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Steel history – medieval to modern steel

By | 2017-09-07T22:22:19+00:00 September 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Science|

Safavid steel helmet (Iran, 1500s AD) The wars after the collapse of the Mongol Empire in the 1300s stopped steel production in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. But metal-workers kept on making high quality crucible steel under the Pandyas, the Mughals, and the Safavid Empire. The wars also made it hard to travel on the Silk Road, so traders started trying to go by sea [...]

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 [...]

American revolutionary war – American history

By | 2017-11-24T00:16:11+00:00 August 14th, 2017|History, North America|

English soldiers search a settler's house (1770s) In 1763 AD England won the French and Indian War against France (which had been fought mainly in North America), and so the English-speaking settlers on the East Coast could stop worrying that they were about to be taken over by France. To pay for that war, the English government began to [...]

Napoleon – European History

By | 2017-08-05T23:25:31+00:00 August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Napoleon in 1806 Right after the French Revolution, a lot of people in France were wondering, what sort of government did they really want? People wanted democracy, but on the other hand they were tired of the Revolution killing so many people and not getting much done. A young general, Napoleon, took advantage of the [...]

Machine-made clothing – Europe 1600s-1800s

By | 2017-08-04T16:18:09+00:00 August 4th, 2017|Clothing, Modern Europe|

India cotton (1600s AD) In the early 1600s AD, traders began to bring cotton cloth to Europe on sailing ships from India. People thought this cotton cloth was very convenient - it was pretty, with patterns of flowers on it, and it was easier to wash than linen or wool, and cooler in the summer. With the Industrial Revolution of the late [...]

Gandhi and India’s independence

By | 2017-07-19T08:03:21+00:00 July 19th, 2017|History, India|

Indian National Congress (1885) By the 1880s, India was becoming a very poor country. But Britain got richer and richer by taking all of India's wealth (as the British were also doing in Iran, and many other countries). In 1885, Indian resisters organized the Indian National Congress. The Congress tried to get more Indian men into power [...]

Deccan kingdoms in India

By | 2017-07-19T07:47:37+00:00 July 19th, 2017|History, India|

Krishna Deva Raya (possibly), ca. 1500 AD In 1498 AD, when Vasco da Gama first sailed to Calicut in south India, most of South India was part of the Vijayanagara Empire, which was very strong and still growing fast. Further north, the weakness of the Muslim rulers of North India allowed Central India to break free in the 1490s, [...]

British India – history of India

By | 2017-07-19T07:12:28+00:00 July 19th, 2017|History, India|

Muhammed Shah, Mughal emperor 1702-1748 In the early 1700s, the Mughal Empire was collapsing. The Prime Minister of Britain, Robert Walpole, decided to take India over. British traders were buying and selling a lot of stuff in India.  Walpole thought new small countries in India would always be at war with each other. That would get [...]

India’s economy recovers

By | 2017-07-19T06:58:30+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Economy, India|

Shipping Indian grain overseas during the Great Famine (Madras, 1876) All through the 1800s, the British Empire forced India to sell them raw cotton instead of finished cloth. India got poorer and poorer. The British also forced India to sell food to them at low prices. They took India's food even when when [...]

Spices and cotton: Mughal Indian economy

By | 2017-07-19T06:29:46+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Economy, India|

Japanese painting of Portuguese bringing Indian cargo to Japan (1500s AD) Under the Mughal Empire, India continued to make a lot of money by trading things back and forth between East Africa and West Asia to their west, and South-East Asia and China to their east. Mostly Indian traders sold medicine and  pepper and cinnamon and other spices to West Asia. They sold glass beads and cotton cloth to [...]