Monday, October 31, 2016

What are the Causes of the Yom Kippur War?

Israeli Tank in Golan Heights
At 2pm of October 6, 1973, while Israel observed Yom Kippur, Egyptian guns bombarded Israeli forts along the Suez Canal, while the Syrians attacked Israeli positions within the Golan Heights. The surprise attacks signaled the start of the Arab-Israeli War known as the Yom Kippur War or Ramadan War in Arab states. But what led the two Arab countries to attack Israel? What drove them into starting another conflict in a highly volatile region?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Establishment of the People's Republic of China: An End of an Era

Mao Proclaiming the Establishment of the People's Republic of China
“The Chinese have always been a great, courageous and industrious nation; it is only in modern times that they have fallen behind. And that was due entirely to oppression and exploitation by foreign imperialism and domestic reactionary governments.” 
– Mao Zedong

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Documents in History: 1864 Geneva Convention

Signing of the 1864 Geneva Convention
In 1864, representatives of several European countries, including the major continental powers France and Prussia, met in Geneva to sign a convention that laid down the framework to which the Red Cross started to operate. Explore its contents bellow.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Documents in History: 1862 London Protocol

First Japanese Mission to Europe (1862)
With rising unpopularity of foreigners in Japan, causing violence, the Tokugawa Shogunate and the British government agreed in 1862 to postpone of the opening of the designated ports of the 1858 Anglo-Japanese Commercial Treaty. Explore the contents of the agreement bellow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Document in History: 1858 Regulations under which American Trade is to be conducted in Japan

Townsend HarrisIn 1858, the Harris Treaty opened Japan further to Americans. Alongside the treaty came regulations for the expanding Japan-US trade. Explore the attached regulations to the Harris Treaty bellow.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Documents in History: 1858 Harris Treaty

Townsend HarrisIn 1858, First American Consul to Japan, Townsend Harris negotiated a treaty of amity and commerce with the Japanese Bakufu. Months of intense negotiations resulted to what became known as the Harris Treaty signed on July 29, 1858. Explore its contents bellow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Documents in History: 1857 Additional Articles to the Treaty of Commerce between the Netherlands and Japan

Donker CurtiusThe Dutch, after Perry's departure, negotiated and signed a treaty in 1856 with the Japanese expanding its activities beyond Dejima and into the whole of Nagasaki. In 1857, Donker Curtius, head of the Dutch enclave negotiated additional articles that expanded further Dutch influence, including the addition of the status of most favored state. Explore the contents of this 1857 treaty bellow.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 13): Summing Up

Emperor Meiji Moving to Tokyo
With the end of the Boshin War and the Shogunate, Japan moved forward with the Emperor as the sole symbol of the new nation of Japan. Explore the effects of the Bakumatsu and the Boshin War to the history of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 12): End of Boshin War

Yoshinobu Looking at the Burning of the Osaka Castle
With the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and the fall of Osaka, the Boshin War was on its climax. Explore the following battles and events in this short but momentous segment in Japanese modern history.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 11): Early Boshin War

Battle of Toba Fushimi - Shogunate forces (Left) against Choshu and Tosa (Right)
The Boshin War was a short dramatic chapter in Japanese history where the ancient old Tokugawa Shogunate, or at least, its clan and allies, fought for its dignity against imperial restoration and abolition of their privileges and wealth. Explore this conflict that decided Japan’s destiny.

The Bakumatsu (Part 10): Shogunate of Yoshinobu

Tokugawa YoshinobuHitotsubashi Keiki or Yoshinobu ascended as the 15th Tokugawa Shogun in 1867 in the midst of declining power and prestige of the Bakufu after centuries of domination. Explore Yoshinobu’s Shogunate before it ended with a civil war that changed Japan’s history.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 9): Satsuma-Choshu Alliance

Satsuma and Choshu Samurais during the Boshin War
Tokugawa Shogunate’s second expedition failed due to lack of support from other Domains in addition to a secret alliance unknown to Edo. Explore the creation of this secret alliance between Choshu and Satsuma that led the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 8): Diplomatic Developments

British soldiers in a Shimonoseki Battery, 1864
While the Bakufu prepared for its war against Choshu, they suddenly faced a diplomatic crisis, which freed them from the payment of a huge indemnity but in return of another batch of painful concessions. Explore these developments that virtually ended the Jo-i.

The Bakumatsu (Part 7): Choshu Expeditions

Modern Units of the Shogunal Army, 1866
After their failed coup in Kyoto, Choshu leaders faced a punitive expedition from the Shogunate, mandated by Emperor Komei. Explore the Choshu Expeditions meant to weaken the rebellious Daimiate instead further weakened the Bakufu.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 6): Choshu Domain

French warships Tancrede and Dupleix attacked Shimonoseki, 1863
Choshu Domain violently closed the vital Shimonoseki Strait as a result of the Order to Expel the Barbarians. The Bakufu in Edo, meanwhile, took the order more cautiously by choosing diplomacy to close the treaty ports. The order resulted to friction between the Sakoku and the Kaikoku parties in the country. Explore these shock waves that hit Japan.

The Bakumatsu (Part 5): Order to Expel the Barbarians

1861 Image expressing Jo-iAs Japan closed near the brink of war over the Namamugi Incident, the Court and the Shogunate held meetings on chasing out foreigners, which brought further complication to an already messy situation. Explore what came out of the imperial order to expel the barbarians.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 4): On the Brink

Namamugi Incident on a Japanese Woodcut Print
Attacks on foreigners and Bakufu officials illustrated the propensity of the unpopularity of opening Japan to the world. Edo attempted to alleviate the situation. But as it progressed, conditions continued to sour. Explore developments in foreign relations that placed Japan on the brink.

The Bakumatsu (Part 3): Unity of Court and Shogunate

Hitotsubashi Keiki (Yoshinobu), 1867Ii Naosuke and Tokugawa Nariaki’s demise signaled the start of a rocky relationship between the Bakufu, the Imperial Court, and the Daimyos. Explore the attempt to unite the Shogunate and the Emperor.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 2): Divided Japan

State Council Meeting with Lord Elgin
Divide and tensions followed the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa. Historical antipathies further widened the polarization as a result of different opinions on the country’s faith. Explore the developments within Japan after 1854, when the Bakufu signed the Treaty of Kanagawa.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 1): Opening of Japan

Japanese Mission to the US by Mathew Brady
After Perry and the Bakufu signed the Treaty of Kanagawa in March 1854, floodgates opened to Japan for foreign countries to demand treaties giving Japanese a semi-colonial status. Explore the following events after the Treaty of Kanagawa and rise in interaction with the so-called foreign “barbarians.”

The Bakumatsu (Introduction): The Fall and Decline of the Tokugawa Shogunate

Shoguante Troops (1864 Illustration from London News)
The Bakumatsu ended about a millennium history of shoguns that fascinated and led Japan. Explore Japan’s dissent during the period of the fall of the Tokugawa Shoguante.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Documents in History: Treaty of Shimoda

Admiral Putyatin in Nagasaki
In 1855, Putiatin returned to Japan to conclude a treaty delayed for over a year. The Treaty of Shimoda established formal relations between the two countries. Explore the contents of the agreement.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Documents in History: 1854 Anglo-Japanese Treaty

Sir James Stirling
Great Britain and Japan signed a treaty of friendship in Nagasaki just months after Perry left the Islands. It established the relation between the two countries and secured the opening of Japan for resupply. Explore the contents of the convention.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Documents in History: Reply to the 1852 Letter of President Fillmore

Commodore Perry Meeting the Japanese Commissioners
In 1854, Perry returned to Edo Bay to take the reply of the Japanese government from the letter that he delivered last year. A translation of the letter was made. Explore the contents of the reply of the Japan to the presidential letter.

Documents in History: July 1853 Memorial of Tokugawa Nariaki

Tokugawa Nariaki
On July 15, 1853, right after Commodore Perry left the Edo Bay, Tokugawa Nariaki, a known nationalist, Daimyo of Mito, sent a memorial to Edo giving 10 reasons for waging war against the Americans or other foreigners. Explore the document bellow.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 11): Effects of the Perry Expedition

Nagasaki Naval Training Center
After signing the Treaty of Kanagawa and ending his second visit to Japan, tremendous change followed. Explore the effects of Perry's expedition to the United States and Japan.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 10): Visit to Shimoda and Hakodadi

Perry Meeting with Officials of Hakodadi (Hakodate)
Right after the Treaty of Kanagawa was signed, Perry then journeyed to visit the ports given access to them. Explore what Commodore Perry and his squadron experienced from these two ports.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 9): The Treaty of Kanagawa

Commodore Perry Meeting the Japanese Commissioners
Yezaiman proposed Yokohama as a new location for a meeting. But would the Americans agree and what other hurdles did Perry faced to achieve his goal of a treaty. Explore the obstacles that Perry and the Japanese commissioners faced before signing a landmark treaty that changed Japan forever.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 8): Second Arrival of Perry

Drawing of Perry's Squadron during the Second Visit
After the Russians left, Perry rushed back to Japan, only to face an obstructionist Japanese tactics. But with an old friend from the previous visit, the path towards Japan’s opening began. Explore Perry’s return to Japan and difficulty that both sides faced from each other.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 7): In Between Two Visits

Abe MasahiroAfter Perry ended his first visit, the Japanese reacted differently on what to do next. Meanwhile, the Russians arrived demanding the same thing as Perry. Explore the divide within the Japanese government and the arrival of the Russians.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 6): Delivery of the Letter and End of First Visit

Delivery of the US President's Letter
Edo agreed to receive the letter in Uraga, both sides then showed the best of what they got. Explore the events of Perry’s delivery of the Presidential Letter to the Commissioners representing the Shogunate of Japan.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 5): First Arrival of Perry

Japanese Depiction of a Black Ship (from MIT Visualizing Culture)
After a long journey from the other side of the world, Perry finally arrived in Japan. Explore the initial contacts between the Japanese and the American squadron.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 4): Perry Sailed East

President Millard FillmoreDue to allegation of misconduct, Commodore Matthew Calbrith Perry suddenly found himself the new commander of a squadron destined for Japan. Explore how Perry journeyed east to begin his mission to change country’s policy and history.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 3): Attempts and Plans

The Morrison - A Japanese DrawingJapan continued to pursue isolation into the middle of the 19th century. But times had change and westerners continued to pursue to reverse the Shogunate’s policy. Explore previous attempts of western countries to establish relations with Japan and the plan hatched by the Americans

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 2): The Empire of Japan

Tokugawa IeyoshiThe United States experienced growth and development by the time of Perry’s Expedition. But what was the condition of Japan. Explore the condition of the home of the samurais before the arrival of the American expedition.

Perry Expedition and the Opening of Japan (Part 1): Perry's United States

Commodore Matthew PerryAn expedition sent to open Japan from two hundred years of isolation to fulfill the economic and political wants of the United States. Explore the United States and its intention for sending Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 10)

Tsar Nicholas II giving an opening speech of the First Duma
The October Manifesto propelled Russia to constitutionalism and parliamentary government. Yet, Tsar Nicholas planned to revive his powers as an autocratic ruler. Explore how Russia's new age of freedom transpired and how Tsar Nicholas perverted the contents of the Manifesto for his benefit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 9)

Demonstration of October 17, 1905 by Ilya Repin
With the economy ceased and people rallied in streets against the Tsar and his autocratic powers, the Russian government faced paralysis and tougher challenges. In face of this, the Tsar ultimately conceded to reforms by signing the October Manifesto. Explore what were the contents of the October Manifesto and its effect to the Revolution of 1905.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 8)

The Potemkin achored in Constanta (July 1905)
As the Russian Empire plunged into anarchy, officials discussed measures to abate the situation, including the need for reforms. But the Tsar hesitated for any reforms. Explore how the government acted upon the proposed reforms that ultimately resulted to the October Manifesto continuing crisis that shook the government.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 7)

Drawing of Workers in Narva Gate during Bloody Sunday
With the events of Bloody Sunday, the people rose up in support of the victims of the massacre. Reformist sentiments roared loudly as a result. Revolutionaries shouted for the ousting of the Tsar. Explore the events on the aftermath of Bloody Revolution that formed the Revolution of 1905.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 6)

Bloody Sunday, in Narva Gate, Fr. Gapon led the workers
With reforms and freedom constrained for decades, a war mishandled and a door opened for expression, Russians cried for changes Russia’s autocratic rule. They demanded civil rights, freedom, and social justice. But with a massacre in a cold January day, events spiraled out of control resulting to the Revolution of 1905. Explore how the event the 1905 Revolution transpired and brought the Tsardom went near the brink.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 5)

Pyotr Sviatopolk-MirskyWith the assignation of Interior Minister Plehve, a new Interior Minister, Pyotr Sviatopolk-Mirsky, relaxed controls against dissent. The relaxation resuscitated hopes of reforms. The Tsar fueled further calls for reforms when he plunged the country into the terrible Russo-Japanese War. Explore how the reformist movements restarted and the factor of the Russo-Japanese War contributed to the Russian Revolution of 1905.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 4)

Vyacheslav von Plehve
Sentiments towards reforms and nationalism as embodied by parties and nourished by new political ideologies. Various parties then took root and nourish to various institution where Russians meet, talk, and see the wrongs in Russia. But the government continued to be oblivious to change and continued to repress signs of them. Explore how various institutions played a role in spreading the spirit of reforms amongst Russian and how the government acted to subdue them before the Revolution of 1905.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 3)

Jonas Basanavicius
The Russian heartland saw the rise of various political parties embodying different ideologies and aspirations of the people. But besides the Russian, non-Russian minorities under the Empire also forged their own political parties. Explore these political parties in the satellite territories of the Russian Empire.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 2)

Marx (Left) and Engels (Right)
Russia’s course in the last 50 years of the 19th century saw changes in policies, society, and economy. The situations created new challenges and aspirations. With infusion of new ideologies, it led to the creation of political movements and parties. Explore what were the ideologies that spread and political parties that emerged, which played key roles in the Russian Revolution of 1905.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Russian Revolution of 1905 (Part 1)

Coronation of Nicholas II
The 1905 Revolution shook the Russian Empire's foundation bringing change to its autocratic government. But its outcome created a profound change in the course of Russian History. Explore more how the Russian Revolution of 1905 transpired and how it changed Russia.