Category Archives: MODERN HISTORY

The British Midshipmen: Apprenticeship at Sea

The British Midshipmen: Apprenticeship at Sea


It would not have taken Midshipman Horatio Nelson long to earn that life board ship – at least below decks – was harsh, cramped,uncomfortable, malodorous, and exhausting. Midshipmen – as many as twenty aboard a large warship – were berthed on the lowest deck, the dank and airless orlop, packed into a room no larger than 10 by 18 feet.

Tasmania, 1803 – 1836

Tasmania, 1803 – 1836

After the departure of Baudin from Sydney it was discovered that there was an inclination on the part of the French to settle in some part of Australia. It was known that the inlet called Storm Bay, in the island then known as Van Diemen’s Land, had especially attracted their notice, its shores having been so green and leafy.

The Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot

Lord Monteagle received a startling letter on the evening of 26 October 1605. An anonymous correspondent advised the English nobleman against attending the upcoming session of parliament, due to begin a few days later. The letter warned: “They shall receive a terrible blow this parliament and yet they shall not see who hurts them”. It was a chilling message.

The recruitment in English Civil War

The recruitment in English Civil War

In the middle of the 17th century England experienced a great convulsion of political and military violence, which quickly spread to engulf Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This was a true civil war, in which men and women at all levels of society, sometimes even within the same family, took different sides on issues of principle, and fought for them to the death.

Abraham Lincoln: United States at the crossroads

Abraham Lincoln: United States at the crossroads

Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the presidential election in November 1860 set the United States on the path to bloody civil war. Ever since the drafting of America’s federal constitution in 1787, the question of slavery had given rise to political contention and compromise. In the early years of the new American nation, several northern states adopted statutes of emancipation, while new technology and the international demand for cotton gave slave labour deep roots in the south.