The Spanish conquest of many parts of the Americas is one of the darkest periods in human history. Reading accounts of conquistadors, one gets the sense that they were psychopaths; white, bearded, and odorous psychopaths. While their actions were reprehensible, and they even had contemporary nay-sayers like Bartolomé de las Casas, they did create justifications […]
Growing up in the United States, one almost gets the impression that the American Revolution, with the exception of Yorktown, began, was fought, and ended in New England; or, really, even just Massachusetts. But this colonial struggle for independence took place on a much grander scale than the original 13 colonies so lovingly memorialized on […]
We’ve all read about those Europeans who came to the colonial Americas to live. But what of those who came to die? Among the more religiously minded colonists, especially those who belonged to the Society of Jesus, the notion of being a martyr, of joining the hallowed ranks of the early converts slaughtered in Roman […]
While doing some basic research one day, I noticed a line in a Wikipedia entry that made my spidey-senses go off. While I can’t recall the exact wording off the top of my head, it spoke of the idea of the ‘Beaver Wars’ as an historical fact. The Beaver Wars theory claims that, in order […]
Back in the eighteenth-century, posters depicting a tarring-and-feathering appear almost comical in nature. Take this picture, for example, titled, “A new method of macaroni making as practiced in Boston in North America.” It shows one man, already covered in tar and feathers, on a knee between two others; all three blushing mightily, as if out of […]
A look into the history of the Atlantic World, and the way historians use the Atlantic World paradigm to reinvent the way we think about the past.
There is perhaps no more interesting figure in all of history than Bartolomé de Las Casas. In one lifetime he was a conquistador and Dominican friar; a slave holder turned peace seeker; a voice for the voiceless in a world wide empire, and an unwitting instrument of that very same state. Las Casas was, and […]
One man drove the real history of Thanksgiving more than any other, though he was not English. Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag nation, deserves far more credit in the history of this event than he is typically given. Though English sources refer to him as a king, in truth, he was the most powerful […]