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History

Slavery in the United States - Wikipedia

Slavery – “a necessary evil” ?

Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton, widely seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2024, aims to prohibit use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project, an initiative that reframes U.S. history around August 1619 and the arrival of slave ships on American shores for the first time.

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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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