Category Archives: MODERN HISTORY

Friedrich Engels, The Father of Socialism

Friedrich Engels, The Father of Socialism


For much of the 20th century, the image and ideas of Friedrich Engels were eerily familiar as he stood alongside Marx, Lenin and Stalin (or Mao) in the official communist pantheon. Yet today even Marx impersonators have forgotten his name. You can still visit city of Engels in Russia, there are still statues of Engels in Moscow and Berlin, but his intellectual and political legacy has all but been extinguished.

The American War for Independence

The American War for Independence

Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War (1756 – 1763) seemed to confirm its position as the dominant imperial power. The Union Jack flew from Lake Superior to Calcutta, and English merchantmen and men-of-war ruled the waves. However, in just over a decade, the 13 American colonies were in revolt, and Britain fond itself confronting the rebels and a hostile Europe in the North Atlantic’s last great colonial war.

The executioner’s job in 18th and 19th century

The executioner’s job in 18th and 19th century

Executioners were both heroes and villains. Those who carried out the death penalty on despicable crooks earned the support of the mob which turned up to watch. But if the criminal were popular fellow then it was hangman, beware, for the unruly crowd might instantly seek to avenge the death.

When Calamity Jane ‘rides on’

When Calamity Jane ‘rides on’

Martha (or Marthy) Jane Cannary was the oldest of six children, having two brothers and three sisters, born to Robert and Charlotte Cannary. Both of her parents were born in Ohio. In 1865, the family emigrated over five months with a wagon train from Missouri to Virginia City, Montana. Her mother died along the way in Black Foot, Montana, in 1866.

Did the Gold Rush miners ever become the rich?

Did the Gold Rush miners ever become the rich?

California had only just been wrenched from Mexico when James Marshall, a carpenter from New Jersey, discovered a gold at John Sutter’s Mill in Coloma in 1849. As the news of his finding spread, tens of thousands of people migrated from across the United States and abroad, seeking riches in what would become known as the California Gold Rush.