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World History

HowStuffWorks looks at the history and culture of places from all over the world.

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How Apartheid Worked

Apartheid, which means "apartness" in Afrikaans, was an era of extreme, legalized racism that subjugated South Africa's black majority for decades. How did Apartheid come about, and how did it survive into the 1990s?

10 Most Long-lived Empires in History

Empires rise and empires fall -- it's a seemingly unavoidable fact of life on Earth. But these superpowers reigned longer than any others. What can we learn from their missteps and achievements?

What's so important about the Code of Hammurabi?

The Code of Hammurabi is a 7-foot-tall piece of basalt with more than 300 laws engraved on it. According to the code, if you strike your father, then your hands will be cut off. Why would our modern society care about studying such inhumane mandates?

How did the supercontinent Pangaea become seven separate continents?

Like the members of an ill-fated rock group, the seven continents struck out on their own hundreds of millions of years ago. But what caused the breakup? And is a reunion tour in the works?

How did the East India Company change the world?

The East India Company didn't just cause the Boston Tea Party -- it forged new nations and established drug trade. So why is it the basis for modern corporations?

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