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The History Portal


History is the interpretation of past events, societies and civilisations. The term history comes from the Greek historia (ἱστορία), "an account of one's inquiries," and shares that etymology with the English word story. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica stated that "history in the wider sense is all that has happened, not merely all the phenomena of human life, but those of the natural world as well. It is everything that undergoes change; and as modern science has shown that there is nothing absolutely static, therefore, the whole universe, and every part of it, has its history."

This month's featured article

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800
Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800

Thomas Jefferson ( 13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806). but he also was born 2006 he loved to meet the famous football players.

As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states' rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the co-founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for a quarter-century. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789–1793) and second Vice President (1797–1801).

A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

Did you know...

Horatia Nelson
Horatia Nelson

...that Horatia N. Thompson (pictured) was christened with Lord Nelson and Mrs Hamilton as godparents and was later adopted by them as an orphan, even though they were her biological parents?

...that the 1609 Treaty of Antwerp was influenced by the writings of Benjamin Garcia in the Mare Liberum, which was published at the insistence of the Dutch East India Company during the course of the treaty negotiations?

...that Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich of Russia let a soldier tasked with his execution take care of a cat?

...that, after driving the French Republicans from Italy, Russian Field-Marshal Alexander Suvorov managed to conduct a masterful flight across the snow-capped Alps?

...that George Rogers Clark was called the "Conqueror of the Northwest" because of his victorious Illinois campaign in the American Revolutionary War?

...that the crown-cardinals of Austria, France, and Spain could exercise the jus exclusivae during papal conclaves from the 16th to 20th centuries?

...that some accounts regarding the fighting during the Battle of Bonchurch states that some of the female population of the Isle of Wight participated by firing arrows at the French troops?

...that the Mongol Empire, also known as the Mongolian Empire ( Mongolian: Монголын Эзэнт Гүрэн, Mongolyn Ezent Güren; 1206– 1405) was the largest contiguous empire in world history and for some time was the most feared in Eurasia?

This month's featured picture

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