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Why do Civilizations Fall?

Why did this great civilization fall? The history of humankind has been marked by patterns of growth and decline. Some declines have been gradual, occurring over centuries. Others have been rapid, occurring over the course of a few years. War, drought, natural disaster, disease, overpopulation, economic disruption: any of these can bring about the collapse of a civilization. Internal causes (such as political struggles or over-farming) can combine with external causes (such as war or natural disaster) to bring about a collapse. What does this mean for modern civilizations? What can we learn from the past?

Documentary Photography and the Great Depression

From 1935 to 1943, photographers working for the federal government produced the most enduring images of the Great Depression. Beginning under the auspices of the Resettlement Administration in 1935 and then the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1937, a group that over time included about twenty men and women worked under the supervision of Roy E. Stryker to create a pictorial record of the impact of hard times on the nation, primarily on rural Americans. This project, as photography historian Alan Trachtenberg has noted, "was perhaps the greatest collective effort . . . in the history of photography to mobilize resources to create a cumulative picture of a place and time."


When doing history, it helps to keep in mind that there are many different ways of determining how history happens. One of the key things to remember is that historians disagree very much over why almost any event happened. In the search for how things happen, we get ideas about how to understand our present world's events and what to do about them, if anything.

History Through the Eyes of Those Who Lived It

Illuminating the past through personal narratives and other first-hand sources, EyeWitness is presented by Ibis Communications, Inc. a digital publisher of educational programming.

The World of Sumer and Akkad 40 Centuries Ago!

Welcome to our sun-dried mudbrick house. We have several rooms clustered around a courtyard. Steps lead up to the roof on our one-story structure. Palm tree logs span the top of the rooms and are packed with mud. Frequent repairs are needed from the erratic rain storms. The weather is hot, so most activity takes place on the roof or in the courtyard.

History of the Written Word

Calgary Public Library links to the history of the written word.

HyperHistory Online

2 000 files covering 3 000 years of world history.

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This page was updated on:  04/10/02