Luna— There is little question that the U.S. was directly involved in the overthrow of the democratic government of Brazil in 1964. In the subsequent period of military rule, Washington supplied the usual police and military support for a regime it now considered to be

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Sick Labor: Illness and Treatment in Stalin’s Gulags

Golfo Alexopoulos— In the Gulag or forced labor camp system under Stalin, 1929-1953, prisoners represented the state’s “human raw material.” Camp officials recorded prisoners’ illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths as a way of tracking one of the most important pieces of data for the party—“lost labor days.” The Stalinist camp system

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Louis Barthas: Eyewitness to the French Army Mutinies, May-June 1917

Edward M. Strauss— “On May 26 [1917] the first American combat troops arrived in France…. “The arrival of the first American troops coincided with a dramatic change on the French sector of the Western Front, where the growing number of desertions turned, on May 27, to mutiny.  At the Front

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Notes from the Gulag

The following two poems are written by Arsenii Formakov, a Latvian Russian poet, novelist, and journalist, during two terms in Soviet labor camps, 1940 to 1947 in Kraslag and 1949 to 1955 in Kamyshlag and Ozerlag. This correspondence, which Formakov mailed home to his family in Riga, provides readers with

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The Mongols and the Islamic World from Conquest to Conversion

The Mongol conquest of the Islamic world began in the early thirteenth century when Chinggis Khan and his warriors overran Central Asia and devastated much of Iran. “What event or circumstance in these times has been more important than the beginning of the reign of Chinggis Khan?” asked Rashid al-Din,

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