The XYZ Affair: Diplomatic Intrigue and a Quasi-War with France

XYZ Affair

The United States was formally born in 1776 when it declared itself independent from Great Britain. But when dealing with international diplomacy, there is no time for a learning curve — it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.  This was something the United States learned early in its infancy when its friendly relationship with France was …

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16 Ancient Civilizations: A Timeline of the Oldest Known Human Settlements

Ancient Civilizations

I had the pleasure of getting to spend time with my great-grandma when I was just a young kid. I have a vivid memory of studying the deep lines carved into her face as I dribbled a strawberry down the front of my sweater, and concluding, with all the hard-earned wisdom my 4 year old …

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The Great Compromise: Definition and Impact on US History

The Great Compromise

In the stifling Philadelphia heat of 1787, while most of the city’s residents were on holiday down at the shore (not really — this is 1787), a small group of wealthy, White men were deciding the fate of a nation, and in many ways, the world.  They had, knowingly or unknowingly, become the chief architects …

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The Wilmot Proviso

The Wilmot Proviso

Throughout the 19th century, during the period known as the Antebellum Era, Congress, and American society as a whole, was tense.  Northerners and Southerners, who never really got along anyway, were engaging in a White-hot (see what we did there?) debate over the issue of slavery — specifically, whether or not it should be permitted …

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