Imperial Russia’s Failure to Fully Liberalize and the End of the Tsars

The emblem of the Tsar still hangs high in Russia, despite their failings

Introduction: The Tsars Close Their Fist

Throughout its life, the Russian Empire found itself needing to liberalize to survive. It would find itself behind in technology or otherwise at a disadvantage to Europeans, so the tsars began adopting European ideas. Military reforms, education reforms, and power structure reforms were all used to keep the tsars in power in the face of the threat of dangerous neighbors. At the same time, the tsarist government was unwilling to liberalize the power structure of Russia, again, to keep the throne in power. Unfortunately, with each reform came ideas of freedom into the heads…

A Discussion of Sources and Historical Narrative

Total War: Three Kingdoms represents a major shift in the franchise, by focusing on individuals, just like in this promotional image.

The Total War video game series by developer Creative Assembly has always had an issue of taking cool, but rare or suspect moments of history and making them gameplay features, whether it be the Pictish stealth catapults in Total War: Rome II, the ninja troops in Total War: Shogun 2, or the flaming pig units all the way back in Rome: Total War (of course not mentioning the historical issues of the game series being called Total War when it has never once portrayed an era where total war existed, the concept having been invented during WWI, significantly later than…

A History of the Boté from the Pre-Columbian Era, Through the Conquest of Montana, to Today’s LGBT Advocacy

We’wha (left), Osh-Tisch (Finds Them and Kills Them) (center) and Dahteste (right). (John K. Hillers, Image Courtesy of: Smithsonian Institute/John H. Fouch/F.A. Rinehart, Image Courtsey of Omaha Public Library and NPR KQED)

In Montana’s pre-Columbian history, there was a tradition of young boys and girls realizing that they were two-spirit and entering a new style of life which they felt better represented them. The two-spirit are a third gender with a variety of names, two-spirit being a modern pan-Indian term to replace the problematic previous anthropological term berdache, which derives from the Arabic word for eunuch slaves, which obviously carries an offensive connotation to the two-spirit. Two-spirit individuals would be born one gender, and once they realized their true nature, they would take up some or all of the responsibilities of the…

‘The East Is Red’

A Poster for The East Is Red

In my ongoing quest to bring under appreciated films to light, I’ve decided to highlight a film that is not as interesting for its merits as a film, but for the way that it can be used to view the era and culture in which it was made. …

The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks

In the early days of Soviet film there was a great art film boom, led by a large variety of directors. Vsevolod Pudovkin, Sergei Eisenstein, Lev Kuleshov, Dziga Vertov, and many others released film after film that were each wonderful examples of the medium. Unfortunately, a lot of these fantastic films (as well as other great films from around the world) were and remain underappreciated, something that I aim to change. One such film was Lev Kuleshov’s first comedy, The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks, in which Pudovkin wrote, acted, and provided art direction…

Japanese Imperialism in Hokkaido During the Tokugawa Bakufu

A Japanese tourist posing with two Ainu people and their bear

The Japanese, through the Matsumae family, traded heavily with the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido, the island just north of mainland Japan, during the unification period, a very lucrative time for both sides. However, by the end of the Tokugawa period, this trade had turned into colonization. Over time the Japanese turned trade into political power, undermining the authority of the Ainu chiefs. When the Ainu fought back, the Japanese easily put them down via military action and embargo. By the time the Tokugawa took over Hokkaido, the Japanese were already nearly in control of the Ainu, economically, culturally, and…

Debunking the Popular Myth of the “Clean” Wehrmacht

Today, despite a rise in the popularity and publicity of neo-Nazis, most reasonable people disagree with the basic premise of Nazi ideology, if not all of its tenets. Despite this, there is a large number of reasonable people who have been tricked into believing and parroting the lies of German soldiers and officers, many of which were propagated into popular memory by Nazis and neo-Nazis outside of Germany after the war. One of the most insidious of these lies is the myth of the “Clean Wehrmacht,” spread particularly by Wehrmacht members put on trial in Nuremberg.

The basic premise of…

Is Assimilation Really That Bad?

Resistance is futile, but is it necessary?

When one attempts to think of the most menacing villains out of any sci-fi stories, the Borg will come to mind fairly soon. First appearing in the Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) episode “Q Who?”, they are an alien race that appears as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called the Collective. The Borg use a process called assimilation to force other species into the Collective by violent injection of microscopic machines called nanoprobes. The Borg’s ultimate…

An Examination of a Massacre

In March 16, 1968, American army units, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, and the Americal Division killed between 347 to 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians of all ages and genders. Additionally, there were 20 rapes during the massacre. Mothers, elderly, and children alike were slaughtered by the US military in a massacre that shocked the American people, who were already questioning the Vietnam War. Why did this happen?

The My Lai Massacre was an event that should never have happened, a tragedy of great proportions, but also a product of the situations of the war. The Vietnam…

A History of Scientific Justifications for Racism from Forums to Internet Forums

This image is a diagram of what parts of the skull correspond to what attributes in the pseudoscience of phrenology, one of the most well-known pieces of scientific racism.

From the White Man’s Burden to the “culture wars,” justifications of prejudice have been used for as long as people have been prejudiced — in other words, forever. Racism is one of the most horrifying prejudices based on the atrocities committed because of it, and has had plenty of justifications in its own right. One such justification, and probably the most resilient, is scientific racism. Scientific racism uses misinterpretations of science and pseudoscience as proof that racism is not only okay, but good for humankind. …

History Roundtable

Owner of a history degree and writer of things that interest me

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