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The Dreaded “Land of Storms”: Rounding, Avoiding, and Cutting Out Cape Horn, 1526-1914

Before the completion of the U.S. transcontinental railroad (1869) and Panama Canal (1914) a major impediment to Euro-American exploration and colonization of Pacific lands was sailing around Cape Horn – the furthest-most point on the South American continent. The Spanish were the first to explore the region in 1526. In the late eighteenth century British and New England whalers began documenting extreme conditions while navigating the Drake Passage – the strait separating Antarctica from South America.

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18th Century Sword Fighting: A Few Tips From the Sword Master to his Students

Defense and status. Swordsmanship has been the subject of fascination for a long time in popular culture and history. It was one of the most used side arms during ancient times and became a symbol of status and self-defense in the Middle Ages and during the early modern age. It wasn’t very convenient for an honorable nobleman to carry around a spear or some other battlefield weapon, so the sword was the proper solution to present yourself in front of the world, but also to protect yourself if attacked. The one who carried a sword needed to master the art of fighting. In the 18th century, that art demanded sharp skills and elegant moves.

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Antebellum Icon: Republicanism vs. Monarchy and Kossuth in America, 1851-1852

Although he was thronged by thousands of people in the principal cities of England, a key reason Hungarian nationalist and freedom fighter Lajos (Louis) Kossuth was so popular during his 1851-1852 visit to the United States was the American aversion to monarchy. Kossuth, the figurehead of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution to overthrow the Habsburg Dynasty’s grip on that nation, was welcomed by massive crowds eager to listen to his republican-inspired orations. The New York Times noted in late 1851 that the “reception of the illustrious Kossuth… was such a scene as the world seldom beholds.”

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How Did One Optimistic Report From the Stasi Foreshadow the Collapse of Communism?

During the early 80’s, increased tensions marked the new phase of the Cold War. Besides external, the Eastern Bloc countries faced many internal problems as well. The governments of these countries, especially the USSR, tried to spread optimism. But they didn’t see (or didn’t want to see) that everything would collapse soon. Therefore, it’s interesting to see how the secret reports full of optimism actually revealed the real state of affairs.

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Forty-Five Years Undercover: An Ottoman Spy in 17th Century Paris

During the 17th century, the Franco-Ottoman relations were quite stable. The alliance, established in 1536, continued during the majority of this period. There were no large conflicts. Despite that, intelligence activity during this period was very lively. The example of Mahmut, an Ottoman spy undercover, gives us valuable information on the Ottoman international politics.

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