Stuff You Missed in History Class

Great and strange tales from history

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Cardinal Wolsey

Thomas Wolsey rose to prominence under King Henry VIII. He was the king’s almoner before becoming Bishop of Lincoln, then Archbishop, then Cardinal. He lost favour when he couldn’t secure an annulment for the King.
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Madame Blavatsky

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was the founder of the theosophical religion. She travelled throughout her life, often escaping her aristocratic life and became famous as a medium. She died during an influenza epidemic.
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Frederick Douglass

Abolitionist and fighter for women’s sufferance. He was a black intellect, orator & writer in the northeast US. Originally born into slavery in MD. 1st Afro-American to be nominated as US Vice President.
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Dropping Well

Named because of the drops of water that run down it into the pool below, the Dropping Well has been tourist attraction since 1630 because of its curious look. The mineral deposits in the water petrify objects over time.
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Theosophy

A philosophical-religion founded by Madame Blavatsky and two US counterparts in New York. It brings together features from European philosophy, Buddhism and Hinduism. It helped introduce Asian philosophy to the States.
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The Women’s War

An uprising of Nigerian women against British colonial rule. What began as a protest against the introduction of a tax and warrant chiefs. It was successful with warrant chiefs abolished and native courts made inclusive
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Warrant Chief

As part of British indirect rule in some of its colonies, they assigned local men as warrant chiefs. This caused severe resentment among peoples who didn’t have a system of chiefs before colonial rule and caused unrest.
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Scramble for Africa

The colonisation of the African continent by European powers. By the end of 1914, 90% of the continent was under European control. The purpose was to get hold of natural resources to fuel industry in the home countries.
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Mother Shipton

Also called Urusula Southeil, she was possibly a prophetess who was reported to have predicted many major English events including the Fire of London. It is unknown how much of the tales of her are true or just myth.
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Igbo

One of Nigeria’s ethnic groups, found mostly in southeastern part of the country. Igbo people lived in semi-autonomous societies prior to colonialism. However there were many groups that lived separately and distinctly.
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Christian Missionaries

Missionaries from Britain saw the new colonies as great opportunities for converts. In addition to spreading Christianity they were also key in enforcing Western beliefs and customs especially through mission schools.
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