History Research Paper Examples

This collection of history research paper examples have been designed to serve as model papers for most popular historical topics. Each research paper covers the topic in a comprehensive manner and to provides a perspective that students might find to be unique.

The purpose of creating this list is for students to have available a comprehensive, state-of-the-research, easy-to-read compilation of a wide variety of history research paper examples. Our focus on essentials has meant covering fairly broad areas in the discipline, rather than specific research paper topics. In our view, this broad focus would be most useful to students.

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Albert Einstein Research Paper

This sample Albert Einstein Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Albert Einstein remains one of the most influential people in the fields of science and mathematics. The Nobel Prize–winning physicist contributed theories on relativity and the photoelectric effect that are still upheld today. Though German-born, Einstein lived out the last portion of his life in the United States and even urged President Roosevelt to act against Nazi Germany. Albert Einstein contributed more than any other scientist to the twentieth-century vision of physical reality with his special and general theories of relativity, and he won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Recognized in his own lifetime as one of the most brilliant minds in human history, he advanced a series of theories that proposed entirely new ways of thinking about space, time, and gravitation. His theories profoundly advanced the field of physics and revolutionized scientific and philosophical inquiry. Born 14 March 1879, in Ulm, Germany, Einstein and his family moved a year later to Munich to establish a small electrical engineering firm as the family business. Einstein showed little interest or ability in school. Two of his uncles who were involved with the family business, however, stimulated his interest in mathematics and science. When the business failed in 1894, the family moved to Milan, Italy, and Einstein soon followed and then resumed his education in Switzerland. He graduated from the Zurich Polytechnic school in 1900 as a secondary school teacher of mathematics and physics, also becoming a Swiss citizen. After a short period, he obtained a job as an examiner at the Swiss patent office in Bern and married his university sweetheart, Mileva Maric, in 1903. They had two sons, but the marriage ended several years later. He married Elsa Lowenthal in 1919. From 1902 to 1909, while working at the patent office, he completed an astonishing range of publications in theoretical physics. For the most part these texts were written in his spare time and without the benefit of close contact with either scientific literature or theoretician colleagues. The publication of one paper, “A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions,” and its submission to the University of Zurich won him a doctoral degree in 1905. Einstein’s paper provided convincing evidence for the physical existence of atom-sized molecules, a much-theorized topic. In 1908 he sent a second paper to the University of Bern, which got him a job there as a lecturer. The next year he received an appointment as associate professor of physics at the University of Zurich. One paper, on the production and transformation of light, revolutionized the theory of light. Still another, containing his special theory of relativity, had its beginnings […]

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Electricity Research Paper

This sample Electricity Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Although the word electric was first introduced in the sixteenth century, it wasn’t until after the Scientific Revolution of the eighteenth century that serious investigation of electricity began. Scientists worldwide experimented with electricity, and in the nineteenth century society recognized the usefulness of electric power. The current human reliance on electricity calls for a need to research alternative forms of power for the future. Electricity is so common today that it would be difficult for anyone to imagine how life would be without the well-known applications we use every day in our homes and jobs. But things were not always that way. It is just four hundred years since scientists began to study electrical phenomena and the nature of electricity, and no more than 150 years since electrical applications started to be a part of our way of living. Around 600 BCE, one of the natural philosophers of ancient Greece, Thales of Miletus (c. 625–547? BCE), observed that rubbing amber against a piece of cloth attracted light bodies. This remained the only reference to an electrical phenomenon for almost two thousand years, and though it was considered quite impressive, the cause of this strange effect remained unexplained. At the end of the sixteenth century, the Englishman William Gilbert (1540–1603) became the godfather of electricity, as he was the first natural philosopher who introduced the word electric, in his book De Magnete. The Eighteenth Century A more systematic investigation of electrical phenomena took place during the course of the eighteenth century, following the scientific revolution. Stephen Gray (1667–1736) in England and Charles Francois de Cisternay DuFay (1698–1739) in France worked seriously on electricity. Gray in 1732 demonstrated electrical conductivity. A decade later, in 1745, the Dutch physicist Peter van Musschenbroek (1692–1761), the most important popularizer of Newtonian physics, invented the first kind of electrical condenser, the Leyden jar. (Some argue, however, that the real inventor of the Leyden jar was Ewald Jurgen von Kleist, in Kammin, Pomerania.) The years to come were very productive with regard to electricity. Electrical experiments, especially those using electrostatic machines, became very popular. Scientists performed experimental demonstrations using static electrical charges in the salons of the French and Italian nobility and the courts of the European kings. The audience sometimes participated actively in these experiments, and their fascination with the impressive results can be seen in engravings of the period. One example is the experiment performed by the French physicist Pierre Charles Le Monnier (1715–1799) in the court of the king in order to prove the strength of an electric shock caused by a Leyden jar—a test in which 140 people participated. Around 1750 there were two […]

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Elizabeth I Research Paper

This sample Elizabeth I Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Elizabeth I was an extremely intelligent and educated ruler whose forty-five-year reign signaled England’s rise as an empire. Elizabeth established the country as a maritime nation, sent the first English settlers to North America, and advocated religious tolerance. Because she left no heirs to her thrown, England was left in turmoil at the end of what is called the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I reigned as queen of England from 1558 to 1603. During that time England began its rise to become the empire “on which the sun never sets.” Under Elizabeth popular culture flourished; her court became a focal point for writers, musicians, and scholars such as William Shakespeare (1564–1616) and Francis Bacon (1561–1626), and explorers such as Francis Drake (c. 1540–1596) and Walter Raleigh (c. 1554–1618). The English economy expanded greatly. She also encouraged a spirit of free inquiry that in turn facilitated the Scientific Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment. Elizabeth inherited an England that was troubled by inflation, bankruptcy, disastrous wars, and religious conflict. Poverty and disease were common. From childhood Elizabeth’s own life was fraught with danger. When she was only two years old, her father (King Henry VIII, 1491–1547; reigned 1509– 1547) executed her mother, Anne Boleyn (his second wife), and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. After her father died, her brother Edward (1537–1553; reigned 1547–1553), the son of Henry’s third wife, inherited the throne but lived for only a short time. In 1553 Elizabeth’s Catholic half-sister Mary Tudor (1516–1558; reigned 1553–1558), who was Henry’s daughter by his first wife, became queen. In March 1554 Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London, accused of plotting against Mary and of refusing to embrace the Catholic religion. Elizabeth was released in May but remained under suspicion and was carefully watched until Mary died childless in 1558. In this context the fact that Elizabeth ever became queen, much less that she reigned for forty-five years, is remarkable. But she had been forced to learn the skills of survival at an early age, and these skills served her throughout her life. Still relatively young at twenty-five when she took the throne, Elizabeth knew that, unlike her father, she could not use an autocratic approach based on absolute power. She would have to rule in a more sophisticated way. She also knew the value of wise counsel. She created a small cabinet of trusted advisers, the most influential of whom was William Cecil (1520–1598). When she appointed Cecil as her secretary of state, she told him, “This judgment I have of you, that you will not be corrupted by any manner of gift, and that you will be faithful to […]

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Empire Research Paper

This sample Empire Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. One of the most commonly used terms in world history, empire appears in reference to a long list of powerful states and societies, ranging from the ancient Akkadians to contemporary America. Many of the leading themes in world history—war, migration, trade, globalization—arose in conjunction with empires, which acted as crucial engines of change and touched the lives of immense numbers of peoples. Dominic Lieven, a scholar of Russian government, has observed: “To write the history of empire would be close to writing the history of mankind” (2002, xiii). The very pervasiveness of empire as a historical category makes its meaning difficult to pin down. Definitions abound. Typologies proliferate. The term is often used interchangeably with dynasty and civilization. While most historians are likely to agree that empire refers to the political power exerted by a state or its agents over a culturally diverse group of peoples, this understanding of the term is so vague as to accommodate any number of different historical phenomena, ranging from the continental-wide conquests of the Mongols to the transoceanic extortions of the Portuguese. Moreover, even this definition may not be broad enough to account for the meaning of empire associated, for example, with the Holy Roman Empire, a loose affiliation of central European states that shared a common allegiance to the Catholic faith. In the end, empire can be seen a kind of palimpsest on which historians have written about various subjects associated with the consolidation of communities into large political units. Etymology and Uses The term empire derives from the Latin imperium, which originally meant the sovereignty held by a magistrate, but later evolved to refer to the authority that the ancient Romans established over much of Europe and the Near East. Its etymology indicates the main source and standard for its usage. The Roman Empire became the archetype of what an empire should look like and how it should behave, a positive model for the Europeans who sought to emulate its achievements. In the east, the Byzantine Empire kept its heritage alive for nearly a millennium. In the west, the Carolingian Empire, the Napoleonic Empire, the British Empire, Hitler’s Third Reich, and various other expansionist European states consciously evoked the Roman Empire in their iconography and ideological claims to legitimacy. The Roman model made its mark on European historiography as well, acquiring a prominent place in literature that sought to discern the patterns of history and distill its lessons. Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–1788) is arguably the most influential work of history ever written. Empire also carries negative connotations, evoking charges of political and cultural oppression. This use of […]

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Energy Research Paper

This sample Energy Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. From simple mechanical muscle energy to the energy derived from radioactive materials, energy use has ebbed and flowed throughout history. The economic, social, and political consequences of these changes are great, correlating with the rise and fall of empires and eras. Energy use continues to evolve in tandem with humanity and will dictate which choices are available for future development. When seen from the most fundamental physical point of view, all processes—natural or social, geological or historical, gradual or sudden—are just conversions of energy that must conform to the laws of thermodynamics as such conversions increase the overall entropy (the degree of disorder or uncertainty) of the universe. This perspective would make the possession and mastery of energy resources and their ingenious use the critical factor shaping human affairs. Also, given the progressively higher use of energy in major civilizations, this perspective would lead logically to a notion of linear advances with history reduced to a quest for increased complexity that is made possible by higher energy flows. People who could command—and societies and civilizations who could use large or high-quality energy resources with superior intensities or efficiencies—would be obvious thermodynamic winners; those converting less with lower efficiencies would be fundamentally disadvantaged. Such a deterministic interpretation of energy’s role in world history may be a flawless proposition in terms of fundamental physics, but it amounts to a historically untenable reductionism (explanation of complex life-science processes and phenomena in terms of the laws of physics and chemistry) of vastly more complex realities. Energy sources and their conversions do not determine a society’s aspirations, its ethos (distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs) and cohesion, its fundamental cultural accomplishments, its long-term resilience or fragility. Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, a pioneer of thermodynamic studies of economy and the environment, made a similar point in 1980 by emphasizing that such physical fundamentals are akin to geometric constraints on the size of the diagonals in a square—but they do not determine its color and tell us nothing whatsoever about how that color came about. Analogically, all societies have their overall scope of action, their technical and economic capacities, and their social achievements constrained by the kinds of energy sources and by varieties and efficiencies of prime movers that they rely on—but these constraints cannot explain such critical cultural factors as creative brilliance or religious fervor, and they offer little predictive guidance regarding a society’s form and efficiency of governance or its dedication to the welfare of its citizens. The best explanation of energy’s role in history thus calls for a difficult task of balancing these two realities, of striving for explanations that take account of these opposites. […]

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Engines of History Research Paper

This sample Engines of History Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Divine, secular, and political forces have been given primacy as the chief drivers of history over the centuries. These forces evolved from the Mandate of Heaven to Marxism. Rapid upheavals of the twentieth century, along with technological change and the increasing awareness of human impact on the biosphere, have invited a recasting of history that takes into account scientific processes of which humans were previously unaware. Human beings like to understand what goes on around them, and historians, being human, like to understand what they write about. They do so by finding causes even for the most surprising events. This was true from the start. Herodotus (484–425 BCE), for example, set out to explain how a few small Greek cities had been able to defeat an immense Persian army and navy, while the first historian of China, Sima Qian (c. 145–86 BCE), sought to explain how China’s ruling dynasties rose and fell. Herodotus found a twofold explanation: free men, he said, fought willingly and more bravely than Persian subjects, forced to obey a mighty king; moreover, the king’s overweening pride also offended the gods, who sent storms to damage his invading fleet. Similarly, Sima Qian invoked both human and supernatural causes. According to him a ruler’s virtue allowed him to rule well and therefore attracted the Mandate of Heaven, but when rulers ceased to be virtuous, heaven withdrew its mandate, and good government broke down until a virtuous new ruler emerged to found another ruling dynasty. These ideas about what made history happen the way it did proved to be very influential. Until about a hundred years ago, China’s historians continued to organize their histories around successive dynasties empowered by the Mandate of Heaven. And the idea that freedom made men successful in war (and also in peace) appealed to Romans as well as to Greeks, and reentered European consciousness with the Renaissance. But in the world as a whole, the Hebrew prophets’ idea that Almighty God governed history, punishing peoples and persons for their sins, and rewarding scrupulous obedience to his will, played a more influential role, dominating Jewish, Christian, and Muslim societies from the inception of those religions. For believers, Divine Providence remained inscrutable to everyone except specially chosen prophets. Yet ordinary chroniclers and historians took God’s will for granted as the decisive force behind everything that happened. Other causes, when they bothered with them, were only subordinate instruments of God’s will. Hinduism and Buddhism, on the other hand, treated the visible world as an illusion and paid scant attention to human history. Instead religious speculation about endless cycles of reincarnation reduced everyday events to transient triviality. […]

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The Enlightenment Research Paper

This sample The Enlightenment Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. The Enlightenment, a philosophical movement in eighteenth-century Europe, rejected traditional social, religious, and political ideas and adopted rational thinking as a way to develop new theories accounting for human behavior and feelings. These new explanations were then applied to the social and political spheres, changing the way people viewed and thought about government, and directly influencing the development of the modern world. The Enlightenment designates a period of European intellectual history from the late seventeenth to the late eighteenth century that brought together ideas in moral and natural philosophy and shifted inquiry away from metaphysics and the supernatural toward a focus upon physical and human nature. More significantly, the Enlightenment represented the adoption of a critical attitude toward inherited cultural and intellectual traditions. The forty-volume L’Encyclopedie (1751–1772), compiled by the important Enlightenment thinkers Denis Diderot (1713–1784) and Jean Le Rond d’Alembert (1717–1783), idealized the Enlightenment thinker, or philosophe, as one who “trampl[es] on prejudice, tradition, universal consent, authority, in a word, all that enslaves most minds,” and “dares to think for himself” (Diderot 1751, 5:270). A generation later, the German thinker Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) defined the Enlightenment as a process of freeing oneself from what he called “self-incurred tutelage,” and he wrote that the motto of the Enlightenment ought to be “Sapere aude! ‘Have courage to use your own reason!’” (1988, 462). Expanding the Intellectual Sphere The Enlightenment took advantage of new forms of intellectual exchange. Enlightenment thinkers like David Hume (1711–1776) railed against the exclusivity of earlier generations and insisted on bringing knowledge out of the pedantic world of the closeted learned to the sociable world of polite conversation in academies, debating societies, salons, and coffeehouses. Along with the expansion of the sphere of oral communication went a similar expansion of readership and print culture. In this period books became smaller, cheaper, and therefore more accessible. This time witnessed the birth of the periodical press, of newspapers and magazines. Changes in print production went along with changes in how readers related to print. Gone were the days of laborious reading; instead expanding literacy, particularly among middle-class men, meant that expanding audiences read pamphlets, essays, novels, and newspapers in their leisure time. Physical and Human Nature The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw European thinkers challenge inherited ideas about the physical universe. Medieval thinkers had built elaborate cosmological systems upon classical, and particularly Aristotelian, foundations. But in many fields, such as physics, applied mathematics, and especially astronomy, new discoveries and explanations put forward by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543), Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), and Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727), among others, challenged the picture of a finite, Earth-centered universe and replaced it with a potentially […]

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Environmental Movements Research Paper

This sample Environmental Movements Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Although the term environmentalism was not used until much later, the roots of environmental movements date back to the 1800s, when demands for cleaner water and air and the protection of wilderness became common. Industrialization and colonialism sparked the first environmentalist voices. Though goals and intentions of the countless organizations vary, environmental movements as a whole remain an important aspect of modern society. Environmental, or green, movements appeared around the globe during the second half of the twentieth century as people agitated in reaction to local problems, affected the policies and organization of national governments (including the origin of environmental departments in almost every nation), and helped to create national and international laws, international bodies, and important treaties. Few other popular movements spread so far, had such complex ramifications, and lasted so long with the promise of continuing influence. To present green or environmental movements as a recent phenomenon, arising during the years after World War II, however, would be misleading. They had their roots in the conservation movement that began a century earlier. Many voices had demanded clean water and air, parks and open space, the humane treatment of animals and the protection of bird species, the preservation of wilderness, and the provision of outdoor recreation. Communities in many places began to see their welfare as being connected with the health of their land, their forests, their waters, and their clean air. Although people did not yet use the term environmentalism, the actions of people to protect their valued habitats, to protest against developments that threatened to destroy them, and to search for ways to live in harmony with nature constituted an effort that has come to be known by that term. People voiced those concerns during the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries when the Industrial Revolution was polluting and otherwise harming the landscape of the Western world, and colonialism was making depredations on the natural resources of the rest of the world. For example, deforestation altered small islands in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans so rapidly that European scientists who were sent out by the colonial powers noted exhaustion of timber and desiccation of climates and called for restorative action. Pierre Poivre, a French botanist, warned in 1763 that the removal of forests would cause loss of rainfall and recommended the reforestation of island colonies. Both France and Britain soon established forest reserves in their colonies, including British India. Unfortunately reserves often meant that local people were excluded from their own forests, and this exclusion produced outbreaks of resistance during the 1800s. Some European environmentalists raised their voices loudly against mistreatment of indigenous peoples. A few of […]

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Olaudah Equiano Research Paper

This sample Olaudah Equiano Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Published in 1789, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano . . . Written by Himself tells the story of an African man enslaved by the British during the mid-eighteenth century. Whether it is based strictly on Equiano’s life or on others, the book spares no sense of the horror and inhumane treatment slaves suffered. Equiano fought for the abolitionist cause from 1789 until his death in 1797. Olaudah Equiano was one of the most prominent persons of African descent involved in the late-eighteenth- century effort to abolish the British slave trade. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African, Written by Himself (1789) brought to the British public a powerfully expressed African perspective on the horrors of the Atlantic crossing and the brutality of plantation life. Equiano described his childhood in an Igbo-speaking community (in today’s eastern Nigeria) and his kidnapping and transport to the west African coast, followed by a harrowing account of the Middle Passage, the forced voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic to the Americas. The use of these early passages from the Interesting Narrative as an historical source lately has been discounted by evidence that he may have been born in South Carolina. Whether Equiano wrote the first chapters of the book from memory, or from tales heard from other Africans, or through a combination of both, the controversy should not deflect attention from the value of the narrative as a whole. In 1754 Equiano was purchased by a British naval officer and spent most of the next eight years on royal naval vessels; his ship participated in the Seven Years War (1756–1763) and he gives an account of the Siege of Louisbourg, a six-week-long battle in which the British captured the fortress on Cape Breton Island from the French. He learned to speak and read English and began to acquire the skills necessary to be promoted to the rank of “able seaman” in 1762. The status of “slave” and “free” had little meaning on a ship at war; he was therefore bitterly disappointed at war’s end when his master pocketed his pay and sold him to Robert King, a West Indian merchant. King valued Equiano’s literacy, numeracy, and seamanship, but as a Quaker he was open to appeals of conscience. He agreed that Equiano might be allowed some day to purchase his own freedom, but was shocked when in 1766 the young man produced the agreed-upon sum. Equiano had saved the money through shrewd trading on his own account while tending to his master’s business. Because his personal safety and property were still vulnerable in […]

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Soil Erosion Research Paper

This sample Soil Erosion Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Erosion affects crop productivity and remains the largest cause of water pollution on Earth, depositing nutrients, sediments, pesticides, and fertilizers into water supplies. There are two types of erosion: natural and human-induced. Erosion prediction and the need for soil conservation became a focus in the twentieth century under President Roosevelt’s New Deal, which helped spread the word about the threats of erosion. One of the less-appreciated constants of world history has been soil erosion, because its effects may be unnoticed before crop productivity wanes. Soil erosion causes damage in two main places: where the removal occurs and where the sediment deposits. Where the erosion occurs, it removes particles, organic matter, and important nutrients since many dissolve into water. Thus the problems of on-site soil erosion are the physical loss of the medium of plant growth, nutrient depletion, and either land abandonment or the cost of conservation and reclamation. Severe erosion has removed as much as 50 meters of soil and sediment (or more) from surfaces, creating canyons where cornfields existed a few decades before. The off-site problems of erosion are at least as severe and include water pollution, sedimentation, and property burial. Indeed, soil erosion creates the largest water pollution problem on Earth by carrying nutrients and fertilizers, sediments, and pesticides into stream channels. Sedimentation fills up channels that must be dredged, or the channel capacity decreases, which cuts down on its holding capacity and increases flooding. Sedimentation has also buried whole towns and covered many valleys with several meters of often much less fertile sediment. History We can view the history of soil erosion as spanning several periods. It started long before human history as geological or “natural” erosion, which is generally a slow process, but given enough time it carved mile-deep and spectacular canyons. This soil erosion occurred in several temporal modes, but it was generally slow and steady over millions of years, though it could be episodically rapid and discontinuous. A second wave started with human-induced or human-accelerated erosion, when humans became technologically advanced enough to disrupt the surface vegetation through fire and the girdling of trees. Evidence suggests that cooking fires go back over 1 million years, but evidence indicates that the use of fire to control vegetation, and thus causing erosion, clearly started as a hunter-gatherer phenomenon in the Pleistocene era (about 60,000 BCE) in what is now Tanzania. Significant soil erosion started when humans domesticated animals and plants, removed vegetation from larger areas, and thus intensified land use. This erosion presumably began with domestication and concentrated settlement around ten thousand years ago in the Near East and later elsewhere. A third period of erosion […]

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