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Portal:History

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History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning 'inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation') is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who focus on history are called historians. The historian's role is to place the past in context, using sources from moments and events, and filling in the gaps to the best of their ability. Written documents are not the only sources historians use to develop their understanding of the past. They also use material objects, oral accounts, ecological markers, art, and artifacts as historical sources.

History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.

Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.

Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history," or, by some, the "father of lies." Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived.

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The gun trials of the Brazilian dreadnought Minas Geraes, the ship that began the dreadnought race. Here, all guns capable of training to the port side were fired, forming what was at that time the heaviest broadside ever fired off a warship.

A naval arms race among Argentina, Brazil and Chile—the most powerful and wealthy countries in South America—began in the early twentieth century when the Brazilian government ordered three dreadnoughts, formidable battleships whose capabilities far outstripped older vessels in the world's navies.

In 1904, the Brazilian Navy found itself well behind its Argentine and Chilean rivals in quality and total tonnage, as the force had added only a small number of modern warships after the fifteen years earlier, and Argentina and Chile had just concluded a naval arms race which filled their navies with new vessels. The Brazilian government's revenue was sharply increasing around this time due to rising demand for coffee and rubber, and the country's legislature voted to devote some of the proceeds to address the naval imbalance in the belief that a strong navy would play an essential role in remaking the country into an international power. Read more...

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The Trinity nuclear test was the first nuclear detonation in the world. Conducted by the United States Army on July 16, 1945, the successful test would set the stage for the coming Atomic Age. This image, captured by Berlyn Brixner, shows the fireball that developed 0.016 seconds after ignition; the explosive had a yield of 20 kilotons of dynamite.

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Bust of Pericles bearing the inscription "Pericles, son of Xanthippus, Athenian". Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from c. 430 BC, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican Museums,

Pericles (/ˈpɛrɪklz/; Attic Greek: Περικλῆς Periklēs, pronounced [pe.ri.klɛ̂ːs] in Classical Attic; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a prominent and influential Greek statesman, orator and general of Athens during its golden age, specifically the time between the Persian and the Peloponnesian Wars. He was descended, through his mother, from the powerful and historically-influential Alcmaeonid family. Pericles had such a profound influence on Athenian society that he was acclaimed by Thucydides, a contemporary historian, as "the first citizen of Athens". Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the "Age of Pericles", but the period thus denoted can include times as early as the Persian Wars or as late as the next century.

Pericles promoted the arts and literature, and it is principally through his efforts that Athens acquired the reputation of being the educational and cultural center of the ancient Greek world. He started an ambitious project that generated most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis, including the Parthenon. This project beautified and protected the city, exhibited its glory and gave work to its people. Pericles also fostered Athenian democracy to such an extent that critics call him a populist. He, along with several members of his family, succumbed to the Plague of Athens in 429 BC, which weakened the city-state during a protracted conflict with Sparta. Read more...

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July 3: Independence Day in Belarus (1944)

French destroyer Mogador burning after British shellfire
French destroyer Mogador burning after British shellfire
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My heart is a stone: heavy with sadness for my people; cold with the knowledge that no treaty will keep whites out of our lands; hard with the determination to resist as long as I live and breathe.

— Tecumseh, Native American tribal chief

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