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Margaret Cavendish – European Philosophy

By | 2017-08-06T19:49:12+00:00 August 6th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Margaret Cavendish Margaret Cavendish was a little younger than Hobbes and Descartes, but she knew both men. She had many philosophical debates with them when they were all living in Paris. Cavendish proposed that even things that seemed separate from your body, like thinking or dreaming, were really just part of the working of your brain. [...]

Mary Astell – European philosophy

By | 2017-08-06T19:38:02+00:00 August 6th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Mary Astell Unlike the slightly older Masham, and most other Enlightenment philosophers, Mary Astell was not from a really rich family. She grew up in England. Like other girls in the 1600s AD, Astell never went to school, though her family spent most of their savings to send her younger brother to school. When her parents [...]

English Bill of Rights – European government

By | 2017-08-04T22:29:43+00:00 August 4th, 2017|Government, Modern Europe|

Beginning of the Bill of Rights Ever since King John agreed to the Magna Carta in England in 1215 AD, people in England had agreed that the king or queen couldn't just do whatever they wanted. Even the king had to obey the law. By the late 1600s, though, when William and Mary were ruling England, the rich lords who [...]

What is a regent? Kings and Queens

By | 2017-08-03T16:11:32+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Empress Wu of the T'ang Dynasty A regent is someone who rules for somebody else. Usually it is an uncle or mother who rules for a child. Maybe the child is too young to be king. Or maybe they're ruling for a mentally disabled king. The regent rules only until the child is old [...]

Medieval government – Europe’s medieval kings, queens, empires, and republics

By | 2018-01-02T17:41:57+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Government, Medieval|

Palazzo Vecchio, where Florence's medieval government met (Florence, Italy, 1200s AD) Different kinds of medieval governments In the Middle Ages, Europe split up into many different states. Each state had its own system of government. Some of these, like Denmark, Spain, France or England, were monarchies, and had kings or caliphs to rule them. Central Italy was ruled by the Pope, [...]

What is feudalism? Definition of medieval feudalism

By | 2017-12-28T12:05:29+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Government, Medieval|

Medieval feudalism: Harold swears an oath to William (Bayeux Tapestry, about 1077 AD) Feudalism is a way to govern a large state when the king is poor and not very powerful, and when there aren't good roads so it is hard to communicate with people who live far away at the other end of your kingdom. Fiefs [...]

Ancient Indian government

By | 2017-07-20T10:01:15+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Government, India|

Sanchi Stupa Northern Gateway (ca. 50 BC) Nobody knows what Indian government was like in the Harappan period. Probably they had a king over each city, the way West Asia did at this time. Probably they had some queens, the way Egypt did. But about 1500 BC, there was an Indo-European invasion. Sometime after that, the government seems to have divided [...]

Government of Ancient Greece – Greek democracy and tyranny

By | 2018-01-05T16:34:11+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Government, Greeks|

Government of ancient Greece: the Mask of Agamemnon, from Mycenae, Greece (1500 BC). Now in Athens Ancient Greece had a lot of different kinds of governments, because there were many different city-states in ancient Greece. Each city-state had their own government. People's ideas about what made a good government changed over time, too. [...]

Hellenistic and Roman government in Greece

By | 2017-07-06T23:25:00+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Government, Greeks, History|

Philip of Macedon Then in the 300s BC, Greece was conquered by Philip of Macedon, and all of Greece began to be ruled by him as their king (in theory he was only leading a league of Greek city-states, the first among equals, but really he acted like a king). Athens and other [...]