Thursday, 31 March 2016

On This Day 31st of March

Hi Everyone,

Today was an interesting day in history. Whether it's the opening of the Eiffel Tower, or the death of Issac Newton, there's plenty to look at in today's edition of On This Day!

Richard Mills

1504- France and Spain sign a ceasefire

1547- Henry II succeeds Francois I to be King of France

1657- English Parliament offers Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, the crown, but he declines

1814- Paris is captured by forces allied against Napoleon

1889- 300m Eiffel Tower, the tallest man-made structure for 41 years, is officially opened

1918- US has its first daylight savings time

1933- Hitler Takes power from the German Republic

1939- Britain and France support Poland, and agree to fight for them if Germany invades.

1968- 36th US president Lyndon B. Johnson announces he will not try at the next election

19850- First WWE Wrestle mania held in New York

1989- Donald Trump buys Eastern’s Northeast Shuttle

1991- Albania gives first multi-party election for 50 years


1360- Philippa of Lancaster, the Queen of Portugal is born

1425- Bianca Maria Visconti, Duchess of Milan

1499- Pius IV (Gianangelo de’ Medici)

1519- Henry II, King of France

1948- Al Gore (American Vice President)

1340- Ivan I of Moscow, Prince of Moscow & Grand Prince of Vladimir

1547- Francis I, King of France

1727- Isaac Newton (died in London)

1837- John Constable (English Painter)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Hello everyone,

I will no longer be posting about the Renaissance, but now about Japan under the Shogun, which is my school's new topic.

Thank you,

Richard Mills

On This Day- 30th March

This is the first edition of my new series, On This Day. I get all my 'On This Day's' from the website-

If you want more, just go to that website. They have great 'On This Day's' but I only select the 'Most Exciting' and Interesting.

Richard Mills

1856- Russia signs ‘Peace of Paris’, which ended the Crimean War

1867- The United States of America bought Alaska from Russia for the price of 7.2 million (which is equivalent of 2 cents an acre)

1870- A 15th amendment is made to the US constitution, meaning that anyone can vote, no matter of race or colour

1889- The first US golf course was opened by John T Reid (New York)

1959- The 14th Dalai Lama flees China and is provided with political asylum in India


                                           1853- Vincent van Gogh was born on this day in Groot-Zundert,                                                            Netherlands (Picture on Top- Right)


1547- Francois I of Valois-Angouleme (King of France)
(Left Picture)

2002- Queen Mother (consort of George VI) dies at 101

On This Day- New Series

Hello everyone,

As well as starting to express my political views on this blog, I will start a series called On This Day. I am hoping to post every day, but there might be a few exceptions due to my school going on camp next week. Sorry about this.

I hope my political views do not put you off visiting my blog! I will still be posting the usual history things!


Richard Mills

Malcolm Turnbull's new health scheme

Why doesn't Malcolm Turnbull realise that the public hospitals need help. Raising private health insurance premiums by 5.5% isn't going to help them. It is going to cause more backlog in the public sector. People will leave the private sector for the public sector which needs more funding, not patients. Why can't Malcolm Turnbull see this?

We need Tony Abbott, who planned to introduce a co-payment. In New Zealand, John Key has a fully functional health sector that doesn't have backlog, but does have co-payments. The citizens of Australia, as well as the politicians in Canberra shouldn't just back off the co-payment without looking at it, and seeing it's benefits. Malcolm Turnbull doesn't know how to run the country, he wanted the top job, but doesn't know what to do.

Our current prime minister has not been capable, and most likely is not capable, of providing the economic leadership our country needs.


Friday, 25 March 2016

Savonarola died 2 days ago- 518 years ago!

Hello Everyone,

With the short Easter Break underway, I think I will have more time to post. 

I hope you enjoy this short writing on Savonarola, who died 2 days ago (23 March) 518 years ago!

In the year of 1498, on the 23rd of March, Savonarola, along with his two biggest supporters hung from a wooden beam in the Piazza della Signoria. Sentenced to burn at the stake, Savonarola was a very rigorous opponent of humanism, an aspect of the Renaissance that was most important.

Savonarola was a Dominican friar, and a ruler of Florence while the Medici were banished from Florence. He was convinced that the ‘wrath of God was about to fall upon earth’ and resented every form of pleasure, from jokes to poetry, gambling, fine clothes and the source of reproduction.

Hating sex, he denounced those artists that showed the genitals, including famous sculptures, such as that of David. Fortunately for Michelangelo, Savonarola died prior to the creating of David. Other famous texts include that of the de Cameron by Boccaccio, which was believed to have explicit and inappropriate scenes, something that Savonarola strongly hated. As a result of his disgust, Savonarola burnt all explicit material that he believed to be against the values of the Church, and this was called the ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’. This bonfire, which happened in 1497, included the burning of gaming tables, cards, mirrors, nude statues and paintings and indecent books.

The Renaissance was a period in time where humanism flourished. Humanism featured the belief that humans were great, and that we should celebrate the achievements in human times. It was something that featured people not just following what the church said, but actually examines what it said, and taking a side on it. This is what Savonarola strongly despised. He believed that people were moving far away from the church. AS a result, he denounced any luxury. He stated that admiring oneself, and following humanism was vanity, a state where humans have pride and admirations in their looks, or achievements, which is exactly what Humanism was all about. As a result of hosting the ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’, Savonarola made many enemies, most of them wealthy and powerful, like the Pope, Pope Alexander VI, who appreciated luxury, and others like wealthy merchants and bankers such as the Medici’s. This put Savonarola in great harm, but that did not stop Savonarola, soon, he would be arrested, and later hung.

On Palm Sunday, the 20th of March, a mob attacked St Mark’s Church, and Savonarola, along with his two most vigorous supporters was arrested. These followers were Fra Dominico and Fra Salvestro. The three of them were soon considered heretics, but only after grim torture.

Three days later, on the 23rd of March, Savonarola and his three supporters hung from a wooden platform in the Piazza della Signoria. Savonarola’s last words were ‘The Lord has suffered much for me,” after being asked what he felt about being a martyrdom.
It has been said that Savonarola blessed the crowd while burning, but this has been put down to the work of the flame.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Cesare Borgia

Hi everyone,

With his death day last week, I thought it would be approriate to write about Ceasre Borgia, a ruthless enemy.


Richard Mills

Cesare Borgia was one of the worst enemies you could face in battle, a fact that some leaders of city-states had to find out the hard way. He was a bastard son, nut that did not stop him from taking power and entering the church at an early age. For a few years, while attacking other city-states, Borgia took Leonardo da Vinci into his service as an engineer. Borgia died from a fatal wound that he received after being ambushed on his own by a party of knights. Borgia was also the subject of Machiavelli’s book, The Prince.
Being born an illegitimate child to a mother of Vannozza dei Cattanei and Pope Alexander VI, the original idea would have been that he could not inherit anything, but that quickly changed when his father, Pope Alexander VI publily announced all his illegitimate children. He was released of his need to prove his birth in a papal bull, essentially a sealed letter, from Pope Sixtus IV on the 1st of October 1480. This meant he was free to be the heir of his father. After studying law at Perugia and Pisa, Borgia entered the church, and at the age of 15, became the Bishop of Pamplona. At that age of 18, his father became Pope, and, with this elevation of his father, Cesare became a cardinal. Prior to his fathers elevation, his father was named Rodrigo Borgia.

The Borgia family, with Cesare entering the church, laid its stakes of success on Cesare’s brother, Giovanni, who was made the captain of the general forces of the Papal military, however, these stakes were demolished when Giovanni was assassinated in 1497, under circumstances unknown. Under these circumstances, Cesare resigned from his position as Cardinal of Valencia, and became the first person to resign the cardinalate. On the same day as Cesare’s resignation, the French King, Louis XII gave Cesare the title of Duke of Velantinois.

In 1496, his father replaced Cesare’s brother of the command of the papal army with Cesare himself, and with this newfound role, Borgia and the Pope decided to take the central Italian city-states under the control of the Pope, and create a united Italy for Cesare to rule over, however, Cesare’s plans stalled when his father, the Pope died in 1503 from malaria. As well as this, Cesare fell ill under the same illness as his father, but, after being sunken into a huge jar of ice, Cesare was cured, however, in this time, the cardinals had decided to elect a new Pope, who would later be known as Pope Julius II. This pope was actually called Giuliano della Rovere, and was a deadly enemy of the Borgia’s. This meant that a lot of the leniency given to Cesare by his father, the previous pope, would now be stopped.

While invading Naples, Cesare was betrayed by a man he though of as his ally. Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba, and imprisoned. After a while, Borgia was transferred to Spain, where he was imprisoned in the Castle of Chinchilla de Montearagon. However, after an attempted escape, he was taken to yet another castle, the Castle of La Mota, Medina del Campo. In this castle, Borgia managed to escape, and managed to get back to his brother-in-law, King John of Navarre. While he planned to go back to Italy, a rebellion was being held against King John, and Cesare had to deal with those matters. He took command of a 5,000 strong army to deal with the problem. One of the rebels was Luis de Beaumonte, who was the lord of the castle of Viana. Cesare lay siege on this castle, and soon, the castle became weakly provisioned. This was, however, soon faulted, as, on the 11th of March, 1507, de Beaumonte took provisions to the castle, commanded by de Beaumonte’s son. This was hidden under the cover of a sudden storm, but the veil couldn’t be kept over Cesare’s eyes for too long, and on his way back from the castle, Luis de Beaumonte was spotted. Cesare took off with seventy horsemen, o catch de Beaumonte, who was only being led by a pack of mulse, considerably slower than horses. In his eargerness to get to de Beaumonte, and not to let him get away, Borgia left his convoy behind, and got further and further away form his men. The enemy soon spotted Borgia, and being on his own, it was no match. He was stripped of all valuables, and all his clothes, and left naked, for King John’s men to find. Once de Beaumonte found out about the death of Borgia, he was furious with his men, as Cesare would have been a good item for ransom. King John burned Borgia’s body in Viana with an inscription saying;
Here lies in a little earth
he who everyone feared,
he who peace and war
held in his hand.
Oh, you who go in search
of worthy things to praise,
if you would praise the worthiest
then your path stops here
and you do not need to go any farther.

His remains now lay to rest in the church of Santa Maria, after his body was dug up a few times.

Borgia also stars in Maciavelli’s book, the Prince, which explained the ideal ruler. He included many lines in the book that praised Cesare like the below;
"There was one man who showed glimpses of greatness, the kind of thing that made you think he was sent by God for the country's redemption" (26.2).
"I wouldn't know what better advice to give a ruler new to power than to follow his example" (7.3).
Borgia was so ruthless and so talented, he knew so well that you have to win over people or destroy them and he had built up such solid foundations for his power in such a short time that if he hadn't had these two armies threatening him, or if he hadn't been so ill, he would have overcome every obstacle. (7.13)

Cesare Borgia was the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, and had two children, Louise Borgia, Duchessa of Valentinois and Girolamo Borgia. Cesare was a ruthless leader, and probably would have continued to be one, if it hadn’t have been for his death. He took chances that risked his life, and was very successful, although in his later life, he was taken into imprisonment. Borgia was a very ruthless and cruel leader, and one that leaders of city-states did not want to mess with.