Through a sophisticated scheme of subterfuge, King Leopold II acquired private ownership of the Congo River Basin. With the help of two men especially, explorer Henry Morton Stanley and diplomat Henry Shelton Sanford, he had Congo chiefs sign treaties giving up their land and got the United States and Europe to recognize these treaties as the creation of an independent state. In reality, Leopold II had more power over the Congo Free State than he did as King of Belgium. So, the outrageous acts of greed and violence committed against the people of the Congo went totally unchecked for 23 years.
Educated in Southern California with a Bachelors in History and a Juris Doctorate, Shahan has directed his passion for understanding how the world works into a writing practice that aims to deliver entertaining and enlightening content for the inquiring mind.
Invited by a disgruntled prince wanting to depose his father, an Islamic Sultan sieged a major Hindu city. He sailed south three days and entered the harbor of Sandabur-Goa with his army of armored cavalry and infantry. Catapults of massive stone were flung out from the harbor, but the sultan’s army made it ashore. Those who were not slaughtered fled into the king’s palace, which the sultan set on fire, forcing a surrender. Fighting over the city would persist for approximately two more years between this Islamic Bahmani Sultanate and the Hindu Kadambas Dynasty, but ultimately would fall to the Sultan for 15 years before returning to Hindu rule.
George Washington, like all men in the American colonies, was entrusted with the property and estates of the women and children in his family, including his step-son Jacky Custis. Washington’s efforts to raise Jacky as a disciplined and educated man failed, and Jacky grew up to be a foolish socialite who died in his youth.
In 1325 AD, Ibn Battuta left home in Morocco at the age of 22 to travel the world, not to return home for another 25 years. From China to Timbuktu, India and Siberia, the deserts of Arabia and the oceans of paradise, he saw more of the world than any other human being on earth. Thus, making him one of the greatest travelers in human history.
The 14th century Maldives were ruled by a mighty queen, participated in international trade, maintained their ancient traditions while also converting to Islam, and kept up their paradise despite the coming and goings of foreigners.
In the 14th century, the Sultan of Delhi moved his capital to Western India for seven years so that he could wage war and conquer the area. The city was filled with merchants, mystics, scholars, and singers and was stocked rich full of jewels and fruits.
In Medieval India, if you were suspected to be a witch, you would be tied down with weights and thrown into a river. If you floated, you were a witch and would be burned at the stake. This practice was occurring in 14th century India, not just 15th century Europe and 17th century Massachusetts.
In the 13th century city of Khanbaliq (modern: Beijing), the science of astronomy was funded and encouraged by the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan in order to advance the art of astrology. Many other arts were popular in that city as well.
A relay system of post offices with legendary Mongol horsemen riding between provided for the speedy delivery of goods and messages throughout the vast Mongol Empire.
The jade stone was believed to possess powers of sorcery. Accounts from medieval Asia tell of sorcerers that were able to conjure up storms fierce enough to defeat armies and navies.