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What is a battery? Electricity

By | 2017-08-16T15:42:28+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

A Leyden Jar - an early kind of electric battery In the early 1800s AD, about 200 years ago, scientists in Denmark and Britain figured out another way to make magnets. This way you didn't need a lodestone. You could also make much stronger magnets. And you could turn the magnets on and off. [...]

Quakers – Society of Friends – Religion

By | 2017-08-14T23:37:27+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Modern Europe, North America, Religion|

A Quaker wedding (1800s in England) In 1648 AD, some people in England felt unhappy with the way Puritan Christians were praying to God. So they started to do things their own way. One early Quaker was a man named George Fox. But generally the Quakers (who call themselves the Friends) had no leaders, priests, or ministers. [...]

Puritans – American religion

By | 2017-08-14T15:33:52+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Modern Europe, North America, Religion|

A Puritan family about 1563 About 1563 AD, some people in England decided that they wanted to follow a way of life that they thought would be more according to what the Christian God wanted. They called themselves "the godly", but other people called them "Puritans." Puritan people, like Calvinists, thought only God decided whether you got into Heaven. [...]

Restoration England – British history

By | 2017-08-14T09:00:32+00:00 August 14th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Charles II of England Oliver Cromwell tried to leave his job as Lord Protector to his son Richard when he died in 1658, but Richard was so useless that two years later Parliament invited Charles I's son, Charles II, to come be king in England after all: historians call this the Restoration, because it restored the [...]

Playing an Inuit game with seal bones

By | 2017-08-08T11:47:39+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Games, Modern Europe|

This is a variation on a traditional Inuit game. Print out the outline of the seal flipper bones and cut on the lines to get each bone separate from the others. Make a set of bones for each player. Now mix up all the bones and put them in a bag. Each player draws five [...]

European Warfare – Military history

By | 2017-08-07T21:45:23+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, War|

British cannon from the Hundred Years' War (now at Mont St. Michel) Not long before 1500 AD, everything medieval soldiers did in wars suddenly changed. First, Europeans learned how to make and use gunpowder from Central Asian scientists, and they put gunpowder into metal cannons. Once you had cannons, you could blow holes in thick castle walls and in soldiers' armor, and [...]

In Flanders Fields – a war poem

By | 2017-08-07T21:40:36+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, War|

Poppies growing in a field This poem, written by John McCrae in May 1915, was one of the most famous poems of World War I. McCrae himself died in the war in 1918, and his poem is remembered every year when millions of people wear red poppies pinned to their jackets or hats to [...]

Renaissance Science in Europe

By | 2017-08-07T21:36:38+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

Copernicus, a Renaissance astronomer Starting in the 1200s AD, as Europe got richer, great universities got started there. In the later Middle Ages, West Asia and India suffered from the Mongol invasions. West Asian people were too poor to send their children to the old university at Baghdad. In the 1300s, the Black Death killed so many people in Egypt that the old university at Cairo also didn't have [...]

History of Bicycles

By | 2017-08-07T21:00:03+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

A velocipede Bicycles were invented bit by bit in many different countries. They grew out of earlier inventions like wheels (from Central Asia) and wheelbarrows (from China), but Karl von Drais, a German inventor, built the first riding machine with two wheels, one in front of the other, that you had to balance on, in 1817. Like wheelbarrows, this [...]

European science – the Enlightenment

By | 2017-08-07T21:37:41+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Math, Modern Europe, Physics, Science|

Gottfried Leibniz, a German mathematician By 1650 AD, Europeans understood Islamic algebra and trigonometry better. Then they combined that with the exciting invention of the telescope and microscope. Together, these two new things led to a lot more new scientific discoveries. The Wars of Religion also got a lot of people thinking about what they really believed. How could you know for sure? [...]