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History of Brazil – Brazil and colonization

By |2018-08-19T05:59:20+00:00September 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 [...]

Roman economy – jobs, stores, money, debt, and trade in ancient Rome

By |2019-01-26T09:02:21+00:00August 31st, 2017|Economy, Romans|

The Roman economy: a Roman olive press mosaic (200-250 AD) now in St. Germain en Laye, France Farming in the Roman economy Most people in the Roman world were farmers. Some of the people who worked on farms were slaves, but most of them were free. More about farming and debt Slavery in Ancient Rome [...]

African-Americans after slavery – Reconstruction

By |2018-11-27T16:07:43+00:00August 14th, 2017|History|

Reconstruction: A 13-year-old boy sharecropping (1937) The end of slavery: Reconstruction During the Civil War, in 1863 AD, President Lincoln announced the end of slavery. When the North won the war, in 1865, Congress and the states voted to change the Constitution to make slavery illegal. So all the people who were enslaved in the South became free. More about [...]

Heian period – Early Medieval Japan

By |2018-04-18T09:53:54+00:00July 27th, 2017|History, Japan|

Godai Kokuzo Bodhisattva (Jingo-ji Temple, Kyoto), ca. 800-900 AD After Empress Koken died in 770 AD, there was a major change in how Japan's government worked. The powerful families got more power, the same way they did in China about this time. Women were shut out of power. The next emperor, Konin, was an old man (62 years [...]

Organizing farm work – History of farming

By |2018-04-19T10:27:38+00:00June 12th, 2017|Economy|

Egyptian wall painting of farm work Family farms Maybe when people first started farming, each family pretty much farmed by itself. Mom and Dad and the kids planted the grain and the vegetables, and later they harvested them. And throughout antiquity and the middle ages, many farms were family farms that worked just like [...]

Sharecroppers and cotton – American History

By |2018-04-18T18:43:37+00:00June 8th, 2017|Clothing, North America|

Sharecroppers and cotton: Cotton pickers in the 1800s AD Slavery and the cotton gin The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 AD made it possible for enslaved people to produce cotton cheaply enough so cotton was now the cheapest kind of cloth. Tens of thousands of black people worked hard as slaves [...]

Silk Road and Silver – Chinese economy

By |2018-04-18T09:54:05+00:00June 4th, 2017|China, Economy|

Farmers reaping millet or wheat Just like in earlier times, most men and women in Qing Dynasty China were farmers, who spent most of their time planting seeds, weeding, and harvesting. Mostly they grew rice (in southern China) and wheat and millet (in northern China). Even today, almost three out of four people in [...]