Today in North African history: the Battle of Tangier ends (1437)

Prince Henry the Navigator (d. 1460) is one of those Portuguese guys you spend a few minutes on in high school history class in the US at the start of the Age of Discovery unit, in the rush to get to Columbus. But he’s a much more consequential figure than generally regarded. The explorations Henry … Continue reading Today in North African history: the Battle of Tangier ends (1437)

Today in North African history: the Battle of Tangier ends (1437)

Prince Henry the Navigator (d. 1460) is one of those Portuguese guys you spend a few minutes on in high school history class in the rush to get to Columbus. Which is unfortunate, because he’s an important figure. The explorations Henry sponsored were the first Portuguese voyages along the Atlantic coast of Africa, and later … Continue reading Today in North African history: the Battle of Tangier ends (1437)

Today in European history: the Battle of Alcácer Quibir (1578)

The 1578 Battle of Alcácer Quibir is an interesting case of unintended consequences. The product of a Portuguese attempt to exploit a succession crisis in Morocco, its outcome actually helped create a succession crisis in Portugal. The situation in Morocco was a pretty straightforward usurpation. The Bani Zaydan, also known as the Saadis, were the … Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Alcácer Quibir (1578)

Today in North African history: the Battle of Fakhkh (786)

Allow me to introduce a word that may be unfamiliar to some of you: Alid. In Middle Eastern studies, “Alid” refers to descendants of Ali, so it’s related to Shiʿism (which comes from shiʿat ʿAli, or “the partisans of Ali”) though clearly not synonymous with that term. Where the two terms can overlap and become … Continue reading Today in North African history: the Battle of Fakhkh (786)

Today in North African history: the Green March begins (1975)

When I think of the Spanish Empire, I think of the vast swathes of the Americas that were Spanish colonies until the independence movement of the early 19th century. But it survived beyond that, albeit substantially reduced in size. A few other places (Cuba, the Philippines) lingered under Spanish control, but were gradually peeled away … Continue reading Today in North African history: the Green March begins (1975)

Happy Presidents Day: Teddy Roosevelt and the Perdicaris Affair (1904)

Hey, I've moved! If you enjoy this post you can find more of my writing at Foreign Exchanges, a Substack newsletter covering a variety of topics in history and foreign affairs. Check it out today and become a subscriber! President's Day here in the US brings with it a number of anecdotes about the bygone … Continue reading Happy Presidents Day: Teddy Roosevelt and the Perdicaris Affair (1904)