Thursday, July 31, 2014

Holy League: The Victors of Lepanto

Battle of Lepanto (by Juan Luna)
Conflict between the Muslims and Christian had raged for centuries dating back to the time of crusades. The whole of Christendom in Europe hoped to halt or even to push back the advance of Muslims during the Crusades. And during the time of Renaissance, the Muslims, in form of the Ottoman Empire threatened the whole Europe itself. And so in 1571, the Pope called upon the creation of the Holy League.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Patience Is a Virtue: Worcestershire Sauce

Lea and Perrins ad
for the Worcestershire Sauce
In 1830’s a new sauce was produced in Great Britain. It became a popular condiment to various recipes. From steak, to salads, and to soups, the Worcestershire sauce gave a unique taste to it. But the background of how Worcestershire sauce came to be was shrouded with mystery along with its recipe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ranavalona II: Beginning of the end

Ranavalona II
After the death of King Radama II, the Merina or Malagasy monarchy began to wane in its authority.  Officials from the freemen class or Hova, led by the then Prime Minister Rainivoninahitriniony, placed Queen Rasoherina to the throne. Shortly, just years after coming to the throne, the Queen replaced Rainivoninahitriniony with his brother, Rainilaiarivony. In 1868, Queen Rasoherina passed away. Rainilaiarivony then took a cousin of the Queen, Ramoma, to succeed her under the title Ranavalona II. Her reign would be marked by dramatic changes in religion and society of the Merina Kingdom.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Rashidun: Uthman ibn Affan

Uthman ibn Affan
The reign of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab ended in bloodshed. His reign brought great expansion and glory to Islam and the Rashidun Caliphate. On his death bed, he left the decision on his successor to an assigned council. From that council, a new caliph was elected. Eventually, Uthman ibn Affan came out as the new Rashidun Caliph. His reign would mark the continuous expansion of the Empire and his clan’s influence, paying dearly with blood.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

John Cadbury: The Sweet Legacy

John Cadbury
Besides Milton Hershey, there were already numerous chocolatiers that began manufacturing in Europe. The French, the Dutch, and the Swiss all had artisans dedicated to chocolate making. Royals from Spain and France had high regards and consumed chocolate in their respective courts. Eventually, the British soon joined the ranks of chocoholics in Europe. And one of the leading chocolatiers of the Industrial Age in Britain was the most recognizable as well, Cadbury, John Cadbury.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Schmalkaldic League

John Frederick of Saxony
In a period of chaos and division, small nation came to together to form a strong defense alliance that would aim in protecting their interest, this was the condition of the 1500’s Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Emperor aimed in securing his imperial rule and the imposition of his Catholic ideals. A group of small Protestant states feared there demise. And as a result, they formed an alliance that would be known as the Schmalkaldic League.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tanks that Shaped WWII - Panzer III

Panzer III in Poland (Credit: German National Archives)
Russia, 1941 – the German Army launched a Blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union. Two years ago, the power of German tanks in combination of quick attack tactics unleashed the power of Hitler’s Germany against the Anglo-French and Polish forces. This time, it was meant against the archenemy of Hitler, the Soviet Union and its leader, Joseph Stalin. One of the main tanks that led the attack were thousands of Panzer III attacking from multiple fronts, racing towards Moscow. Tanks shaped World War II. It moved battles from trenches to open plains. Mobility overtook static strategies. And the Panzer III was among the tanks that played during World War II.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rasoherina: The Decline of a Monarchy

Two tumultuous monarch had ruled Merina after the death of King Radama I. His successor and wife brought the nation into a bloodbath. Meanwhile, his supposedly son ruled too openly to the influences of the foreigners leading eventually to his downfall. Next to rule was widow, either forced or in fear, she began a period of tolerance and shift on the power to rule the Merina Kingdom. These was the reign of Queen Rasoherina.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thirteen Factories: Refuge In Canton

Thirteen Factories (1825)
Trade was limited to port of Canton in China. During the mid-18th century, the Qing government in Beijing permitted all foreign trading ships to land only in Canton. Ever since, the port became a thriving center of foreign trade. And near to the docks, a whole street, which was the center of all trading activities, became the refuge of foreigners and became known as the Thirteen Factories.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Graham Cracker: An Ironic Beginning

Sylvester Graham
Graham crackers are used for wide varieties of deserts. In the Philippines, it can be used to make different kinds of frozen treats, from cheesecake to sansrival. But from looking at the start of the graham crackers, the man who invented it would not just disapproved but appalled to how his invention used for making sweet goods.

The Rashidun: Umar ibn al-Khattab

Medina - Capital of Rashidun Caliphate
Arabia, 632 - The Prophet Mohammad just passed away, leaving not instruction who would succeed him. To solve the problem, the Companions gathered in the hall in Central Arabia to discussed who would succeed the Prophet. Four nominees were made. And from the four men, Abu Bakar, became the successor and the first Rashidun Caliph. But, in just two years, the new Caliph died. He passed the job to his supporter, Umar ibn al-Khattab.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Milton Herhsey: Man Who Made Millions Smile

Milton Hershey
The 19th century saw the industrialization of United States. Manufacturing was a major sector of the economy. With additional jobs, income was growing. By the entry of the 20th century, people began to enjoy once luxury goods, including chocolate. One man took advantage of the hype for chocolate. Milton Hershey’s name would later become a household name for it. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Canton System

Canton, 1850
It was very stylish and a status symbol for an individual in Europe in the past to own oriental items from China. Today, almost anything is made in China. However, before the 19th century, items made from China were limited in the west, thus had high prices. One reason was the limited trade conducted between the West and China. It was due to the 18th century Canton System.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tanks that Shaped WWII - Panzer II

Panzer II (Credit: German Federal Archives)
France, 1940 – German light mobile tanks spearheaded the advance of German Blitzkrieg in the Ardennes Forest and pushed the Anglo-French forces back. Similar to its contemporary, the Panzer II, was develop in the dark shadows of the Treaty of Versailles, the Panzer II were new German tanks made to carry out the ambitions of Adolf Hitler. Tanks shaped World War II. It moved battles from trenches to open plains. Mobility overtook static strategies. And the Panzer II played a role during World War II.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Radama II: Opening to the West

Radama II
Malagasy Christians hailed the death of their Queen. Queen Ranavalona I, ruler of the Merina or Malagasy Kingdom in Madagascar, who ruled with a bloody iron fist. She reversed her husband’s policy of openness and sealed his nation from foreign influence of French, British, and the Christians. She persecuted her own Christian people, killed thousands in the most horrific ways. But in 1861, Queen Ranavalona I died. Her son, Prince Rakoto ascended to the throne as Radama II. His reign would mark a new chapter of openness for the Merina Kingdom.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Who was Sandwich?

John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich
Anyone who would see two or more bread piled together with something in between will call it a sandwich. Sandwiches has a simple concept. It simplicity made it even a stone age man could do. By why would it be called a sandwich? In fact, it was named after a person. Then, from whom did sandwich took its name?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Swabian League

Augsburg (1493)
There was no Germany during the Medieval Ages, but there were German states. After the death of Charlemagne in 814, the Holy Roman Empire had politically disintegrated rapidly into several entities. Some became virtual independent duchies and city states. In order to maintain independent but with a credible defense, forming alliances was the most practical way. In the north, the Hanseatic League provided this defense alongside commercial prosperity. In the region of Swabia a same alliance was form – the Swabian League.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Rashidun Caliphate: Abu Bakar

Abu Bakar
632, Medina – an election was being held. The Prophet Mohammad had passed away. Four Companions of the Prophet were nominated to become deputies of the new religion of Islam. The future of the religion and the political entity that Mohammad left hang in the balance. The man that rose as result of the election was one of the closest to Mohammad, his father-in-law, Abu Bakar. From him a caliphate would rose, the Rashidun. But who is Abu Bakar? What were his achievements? What were his contributions to the growth of Islam?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Daniel Drew: A Victim of His Own Ways

Daniel Drew
In 1868, a war of business tycoons erupted. The price was the lucrative line of Erie, connecting New York to Illinois. In one side, the powerful and influential ferryman turned railroad King, Cornelius Vanderbilt. On the other side, the Erie Ring, composed of men who were highly regarded as cheats and unscrupulous. It was composed of Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, and another unexpected faithful turned roguish speculator, Daniel Drew.