Tag Archives: History

The soul of the Roman Empire

According to tradition, in the early days of ancient Rome, King Numa Pompilius established a religious institution: the Vestal Virgins.  The Vestal Virgins were chaste priestesses of Vesta, the goddess of home and hearth.  Their duty was to maintain the … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , , | 41 Comments

Breakthroughs in imagination

When thinking about human history, it’s tempting to see some developments as inevitable.  Some certainly were, but the sheer amount of time before some of them took place seem to make them remarkable. The human species, narrowly defined as Homo … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

America’s long path to universal voting rights

My memory of what I learned in early grade school about the history of American voting rights went something like this.  Prior to 1776, we were ruled by the king of Great Britain.  He was a tyrant who oppressed us … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Lessons from the election of 1824 and Silvio Berlusconi

Understandably, a lot of people continue to be upset about the results of this election.  One thing that keeps coming up in my feeds are people advocating for the electoral college to change that result.  The idea is that if … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Early access to exit poll data, universal suffrage, and other election ruminations

So, tomorrow is election day here in the US.  If you’re a US citizen and you haven’t voted yet, now’s the time to make plans.  As I noted in the last post, this is not the year to sit the … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Why the US two party system is so entrenched

The other day, I came across this Big Think explanation by historian Sean Wilentz on why the US always seems to gravitate to a two party system. Unfortunately, while I think Wilentz touches on the main points, his explanation doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in History, Society | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Is there a moral arc to history?

The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. As someone who isn’t able to find an objective basis for morality, I’ve often wondered what that means for the above statement from Martin Luther King.  It certainly … Continue reading

Posted in History, Morality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 33 Comments