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Category: History Page 1 of 9

Alaska Purchase

Shaping of the US: Alaska Purchase

18 October 1867, the day the territory of Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States; and every year on this day, the anniversary of the Alaska Purchase is celebrated and observed as a legal holiday in the US, often called Alaska Day. 

Alaska Purchase was the acquisition of 5,86,412 square miles of area in the North American continent at the north-western tip, which is currently the US state of Alaska. 

Gadsden Purchase

Shaping of the US: Gadsden Purchase

You have probably read, during your school years, that Columbus “discovered” America (or rather, “introduced Western Europe to America”, as it had already been “founded” by the natives living there). But have you ever wondered what shaped the United States of America? As with any other country’s borders, parts of America were defined through the capturing of land by waging wars, revolting, and signing of peace treaties. However, a major piece that forms the US was bought off, much like any business deal. The Louisiana Purchase is famous, for it doubled the area of the US. Yet, there is something fascinating about the Gadsden Purchase between Mexico and the US. While the US added almost 830,000 square miles to its territory for $15 million ($18 per sq. mile) with the Louisiana Purchase, they somehow agreed to settle at $10 million in exchange for a mere 30,000 square miles ($333 per sq. mile)! Fascinated?

Louisiana purchase

Shaping of the US: LOUISIANA PURCHASE

Imagine the US without the large middle portion of its territory. This would mean non-existence of states like Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, Colorado and Minnesota. The massive middle piece of America’s land, Louisiana territory, was once owned by France. If not for the Louisiana Purchase, this region- currently harbouring 15 US states, would probably have remained a French territory. Purchased by the US from France in 1803, Louisiana territory brought into the US about 8,28,000 square miles of area. Bought at less than 4 cents per acre, this colossal land transaction doubled the size of this young republic. 

Refugees

Darkness After the Dawn

With the Partition, two countries might have been able to successfully establish their identities, but there were a million identities which were fragmented in the divided landscapes. Refugees. The mass migration of refugees was an unparalleled political situation. While the rich and the foresighted migrated before the Partition, the poor majority came in after 1947.

Israel

Israel Palestine Conflict

One-state or Two-state?

The Knesset (Parliament) of Israel approved the controversial Jewish Nationality Bill on 19 July 2018 which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. As reported by the Irish Times the bill measure sets “the development of Jewish settlements nationwide as a national priority” and downgrades the status of Arabic from an official language to one with “special status”, consequently treating 20% of its 9 million population as second-class citizens. 

The Bill also sets into law the constitutional status of the Jewish calendar as the state’s official calendar as well as the status of Independence Day, Jewish festivals and memorial days.  

israel

Neighbourly Enemies: The Formation of Israel

The incessant Israel-Palestine conflict has its roots in the decline of the Ottoman Empire. B. Crose had stated that all history is contemporary history and this applies in this context as well. Several revisions of historical accounts have been made, but the irreducible Arab- Jewish core of the conflict remains intact, which can be best elaborated by focussing on the period between 1882-1917. In 1882, the Zionist chapter proper began in Palestine. The first settlers called themselves Hovevei Tzion (Lovers of Zion) and aimed at forging a Jewish national life in Palestine. Notably, they chose to speak Hebrew, instead of Yiddish. During the First Aliyah (a wave of Jewish immigration), several settlements like Zichron Yaakov and Rishon LeZion were set up.

US Presidential election

1960 US Presidential Election: The Clash of Titans

To say that the 2020 US presidential election was a roller-coaster ride would be an understatement. At the time of this writing, Donald Trump has still not conceded the election and continues to push an unfounded perception that the election was ‘stolen from him’. All of this comes after a bitterly personal battle during the election campaign where neither of the candidates pulled any punches while launching verbal tirades against each other. Observers are already calling it the most unusual and fiercely contested election that America has ever seen. But as far as personal rivalries and vote-related controversies are concerned, the election of 1960 far outweighs this year’s election. Two friends-turned-foes, who were opposites of each other in terms of both background and personality, went head-to-head in their quest to become the Leader of the Free World. This article will give a brief account of everything that transpired during the election of 1960. 

Rockefeller

The Rockefeller family

 “When you have a Rockefeller on your committee, it is a bonus. People want to hobnob with them.” – New York Society Chronicler. 

We have heard of monarchies that have lasted for centuries, however, it’s rare that we hear of a wealthy family staying wealthy for generations and generations. It would be hard to believe that the wealth of a family will last much further than the grandchildren- the taxes, expenses, dilution of the well-being of children and their children and the inevitable corruption of large amounts of money ultimately drains out the wealth and affects the family conditions.

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