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“A Procession of Artisans at Istanbul”  

Evliya Çelebi

Born on the Golden Horn and raised in the Sultan’s palace in Istanbul, Çelebi traveled throughout Ottoman domains between 1640 and 1680. He published an account of his travels and ... More

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

Advice from a Royal Scribe to his Apprentice Middle Kingdom Egypt, Twelfth Dynasty  

Nebmare-nakht

The Papyrus Lansing is a letter of instruction from the royal scribe (and “chief overseer of the cattle of Amun-Re, King of Gods”) Nebmare-nakht to his apprentice Wenemdiamun. It seems to ... More

“An Essay Concerning Human Understanding”  

John Locke

John Locke (1632–1704), the noted English philosopher, scientist, and political theorist, was one of the leading intellectuals of his age and one of the most influential architects of the ... More

An Arab Merchant Visits TAng China  

Ibn Wahab

Ibn Wahab was an Arab merchant from Basra (Iraq) who sailed to China via the Indian Ocean around 872 CE. His travel account includes a description of his interview with the Chinese emperor. ... 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

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

“Capitalism: A Ghost Story”  

Arundhati Roy

Indian writer Arundhati Roy (b. 1961) won the Man Booker Prize for her brilliant novel The God of Small Things (1997), but she is better known today for her speaking and writing on ... More

China in the Sixteenth Century  

Matteo Ricci

When European Christian missionaries first came to Ming China, they made very little progress in converting the Chinese, in large part due to their limited training in Chinese language and ... 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

The Conquest of New Spain  

Bernal Díaz

In the course of the fifteenth century, the Aztecs conquered an empire centered in the Valley of Mexico (present-day Mexico City, after the drainage of most of the valley) but encompassing ... More

Cosmas Indicopleustes (Cosmas The India-Voyager), Christian Topography  

Cosmas

This remarkable account of a merchant’s travels throughout Eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and India resulted from the singular obsession of a monk in retirement. Determined to prove ... More

The death of William Huskisson, first casualty of a railroad accident  

Thomas Creevey

Although William Huskisson (1770–1830) was a prominent member of the British Parliament and a cabinet member in several governments, he is more famous for the circumstances of his death in ... More

Deep History and Convergent Evolution  

Daniel Lord Smail

In On Deep History and the Brain, historian Daniel Lord Smail postulates that “it is the similarities [between civilizations] that are the most startling,” more so than the differences. In ... More

Documents Concerning the Slave Ship Sally, Rhode Island  

Anonymous

Rhode Islanders were the principal American slave traders during the eighteenth century, during which a total of approximately 1,000 slave-trading voyages set out from the colony to Africa. ... More

The Economic Consequences of the Peace  

John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) was born in Cambridge, England, and attended King’s College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics. While working in the British civil service he wrote his ... More

Economic Control and Totalitarianism  

Friedrich Hayek

Friedrich Hayek (1899–1992) was born in Vienna, when it was still the vibrant capital of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. After the war, he studied economics and law at the University of ... 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 Inaugural Address  

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four terms as President marked a turning point in American history, establishing the principle of the federal government’s responsibility for public welfare and ... 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

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