How one small but very wealthy country nearly brought Alaska

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Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein (left) and Alexander II, Tsar of Russia (right). The backround is the flag of Liechtenstein. Source: Author’s Creation

In a previous article I spoke about the “Alaska Purchase”, an event more obscure to the general public than I thought. From the response to that article, I realised that a lot of people did not know that Alaska was once owned by Russia and was actually sold to the United States.

Although it did end up in the hands of the US, Russia offered its colonial land to other countries before finally striking a deal with the American president. …

An inspiring show of solidarity in the face of a rising evil

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Hitler crossing the border into Austria, March 1938. Source: Wikicommons

The Anschluss of Austria by the Third Reich in 1938 was the start of Hitler’s campaign of expansion within Europe. With the fellow German state under his control, the creation of a “Greater Germany” was well underway. Although the League of Nations, the post-WWI equivalent of the United Nations, was meant to protest such aggressive feats of expansion, out of all of its members only one nation opposed the initial spread of Nazi influence across Europe.

The takeover of Austria

Although veiled under the guise of a ‘voluntary’ annexation, the takeover of the Bundesstaat Österreich (translated: Federal State of Austria) was anything but that…

A leader so ill but determined to fight alongside his troops

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Richard the Lionheart on his way to Jerusalem by James William Glass.

War was a fact of life for the men and women who lived through the medieval time of our history. With conflicts raging across most of the world it is not surprising that much of the history that we learn of from this period includes some kind of warfare.

Through this global ‘trial-by-combat’ came some of the most interesting and bizarre stories. I would like to showcase one such story today, the story of an English king so determined to enter the fray that he had his troops carry him on a bed into battle.

Richard the Lionheart

Richard I was one of…

One of history’s weirdest diplomatic events

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Boris Yeltsin and George Bush in 1993 during the START II talks in Moscow. Source: National Archives and Records Administration

The people of Russia are known worldwide for their alcohol consumption. Consistently ranking in the top 15 worldwide in terms of alcohol consumption per capita it’s hard to not notice the close cultural tie between the Russian people and alcohol. This love for drinking transcends class boundaries with people from the lower classes up to the leaders of the country partaking in the perhaps not so healthy hobby.

Although it is well known that the majority of Russians drink, most of those who hold high positions within the country’s government like to keep this fact as hidden as possible. How…

Hello dear readers, with the New Year upon us the History of Yesterday team wanted to extend our wishes to all of those who have enjoyed our content in 2020. We know that the previous year was hard on everyone and we hope that with a new year comes a new beginning of something better for everyone out there.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on around the world and with many of you stuck inside, we promise to keep content coming to satiate your thirst for knowledge and to suppress that boredom that has grown from sitting inside for…

And the story of how they are trying to get it back

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Russian troops blocking the Ukrainian military base in Perevalne during the Crimean Crisis of 2014. Source: Wikicommons

Since the collapse of the USSR, the newly formed Russian Federation has been trying to reclaim some of the territories it lost during the collapse of the union. Of these territories, the most significant has to be Crimea. Due to Russia’s peculiar geographic makeup, the superpower lacks any warm seaports, something integral for maintaining a powerful navy. In a search for a warm seaport the current president, Vladimir Putin, looked to Crimea.

But Crimea wasn’t always owned by Ukraine. The port region has a long history of switching hands between those who ruled the nearby land. Between Mongols, Tartars, Ukrainians…

How a Roman scientist found about microbes 2000 years before their official discovery

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An illustration of Verro, the subject of today’s article. Source: Wikicommons

The Romans are recognised worldwide for their military achievements. At its height the Roman Empire reached five million square kilometres under Emperor Trajan, making it one of the largest empires in history.

Although often overshadowed by the Greeks in terms of technological advancements of the period, the Romans did make some significant progress in the field of the sciences. Many of the educated elite of the Roman Empire went on to discover and theories about things only proven centuries later. Marcus Terentius Varro, henceforth Varro, was one such example.

Ceasar’s Civil War

Varro was born in Rieti, a city in the heart of…

One of the most brutal punishments of the medieval world

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Bulgarian pagans killing the Christians during the Byzantine–Bulgarian wars. Source: Wikicommons

Medieval warfare was brutal. With no unified code of how prisoners and battles should be conducted, generals and armies would do anything in their power to beat their opponent or just make them weaker. The morale of a country’s troops is always central to their success, as such ways to crush morale were often used to weaken the opposing side.

Although some very brutal ways have been used to hurt an enemies morale one general went above and beyond in his search to make sure the enemy never dared to attack him again. …

How a country’s police assisted in its take over by a foreign power

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British soldiers march in Iceland’s capital city Reykjavík. Source: Icelandic Monitor

During the Second World War, every country in the world had to pick one of three options. Align with the Axis and fight against the Allies, align with the Allies and fight against the Axis, or remain neutral. Few European countries chose the last option, the most significant of which was Switzerland who chose to remain neutral throughout the entire conflict.

Although the Swiss are probably the most renowned for their neutrality, another country in Europe chose this path after the start of the global conflict, this country was Iceland. The small island nation based their policy of neutrality on…

The Three Mile Island accident

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A clean-up crew working to remove radioactive contamination at Three Mile Island. Courtesy of Wikicommons

Nuclear power has been dubbed by many as the “fuel of the future”. Being carbon neutral and able to produce massive amounts of power using little fuel it is easy to see why such a statement was made. Since its development as a power source, we have seen many incidents when this “fuel of the future” turned out to be more like the “killer of the future”.

Well-known events such as the Chernobyl and the Fukushima nuclear disasters haunt the minds of the global community when the topic of nuclear power is brought up. Although the above-mentioned events are the…

Calin Aneculaesei

Student of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. History fanatic. Contact:

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