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Abolition of Serfdom  

Alexander II

The defeat of Russia in the Crimean War (1853–1856) convinced the newly enthroned Alexander II (r. 1855–1881) of the need for fundamental reforms in his country. The first institution he ... More

Addresses to the German Nation  

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

The beginnings of German national identity were not political but rather cultural. Already in the eighteenth century, Germans had begun to react against the intellectual domination of the ... More

Amulet containing passages from the Qur’an, worn by Muslim slaves who rioted in Bahia, Brazil  

João José Reis

Although slavery was not abolished in Brazil until 1888, slave revolts were frequent and remarkable for their ambitions, success, and diversity of participating elements. Two urban revolts ... More

“At the Feet of the Village Elders”  

Oginga Odinga

The attitudes of British colonial authorities towards their subjects are reflected in Oginga Odinga’s memories of his childhood in a Kenyan village. The British government took over Kenya ... More

The Azamgarh Proclamation  

Firoz Shah

This proclamation was published in the Delhi Gazette in the midst of the “Great Mutiny” of 1857. The author was most probably Firoz Shah, a grandson of the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar ... More

A Boxer Rebel and a British Family Killed during the Boxer Rebellion  

Anonymous

A new wave of antiforeign sentiment in China, triggered by a “race for concessions” among the Western powers in the late 1890s, was increasingly centered on a group called the Society of ... More

Calico textile  

Anonymous

Calico was a fine printed cotton cloth first imported to England from Calicut, on the western shore of the subcontinent, by the British East India Company. A domestic manufacture of ... More

The Communist Manifesto  

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Karl Marx (1818–1883) is one of the least understood men in history. His philosophy, commonly known as Marxism, is frequently associated with the creation of a harsh totalitarian state and ... More

“Criticisn of Imperialism,” Imperialism  

John A. Hobson

John Atkinson Hobson (1858–1940) grew up during an economic depression in England that ultimately shifted his intellectual interests from literature to economics. One of his major ... More

Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier  

Jakob Walter

Jakob Walter (1788–1864), who fought in Napoleon’s Grande Armée for two stints, records the experiences of the average foot soldier. The poorly organized nature of early 19th-century armies ... More

Emperor Qianlong’s Imperial Edict to King George III  

Emperor Qianlong

The reign of Qianlong (r. 1736–1795) marked both the high point and the beginning of the decline of the Qing dynasty. Several European nations, driven by their desire to corner the market ... More

“First Premises of the Materialist Method,” The German Ideology  

Karl Marx

Karl Marx (1818–1883), the German socialist philosopher, worked alongside Engels to shape the Communist Party, which Marx outlined in his seminal text The Communist Manifesto (1848). The ... More

German History in the Nineteenth Century  

Heinrich Treitschke

As the end of the nineteenth century approached, German nationalism became much more virulent and overheated. Many Germans began to think that the eighteenth century had been France’s ... More

Hind Swaraj (Self-Rule)  

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948), also known as the Mahatma (“great soul”), came from an upper-class family in western India. His father was the leading administrator of a small principality ... More

Imperial Edict of the Rose Garden  

Ottoman government

With a change of Ottoman sultans in 1839, the government issued the Rose Garden Edict, the first of three reform edicts which are collectively known as the Tanzimat (reorganizations). With ... More

Indian Home Rule  

Mohandas Gandhi

Gandhi wrote this book – called Hind Swaraj (1909) in his native language of Gujarati – on the steamer from London to South Africa, a voyage of ten days. The British banned its publication ... More

“King Leopold’s Soliloquy”  

Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens (1835–1910), who took his pen name from a command shouted on riverboats, was the quintessential American writer: his major works The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The ... More

Letter to his Brother Jerome  

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) started his political career as a Corsican officer in the French army and rose to be the self-styled “First Consul of the French Republic, and later Emperor ... More

Letter To Lord Amherst On Education  

Ram Mohun Roy

By 1818 the British East India Company’s initially opportunistic establishment of territorial footholds in India’s Bengal and Madras provinces had become a London-sponsored imperial project ... More

Letter to the Rev. H. Venn  

Samuel Crowther

In 1807 most of the countries involved in the centuries-long Atlantic slave trade signed an international agreement to abolish the shipments of Africans to the western hemisphere. The ... More

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