Tag Archives: British Empire

Basiliscus


Basiliscus

Shortly after seizing control of the Eastern Roman Empire, Flavius Basiliscus alienated his supporters by promoting Miaphysitism—a doctrine which holds that in the person of Jesus there was but a single nature that merged both the human and the divine rather than a dual nature. Consequently, his rule lasted just 20 months. Earlier in his career, Basiliscus led the disastrous invasion of Vandal Africa, one of the greatest military operations in history. How many ships and soldiers were involved? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Chilembwe Day (2015)


Chilembwe Day (2015)

John Chilembwe was born in the 1860s in the African nation of Nyasaland, now known as Malawi. Dismayed by the treatment of local peoples at the hands of plantation owners, whom he charged with racism and exploitation, he and a group of 200 followers staged an uprising. They were caught and killed on February 3, 1915. Chilembwe is now memorialized as a hero for African independence and is celebrated annually on January 15 in Malawi, which attained its independence in 1964. His image on a Malawi banknote attests to his enduring popularity as a symbol of Malawi freedom and patriotism. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Eli Whitney (1765)


Eli Whitney (1765)

Whitney was the inventor of the cotton gin, a mechanical device that separates cotton fiber from its seeds. His invention, which had immense economic and social ramifications, brought great wealth to many others, but little to Whitney himself. In 1798, he built a firearms factory, and his products were some of the first to have standardized, interchangeable parts. Why did Whitney’s ginning company go out of business only three years after he received his cotton gin patent? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: First Serving Female British MP Elected (1919)


First Serving Female British MP Elected (1919)

American-born Nancy Witcher Astor, or Viscountess Astor, was the second woman elected to the British Parliament‘s House of Commons and the first to actually serve. She concentrated on women’s issues, temperance, and child welfare and was reelected many times, serving until 1945. Astor attracted a great deal of attention, much of it for her caustic and witty comments. She reportedly once said to Winston Churchill, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea!” What was his alleged response? More… Discuss

this pressed…guess why: Make art your own home. Amazing piece.— Daniel Gennaoui


today’s holiday: Yemen Revolution Days


Yemen Revolution Days

Yemen observes two Revolution Days: one commemorates the revolutionary movement that overthrew the monarchy of Imam Muhammad al-Badr on September 26, 1962, and helped pave the way for the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic. Before that could occur, however, British occupation of the area remained another force impeding independence. Revolts against the British then ensued in 1962-63, and, by 1967, the British granted Yemen its sovereignty. These revolts are commemorated on October 14. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Second Boer War Erupts in South Africa (1899)


Second Boer War Erupts in South Africa (1899)

The Boer Wars were fought between the British Empire and Dutch settlers in South Africa, called Boers. The Second Boer War was sparked by the discovery of gold in the Transvaal, a region annexed to Britain but controlled by anti-British statesman Paul Kruger. Tensions rose as the Boer government began limiting the rights of British settlers moving into the region. It has been argued that what method of control now commonly associated with the Nazis was first employed by the British in this war? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Federation of Malaysia Created (1963)


Federation of Malaysia Created (1963)

The Japanese occupation of the Malayan region during World War II weakened British influence there and unleashed anti-colonial, Malayan nationalism. With the help of the Chinese, the Malayan Communist Party grew stronger, fought the Japanese occupation, and threatened British interests. In response, the British established the multi-ethnic Federation of Malaya in 1948 as a part of a wider anti-communist plan. In 1963, “Malaya” became “Malaysia” with the acquisition of what territories? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Bahamas Independence Day


Bahamas Independence Day

The Bahama Islands gained independence from Great Britain at 12:01 a.m. on this day in 1973. The islands had been a British colony for nearly 250 years, but are now a commonwealth, with their own prime minister and parliament. Businesses are closed on the tenth, a legal holiday, but festivities go on for a week with parades and celebrations. A fireworks display at Clifford Park in Nassau on July 10 tops off the celebrations. More… Discuss

this day in the yersteryear: The Bahamas Gain Independence from the British Commonwealth (1973)


 

The Bahamas Gain Independence from the British Commonwealth (1973)

 

English: Reception of the American Loyalists b...

English: Reception of the American Loyalists by Great Britain in the Year 1783. Engraving by H. Moses after Benjamin West. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bahama Islands became a British colony in the 18th century, when they were a haven for pirates such as Blackbeard. After the American Revolution, many Loyalists settled there, bringing slaves to labor on cotton plantations. Later, during the prohibition era in the US, the Bahamas became a base for rum-running. It was not until 1973 that the islands became a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations. What happened to the native tribe that Columbus first encountered there in 1492? More… Discuss

 

this day in the yesteryear: Ned Kelly Is Captured (1880)


Ned Kelly Is Captured (1880)

Ned Kelly is Australia‘s most famous bushranger and, to many, a folk hero who defied colonial authorities. Ned’s trouble with the law began when he was just a teen, and what started as minor scrapes with authorities escalated into more serious crimes, including the bank robberies and murders that eventually led to his execution. Despite Kelly’s misdeeds, many believe that he and his family were unfairly targeted by police. In its last stand, the Kelly gang utilized “body armor” made out of what? More… Discuss

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENCE DAY


Zimbabwe Independence Day

Like much of Africa, the area that is now Zimbabwe was long controlled by Europeans. In 1922, the 34,000 European settlers chose to become a self-governing British colony, Southern Rhodesia; in 1923, Southern Rhodesia was annexed by the British Crown. A fight for independence took place in the 1970s. An independent constitution was written for Zimbabwe in London in 1979, and independence followed on April 18, 1980. Independence Day is celebrated in every city and district of the nation with political rallies, parades, traditional dances, singing, and fireworks. More…Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: JOMO KENYATTA SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS HARD LABOR (1953)


Jomo Kenyatta Sentenced to Seven Years Hard Labor (1953)

Kenyatta was an African political leader and the first president of an independent Kenya. His activities were integral to the effort to liberate Kenya from British colonial rule. In 1953, British leaders sentenced Kenyatta to seven years in prison for his suspected ties to the Mau Mau guerilla organization. Released in 1959, he participated in negotiations with the British to write a new constitution for Kenya, which became independent in 1963. What did he achieve during his 14-year presidency? More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: THE DEATH WAIL


The Death Wail

The death wail is a cry of mourning performed ritually in response to the death of a loved one. Though found in numerous cultures, it is closely associated with Australian Aboriginal peoples. Some accounts of the death wail describe its presence in conjunction with fighting and disputes. For instance, Edward Eyre, a British colonial administrator in 19th-century Australia, documented its usage between members of two rival tribes. Where can you listen to an 1898 recording of a death wail? More… Discuss

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: COMMONWEALTH DAY


Commonwealth Day

From 1903 until 1957, this holiday in honor of the British Empire was known as Empire Day and celebrated on May 24, Queen Victoria‘s birthday. Between 1958 and 1966, it was called British Commonwealth Day. Then it was switched to Queen Elizabeth II‘s official birthday in June, and the name was shortened to Commonwealth Day. It is now observed annually on the second Monday in March. In Canada it is still celebrated on May 24 (or the Monday before) and referred to as Victoria Day. More… Discuss

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This Day in the Yesteryear: THE ANGLO-AMERICAN CONVENTION (1818)


The Anglo-American Convention (1818)

The Anglo-American Convention was a treaty signed in 1818 between the US and UK resolving their standing border issues and allowing for joint rights to the Oregon Country. Though it marked the beginning of improved relations between the two countries, tensions remained over the shared territory in Oregon. The British-chartered Hudson’s Bay Company had already established a trading network there and sought to exclude US fur traders. What harsh policy did they implement to ward off competition?More… Discuss

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: WOMEN IN CANADA FINALLY RECOGNIZED AS “PERSONS” (1929)


Women in Canada Finally Recognized as “Persons” (1929)

In the early 20th century, Canadian women were often prohibited from hearing court testimony deemed inappropriate. Emily Murphy protested and became the first woman magistrate in Canada—and all of the British Empire—but her rulings were often challenged because women were not legally considered “persons.” Murphy and four other women, the “Famous Five,” submitted a petition for constitutional clarification. The subsequent Persons Case granted Canadian women personhood. What else did it establish? More…Discuss

 

THE BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES


The British Overseas Territories

At the height of its power in the late 19th century, the British Empire had acquired about one quarter of the world’s land area, including territories with large indigenous populations in Asia and Africa. Some colonies have since gained independence, but Britain continues to control the administration and legislature of 14 colonies known as the British Overseas Territories. As they are found on or near every continent, the sun still never sets on the British Empire. What are the 14 colonies? More…Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: MARIE CARMICHAEL STOPES (1880)


Marie Carmichael Stopes (1880)

A Scottish paleobotanist whose first marriage was annulled—and allegedly never consummated—Stopes went on to publish a controversial yet highly influential sex manualMarried Love, in 1918. Thereafter, she became a pioneer in the field of family planning, opening the first birth-control clinic in the British Empire in 1921. Stopes helped break down taboos and improve women’s reproductive health, but her support of what field of reproductive science has somewhat marred her reputation? More… Discuss

 

This Day in the yesteryear: BRITISH AIRSHIP CRASHES NEAR BEAUVAIS (1930)


British Airship Crashes near Beauvais (1930)

In 1920s Britain, airships were envisioned as a way to make the most remote parts of the British Empire accessible. Two starkly different teams of engineers were employed to create two crafts for passenger travel, one conservative and one more experimental. However, British use of airships effectively ended when the ambitious R101 crashed in France during its maiden overseas voyage, killing 48 people—12 more than the infamous Hindenburg disaster. What was R101’s destination?More… Discuss