The Crusades

At the Council of Clermont in 1095, Pope Urban II preached for the First Crusade as an ‘armed pilgrimage’: a penitential war that imitated the suffering of Christ whilst recapturing the Holy Land of Jerusalem from the Muslims. This appealed to many different members of Western European society, from lowly peasants who normally worked on Continue Reading

The Journey to Space

Humans have dreamt of spaceflight since antiquity. The first recorded use of a rocket was by the Chinese in 1232 against the Mongol hordes – reports that ‘iron pots’ could be heard for 15 miles when they exploded upon impact. In 1250, the Norwegian Konungs skuggsjá mentioned the use of “coal and sulphur” as the Continue Reading

Convicts in Australia

On the 26th January 1788, just over 750 convicts and their children landed in Sydney, Australia and started a trend which would span almost 100 years. In these 100 years around 162,000 criminals would be shipped to Australia. January 1788 marked the first European settlement in Sydney however this was no normal occupation; instead of Continue Reading

The Age of Discovery

‘The Age of Discovery’ is a nice name Eurocentric history gives to a period where the European powers took an expansionist approach to their political, economic and cultural objectives from the 15th to 18th centuries. This piece will look at the motives and consequences these European powers. It was imperialism before it had a name, Continue Reading

Singapore: a Product of Chinese Diaspora?

Chinese presence in Singapore has been prevalent throughout history with archaeological evidence of Chinese contact with Singapore as far back as the Song dynasty and Chinese documentation mentioning travels to Singapore across various centuries. Between 1819 and 1942 widespread economic and political strife in China saw an exodus of Chinese to Singapore. In the present, Continue Reading