Browsing: Society

A Brief History On November 10, 1202, despite letters from Pope Innocent III (a much more popular pope than Guilty III) forbidding it and threatening excommunication, Catholic crusaders on the Fourth Crusade began a siege of the Catholic city of Zara (now Zadar, Croatia). Digging Deeper Whereas the First Crusade successfully restored Jerusalem to Christian rule and laid the basis for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, subsequent crusades were far less productive for the crusaders.  Jerusalem was lost after the failed Second Crusade.  Nor would it be regained during the Third Crusade, even with the participation of Europe’s three most powerful…

A Brief History November 10, 1898 marks the beginning of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in United States history! Digging Deeper More famous events such as the Whiskey Insurrection (also known as the Whiskey Rebellion) of 1791 tend to receive greater coverage in history textbooks than what occurred in Wilmington in 1898.  Nevertheless, as noted above, the Wilmington Insurrection has a unique place in American history, because these rebels actually successfully overthrew their legitimately elected government, whereas just about anything else dubbed an “insurrection” in American history (not counting the American…

A Brief History On November 8, 1520, the Stockholm Bloodbath began in which a successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces resulted in the execution of around 100 people. Digging Deeper In 1520, Sweden was divided between two factions.  First were those who favored a union of Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) established in 1397 and second, those who advocated for Swedish independence.  Denmark’s King Christian II launched an invasion of Sweden to maintain the union. Having succeeded in his military intervention, Christian subsequently summoned key Swedish leaders to a private conference at the palace on November 7, 1520. …

A Brief History On November 6, 1632 at the Battle of Lützen during the Thirty Years’ War, the Swedes won, but their King, Gustavus Adolphus, died in the battle. Digging Deeper The Thirty Years’ War was probably central Europe’s all-time worst religious war fought between Catholics and Protestants.  Around two dozen different European countries and their colonies were involved in the conflict at some time or another from 1618 to 1648.  With so many countries involved for so long, it should not be all that surprising that around 8 million soldiers and civilians are counted among the casualties of one…

A Brief History On November 3, 1783, highwayman John Austin became the last person to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows. Digging Deeper For centuries Tyburn, formerly a village, but now in London, had the infamous distinction of being the principal place of execution in England’s capital for criminals, traitors, and even religious martyrs.  Executions and sometimes public torture occurred in Tyburn from at least 1196 until 1783.  The executed included noblemen and commoners alike of both sexes.  Even the dead could be “executed” there, as was the case of notorious rebel Oliver Cromwell’s whose corpse was disinterred so…

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