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Utilitarianism is basically the theory that the right course of action is the one that maximizes happiness and reduces suffering (read more)

Featured Article: Earth lodge

Earth lodges in Four Bears Park
An earth lodge is a semi-subterranean building covered partially or completely with earth, best known from the Native American cultures of the Great Plains and Eastern Woodlands. Most earth lodges were circular in construction with a dome-like roof, often with a central or slightly offset smoke hole at the apex of the dome.

Earth lodges are well-known from the more sedentary tribes of the Plains, such as the Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara (also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes) who lived primarily in earth lodges and using tipis as temporary shelter while traveling from their villages or on seasonal bison hunts, but they have also been identified archaeologically among sites of the Mississippian culture in the Eastern United States.

The construction of earth lodges as housing had both practical and spiritual aspects. They provided shelter, with the earth covering acting as insulation, and the supporting posts gave strength to the roofs such that people could gather on top of their houses in good weather. Many aspects of their construction also reflected the beliefs of the people, maintaining a close connection between their lifestyle and their mythology, ensuring the passing on of beliefs to the next generation.

Popular Article: American Civil War

Map of the division of the states during the Civil War
The American Civil War (1861–1865) was fought between 24 mostly northern states of the Union and the Confederate States of America, a coalition of eleven southern states that declared their independence and claimed the right of secession from the Union in 1860–1861. The war produced more than 970,000 casualties (3.09 percent of the population), which included approximately 560,300 deaths (1.78 percent), a loss of more American lives than any other conflict in history. Its protagonists on both sides, Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, were men of exceptional character and among the most storied figures in American history.

The Union victory resulted in the abolition of slavery and consolidation of the Union. Yet full equality for African Americans would wait another century, until the fruits of the Civil Rights Movement. For good or ill, preservation of the Union enabled the United States to emerge as a major world power in the closing years of the nineteenth century. Had a Confederate victory split the union, and the United States not achieved its resulting productivity, military capability, and wealth, twentieth-century history would have looked very different.