the history of chocolate

The history of chocolate dates back millenia. For much of this history, chocolate played a more crucial role in various societies than helping to satiate a sweet-tooth. With roots, both literally and metaphorically, in Mesoamerica, chocolate played economic roles for the Aztec, Maya, Toltec, and many others. But, for this post, I’d like to fast forward […]

Little Ice Age

Some people may say that a centuries long climatological phenomenon wouldn’t make for a compelling story – but I beg to differ! While the date range is disputed, the Little Ice Age affected large swathes of the globe, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, for several centuries. While its name suggests a period of severe cold, […]

The Expulsion of the Acadians began in 1755. Sadly, the Acadians’ troubles did not end with their forced migration from their homeland. Packed into British transport ships like French-speaking sardines, they were sent as far afield as Boston, Maryland, England, and France. Ousted from their land during the French and Indian War, the British made […]

Expulsion of the Acadians

On September 5, 1755, the men and boys of Grand Pré, Nova Scotia gathered in the warmth of the town’s church. Huddled together in the pews as the chill of the Canadian winter crept in over their lands, they listened to a proclamation from the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, Charles Lawerence. “… your Land & […]

Spanish Requirement of 1513

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 […]

Canadian Martyrs

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 […]

Map of the Atlantic World

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.

Bartolomé de Las Casas

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 […]

A procession of men file ashore. They say prayers and sing hymns as they reach terra firma. They had been at sea for over two months, but only saw three weeks of sunshine. For forty-four days, they knew nothing but “constant rain, thunder and lightning.” Indeed, the conditions were so harsh, and their supplies so […]