The writer Louis–Sébastien Mercier recorded in his Portrait of Paris detailed and witty commentaries on many aspects of life among the common people. In this article on the Saint–Marcel neighborhood, he comments on the difficulties faced by urban workers.
In early 1989, shortly after President George H. W. Bush had taken office, the office of US ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack F. Matlock sent this message to the attention of the new National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft. The message details the strains placed on official Marxist-Leninist ideology by the the most recent economic reforms implemented by Gorbachev. Many of these had... Read More »
This depiction of a sugar plantation in Saint Domingue emphasizes the grinding mill and refining vats. An overseer with a gun supervises the enslaved labor. By 1789 Saint Domingue excelled at sugar production, outpacing other French colonies and the British alike.
By the end of December 1991, the Soviet Union was administratively dissolved. A few weeks beforehand, the United States' Central Intelligence Agency issued this report, assessing the state of the Soviet Military after its failed coup attempt in August of that year. The CIA observed that the Soviet Military suffered from two problems simultaneously. It was being starved of its traditionally... Read More »
In response to another rise in prices, for meat products in particular, strikes erupted in the summer of 1980 in Poland among workers throughout the country, especially in the cities of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Szczecin. Strikers listed a total of twenty-one demands, including higher pay, more openness in media, less censorship, and the formation of free trade unions. To quell the situation, Poland... Read More »
In addition to sugar, tobacco was important to Puerto Rico’s industrial agricultural order after the arrival of the United States. Puerto Rican women and men labored in a building called a fabrica (or factory). Women’s jobs consisted of being seated for long hours rolling tobacco leaves—as visible in this 1945 photograph of women working as tobacco-strippers in a factory.
In... Read More »
The image shows the reverse of a Thai 100-baht banknote, with engravings of of King Chulalongkorn and King Vajiravudha statues. The banknote's background theme is education. The detail on the right illustrates Thailand's traditional education system, showing a monk instructing boys in the courtyard of a temple. Until the 20th century, the village temple was a place where most young boys from... Read More »
Soviet propaganda posters presented positive images of healthy, active people engaged in useful service to the state, including women. In this poster from 1974, three women, with their hair covered with a traditional kerchief, are depicted alongside a clear slogan: "Soviet Women! Be the first in line for the national struggle to successfully fulfill the Five-Year Plan in four years!" Since the... Read More »