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, […]

In 1626, Peter Minuit, a Belgian working for the Dutch Empire, arrived in New Netherland, Holland’s territories along the Hudson River. After taking over as the colony’s governor, he made contact with one of the Lenape nations living on the island we call Manhattan. Later that year, Pieter Schagen, a fellow colonist in New Netherland, […]

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 […]

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.

Hans Standen's True History

A German stood with a rifle in his hands, the heat of the Brazilian coast soaking his bearded face in drops of sweat. He’d followed this same routine for two months now, patrolling the fort that sat next to a river, watching the water flow into the forest just beyond. This daily rhythm had proved […]

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 […]

Today I’d like to start a series of articles based on an idea I’ve had floating around my head since college. I’m not sure how original this thesis truly is, but I find it interesting nonetheless, and thought it could be a fun way to spend a month or so of research. So, in this […]

In today’s post, I want to talk about a ceremony performed by the Native American peoples of what is now southern Ontario. The most well known participants in this ceremony were the Wendat, labeled as the Huron by contemporary Europeans and subsequent historians until rather recently. This ceremony is known as the Feast of the […]

Darien Scheme New Caledonia

In November 1698, a group of five Scottish ships landed in an eastern bay of Panama. Their mission, code name the Darien Scheme: found a colony that could compete with British trading companies and Spanish hegemony in Central America. They called their colony Caledonia, with the capital New Edinburgh. Ever heard of this colony? ‘Cause […]