The Republic of Texas. The present-day outlines of the U.S. states are superimposed on the boundaries of 1836–1845.
Monday, June 29, 2015
The Mexican–American War, also known as the Mexican War: Full Documentary. The U.S.–Mexican War (or the Invasion of Mexico), History Documentary
The Mexican–American War, also known as the Mexican War, the U.S.–Mexican War or the Invasion of Mexico, was an armed conflict between the United States and the Centralist Republic of Mexico (which became the Second Federal Republic of Mexico during the war) from 1846 to 1848. It followed in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory, despite the 1836 Texas Revolution. It was the fourth of the five major wars fought on American soil which was preceded by the Seven Years' War, the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 and succeeded by the American Civil War.
Combat operations lasted a year and a half, from the spring of 1846 to the fall of 1847. American forces quickly occupied New Mexico and California, then invaded parts of Northeastern Mexico and Northwest Mexico; meanwhile, the Pacific Squadron conducted a blockade, and took control of several garrisons on the Pacific coast farther south in Baja California. Another American army captured Mexico City, and the war ended in a victory for the United States.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended and specified the major consequence of the war: the forced Mexican Cession of the territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo México to the United States in exchange for $15 million. In addition, the United States assumed $3.25 million of debt owed by the Mexican government to U.S. citizens. Mexico accepted the loss of Texas and thereafter cited the Rio Grande as its national border.
American territorial expansion to the Pacific coast had been the goal of President James K. Polk, the leader of the Democratic Party. The war was, however, highly controversial in the United States, with the Whig Party, anti-imperialists and anti-slavery elements strongly opposed. Heavy American casualties and high monetary cost were also criticized. The political aftermath of the war raised the slavery issue in the United States, leading to intense debates that pointed to civil war; the Compromise of 1850 provided a brief respite.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
History Documentary: The American Revolution. History of the American Revolution.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
History Documentary: Sodom and Gomorrah - Full Documentary. Ancient History: The Real Sin City of Sodom and Gomorrah
"In the Book of Genesis, God punishes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone as punishment for their sins. Is the story just a cautionary tale, or did these cities really exist? To find out, Josh Bernstein travels to the southeastern edge of the Dead Sea to examine the archaeological record. In Jordan, he studies the charred ruins of Bab-Edh-Dhra and Numeira - thought by many to be the real Sodom and Gomorrah; he harvests pure sulfur and turns it into brimstone (then tests the material to see how powerful it is); in Israel, he scales a cliff to measure one of the greatest earthquakes to ever hit the region; finally, standing atop Mt. Sodom, he stands beneath a pillar of rock salt named "Lot's Wife," after the spouse who dared to gaze back on the handiwork of God."
|Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed in the background of Lucas van Leyden's 1520 painting "Lot and his Daughters"|
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Ancient Mexico, History Documentary: The Xi People (or Olmecs) Mother Civilization of the Americas, Documentary
|Olmec jadeite mask 1000–600 BCE|
Olmec alternative origin speculations are explanations that have been suggested for the formation of Olmec civilization which contradict generally accepted scholarly consensus. These origin theories typically involve contact with Old World societies. Although these speculations have become somewhat well-known within popular culture, particularly the idea of an African connection to the Olmec, they are not considered credible by the majority of researchers of Mesoamerica.
The great majority of scholars who specialize in Mesoamerican history, archaeology and linguistics remain unconvinced by alternative origin speculations. Many are more critical and regard the promotion of such unfounded theories as a form of ethnocentric racism at the expense of indigenous Americans. The consensus view maintained across publications in peer-reviewed academic journals that are concerned with Mesoamerican and other pre-Columbian research is that the Olmec and their achievements arose from influences and traditions that were wholly indigenous to the region, or at least the New World, and there is no reliable material evidence to suggest otherwise. They, and their neighbouring cultures with whom they had contact, developed their own characters which were founded entirely on a remarkably interlinked and ancient cultural and agricultural heritage that was locally shared, but arose quite independently of any extra-hemispheric influences.
Some writers claim that the Olmecs were related to peoples of Africa based primarily on their interpretation of facial features of Olmec statues. They additionally contend that epigraphical, genetic, and osteological evidence supports their claims. The idea was first suggested by José Melgar, who discovered the first colossal head at Hueyapan (now Tres Zapotes) in 1862 and subsequently published two papers that attributed this head to a "Negro race." The view was espoused in the early 20th century by Leo Wiener and others. Some modern proponents such as Ivan van Sertima and Clyde Ahmad Winters have identified the Olmecs with the Mandé people of West Africa.
Some researchers claim that the Mesoamerican writing systems are related to African scripts. In the early 19th century, Constantine Samuel Rafinesque proposed that the Mayan inscriptions were probably related to the Libyco-Berber writing of Africa. Leo Wiener and others claim that various Olmec and Epi-Olmec symbols are similar to those found in the Vai script (a relatively modern script in Liberia which may have Cherokee influence), in particular, the symbols on the Tuxtla Statuette, Teo Mask, Cascajal Block, and the celts in Offering 4 at La Venta.
These assertions have found no support among Mesoamerican researchers. While mainstream scholars have made significant progress translating the Maya script, researchers have yet to translate Olmec glyphs.
Genetic and immunological studies over the past two decades have failed to yield evidence of precolumbian African contributions to the indigenous populations of the Americas.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Las Limas Monument, considered an important realization of Olmec mythology. The youth holds a were-jaguar infant, while four iconic supernaturals are incised on the youth's shoulders and knees.
The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mexico following a progressive development in Soconusco. They lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco. It has been speculated that Olmec derive in part from neighboring Mokaya and/or Mixe–Zoque.
The Olmec flourished during Mesoamerica's formative period, dating roughly from as early as 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE. Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished in the area since about 2500 BCE, but by 1600–1500 BCE, Early Olmec culture had emerged, centered on the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán site near the coast in southeast Veracruz. They were the first Mesoamerican civilization and laid many of the foundations for the civilizations that followed. Among other "firsts", the Olmec appeared to practice ritual bloodletting and played the Mesoamerican ballgame, hallmarks of nearly all subsequent Mesoamerican societies.
The aspect of the Olmecs most familiar now is their artwork, particularly the aptly named "colossal heads". The Olmec civilization was first defined through artifacts which collectors purchased on the pre-Columbian art market in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Olmec artworks are considered among ancient America's most striking.