This painting depicts Manuel Mansilla, the Alguacil Mayor (sheriff) of the city of Buenos Aires. He held this position from 1795-1821, during a key transitional moment. When he began his tenure, the city belonged to the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata, under Spanish rule. However, by 1821, the region was establishing its independence as the nation of Argentina. The position of Alguacil... Read More »
This historic homestead was built in the mid-nineteenth century near modern-day Dripping Springs, Texas. It belonged to the family of Joseph M. Pound, a doctor who provided medical services to the local community, including the indigeous peoples (such as the Tonkawa). He had also served in the Confederate army. During this period, Texas was a sparsely-populated frontier region. The home itself... Read More »
This highly sophisticated political cartoon by the noted engraver James Gillray from October 1796 responds to Edmund Burke’s pamphlet, "Reflections on a Regicide Peace." This image argues against further war with France to avoid bankrupting the British treasury and exposing England itself to invasion. This cartoon mocks that idea, attributing it to the supposedly "radical" tendencies of... Read More »
Images of 1989 tend to center on dramatic events in Berlin, in Beijing, in Bucharest, and in Johannesburg, just to name a few. Visions of mass demonstration and popular uprising predominate. Even in places like the former Czechoslovakia, where peaceful transition occurred in a "velvet" revolution, the perception is one of overthrow of state authority in the name of popular reform. Lost in... Read More »
On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan gave an historic speech to the people of Berlin. It was here that Reagan spoke the famous phrase: "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
This is a report from a Spanish inspector dating from 1549, written by a European scribe, based on an Andean’s reading of a khipu, the collections of cords on which Incas recorded information. It comes from the Huallaga Valley, an area that had put up strong resistance to Spanish rule and had been conquered only in 1542. Spanish authorities wished to know about the obligations imposed by the... Read More »
Following the historic roundtable talks that took place in Poland from February to April 1989 between Communist and opposition leaders, Polish Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow to discuss the unfolding events in Poland and Polish-Soviet relations. The tone of this document is not one of dissatisfaction on the part of the Soviet leader but... Read More »
There was not much to celebrate in the Russian campaign, especially once the retreat from Moscow began. Print depicting the horrific conditions and loses suffered by the French army as it retreated from Moscow in the winter of 1812.