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Spain loses her colonies – 1800s

By |2018-04-28T17:48:29+00:00August 6th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Maria Christina Spain was among the first Western countries to get colonies in the 1500s, and it was among the first to lose its colonies in the 1800s. In 1810, Chile declared independence. Then in 1821, Mexico and Peru became independent too. At the same time, Spain began to rock back and forth between democracy and [...]

Commune and Third Republic – France

By |2017-08-05T09:26:50+00:00August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Napoleon III By the 1860s, France was nervously watching as the German states and Prussia combined into one country under Bismarck's control. In 1866, Napoleon III, the ruler of France, declared war on Germany, thinking to limit Germany's power. But instead, this was just the excuse Bismarck had been looking for. Prussia invaded France and totally [...]

Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:20+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tusi's diagram of linear motion from circular motion In the Early Middle Ages, before the formation of the Islamic Empire, Buddhists ran the world's biggest universities. One was in India, at Nalanda. Another was in what is now Pakistan, at Taxila. In Egypt, the University of Alexandria was still an important center of learning, too. Most serious scholars went to [...]

Ibn Rushd – Medieval Islamic Science

By |2018-04-09T23:07:34+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Philosophy, Science|

Cordoba mosque Since the time of Socrates, many people have tried to figure out how science and religion can both be true at the same time. Ibn Rushd, like the earlier ibn Sina and al-Ghazali, was part of an important movement to try to combine Aristotle's scientific description of the world with religious views to create a unified [...]

Marinids – Medieval African history

By |2018-04-23T15:28:43+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

Shirij Madrasa, Fez, Morocco, about 1350 AD By 1217 AD, the Almohad dynasty was collapsing. One of the generals, Abu Yusuf, took over control of Morocco and made himself Sultan. That started the Marinid dynasty. All the Marinid rulers were army men like Abu Yusef,. They were mostly cavalry riders. A tour of Fez The Marinids made [...]

Almohad Caliphate – Medieval Islam

By |2018-04-23T15:23:01+00:00July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Rabat gate, Morocco, about 1200 AD During the 1100s AD, while the Ayyubids were taking over Egypt, the Almohad dynasty managed to conquer and rule the rest of North Africa (modern Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco) and Iberia (modern Spain and Portugal). When they conquered Cordoba in 1148, the Almohads threw all the Jews out of town, among them the young Maimonides. [...]

Almohad architecture

By |2018-04-23T15:20:54+00:00July 22nd, 2017|Africa, Architecture, Islam|

Minaret of Koutoubia mosque, Marrakesh (Morocco, 1100s AD) When the Almohads first conquered Morocco and Spain from the Almovarids in the 1100s AD, they showed their strength by building monuments in the cities of their new empire. They built this mosque right over the top of the old Almovarid palace in Marrakesh! Also, the Almoravids had not allowed [...]

Ibn Battuta

By |2018-04-11T23:50:08+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, History, Literature|

The travels of Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta was born in Morocco, in North Africa, in 1304 AD. He was from a rich Muslim family, and he went to the best schools in his hometown of Tangier. When Ibn Battuta was twenty years old, in 1325, he went on hajj to Mecca, as many rich young [...]