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History of Brazil – Brazil and colonization

By |2019-02-22T06:00:17-07:00September 8th, 2017|History, South America, Where|

History of Brazil: The Tapuia people, ca. 1650 (by Albert Eckhout) Tupi war with Tapuia In the late 1400s AD, the Tupi people had just won a big war with the Tapuia people. They had gotten control of the Atlantic coast of South America (modern Brazil). They forced most of the Tapuia people inland. So the [...]

Jews in Medieval Europe – History

By |2018-04-18T23:33:48-07:00August 24th, 2017|History, Medieval, Religion|

Jewish money-lenders in medieval France The Middle Ages in Europe were a difficult time for the Jews. Many Jews lived in Western Europe between about 1000 and 1500 AD, but all the rulers were Christians, and almost all the people who had any power were Christians. These Christians thought Jews were different and strange. They suspected Jews of [...]

Medieval Hanukkah – Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-24T11:55:10-07:00August 24th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Arch of Titus: Roman soldiers carry off the big menorah from the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 AD, but the arch was built in the 80s AD) In 70 AD, after the First Jewish Revolt, the Roman emperor Titus destroyed the Second Temple. Titus plundered the menorah along with other treasures from the Temple. He brought it back to [...]

Christmas Trees – American holidays

By |2019-04-03T11:10:14-07:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Northern Europe, Religion|

Christmas Tree in Germany (late 1700s, by Joseph Keller) Evergreens and the winter holidays Because Christmas is related to old celebrations of the winter solstice, evergreen trees have always been popular decorations in northern countries at Christmastime. They're green when everything else is dead and white. Why do the seasons change? More about Christmas American religion All our [...]

Enlightenment Science in Europe

By |2019-05-29T07:46:59-07:00August 7th, 2017|Math, Modern Europe, Physics, Science|

Gottfried Leibniz, a German mathematician - Enlightenment science What set off the Enlightenment? By 1650 AD, Europeans understood Islamic algebra and trigonometry better. Then they combined that with the exciting invention of the telescope and microscope (thanks to earlier Islamic work on glass). Together, these two new things led to a lot more new scientific discoveries. Medieval and modern glass Medieval [...]

Immanuel Kant – European philosophy

By |2018-04-11T18:23:26-07:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Immanuel Kant, a European philosopher Immanuel Kant's family and childhood By the end of the 1700s AD, Germany was beginning to be a more powerful country. France was busy with the Revolution, and the next important European philosopher after Rousseau came from Germany: Immanuel Kant. Unlike earlier philosophers, Kant never traveled more than ten miles from his home in [...]

World War II – history of Europe

By |2019-04-02T05:07:26-07:00August 6th, 2017|Modern Europe|

Unemployed people in Germany (1930s) Why did World War II start? The Depression left everyone in Europe feeling angry and upset, because so many people were poor. People were especially upset in Germany, where they also were angry about losing World War I. The Depression in Europe World War I All our Modern Europe articles Germany [...]

World War I – history of Europe

By |2019-03-30T08:04:17-07:00August 6th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

A Russian machine gun from World War I What led up to World War I? At the end of the 1800s, many countries around the world were angry. France, Britain, and the United States were controlling most of the world. They took whatever they wanted to make themselves richer. India under colonial rule Europe and colonization The [...]

Napoleon – European History

By |2017-08-05T23:25:31-07:00August 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 [...]

Germany in the 1800s – Bismarck

By |2019-04-03T13:02:43-07:00August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Map of Europe after the Congress of Vienna (thanks to Wikipedia) What was the Congress of Vienna? An alliance of European armies finally defeated Napoleon in 1814. Then all the European countries held meetings known as the Congress of Vienna. They wanted to figure out the best way to stop anyone from conquering them again. They [...]