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 »
On June 12, 1989, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev began a four-day visit to West Germany, just two weeks after a similar visit to West Germany by United States President George H. W. Bush. Gorbachev had by the summer of 1989 become a popular figure and expectations were running high in West German society over the summit. From the Soviet Union's perspective, West Germany represented... Read More »
Jacques–Guillaume Thouret (1746–94), a lawyer from Rouen, spoke for the Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly that included, among others, Sieyès and Rabaut Saint–Etienne. His report formed the basis for the subsequent legislation on qualifications for voting and officeholding.
The cahiers de doléances ("list of grievances") drawn up by each assembly in choosing deputies to the Estates–General are the best available source of the thoughts of the French population on the eve of the French Revolution. The following excerpts from workers’ cahiers in various towns around the kingdom again show an important complaint: that nobles and officeholders enjoyed... Read More »
This November 1980 directive from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) proposed a temporary reduction in travel between the Soviet Union and its neighbor because of the difficult ongoing political situation in Poland. The CPSU planned to decrease tourism in both directions by between 36 and 44 percent for the remainder of 1980 and the first half of 1981. Not... Read More »
Hungary began dismantling the barbed wire along its border with Austria in May, 1989. Over the summer months, thousands of East Germans risked their lives crossing over the Hungarian-Austrian border before heading north to West Germany. East Germany pressured Hungary to close its border with Austria, but on September 10, 1989 the Hungarian government announced that it was officially opening... Read More »
The Amboyna trial was a famous conspiracy case that took place in 1623 when a group of Japanese mercenaries were accused of plotting with English merchants to seize control of a Dutch fort on a remote island in Southeast Asia. Despite occurring thousands of miles away in an unfamiliar part of the world, the trial on Amboyna swiftly escalated to become one of the most famous legal cases of the... Read More »
The Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I was intended to usher in a world of peace based on the principle of national self-determination. World War II broke out 20 years later.