Empress Dowager Cixi

A Photo of Empress Dowager Cixi (Freer and Sackler Galleries — Smithsonian Institution)

During the 19th century, the Qing Dynasty of China was a declining nation. Corruption was rampant and it was being constantly preyed on by Western Imperialist nations. Despite its problems, many efforts were being made by Chinese officials and citizens to revitalize the empire. However, with the rise of a tyrannical dictator, Qing fell into an irreversible groggy state, later to be replaced and divided up by warlords and foreign powers. Empress Dowager Cixi was possibly the worst woman to exist in China’s history.

Her Rise to Power

Xianfeng, who was Qing’s 9th emperor, lost his first wife to illness before he became an…


The flaws in Ancient Athens greatest invention

“The Death of Socrates” by Jacques-Louis David (History.com)

In 399 B.C., Socrates, one of the most renowned founders of Greek Philosophy, was executed for the crimes of corrupting the youths of Athens. This ruling was made by a court of 500 citizens who overwhelmingly voted 340–160 to execute Socrates. He was executed by drinking out of a glass of poison as depicted in the painting above. The charges made against him were very much based on a false allegation. However, a jury of 500 citizens found him guilty of a crime that Socrates was not guilty of in an almost tyrannical manner.

In most of the free world…


An Olympics story

A Greek Bronze Helmet won by Sohn Kee Jung (from: https://blog.daum.net/561102/15722630)

Did you know that a Greek bronze helmet estimated to have been made in the 6th century BC is a government-recognized national treasure in South Korea? The helmet was a part of the artifacts discovered by Ernst Curtius, a German archaeologist, and his team in the Temple of the Olympian Zeus in Athens in 1875. How did this artifact from Greece end up in a country on the other side of the world?

In the early days of the Olympics up until the early 20th century, gold medalists would be given an ancient Greek artifact as a means to keep…


And the bizarre history of Easter Island

Moai Heads (from: theguardian.com)

On the Easter Sunday of 1722, a Dutch explorer named Jacob Roggeveen made the first known European contact with the Island of Rapa Nui. Roggeveen named the Island “Easter Island” to celebrate the discovery of the island on Easter Sunday. The island was one of the most isolated places on Earth, located 2,075 km from the nearest island and 3,700 from the nearest landmass.

Although Roggeveen suspected this island to be a desert island, to his surprise, the island was inhabited by people. What was even more surprising was the existence of large strange looking statues all over the island…


The Derinkuyu underground city in Turkey

The Underground City (from: https://historycollection.com/17-structures-from-history-that-some-people-claim-ancient-aliens-are-responsible-for/4/)

In 1962, a farmer in the region of Derinkuyu in Turkey found a strange room while renovating his basement. When the contractors tore down a wall in his basement, a room and multiple paths leading out of the room were found. What the farmer found was an underground facility that is 85 meters deep, with 11 floors, and multiple rooms that could house 20,000 people at once. The city not only had residential spaces, but multiple churches, wineries, and even small-scale farms. …


The horror story of Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia (taken from: https://www.history.com/news/mine-fire-burning-more-50-years-ghost-town)

In the middle of Pennsylvania, there is a small and unusual town named Centralia. Founded in the mid-18th century through a purchase from a Native American tribe, Centralia remained a small town of farmers. Centralia had a large deposit of anthracite, also known as hard coal but there was no technology available to ignite hard coal at the time. However, when the technology to utilize hard coal through ignition was invented in 1828, Centralia quickly transformed into a booming city.

The first mine opened in 1856, bringing in a huge source of revenue for the town. Amenities like rails, churches…


How Benito Mussolini Transitioned from a Socialist to a Fascist

Benito Mussolini (Right) and Adolf Hitler (Left) (taken from: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/benito-mussolinis-family-blocks-italian-centre-for-study-of-fascism-fzq279qrp)

Benito Mussolini was a man remembered for coining the term “fascism” and establishing the first fascist political party in history. His influence, although largely negative, was profound on the modern history of Europe, inspiring figures like Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco. While he is known for his far-right ideology, Mussolini had a past as a hardcore socialist that many don’t know about. What caused Mussolini to switch his ideology from one end to another?

Mussolini’s Upbringing

Benito Mussolini was born in 1883 in a small village in Northern Italy called Predappio to a father who owned and operated a small coffee shop…


The Ming-Dynasty author Guanzhong Luo tells a tragic historical tale of dreams, ambitions, unity, division, and love

The Protagonists: Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhiang Fei (taken from: https://chilhakgrun.tistory.com/7706)

The classic novel by Guanzhong Luo deals with the period from the Later Han Dynasty of China, through the Three-Kingdoms Period, to the early days of the Jin Dynasty. In the first line of the long novel, the author makes the overarching historical theme clear by writing: “Domains under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide”. This illustrates the reoccurring pattern of Ancient China, where cycles of constant divisions arise, followed by a powerful empire that unites all, followed by another division, as illustrated by the novel.

This…


China’s first emperor was a maniac for immortality

Qin Shihuangdi (Allthatsinteresting.com)

Qin Shihuangdi, or Qin’s First Emperor was the first person to ever call himself an Emperor in China’s history. He united China, which was divided between many kingdoms, under the name Qin, which became the root word for the name “China.” Iconic architectural legacies like the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Warriors were constructed under his rule between 247 to 210 BC. This phenomenal figure in Chinese history had a desire that he was greatly obsessed with: to become an immortal.

When Shihuangdi united China for the first time in history, he was a 38-year-old with a healthy…


Controversies that surround the life of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa (Biography.com)

Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, commonly known as Mother Teresa, was an Albanian-Indian nun who was globally praised for her humanitarian acts and was revered as one of the great humanitarian activists of the 20th century. She received a Nobel Peace Prize and became the symbol of global volunteerism during and after her life. She is now recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. However, later in her life and after her death, certain facts were revealed that got many to question whether she was truly someone that is deserving of the praise. …

Daniel Choi

Korean-Canadian. History, Culture, Economics, and More.

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