The security eye logo.
American History

Checks and Controls on America’s Surveillance System

March 4, 2021

In recent years, as we have seen the notion of trusting our educated platonic guardians no longer suffices. The result was the creation of a system of oversight and audit that we have been in the process of fine tuning ever since the 1970s. […]

The illustration of 'Big Brother is watching you'.
American History

American Surveillance: Abuses and Excesses in Cold War-era

March 4, 2021

Through the means of investigative journalism and official committees, we now know a lot about surveillance in America, in particular, the abusive side of it. In part shocking, these examples also probably give us an insight into the reason for having such widespread surveillance system in the first place. […]

A bust of Benjamin Franklin at the Library of Congress.
American History

The Early Life and Success of Benjamin Franklin

March 3, 2021

Benjamin Franklin had worked harder throughout his life to make himself into an object of honor, especially considering how low was the rung of the ladder on which he had been born. By 1740s, he had become a gentleman in the American society. […]

Image of the imperial palace of the Qing dynasty.
History

The Peasant Rebellions in China

March 2, 2021

The peasant rebellion in China was sparked by a series of natural disasters that began in the early 1850s. Coinciding with the Western assault, the Manchu dynasty became fatally weak. […]

A building in Chinese architectural style is seen next to a lake.
History

Rural Life in Imperial China

March 2, 2021

In imperial China, the rural population lived in clustered villages, each of which had its own distinctive local customs, festivals, deities, and temples. And, There were substantial social class distinctions both between and within lineage groups. […]

Image of human skulls stacked on top of each other
History

Caffa, the Black Death’s Port of Entry into Europe

March 2, 2021

Without a doubt, the siege of Caffa is a stunning story and, as Professor Mark Wheelis puts it, “the most spectacular incident of biological warfare ever”. But at the same time, it’s unlikely that this event was the sole means by which plague made its way into Western Europe. […]

A plague doctor walking along a misty lake.
European History

The Black Death: Europe’s First Contact with the Plague

March 1, 2021

In 1345, the Mongol army was ravaged by the plague. The Mongol forces recognized that they were defeated and that the siege was over. But before they withdrew, they engaged in what microbiologist Mark Wheelis has described as “the most spectacular incident of biological warfare ever”—they loaded up their trebuchets with plague-infected corpses and launched them into the city. […]

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