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?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Treaty of Saigon (1862)

French warships in Da Nang (1858)
In the 1850’s, Asia faced a growing threat from the mighty industrialized nation of the West. France and Britain began an active harassment and conquest of many independent countries in the Far East. China had already tasted defeat in the hands of the modern steam-engine warships of the British. By the late 1850’s, China’s client state in Southeast Asia – Vietnam – also faced the prospect of succumbing to the nuisances of Westerners. The Treaty of Saigon symbolizes the result of the gunboat diplomacy of Europeans to the Vietnamese.

The Nguyen Dynasty - The Last Ruling Family of Vietnam

Gia Long
They once ruled Vietnam. They were in fact, the last family to rule it as a monarchy. They faced constant threats from rivals at home and later, from abroad. It took toils in order to win and to establish their rule. It took also defiance to survive in a changing world. And it took a communist icon in order to remove them. The Nguyen Dynasty was last ruling monarchial family.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Francis Cabot Lowell: From Industrial Espionage to Industrial Revolution

An industrial revolution allowed the United States to propel itself to the top of the world. It owed it much to the ingenuity and skills of its many mechanics and inventors that developed new machines and system to manufacture numerous goods in a short period of time. Francis Cabot Lowell (April 7, 1775 – August 10, 1817) became one of these men who ushered in the industrial revolution to the United States. Through espionage, mimicry, and developing, Lowell developed a new system of production and labor that led to the industrialization of the United States.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chulalongkorn (Part 5): Influences and End

Chulalongkorn in the throne
Chulalongkorn ushered in the transformation of Siam from an old kingdom into a modern state that Europe recognize. Other than that, he became the first Siamese monarch to travel to the west in order to secure the independence of sovereignty of his beloved kingdom. He reformed court traditions, administration, military, health, and education. But also, he launched reforms on religion and support the flow of foreign influences to the culture of Siam.

Friday, February 13, 2015

French Conquest of Indochina

The extent of French Indochina (Yellow)
France was one of the greatest powers in the world. Along with its European rivals, it acquired a huge empire that comprised territories from the Africa to Asia. In the region of Southeast Asia, France became a major player in its politics during the 19th century. In competition with Great Britain, it exerted a lot of effort in order to acquire lands as much as possible. At the end, France managed to obtain the region known as Indochina. And for the countries, of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, it was a start of a half a century of colonization and exploitation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Defenestration of Prague in 1618

Defenestration of Prague in 1618
The Thirty Years War began as an internal conflict that started with three individuals being thrown out of a window in a Bohemian castle. The incident began with transition from one leader to the next. In the process, a policy shift also followed. The shift turned out to be for the worst. It instigated contempt and then violence, which eventually resulted to an event known as the 1681 Defenestration of Prague. What events led to the defenestration? What transpired during the event? And lastly, how the Defenestration of Prague shook Europe?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Causes of the Thirty Years' War

The Thirty Years’ War devastated Europe at the early part of the 17th century. But what were the causes that led to the momentous event that changed the face of Europe? What were the situations and events that finally sparked the Thirty Years’ War?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Paknam Incident: Near the Edge

The Comte and the Inconstant
Thailand was the only country in Southeast Asia spared from the sufferings of becoming a colony. Thanks to political situation occurring a continent away and its efforts to modernize, the Thai people remained free and independent. The program of making progress at home of King Mongkut and Chulalongkorn paid out. Nevertheless, there were instances that their independence was threatened to be taken by a western power. Siam was on the brink of being conquered in the event known as the Paknam Incident in 1893.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sipahi: Heavy Weight of the Ottoman Empire

Sipahi
The Ottoman Army became the most feared army in Europe. In 1453, it dealt a blow that shocked Christian Europe to its core.  The mighty citadel of Constantinople fell to the hands of the Ottoman Turks, who turned it into their magnificent capital and renamed it Istanbul. The Ottoman army credited for victory became even more well-known. It had a lot of elite units within its ranks. It had the famous Janissaries. But to the belief of many, the through strength and fierce warriors within the Ottoman army was its horsemen known as the Sipahis.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chulalongkorn (Part 4): On the Brink

King Chula and Tsar Nicholos
For almost two decade, King Chulalongkorn continued to modernize the Kingdom of Siam. His father, King Mongkut, began the process. However, they were aware that modernization needed to be slow. And so, when King Mongkut passed away in 1868, the process was passed on to King Chulalongkorn. King Chula did continued the program and succeeded in making in various fields, from the military, administration, to education, and even health services. All of this efforts made in order to protect his kingdoms independence and to equal the state of the western powers.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cruelty: The Instrument of Assyrian Control

Ashurnasipal in the throne
The New Assyrian Empire was the most powerful kingdom that dominated the Middle East during the early 1st millennium BCE. For four hundred years they illustrated power and control like no other. Their border stretched from Mesopotamia to parts of Asia Minor, Egypt, and Iran. Under their rule were numerous various people with different languages and culture. A secret to their success was their distinguished guts for brutality and cruelty.