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The History Portal


History is the discovery, collection, organization, analysis and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean a continuous, typically chronological, record of important or public events or of a particular trend or institution. Scholars who write about history are called historians. It is a field of knowledge which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it sometimes attempts to investigate objectively the patterns of cause and effect that determine events. Historians debate the nature of history and its usefulness. This includes discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. The stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the legends surrounding King Arthur) are usually classified as cultural heritage rather than the "disinterested investigation" needed by the discipline of history. Events of the past prior to written record are considered prehistory.

Amongst scholars, the fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus is considered to be the "father of history", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, forms the foundations for the modern study of history. Their influence, along with other historical traditions in other parts of their world, have spawned many different interpretations of the nature of history which has evolved over the centuries and are continuing to change. The modern study of history has many different fields including those that focus on certain regions and those which focus on certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.

More about History…

Selected article

The German Empire of 1871–1918
The formal unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the Versailles Palace's Hall of Mirrors in France. Princes of the German states gathered there to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as Emperor Wilhelm of the German Empire after the French capitulation in the Franco-Prussian War. Unofficially, the transition of most of the German-speaking populations into a federated organization of states occurred over nearly a century of experimentation. Unification exposed several glaring religious, linguistic, social, and cultural differences between and among the inhabitants of the new nation, suggesting that 1871 only represents one moment in a continuum of the larger unification processes.

The model of diplomatic spheres of influence resulting from the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 after the Napoleonic Wars endorsed Austrian dominance in Central Europe. However, the negotiators at Vienna took no account of Prussia's growing strength within and among the German states, failing to foresee that Prussia would challenge Austria for leadership within the German states. This German dualism presented two solutions to the problem of unification: Kleindeutsche Lösung, the small Germany solution (Germany without Austria), or Großdeutsche Lösung, greater Germany solution (Germany with Austria). Reaction to Danish and French nationalism provided foci for expressions of German unity. Military successes—especially Prussian ones—in three regional wars generated enthusiasm and pride that politicians could harness to promote unification. This experience echoed the memory of mutual accomplishment in the Napoleonic Wars, particularly in the War of Liberation of 1813–14. By establishing a Germany without Austria, the political and administrative unification in 1871 at least temporarily solved the problem of dualism.

Selected biography

A 32–33-year old Pedro Álvares Cabral in an early 20th-century painting.
Pedro Álvares Cabral (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpeðɾu ˈaɫvɐɾɨʃ kɐˈβɾaɫ] in European Portuguese or Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpedɾʊ ˈaʊ̯vaɾɪs kaˈbɾaʊ̯] in Brazilian Portuguese; c. 1467 or 1468 – c. 1520) was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it is known that he came from a minor noble family and received a good education. He was appointed to head an expedition to India in 1500, following Vasco da Gama's newly opened route around Africa. The object of the undertaking was to return with valuable spices and to establish trade relations in India—bypassing the monopoly on the spice trade then in the hands of Arab, Turkish and Italian merchants.

Cabral was later passed over, possibly as a result of a quarrel with Manuel I, when a new fleet was assembled to establish a more robust presence in India. Having lost favor with the King, he retired to a private life of which few records survive. His accomplishments slipped mostly into obscurity for more than 300 years. Decades after Brazil's independence from Portugal in the 19th century, Cabral's reputation began to be rehabilitated by Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. Historians have long argued whether Cabral was Brazil's discoverer, and whether the discovery was accidental or intentional. The first question has been settled by the observation that the few, cursory encounters by explorers before him were barely noticed at the time and contributed nothing to the future development and history of the land which would become Brazil, the sole Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas. On the second question, no definite consensus has been formed, and the intentional discovery hypothesis lacks solid proof. Nevertheless, although he was overshadowed by contemporary explorers, Cabral today is regarded as a major figure of the Age of Discovery.

Did you know...

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Selected picture

Sphinx partially excavated2.jpg

A photo of the Great Sphinx of Giza, partially excavated, from the late 19th century. The sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a man and the body of a lion. Constructed in the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt during the reign of Khafra, it is the largest monolith statue and monumental sculpture in the world. Despite its prominence, very little is known about the statue; it is not even known what it was originally called, as no references survive in known Egyptian sources, sphinx being the name of a similar classical Greek creature.

On this day

September 2: National Day in Vietnam (1945)

Jawaharlal Nehru

More anniversaries: September 1 September 2 September 3

It is now September 2, 2014 (UTC) – Reload this page

Selected quote

Time's glory is to command contending kings,
To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light.

William Shakespeareplaywright

Selected portal

Austerlitz-baron-Pascal.jpg
War

"In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield."
Douglas MacArthur

Things you can do

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Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:History — Please support Wikipedia.
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New York Times

New York Times
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:33:26 -0700

WASHINGTON — WITH the news dominated by stories of Americans dying at home and abroad, it might seem trivial to debate how history is taught in our schools. But if we want students to understand what is happening in Missouri or the Middle East, they ...

New York Times

STLtoday.com
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:56:15 -0700

Adrien Brody is impressive as Houdini in the History Channel's two-night biography, and many of his stunts are re-created (and explained) in fascinating detail. But the miniseries, a co-production with Hungary, Houdini's home country, is too slow and ...
 
ABC News
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:18:45 -0700

Today is Monday, September 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year. This is Labor Day. Today's Highlight in History: On September 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland. On this date: In 1159, Pope Adrian IV ...

NPR

NPR
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:49:10 -0700

The new book The History of Rock N Roll in Ten Songs is missing everything you would expect. No Rolling Stones or Beatles. No Jimi Hendrix performances or remembrances of Woodstock. In place of the iconic, music journalist Greil Marcus analyzes 10 ...
 
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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:07:30 -0700

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New York Daily News

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Sat, 30 Aug 2014 23:00:00 -0700

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