The History Portal
History is the discovery, collection, organization, analysis, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean a continuous, typically chronological record of important or public events or of a particular trend or institution. Scholars who write about history are called historians. It is a field of knowledge which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it sometimes attempts to objectively investigate the patterns of cause and effect that determine events. Historians debate the nature of history and its usefulness. This includes discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. The stories common to a particular culture but not supported by external sources (such as the legends surrounding King Arthur) are usually classified as cultural heritage rather than as the "disinterested investigation" needed by the discipline of history. Events of the past prior to written record are considered prehistory.
Amongst scholars, fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus is considered to be the "father of history"; the methods of Herodotus along with his contemporary Thucydides form the foundations for the modern study of history. Their influence (along with other historical traditions in other parts of their world) has spawned many different interpretations of the nature of history which has developed over the centuries and are continuing to change. The modern study of history has many different fields, including those that focus on certain regions and those that focus on certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. Often, history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
The Song dynasty
: Sung Ch'ao; IPA: [s t]
) was a ruling dynasty
in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period
, and was followed by the Yuan dynasty
. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes
or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy
. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder
, as well as first discernment of true north
using a compass
The Song Dynasty is divided into two distinct periods: the Northern Song and Southern Song. During the Northern Song (Chinese: , 960-1127), the Song capital was in the northern city of dongjing (now Kaifeng) and the dynasty controlled most of inner China. The Southern Song (Chinese: , 1127-1279) refers to the period after the Song lost control of northern China to the Jin dynasty. During this time, the Song court retreated south of the Yangtze river and established their capital at Lin'an (now Hangzhou). Although the Song dynasty had lost control of the traditional birthplace of Chinese civilization along the Yellow River, the Song economy was not in ruins, as the Southern Song Empire contained 60 percent of China's population and a majority of the most productive agricultural land. The Southern Song dynasty considerably bolstered its naval strength to defend its waters and land borders and to conduct maritime missions abroad.
Pedro Álvares Cabral
(Portuguese pronunciation: ['peð?u 'a?v? k?'a?]
in European Portuguese
or Portuguese pronunciation: ['ped 'avas ka'b?a]
in Brazilian Portuguese
; c. 1467 or 1468 - c. 1520) was a Portuguese
noble, military commander, navigator
regarded as the discoverer of Brazil
. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America
and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it is known that he came from a minor noble family and received a good education. He was appointed to head an expedition to India in 1500, following Vasco da Gama
's newly opened route around Africa. The object of the undertaking was to return with valuable spices and to establish trade relations in India--bypassing the monopoly on the spice trade then in the hands of Arab, Turkish and Italian merchants.
Cabral was later passed over, possibly as a result of a quarrel with Manuel I, when a new fleet was assembled to establish a more robust presence in India. Having lost favour with the King, he retired to a private life of which few records survive. His accomplishments slipped mostly into obscurity for more than 300 years. Decades after Brazil's independence from Portugal in the 19th century, Cabral's reputation began to be reassessed by Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. Historians have long argued whether Cabral was Brazil's discoverer, and whether the discovery was accidental or intentional. The first question has been settled by the observation that the few, cursory encounters by explorers before him were barely noticed at the time and contributed nothing to the future development and history of the land which would become Brazil, the sole Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas. On the second question, no definite consensus has been formed, and the intentional discovery hypothesis lacks solid proof. Nevertheless, although he was overshadowed by contemporary explorers, Cabral today is regarded as a major figure of the Age of Discovery.
Did you know...
An 1863 meeting between Maoris and settlers in Hawke's Bay Province, New Zealand. This was during the Invasion of the Waikato, and, although the Maoris and settlers in this region had always got along fairly well, the situation grew somewhat tense, and so this meeting was held to allow them to talk things over, and resulted in a reaffirmation of friendship and peace between the groups.
On this day
Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.
-- Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader
History of science
"Fortunately science, like that nature to which it belongs, is neither limited by time nor by space. It belongs to the world, and is of no country and of no age."
-- Sir Humphry Davy
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