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 […]

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 & […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

American Empire

The main idea behind this post is that the United States came into existence as a fully functioning American empire, rather than as the ideal republic it has been made out to be by historians. Granted, the national government wouldn’t take control of the new nation’s imperial efforts until the 19th-century, but I think there’s […]

FrenchEmpire

When it comes to the topic of comparative colonialism, France is a strange case. Up until 1795, it was the most populous country in Europe, with an assumed total of 20 million people living with its borders in the seventeenth-century.1 Yet, their colony of New France would never number more than about 25,000 European inhabitants […]