Articles

History Guild publishes articles that provide interesting insights into history. We cover all aspects of history, from around the world and across time.

The Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

The Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

Reading time: 5 minutes
The first Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was prompted by the sinking of RMS Titanic. An attempt to establish basic rules became the most important international treaty about the safety of merchant ships and sea travel.

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The Beginning of Rebellion: The Hidden History of the 1521 Santo Domingo Slave Revolt

The Beginning of Rebellion: The Hidden History of the 1521 Santo Domingo Slave Revolt

Reading time: 5 minutes
As the Age of Discovery slowly transitioned into the Age of Colonialism, the Spanish Empire, or more accurately its citizens, began importing African slaves into its new colonial holdings in North America and the Caribbean.
Only 30 years after Columbus had discovered the Americas, on the island of Hispaniola (now modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic), the very first colonial slave revolt occurred.

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Why are algorithms called algorithms? A brief history of the Persian polymath you’ve likely never heard of

Why are algorithms called algorithms? A brief history of the Persian polymath you’ve likely never heard of

Reading time: 5 minutes
Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī played a central role in the development of mathematics and computer science as we know them today. The next time you use any digital technology – from your social media feed to your online bank account to your Spotify app – remember that none of it would be possible without the pioneering work of an ancient Persian polymath.

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THE LIGHT OF DAYS – BOOK REVIEW

THE LIGHT OF DAYS – BOOK REVIEW

Reading time: 3 minutes
The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghetto, by Judy Batalion – an unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds.

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CHICKENHAWK – BOOK REVIEW

CHICKENHAWK – BOOK REVIEW

Reading time: 1 minute
A look at the novel Chickenhawk, Robert Mason’s bestselling account of his service as a chopper pilot in Vietnam–a no-holds-barred autobiography that reveals the war’s shattering legacy in the heart of a returning vet.

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The A to Z of the Royal Navy Captains’ letters project

The A to Z of the Royal Navy Captains’ letters project

Reading time: 11 minutes

This is the first of a planned series of blogs charting the progress of the Royal Navy Captains’ letters volunteer project. In it I make reference to letters which use terminology and refer to practices that may cause offence.

This project, scheduled for completion in 2024, involves cataloguing letters written by Royal Navy Captains to the Admiralty during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars (1793-1815). The National Archives holds these letters in 564 boxes in the record series ADM 1, archived by year and the initial letter of Captains’ surnames.

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Why the Romans weren’t quite as clean as you might have thought

Why the Romans weren’t quite as clean as you might have thought

Reading time: 5 minutes
Prior to the Romans, Greece was the only part of Europe to have had toilets. But by the peak of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD, the Romans had introduced sanitation to much of their domain, stretching across western and southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Their impressive technologies included large multi-seat public latrines, sewers, clean water in aqueducts, elegant public baths for washing, and laws that required towns to remove waste from the streets. But how effective were these measures in improving the health of the population?

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HISTORICALLY SKEWED AND MUSICALLY SUBLIME: AMADEUS AT 40

HISTORICALLY SKEWED AND MUSICALLY SUBLIME: AMADEUS AT 40

Reading time: 9 minutes
In the pantheon of Western classical music an esteemed list of names has captured the admiration and attention of the public for centuries. From the Baroque masters of Bach and Handel, the classical giants of Beethoven and Haydn, and the romantic poets of Chopin and Liszt, much of society’s collective fascination with these composers has extended far beyond just their musical creations. Who were they and how did they write such exquisite melodies? In attempting to learn more about the lives of these men who continue to move so many around the world, personal portraits emerge of seemingly ordinary beings. An ordinariness that vanished when pen was put to paper, and a musical sublimeness was born.

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The spirit of invention in the Victorian home

The spirit of invention in the Victorian home

Reading time: 8 minutes
The Victorian era was an amazing time for inventive activity. Advances in technology, science and industry brought change to all areas. One setting that provided endless inspiration for Victorian inventors was their homes. As it took on new forms and functions in the wake of rapid social change, the Victorian home sparked ideas for an array of creative inventions attempting to improve the domestic experience.

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What Australia’s convict past reveals about women, men, marriage and work

What Australia’s convict past reveals about women, men, marriage and work

Reading time: 5 minutes
It is not the presence of convicts that matters, but the drastic distortion in the ratio of men to women that came with it. Convict men outnumbered convict women by roughly six to one. These numbers were even more skewed at the start of settlement. Convicts were joined by free migrants, especially in the second half of the 19th century, whose numbers also skewed heavily male. The ratio of men to women was consistently skewed in favour of males in Australia until the start of the first world war.

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Neanderthals were no brutes – research reveals they may have been precision workers

Neanderthals were no brutes – research reveals they may have been precision workers

Reading time: 5 minutes
Neanderthals were until quite recently often seen as simple-minded savages – powerful hunters with a short attention span. But in the last few years, scientists have realised that they were a lot more refined than previously thought – capable of caring for the vulnerable, burying their dead and even adorning themselves with feathers and beads.

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MARTIN LUTHER: RENEGADE AND PROPHET – BOOK REVIEW

MARTIN LUTHER: RENEGADE AND PROPHET – BOOK REVIEW

Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal Roper – a magisterial new biography which goes beyond Luther’s theology to investigate the inner life of the religious reformer who has been called “the last medieval man and the first modern one.”

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Who were we fighting at Gallipoli?

Who were we fighting at Gallipoli?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes In the annual discussion of the Gallipoli campaign Australians are subjected to a variety of hyperbole and parable as commentators and reporters offer up the same old chestnuts for want of something else to say. That at Anzac Cove...

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The Treaty of Versailles: Brutally Unfair or Righteous Retribution?

The Treaty of Versailles: Brutally Unfair or Righteous Retribution?

Reading time: 7 minutes
Marking the end of World War One, the Treaty of Versailles was signed by Germany on June the 28th 1919. Often cited as one of the leading reasons for Germany’s descent into fascism and the start of World War Two, the Treaty of Versailles along with the other treaties signed at the Paris Peace Conference vastly reshaped the borders and the economies of the European continent.

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Weekly History Quiz No.220

1. Ruling in the 12th century, who was one of the most powerful Queens of Jerusalem?
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We have revealed a unique time capsule of Australia’s first coastal people from 50,000 years ago

Reading time: 5 minutes
Barrow Island, located 60 kilometres off the Pilbara in Western Australia, was once a hill overlooking an expansive coast. This was the northwestern shelf of the Australian continent, now permanently submerged by the ocean.
Our new research, published in Quaternary Science Reviews, shows that Aboriginal people repeatedly lived on portions of this coastal plateau. We have worked closely with coastal Thalanyji Traditional Owners on this island work and also on their sites from the mainland.

Weekly History Quiz No.219

When was the Australian-England ‘Bodyline’ cricket series?
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Weekly History Quiz No.218

When did the construction of the Acropolis of Athens begin?
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Weekly History Quiz No.217

Five countries have been represented at all Modern Summer Olympic Games: Greece, Great Britain, Switzerland, Australia, and which other country?
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Weekly History Quiz No.216

1. How long had the Mary Rose been in service prior to her sinking in 1545?
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Weekly History Quiz No.215

1. Troops from which Allied nation spearheaded the 1942 Dieppe raid?
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Weekly History Quiz No.214

1. Which countries fought in the 1984-1988 tanker war?
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General History Quiz 213

1. What was the relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt?
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General History Quiz 212

1. Where was the Inca capital?
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