We’ve put together an annual selection of some of our favorite articles from the past twelve months, which have read Rosetta Stone, shamed detractors, and subjected criminals to vigilante justice.
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Good as gold
The absence of formal government on the American frontier led miners to take on powers usually reserved for the state, subjecting criminals to their vigilante justice.
Original rock star
200 years after deciphering the most famous rock piece in the world, what does reading the Rosetta Stone reveal?
The death and mutilation of a Xhosa chief at the hands of the British in 1835 was a ‘barbaric’ act, which the perpetrators covered up with a web of lies.
The Large Miseries of War: Execution on the Wheel, by Jacques Callot, 1633. BTEU/RKMLGE/Alami.
Early modern methods of execution were carefully calculated to shame the condemned.
Charity begins at home
The ’emigration’ of thousands of poor children to London in the 19th century was seen by its organizers as an act of Christian salvation, but the experience of the youths sent to Canada tells a different story.
‘Vote belongs to the public’
Courtney J. Campbell
Brazil’s democracy is young, hard-won, and in danger. As the country goes to the polls, its history reminds us that the right to vote is not taken for granted.
Robert Ritter, head of the racial hygiene and demographic biology research unit of the Criminal Police of Nazi Germany, interviewing with a Romani woman, 1936 © Galerie Bilderwelt/Hulton Getty Images.
Roma in Europe were victims of Nazi genocide during World War II, but their persecution did not end in 1945.
on the ballot
Before the secret ballot, voting in Britain was a dramatic, violent, and public affair. The law that privatized democracy turned 150 this year.
Elizabeth Stuart, later Queen of Bohemia, after Michiel van Mierevelt, c.1615 © and-images.
other Elizabeth Nadin Ackerman
Emulating her godmother, Elizabeth I, Elizabeth Stuart captured the hearts and minds of Europe as she lit up.
Strange Death of Liberal Egypt
For most Egyptians the country’s independence came with the July 1952 Revolution, not the end of the British protectorate in February 1922. Yet, as the experiences of three patriotic writers show, independence did not mean independence.