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Why did the Battle of the Somme largely fail to achieve its objectives?

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...

Was Elizabeth I Justified in having her Cousin Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland Executed?

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When studying the lives of Elizabeth I and her rival cousin Mary Stuart, modern interpretations paint a fairly definitive picture of their perceived personalities. Elizabeth’s character is revealed through titles such as Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor by Katherine Lasky, Elizabeth I: Queen of England’s Golden Age by Paul Hilliam, or Clark Hulse’s Elizabeth: Ruler and Legend. Read more...

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Why was Epicurus and his philosophy so important?

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...

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How did ancient Professional Armies develop?

Warfare has been a constant throughout human history and conflict can certainly be traced back to our hominid ancestors in our evolutionary past. While technology today is often used as the distinguishing characteristic of warfare, the development of the professional army, that is fulltime soldiers and formations of a standing army, was also an important factor in making warfare an affair conducted throughout the year and allowed the establishment of large-scale states and empires to be possible. Read more...

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What was Plato's academy and why did it influence Western thought?

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...

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How Did Early Mathematics Evolve?

Mathematics today profoundly affects our societies and has had a lasting impact on science and technology. However, before Greek mathematicians developed many wonderful achievements in this area, what are the origins of mathematics and how did this field evolve in its early history?[1] Read more...

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Was the Destruction Perpetrated by Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman Necessary to End the Civil War?

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. Read more...

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Why did Germany lose the Battle of Stalingrad?

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. Read more...

How has the Role of Horses Changed in Human Societies?

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The horse today is often seen as an animal useful for recreation, sport, transport, and work. The nature of the horse, however, has changed in different societies across time. Sometimes horses were seen as war animals, while in other places and periods there use was the privy of royalty. Read more...

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What was the dominant medical sect in the United States during the 19th Century?

Nineteenth-century medicine was characterized by constant competition among three major medical sects: Regulars, Eclectics, and Homeopaths.[1] 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. Read more...

How Did the German Military Develop Blitzkrieg?

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The early German victories in Poland, Norway, France, the Low Countries, the Balkans, North Africa, and Russia form an impressive list of military triumphs. What was more, these triumphs were accomplished with great speed and fairly modest cost to the Germans. Indeed, these victories were so striking that they gave rise to the myth of German military supremacy—a myth that has persisted to this day. Read more...

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The Mysterious Illness of Jim Bowie: How Did He Contribute to His Own Decline?

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...

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Why did Operation Market Garden in 1944 fail?

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...

Why Was Vicksburg “The Gibraltar of the Confederacy?”

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As the calendar flipped from June to July in 1863 Gettysburg, a small market town founded in the soft, rolling hills of south central Pennsylvania on Samuel Gettys farm half a century before, was unknown to most Americans. Four days later, on July 4, it had become "The Most Famous Small Town in America," as boosters would come to call it. Read more...

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Was the Destruction Perpetrated by Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman Necessary to End the Civil War?

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. Read more...

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What Factors Led to the Creation of the First Cities?

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...

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Why was France defeated in 1940?

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...

How did Medicine develop in the Ancient World?

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As the calendar flipped from June to July in 1863 Gettysburg, a small market town founded in the soft, rolling hills of south central Pennsylvania on Samuel Gettys farm half a century before, was unknown to most Americans. Four days later, on July 4, it had become "The Most Famous Small Town in America," as boosters would come to call it. Read more...

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