During the War 1812, US and Canadian privateers fought most of the naval battles between the United States and Great Britain. These privateers were comprised of captains who were motivated by the promise of profit to fight for their countries. There was a strong legal framework in both the United States and Great Britain that normalized piracy. Canadian and American ship owners and investors took advantage of it and funded privateering outfits during the war. Needless to say, privateers were incredibly risky investments.Read more...
At the very end of the 19th Century, a new system called naturopathy was created by Benedict and Louisa Stroebel Lust. Unlike many of the 19th Century medical systems created, naturopathy has persevered to this day. Naturopathic healing was founded and based on number of influences including botanics, hydrotherapy, eclecticism, temperance and vegetarianism. Read more...
The Battle of the Somme or the Somme Offensive was a series of battles that occurred during the Summer and Autumn of 1916. It involved British and French forces launching a massive assault on the German lines in an effort to break the stalemate on the Western Front. The Battle was primarily a battle between the Germans and the British. The offensive achieved very little and both sides suffered heavy casualties. The British only advanced a few miles and the German lines held. The stalemate was not broken by the offensive. Read more...
The First World War was an incredibly destructive and wide ranging catastrophe. Not only did it dramatically change the map of Europe and the world and it led to further instability. The First World War was one of the most important wars in human history. There has long been a debate about the exact cause of the First World War. The assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand triggered the war but its ultimate causes were far more complex. Read more...
Starting in 1787, states began to ratify the newly drafted federal Constitution which would determine the fate of the new American Republic. In order for the Constitution to go in effect, nine of the states needed to agree to the document. While five states quickly ratified the Constitution between December 1787 and January 1788, the country's eyes stayed on Virginia. Virginia was the most populated and largest state and it was critical for the state to ratify the Constitution to legitimize the process. Read more...
Epicurus is often associated as one of the Greek philosophers more interested in pleasure or its pursuit than other ideals. While at times this led to a negative view of his philosophy, the reality is his thinking was very advanced and developed, leading to his ideas becoming highly influential in modern thought in many regions of the world today. He was one of the first Greek philosophers to develop a strong tradition that avoid superstition as a core ideal.Read more...
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress. This act was only the first step towards the creation of the United States. The United States then fought a seven year war to cement its independence from England. The successful fight for independence has had a remarkable impact on world history over the past 200 years. The United States gradually transformed itself from a former colony into a superpower. The impact of this revolution cannot be ignored. Read more...
The Academy, founded by the philosopher Plato in the early 4th century BCE, was perhaps one of the earliest institutions of higher learning. While it was not like a university where people would enroll and obtain advanced degrees, it functioned as one of the first places for dedicated research into scientific and philosophical questions, at least in Europe, took place by gathered scholars. Its main function was to teach Plato's philosophical understanding, but it also challenged its scholars to develop a new understanding of our universe. Read more...
The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 were four laws that were passed by the predominantly Federalist Congress and signed by John Adams to strengthen the national security of the United States. These acts not only restricted the ability of an immigrant to become a citizen, but made it easier to deport non-citizens who were either deemed dangerous or were citizens of hostile countries. Perhaps the most contentious aspect of the new laws criminalized the printing or speaking allegedly false statements about the federal government. Not surprisingly, these laws were incredibly controversial and strongly opposed by Thomas Jefferson's opposition Democratic-Republican party.Read more...
January 1, 1863 marked a pivotal moment in the American Civil War. On this date the Emancipation Proclamation, the preliminary of which was issued by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862, took full and permanent effect, thus changing the Union’s ultimate war goal. The Civil War was no longer being fought to preserve the antebellum Union but rather, in the words of Lincoln, was to be a war of “subjugation…the [old] South” was to be destroyed in favor of “new propositions and ideas.”Read more...
Hitler saw the war in terms of his personal rivalry with Stalin and he decided to attack the city, because of its symbolic value. However, the original aim of the offensive in Southern Russian was to secure the oil fields in the Caucasus. The oil was essential for the German war machine. Hitler knew this – instead of opting for concentrating all his forces on the conquest of the oil fields, he made perhaps a fateful mistake.Read more...
Nineteenth-century medicine was characterized by constant competition among three major medical sects: Regulars, Eclectics, and Homeopaths. Each of these medical sects not only meaningfully disagreed on how to treat illnesses and diseases, but sought to portray their type of practice as the most effective and scientific. Arguably none of the three sects was superior to the others, but their adherents concluded that their sectarian beliefs were better than their competitors.Read more...
Recently on Twitter, a debate broke out between Annette Gordon-Reed, Sam Haselby, and John Fea on the nature of Thomas Jefferson's religious beliefs. Instead of recreating the debate, it made more sense to contact one of the participants, Sam Haselby, whose recent book The Origins of American Religious Nationalism (published by Oxford University Press) examines how a conflict with Protestantism, in the decades following US independence transformed American national identity.Read more...
Logistics win wars. Logistics is the coordination of complex operations such as moving, housing and supplying troops and their equipment. War is the ultimate test of any logistician. During the Civil War, the Union troops fought almost the entire war in the South. Thomas F. Army, Jr. argues in his new book Engineering Victory: How Technology Won the Civil War published by Johns Hopkins University Press that the Union's engineering prowess during Civil War gave it an distinct advantage over the Confederacy.Read more...
The Harvard University Press recently published Lisa Goff's new book Shantytown, USA: Forgotten Landscapes of the Working Poor. There's a chance that one of your American ancestors lived in an American shantytown. While we may not realize it now, shantytowns were a common feature of 19th century America. Goff's book explores not only how shantytowns became a prominent feature of America's towns and cities, but why middle class Americans eventually turned on them and their residents. Read more...
Directly or indirectly, Jim Bowie’s enigmatic illness resulted from his own actions. A hearty man of six feet in height, Bowie was a walking contradiction; a slave trader who fought for freedom, a generous and congenial man who called out his thunderous temper on a whim, and a commanding leader who was prone to binges of sloppy drunkenness. Read more...
Operation Market Garden, launched in September 1944, was an unsuccessful Allied offensive mainly, fought in the Netherlands. It was the largest airborne operation in history up to that time. The operation was a daring one and it was the brainchild of the British General Bernard Montgomery. His intended the airborne offensive to allow the allies to break into the German heartland and to end the war, quickly. Read more...
Creating a top ten list for books on Alexander the Great is not easy, since few ancient historical figures have been written about as much. Everything from his complex personality and his sexual life to his military and logistical tactics have been analyzed by historians. Alexander, simply put, stands out as unique among ancient historical figures for having so much detailed assessment made on his life and times. Read more...
January 1, 1863 marked a pivotal moment in the American Civil War. On this date the Emancipation Proclamation, the preliminary of which was issued by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862, took full and permanent effect, thus changing the Union’s ultimate war goal. Once the aim of the war changed for the Union, so too did its leaders. The harsh and unpopular actions that were necessary to prevent the prolonged bloody carnage of continual war were tasked to three men: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and William T. Sherman. Read more...
The rise of cities in the ancient Near East during the fourth millennium BC (4000-3000 BC) is a key event in the history of the world, as urban patterns that first arose there became patterns inherited in many societies, including in the West. Cities in the ancient Near East were the first to develop major temples, palaces, large urban dwelling areas, city walls, governments, and religious authorities that become features seen in later cities. Read more...
In September 1939, the Nazi War Machine invaded Poland and World War II began. France and its Britain declared against Nazi Germany in 1939. The French army was in theory as strong as the Germanys and it had a vast Empire and a sophisticated arms industry. It had also established a series of fortifications in the east of the country, known as the Maginot Line. The Line was designed to keep German forces out of France. Read more...
Johns Hopkins University Press has recently published Len Traver's new book Hodges' Scout: A Lost Patrol of the French and Indian War. Travers' book examines a group of colonial scouts who were ambushed on a patrol in upstate New York by French and Native American soldiers during the French and Indian War. Travers uses this massacre to explore the lives of the colonists who fought, died and even survived this massacre. Read more...
Creating a Top Ten List for the Gilded Age/Progressive Era is challenging. There are an extraordinary number of outstanding books on this period. These books are a selection of our favorites. Most of these books are focused on trying to define this era as whole, instead of focusing on a single issue. In other words, several of these books are seeking to create a grand narrative of the era to help their readers understand it. Read more...
In 2014, the New York Times published a brief interview with noted Civil War historian James McPherson, The George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University. McPherson is considered to be the dean of Civil War historians. He is best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning book Battle Cry of Freedom which is the best overview of the Civil War. Read more...
The Oxford University Press recently published Theresa Kaminski's Angels of the Underground: The American Women who Resisted the Japanese in the Philippines in World War II. Kaminski's book follows the lives of four American women who were stranded in the Philippines after Japan invaded during World War II. Publishers Weekly described her book as a "fast-paced true story" that documents how these women resisted Japanese occupation. Read more...
Here are some of our most recently created and edited articles.
- How Did the 1967 War Shape the Middle East?
- What Was the Fate of Women During the Bangladesh Liberation War?
- Hollywood and Communism: How Did The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Support Marxist Ideology?
- How Did the Great Depression and the Vietnam War Help Shape the Hollywood Western?
- Who Was Responsible for the Extreme Violence During the Reconstruction Era?
- Why did the Battle of the Somme largely fail to achieve its objectives?
- Were Members of the Underground Railroad Criminals?
- How Did Southern Belles Help Dispel Their Own Stereotype?
These are our interviews with historians discussing their new books.
- Privateering during the War of 1812: Interview with Faye M. Kert
- Fate of the Revolution: Interview with Lorri Glover
- The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798: Interview with Terri Halperin
- Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Fathers and Christianity: Interview with Sam Haselby
- Engineering Victory during the Civil War: Interview with Thomas F. Army, Jr.
- Shantytown, USA: Interview with Lisa Goff
- Hodges' Scout: Interview with Len Travers
Includes our most recent Expert and User created Top Ten History Booklists.
- British Criminal and Legal History Top Ten Booklist
- Nature's Path: Interview with Susan E. Cayleff
- Origins of World War One - Top Ten Booklist
- American Revolution Top Ten Booklist
- The Best Historians and Books According to James McPherson
- The Greek Philosophers Top Ten Booklist
- Alexander the Great Top Ten Booklist
- Top 10 Books on the origins of the Italian Renaissance
- Origins of the French Revolution - Top Ten Booklist
- Origins of the World War One - Top Ten Booklist
- Causes of World War II Top Ten Booklist
- Bronze Age (3200-1200 BC) Economy and Trade in the Near East Top Ten Booklist
- The Bronze Age Economy and Trade Top Ten Booklist
- Social History of American Medicine Top Ten Booklist
- 19th Century American Intellectual History Top Ten Booklist
Here are some links to our Favorite History and Academic Publisher Blogs
- Tropics of Meta
- Nursing Clio
- The Junto
- Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society
- Legal History Blog
- Environment, Law and History Blog
- Oxford University Press Blog
- Johns Hopkins University Press Blog
- Cooking in the Archives
- Videri: The Historiographical WIki
DailyHistory.org is a communitiy history wiki. Almost every page (excluding interviews and expert booklists) can be edited. You are welcome to join us.
- Every article answers a historical question and every booklist is a Top ten list.
- After you register, you will be able to edit and create articles.
- All of your contributions need to be original.
- If you want to create a new page, you can easily do so by using the following form:
Below you can find the category structure of the wiki, as well as the pages within each category.