In honor of Turkey Day, let’s talk about Kurdistan

We’ve seen a lot of independence referendums in the past decade. First, South Sudan voted yes to independence on January 15, 2011 and more recently Scotland voted no on September 14, 2014. In this year alone, on June 11, Puerto Rico (with low turnout) voted overwhelming for U.S. statehood, while on September 28 Iraqi Kurdistan voted for independence, and on October 2 Catalonia followed (which I’ve recently written about). The Kurdish independence referendum, unlike Puerto Rico, had both a high turnout (72%) and high quantity of pro-independence voters (93%). At this point you may be asking, who are the Kurds? Numbering roughly around 30 million, the Kurds are a diverse central Asian people,

5 Mongol Empire Talking Points to Prepare You for Thanksgiving Dinner (Number 3 Might Surprise You!)

It’s a World History Listicle you didn’t know you wanted or needed. I get that. But who wants to be blindsided when Aunt Linda suddenly brings up the unification of China under Khubilai Khan? How will you respond to Uncle Joe’s claims that the Mongols were wanton murderers without some prior research? Well, fear not, fellow turkey warrior. I have compiled your battle plan for you, so you can defeat your familial enemies and assume your rightful place as Great Khan of the Dinner Table, long may you reign. If you’re not a Mongol nerd like me - and I’m guessing, just statistically, that you aren’t - you might only know about the founder of the Mongol Empire and haver-of-many-children, Chinggis

Introducing: Peer Review, the Janus Podcast!

Love the Janus editors, but wish you could hear their lovely voices? Can't get enough of obscure historical debate? Well, fear not, dear listener! We, those same editors, are excited to announce a new Janus podcast: Peer Review! Peer Review will consist of a few different kinds of episodes, including discussions among the editors, crash courses in our favorite historical subjects, and Round Table segments in which specific historical topics will be discussed by a panel of esteemed University of Maryland faculty. Here you will find our first episode, in which Aaron, Clay, David, and Charlotte discuss warrior culture, mutually-assured destruction, and some of humankind's past mistakes. Thanks

America's Deep Dive into Regulation

The end of the nineteenth century coincided with a whirlwind of change. The America at the end of the Civil War would not recognize the industrialized behemoth that the United States had become. Gone was the Jeffersonian ideal – later adopted by President Lincoln – which imagined America as a society of self-sufficient farmers. In its place was an industrial explosion, filled with factories, machines, and ever-growing cities. This explosion introduced a new world order, which included urban, working-class immigrant laborers, often working these new factories, and titans of industry, directing transnational corporations producing steel, oil, and machines. Even though the American economy

Catalonia: Why are they trying to declare independence?

Recently, Catalonia (Catalunya in Catalan), an autonomous community in the Kingdom of Spain, has been in the news after a controversial referendum to declare independence from Madrid. Both sides seek to discredit the other: the Spanish loyalists point out that only pro-independence Catalans turned out for the referendum (declared unconstitutional by Madrid) and that less than half of registered voters voted. The Catalan separatists also rightly highlight the disturbing levels of police violence against voters as roughly 900 people were injured and another 750,000 votes were uncounted because of closed polling stations and confiscations. On referendum day, October 1st, Spanish police prevente

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