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, […]

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 […]

Empires

As long as there have been empires, there have been buzzwords used to support them, and justify their conquests. The Romans, Assyrians, Ottomans, British… you name ‘em, they gave some bs excuse about bringing civilization or some such. Indeed, if you look through the papers left from the colonial powers that established empires in North […]

To be honest, this post may be more one sided than I would like, but with my limited resources, there’s only so much I can do. During my stint in graduate school, I studied the intersection of colonialism, imperialism, and religion. So, naturally, I became interested in the Jesuits. My research in grad school was […]

casta system

Hernan Cortes, his band of merry war criminals, and their Mesoamerican allies completed the conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521. After taking control of Tenonchtitlan, the Aztec capital, and turning it into Mexico city, the Spanish faced the problem of cementing their control over this vast new territory. Despite their military victories over Montezuma’s […]

Growing up in America, you learn about the story Pocahontas, and how she eventually traveled to London with her English husband John Rolfe. And you’re almost led to believe that her life, and ultimate death, in England was a singular event, that she represented an aberration in historical patterns, and that she was the only […]