Articles on History

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It’s common for presidential candidates to announce their campaigns 18 months or more in advance of election day. Reuters/Carlos Barria

Everything you wanted to know about US elections but were afraid to ask

Global audiences have heard of US election terms like the primaries, the conventions and the Electoral College. But the history and exact meaning of these terms remains a mystery to many.
19th-century philosopher John Stuart Mill was a leading thinker on free speech. London Stereoscopic Company

Explainer: what is free speech?

The concept of 'free speech' is devilishly difficult, and depends greatly on a person's political and philosophical viewpoint.
Insulting Barack Obama made the headlines, but Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks referred to a long and dark history of US interference in the Philippines. Narendra Shresthma, Mast Irham/EPA

He may have insulted Obama, but Duterte held up a long-hidden looking glass to the US

The people of the Philippines and their president know all too well the hypocrisy of being lectured by the United States about violence, human rights and democracy.
Does this rock painting, featuring a long, white gun, depict first contact? Is it a work of history? Author provided

Friday essay: on listening to new national storytellers

Australian history is already a hotly contested discipline but is it time to broaden our definitions of the canon? Might an indigenous rock painting or a novel or a poem constitute a work of history?
Protesters wearing masks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump march in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dominick Reuter/Reuters

Are U.S. politics beyond a joke?

From Alfonso the Wise's bawdy songs of slander to Ronald Reagan's sunny smile, politics and humor have gone hand-in-hand for centuries. But no one seems to be laughing anymore.
Glenn Stevens upheld the independence of the RBA in his time as governor. Mick Tsikas/AAP

The legacy of Glenn Stevens in three lessons

Glenn Stevens' legacy shows how to maintain the independence of the Reserve Bank in crisis as well as the limits of monetary policy.
Hex code from the Blaster worm reveals the potential motivations of the worm’s creator. Ward Moerman

Why save a computer virus?

How can archivists properly preserve computer programs often written specifically to destroy data?

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