The Revolt from An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti


Rainsford’s detailed contemporary account of the revolt emphasizes the strenuous yet ultimately unsuccessful mobilization of colonial French resources.

The Russian Campaign as Seen by a Female Russian Soldier


Fighting under the name Alexander Durov, Nadezhda Durova was the daughter of a Russian officer who dressed as a man to join the Russian army in 1806. Although it became known that she was a woman, she was allowed to serve until 1816 when she retired as a captain of the cavalry. Her memoirs were first published in 1835.

This source is a part of the... Read More »

The Russian Campaign as Seen by an Ordinary Soldier


Adrien-Jean-Baptiste-François Bourgogne (1785–1867) was the son of a cloth merchant from northern France. He fought in Poland in 1806; in Austria, Spain, and Portugal in 1809–11; and in Russia in 1812–13. His memoirs were first published in 1857. In his accounts of the Russian campaign, he tells how the snow and cold hampered French progress almost as much as Russian ferocity on the... Read More »

The Russian Revolution: The Problem of Dictatorship


In January 1988, dissidents in East Germany mounted a counter-demonstration during the annual parade honoring the lives of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Luxemburg and Liebknecht were both killed by right-wing Freikorps vigilantes during the 1919 January revolution. The words that the protesters chose to display came from this 1918 essay written by Rosa Luxemburg critiquing Lenin and the... Read More »

The Saint–Marcel Neighborhood


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.

The School Journal, 1907 - [Magazine]


Although early issues of the School Journal drew extensively on a British literary heritage and reinforced imperial values, even in its first year of publication by the New Zealand Department of Education (1907), there were stories, articles and poetry authored locally and written about the colonial heritage and environment. That early creativity was submerged during and after World... Read More »

The September Massacres


In late summer 1792, news reached Paris that the Prussian army had invaded France and was advancing quickly toward the capital. Moreover, rumors circulated that the Prussians would find ready support from Parisians who secretly opposed the Revolution, especially refractory priests. On September 3 and 4, inflamed by radical propaganda, ongoing food shortages, and fear of the invasion, crowds... Read More »

Image of the website header reading "The Story of Africa: African History from the Dawn of Time"

The Story of Africa

Each segment provides a selection of quotes from primary sources that illuminate specific issues. There are many gems to mine. They range from original lyrical quotations that capture the arresting images of initiation rituals and political power.
Detail from the title page of The True History of the Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Díaz del Castillo

The True History of the Conquest of New Spain


This is an excerpt from the Historia Verdadera de la Conquista de la Nueva España (The True History of the Conquest of New Spain) by Bernal Díaz del Castillo (1492-1581). Díaz was a Spanish conquistador who participated in several military expeditions throughout the Greater Caribbean in the 16th century and served under Hernán Cortés during the campaigns about the Mexica in... Read More »

Title page of The Voyages and Adventures of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto

The Voyages and Adventures of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto


One of the most important results of the early modern period was the spread of European culture generally, and Christian religion particularly, throughout the globe. The selection below, taken from the diaries of Mendez Pinto, a Portuguese sailor captured by the Chinese, illustrates the early stages of contact between Europe and the East. Pinto was shipwrecked around 1537, and landed in the... Read More »