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History

Reply to the letter by Philippe, King of the Belgians, about Belgium’s responsibility in the exploitation of the Congolese people

Reply to the letter by Philippe, King of the Belgians, about Belgium’s responsibility in the exploitation of the Congolese people

On 30 June 2020, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the former Belgian Congo’s independence, the news went viral over the planet: Philippe, King of the Belgians, had conveyed regrets for the colonial past, and particularly for the time when Leopold II owned the Congo as a personal possession (1885-1908), to the Congolese […]

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The “Town Destroyer,” George Washington, and the Seneca leader Guyasuta

George Washington and genocide

‘The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of [Iroquois Confederacy] settlements and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible.… the country may not be merely overrun but destroyed.’ —Commands from George Washington to General Sullivan on May 31, 1779

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Bust from the statue of Taino Chief Hatuey in Baracoa, Cuba

A statue of Hatuey

As monuments to Columbus and confederate heroes topple and Democrats ponder which militarist they wish to glorify in their replacements, it is critical to realize that statues which go up are at least as important as the ones that come down. Perhaps the best nominee for a new statue is Hatuey, who led the first guerrilla […]

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1892 Hamburg cholera epidemic

Socialism, capitalism, and cholera in 19th-century Hamburg

I certainly didn’t expect to spend the start of 2020 wading through nearly 700 pages about the 1892 Hamburg cholera epidemic, but I’m glad I did. Death in Hamburg, British historian Richard J. Evans’ social history of the epidemic, is a page-turner, his passion for the topic nothing short of infectious.

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jan saudek Follow Fire Married Women The Great Depression ( 1929 -1938 ) had devastating effects in both rich and poor countries. There were few women in the labor force in 1929, but those that did work were typically found in light manufacturing work. However, across America, because of an acute shortage of this kind of work, there was a widespread popular movement which sought to limit families to one paid job and to reserve all these jobs for men ( thanks to Jeff Wharton for re enactor photo and Shorpy for background photo )

The 1930s and now: Looking back to move forward

While there are great differences between the crises and political movements and possibilities of the 1930s and now, there are also important lessons that can be learned from the efforts of activists to build mass movements for social transformation during the Great Depression. My aim in this paper is to illuminate the challenges faced and […]

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Karl Marx's grave at Highgate cemetery in London, England

Marx, dead and alive

“It’s really interesting, isn’t it, how certain people would want to go to such lengths to smash Marx. Do they really think they’re going to destroy the ideas by destroying the grave? …people feel so afraid of Marx. Is there any other intellectual throughout history that is like that?”

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