Sir Thomas More, Man of Conscience and Principle, Rebelled Against King Henry VIII’s Ban on Catholicism

In the 1950s and 1960s, A Man for All Seasons, a play and movie, helped to diminish anti-Catholic bias in American society by telling the story of Sir Thomas More (1478 – 1535), an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist who also served as English King Henry VIII's chancellor. He is … Continue reading Sir Thomas More, Man of Conscience and Principle, Rebelled Against King Henry VIII’s Ban on Catholicism

Borgias Played Critical Role in Protestant Reformation, Renaissance, Colonialism, Columbian Exchange

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK6t8VpuFQg&t=19s In this video, Ryan Reeves, (PhD Cambridge) an Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, explains why the Borgia dynasty is, after more than 500 years, "remembered even today as something of a soap opera." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItLou92CsEM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpY1_iCUUa8 Popularized by a three-season TV series on various streaming services, the Borgias had a reputation … Continue reading Borgias Played Critical Role in Protestant Reformation, Renaissance, Colonialism, Columbian Exchange

11 Broadway Musicals That Illuminate History

One unusual way to learn history is through music. Broadway musicals illuminate the past in ways that dry textbooks cannot. Examples: "Something's Rotten" -- a musical comedy about the English Renaissance, how Shakespeare stole with impunity from other writers and poets (no copyright laws).  Here are two numbers: "Welcome to the Renaissance" and "Black Death." … Continue reading 11 Broadway Musicals That Illuminate History

Introducing the Renaissance (1300s-1500s) and Humanism

During the European Renaissance (1300-1600), the intellectual movement of humanism emerged. History teacher Paul Sargent defines the Renaissance, describes the movement of humanism and profiles four major figures of the movement: Petrarch (1304-1374), Lorenzo Valla (1407-1457), Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), and Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494). Sargent points out that during the Renaissance, citizens renewed their belief … Continue reading Introducing the Renaissance (1300s-1500s) and Humanism

‘Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story’

The North American population -- US and Canada -- is about 370 million. In contrast, Central and South America's population is nearly double, more than 600 million. And yet North America dominates the world's focus. Why? Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story, by Maria Arana, may offer some answers. This … Continue reading ‘Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story’

8 Things You May Not Know About the French Guillotine

The execution device once dubbed the “National Razor” of France was inspired by the Halifax Guibbet in England and the Scottish Maiden in the 1500s. It was actually considered humane because it was a relatively quick form of capital punishment without enduring torture. https://www.history.com/news/8-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-guillotine Public beheadings continued in France until 1939, weren't completely outlawed until … Continue reading 8 Things You May Not Know About the French Guillotine

Why You’d Never Survive Life in the Middle Ages

Grunge: "If you believe what Hollywood tells you, then life during the Middle Ages might seem romantic and glamorous - chock-full of noble knights on noble steeds, beautiful ladies with pointy hats, chivalry, honor, and, if you're lucky, a dragon or two. "Sadly, the truth is that life in the Middle Ages was about as … Continue reading Why You’d Never Survive Life in the Middle Ages

Queen Elizabeth I Kept A Fractious England Together By Marshaling Absolute Power and Defeating the Spanish Empire

Elizabeth I (1533-1603), queen of England from 1558 to 1603, was one strong woman, who by force of will and strength kept England together. She was probably the most shining and successful example of a benevolent monarch from the Age of Absolutism. She was certainly better than her father King Henry VIII (1491-1547), who one historian compared … Continue reading Queen Elizabeth I Kept A Fractious England Together By Marshaling Absolute Power and Defeating the Spanish Empire

In Early 1800s, Revolutionary Spirit Spread to Latin America

How did the revolutionary spirit in North America and Europe -- particularly France -- impact Latin America? In the course of a few decades, the US, France, and Haiti all experienced revolutions. This spirit ultimately destroyed the colonial empires of Britain, France and Spain in the New World. But they did not give up on … Continue reading In Early 1800s, Revolutionary Spirit Spread to Latin America