Saturday, December 26, 2015

Great Leaders: King Kamehameha I (Part 5): Ruling a United Kingdom of Hawaii

Kamehameha in Civilization V
With Kamehameha setting up a new government of a united peaceful Hawaii, the people finally focused from war to livelihood. In this aspect of life, Hawaiians and Kamehameha faced a transforming dynamics with the arrival foreigners.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Great Leaders: King Kamehameha I (Part 4): Ruling a United Kingdom of Hawaii

King Kamehameha I
After centuries of infighting, the islands of Hawaii (or at least majority of it) united under the rule of King Kamehameha. Through technology, divine intervention, and deception, he led his warrior to victory and finally ending generations of conflict. Uniting Hawaii was one part of Kamehameha’s story, the other part was about ruling a kingdom in peace. So how did Kamehameha made the transition from a war lord to a peaceful governing ruler? How Hawaii transformed from islands divided into several chiefdoms and into a united kingdom under one king?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Great Leaders: King Kamehameha I (Part 3): Unifying the Hawaiian Islands

Kamehameha as depicted in Civilization V
After the fall of Kiwala’o in 1782, Hawaii’s geopolitical situation dramatically changed. The once united island kingdom of Hawaii had been divided into three kingdoms ruled by Kamehameha, Keoua, and Keawema’uhili. Beyond the island of Hawaii, conditions also changed significantly. After centuries of brutal fighting between numerous higher chiefs, a single leader emerged as the most prominent. Kahekili – King of Maui Island – took control over Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, and indirectly ruled Kauai, through his brother’s assistance. Kamehameha’s destiny as prophesied during his birth seemed slipping away and taken by Kahekili. How Kamehameha turned things around and became the unifier of Hawaiian Archipelago?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Great Leaders: King Kamehameha I (Part 2): Unifying the Home Islands

Kamehameha as depicted in Civilization V
Kamehameha faced tremendous challenges as he assumed his position as one of the high chiefs or ali’i in the big island of Hawaii. After a bloody civil war, the island had been split into three ruled by him, Keoua, and Keawema’uhili. Outside the island of Hawaii, King Kahekili of Maui had advance his domains to the islands of Lanai, Molokai, and Oahu. He even controlled indirectly through his brother the islands of Kauai and Nahuii. Kamehameha faced a though threat outside Hawaii and faced division within his home island. How could he unite all Hawaiian island if his home island itself suffered division? How Kamehameha did united his home island of Hawaii?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Great Leaders: King Kamehameha I (Part 1): The Beginning

Kamehameha I
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Islands of Hawaii hosted millions of vacationers in its paradise. But behind this paradise lies a chaotic past. A history of war that ravaged for centuries. An island divided into several chiefs and kings, each vying for supremacy and power over the others. But in the 18th century, one man put an end to it all and brought peace and unity to this archipelago– King Kamehameha the Great.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Gandhi in South Africa

Gandhi in South Africa
Gandhi used non-violence noncooperation, known as satyagraha, to bring independence to his country India. However, the satyagraha developed not in India, but in a country across another side of the Indian Ocean – South Africa. There Gandhi stayed for more than a decade and developed his most revolutionary way of fighting oppression and discrimination.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Jainism: The Basic

Depiction of Mahavira (Wikimedia Common)
A religion that originated in India, it stood overshadowed by two other prominent Indian religions – Hinduism and Buddhism. A belief that followed the same path of spiritual enlightenment and detachments. It is the religion known as Jainism.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Henry Ford

Henry Ford
One of the icons of American business and automobile industry. He revolutionize the manufacturing of cars, bringing it to the masses. His innovations gave him a sparkling name, but his later years, tarnished his reputation and became notorious in the eyes of the public. Henry Ford rose from humble beginnings into one of the greatest magnates in the early 1900's.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Bessemer Process The Process that Made the Modern World

Bessemer Converter
A process that change the world. It added steam to the already ongoing industrial revolution that hit the world. It allowed men to build new products and build structures towards the heavens. The Bessemer process allowed the mass production of steel, a material that shaped our modern world.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Signing of the Magna Carta

King John signing the Magna Carta
It is an influential document in world history. It constricted the powers of a monarch in an era of absolute power of kings. It set the tone for the concept of civil rights. The Magna Carta of 1215 constrained the power of England’s King John and placed law above all else, including powerful monarchs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Great Pyramid of Giza

19th century stereopticon depicting the Great Pyramid
Known as the Horizon of Khufu, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the last remaining Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It served as a tomb of the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. It mobilized thousands of men and resources in order to attain such a gargantuan monument. A monument that served as the testament to the wealth and power as well as ingenuity of Ancient Egyptians.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dangerous Dictators: Idi Amin

Idi Amin
He ruled his country with an iron fist for 9 years. During that time, he terrorized his people and subjugated them in tremendous fear. He crushed his opponent both real and imagined. His antics surprised many and gave him the image of a “buffoon” in the eyes of the international community. He led his country through his personal taste, making his country isolated, chaotic, and bankrupt. He was one of Africa’s most brutal dictator. He was Idi Amin.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Plan of Casa Mata

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1853)
The initial years of independence of Mexico saw chaos and turbulence. Emperor Agustin I had been criticize for his excess, starting with his grand coronation. His acts of subduing opposition and finally abolishing the Congress led to the creation of yet another plan in Mexican history – the Plan of Casa Mata.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna II

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
From a military man to a political leader of volatile nation. Never such a man had the ambitions and drive to become the President of Mexico for eleven times. In each term, he ruled Mexico with an iron fist and a hand that squandered the wealth of his impoverish nation for his vices. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, remembered for his victory in the Alamo but his country knows him both as a hero and villainous tyrant.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
From a military man to a political leader of volatile nation. Never such a man had the ambitions and drive to become the President of Mexico for eleven times. In each term, he ruled Mexico with an iron fist and a hand that squandered the wealth of his impoverish nation for his vices. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, remembered for his victory in the Alamo but his country knows him both as a hero and villainous tyrant.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Plan of Iguala: Plan Towards Independence

Agustin de Iturbide
In February 1821, two leaders met in the town of Iguala in Mexico to discuss their plan for the autonomy or independence of what became the nation of Mexico. After a decade of fighting, the two decided to make a deal that would bring freedom and equality to the tired people. The result became known as the Plan of Iguala.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Queretaro Conspiracy: The Root of the War of Independence

Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez 
It was a conspiracy that for autonomy but later blew up into a major war for independence. A political movement aimed to change the political and social landscape of Mexico. The Queretaro Conspiracy proved to be the root of a decade long independence war and the synthesis of centuries-long discrimination and oppression.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hidalgo Revolt: For the Independence of Mexico

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
by Jose Clemente Orozco
It was the revolt that moved a country towards independence. The Revolt Fr. Miguel Hidalgo plunged Mexico to a decade long war for independence. A revolt rooted from centuries of oppression, inequality, and discrimination, it brought out the best and the worst of men. A revolt drove by anger and vengeance that ultimately caused Hidalgo’s downfall.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Emperor Agustin de Iturbide of Mexico

Emperor Agustin Iturbide
Mexico’s independence in 1821 came from the most unlikely source. For decades, fighters hardly fought crying for independence, equality, and the ideas of liberalism. Morelos and Hidalgo led rebellions that terrorized the Spanish colonial government in Mexico. Little did they knew, the one that led Mexico to their independence came from their ranks. Agustin de Iturbide a military officer who went against the ideals of liberalism of Morelos and Hidalgo but achieved what the latter individuals did not achieve.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Satsuma Rebellion

A rebellion caused by disillusionment and neglect. The Satsuma Rebellion, led by Saigo Takamori, it synthesized the discontent that the samurais felt under the rapidly changing culture under the new Meiji Era. The rebellion could that could have change the fate of Japan’s transformation.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Yasuda Zenjiro: The Founder of the Fourth Largest Zaibatsu

Yasuda Zenjiro
Founded the Yasuda Zaibatsu, he came from a poor background but rose to prominence in the financial world from his money changing business. He cashed in the development of Japan and made huge fortunes that landed his company as the fourth largest Zaibatsu or conglomerate in country.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fukoku Kyohei: The Slogan that Defined Meiji Japan

Industrialization allowed Japan to attain modern weapons for its defense and military campaigns
It was a slogan that summed up the ideals of the Meiji Era. Fukoku Kyohei, meaning Enriching the Country, strengthen the army or Rich Country, Strong Army, became the principle that led to the modernization and transformation of Japan.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

4 Builders of Meiji Japan II

Japan emerged as Asia’s representative major power in the end of the 19th century. It achieved in less than five decade the process of transforming from an agricultural and feudal society to a full fledge industrial and constitutional country that protected Japan from the clutches of western imperialism. Much of this drastic changes had been attributed to the following officials.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Iwakura Mission: A Mission for Japan's Future

Iwakura Mission (left) during their audience with French President
Iwakura Mission aimed for a revision of unequal treaties that Japan signed during the latter part of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Although it failed in some aspects it took many lessons during a mission that took the participants across the globe.

Who was Queen Himiko?

Illustration by Newton Graphic Science Magazine “Nihon no ruutsu”
In the era before written accounts of Japan, in particular the Yayoi and Kofun age, various kingdoms emerged and flourished. The Kingdom of Wa was among these kingdoms. The Kingdom of Wa became even more famous for its mysterious and elusive ruler, Queen Himiko.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

4 Builders of Meiji Japan

Japan emerged as Asia’s representative major power in the end of the 19th century. It achieved in less than five decade the process of transforming from an agricultural and feudal society to a full fledge industrial and constitutional country that protected Japan from the clutches of western imperialism. Much of this drastic changes had been attributed to the following officials.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Minomura Rizaemon and the Survival of Mitsui

Suruga Street with Echigoya in the left
(Today: the Right side is occupied by the
Mitsui Main Building)
Japan faced an economic transformation after the 1860’s. She pursed the path of transformation from an agricultural medievalist country to an industrial, modern, and westernize country. Many business had to adopt to the situation or face bankruptcy, which happened to many old enterprises. But some merchant houses succeeded to transform. They did not just survive but they grew to become powerful conglomerates know as Zaibatsu. The biggest of this Zaibatsu was the House of Mitsui that flourished under the management of Minomura Rizaemon. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Matsukata Masayoshi: A Reformer in a Transformation

Matsukata Masayoshi
He was the man that cemented Japan’s transformation. In an era of aggressive foreign expansion in Asia, Japan decided to pursue a course towards modernization and industrialization under the slogan of Fukoku Kyohei – Rich Nation, Strong Army. But in the late in 1870’s Japan’s transformation faced a tough challenges. The Land of the Rising Sun might just set with an economic crisis, which could not afford. But one man had the guts to solve this crisis – Matsukata Masayoshi.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

3 Revolutionaries in Latin America

Besides the most famous revolutionaries, like Bolivar, de San Martin, de Miranda, and Hidalgo, many more joined them in the pantheon of liberators whose aim was to liberated their countries from oppressive and unequal societies of Spain.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Industrial Revolution of Japan

Emperor Meiji
Japan’s independence came under threat from the increasing presence of westerners in Asia. In 1858, the ships of American Commodore Mathew Perry opened Japan’s doors to the world. With opening came a change in leadership, from the Tokugawa Shogunate, power returned to the Emperor. Under the Meiji Emperor and the spirit of Fukoku Kyohei or rich country, Strong army, Japan underwent an industrial revolution that made it into the economic powerhouse of Asia.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Funan: The Earliest Maritime Kingdom of Southeast Asia

A kingdom with an impressive wealth and an extraordinary network, the Funan Kingdom stood as one of the earliest most powerful kingdoms in Southeast Asia. With the capital in Vyadapura or the City of Hunters in Khmer language, it dominated the area that composed Cambodia, Vietnam, and parts of the Malaya Peninsula and Thailand. It ruled the area from the 3rd and up to the 7th century. But with the changing in the maritime trade of Asia, Funan felt the effects catastrophically, leading eventually into its assimilation with its neighboring kingdom.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dangerous Dictators: Mobutu Sese Seko

Mobutu Sese Seko
If someone made a list of worst dictators in history, Mobutu Sese Seko would always be a part of the list. A man who ruined his country, Mobutu ruled with brutality, corruption, and extreme case of narcissism. Served initially as a soldier in the Belgian colonial army, he became journalist and an active participant in politics. When he returned to the military, he became widely involve in the politics of the newly independent Democratic Republic of Congo. So much his involvement, he launched a coup that marked the start of his 32 year reign of terror.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cry of Dolores: Cry for Change and Independence

Hidalgo in the center with the banner depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe
From a sleepy town, the Cry of Dolores marked the end of Spanish rule in Mexico. A cry made by a group of men and women dedicated to the ideas of Enlightenment led by man from the least suspected sector of colonial Mexican society. It signaled an uprising that later inspired Mexico’s fight for independence.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dangerous Dictators: Jean-Bedel Bokassa

Jean-Bedel Bokassa during his coronation
Known for brutality and outrageous extravagance, Jean-Bedel Bokassa showed an example of how authoritarian military rulers turning into despotic megalomania. From a soldier in the French Army to his country’s Emperor, Bokassa brought terror and poverty to his people.

The Industrial Revolution of Germany

BASF Factory (1881)
She emerged as the most industrialized country by the end of the 19th century. Germany surpassed the home of the industrial revolution – Great Britain. From a once divided nation, its strength and potential became full and unleashed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Sailendra Dynasty: Builders of Borobodur, Agents of Buddhism

Borobudur (depicted in Civilization V), the greatest monument of Sailendra Dynasty
They gave the world the largest stupa in the world – Borobudur. Their civilization shrouded in mystery. They ruled Central Java and became agents of Buddhism from a once Hindu Kingdom. For over the century they ruled the region until their rivals reentered the scene and grab the control of the Kingdom. This is the Sailendra Dynasty of Central Java.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Monuments of Southeast Asia: Borobudur

Borobodur (depicted in Civilization V)
It serves as the biggest Buddhist temple in the world. It stands as a reminder of a once great kingdom in Central Java. It is one of the greatest monuments in Southeast Asia. It is the temple of Borobudur in Java, Indonesia.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shotoku: Sinification and Buddhism

Prince Shotoku (Middle)
From the troubles of succession and division about religion, Prince Shotoku emerged as one of the famous regent during the time of ancient Japan. He contributed a lot in changing the religious and administrative landscape of country.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

4 Revolutionaries in Latin America

The first decade of the 19th century thundered with the sounds of revolution in Latin America. Men who had Spanish ancestry but born in the colonies learned of the ideas of the Enlightenment or became aware of their distinct identity from those in Spain. And here are four who became distinguish during the period:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ludvig Nobel and the Baku Oil Industry

The 18th century saw a boom in the oil industry. The United States dominated the industry with its leading company, Standard Oil. But it faced competition from the other side of the world – Russia. The oil city of Baku challenged American domination of world’s oil supply. In this city, it saw the rise of another member of the Swedish family Nobel – Ludvig or Ludwig Nobel.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Minh Mang: The Rise of Confucianism in Nguyen Vietnam

Minh Mang
The Nguyen Dynasty had ruled a unified Vietnam for two decades by 1820. Its founder, Gia Long passed away. His son then ascended to the throne as Emperor Minh Mang. Under his rule, Vietnam plunged into orthodox Confucianism and towards centralization and conquest.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Colbertisme and the French Economy

Jean Baptiste Colbert
Under the rule of the Sun King – Louis XIV – France embark into its ancient regime’s golden age. The King ruled France with his divine absolutist power. From that, he went into a spending spree, building palaces, waging wars, and funding expeditions. With such a manner, the King needed an official that balanced his income with his spending. The duty fell into one of his time’s well known economic manager – Jean Baptiste Colbert.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Industrial Revolution of France

Paris (1900)
Revolutions rocked Europe during the 19th century. The first became a revolution for liberty and equality. The second revolution had a same profound effect but emphasized more on the economic results. The Industrial Revolution began to take off, starting first in Great Britain and moving to the continent, beginning with Belgium. Along with Belgium, France began to similarly experience industrialization.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monuments of Southeast Asia: Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat (Drawing by Henri Mouhot)
Lying in the center of marsh and jungle, the Angkor Wat stood as one of biggest temple in the world. Cambodia took pride of this temple and depicted it in its national flag, lying in its center. It became a monument of Hindu influence to Southeast Asia and to the belief that Kings become Gods once they died. But most importantly, Angkor Wat stood as legacy of the once mighty Khmer Empire.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Gustavus Swift: A Revolution in the American Meat Industry

Gustavus Swift
The industrial revolution in the United States became home of some of the greatest innovation that made the modern world. From electricity to automobile, Americans used their curious mind to solve challenges and create solutions that make the world better. The food industry also got a share of some of innovations. Among the men that profited from it was the founder of one of the most famous food meat processing companies in the United States – Gustavus Swift.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Gia Long: The Founder of the Nguyen Dynasty

Gia Long
The 19th century opened for Vietnam with a new dynasty in power – the Nguyens. From overlords to the ruling family of Vietnam, it began its journey to power from the persevering and determined Nguyen Phuc Anh, who later took the name – Gia Long.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cinco De Mayo and the Causes of French-Mexican War

Battle of Puebla
The United States celebrates Cinco de Mayo more than the Mexicans. The origins of the event, however, marked a victory of rag-tag Mexican army against a more powerful, well trained and well-armed French army on May 5, 1862. It became known as celebration for the victory of the oppressed against the oppressors. However, as time went by, the celebration died down in Mexico, nevertheless, its memory remained in many Mexicans, especially those who immigrated to the United States where it turned to a celebration one own culture.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Industrial Revolution of Belgium

John Cockerill
The industrial revolution changed the world. It caused a shift from people relying on farming in the countryside to working in factories in cities. Britain started the revolution with the introduction of new technology and techniques. But in the late 18th century, the revolution reached continental Europe, arriving first to the small country of Belgium.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Treaty of Tordesillas: Guide of the Age of Exploration and towards the Modern World

Portuguese copy of the Treaty of Tordesillas
The Age of Exploration in the 15th century and next opened new lands for Europe to discover and exploit. It became a new chapter in world history. At the start of this age two powers – Spain and Portugal - emerged and competed with each other. With the discovery of the New World, the Iberian Peninsula became engulf with tension for a potential conflict over discoveries and colonies not just in the Americas but around the world. The tension only ceased with the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Fall of Cambodia to France

King Norodom

Cambodia lays in the center of the mainland Southeast Asia. In the past, it hosted once the powerful Khmer Empire. But in the 19th century, Cambodia became only a shadow of the glory days of the Khmer Empire. More powerful neighboring countries battled for supremacy and influence over Cambodia. But the most formidable appeared as the most farthest yet the most powerful country to dominate Cambodia – France. France’s imperial ambition in east led to its conquest of Cambodia.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

William Wrigley, Jr.: Gum Magnate and Advertising Genius

William Wrigley, Jr.
William Wrigley, Jr. (September 30, 1861 – January 26, 1932) owned the biggest gum manufacturing company in the world – Wrigley’s Chewing Gum. From an energetic but a mischievous kid, Wrigley started as a labor and rose to become a salesman. His experience as a sales gave him the skills needed to advertise a product. With one his gimmicks he discovered a candy that gave him millions – chewing gum. He then establish himself a major player in the industry, took risk, and became number one. He then used his wealth to various investment and interest. Upon his demise, he left a huge wealth and a prospering company to his son.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Pastry War: The War for Redemption

Bombing of San Juan de Ulua
Mexico had a rough 19th century. It became independent from Spain during the early half of the 1800’s. But after declaring independence, it had a tumultuous internal politics filled with infighting, ambitious men, and imperialist threats. By 1830’s Mexico suffered a horrendous situation, including loss of territories and economic crisis. Eventually, it led to Mexico’s first taste of a gunboat diplomacy of a European imperialist on the conflict known as Pastry War.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Cochinchina Campaign

Capture of Saigon
Indochina, composed of modern day Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, became the center of French imperialism in the Far East. For more than half a century, they subjugated the local people for economic benefits. The conquest that led eventually to the creation of the French Indochina began in the middle of the 19th century. The French first displayed their might through the conclusion of the issue concerning a missionary and the bombardment of the major port city of Touraneor modern day Da Nang in 1847. A decade later, they launch a campaign in southern Vietnam, then known as Cochinchina, that sowed the seeds of the French in Vietnam, leading the path towards the formation of the French Indochina.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lefebvre Affair and the Bombardment of Tourane

Charles Rigault de Genouilly
Tourane, Vietnam, 1847 – two warships came to the coast. The warships had French flags and demanded the release of one of its missionary – Dominique Lefebvre. Suddenly, the French began a bombardment of Tourane. But events prevailed before the Bombardment of Tourane? What happened during the Bombardment? And lastly, what happened after the incident occurred?