Category Archives: MODERN HISTORY

Five 19th century conflicts

Five 19th century conflicts


The Crimean War, 1853-56

After a long period of peace, the coup of 1851 brought Napoleon III to the French throne, dedicated to the pursuit of glory through an aggressive foreign policy. At the same time, the growing problems of the Ottoman empire opened up to the Russians the possibilities of their first territorial gains since the short Russo-Turkish clash in 1853, and was joined by Britain, France and Piedmont-Sardinia on the Turkish side in 1854-55. It was ended by negotiation when it became clear to the Russians that they could not gain their objectives.

Scotland and the Irish

Scotland and the Irish

In the 1840s and 1850s the population was swelled by a great influx of Irish from all the provinces of that country. This was the first great movement of people between the two countries, and it brought back to Scotland many of the descendants of the Plantation of the early 1600s. It also brought into Scotland substantial Catholic population, who were to have an impact on the political scene as well on the religious make up of the country.

What Cleopatra has to do with Cleopatra’s Needle?

What Cleopatra has to do with Cleopatra’s Needle?

It has nothing to do with Cleopatra. The needle which is one of a pair (the other one now being in New York), was commissioned by Pharaoh Tuthmosis III, 1,400 years before Cleopatra was born.

The battle of Wagram – Napoleon’s last victory

The battle of Wagram – Napoleon’s last victory

Around 9PM on the evening of 4th July 1809 several hundred French  infantrymen embarked in a flotilla of small boats and began to make their way across the broad river Danube. Rain was falling in torrents, but this was doubtless a great relief to the troops: together with the gathering dusk, the weather served to shield them, as they supposed, from the guns of a powerful army that had but weeks before inflicted a heavy defeat upon their standards.

Shopping in the Victorian time

Shopping in the Victorian time

The nature of shopping changed dramatically in the Victorian period. As incomes and living standards rose across the nation in all classes and the population became more urban, a new generation of business men, led by figures such as William Whitely, the department store entrepreneur, geared up the retailing industry to meet an ever increasing demand.