Francisco Pizarro’s Conquest of Peru

First of all, the image is from Libros y Lanzas and as a sign of respect and gratitude, we put here a link to their website. Photo by: Libros y Lanzas.

The history of the Spanish conquest of the Americas is replete with controversial and polemical episodes, and among them the figure of Francisco Pizarro stands out. His expedition and the fall of the Inca Empire marked a turning point in the history of South America. Pizarro’s conquest not only left an indelible mark on the physical landscape of the region, but also shaped the course of its political, social and cultural history, as did Hernán Cortés’ conquest of the Aztec Empire.

Francisco Pizarro, a man of humble origins born in Trujillo, Spain, emerged as a key figure in the conquest of Peru. Accompanied by a handful of brave and determined men, Pizarro embarked on a daring expedition into unknown Inca territory in 1532. His daring and tactical astuteness played a crucial role in the success of his enterprise.

Historical context

Pizarro’s conquest took place in a complex historical and geopolitical context. The Inca Empire, ruled by Atahualpa at the time, was experiencing internal tensions and power struggles. These internal divisions weakened the empire’s ability to resist the arrival of the Spanish.

One of the most notable events of the conquest was the encounter between Pizarro and Atahualpa in Cajamarca. Taking advantage of the Spaniards’ technological superiority and strategic astuteness, Pizarro managed to capture the Inca emperor with relative ease. This event marked the beginning of the end of the Inca Empire and opened the way for Spanish domination of the region.

However, Pizarro’s conquest was not without controversy and violence. The arrival of the Spaniards brought with it deadly diseases, such as smallpox, which decimated the indigenous population. In addition, the conquistadors’ exploitative policies and quest for wealth wreaked havoc on Inca society and led to the destruction of its ancient political and social structure.

Hero or Villain

The figure of Pizarro has been the subject of intense debate and analysis in modern historiography. Some see him as a bold and visionary hero who brought Western civilisation to unknown lands, while others see him as a ruthless conqueror who caused immense suffering to the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

It is important to recognise that Pizarro’s conquest had profound and lasting consequences for the history of Spanish America. The arrival of the Spanish not only transformed the political and cultural landscape of the region, but also led to the creation of a new mestizo identity that fused indigenous and European elements.

In addition, Pizarro’s conquest paved the way for Spanish colonisation in South America, laying the foundations for the emergence of viceroyalties and the systematic exploitation of the region’s natural resources. This colonisation left an indelible mark on Latin American society and culture, shaping its future development in complex and often conflicting ways.

However, it is essential to approach Pizarro’s conquest from a critical and reflexive perspective. While his expedition was a milestone in the history of Spanish America, it also represented the subjugation and suffering of millions of indigenous people who were victims of colonial violence and exploitation.

Consequences and conclusions

Today, the figure of Francisco Pizarro remains the subject of controversy and debate in Spanish America and beyond. His legacy is ambivalent, and his role in the region’s history continues to be evaluated and re-evaluated as a greater understanding of the complexities of the Spanish conquest and its lasting impacts develops.

In conclusion, Francisco Pizarro’s conquest represents a pivotal chapter in the history of the Americas and Spain. His expedition marked the beginning of Spanish colonisation in the region and had profound and lasting consequences for its indigenous inhabitants. However, it is important to approach this episode from a critical and reflective perspective, recognising both its achievements and its injustices and abuses. Only by doing so can we fully understand the legacy of the Spanish conquest and its impact on Latin American history and culture.

By | 2024-04-05T14:28:19+00:00 April 5th, 2024|History|0 Comments

The Conquest of the Aztec Empire by Hernán Cortés in Mexico

The conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés is a crucial episode in the history not only of Spain and Mexico itself, but of the entire world. This event marked a turning point in the history of the American continent, irreversibly altering the course of indigenous and European history. From its beginnings to its consequences, the conquest of Mexico is a subject of great complexity and controversy that continues to be the subject of study and debate to this day.

The historical context

To fully understand the conquest of Mexico, it is crucial to understand the historical context in which it occurred. In the early 16th century, the Aztec empire dominated much of Mesoamerica. Its capital, Tenochtitlán, was one of the largest and most sophisticated cities in the world at the time. However, the empire was plagued by internal conflicts and its hegemony was far from undisputed.

Spain, on the other hand, was in the throes of exploration and colonial expansion. In 1519, Hernán Cortés, born in Medellín, Extremadura, Spain, led an expedition to the New World with the aim of exploring and conquering new lands on behalf of the Spanish crown. An ambitious and cunning man, Cortés saw the Aztec empire as an opportunity for riches and glory.

Cortés’ arrival in Mexico

In February 1519, Hernán Cortés landed on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico with a small contingent of Spanish soldiers. From the outset, he faced a number of challenges, including resistance from local indigenous peoples and distrust from some of his own men. However, Cortés proved to be a charismatic and persuasive leader, able to hold his troops together and win the trust of indigenous allies who would prove key to the conquest.

One of the most emblematic moments of his arrival on American soil was the burning of Cortés’ ships near Veracruz. This radical act was a demonstration of determination and a clear message to his men: the only option was to advance and conquer, as there was no turning back.

The fall of Tenochtitlan

The climax of the conquest of Mexico was the fall of Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire. After a series of battles and strategic alliances with indigenous peoples who were enemies of the Aztecs, Cortés and his men laid siege to the city for several months. Finally, in August 1521, Tenochtitlán fell to the Spanish after an intense battle that left the city in ruins.

The conquest of Tenochtitlán was a remarkable military achievement, but it was also an act of brutality and destruction. The city was sacked and many of its inhabitants were killed or enslaved. The fall of Tenochtitlan marked the end of the Aztec empire and the beginning of Spanish rule in Mexico.

Consequences of the Conquest

The consequences of the conquest of Mexico were profound and long-lasting. First, the arrival of the Spanish led to the destruction of entire civilisations and the extermination of millions of indigenous people through war, disease and slavery. In addition, the conquest established Spanish rule in Mexico and laid the groundwork for three centuries of colonialism in the region.
The conquest also had important cultural and social repercussions. The arrival of the Spanish introduced new languages, religions and customs into Mexico, radically transforming the lives of the indigenous peoples. Many aspects of Aztec culture were suppressed or assimilated by Spanish culture, giving rise to a new mestizo identity in Mexico.

Legacy and controversy

The conquest of Mexico remains a subject of great controversy and debate today. For some, it is an event that marked the beginning of modern civilisation in Mexico and the rest of Spanish America. For others, it is a symbol of oppression and exploitation that still has a lasting impact on Mexican society.
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in re-evaluating the conquest of Mexico from an indigenous perspective. Many historians and activists have highlighted the role of indigenous peoples’ resistance to the Spanish invasion, as well as the continuing legacy of indigenous culture and identity in Mexico.

Ultimately, the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés is a complex and multifaceted event that continues to resonate in the history and culture of Mexico and the world at large. It is a reminder of the profound and often devastating impacts that encounters between different cultures and civilisations can have, and the importance of learning from history in order to build a more just and equitable future.

By | 2024-04-02T08:21:38+00:00 April 2nd, 2024|History|0 Comments

Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America: To the Unknown

At dawn on 3 August 1492, three ships bobbed gently in the waters off the port of Palos de la Frontera, Huelva, on the southwest coast of Spain. These ships, the Santa María, the Pinta and the Niña, marked the beginning of one of the most daring and momentous expeditions in human history: Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America. This event would not only change the worldviews of the time, but also open a new chapter in the exploration and exchange between continents. The age of great discoveries was beginning.

Columbus, a stubborn seafarer

Christopher Columbus, a Genoese navigator convinced that the Earth was round, had devised a daring plan to reach Asia by sailing west from Europe. After years of attempts to obtain financial support, he finally obtained the backing of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon. So, on 3 August 1492, he set sail with a brave crew and a vision that would change the course of history.

The hardness of the trip

The crossing was not easy. The weeks in the Atlantic Ocean were long and discouraging. The crew, imbued with a sense of uncertainty and fear of the unknown, began to lose hope. Columbus, however, proved to be a tenacious and visionary leader. His ability to maintain the morale of the crew and his confidence in the enterprise were essential to overcoming the challenges.

Land in sight

And so, on 12 October 1492, after more than two months at sea, unknown lands were sighted. Columbus and his crew found themselves in front of an island in the Caribbean, which they would later christen San Salvador. This moment marked the initial encounter between the Old World and the New World, an event that would change global history and transform the way cultures related to each other.

The first encounter between Columbus and the inhabitants of these lands, the Tainos, was a fascinating but complex cultural exchange. Although both groups were initially curious about each other, linguistic and cultural differences created significant barriers. Columbus, with the persistent notion that he had arrived in Asia, called the natives “Indians”, a term that would erroneously prevail in the decades and centuries that followed.

The first settlement

The Spanish explorer continued his voyage, exploring several Caribbean islands, including Cuba and Hispaniola. The Santa Maria, however, ran aground off the coast of Hispaniola on 25 December 1492. Columbus left part of the crew at a settlement called La Navidad and returned to Spain on the Niña, carrying with him the news of his discovery. This incident, although a setback, did not diminish the impact of his achievement.

Return to Spain

Columbus’ return to Spain in March 1493 was greeted with enthusiasm. News of his success spread quickly throughout Europe, and Columbus was received as a hero. However, doubts persisted about the exact nature of his discoveries. Many believed he had reached a part of Asia, and it was not until later explorations that the magnitude of his discovery was realised.

Columbus’ first voyage to America marked the beginning of a period of intense exploration and colonisation. Other explorers, such as Amerigo Vespucci and Juan Ponce de Leon, followed in his footsteps, expanding European knowledge of the New World. As colonies were established and cultural exchanges took place, human history became more complex and connected than ever before.

Consequences of Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America

However, the legacy of this first voyage is also marked by negative consequences. The arrival of Europeans in the Americas triggered a process of conquest and colonisation that had devastating impacts on the indigenous populations. The spread of disease, the exploitation of resources and the imposition of new social structures irreversibly changed the landscape of the Americas.

Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas was a momentous milestone that opened a new chapter in world history. His bold vision and determination led to a historic encounter between two previously separate worlds. While the impact of this voyage was immense, the complexity of its consequences and the price paid by the indigenous populations cannot be overlooked. This event continues to be the subject of reflection and debate today, reminding us of the importance of exploring history with a critical and sympathetic perspective.

By | 2024-02-27T12:13:28+00:00 February 27th, 2024|History|0 Comments

The Kingdom of León: Cradle of the Reconquest and Jewel of the Middle Ages

At the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, the Kingdom of León emerged as a beacon of culture, power and resistance during the Middle Ages. With a rich and indeed complex history, this kingdom defied the adversities of the times to become a crucial bastion in the struggle for the Reconquista against the Muslims.

Origins of the Kingdom of León

The foundations of the Kingdom of León were laid in the early years of the 9th century, at a time of maximum turmoil generated by the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. Originally, the Kingdom of Asturias functioned as Christian resistance to Islamic expansion. However, as the Christians gained ground in the mountainous area, a new kingdom was soon consolidated with León as its most prominent nucleus.

Pioneer Kings: Alfonso II and Ramiro I

Under the reign of Alfonso II, known as “the Chaste,” the city of Oviedo was established as the capital of the kingdom. Alfonso II also played a vital role in cultural expansion, promoting the construction of the church of San Salvador in Oviedo and encouraging artistic and literary development.
His successor, Ramiro I, continued the work of Alfonso II and consolidated the foundations of the kingdom. This period marked the transition from the Kingdom of Asturias to the Kingdom of León, establishing the foundations of what was to become one of the most important kingdoms on the peninsula.

The Splendour of the Kingdom of León: Alfonso III and Ordoño II

The 9th century witnessed a phase of splendour for the Kingdom of León under the rule of Alfonso III, who brought about the unification of the Christian territories on the peninsula and expanded the borders of his kingdom. During his reign, fortresses were erected and key regions repopulated, laying the foundations for the subsequent recovery of lands occupied by the Muslims.
Ordoño II, son of Alfonso III, continued the territorial expansion and consolidation of the kingdom. His rule was marked by the victory at the Battle of Valdejunquera, which reaffirmed the military capacity of the Kingdom of León and its determination in the Reconquest.

The Battle of Simancas and temporary deterioration

Despite its successes, the Kingdom of León faced significant challenges. The Battle of Simancas in 939, in which Ramiro II defeated Abd al-Rahman III, was an important milestone in the history of the kingdom. However, after this victory, the Kingdom of León entered a period of decline marked by internal conflicts and succession disputes between descendants.

Ferdinand I: Unifier and visionary

The resurgence of the Kingdom of León came with the figure of Ferdinand I, who assumed the throne in 1037. His reign was fundamental for the consolidation of the kingdom, as he achieved the unification of the Christian kingdoms of León and Castile, laying the foundations for the future Kingdom of León and Castile.

Cradle of the Reconquest: León as a religious and cultural focal point
The city of León stood out not only as a political centre, but also as a cultural and religious focus during the Middle Ages. León Cathedral, built in the 13th century, is a monumental testimony to the artistic and architectural wealth of the period. Its impressive stained-glass windows and Gothic architecture make it one of Spain’s most precious treasures.

The final decline

As the Middle Ages progressed, the Kingdom of León was affected by internal conflicts, invasions and territorial disputes. Political fragmentation and the division of the kingdom into different entities led to the progressive weakening of León’s power. In the 11th century, the Kingdom of León ceased to exist as an independent entity, merging with the Kingdom of Castile, which consolidated its position as the most important in the history of the foundation of the future Spain.

Legacy of the Kingdom of León: Historical and Artistic Heritage

Despite its political demise, the Kingdom of León left a lasting legacy. Its crucial role in the Reconquest and its contribution to culture, art and architecture are still evident today. The cathedral of León, the fortresses and the artistic manifestations of the period are tangible testimonies of the grandeur that once characterised this kingdom.

The Kingdom of León stands as a fascinating chapter in the history of the Iberian Peninsula. From its humble beginnings in the resistance against the Muslim invasion to its prominent role in the Reconquest, the Kingdom of León lives on in memory as a beacon of resistance, culture and medieval splendour. Its legacy lives on in the architectural and cultural heritage that adorns the region, reminding us of the importance of this forgotten kingdom in the history of Spain.

By | 2024-01-15T13:12:43+00:00 January 15th, 2024|History|0 Comments

The Origin of the Kingdom of Castile: Foundations of a Great History

When we speak of the Kingdom of Castile, we speak of an entity that played a crucial and determining role in shaping the history of the Iberian Peninsula and, therefore, of Spain. The roots of the Kingdom of Castile are deeply rooted in the Middle Ages. Its origins go back to a time when the Reconquest, the Christian struggle against the Muslim occupation of Iberia, shaped the geography and destiny of the region.

Historical Context: The Reconquest and the Border Territories

For much of the first millennium AD, the Iberian Peninsula witnessed the coexistence of the cultures of the three great monotheistic religions, Christian, Muslim and Jewish. However, in 711, the Muslim invasion marked the beginning of a period of Islamic domination that would last for almost eight centuries. The Reconquista, a process of land reclamation by the Christian kingdoms, began to take shape in the north of the peninsula.

Castile emerged as a border territorial entity during the 9th and 10th centuries in the so-called “Middle Mark”, a buffer region between the Christian and Muslim territories. The Middle Mark was an area of constant conflict, and the local lords, known as “comes”, played a key role in the defence and expansion of the Christian frontiers.

The Counts of Castile: Pioneers of the Reconquest

In this context, the counts of Castile played a crucial role in the struggle against Muslim rule. The figure of Fernán González, Count of Castile at the beginning of the 10th century, was fundamental in the consolidation of this territorial entity. His leadership in battles such as that of Simancas and his ability to maintain cohesion among the local lords laid the foundations for Castile’s independence and expansion.

Castile’s Autonomy: 11th and 12th Centuries

The 11th century saw the consolidation of Castile as an independent kingdom. In this period, Sancho III the Great, King of Pamplona, divided his kingdom among his sons, assigning Ferdinand I the County of Castile. The death of Alfonso VI in 1109 marked the complete independence of Castile, separating it from the neighbouring Kingdom of León.

During the 12th century, Ferdinand I’s successors, especially Alfonso VII, carried out a series of administrative reforms that strengthened Castilian institutions. The creation of the first courts and the promulgation of the Charter of León are examples of this process. The connection with the Church was also fundamental, with the creation of the diocese of Burgos in 1075.

The Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa and the Christian Advance

The Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, dated 1212, was a crucial milestone in the Reconquista and had profound implications for Castile. The Christian victory in this battle marked the decline of Almohad power on the Iberian Peninsula and opened the door to southward expansion. Castile, under the reign of Alfonso VIII, contributed significantly to this victory, consolidating its position as a key kingdom in the struggle against Muslim rule.

The Union of Castile and León: 13th Century

The 13th century saw the union of the kingdoms of Castile and León under the Crown of Ferdinand III. The conquest of important cities such as Cordoba and Seville further extended the territories under his control. The mixture of diplomatic, military and religious efforts during this period contributed to the creation of an increasingly powerful kingdom and laid the foundations for the future Spain as we know it today.

Legado y Conclusiones

El origen del Reino de Castilla es inseparable de la historia de la Reconquista y la lucha contra la ocupación musulmana en la península ibérica. Desde sus modestos inicios como un condado fronterizo, Castilla evolucionó hasta convertirse en un reino independiente y, eventualmente, en un actor clave en la configuración de la España medieval. Su influencia perdura en la actualidad, no solo en términos de legado histórico, sino también en la contribución a la identidad y la diversidad cultural de la nación española y de toda Iberoamérica. La historia del Reino de Castilla es un fascinante capítulo de la Edad Media, marcado por la tenacidad, la estrategia y la determinación de aquellos que labraron el camino hacia un futuro que trascendería las fronteras del tiempo.

By | 2023-12-21T14:58:43+00:00 December 21st, 2023|History|0 Comments

A History of Art with Mosaic Tiles

For centuries, people have adorned the walls of churches and castles with intricate and beautiful mosaic tiles. For whatever reason, they had the desire to create an excellent work of art that comes from tiny little pieces of stones, shells, and other materials.

The accounts from history books and historians believed that everything started with shell, stone, and ivory materials in ancient Mesopotamia about 3,500 years ago. These mosaic tiles have been used for thousands of years, and they are still popular even now. Today, it has been continued by various artists all around the world, where larger creations are more prominent. Different portraits are more common, and they are in postage stamps, photos, postcards, and books. Here is some history of mosaic art that you may want to know about.

Roman and Greek Empire

In 200 BC, the Roman empire popularized mosaics that fortunes could be made by creating them. They were manufactured with tiny “tesserae” or pre-made and uniform pieces of ceramic, stone, or glass. The art is made of irregular pieces of ceramic, glass, colored stones, and others and they are held in place with mortar or plaster.

They are very particularly common as wall and floor decorations in the Ancient World of the Romans. Today, this has been used in many hobby crafts, pavements, murals, artwork, and industrial constructions, but they were different in the 4th century BC.

Pebbles that were identified from the Bronze Age had been found in the Tiryns. The art pieces dating back to the 4th century BC were also discovered in the Aegae, a town in Macedonia. The figural styles common in Greeks were believed to have been formed during the 3rd century. Then there are the mythological subjects that show people pursuing wealth or hunting animals. They were very popular with their geometric designs and act as centerpieces in many homes.

There were scenes of leftover food from feasts and doves that drank from bowls. Both themes have been adapted and copied by the Romans. They applied these in Hellenistic villas and Roman dwellings in Europe. Most of the recorded names of the Roman mosaic creators are Greek, and it was believed that these talented craftsmen were slaves.

Christian Art

The start of the building of the basilicas did not start until the late 4th century, and the mosaic was thought to be perfect for Christian use. Some of the earlier creations did not survive, but the mosaics of Santa Pudenziana and Santa Costanza are still in existence. Get more info about Santa Costanza at this link: https://www.britannica.com/place/Santa-Costanza.

There is still the wall mosaic in the mausoleum and ambulatory of Santa Costanza. It depicts a feast and the classical wine tradition that represents Bacchus. This was the symbol of change and transformation, and it was thought to be appropriate for a mausoleum.

In another great basilica, the Church of Nativity applied the Roman geometric motifs on the floors, which were partially preserved, which is in Bethlehem. The crypt in St. Peter’s Basilica called the Tomb of Julii is a 4th century vaulted ceiling that were thought to have Christian symbols. Some of these churches have high-quality art in them, but only the fragments have survived. Most of them show a band of saints praying in front of a complicated architecture that usually exists in the creator’s imagination.

During the following centuries, the capital of the Western Roman Empire, Ravenna, became the center of mosaic art. It served as the capital of the whole of the Western Empire in the 4th century. The most notable is the Basilica of San Lorenzo, specifically in the St. Aquilinus Chapel, which shows many mosaics depicting the St. Elijah and Christ with his apostles. They were known for their unique and beautiful colors with a natural look. They were also in proportion and adhered to the classical canons of the time.

Some of the surviving apse mosaics are located in the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, where it showed Jesus Christ enthroned between Saint Protasius and Saint Gervasius. They were surrounded by a golden background that is believed to date back from the fifth century, although they required many restorations later on. An area in the basilica called the baptistery had gold-leaf tesserae in massive quantities after excavation was made on the site.

Another chapel of the Sant’Ambrogio called the shrine of San Vittore in Ciel d’Oro had almost all of its surfaces covered in mosaics in the 5th century. The golden dome depicted the image of Saint Victor, and other saints were shown on a blue background. The low spandrels gave rise to the symbols of Evangelists.

Early Medieval Rome

In Rome, it was known that Christian mosaics were also becoming popular, but it gradually declined when the conditions became worse in the Early Middle Ages. In the 5th century, the mosaics were evident in the arch of Santa Maria Maggiore, where about 27 surviving panels were found. Two other essential creations were lost in the 5th century, but historians knew what they looked like from books and drawings done in the 17th century.

There is also the apse mosaic of Sant’Agata dei Goti, where Christ was depicted as seated on globes and flanked by his twelve apostles. Six are on both sides of him, but this was destroyed in 1589. Streams on four sides flowed from a mountain that support Christ. The theme remained unchanged when Taddeo Zuccari made a similar fresco in 1559 that showed Christ is flanked by saints while seated on a hill. It depicted lambs that are drinking from a single stream located at the bottom.

Byzantine Mosaics

The mosaic culture was more popular in central Byzantine compared to almost half of Western Europe. The churches were generally covered with golden creations of mosaics, and they flourished in the empire from the 6th to 15th centuries. The majority were destroyed during conquests and wars, but a significant number had survived to form an excellent collection.

The buildings, including the Church of Nativity, Hagia Sophia, and the Nea Church, were embellished with mosaics. Learn more about Hagia Sophia in this link. However, none of them survived. The important fragments were recovered at the floors of the Great Palace of Constantinople, and it was believed to be commissioned at the time of Justinian’s reign. It depicted plants, animals, and other figures classically, but they were scattered in plain backgrounds.

There is also the portrait of the mustached man, and it’s one of the more important surviving collections in the Justinian age. This man was thought to be a Gothic chieftain, and some of the fragments are still in the palace vaults. The vine scroll motifs are like Santa Costanza’s, and other floral depictions are known in some churches.

Ravenna was the center of mosaic making in the 6th century, and it boasts many notable examples at this time. Artists from Constantinople made the art at the Church of Santa Maria Formosa, and they have a mix of Ravennate mosaics with a Byzantine style.

One of the authentic works of art in Constantinople is the Hagia Sophia. These south and north tympana were decorated with patriarchs, saints, and prophets. On its principal narthex is an Emperor kneeling before Christ, believed to be made in the 10th century. Just above the door shows an art depicting Theotokos with Justinian and Constantine. The dome has various decorations, including the Ascension. This composition is similar to that of the baptistery in Ravenna, where Christ is in the middle, and the apostles stand between some of the palm trees.

There are others in Western Asian art, Jewish, Orthodox countries, Baroque, and Renaissance. But one thing is for sure, mosaics are still present today, and many crafters can work with art glass, shells, stones, ceramics, beads, and even pearls to create a wonderful image. Today, parks, homes, and bicycles are covered with them, and individual creators can combine the pieces together and create a unique design without any restrictions.

By | 2021-09-10T10:28:57+00:00 September 10th, 2021|History|0 Comments

The History Behind Memorabilia from the American Civil War

The United States is one of those places in the world where freedom is not taken for granted. This does not mean we do not have our struggles trying to ensure that freedom is not taken for granted.

However, there are constant efforts by policymakers, law enforcement agents, and the public to make sure we all live free. This is why refugees from war-torn regions can come over and make something worthwhile of themselves over the years.

We have even seen some of them go on to become political administrators in this beloved nation of ours. This is a land that gives a chance to everyone regardless of tribe, color, religion; to make something reasonable out of life. It is the American dream!

However, it was not always like this. The freedom that America guarantees to everyone did not come on a platter of gold. It had to be fought for. By fighting, we mean literally warring to ensure people’s right to freedom was not threatened.

This is the story of the American civil war which will be discussed in this article. We advise everyone to keep reading as this is the ugly side behind the many civil war memorabilia that people are eager to see and have for themselves.

The Story Behind the American Civil War

There was a political and human rights undertone behind the well-told civil war that this country experienced between 1861- 1865. It broke out after dialogue yielded no result. This is considering how both warring parties could not/no longer make compromises.

It started with 7 states in the southern territory deciding to secede. Beyond their claims, they went ahead to seize military bases in their region. The reason was that they were opposed to the new president’s and administration’s stance on slavery.

The new executive administration under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln was bent on abolishing slavery in every part of the country. The northern region did not have so much of a problem with this, however, the same could not be said about many parts of the south. This is because they relied heavily on the activities of slaves to sustain their economy at that time. Especially seven states in these regions were not going to play by the federal government’s rule. As a result, they made visible plans to succeed.

Along the line, some 4 other states in this region joined the secessionist movement. But before then, all hell broke loose when these secessionist-driven states (known as the south or confederacy) attacked Fort Sumter. This is a part of South Carolina, and this act was the height of it for the other party (the North or the Union).

They came with their full wrath and attacked the military arm of the south or confederacy. However, many civilians lost their lives as well.

At the end of it all, the North, Union, or Federal Government as you might like to call them had the upper hand. This led to the abolition of the slave trade and slavery in every part of the country.

Although this did not bring an abrupt end to the racial prejudice African Americans (in particular) went through, it was a way to progress. For more on this subject, you can click here.

The Positive Effects of the American Civil War

The word “war” can be very frightening for many. This is because of the untold hardship and unpleasant memories it brings. However, some have changed the course of things for the greater good. One of such is the American civil war. So, we can all hold on to this positive fact every time we see civil war memorabilia. Some of the reasons for this include the following:

The Legal End to Slavery

African Americans went through a lot and are still going through a lot. However, things are better by the day. This is why people like Jesse Jackson could even attempt running for the presidency and Barack Obama winning it years later. However, the American Civil war was the road map to all of these. It also triggered the 13th amendment which is a breakthrough for human rights. In all sincerity, there were notable actions by people before the war that helped as well.

The activities of the fearless Harriet Tubman as an abolitionist are an example. For more on this subject, you can visit: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/harriet-tubman

Unity and Industrial Development

The general notion is that war divides us. Well, the civil war is one of the few exceptions considering how things have turned out. America in the years after learned to accommodate ethnic differences but accept rulings by the federal government. Additionally, the years after the war saw industrial growth.


Civil war memorabilia are desired by many people. Some do this so that they can make huge gains by selling these prized possessions. Some do it so that they can derive pleasure from seeing their collection. There are other reasons as well.

Well, you should know that civil war memorabilia tell a story of how our change came at a cost. We have told that story here and hope you have learned a thing or two about our past as a nation.

By | 2021-07-20T15:50:23+00:00 July 17th, 2021|History, US History|0 Comments

Brief History of Australia Day

Australia Day is a national holiday in this small continent. It is celebrated on January 26 every year. The date marks Australia’s many great achievements, including its multicultural history to its current feats of science and technology. It’s an opportunity for Aussies (and everyone who feels that way) to gather and celebrate their national holiday and culture.

This day is rooted in the confederacy of Australia and honours its connection with Great Britain. For decades, that was a long and complicated relationship. The Crown had some controversial decisions that left a deep mark in the history of this continent. The outcomes of some of them are still being felt today.

January 26 is also when everyone living in The Land Down Under sums up their impressions and appreciate the benefits of being an Aussie. Many are grateful for the opportunity to be an Australian and live in this wonderful country of unique and rich culture. Various celebrations, formal ceremonies, and time spent with dear people are just some ways to mark Australia Day.

But, did you hear of Invasion or Mourning Day? Maybe a Survival Day? These are all synonyms used for this date, and they don’t have a good connotation. If you check Australia Day resources, you’ll see these terms prevail among the Aboriginal population and those who don’t have a nice opinion of the holiday celebrated on January 26.

Historical Facts You Should Know

Although the official history of Australia covers the period of colonization, this continent has been known since before. Before the arrival of the English, these shores were explored by Dutch sailors in the seventeenth century.

In fact, these explorers discovered Australian land by accident when the ships veered off course. It was then that this continent was actually mapped for the first time. The first to actually ‘conquer’ this country was James Cook in 1770.

This British adventurer and navigator declared Australia a British colony. That was great news for the Crown, as the British authorities were looking for new territories to send prisoners. Jails in Britain were overcrowded, so sending the convicts overseas was one way to cut the criminal. Also, the colonies got cheap labour, which sped up their progress.

This practice began about ten years later. The eight ships full of prisoners arrived in Australia in 1788, in mid-January. For them, it was an opportunity to start a new life from scratch. The population grew rapidly, and the Crown rewarded the merits of the settlers with the land. The young colony flourished.

Settlement or Invasion

Most nations in Australia are celebrating the anniversary of the arrival of the first settlers on this land. But this holiday has another side. On this day, Aboriginal people remember the victims, the land, the dignity, and everything that has been taken away from them since the first colonists came.

The English captain Arthur Philip first unfolded the flag of the British Empire in one of the inaccessible bays of today’s Sydney on January 26, 1788. After more than two centuries, that causes a division among modern Australians.

Many controversies have developed around this date because the story of the first settlement has two sides. On one are the colonists, and on the other the ingenious Australians, the Aboriginal people. Here are some amazing facts you should know about these people.

Why Aboriginal People Mourn This Day?

While the first arrival on the new mainland was perceived as a chance for development and economic prosperity, the natives saw the settlers as a threat. And they were right. English brought many benefits to the Australian mainland. But they also brought the issues and vices of the modern world.

The settlers began persecuting and oppressing the natives. Due to their dark skin and an unknown language, they considered Aboriginal an inferior race. English took their land and forcibly assimilated younger people and kids. Natives who offered the greatest resistance ended up as slaves or killed. As you can see, these are the main reasons why indigenous people in Australia don’t want to glorify January 26.

What causes many controversies is how different nations view the date that marks the arrival of the first settlers. Nowadays, there is more and more talk that another date would be more appropriate. With the arrival of the English immigrants in the 18th century, the great suffering of Aboriginal people began.

The Search for a National Holiday

Since the first settlers arrived at the territory of New South Wales, to the Botany Bay, this province (later state) was the first to start marking the landing date of ships. NSW government decided to mark the thirtieth anniversary (1818), followed by the fiftieth anniversary (1838).

On the centenary of the arrival, all states and major cities (except Adelaide) accepted this date, calling it Anniversary Day. By then, Australia was building and developing at a rapid pace. People worldwide saw a chance for a new life in the new territory. The number of migrations has grown. The population of Australia became diverse.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, from January 1, 1901, Australia became independent of the British Crown. For the Aboriginal nation, this meant the beginning of certain changes. Yet, they knew that the established practice wouldn’t be easily abandoned. Violent assimilation and adoption of aboriginal kids continued under the excuse that this is being done for their better future.

For more information about the ‘Stolen generations,’ check the page below:


The 150th anniversary of the settlement, it was widely celebrated. Authorities forced Aboriginal people to join the celebrations. The plan was to reconstruct the first landing, but a problem arose because there were different versions of that event. Since 1938, Aboriginal people have been protesting every January 26. Even today, they ask for the abolition of the national holiday or at least marking it on another date.

Despite many controversies, Australia today is a democratic country. All people enjoy human rights guaranteed by its highest legal act. The Land Down Under needs a day when those who built modern country will mark their arrival. Only the date should be more appropriate.

By | 2021-07-20T15:50:32+00:00 March 23rd, 2021|History|0 Comments

Have humans always suffered from back pain?

Back pain is as common as any health condition you can come across. Even
when undiagnosed, many of us put up with it for years, not knowing how to deal with it. Of course, there are incredibly advanced spine surgery procedures that can help us out, but not everyone considers their mild-to-discomforting daily, on-going pain as a cause for surgery (although what many don’t realise is how impressively non-invasive spine surgery can be nowadays).

Contemporary causes of back pain

An intellectual economy – the digitalisation of the labour market – has really
changed our behaviours and bodies on a mass scale. Sitting down all day, every day, is not good for us. Where it was once only high paying professional jobs that were in a nice, warm office working 9 to 5, now even the low paying ones are.

There are so many of us sitting down and working on computers that ergonomic design can barely keep up with the issues that this causes.

Even switching to manual work is not suitable for our bodies. Lifting heavy things and bending down for unnaturally long periods of the day is perhaps an even worse strain on the lower back. Muscle and ligament strain can grow more serious over time. It can be very difficult to get the right balance between physical activity and sedentary activity.

Many of us put our back issues down to lifestyle. However, is it lifestyle alone? Can we yoga stretch our way out of these problems?

Is our evolution to blame?

The World Health Organisation still considers the source of lower back pain to be obscure, as it’s difficult to pinpoint its onset. Researchers are now suggesting that our evolution may be to blame.

Our human ancestors walked on all fours, which aided them in climbing and moving around in diverse habitats. It was only around 4 million years ago that we became partially bipedal, and 1.9 million years ago that we became fully bipedal. The very rapid evolution led to a curved spine that isn’t quite fit for holding us constantly upright and lifting heavy objects. It’s well researched that our cousin apes that walk on all-fours have less lower back pain, due to less stress on the lower back.

It’s the spines of animals similar to chimps that tend to have a small lesion that can form between the vertebrae in a disc, which causes back issues.

Overcoming our natural disadvantages

Back pain can be hereditary, it can from an accident, arthritis, and a variety of other circumstances. These are difficult to prevent, but in many cases, lower back pain can be overcome, despite it being increasingly seen as an evolutionary flaw.

Maintaining a good posture is crucial. You can get advice on correct posture from an appropriate therapist, or even find help online. On top of this, we should diversify our behaviour. We shouldn’t stand or sit for too long, but alternating between the two is good. If we work sitting down, we should stretch and talk a short walk every hour or so. This leads to huge improvements for many people.

It’s always preferable to avoid spine surgery where less aggressive solutions are possible, but when those solutions are not successful, surgery can be life changing for many people.

By | 2021-07-20T15:50:41+00:00 January 8th, 2020|History|1 Comment

The history of Golf in Spain

The Spanish Federation of Golf was founded in a private home on October 9, 1932. But Golf itself had been present in Spain for several decades already. In fact, the first golf club in Spain was founded in the island of Gran Canaria in 1891 ! Since then, many golf clubs opened and especially in Andalusia where today there are 92 golf courses, more than any other region in Spain. The country has 424 golf courses, one fifth of them are in Andalusia, which is remarkable.

So the British brought the sport to Spain on the XIX century and created the first Golf Club in Gran Canaria in 1891 in ‘Lomo del Polvo’ but they also had intentions to create another one in the Spanish peninsula. In 1904 the second Golf Club in Spain was created in Madrid, it was called the Madrid Polo Golf Club but it changed its location from Cuarenta Fanegas to Puerta de Hierro. The name also changed to Real Club Puerta de Hierro and it was here where very soon they started organizing the first official Golf tournaments in Spain.

Perhaps the third club in Spain was the Club de Golf de San Sebastián in the Basque Country. Then on 1916 the Real Club de Zarauz was created to complete the Golf offer in Spain before the 1920’s alongside with the Real Club de Golf de El Prat in Catalonia.

The first Golf Club in Andalusia was created in 1925 in the hands of the ‘Club de Campo de Málaga’ and since then Andalusia has created more golf clubs than any other autonomous community in Spain. In Andalusia there is a special place when it comes to Golf and luxury, Sotogrande. Golf in Sotogrande is the most important thing. There is a magnificent Golf Club called La Reserva Club Sotogrande, perhaps the best golf course in Andalusia and maybe in Spain, a club that is linked to the story of Joseph McMicking.

Joseph McMicking was on General MacArthur’s staff during World War II and a Colonel in the United States Army. After the war he became a millionaire after succeding with his companies in California. As a visionary, Joseph sent a close friend to explore the world in search for the most perfect spot for a golf course, he wanted a place with plenty of sun, unspoilt beaches and easy airport access. He found that place in Sotogrande, Andalusia, Spain.

On current days, Spain has 269,600 golf licenses, 1,600 of which are professionals. Andalusia is the region with the most amount of golf clubs with 92 followed by Catalonia and Castilly y León with 40, Comunidad Valenciana with 36, Madrid with 33 and the Canary Islands with 23 ! Spain has produced many professional golfers that have ended up being succesful world wide: Sergio García, Jon Rahm, Larrazabal, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Jose María Olazabal, Severianos Ballesteros or Álvaro Velasco are only some of the names that Spain has offered to the world competitions.

By | 2021-07-20T15:50:48+00:00 October 7th, 2019|History|0 Comments
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