European Surrender


One of the most famous paintings of the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez is the Surrender of Breda. Velázquez painted the event in 1634-1635, ten years after it took place. The painting is a symbolic interpretation of the surrender of Breda in 1625, when Spanish troops defeated the beleaguered Dutch city. Two generals confront each other, … Read more » “European Surrender”

A Greek Coin and Bankruptcy


The years from c. 462 BC to 431 BC (from the establishment of a radical democracy to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war) were the best years for Athens. Abroad, the Delian League, an Alliance of city-states and directed against the common Persian foe, became a mighty alliance under Athenian leadership. The prosperity and democracy of Athens … Read more » “A Greek Coin and Bankruptcy”

The European and American Presidents


European interest for the presidential elections in the United States is enormous. The interest for European ´presidential´ elections is rather modest in the United States however (and in Europe almost a non issue, except for the self-proclaimed Spitzenkandidaten). From 1760 to 1815, Americans were strongly interested in political developments in Europe however. Trans-Atlantic relations assumed an importance which … Read more » “The European and American Presidents”

European Regions Back to the Future


The pre-history of the historical Atlas in Europe was a long one. The history of European mapping goes back to Mesopotamia, the Greeks and Romans. Though ancient geography remained prestigious (educational) pursuits, the Bible and maps depicting the Holy land became the significant inspiration in medieval times, but mapping could not be called ‘historical’. Biblical … Read more » “European Regions Back to the Future”

The American Constitution


The Articles of the American Confederation, ratified in March 1781, gave each state so much power and independence that many political leaders believed that America needed a stronger national government. They finally produced a Constitution in 1788, more then ten years after the Declaration of independence (1776), in the same Hall of Independence in Philadelphia. … Read more » “The American Constitution”