Sunday, September 28, 2014

Merina Kingdom: Development, Progress, and Fall

Rainilaiarivony
May of 1863 – King Radama II of the Malagasy Kingdom of Merina lay dead, strangled by his officials. Two leaders of the plot, Prime Minister Rainivoninahitriniony and his brother, Rainilaiarivony, looked for a new monarch. Their searched led to them to the closest royal relative of the deceased King – her widow. Unlike previous rulers, succeeding monarchs of King Radama II would not enjoy the same absolute rule that previous monarch did. Three queens of the kingdom would become puppets to their Prime Minister and husband. Ultimately, the cause of the failure of the kingdom would not be wholly due to internal strife but rather brought by foreign entities far more powerful than they were.

Akkad: The First Empire

Possible head of Sargon the Great
In rivers, human civilization dawned. In China, the major rivers of Huang Ho and Yangtze gave birth to human settlements. In India, the Indus provided the water needed to establish the first Indian settlements. In Africa, the Nile became the vein that provided blood to the rise of the Egyptian civilization. And in the Middle East, two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, gave life to Mesopotamia and made into what it was called the Fertile Crescent. And from this Fertile Crescent gave rise to the earliest empire that the world had seen, the Akkadian Empire.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sumerian Women and Beer


About 5000 BCE, civilization began to spring up in the Fertile Crescent. The two rivers of Euphrates and Tigris gave birth to a civilization that would last for thousands of years. The civilization of Sumer brought new developments to mankind. It developed so much that the modern had taken for granted. From writing to the wheel, the Sumerians made many progress for mankind. Including to its line of developments was the beer. Sumerians had during their time gave importance and reverence to their favorite beverage.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Famous Phoenician Dye

Tyre under Siege
In the region of Levant, which now composed of Lebanon and Syria, was once home of the wealthy mercantile and maritime people called the Phoenicians. There people expanded their sphere of influence throughout the Mediterranean and onwards. As skilled merchants, they became wealthy and envied. And as businesspeople, they had the eyes to develop their resources into the most sought after products in the ancient world. Among their most priced and treasured products was the famous Tyrian or the Phoenician dye.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Towards Revolution: Stamp Act

News bearing the passing of the
Stamp Act
In the vast tracts of land in the west of the Atlantic, different activities were bustling. From religious, to scientific, to economic activities, the New World had become a flourishing colony of Europe. The Spaniards, the French, the Dutch, and more importantly, the British had established stakes within the new continent. The British in particular were keen in maintaining and benefiting from its holdings in the Americas.  Through taxation and as a market for British goods, British Imperial Policy would bring the American colonies into revolution. A year after the passing of the Sugar Act in 1764, the British Parliament once again imposed another tax to the American colonies, the Stamp Act. This tax would engulf the colonies in fury against those in London.

Ramathibodi: Founder of the Ayudhya Kingdom

Upon the end of the reign of Ramkhamhaeng, the Sukhothai Kingdom seemed to have lost its prestige. It lost of grandeur later resulted to the occupation of the Kingdom by the Khmers of Angkor. The Thai people became once again engulf in the shadows of the Khmers. But suddenly, a new Thai leader emerged. One that would found a new kingdom stronger than the Sukhothai Kingdom. A kingdom that would last for centuries - the Ayudhya Kingdom. Its founder, Ramathibodi, would be stuff of legends that would revolve around the creation of the Ayudhya Kingdom.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Charles Schwab: Steel Maker and a Tragedy

Charles M. Schwab
One of the most desired resources during the Industrial Revolution was steel. Most countries that wanted to become industrialized must be able to produce their own steel. And the United States, one of the most industrialized and advance countries during the late 19th century, had produced their steel. Several men managed to capitalize on the need of steel and became rich. Among these men were Andrew Carnegie. But within the mist of Carnegie, another man grew to become an iconic industrialist. His name was Charles Schwab.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Merina Kingdom: Unification and Rise

First Four Rulers of the Merina Kingdom
In the east of Africa, the largest island of the continent Madagascar was the site of a great kingdom. The Merina Kingdom flourished from late 1790’s up to the end of the 19th century. It saw a history of greatness, openness, and bloodiness. It very much moved to all sides of the political spectrum, from the liberal to conservatism, to moderate. Ambition and religion ran the course of the kingdom for a century before finally succumbing to the domination of the French.

Towards Revolution: Sugar Act of 1764

George Grenville
In the vast tracts of land in the west of the Atlantic, different activities were bustling. From religious, to scientific, to economic activities, the New World had become a flourishing colony of Europe. The Spaniards, the French, the Dutch, and more importantly, the British had established stakes within the new continent. The British in particular were keen in maintaining and benefiting from its holdings in the Americas.  Through taxation and as a market for British goods, British Imperial Policy would bring the American colonies into revolution. Among the first of its dreaded policy was passed in 1764, called as the Revenue Act, but it was notoriously known as the Sugar Act.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Prohibition, Roman Style: Domitian's Ban of Vineyards

The Triumph of Titus by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.
Emperor Vespasian in the front, followed by Domitian
and his wife, then Titus at the back.
The Roman Empire dominated western civilization for centuries. At its height, during the period known as Pax Romana, its legions marched across the European continent to the reaches of modern day Spain in the west, Asia Minor and the Middle East in the East, to modern day Britain in the north, and crossing the Mediterranean Sea to the whole North Africa in the south. Its dominion controlled the whole Mediterranean basin for hundreds of years. With wealth and power, essentials became cheap and luxury goods became affordable. Among this luxury was wine.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sukhothai Economy of Ramkhamhaeng

King Ramkhamhaeng (Credit: Ananda)
Thailand, an oriental country in the heart of Southeast Asia. Its lands are gifted with numerous rivers that provided fertile plains for farming. Its culture is heavily influenced by the Indians from the west. During the 13th century no Thai kingdom existed until the Kingdom of Sukhothai rose from the lands conquered by the Khmers. One of the most economically prosperous period of this kingdom was under the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng. His reign saw great flow of harvest and wealth. Trade flourish without barriers. An economy that flowered during the golden age of a Thai Kingdom.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ramkhamhaeng: Great Sukhothai King

Ramkhamhaeng depicted in Civilization V
From the flames of rebellion against the Khmer rulers, a new Kingdom rose in the fertile lands of central Thailand. The latter half of the 13th century saw the rise of the first Thai Kingdom – the Sukhothai Kingdom. From its productive lands, an Empire would be made under a great ruler. Ramkhamhaeng would preside and lead the great Thai people to new height of glory with conquest and diplomacy.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wealth From Vices: James Buchanan Duke

James B. Duke
Cigarettes are vices for some, but a necessity for others. Regardless, some business profit from cigarettes, especially during its advent in the late 1800’s. It revolutionized how people can consume tobacco for a way cheaper and easier way. One man from the era of big business came to dominate the whole tobacco industry with cigarettes as his source of his wealth. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Justinian Plague: The Declined of the Byzantines

Emperor Justinian
Two major civilization declined and fell in the hands of vicious plagues. Athens, the center of learning and culture of the ancient world, fell in the hands of the Great Athenian Plague. It led to the eventual collapse of the most powerful city-state in the region. Then in the 2nd century CE, the glorious and peaceful period of Rome, dubbed as Pax Romana, ended with the deaths caused by another plague, the Antonine Plague. Almost four centuries after the spread of the Antonine Plague, another Empire was on the brink of either glory or the abyss, the Byzantine Empire. And with an ambitious Emperor in the throne, the Justinian Plague would decide the destiny of a revival of the glory that was Rome.