What’s your favorite period in history?

Students frequently ask me what my favorite period of history is. The answer to that question used to be really easy: Medieval history, particularly English history. My favorite course in college was England 1200-1700, or as it used to be called, Kings and Parliament, 1200-1700. In fact, I still have my binder for that course. (Professor Rappaport, if you’re out there, you are a great inspiration to me!)

More recently my response to that question changes pretty regularly. Ok, in all fairness, if I had to choose just ONE period of history to study for the rest of my life, I would say the history of the British isles without blinking an eye. I am endlessly fascinated with Chinese history – all of it, although learning about the Mao years is a bit like watching a humongous accident – you just can’t look away. (Apologies if that is offensive.  I only mean that it something to which I am drawn.)

So, what is my favorite period of history?  It depends on what I’m teaching, what strikes my fancy, what book jumps out at me at the book store.  Currently I am reading Christopher Hibbert’s biography of Queen Victoria, but my “To Read” pile is enormous.

What’s YOUR favorite period in history?  Why?

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66 comments on “What’s your favorite period in history?

  1. Penny Nunes De Souza says:

    World War One 1914-18 and 1911 – 1913
    Because this was when there was great social change and re evaluation of women’s roles in society. It changed the face of warfare at least until 1939 with the advent of tanks and less dependence on the calvary

  2. lucyam says:

    It would be very hard for me to limit to just one but if i had to I generally prefer any sort of American history, although within that I do have preferences for the Civil War Period, the 1920s, the civil rights movement, the 1950s/Mad Men era and Vietnam (not very specific list is it! 😀 )
    On a broader scale, I generally like WW2 in terms of a social aspect, and I do tend to prefer social history as a whole. I also enjoy British Coloniasm, and very modern history (i.e within the last 30 years).

  3. Brad Chester says:

    Narrowly edging out the formative years of the British Monarchy and Empire (King John I- Mary Queen of Scots, approximately) for me is the Antebellum Age in America. The reason being chiefly held in the Indian Wars and Westward Expansion. I like to learn about the Indian Wars as the formative time in America’s Army and notice Generals and Politicians sort of pre-gaming the Civil War. The addition of the majority of the nation’s landmasses in the Texas Annexation, Mexican Cession of 1848, etc. also interests me because it is largely forgotten as important to the coming Civil War (In fact, the first talk of emancipation of slaves began in Coahulia y Texas, a Texan state). The third major contributing factor to my enjoyment of this period of history is acts such as the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act that pushed the fledgling nation closer to an internal conflict.

  4. Tyler Briese says:

    If i had to choose my favorite period, i would have to say the westward expansion . I enjoy learning about the westward expansion because i think it is a miracle that Lewis and Clark could discover so much land all by themselves and with only $2500 dollers (if i recall correctly). After the Lousiana Purchase these two guys Meriwether Lewis and William Clark discovered the western half of america. I love anything to do with the west in history that being my favorite. I also enjoy learning about this time partly because of George Washington, who was a general in the french and indian war, and in my personal opinion one of the best presidents to ever be in office. I enjoy things like the gold rush, the french and indian war, and the alamo just to name a few. So my favorite period in history is from around 1750 to about 1850.

  5. RizzaDork says:

    My favorite period, hands down, is the Ancient Egyptian period(6000 BC-332 BC). I’m absolutly fasinated with the changes of religon from father to sun. For example, it is thought that Amunhotep IV (later Akenaten) and Kiya, his first wife, gave birth to the famous Tutankhaten (later Tutankhamun). When Amunhotep changed the religion to praise the sun disk, Aten, he changed his name as well. Tutankhaten gained power and changed the religion back to Amun and his name along with it. The battle of religion has gone on forever but I think it started here. This time period was very chaotic time. Fights within families over the crown destroyed most of the reins. The rise and fall is soooooooooooo interesting. Think, it was all for a crown but in the end no one gets it. So Ancient Egypt is my favorite time period.

  6. Brittany Ward says:

    If i had to choose a period of history that i like best it would probably be Ancient Greece; 497 BCE – 146 BCE. I found it interesting when learning about the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War. It grabbed my attention, and i like how Alexander the Great was so brave and an amazing leader to his army following in his father’s footsteps. Then around the time when he died and when the Hellenistic culture began, which i thought was really cool. (:

  7. Jacky Cheng says:

    The period of age I like would be the Renaissance. It is plainly the rebirth of the world. It is also the age that leads to the modern world we know today. Not just economically but also politically and religiously. The economy of the world had changed for the better, new ideas of politics had risen especially by new world leaders, and during this period of time the Church had stopped becoming the main unifying force. The biggest change of all would be the creation of many inventions and art. Such inventions can come from the creation of the printing press by Gutenberg. Leonardo da Vinci created ideas like one of a flying vehicle, things that we use today created generations ago. He also was an artist making art like the famous “Mona Lisa.” Another famous artist is Michelangelo who created a sculpture called “David” and also painted the “Creation of Adam” at the ceiling of Sistine Chapel. The Renaissance is a time of change, revolution, and modernization.

  8. Jessie Stratton says:

    Oh wow. Well there are so many different time periods that I can think of that I love, but maybe for me, it’s not a time period. Rather, just a subject in history. See, I am endlessly fascinated and i LOVE learning about U.S. History. I guess the time period would be when the American Revolution took place. But more so, I just love learning about the different wars we’ve battled our way through, though it may seem awful to some people. The Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korean, Vietnam, etc. I find it all so intriguing and interesting. I also love the Medieval Ages and around the time of the French Revolution. The first book that got me started on my love for reading is from a series, the Royal Diaries [a really good series for younger girls to get you familiar with different time periods], and it’s called “Marie Antoinette,” who later becomes the Queen of France. Her life and death is very interesting to me as well.

  9. Ashleigh Stratton says:

    I don’t particularly have any one favorite time period, but I do acknowledge a couple eras which strike my fancy. Without a doubt, US history is my absolute favorite. I really enjoy the late 1700’s in America when the Declaration of Independance was signed and America gained independance from England. It just goes to show that America is a strong nation and will endure for quite a long time, even though compared to ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, which is one of the earliest civilizations to form, the USA is an extrememly young country and has much to learn. Another time period which fascinates me is from about 1941-1945 during which World War II occured. It is true that it cost us lives, not to mention money preparing for war, but I think its great that through wars, although how terrible they might be, it gives us opportunities to form alliances and connect with the outside world.

  10. Abhishek Mathews says:

    My favorite period in history, that I have learned of, is the river valley period, when every civilization, known, was found near rivers. What I like about these civilizations is the fact that so much mystery surrounds their lives. Of course we know what is in the textbook, the basic facts, but I want to know more about their lives and religions. These things interest me. I want to know the specific details and I know that the textbooks always cannot provide that.

  11. Mehreen Naghmi says:

    My favorite period in history would probably have to be Ancient Rome. I have always loved learning about the Roman history. It all started with two brothers, Romulus and Remus, with one killing the other so that he could rule the city. The city’s violence only continued from there. They were able to gain and keep so much land by going through countless number of bloody battles. I also loved learning about their culture and how these people lived. Staying on the same note as their violence, the Roman’s biggest entertainment was watching gladiators fight to death. Their myths also interested me. I loved how they had a reason behind everything, even echoes! I am just truly fascinated by everything with Ancient Rome. (Which is one reason why I take Latin 🙂 )

  12. Jennifer Kim says:

    I would definitely have to agree with what Jacky Cheng said about the Renaissance. This is my favorite time period as well, because as he said, it is the time of rebirth, and a whole new view on many topics. I also especially favor this period of time because I have a particular interest in art, and in this period many great accomplishments such as the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci were created. Da Vinci studied new forms of art by looking into the human body and the way it is structured, which peaks my interest as well. There were also things such as literature that became well known in the Northern Renaissance. I really enjoyed studying the works of William Shakespere, who was the most famous writer back in the Renaissance. Him and other writers discovered many new forms and styles of literature, including writing vernacular, which was everyday language. These are only some of the great achievements made during the Renaissance and the reasons why this is my favorite period in history.

  13. Emily Tourtellott says:

    My favorite time period is the westward expansion era of the U.S. It was during this time period that many changes happened to society. Americans began to get the idea of Manifest Destiny; the desire and duty to expand the U.S. until it stretched from the east to the west coasts of the continent. I admire the bravery and determination of those who settled the west in spite of disease and bandits. If Americans hadn’t had the idea of expansion, the U.S. would look entirely different than it does today. This is also the time period when many of the earliest forms of modern technology appeared. Examples include cameras, plows, railroads, and telegraphs. These technologies were created to make expansion possible, but over time they proved their worth and began to evolve into what we see today. Because of the desire to expand, the U.S. became more and more sophisticated with the innovations that changed the fabric of American society.

  14. Mary Cate Scully says:

    History in itself fascinates me to begin with but my favorite time period would be World War 2 and the Holocaust (1939-1945). Those events have always fascinated me. It can be heartbreaking sometimes to learn of the tortuous times of the holocaust but it is also enamoring to try and understand what was really going on in the mind of the Nazis. Though most Holocaust stories are tough it is interesting to learn of the stories of bravery, rescue and finding safety. There are all the stories of hiding and secrecy, a commonly known one being Ann Frank. The actual war is just as riveting in itself. The “modern” styles of warfare and stories from the home front are inspirational and cause us to reflect on our own patriotism. The WW2 period was a time of horror and tragedy but with that there was great success and bravery shown. Those contrasting traits alone make the time period as fascinating as it was.

  15. Sam Needham says:

    My favorite time period from history is very recent – the 1900s. It’s my favorite for quite a few reasons. First, there was a ridiculous amount of discovery and innovation during this period. In the span of just 100 years we have discovered and created SO much; computers that used to take up an entire room can now fit into our pockets! I bet Alexander Graham Bell never thought that telephones would become portable. (: Second, I find it so interesting that the decades were so different from each other. The evolution of clothing, music, hairstyles, etc. through the years fascinates me. It’s also amazing to me how ideas changed so quickly. So much happened in that century that the people had to endure – the Depression, the World Wars, natural disasters, and much more. They were so tough and that’s another reason I really admire that time period and the people involved in it.

  16. Austin Neo says:

    Although I find the vast majority of world history interesting, I would have to say that my favorite period of history is Ancient China. The Ancient Chinese were pioneers in engineering. Their innovations were some of the first of their kind. Many of their inventions make me wonder of the radical minds of that era. Without the Chinese the world would be completely different. If the Chinese hadn’t invented the compass, people would have gotten lost on their way to America. Without gunpowder, Independence day wouldn’t be as much fun, and warfare would still be composed of swords and bows and arrows. And without paper, school would much more difficult!

  17. Michael "Ross" Smith says:

    My favorite period would have to be the Golden Age of Greece. At this point in time they had won one of the biggest wars they had ever fought and places around Greece had realized they needed to work together to achieve a successful lifestyle. The Delian league was formed and an army along with it that would stop any invaders. This was truly one of the greatest moments in Greek history until Sparta chose to disagree with Athen’s decisions on where money should go.

  18. Rose Yim says:

    My favorite time period is the Renaissance because it was a time of change. Just before, one third of Europe’s population had suffered and lost their lives to the Bubonic Plague. The Renaissance had completely turned around all depression that was felt from the great decline in the population. Many discoveries were made during this time period including the invention of humanism, Leondardo Davinci’s Mona Lisa, and the many plays and works of literature of William Shakespeare. These and many more discoveres made during the Renaissance such as art, literature, science, politics, and religion have brought changes that have made our present a more educated generation.

  19. Iris Ahn says:

    My favorite time period in history is the Pax Romana of Ancient Rome. Augustus Caesar was a strong leader who made this time period possible. The fact that they were able to have 200 years of peace amazes me. Throughout this time, they were able to trade with other nearby cities using the Mediterranean Sea. Because they made many achievements during this time, they were able to build many important structures such as the Colosseum, where Romans would go to watch many popular events such as gladiator fights. I am impressed with their achievements and ability to keep peace for such a long period of time.

  20. Kevin Chung says:

    My favorite time period of history would have to be either the Pax Romana of Rome or the Golden Age of Greece. These two periods contributed a huge chunk of ideas, culture, and achievements to our world now. And also because everything in life in general seemed so much more simple than it is now. They didn’t have to worry about who had the best shoes, or the coolest games, laptops, etc. It was just about raising their families, and they appreciated the finer things in life.

  21. Tyler Lam says:

    My favorite period was the Italian Renaissance. It’s amazing that they actually named their own era the “rebirth” because of the revival of secular interests, such as art, literature, and philosophy. There were even advances in political philosophy, demonstrated in Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, and inventors, such as Leonardo da Vinci. Some of the greatest discoveries in art are still used today, such as perspective and portraying pictures the way they look in real life. Even though it was the rebirth of art and literature, there were also economical changes, such as the use of credit, and mathematical changes, such as the use of Arabic numerals. The Italian Renaissance also spread and sparked the beginning of the Northern Renaissance. The Italian Renaissance is my favorite because it was one of the most influential periods of all time.

  22. Osama Saleem says:

    My favorite period in history would probably have to be the time of Genghis Khan. The story of this man is one of those “rags to riches” stories and I’ve always loved those kinds. This man went from nothing to everything because of his brilliant military tactics and the will of his people to achieve something great. Another reason this period is fascinating to me is because before this time, Mongolia was a bunch of clans fighting amongst themselves. Genghis Khan finally brought them together. He created one of the greatest armies the world has ever known when he transformed groups of feuding clans into a well-oiled fighting machine. Genghis Khan formed one of the largest land empires the world has ever known and had a enormous impact on the course of history.

  23. Susie Lee says:

    My favorite period in history is the Scientific Revolution. This era was one of the MOST interesting eras to me. This is around the time people supported their theories with facts. They also took risks to understand what they wanted to learn. Copernicus developed the ‘heliocentric theory,’ without his contribution, who knows how long people wouldve believed that everything revolves around the earth. The medical advancements during this era also amazes me. People found these things out for themselves, sometime when other people didnt believe them, they still continued to find things out for themselves and prove others wrong.

    >.<

  24. Alexander Ip says:

    Personally, the study of Chinese history is a favorite of mine. Being Chinese myself, I can never stop seeking information about my ethnic culture and history. The period of Chinese history I am most fascinated with right now is the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). Following an unstable Sui Dynasty, Li Yuan takes the title of Emperor and throws his people into an age of prosperity, cultural enrichment, and increased trade. Under the Tang Dynasty, Confucianism and its ideas were able to flourish. The Tang had adopted the civil service system, and emphasized on scholarship. Art and poetry were also able to flourish. The method of wood block printing allowed for different forms of literature to be circulated, and more knowledge to be shared. Many famous Chinese poets arose during the Tang dynasty, offering their views of life and nature through their poetry. These new methods of art and poetry were able to contribute to modern western learning about the Tang people’s culture.
    New roads were built, and trade networks increased, as did trade with the Middle East and other nations outside of China. Cultural diffusion was able to occur in China under the Tang. Instruments, including flutes from the Middle east, and Cymbals from India had been introduced to the people living in the Tang Dynasty. The Chinese even adopted somewhat “radical” new ideas to them at the time, such as accepting stools and chairs as sitting methods instead of floor mats.
    Farming methods also changed, allowing for new irrigation systems to be built, and more rice and other crops to be farmed in surplus. Population in China had increased greatly under the Tang. This population growth allowed for an early amount of almost over population in China, which eventually lead to the Tang’s downfall.
    More over, the Tang Dynasty is considered to be the second greatest dynasty in China, only exceeded by the great Han Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty was a prosperous time of advancement for my people, and most certainly one of my favorite periods in history.

  25. Emily Swope says:

    One of my favorite periods in history is Ancient Egypt. Not only was Egypt one of the first civilizations in human history, but it was also one of the greatest. The Egyptians were extremely advanced in science and architecture (the pyramids!) and built many amazing and elaborate tombs and temples. Their medicinal knowledge, for being that far back in history, is incredible, and so was their knowledge of the stars, seasons, etc. And lastly, I just find learning about their vast mythology to be pretty cool.

  26. Brittnee Haynes says:

    My favorite period in history would be the War of 1812. It’s fascinating because the US demonstrated how powerful the Navy was compared to the Royal Navy. The USS Constitution helped prove the dominance of our Navy by shocking everyone and overpowering five warships. The Navy is not the only part of the military showcased during the war, but it shows the talent of the Army. For instance, I thought it was interesting how Britain retaliated to the Battle of York and victoriously burned Washington D.C. buildings. Even though the capital was destroyed, the Army was still able to defeat other avenging attacks. Additionally, this is my favorite period because the War of 1812 finally got Britain to start treating the US as an independent country.

  27. Harout Boujakjian says:

    My favorite period in history is the Classical age. This time period was the advancement in knowledge for many people including the Greeks and Romans. Math, Science, astronomy and other subjects developed into the challenging and intriguing thing that most people desire for. It is what the Renaissance and many other time periods look back on.

  28. Devon Strunk says:

    My favorite period in history would be from the Victorian era to the end of the second world manly in North America and Europe. I’m interested for the great political and economic change that occurred in this 100 some year period. So much is paced in this era, from Liberal Revolts that almost united Germany 30 years ahead of schedule wile nearly tearing the Austro-Hungarian Empire apart. To the horrific civil wars in the United States, Mexico, Spain and else were. This era has shown the best and the worst humanity has to offer and in my belief shaping the world we live in today greater than any other.

  29. michael pham says:

    My favorite time in history is Ancient China. They were the first kind of people who invented many new things for the benefit of mankind. One example is that they made was the compass, and without that people would keep on getting lost, and gunpowder, without that, fighting in a war would still be hand to hand combat( with swords, arrow, and other old weapons ). Last but not least, don’t forget about paper, without it we would have nothing to write on, to record things ( which is really important ), and if paper were never invented origami wouldn’t exist. ( I love making origami )

  30. Molly Sall says:

    1950’s-1980’s, anywhere in the world. The Cold War is a fascinating thing, in a horrible dead-frog kind of way. The Iron Curtain falls across Europe as the world tries to repair itself after the devastation of WWII and the Atom Bomb. China ‘succumbs’ to Communism and starts to form into the country it is today. The Vietnam war begins, and this kicks off a kind of cultural domino stack in America. For the first time, all of America is on the front line, through the revolutionary inventions of television. Each night, an entire country sat around after dinner, watching what was going on a world away. The rise of feminism and racial equality makes it’s mark on the face of America. Over the course of twenty or thirty years, the white male breadwinners of this country are forced to reel back and accept the rise of equality. Harvey Milk takes office. Richard Nixon becomes the headliner in what is arguably the biggest scandal of our country–effectively saying to the people; “It’s not good enough for us to just elect the politicians. We have to watch them too.” Woody Allen creates Annie Hall and changes the film industry. McCarthiesm and the Red Scare sweep the nation. Martin Luther King Jr. has a dream. The American subcultures of hippies arises, a bold rejection of social norms. Everything progresses as America starts to fight the box of it’s birth. The entire country comes alive.

  31. Erin Shoaf says:

    Oh goodness. What is my favorite part in history? History is such a broad subject. But I guess I would have to say, just like you Ms. Hodgson, its changing all the time. I love any and all Japanese history. That’s never changed. Their culture has always fascinated me, I don’t know why. Recently, I have fallen in love with the time when Rome ruled most of the world. The Roman civilization fascinates me as well. I love the art and educational advancements they had brought about. I also love the Renaissance because that was the time when a lot of the Roman education, along with all the other insights of the world came back into play. Those are my favorite world history time periods.
    For American history, I love the Revolutionary War and Civil War time periods. I love the Revolutionary War because it’s when America became its own person. I always think of the Civil War time periods as a turning point for America. Finally, the 1900’s all the way until the 1950’s. I just think those time periods are classy. Especially, during the time of World War II. I just feel that there is so much pride for our country during that time.
    I love learning about these time periods because the just fascinate me. 🙂

  32. Cindy Mao says:

    Personally, my favorite period in history is the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a time in history when ideas of art and technology flourished.The creation of arts that were created by the Renaissance men such as: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are pleasing to the eye.The statue of David, the painting on the Sistine Chapel in Rome and the painting of the famous Mona Lisa are beautiful contributions to the Renaissance period.The invention of the movable type printing press developed by Johann Gutenberg gave Christians too access the Bible. The Renaissance Period is truly my favorite period in history because the art was more realistic and the Renaissance have a change too our history by modernizing it.

  33. Danielle Roques says:

    The most interesting time period in history for me would have to be World War II / Holocaust (1930-1945). As sickening as these events were, learning from the primary sources of the period has always intrigued me.The war itself was incredible, as it was one of the first occurances of “modern warfare”. The people that were able to give us insight, such as Anne Frank, captivate me most of all. Their vivid recolections of the troubling times of the early-to-mid 1900’s are fascinating. Having visited the Dachau Concentration Camp myself has given me even more reason to be enticed into realms of knowledge that many still find unfathomable. Although these were times of death and persecution, they were also times of unity, bravery, and emotional strength. In the end, it was with the help of many nations that this world was finally rid of the “Aryans-rule-all” mindset.

  34. nicole bracci says:

    When I look forward to learning about history, my favorite part is World War Two. The events of World War Two took place from 1939-1945. I have always had a desire to broaden my knowledge of this time period. This is an emotional time for many people, but by hearing the stories of their hardships it makes me appreciate my life today. There are so many different leaders and key events to learn about. By knowing the past you are able to analyze how warfare has changed over time. You are also able to analyze the different strategies opposing countries used, and how well their tactics worked. The Hebrews had to leave their Home Land for the only chance of survival, but this process wasn’t easy. During this time, some families would take in Hebrews and provide them with shelter, for example Ann Frank and her family. The Jewish people were attempting to avoid the most horrific of things, concentration camps and execution. Adolf Hitler of Germany along with General Hideki Tojo of Japan and Benito Mussolini of Italy were the three main leaders of the Axis Powers. Those were the leaders who caused pain for so many people. From dictatorship to concentration camps this time period has a plethora of information. There is an endless supply of knowledge for anyone to discover. I am looking forward to this class because it will provide a deeper understanding of world history. These are just a few of the many events during this time that have sparked my interest.

  35. Christina Ryan says:

    My favorite period in history would be World War II. I really enjoyed learning about this particular piece of history because i was able to hear different perspectives on it, not just from my teacher but from people i know who went through it. Many of our relatives that are alive and well today have vivid memories of that war and it’s always interesting to see someone’s perspective on what you’re learning. I know both of my grandfathers fought in WWII, so it was very intriguing to hear all of their war stories and to get a front row seat into the gruesome battle it was. Usually when we learn about past wars, we hardly think of the lives lost and the people affected in it but with this one, it had an effect on people we know and love. To me, as sick and twisted as it sounds, i really like learning about gruesome and terrible things that happened to the human race because it fascinates me that people could do that to other people. Obviously, i’d never wish any of the events that happened in that time period on anybody but it’s interesting to learn about.

  36. Kanuj Bains says:

    My favorite time period in history is the 1900’s. In this period of history many things were going on in the world. On one side, Gandhi was leading a non-violent movement to gain independence for India, while on the other side, the American baby boom had just launched. I find it fascinating that in this time period, there was so much chaos across the globe and every country had to deal with their problems. However, now, in 2010, we see a world that has come together to help one another when difficult times should arise. In my opinion, I think the whole 1900’s in general has taught ourselves a lot of what we are capable of and how far man has come. For example, look at how advanced our technology has become. There was a time when we didn’t have color on our televisions and now we’re sitting in front of three dimensional screens watching fiber optics. The 1900’s has led us to a new generation, where one day there will be no wars and humans will be able to coexist peacefully.

  37. Chris B. says:

    My favorite period in history is the westward expansion of the United States. It was during this time that America became what is it today. There were many problems faced by pioneers of westward expansion, such as building the railroads. Railroads had to be constructed through mountains using the primitive technology of the time. Explosives were used to blow holes in the mountain in a much more uncontrolled manner than that of today. Countless men lost their lives during the construction of the Transcontinental Railway. I admire those brave enough to give their life for this cause. This is not the only feat of incredible engineering, however, it is just my favorite. There were many other situations where significant problems or obstacles stood in the way of westward expansion, but we always found a way through it. I think this symbolizes America’s people and personality today.

  38. Nisha Kapani says:

    My absolute favorite time period in history without a doubt would be “Hitler’s Rein”. He just fascinates me! How could one man go from being just a poor guy of the streets to becoming one of the world’s most influential dictators of all time? Hitler had a terrible childhood; he had an awful relationship with his authoritarian father & his brother died when Hitler was very young. As Hitler became older, he was extremely rebellious with his teachers, to the point where he was expelled at the age of 15 for his inappropriate actions. Later on, he wanted to become a painter, but he was told that he was “Unfitness for painting”. He was told to become an architect instead. Hitler eventually ran out of money because his paintings were not selling, so he had to live in a homeless shelter. Later, Hitler severed in World War I. During the war, Hitler had become a passionate German patriot, even though at the time he was not even a citizen of Germany [eventually he did become a citizen of course]. He was praised many times for his bravery during the war. After the war, Hitler became very powerful in the political field during Germany’s “Great Depression”, which in my opinion was cunning, because during this tough time, people need the positive support from a leader, & someone to blame, Hitler blamed the Jews on all their problems. Soon after that, he had developed this idea called “racial hygiene”. This concept was based on Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory. Hitler took it as though you were supposed to rid the “life unworthy of life” ex. Children with physical or mental disabilities. Then, he started the elimination of Jews, in total over 6 million Jews were killed in concentration camps, ghettos, or mass executions. World War II was about to begin when Hitler wanted to “Germanize” Poland, which would mean eliminating the majority of Poland’s population because they were not of German decent. Not only did Hitler want to stop at Poland, but he wanted to rid the entire Jewish population of Europe & Africa. Thankfully, the Red Army had driven Hitler’s troops back into central Europe & the Western Allies were advancing into Germany. It was clear that Germany was going to loose this war. On April 30th 1945, after a street-to-street combat, Hitler committed suicide by shooting himself.
    There is so much more for me to learn about Adolf Hitler, & I can not wait to learn more about this time period!

  39. Cassidy Gross says:

    My favorite time period in history is Ancient Greece. The reason that I like this time is all of the stories that originated from this region. Greek mythology explained things that people did not understand. Things like natural disasters and where people came from were explained through these stories. I have always found the stories involving the gods very interesting. I especially like the stories about the Trojan War. The culture, politics, and architecture also interest me. The evolution of democracy in Athens and things like the Peloponnesian War have always held my interest. This period of time has shaped the modern world and paved the way for other great societies.

  40. Connor Shaffer says:

    I like the civil war era given that there were a lot of specific battles and it really is the roots of american history which i love. It interests me because the majority of the battles were fought around where we live in Virginia such as the Battle at Bull Run in Manassas. I also like the Renaissance period because it was a rich time of technological advancements in art and theatre. I admire the work of Davinci and Machiavelli as they truly showed their brilliance during this time period. The Renaissance really allowed people in the Medieval times to show off their skill and ability in literature also.

  41. Christine Woodyard says:

    Well, there is so much history that I love, but my favorite has to be WWII and the Holiocaust from 1930-1945. Although this time period was not the most happy time in history, it is so interesting to me. To learn about the Concentration Camps that Hitler had set up, and all of the different war stratagies different countries had. Also, it is neat to hear personal stories, like Anne Frank, or the stories my Grandpa tells of his experience of being in the Navy at the end of the war. Although it can be considered a sad horrific time period, there is some good, and many interesting this to learn from it.

  42. Gagan Gupta says:

    My favorite time of history would be the 1900’s. This is a pretty busy time period with technology propelling society into the near future for the growing population. The Wright Brothers successfully made the first gas motored airplane and Henry Ford was able to create the assembly line to mass produce his Model T cheaper and more efficiently. Innovative ideas were soon added to planes that could move people over oceans for long periods of airborne time. Plus the car was being produced into stronger more suitable vehicle for the newly futuristic society. Though, technology wasn’t all that great because with science incorporated and human completive nature began the Cold War or the Arms Race. The Nuclear bomb that help end World War 2 were being massed produced smaller yet more dangerous. Granted I believe technology also started other beneficial races, for example, the race to the moon between the great nations. Through the blueprints of these inventions it paves the way for new pioneers in the growing world and now I can see the future in sight also.

  43. Caleb Feehs says:

    I like to learn about U.S. history but the problem with our history is that it is flooded with wars, depressions, a few good times, more wars, then more depressions, which i feel just gets booring. The one place in history i know i know the least about is the Central American cultures like the Olmecs, Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas, their cultures are unlike any others and i find them fascinating to learn about. They are (atleast to me) mysterious and hard to pidgeon hole, making them more interesting to learn about!

  44. Mark Gavino says:

    The 1900’s would most likely be my favorite period in History. It is obvious that change has happened to the world since the 20th century. Slavery had been abolished, countries had been split apart, and hatred over a certain religion caused a large group of people to suffer. Towards the beginning of the 1900’s, life was expressed a lot in art, music, and poetry. History continues with the two World Wars and Cold War. Unions were formed, pacts were created. History shows that different cultures with the same ideas banded together against others who would oppose. I love everything in this century, and would like to continue learning more for learning never ends when it comes to history. You could even learn a whole life’s lesson, in a single day.

  45. Michael Berghold says:

    My favorite period in history is World War 2 just because it is hard to comprehend what people gave up to achieve victory. It was something never seen in such a scale before then and probably since then too. It was normal for people on all sides to give up many things that they owned to aid the war effort. It was also one of the only wars where a large scale draft went into effect in the U.S. and other countries. It also took so many lives that its almost impossible to imagine. I read somewhere (could be wrong though) that over 55 million civilians and soldiers died in World War 2. Thats equal to about 1 of every 7 americans. The challenges and consequences these people faced I think would overwhelm the people of todays world.

  46. Brynna Morgan says:

    My favorite period in history would have to be the ancient Egyptian era. I find the ancient Egyptians to be a very interesting people because of the fact that they were so highly developed, while being one of the earliest river valley civilizations.
    Their achievements throughout their history were countless. They had a vast knowledge of math, medicine, science and astrology and even used papyrus to make paper. They were able to develop a controlled irrigation system to manage the Nile when the river flooded its shores. Furthermore, their engineering accomplishments were extraordinary. They built colossal pyramids, obelisks and temples without any advanced tools. They even created a mud brick to construct houses. To preserve their beloved dead, the ancient Egyptians came up with the process of mummification. Not only did the Egyptians create their own writing system called Hieroglyphics, but they also developed a system to decode their writing which we refer to as the Rosetta Stone. The advancements made during the ancient Egyptian era were truly remarkable and many of their inventions are still in use today.

  47. Desniq Campbell says:

    My favorite period in History has to be from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. This was when America was just becoming industrialized. Many major inventions and ideas were just being made and distributed around our country. Huge corporations and businesses were started back then also, some still existing today. Many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and investors had just started there life during these times. The Industrialization Era was the creation of many jobs and companies. This time period also was the start of Immigration and Urbanization, which made differences in many areas of our country. This period feels as if it was the basis towards our society today, it started all the business we do in America now and helped our country to grow and advance.

  48. Emily Costigan says:

    I can’t really say that there is a period in history that I prefer to study over any others. My interest in history is more in comparing the civilizations and periods that we study. One of my favorite parts from last year was comparing the characteristics of the four major river valley civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus river valley, and the Huang He river valley) such as religion, leaders, and writing forms. However, if I had to pick one area of history that I enjoy studying the most, it would be the Middle Ages in Europe. The people in those times managed to construct complex social systems and buildings even though the Germanic invasions had resulted in a loss of knowledge and disruption of trade. I have always been fascinated by the feudal system, and the relationships between the lords and serfs. Lords, while giving loyalty to the king, would expect service and taxes from the serfs in exchange for land. However, things could become complicated if one serf had recieved land from multiple lords and had to choose sides in a conflict. I also find chivalry interesting. Knights that followed the code of chivalry were expected to be loyal, brave, and courteous, to serve their lord and to defend the weak. Even more interesting was that despite these ideals, knights would participate in fierce and bloody mock battles for recreation. Another thing from the Middle Ages that draws me to them is the architecture. The castles built then were impressive fortresses, built to last and designed to keep any and all enemies out. Several medieval castles still stand today, as testaments to the way things were then.

  49. Mitchell Hayes says:

    I believe that all periods of history are interesting in their own way, but I enjoy learning about some more than others. I think Ancient Greece is my favorite time period mainly because of how it helped to shape our society today. Many great thinkers came out of the time period, as well as incredible inventions, architecture, manuscripts, and of course political ideas. Many of these were ahead of their time and have undoubtedly influenced other civilizations. Allowing citizens to have a say in their government is now a basis on which our country was built on. If not for ancient Greece, our lives would not be the same today.

  50. Jesle Choi says:

    To begin with, history is a broad topic with many interesting time periods, but of all times I personally adore the Egyptians. The Egyptians are different and unique, which makes them stand out even more. Egyptians strongly believe in the afterlife ( which not many people believe in) and for that they preserve the dead bodies through mummification. I mean who does that?! Preserving dead bodies for hundreds of years.. and something more interesting they would take out all the organs and put them in canopic jars and they would take the brain out by sticking a long stick up the nose and they would just pull it out. I always thought it was appealing:) The writing system they use is also very different from what we use. Hieroglypics, a symbol/ picture that represents a concept, a sound, or an object. In pyramids, tombs, and caves, hieroglypics are written everywhere, but I’ve learned that there are secret hidden messages in them. Researchers have studied them in fact and they were actually refering to the “sex lives” (inapropriate, yes i know) but still I find them fascinating. Also, I loved how Egyptian civilizations were ruled by a pharaoh, one person with absolute power.

  51. Olivia Nelson says:

    My favorite period in history would have to be Ancient Rome. Everything that occurred throughout its history had meaning and it even had impact on how we live today. It is fascinating how Roman history is divided into three main periods: before the rise of Rome, the Roman Republic and lastly, the Roman Empire. I love Roman architecture, and the way they used all their ideas to create amazing buildings such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon. The way it became one the largest empires in the ancient world is very impressive to me. Rome, and its history, interests me so much I will be going there with my dad next summer!

  52. Amy Jalloh says:

    History is a very exciting topic because our past affects our future. It ranges with a lot interesting information. But the topic that interests me the most would have to be The African-American Civil Rights Movement. The reason why thats my favorite part of history isn’t due to the fact that they were African-American but how hard they fought for civil rights.Even though the harsh punishments they faced they kept on going.I really admire this part of history because it taught me not to give up easily but to strive to what you believe in. Even though they’re parts of the movement were leaders were thrown in jail for protesting such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., also how the freedom riders were treated. But to me I believe that the most significant event during the movement would have to be the ” I Have A Dream” speech.The reason for me saying that is because part of that speech still lives with people today. If this part of history never occurred people wouldn’t speak their minds so openly.

  53. michael chaitovitz says:

    History and everything about history has always interested me. Every era has its own unique story, some are more boring then others. My favorite era or time period is the civil war era. This is particularly my favorite because for one, Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president. Furthermore this is also my favorite time period in history because its when our nation questioned itself as a whole and then came back together as one. During this time period we abolished slavery, which is a big step forward, also it is when races other then whites were starting to rise up and fight for their constitutional rights.

  54. Emily Grooms says:

    My favorite period in history would have to have been Ancient Rome. I loved learning about the architecture and the grand Colosseum. The gladiators and their battles were intriguingly interesting to me, and I even decided to read up more on them than I learned in class. Everything about Ancient Rome was so pronounced and dignified. They also made many advancements in technology, like the extensive plumbing system. The Roman mythology and arts are also of my interest. There was so much creativity and imagination, as well as a lot of action in the Roman Colosseum. Ancient Rome is never boring!

  55. Katie Yoon says:

    Last year, I found the Renaissance captivating. I really enjoyed looking at all the different mediums of art, like sculpture, painting and writing. “The Arnofini Portrait” was particularly interesting to me, with the hidden meanings. All of the realism was beautiful, and the new interest in culture was amazing. I would love to learn more about Queen Elizabeth I. She seems like such an influentual woman, with her support for the arts and her incredible ability to speak five languages. Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and other authors that began to write using the vernacular, were also important to the development of the Renaissance and the way we live today.

  56. Katherine Walton says:

    Personally, Egypt was my favorite time period to study. I am particularly interested in their advanced technology and religion. Their ability to build such enormous pyramids without the resources we have today was amazing. I’m intrigued by their embalming methods, their ability to keep a body preserved until present day, thousands of years later is something to admire. I find it very interesting that these people would go to such extreme lengths for their religion. They created huge pyramids used as tombs to honor the dead. The ancient Egyptians were people who “lived to die”, and looked foward to the afterlife. Times have changed, and i can’t imagine living like these people.

  57. Mira Patel says:

    I love US history, and my favorite period would probably be the American Revolution. I like how it shows us that even though our nation was only a couple hundred years old, we still managed to work together and fight for our freedom. I also like this time period because there’s so much going on, and so many important people. There are also lots of new ideas about how a government should work. I like learning about all the different things that led up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence. It’s also inspiring how passionate the “Founding Fathers” were about what they believed in. They knew that what they were doing was considered high treason, and that they could be killed for it, but they still chose to fight for what they believed in.

  58. Tyrone Simpson says:

    If I have to pick a period of history that was one of my tops. I would have to say the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a facinating period of time were art, and literature flourished once more in the lands across Europe. It was a time where culture, lost with the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Latin illiterate Germanic tribes, was reborn. It was a time of great artistic minds developing new and engenius ways to view the newly explored human body. This new perspective view allowed an optic illusion to be created in the mind giving the viewer the feeling of being in the painting. As well as advances in art there was also an increased desire to preserve, and study Greek and Roman ideas in the fields of sciense and philosophy. So, in a way modern western art, and culture derived from the Renaissance.

  59. Will Bachmann says:

    My favorite period in history would have to be modern day America. All the modern day wars make me sick and fascinated at the same time. From World War 1 to the War on Terror there’s always been someone for the U.S. to point a gun at. For both of the World Wars we had a pretty good reason to be in the fight (and trust me if i had been born in 1938 i would’ve been in Europe defending my country; there’s no doubt in my mind) but I’d say that the Vietnam war wasn’t really any of our business. But i digress. What i really like about the past hundred years is all the changes that have been happening. We land on the moon, create cell phones(which led to texting), invent ink jet printers, and brand name clothing, and ICBMs, and game boy color!! All this technology has made life a completely different experience. The world has gone through so much radical change it’s almost hard to comprehend. American culture has been on a roller coaster since the 1920’s. They had it good back then. Just bought a new model-T but the comes the great depression and war and then we dig ourselves out of that trench and form a nice little conformist nation with happy families living in cookie cutter houses eating wonder bread but then another war comes and the hippies pop out and bring the Beatles with them. Now all we want is love and peace but the big man is sending our 18 year old brothers over to another country to fight and die. Then once all that’s over the 80’s bring us heavy metal and crystal meth but then this thing called the internet comes around and the government becomes even more corrupt and we aim our millions of missiles at any country that has a fishing boat sail across an invisible line in the water and everything turns into tiny lcd screens and your old 8-track turns into an ipod that let you listen to your favorite boy-band whenever you want where ever you want and now we live life wearing our Holister shirts with our eyes glued to our iphones saying lol to our bffs and we forget about what really matters in life. So yeah. my favorite period in history is modern day America.

    p.s. please forgive all the run on sentences

  60. Madeline Fuchs says:

    History is full of so many important events and happeneings that is hard to pick out ONE period that is my favorite. But if I had to choose I would pick the Pax Romana. In the eyes of history this period didn’t last long, but in fact it last about two hundred years! In this period, R

  61. Madeline Fuchs says:

    History is full of so many important events and happeneings that is hard to pick out ONE period that is my favorite. But if I had to choose I would pick World War Two. I can’t remember much about World War One or any other wars for that matter, because I always am focused on learning more about WWII! This period in world history lasted only six years, so in the eyes of history it is a very short time, but those who had to live throught it– it probably felt like an eternity. It was very dark and somber period, but it also led more into women’s rights and technological advances. While the men were away fighting in the war, women stayed back home, taking on the full jobs and responsibilities that the men left behind. However while women were getting more freedom at home, countless men and innocent people were getting slaughtered out East. The Persecution of the Jews, was one of the worst, if not the worst, genocide on record. The total number of Jewish Holocaust victims was around 17 million people! That’s about the entire population of modern day Ghana! This brutal period has never ceased to fasinate me and there is so much more to learn about its history!

  62. Zaid Younossi says:

    My favorite time period in history would probably be the beginning of the Neolithic Era. It’s interesting to see how the inhabitants of the first civilizations had lives and finding similarities or differences with how we live today. It’s pretty interesting to see that some things really aren’t so different now than they were back then. But even so, there’s still a lot of stuff we don’t know and may never find out, which adds a sense of mystique to the lives of these people.

  63. Taylor Jackson says:

    There are several periods of history that I have thoroughly enjoyed studying. These include The Civil War of American history, World War II, and Ancient Rome. My absolute favorite period of history though, would have to be The Renaissance. I happen to be an art fanatic and love looking at the evolution of artwork through different time periods. I recently visited the National Gallery of Art, which gave me the chance to see very beautiful artwork, particularly from the Renaissance Era. Paintings seemed to become much more 3-dimensional, and subjects within paintings were more detailed and better scaled. You can see a transition of focus from religious icons, to more of an everyday theme. Really focusing on society rather than religion. I love how during this time, people began acquiring more knowledge and focused on cultural advances. There were also many great thinkers during this time such as Leonardo Da Vinci. I like to think of it as a much brighter era than the Middle Ages, where people began to take a new perspective on their society and their culture.

  64. Joshua Prosser says:

    My favorite period in history would have to be the American Civil War. It might be because I was named after COL Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine or maybe it’s because it was the only time armies from the United States fought each other. Either way, i find this period of history fascinating. The Battle of Gettysburg in particular is my favorite battle, and not just because more Americans died in that battle than in any other, including those in both world wars. In contrast to the familiarity of this conflict, my second favorite time in history would have to be the time of the samurai in Japan. The values they upheld and the ways they went about upholding those values seem foreign to me, a major reason why I am so interested. I think that is one reason people study history, because it has things you can relate to as well as things that are totally new.

  65. Connor DiGiovanna says:

    Although I love learning about all periods of history, my favorite part has to be World War Two. It’s known as the last great war for many reasons, there has never since been so many men or countries together for one cause, stopping the Axis powers from controlling the world. Another reason the Second World War is my favorite time in history is because there are still many lesser known facts that many do not know about. Such as the Russians lost as many soldiers in Stalingrad as the US did in the entire war. Hitler actually banned smoking in Germany after he discovered its harmful effects. Little bits of knowledge like these are why World War Two is my favorite time in history.

  66. […] What’s your favorite period in history? May 2010 65 comments 3 […]

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