Christopher Columbus attempted to sail for the Far East, to the countries which now make up the continent of Asia. He proposed that it would be faster and easier to reach Asia by sailing west rather than east.
A:Great Britain took Hong Kong from China after winning the First Opium War and took southern Kowloon after winning the Second Opium War. Portugal claimed the Macau region and kept it until 1999. France took over the region that is now northern Vietnam from China by winning the Sino-French War.
A:The Mayan people invented complex and highly accurate calendars based off astronomical readings. They are also believed to have discovered the technique of vulcanization, a process that strengthens rubber by adding other materials.
A:Little is known about the oldest eras of ancient Hebrew civilization because the culture was nomadic. The most distinct and long-lasting elements of ancient Hebrew civilization lay not in its architectural, artistic or diplomatic contributions but in the focus of the people on a monotheistic God who was radically different from the gods worshipped by most ancient peoples.
A:Scholars traditionally regard Mesopotamia, an ancient area surrounding the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that is now parts of modern day Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Kuwait, as the cradle of civilization. The area is also know as the Fertile Crescent.
A:The ancient Babylonians used sharpened weapons such as sickle swords, socketed axes, spears, and the Egyptian-derived bladed mace, as well as clubs and staffs, and projectiles flung from war slings. The Babylonians were a Bronze Age people, so the bladed weapons they used were made of a softer metal than later civilization's iron and steel. This made them less effective in battle than iron and iron-alloy based weapons, as iron is harder and harder blades can take a sharper point.
A:Alexander the Great created the largest political empire in the ancient world. He is considered a great military leader and was an inspiration to future leaders such as Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte.
A:Marin le Bourgeois developed the first flintlock gun, which is the predecessor to the rifle. Captain Patrick Ferguson of Pitfours, Scotland is known for inventing the first breech-loading rifle, which was used by the British Army in the American Revolutionary War in 1777.
A:Microwaves provide an energy-efficient way to heat food quickly and easily; however, they don't always heat food evenly and can potentially be harmful if food is not heated properly. Microwaves are useful for preparing convenient meals and for defrosting meats immediately before being transferred to the oven or grill.
A:It is believed that Korean girls in the 17th century who were not allowed beyond the confines of their courtyard walls invented the seesaw to catapult themselves in the air high enough to glimpse the outside world, according to Patricia Newman.
A:The earliest form of knitting, known as nalbinding, is believed to date back to roughly the third to fifth century of the Common Era. This single-needle knitting approach can be found in socks from this period of time.
A:The Hubble Space Telescope was invented by Lyman Spitzer, who first proposed the concept in 1946. Spitzer, a native of Toledo, Ohio, continued analyzing photos from the Hubble Space Telescope until his passing in 1997.
A:The Crusades were a series of holy wars fueled by two major causes: the Pope's desire to expand the Holy Roman Empire and the reclamation of the Holy Land. In the 11th century, Christians and Muslims were at odds over the ownership of Jerusalem, a holy site for both Christianity and Islam.
A:The roles of a king during Medieval Europe included land ownership, warfare leadership and lawmaker. A king allowed knights, barons and lords to live on his land, as long as they provided armies of men to fight wars. When kings fought neighboring kingdoms, he led his men into battle. Kings were supreme rulers of their lands, and they meted out justice as they saw fit.
A:The Vikings invented the longboat during the Vikings Age from 800 to 1100 A.D. This type of ship helped them travel the oceans to reach France, England, Scotland, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Vinland and the Middle East. Thus, they became a dominant force in European medieval trade, politics and warfare.
A:During the Viking Age, between the seventh and 11th centuries, Norse traders, raiders and colonists established a presence in countries as far apart as modern-day Canada and Iran. The Vikings emerged mostly from coastal communities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden to explore, and eventually settle in, most European and Mediterranean countries. They established colonies in North America and maintained a presence in Greenland that lasted nearly 500 years.
A:King Charles VI of France was prone to bouts of insanity where, among other things, he didn’t recognize his family or thought he was made of glass. Modern doctors think he may have suffered from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
A:King Henry VIII created the Church of England in 1536 as a result of a dispute with the pope, who would not permit Henry to get a divorce from his wife and marry his long-time mistress. Henry's marital history started under a cloud of suspicion, as his marriage to Catherine of Aragon meant he was forming a union with his brother's widow. Whether his series of divorces was actually the result of his failure to produce a male heir or some other form of instability is a matter of some dispute, but the reason for forming the Anglican Church was to give Henry the right to act as the head of his own church and marry as he pleased.
A:Transportation in the early 1800s was primarily by horse and sail, but the development and refinement of the steam engine spurred the development of rail and river transportation. Horses and horse-drawn conveyances remained the primary method of transportation through most of the century, at least for local travel. Toward the end of the 1800s, the automobile came into existence, although most 19th-century designs saw very limited adoption.
A:The Cambodian genocide was caused by Khmer Rouge party leader Pol Pot's attempt to eliminate anyone potentially opposed to his proposed system of labor in a federation of collective farms, according to World Without Genocide. Pol Pot's project was inspired by Maoist-Communist ideals.
A:Sigmund Freud, the creator of psychoanalysis, was one of the first doctors to research and write about the unconscious mind and repressed memories. Freud believed that psychological problems could manifest as physical symptoms.
A:Many people know the Rat Pack as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. However, the origins of the Rat Pack go back to actor Humphrey Bogart, and Bogart’s wife, the actress Lauren Bacall, and a few of their Hollywood friends.