The Kansas-Nebraska Act Example: Creating New Political Parties

This1856 Election Poster illustrated the national divide over slavery. Published by James G. Varney. July 31, 1856. Library of Congress.

There have been times in American history when legislation so enraged its citizens that old political alliances were shattered and new political alignments produced new parties. The Kansas-Nebraska Act is one example.

Treason in America – An Overt Act Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy

In Dantes Inferno, traitors occupy the 9th level of Hell, closest to the center. Paul Gustave Doré (1832-1883) depicted Dante visiting with traitors trapped in ice.

Historically, treason was one of the most grievous sins. In Ancient Rome traitors were thrown onto the Tarpeian rock from the Capitoline Hill. In Dante’s Inferno, Brutus and Judas Iscariot occupied the lowest tier of torment.

Child Soldiers Past and Present

Mayi Mayi child soldiers at Mangangu 'Political Retraining Camp'

Historians have referred to children in the Middle Ages as “little adults” and children at the time were routinely involved in conflict. The “rights of the child” are relatively contemporary, however, children continue to be recruited and trained at very young ages in a practice woven deep in the history of many cultures.

War Hawks Span the Centuries

This painting depicts the HMS Shannon closing on the American frigate Chesapeake. Painting by R. Dodd, 1813, courtesy of U.S. Library of Congress.

Virginia Congressman John Randolph coined the term war hawk to refer to those in favor of going to war with Britain at the beginning of the 19th century. The term “war hawks” is still used today to characterize those advocating war as an appropriate response in conflict situations.

Hungarian Jews and the Wallenberg Legacy

As anti-Semitism rises again in countries like Hungary, "never again" is a reminder of atrocities as well as the sacrifices made by heroes like Raoul Wallenberg. Photo by M. Streich, Dachau Concentration Camp.

Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Budapest, saved the lives of 100,000 Hungarian Jews scheduled for transportation to Nazi extermination camps. Wallenberg disappeared after meeting with Soviet military leaders and probably died in a Soviet prison.

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