history documentaries

10 interesting history documentaries you can watch on YouTube

Writer and philosopher George Santayana famously said “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” We can learn a lot from historical events that have happened since the inception of mankind. From the invention of farming tools to world wars.  Learning about these events has helped us understand how society behaved in the past, how they overcame challenges they were faced with and how things are the way they are today. Lucky for us, we don’t have to spend long hours in the library reading huge history books to learn about historical events. We can watch history documentaries which are not only educational but also entertaining.

If you’re looking for good history documentaries to watch, here are some that are available on YouTube.

A Very British Way Of Torture

The colonial period was quite brutal for the entire African continent which led many Africans to resistance against the occupying forces. In Kenya, brave men and women formed a rebellion group known as the Mau Mau Movement to defend their land. The rebellion was met with brute force from the British forces who used torture to demoralize the Mau Mau fighters.

This documentary uses survivor accounts and expert analyses to narrate the atrocities that the British government did during the colonial period in Kenya which included rape and forced castration. It paints a vivid picture of what life under colonial rule was like and what the people had to go through to gain independence.

The Mysterious Life And Death Of Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti

From pyramid conspiracy theories to the mysterious Queen Nefertiti, Egyptian history is nothing short of controversial. Nefertiti is one of the most famous Egyptian queens yet, there’s so much mystery that surrounds her. She ruled over Egypt alongside her husband and remained true to her mysterious nature even to her death. One of the biggest mysteries that remain unsolved to this day is where Queen Nefertiti was buried which was unusual since Egyptian royals were mostly buried in the pyramids. This documentary sheds light on her mysterious life and death.

Haile Selassie – God Emperor Of Ethiopia

Halie Selassie, known as the last emperor of Ethiopia, led the country for more than 40 years. During his reign, he managed to modernize Ethiopia by introducing the first Constitution. He was also responsible for the creation of Ethiopian Airlines and the University of Addis Ababa. However, his biggest accomplishment was defeating the Italian Forces and making Ethiopia the only African country that successfully fought off the colonial power. You can learn everything about his legacy in this documentary.

The Greenland Vikings: Land Of The Midnight Sun

Civilizations come and go but one of the most unlikely downfall of a society is that of the Vikings of Greenland. The settlers defied all odds sailing thousands of kilometers through rough waters to settle in a land that offered very little chance of survival. Yet, they built a thriving, industrious society for centuries until their ultimate downfall. This documentary provides insight into how the society formed then fell with a dramatized and detailed narration which makes it interesting to watch.

How The Cold War Brought The World To The Brink Of Atomic Apocalypse

Right after World War II, the world experienced another period of tension known as the Cold War. It was referred to as the Cold War since there was no major fighting. However, tensions were high between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies. During this period, the Soviet Union developed its first atomic warhead which ended America’s monopoly on the atomic bomb. However, both parties agreed that they were not ready to use nuclear weapons and they signed a treaty banning aboveground nuclear weapons testing. This documentary showcases one of the most intense periods of human history.

Palestine 1920: The Other Side Of The Palestine Story

They say that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. For Palestine and many other non-Western countries, this has been the case. Many historical accounts portray Palestinians as landless, unproductive people. However, this documentary offers a different narrative about Palestine, and how it came to be and grew over the years. It shows a side of Palestine before it was plagued with a seemingly never-ending conflict.

An Honest Explanation Of The Nigerian Civil War

The Nigerian civil war is one of the worst wars that has happened in Africa. It had the second-highest number of deaths of all African wars, claiming the lives of roughly 2 million people. Despite being one of the biggest wars in Africa, many people don’t know about it. The war, which is also known as the Biafra War, happened when the Igbo people of Nigeria attempted to form their own country since they were being marginalized in the country. The Nigerian government declared war which continued for 30 months until Biafra conceded. However, the most unfortunate part of the war was how most of the people died. A blockade was imposed to ensure that the people who had seceded didn’t receive essential items including food which led to mass starvation. You can learn about the origin and events of the conflict from this documentary.

The Birth Of Civilization: The First Farmers

Before tractors and cultivators were invented, our prehistoric ancestors had to figure out how to grow food. They mostly relied on the hunter-gatherer, nomadic lifestyle for sustenance but changing climate conditions made hunting more difficult which led to the invention of farming. The documentary takes us through the various stages of how farming developed to where we are today.

Lost Humans: What Happened To Our Prehistoric Forebears?

It’s hard to know what was happening on earth millions of years ago but the discovery of remains from these eras helps shed light on how we came to be. According to scientists, there were at least 24 kinds of humans on earth but all of them perish except our kind – homo sapiens. The question is why. Were we more intelligent, stronger or simply lucky? These questions are answered in the documentary which debunks the myth that all humans have one common ancestor.

The Hidden Mysteries Of Ancient Native American Civilizations

We don’t hear much about the history of Native Americans before the arrival of European settlers. Additionally, most accounts are told from the settler’s perspective which leaves out the real nature of Native Americans including their religion, sense of community and developments. Like many ancient civilizations, Native Americans have a rich history. They lived in diverse groups that had their own beliefs and governing systems. This documentary offers a look at this rich history.