Originally imagined as a small-scale agrarian rebellion against the oppressive, unlawful rule of Turkish provincial authorities in the Belgrade Pashalik, the First Serbian Uprising soon became an event of great prominence in European diplomacy. A small jacquerie on the northern borders of the once-powerful Ottoman Empire sparked a series of national revolutions among the Christian peoples of the Balkans. After ten years of severe fighting, magnificent victories and cruel defeats, Serbian insurgents finally succumbed in autumn of 1813, after the fall of Belgrade. Regardless of that, after the Uprising, the path to eventual success was traced and the revival of the Serbian national state was only a question of time.
Can you name a war fought by Icelanders? Kind of a difficult task. One would have to search deep in the past to find when was the last time inhabitants of this remote northern island resorted to weapons and methods of warfare. Well, nothing strange for a country that doesn’t even have a proper army and hasn’t had one for centuries. Yet, in the second half of the twentieth century, in the midst of the Cold War, Iceland was involved in three related conflicts.
During Joseph Stalin’s long rule there weren’t many who managed not only to say no but to openly defy him, especially in the communist realm. Among those few who managed to stand their ground against “the man of steel” were Josip Broz Tito and Yugoslavia. For most of the world, the abrupt end of the Yugoslav-Soviet friendship was a shocking turn of events. Yet the question arises - was the event as important as some have claimed?
Introduction When Nazi Germany decided to attack the Soviet Union, the infamous operation Barbarossa, city of Leningrad (modern St. Petersburg) became one of three main targets of the offensive. It was an industrial hub, the base of the Soviet Baltic fleet, and held ideological and political importance as the birthplace of the revolution and former capital. However, the main goal set by Hitler wasn’t capturing the city, but rather destroying it along with its population.
Introduction The New World envisioned by the Nazis collapsed with the defeat of the Axis in World War Two. Instead, a whole different world was about to be built with Communism as one of its pillars. As the war was ending, the red wave coming from the east was unstoppable, changing the political map of pre-war Europe along the way. The entire eastern part of the continent fell into the firm grip of Moscow, turning the countries in the region into de facto puppets of the Soviet Union.
The USSR has been unarguably one of the most significant factors of the 20th century, leaving a substantial mark on world history. It was one of two world superpowers and a leader of the communist bloc in the Cold War, without mentioning other various aspects and contributions to science, culture, technology, etc. Often depicted as a “world’s bad guy” and dubbed the Red Giant as a menacing figure indicating its leading ideology, most of the world thought the Soviet Union was a strong and stable nation that would endure for a long time.
It is often the destiny of small nations to be swallowed by the big ones. Human history has witnessed more than a few of them disappear as if they never existed. However, after the First World War, many of them, long forgotten, resurrected. The all-proclaimed right of self-determination gave birth to several new countries, old nations. Among them were three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It was, however, their ill fortune that the peace established in Versailles was not destined to last long.
Introduction Throughout history, famine and other similar disasters plagued humankind. Those were usually caused by natural forces beyond human control. Yet, the 20th century proved that nature was never able to match human errors in its destructibility and fatality. Disregarding the intentional killing and destruction of modern warfare, the most disastrous event of that century was the famine caused by the Great Leap Forward (GLF) campaign in China. It was unintentional, a perfect storm of errors and stubbornness, faulty reasoning, and reliance on ideology rather than factuality.
What are the things that set history in motion? It’s a million dollar question. What were the things behind the major historical events? What pushed the famous people in history to do what they did. Both good and bad. To what extent have their personalities affected the course of history? What was on Adolf Hitler’s mind when he pushed the world into one of the darkest chapters in human history? Today, we have a reliable knowledge of his psychological issues, but we know less about people who were responsible for his severe mental and physical state.
Introduction The Cold War is often depicted as an era marked by a struggle for global dominance between two blocs led by the USSR and the US. Such representation is quite reasonable, yet it clouds our view on the past by focusing it on only a fraction of the historical horizon. There were more nations and states than just the two giants, many of which gained independence in their struggle against colonialism and imperialism.