Is die alliansies voor die Eerste Wêreldoorlog werklik geskep om oorlog te voorkom?

Is die alliansies voor die Eerste Wêreldoorlog werklik geskep om oorlog te voorkom?

In 'n toneel in Blackadder goes Forth het kaptein Edmund Blackadder die weg gebaan vir die Eerste Wêreldoorlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGxAYeeyoIc

Edmund: Bedoel u "Hoe het die oorlog begin?"
Baldrick: Ja.
George: Die oorlog het begin as gevolg van die gemene Hun en sy boosaardige imperiumbou.
Edmund: George, die Britse Ryk beslaan tans 'n kwart van die wêreld, terwyl die Duitse Ryk bestaan ​​uit 'n klein worsfabriek in Tanganyika. Ek dink skaars dat ons heeltemal van die skuld op die imperialistiese front onthef kan word.
George: O, nee, meneer, absoluut nie. (eenkant, vir Baldick) Mal soos 'n fiets!
Baldrick: Ek het gehoor dat dit begin het toe 'n ou genaamd Archie Duke 'n volstruis geskiet het omdat hy honger was.
Edmund: Ek dink jy bedoel dit het begin toe die aartshertog van Oostenryk-Hongarye geskiet is.
Baldrick: Nee, daar was beslis 'n volstruis betrokke, meneer.
Edmund: Wel, moontlik. Maar die eintlike rede vir die hele ding was dat dit te veel moeite was nie oorlog te voer.
George: By Gum is dit interessant; Ek was nog altyd lief vir geskiedenis - The Battle of Hastings, Henry VIII en sy ses messe, dit alles.
Edmund: Sien u, Baldrick, om oorlog in Europa te voorkom, het twee superblokke ontwikkel: ons, die Franse en die Russe aan die een kant; en die Duitsers en Oostenryk-Hongarye aan die ander kant. Die idee was om twee groot opponerende leërs te hê, wat elkeen die ander se afskrikmiddel was. Op hierdie manier kan daar nooit 'n oorlog wees nie.
Baldrick: Maar dit is 'n soort oorlog, nie waar nie, meneer?
Edmund: Ja, dis reg. U sien, daar was 'n klein foutjie in die plan.
George: Wat was dit, meneer?
Edmund: Dit was bollocks.

Hierdie verduideliking pas my nie goed nie-aangesien Blackadder goes Forth in die laat 1980's, voor die val van die Sowjetunie, gemaak is, kom dit voor as die draaiboekskrywers van die program wat ons 'n allegorie gee oor Mutual-Assured Destruction en hul persoonlike bekommernisse dat ons uiteindelik die kern van Armageddon in die gesig staar; Ek het gedink dat die idee van afskrikmiddel deur massiewe vergelding eers gedurende die vyftigerjare ontstaan ​​het - so as dit die geval was, sou dit moontlik nie die strategie van die vroeë 20ste eeu kon wees nie.

Van wat ek uit die geskiedenissklas onthou, het ek gedink dat die toestand van Europa onmiddellik voorafgaand aan die Eerste Wêreldoorlog nie 'n gekunstelde toedrag van sake was nie, maar die natuurlike gevolg van die ontwikkelde nasies se ontwerpe van ryk en 'n konstante militêre opbou om voor te berei op die uiteindelike oorlog, en nie as 'n manier om dit te voorkom nie.


Kort antwoord: Ja.

Bismarck onderhou noukeurig 'n netwerk van alliansies wat ontwerp is om Frankryk na die Frans-Pruisiese oorlog te bevat om 'n oorlog te voorkom waar Frankryk moontlik beheer oor Elsas-Lotharingen sou probeer herwin.

Bismarck het geglo dat Frankryk altyd die eenwording van Duitsland sou teëstaan, aangesien dit 'n magtige buurman aan die noordelike grens sou skep, en natuurlik 'n kragtige mededinger op die vasteland. Sien hieronder vir meer besonderhede:

Frankryk was sterk gekant teen die anneksasie van die Suid -Duitse state (Beiere, Württemberg, Baden en Hesse), wat 'n te magtige land langs sy grens sou geskep het. In Pruise is 'n oorlog teen Frankryk nodig geag om Duitse nasionalisme in die state aan te wakker wat die vereniging van 'n groot Duitse ryk moontlik sou maak. Hierdie doel word beklemtoon deur die Pruisiese kanselier Otto von Bismarck se aanhaling: "Ek het geweet dat 'n Frans-Pruisiese oorlog moet plaasvind voordat 'n verenigde Duitsland gevorm word." [1] Bismarck het ook geweet dat Frankryk die aggressor in die konflik moet wees om die Suid -Duitse state staan ​​aan die kant van Pruise en gee Duitsers dus numeriese meerderwaardigheid. [2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_Franco-Prussian_War

Dit het beteken dat die voorkoming van oorlog met Frankryk op diplomatieke wyse 'n belangrike belang vir die Duitsers was.

Dit is nogal interessant dat hy, toe Wilhelm II aan bewind gekom het, die drade van hierdie alliansie -tapisserie, wat daarop gemik was om Frankryk te bevat, laat ontrafel, meestal as gevolg van trots en onbevoegdheid, die ou vyand van monarge en outokrate deur die geskiedenis. Liddell Hart (ondanks sy ander gebreke as historikus, militêre wetenskaplike en mens) het hierdie uiteensetting in die diplomatieke topografie van Europa in sy geskiedenis van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog opgemerk.

Dit is net 'n vinnige antwoord, aangesien ek nie vroeër die geleentheid gekry het om dit te skryf nie, en ek hopelik nie die boot oor hierdie vraag gemis het nie - ek sal in die loop van die aand in meer besonderhede wysig/die antwoord in die algemeen uitdruk.

Hier is 'n paar meer besonderhede oor die 'bevalling van Frankryk' - sommige daarvan is wel in Frans. https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-15772192/bismarck-and-the-containment-of-france-1873-1877


Is die alliansies voor die Eerste Wêreldoorlog werklik geskep om oorlog te voorkom? - Geskiedenis

Die alliansiestelsel was een van die hoofoorsake van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Die alliansiestelsel bestaan ​​uit twee groepe, die Sentrale moondhede (Duitsland, Oostenryk-Hongarye, Italië (1914) en Turkye). Die tweede groep was die Geallieerde moondhede (Rusland, Frankryk, Groot -Brittanje en die Verenigde State). Die alliansiestelsel is wanneer lande kragte saamsnoer of saamwerk om 'n sekere doel te bereik. Die rede waarom hulle alliansies het, is dat die ander land of lande hulle kan help as hulle dit nodig het. Die alliansies is meestal in die geheim gesluit. Hulle is later in die openbaar onthul.

As Duitsland nooit 'n bondgenootskap met Oostenryk-Hongarye gehad het nie, is die oorlog moontlik voorkom. Nadat Duitsland oorlog verklaar het, verklaar al die ander lande wat met Duitsland verbonde was, ook oorlog. Die alliansie tussen Duitsland en Oostenryk-Hongarye is in 1879 in die geheim gevorm. Dit word die Dual-alliansie genoem. Hulle het belowe om mekaar te ondersteun as Rusland ooit sou aanval. Meer as tien ander lande het by die Eerste Wêreldoorlog betrokke geraak weens die alliansiestelsel.


Inhoud

Al die oorlewende primêre bronne vir die Grieks-Persiese oorloë is Grieks, maar geen kontemporêre verslae bestaan ​​in ander tale nie. Verreweg die belangrikste bron is die Griekse historikus Herodotus uit die vyfde eeu. Herodotus, wat die "Vader van die geskiedenis" genoem is, [6] is gebore in 484 vC in Halicarnassus, Klein -Asië (toe deel van die Persiese ryk). Hy skryf sy 'navrae' (Grieks Historia, Engels (Die) Geskiedenisse) ongeveer 440–430 vC, en probeer om die oorsprong van die Grieks-Persiese oorloë op te spoor, wat nog steeds 'n onlangse geskiedenis sou wees. [7] Herodotus se benadering was nuut en ten minste in die Westerse samelewing het hy 'geskiedenis' as 'n dissipline uitgevind. [7] Soos historikus Tom Holland dit stel: "Vir die eerste keer het 'n kroniekskrywer homself opgestel om die oorsprong van 'n konflik nie op te spoor na 'n verlede wat so ver is dat dit heeltemal fabelagtig is, en ook nie na die grille en wense van een of ander god nie, ook nie op mense se aanspraak om die lot te openbaar nie, maar eerder verduidelikings wat hy persoonlik kon verifieer. " [7]

Sommige latere ou historici, begin met Thucydides, het Herodotus en sy metodes gekritiseer. [8] [9] Desondanks het Thucydides gekies om sy geskiedenis te begin waar Herodotus opgehou het (by die beleg van Sestos) en het gevoel dat Herodotus se geskiedenis akkuraat genoeg was om nie herskryf of reg te stel nie. [9] Plutarchus het Herodotus gekritiseer in sy opstel "On the Malignity of Herodotus", en beskryf Herodotus as "Philobarbaros"(barbaars-liefhebber) omdat hy nie pro-Grieks genoeg was nie, wat daarop dui dat Herodotus eintlik 'n redelike werk van selfsugtigheid kon verrig het. [10] 'n Negatiewe siening van Herodotus is na Renaissance-Europa oorgedra, hoewel hy goed gebly het Sedert die 19de eeu is sy reputasie egter dramaties herstel deur argeologiese vondste wat sy weergawe van die gebeure herhaaldelik bevestig het. Historia, maar dat sommige van sy spesifieke besonderhede (veral troepegetalle en datums) met skeptisisme beskou moet word. [11] Tog is daar nog 'n paar historici wat meen dat Herodotus 'n groot deel van sy verhaal uitgemaak het. [12]

Die militêre geskiedenis van Griekeland tussen die einde van die tweede Persiese inval in Griekeland en die Peloponnesiese Oorlog (479–431 vC) word nie goed ondersteun deur oorlewende antieke bronne nie. Hierdie tydperk, soms na verwys as die pentekontaetia (πεντηκονταετία, die vyftig jaar) deur ou skrywers, was 'n tydperk van relatiewe vrede en voorspoed in Griekeland. [13] [14] Die rykste bron vir die tydperk, en ook die mees kontemporêre, is Thucydides se Geskiedenis van die Peloponnesiese Oorlog, wat deur moderne historici algemeen beskou word as 'n betroubare primêre rekening. [15] [16] [17] Thucydides noem hierdie periode slegs in 'n afwyking van die groei van die Atheense mag in die aanloop tot die Peloponnesiese oorlog, en die verslag is kort, waarskynlik selektief en het geen datums nie. [18] [19] Desondanks kan Thucydides se verslag deur historici gebruik word en word dit gebruik om 'n geraamte chronologie vir die tydperk op te stel, waarop besonderhede uit argeologiese verslae en ander skrywers opgesluit kan word. [18]

Meer besonderhede oor die hele periode word verskaf deur Plutarchus, in sy biografieë van Themistocles, Aristides en veral Cimon. Plutarchus skryf ongeveer 600 jaar na die betrokke gebeure en is dus 'n sekondêre bron, maar hy noem gereeld sy bronne, wat 'n mate van verifikasie van sy stellings moontlik maak. [20] In sy biografieë put hy direk uit baie antieke geskiedenisse wat nog nie oorleef het nie, en bewaar dus dikwels die besonderhede van die tydperk wat in Herodotus en Thucydides se verslae weggelaat is. Die laaste belangrike bron vir die tydperk is die universele geskiedenis (Bibliotheca historica) van die 1ste eeu v.C. die Siciliaanse, Diodorus Siculus. Baie van Diodorus se skryfwerk oor hierdie tydperk is afkomstig van die veel vroeëre Griekse historikus Ephorus, wat ook 'n universele geskiedenis geskryf het. [21] Diodorus is ook 'n sekondêre bron en word deur moderne historici dikwels bespot oor sy styl en onjuisthede, maar hy behou baie besonderhede van die antieke tyd wat nêrens anders gevind word nie. [22]

Verdere verspreide besonderhede kan gevind word in Pausanias's Beskrywing van Griekeland, terwyl die Byzantynse Suda -woordeboek van die 10de eeu nC enkele staaltjies bewaar wat nêrens anders gevind word nie. Geringe bronne vir die tydperk sluit in die werke van Pompeius Trogus (deur Justinus weergegee), Cornelius Nepos en Ctesias van Cnidus (geïllustreer deur Photius), wat nie in die oorspronklike tekstuele vorm is nie. Hierdie werke word nie as betroubaar beskou nie (veral Ctesias), en is nie besonder nuttig vir die rekonstruksie van die geskiedenis van hierdie tydperk nie. [23] [24]

'N Paar fisiese oorblyfsels van die konflik is deur argeoloë gevind. Die bekendste is die Slangkolom in Istanbul, wat oorspronklik in Delphi geplaas is om die Griekse oorwinning op Plataea te herdenk. In 1939 het die Griekse argeoloog Spyridon Marinatos die oorblyfsels van talle Persiese pylpunte by die Kolonosheuwel op die terrein van Thermopylae gevind, wat nou algemeen geïdentifiseer word as die plek van die verdediger se laaste stand. [25]

Die Grieke van die klassieke tydperk het geglo dat 'n beduidende aantal Grieke in die donker tyd wat gevolg het op die ineenstorting van die Myceense beskawing, gevlug het en na Klein -Asië geëmigreer het. [26] [27] Moderne historici aanvaar hierdie migrasie oor die algemeen as histories (maar los van die latere kolonisering van die Middellandse See deur die Grieke). [28] [29] Daar is egter diegene wat glo dat die Ioniese migrasie nie so eenvoudig verduidelik kan word soos die klassieke Grieke beweer het nie. [30] Hierdie setlaars kom uit drie stamgroepe: die Eoliërs, Doriane en Ioniërs. Die Ioniërs het hulle aan die kus van Lydia en Caria gevestig en die twaalf stede wat Ionia uitmaak, gestig. [26] Hierdie stede was Miletus, Myus en Priene in Caria Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Clazomenae, Phocaea en Erythrae in Lydia en die eilande Samos en Chios. [31] Alhoewel die Ioniese stede onafhanklik van mekaar was, erken hulle hul gedeelde erfenis en het hulle vermoedelik 'n gemeenskaplike tempel en ontmoetingsplek, die Panionion. [ii] Hulle vorm dus 'n 'kulturele bond', waartoe hulle geen ander stede, of selfs ander stamme -Ioniërs, sou toelaat nie. [32] [33]

Die stede Ionia het onafhanklik gebly totdat hulle deur die Lidiërs van Wes -Klein -Asië verower is. Die Lydiaanse koning Alyattes val Miletus aan, 'n konflik wat eindig met 'n alliansieverdrag tussen Miletus en Lydia, wat beteken dat Miletus interne outonomie sal hê, maar Lydia in buitelandse aangeleenthede sal volg. [34] Op hierdie tydstip was die Lydiërs ook in konflik met die mediaanryk, en die Milesiërs het 'n leër gestuur om die Lydiërs in hierdie konflik te help. Uiteindelik is 'n vreedsame skikking tussen die Mede en die Lydiërs gevestig, met die Halysrivier as die grens tussen die koninkryke. [35] Die beroemde Lidiese koning Croesus volg sy vader Alyattes op in ongeveer 560 vC en gaan die ander Griekse stadstate van Klein -Asië verower. [36]

Die Persiese prins Kores het in 553 vC 'n opstand teen die laaste Median -koning Astyages gelei. Cyrus was 'n kleinseun van Astyages en word ondersteun deur 'n deel van die mediane aristokrasie. [37] Teen 550 vC was die rebellie verby, en Kores het as oorwinnaars uit die stryd getree en die Achaemenidiese Ryk gestig in die plek van die mediaanryk. [37] Croesus beskou die ontwrigting in die mediaanryk en Persië as 'n geleentheid om sy koninkryk uit te brei en vra die orakel van Delphi of hy hulle moet aanval. Die Oracle het vermoedelik die beroemde dubbelsinnige antwoord geantwoord dat 'as Croesus die Halys sou oorsteek, 'n groot ryk sou vernietig'. [38] Croesus was blind vir die dubbelsinnigheid van hierdie profesie en val die Perse aan, maar word uiteindelik verslaan en Lydia val op Kores. [39] Deur die Halys oor te steek, het Croesus inderdaad 'n groot ryk vernietig - sy eie.

Tydens die stryd teen die Lydiërs het Kores boodskappe aan die Ioniërs gestuur waarin hulle gevra word om in opstand te kom teen die Lydiese heerskappy, wat die Ioniërs geweier het om te doen. Nadat Kores die verowering van Lydia voltooi het, het die Ioniese stede nou aangebied om sy onderdane te wees onder dieselfde terme as wat hulle onderdane van Croesus was. [40] Cyrus het geweier en verwys na die onwilligheid van die Ioniërs om hom voorheen te help. Die Ioniërs het hulle dus voorberei om hulself te verdedig, en Kores het die mediaan -generaal Harpagus gestuur om hulle te verower. [41] Hy het Phocaea eers aangeval, maar die Phocaeans het besluit om hul stad heeltemal te verlaat en in ballingskap op Sicilië te vaar, eerder as om Persiese onderdane te word (alhoewel baie later teruggekeer het). [42] Sommige Teiërs het ook gekies om te emigreer toe Harpagus Teos aanval, maar die res van die Ioniërs het gebly en is op hul beurt verower. [43]

In die jare na hul verowering het die Perse dit moeilik gevind om die Ioniërs te regeer. Elders in die ryk het Kores elite -inheemse groepe geïdentifiseer, soos die priesterskap van Judea - om hom te help om oor sy nuwe onderdane te regeer. In die Griekse stede het daar nie so 'n groep bestaan ​​nie, terwyl daar gewoonlik 'n aristokrasie was, maar dit was onvermydelik verdeel in vete faksies. Die Perse het dus besluit om 'n tiran in elke Ioniese stad te borg, alhoewel dit hulle by die interne konflikte van die Ioniërs aangetrek het. Sommige tiranne kan ook 'n onafhanklike reeks ontwikkel en moet vervang word. Die tiranne self het 'n moeilike taak ondervind om die ergste haat van hul medeburgers af te weer terwyl hulle ten gunste van die Perse was. [44] In die verlede is Griekse state dikwels deur tiranne geregeer, maar die regeringsvorm was aan die afneem. Vorige tiranne was ook geneig en moes sterk en bekwame leiers wees, terwyl die heersers wat deur die Perse aangestel is, eenvoudig plekmanne was. Ondersteun deur Persiese militêre mag, het hierdie tiranne nie die steun van die bevolking nodig gehad nie en kon hulle dus absoluut regeer. [45] Op die vooraand van die Grieks-Persiese oorloë is dit waarskynlik dat die Ioniese bevolking ontevrede geraak het en gereed was vir opstand. [46]

Oorlogvoering in die antieke Middellandse See

In die Grieks-Persiese oorloë het beide kante gebruik gemaak van spies-gewapende infanterie en ligte missiel troepe. Die Griekse leërs het die klem gelê op swaarder infanterie, terwyl die Persiese leërs die ligter tipes troepe bevoordeel het. [47] [48]

Persië

Die Persiese weermag het bestaan ​​uit 'n uiteenlopende groep mans wat oor die verskillende nasies van die ryk getrek was. [49] Volgens Herodotus was daar egter ten minste 'n algemene ooreenstemming in wapenrusting en gevegstyl. [47] Die troepe was gewoonlik gewapen met 'n boog, 'n 'kort spies' en 'n swaard of byl en het 'n rietskerm gedra. Hulle het 'n leerkleed gedra, [47] [50] alhoewel individue met 'n hoë status metaalwapens van hoë gehalte gedra het. Die Perse het heel waarskynlik hul boë gebruik om die vyand te verslyt en toe toegesluit om die laaste hou met spiese en swaarde te gee. [47] Die eerste rang van Persiese infanterieformasies, die sogenaamde 'sparabara', het geen boë gehad nie, het groter rietskild gedra en was soms gewapen met langer spiese. Hulle rol was om die agterste geledere van die formasie te beskerm. [51] Die kavallerie het waarskynlik as liggies gewapende raketkavallerie geveg. [47] [52]

Griekeland

Die styl van oorlogvoering tussen die Griekse stadstate, wat tot minstens 650 vC dateer (soos gedateer deur die 'Chigi-vaas'), was gebaseer op die hoplietfalanks wat deur missieltroepe ondersteun word. [48] ​​[53] Die 'hopliete' was voetsoldate wat gewoonlik afkomstig was van die lede van die middelklasse (in Athene genoem zeugiete), wat die nodige toerusting kan bekostig om op hierdie manier te veg. [49] [54] Die swaar wapenrusting bevat gewoonlik 'n borswapen of 'n linothorax, vette, 'n helm en 'n groot ronde, konkawe skild (die aspis of hoplon). [48] ​​Hopliete was gewapen met lang spiese (die dory), wat aansienlik langer was as Persiese spiese, en 'n swaard (die xiphos). Die swaar wapenrusting en langer spiese het hulle beter gemaak in hand-tot-hand-gevegte en het hulle beduidende beskerming gebied teen aanvalle wat wissel. [48] ​​Ligte gewapende skermutselinge, die psiloi het ook 'n deel uitgemaak van die Griekse leërs wat toenemend belangrik geword het tydens die konflik tydens die Slag van Plataea, byvoorbeeld dat hulle meer as die helfte van die Griekse leër gevorm het. [55] Die gebruik van kavallerie in Griekse leërs word nie in die veldslae van die Grieks-Persiese oorloë gerapporteer nie.

Vlootoorlog

Aan die begin van die konflik het alle vlootmagte in die oostelike Middellandse See oorgegaan na die trireme, 'n oorlogskip aangedryf deur drie oewers. Die algemeenste vlootaktieke gedurende die tydperk was om te stamp (Griekse trireme was toegerus met 'n gegote bronsram by die boë), of om aan boord te gaan deur skeepsmarines. [49] Meer ervare vlootmagte het teen hierdie tyd ook 'n manoeuvre begin gebruik wat bekend staan ​​as diekplous. Dit is nie duidelik wat dit was nie, maar dit het waarskynlik behels dat ons in gapings tussen vyandelike skepe vaar en dit dan in die sy stamp. [56]

Die Persiese vlootmagte is hoofsaaklik verskaf deur die seevarende mense van die ryk: Fenisiërs, Egiptenare, Ciliciërs en Cypriotte. [57] [58] Ander kusstreke van die Persiese Ryk sou skepe deur die loop van die oorloë bydra. [57]


Alliansies

'N Web van alliansies het tussen 1870 en 1914 in Europa ontwikkel, wat effektief twee kampe geskep het wat verbind is tot soewereiniteit of militêr ingryp - die Triple Entente en die Triple Alliance.

  • Die Triple Alliance van 1882 het Duitsland, Oostenryk-Hongarye en Italië verbind.
  • Die Triple Entente van 1907 het Frankryk, Brittanje en Rusland verbind.

'N Historiese punt van konflik tussen Oostenryk, Hongarye en Rusland, was oor hul onversoenbare belange op die Balkan, en Frankryk het 'n diepe agterdog van Duitsland in hul nederlaag in die oorlog van 1870.

'N Britse tekenprent van Europa in 1914.

Die alliansiestelsel het hoofsaaklik tot stand gekom omdat Duitsland, onder Bismarck, na 1870 'n presedent geskep het deur die keiserlike pogings van die bure van mekaar af te weer om 'n magsbalans in Europa te handhaaf


Die keiser en die tsaar

Rasputin het groot invloed uitgeoefen oor die Russiese Tsarina, Alexandra © Teen die jaar 1914 het konings nie meer hulle leërs in die geveg gelei nie. Dit was net so goed. Konings was nie meer gewaarborg om goeie soldate of militêre strateë te wees as om goeie heersers te wees nie. In teorie bly die heersers in die hoogste bevel, maar die werklike stryd van hierdie oorlog is aan generaals toevertrou. Al die Europese monarge het óf stewig in hul paleise gebly en af ​​en toe hul troepe besoek, óf hulle het hulself gevestig in 'n landhuis agter die frontlinies. Hoe dan ook, die meeste van hulle het baie min sê oor die uitvoering van die oorlog.

Kaiser Wilhelm II het homself spoedig as niks anders as 'n bombastiese sabel-rammelaar geopenbaar nie.

Van al die soewereine wat by die Eerste Wêreldoorlog betrokke was - die keisers van Duitsland, Rusland, Oostenryk -Hongarye, die konings van Groot -Brittanje, Italië, België, Serwië, Bulgarye, Roemenië, Griekeland en, kortliks, Montenegro - blykbaar die mees oorlogsugtige om die minste strydlustig te wees wanneer die werklikheid van oorlog hulle tref. Kaiser Wilhelm II het homself spoedig geopenbaar as niks anders as 'n bombastiese sabel-rammelaar nie, sonder elke leierseienskappe. Uiteindelik, deur die Opperbevel geïgnoreer, moet hy sy dae 'tee drink, stap, hout sny'. Teen die einde van die oorlog, met sy leërs wat militêre nederlaag in die gesig staar, is hy oorweldig deur die magte van republikanisme en revolusie wat hy altyd min of meer geïgnoreer het, en hy was gedwing om af te sien.

In April 1915 het die ewe onbesliste tsaar Nicholas II die noodlottige stap geneem om persoonlike bevel oor die leër te aanvaar. Sy besluit om die hoofstad te laat, was nie minder misleidend in die hande van sy sterkgesinde gemaksuster, die keiserin Alexandra, wat geheel en al onder die invloed van die geheimsinnige was sterretjies (geestelike adviseur) Rasputin. In Maart 1917 het onluste in Sint -Petersburg uitgebreek, en 'n week later het Nicholas II gehoor dat 'n haastig byeengestelde voorlopige regering besluit het dat hy moet abdikeer. Sonder die steun van die politici of die generaals, moes die tsaar hom onderwerp. In die loop van 'n week het die voorheen skynbaar onaantasbare Romanov -dinastie in duie gestort.


Is die alliansies voor die Eerste Wêreldoorlog werklik geskep om oorlog te voorkom? - Geskiedenis

Die griep pandemie van 1918

Die grieppandemie van 1918-1919 het meer mense as die Groot Oorlog, vandag bekend as die Eerste Wêreldoorlog (WWI), by ongeveer 20 tot 40 miljoen mense doodgemaak. Dit word genoem as die mees verwoestende epidemie in die opgetekende wêreldgeskiedenis. Meer mense sterf in 'n enkele jaar aan griep as in vier jaar van die Black Death Bubonic Plague van 1347 tot 1351. Die griep van 1918-1919 was 'n wêreldwye ramp, bekend as "Spaanse griep" of "La Grippe".


The Grim Reaper deur Louis Raemaekers

In die herfs van 1918 was die Groot Oorlog in Europa besig om af te neem en vrede was op die horison. Die Amerikaners het by die stryd aangesluit en die Geallieerdes nader aan die oorwinning teen die Duitsers gebring. Diep binne -in die loopgrawe het hierdie mans deur sommige van die brutaalste lewensomstandighede geleef, wat blykbaar nie erger kon wees nie. Toe, in sakke regoor die wêreld, het iets uitgebars wat net so goed soos die gewone verkoue lyk. Die griep van daardie seisoen was egter veel meer as 'n verkoue. In die twee jaar dat hierdie plaag die aarde geteister het, is 'n vyfde van die wêreldbevolking besmet. Die griep was die dodelikste vir mense tussen die ouderdomme 20 en 40. Hierdie patroon van morbiditeit was ongewoon vir griep wat gewoonlik 'n moordenaar van bejaardes en jong kinders is. Dit besmet 28% van alle Amerikaners (Tice). Na raming sterf 675 000 Amerikaners tydens die pandemie aan griep, tien keer soveel as in die wêreldoorlog. Van die Amerikaanse soldate wat in Europa gesterf het, val die helfte van hulle op die griepvirus en nie op die vyand nie (Deseret News). Na raming sterf 43 000 soldate wat vir die Eerste Wêreldoorlog gemobiliseer is, aan griep (Crosby). 1918 sou 'n onvergeetlike jaar van lyding en dood en tog van vrede wees. Soos opgemerk in die Journal of the American Medical Association se laaste uitgawe van 1918:

'Die 1918 het verbygegaan: 'n belangrike jaar as die beëindiging van die wreedste oorlog in die annale van die menslike geslag 'n jaar wat ten minste 'n einde aan die einde van die mens se vernietiging van die mens was, helaas 'n jaar waarin die meeste ontwikkel het noodlottige aansteeklike siekte wat die dood van honderdduisende mense veroorsaak het. Geneeskundige wetenskap het hom vier en 'n half jaar lank daaraan toegewy om mans op die vuurlyn te sit en hulle daar te hou. Nou moet dit met sy hele krag tot die bestryding van die grootste vyand draai van alles-aansteeklike siektes, " (12/28/1918).

'N Noodhospitaal vir grieppasiënte

Die effek van die griepepidemie was so erg dat die gemiddelde lewensduur in die VSA met 10 jaar gedaal het. Die griepvirus het 'n diepgaande virulensie gehad, met 'n sterftesyfer van 2.5% in vergelyking met die vorige griepepidemies, wat minder as 0.1% was. Die sterftesyfer vir 15 tot 34-jariges aan griep en longontsteking was in 1918 20 keer hoër as in vorige jare (Taubenberger). Mense is op straat met siektes getref en het vinnig gesterf. Een anektode wat in 1918 gedeel is, was van vier vroue wat laat in die nag saam brug gespeel het. Oornag sterf drie van die vroue aan griep (Hoagg). Ander het verhale vertel van mense op pad werk toe, wat skielik griep ontwikkel en binne enkele ure sterf (Henig). Een dokter skryf dat pasiënte met skynbaar gewone griep vinnig 'die mees viskose tipe longontsteking wat ooit gesien is' sou ontwikkel, en later wanneer sianose by die pasiënte verskyn, 'is dit bloot 'n stryd om lug totdat hulle versmoor' (Grist, 1979). 'N Ander dokter onthou dat die grieppasiënte' gesterf het terwyl hulle gesukkel het om hul lugweë skoon te maak van 'n bloedskuim wat soms uit hul neus en mond gespoel het '(Starr, 1976). Die dokters van die tyd was hulpeloos teen hierdie kragtige middel van griep. In 1918 slaan kinders tou na die rympie (Crawford) oor:

Ek het 'n voëltjie gehad, sy naam was Enza. Ek het die venster oopgemaak, en griep-enza.

Die griep -pandemie het om die wêreld gegaan. Die meeste mense voel die gevolge van hierdie tipe griepvirus. Dit versprei volgens die pad van sy menslike vragmotors, langs handelsroetes en skeepslyne. Uitbrake vloei deur Noord -Amerika, Europa, Asië, Afrika, Brasilië en die Suidelike Stille Oseaan (Taubenberger). In Indië was die sterftesyfer uiters hoog met ongeveer 50 sterftes as gevolg van griep per 1 000 mense (Brown). Die Groot Oorlog, met sy massabewegings van mans in leërs en aan boord van skepe, het waarskynlik bygedra tot die vinnige verspreiding en aanval. Die oorsprong van die dodelike griep siekte was onbekend, maar daar word wyd bespiegel. Sommige van die bondgenote beskou die epidemie as 'n biologiese oorlogsinstrument van die Duitsers. Baie het gedink dit is die gevolg van die loopgraafoorlogvoering, die gebruik van mosterdgasse en die "rook en dampe" van die oorlog. 'N Nasionale veldtog begin met die gereed oorlogsretoriek om die nuwe vyand van mikroskopiese omvang te beveg. 'N Studie het probeer redeneer waarom die siekte in sekere gelokaliseerde streke so verwoestend was, na die klimaat, die weer en die rassesamestelling van stede. Hulle het gevind dat humiditeit gekoppel is aan ernstiger epidemies, aangesien dit 'die verspreiding van die bakterieë bevorder' (Committee on Atmosphere and Man, 1923). Intussen het die nuwe wetenskappe van die aansteeklike middels en immunologie gejaag om 'n entstof of terapie te vind om die epidemies te stop.

Die ervarings van mense in militêre kampe wat die griep -pandemie ondervind:

'N Uittreksel uit die herinneringe van 'n oorlewende op Camp Funston van die pandemiese Survivor

'N Brief aan 'n mede -dokter wat die toestande tydens die griepepidemie by Camp Devens beskryf

'N Versameling briewe van 'n soldaat wat in Camp Funston Soldier gestasioneer is

Die oorsprong van hierdie griepvariant is nie presies bekend nie. Daar word vermoed dat dit in China ontstaan ​​het in 'n seldsame genetiese verskuiwing van die griepvirus. Die rekombinasie van die oppervlakte -proteïene het vir byna almal 'n virus veroorsaak en 'n verlies aan kudde -immuniteit veroorsaak. Die virus is onlangs uit die weefsel van 'n dooie soldaat gerekonstrueer en word nou geneties gekarakteriseer. Die naam Spaanse griep kom van die vroeë verdrukking en groot sterftes in Spanje (BMJ, 10/19/1918), waar dit na bewering 8 miljoen in Mei doodgemaak het (BMJ, 7/13/1918). 'N Eerste golf griep het egter vroeg in die lente van 1918 in Kansas en in militêre kampe in die VSA verskyn. Min het die epidemie te midde van die oorlog opgemerk. Wilson het pas sy adres van 14 punte gegee. Daar was feitlik geen reaksie of erkenning vir die epidemies in Maart en April in die militêre kampe nie. Dit was jammer dat daar geen stappe gedoen is om voor te berei op die gewone rekrudensie van die virulente griepstam in die winter nie. Die gebrek aan optrede is later gekritiseer toe die epidemie nie in die winter van 1918 geïgnoreer kon word nie (BMJ, 1918). Hierdie eerste epidemies by oefenkampe was 'n teken van wat in die herfs en winter van 1918 in die hele wêreld in groter omvang sou kom.

Die oorlog het die virus teruggebring na die VSA vir die tweede golf van die epidemie. Dit het in September 1918 die eerste keer in Boston aangekom deur die hawe wat besig was met oorlogsvervoer van masjinerie en voorraad. Die oorlog het die virus ook in staat gestel om te versprei en te versprei. Mans regoor die land mobiliseer om by die weermag en die saak aan te sluit. Toe hulle bymekaarkom, het hulle die virus saamgeneem en na diegene wat hulle gekontak het. Die virus het in Oktober 1918 byna 200,00 mense doodgemaak. In 11 November 1918 het die einde van die oorlog 'n herlewing moontlik gemaak. Terwyl mense die wapenstilstandsdag met parades en groot partytjies gevier het, 'n volledige ramp vanuit die oogpunt van openbare gesondheid, het 'n hergeboorte van die epidemie in sommige stede plaasgevind. Die griep die winter was verbeeldingloos omdat miljoene besmet en duisende gesterf het. Net soos die oorlog die verloop van griep bewerkstellig het, het griep die oorlog beïnvloed. Hele vloot was siek aan die siekte en mans aan die voorkant was te siek om te veg. Die griep was vir beide kante verwoestend en het meer mans doodgemaak as wat hul eie wapens kon doen.

Met die militêre pasiënte wat met oorlogswonde en mosterdgasbrandwonde uit die oorlog huis toe gekom het, is hospitaalgeriewe en personeel tot die uiterste belas. Dit het 'n tekort aan dokters veroorsaak, veral in die burgerlike sektor, aangesien baie mense verlore geraak het vir diens by die weermag. Aangesien die dokters weg was met die troepe, was slegs die mediese studente oor om die siekes te versorg. Die derde en derde jaar se klasse is gesluit en die studente het werk as interns of verpleegsters toegeken (Starr, 1976). Een artikel het opgemerk dat "uitputting in so 'n mate plaasgevind het dat die praktisyns baie naby die breekpunt is" (BMJ, 11/2/1918). Die tekort is nog meer verwar deur die ekstra verlies van dokters aan die epidemie. In die VSA moes die Rooi Kruis meer vrywilligers werf om by te dra tot die nuwe oorsaak van die stryd teen die griepepidemie. Om te reageer met die volle gebruik van verpleegsters, vrywilligers en mediese voorrade, het die Rooi Kruis 'n nasionale komitee vir griep gestig. Dit was betrokke by beide militêre en burgerlike sektore om alle magte te mobiliseer om die Spaanse griep te bestry (Crosby, 1989). In sommige dele van die VSA was die tekort aan verpleegkundiges so erg dat die Rooi Kruis die plaaslike ondernemings moes vra om werkers die dag te verlof as hulle in die nag vrywillig in die hospitale werk (Deseret News). Noodhospitale is geskep om pasiënte uit die VSA en siekes uit die buiteland op te neem.

Die pandemie het almal geraak. With one-quarter of the US and one-fifth of the world infected with the influenza, it was impossible to escape from the illness. Even President Woodrow Wilson suffered from the flu in early 1919 while negotiating the crucial treaty of Versailles to end the World War (Tice). Those who were lucky enough to avoid infection had to deal with the public health ordinances to restrain the spread of the disease. The public health departments distributed gauze masks to be worn in public. Stores could not hold sales, funerals were limited to 15 minutes. Some towns required a signed certificate to enter and railroads would not accept passengers without them. Those who ignored the flu ordinances had to pay steep fines enforced by extra officers (Deseret News). Bodies pilled up as the massive deaths of the epidemic ensued. Besides the lack of health care workers and medical supplies, there was a shortage of coffins, morticians and gravediggers (Knox). The conditions in 1918 were not so far removed from the Black Death in the era of the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages.

In 1918-19 this deadly influenza pandemic erupted during the final stages of World War I. Nations were already attempting to deal with the effects and costs of the war. Propaganda campaigns and war restrictions and rations had been implemented by governments. Nationalism pervaded as people accepted government authority. This allowed the public health departments to easily step in and implement their restrictive measures. The war also gave science greater importance as governments relied on scientists, now armed with the new germ theory and the development of antiseptic surgery, to design vaccines and reduce mortalities of disease and battle wounds. Their new technologies could preserve the men on the front and ultimately save the world. These conditions created by World War I, together with the current social attitudes and ideas, led to the relatively calm response of the public and application of scientific ideas. People allowed for strict measures and loss of freedom during the war as they submitted to the needs of the nation ahead of their personal needs. They had accepted the limitations placed with rationing and drafting. The responses of the public health officials reflected the new allegiance to science and the wartime society. The medical and scientific communities had developed new theories and applied them to prevention, diagnostics and treatment of the influenza patients.


The fight to whitewash US history: ‘A drop of poison is all you need’

O n 25 May 2020, a man died after a “medical incident during police interaction” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The man was suspected of forgery and “believed to be in his 40s”. He “physically resisted officers” and, after being handcuffed, “appeared to be suffering medical distress”. He was taken to the hospital “where he died a short time later”.

It is not difficult to imagine a version of reality where this, the first police account of George Floyd’s brutal death beneath the knee of an implacable police officer, remained the official narrative of what took place in Minneapolis one year ago. That version of reality unfolds every day. Police lies are accepted and endorsed by the press press accounts are accepted and believed by the public.

That something else happened – that it is now possible for a news organization to say without caveat or qualification that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd – required herculean effort and extraordinary bravery on the part of millions of people.

The laborious project of establishing truth in the face of official lies is one that Americans embraced during the racial reckoning of the summer of 2020, whether it was individuals speaking out about their experiences of racism at work, or institutions acknowledging their own complicity in racial injustice. For a time, it seemed that America was finally ready to tell a more honest, nuanced story of itself, one that acknowledged the blood at the root.

Protesters march after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

But alongside this reassessment, another American tradition re-emerged: a reactionary movement bent on reasserting a whitewashed American myth. These reactionary forces have taken aim at efforts to tell an honest version of American history and speak openly about racism by proposing laws in statehouses across the country that would ban the teaching of “critical race theory”, the New York Times’s 1619 Project, and, euphemistically, “divisive concepts”.

The movement is characterized by a childish insistence that children should be taught a false version of the founding of the United States that better resembles a mythic virgin birth than the bloody, painful reality. It would shred the constitution’s first amendment in order to defend the honor of those who drafted its three-fifths clause.

“When you start re-examining the founding myth in light of evidence that’s been discovered in the last 20 years by historians, then that starts to make people doubt the founding myth,” said Christopher S Parker, a professor of political science at the University of Washington who studies reactionary movements. “There’s no room for racism in this myth. Anything that threatens to interrogate the myth is seen as a threat.”

Legislation seeking to limit how teachers talk about race has been considered by at least 15 states, according to an analysis by Education Week.

In Idaho, Governor Brad Little signed into law a measure banning public schools from teaching critical race theory, which it claimed will “exacerbate and inflame divisions on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or other criteria in ways contrary to the unity of the nation and the wellbeing of the state of Idaho and its citizens”. The state’s lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, also established a taskforce to “examine indoctrination in Idaho education and to protect our young people from the scourge of critical race theory, socialism, communism, and Marxism”.

In Tennessee, the legislature has approved a bill that would bar public schools from using instructional materials that promote certain concepts, including the idea that, “This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist.”

The Texas house of representatives has passed a flurry of legislation related to teaching history, including a bill that would ban any course that would “require an understanding of the 1619 Project” and a bill that would establish an “1836 Project” (a reference to the date of the founding of the Republic of Texas) to “promote patriotic education”.

Representative Ted Budd speaks about banning federal funding for the teaching of critical race theory. Photograph: Michael Brochstein/Sopa Images/Rex/Shutterstock

Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, in April came out in opposition to a small federal grant program (just $5.25m out of the department of education’s $73.5bn budget) supporting American history and civics education projects that, among other criteria, “incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives”.

“Families did not ask for this divisive nonsense,” McConnell wrote in a letter to the secretary of education, Miguel Cardona. “Voters did not vote for it. Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil.”

Unsurprisingly, McConnell left out a few pertinent adjectives.

“Whose children are we talking about?” asked LaGarrett King, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Education who has developed a new framework for teaching Black history. “Black parents talk to their kids about racism. Asian American parents talk to their kids about racism. Just say that you don’t want white kids to learn about racism.”

“If we understand the systemic nature of racism, then that will help us really understand our society, and hopefully improve it,” King added. “Laws like this – it’s simply that people do not want to improve society. History is about power, and these people want to continue in a system that they have enjoyed.”

While diversity training and the 1619 Project have been major targets, critical race theory has more recently become the watchword of the moral panic. Developed by Black legal scholars at Harvard in the 1980s, critical race theory is a mode of thinking that examines the ways in which racism was embedded into American law.

“Its effectiveness created a backlash,” said Keffrelyn D Brown, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education who argues that critical race theory does have a place in classrooms. Brown said that she believes students should learn about racism in school, but that teachers need tools and frameworks to make those discussions productive.

“If we are teaching this, we need to think about racism as just as robust a content area as if we were talking about discrete mathematics or the life cycle,” Brown said. “I find that critical race theory provides a really elegant and clear way for students to understand racism from an informed perspective.”

Multiple states are trying to ban schools from teaching the 1619 Project. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein/The Guardian

But in the hands of the American right, critical race theory has morphed into an existential threat. In early January, just five days after rightwing rioters had stormed the US Capitol, the Heritage Foundation, a rightwing thinktank with close ties to the Trump administration, hosted a panel discussion about the threat of “the new intolerance” and its “grip on America”.

“Critical race theory is the complete rejection of the best ideas of the American founding. This is some dangerous, dangerous philosophical poisoning in the blood stream,” said Angela Sailor, a VP of the Heritage Foundation’s Feulner Institute and the moderator of the event.

“The rigid persistence with which believers apply this theory has made critical race theory a constant daily presence in the lives of hundreds of millions of people,” she added, in an assessment that will probably come as a surprise to hundreds of millions of people.

The Heritage Foundation has been one of the top campaigners against critical race theory, alongside the Manhattan Institute, another conservative thinktank known for promoting the “broken windows” theory of policing.

Bridging the two groups is Christopher Rufo, a documentary film-maker who has become the leading spokesperson against critical race theory on television and on Twitter. As a visiting fellow at Heritage, he produced a report arguing that critical race theory makes inequality worse, and in April the Manhattan Institute appointed him the director of a new “Initiative on Critical Race Theory”. (Rufo is also affiliated with another rightwing thinktank, the Discovery Institute, which is best known for its repeated attempts to smuggle Christian theology into US public schools under the guise of the pseudoscientific “intelligent design”.)

A host of new organizations has also sprung up to spread the fear of critical race theory far and wide. The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (Fair) launched recently with an advisory board composed of anti-“woke” media figures and academics. The group is so far encouraging opposition to the grant program McConnell opposed and has highlighted a legal challenge to a debt relief program for Black farmers as a “profile in courage”.

Those who take the Fair “pledge” can also join a message board where members discuss their activism against critical race theory in schools and access resources such as the guide, How to Talk to a Critical Theorist, which begins, “In many ways, Critical Theorists (or specifically Critical Race Theorists) are just like anyone.”

Parents Defending Education, another new organization, encourages parents to “expose” what’s happening in their schools and offers step-by-step instructions for parents to set up “Woke at X” Instagram accounts to document excessive “wokeness” at their children’s schools.

A new website, What Are They Learning, was set up by the Daily Caller reporter Luke Rosiak to serve as a “woke-e-leaks” for parents to report incidents of teachers mentioning racism in school. “In deep-red, 78% white Indiana, state department of education tells teachers to Talk about Race in the Classroom, cites Ibram X Kendi,” reads one such report. (The actual document submitted is, in fact, titled Talking about Race in the Classroom and appears to be a copy of a webinar offering teachers advice on discussing last year’s Black Lives Matter protests with their students.)

Such initiatives and others – the Educational Liberty Alliance, Critical Race Training in Education, No Left Turn in Education – have received enthusiastic support from the rightwing media, with the New York Post, Daily Caller, Federalist and Fox News serving up a steady stream of outrage fodder about the threat of critical race theory. Since 5 June, Fox News has mentioned “critical race theory” by name in 150 broadcasts, the Atlantic found.

For some of these groups, critical race theory is just one of many “liberal” ideas they don’t want their children to learn. No Left Turn in Education also complains about comprehensive sex education and includes a link on its website to an article suggesting that teaching children about the climate crisis is a form of indoctrination.

For others, it seems possible that attacking critical race theory is just a smokescreen for a bog standard conservative agenda. (Toward the end of the Heritage Foundation’s January panel, the group’s director of its center for education policy told viewers that the “most important” way to fight critical race theory was to support “school choice”, a longstanding policy goal of the right.)

Whatever their motives, today’s reactionaries are picking up the mantle of generations of Americans who have fought to ensure that white children are taught a version of America’s past that is more hagiographic than historic. The echoes are so strong that Adam Laats, a Binghamton University professor who studies the history of education in the US, remarked, “It’s confusing which decade we’re in.”

In the 1920s and 1930s, reactionaries objected to textbooks that gave credence to the progressive historian Charles Beard’s argument that the founders’ motives were not strictly principled, but instead were influenced by economic self-interest, according to Seth Cotlar, a history professor at Willamette University.

In 1923, an Oregon state government controlled by members of the resurgent Ku Klux Klan enacted a law that banned the use of any textbook in schools that “speaks slightingly of the founders of the republic, or of the men who preserved the union, or which belittles or undervalues their work”. And in the 1930s, conservatives waged what Laats called a “frenzied campaign” against the textbooks of Harold Rugg, another progressive historian, that actually resulted in a book burning in Bradner, Ohio.

For those supporting the resurgent Klan, “To speak ill of a founder was akin to a kind of sacrilege,” said Cotlar.

Another battle over textbooks flared in the 1990s when Lynne Cheney launched a high-profile campaign against an effort to introduce new standards for teaching US history, which she found insufficiently “celebratory” and lacking “a tone of affirmation”. Harriet Tubman, the KKK, and McCarthyism all received too much attention, Cheney complained, and George Washington and Robert E Lee not enough.

The decades change the fixation on maintaining a false idea of historic figures as pure founts of virtue remains. Today, the single contention in the 1619 Project that has drawn the most vociferous outrage is author Nikole Hannah-Jones’s assertion that “one of the primary reasons” colonists fought for independence was to preserve the institution of slavery. Hannah-Jones was denied tenure by the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees, which overruled the dean, faculty and university, reportedly due to political pressure from conservative critics of the 1619 Project.

“Underlying this is the never-solved dilemma about what history class is supposed to do,” said Laats. “For some people it’s supposed to be a pep talk before the game, a well of pure inspiration for young people, and I think that is why the danger seems so intense to conservatives.

“It’s not enough to be balanced it’s not adequate to say that we balance out criticism of the past with praise of the past. The idea is that a drop of poison is all you need to ruin the well.”

Black Lives Matter protesters march in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Still, the fact that reactionaries are looking to legislate against certain ideas may be a sign of just how weak their own position is.

Laats suspects that the right is using “critical race theory” as a euphemism. “You can’t go to a school board and say you want to ban the idea that Black Lives Matter.

“They’ve given up on arguing in favor of indoctrination and instead say that critical race theory is the actual indoctrination,” he said of the conservative movement. “They’ve given up on arguing in favor of racism to say that critical race theory is the real racism. This campaign against the teaching of critical race theory is scary, and it’s a sign of great strength, but it’s strength in favor of an idea that’s already lost.”

Last week I called Paweł Machcewicz, a Polish historian who has been at the center of a battle in his own country between those who want to tell the truth about the past, and those who want to weaponize history for political purposes. Machcewicz was one of the historians who uncovered evidence of Polish complicity in Nazi war crimes, and as the founding director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, he attempted to provide an accurate account of Poland’s experience in the war. The far-right ruling party, Law and Justice, deemed the museum insufficiently patriotic and fired him. The next year, the government passed legislation to outlaw accusing Poland of complicity in Nazi war crimes.

“Democracy turned out to be very fragile,” Machcewicz said. “I knew history was important for Law and Justice, but it became a sort of obsession. I never thought that as a founding director of a museum of the second world war, I would become a public enemy.”

“You never know what price you have to pay for independent history,” he added. “I don’t think it will ever go as far in the US as Poland, but some years ago, I also felt quite secure in my country.”


The Model T Ford Goes To War

Henry Ford was a staunch pacifist and was not at all inclined to see his Model T used during the First World War, despite its then being known as “The War To End All Wars”. Henry Ford would not involve himself or his company in building specialized versions of the Model T for military use, but he was willing to sell Model T rolling chassis and spare parts to the military and ambulance services of nations involved in the conflict for them to convert however they wished.

Perhaps the best known conversion for service in WW1 was as an ambulance. Some of these ambulances were driven by people who would become famous in the United States after the war including Walt Disney and Ernest Hemmingway. A Model T ambulance could go places many other vehicles could not and if it did get stuck a group of soldiers would normally be able to lift and bounce it enough to get it unstuck. A typical Model T tipped the scales at around 1,300 lbs so it was not a heavy vehicle.

There were quite a number of innovative conversions of the Model T made for military service. All of them are interesting and the Polish use of a Model T to create an early armored car is one. The Poles designated their armored car the Ford FT-B. This Model T conversion was created in two weeks and served the Polish Army well in their battles with the Russian Bolsheviks.

Before the war the Model T had been available with many after-market conversions, including a half-track conversion. For use in the Great War there was even a full-track version created and trialed.

At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 Model T Fords were a part of the action. These Model T’s were purchased by allied and associated organizations from Ford dealerships in Britain and France with the first American Field Service ambulances appearing at the front working to transport French wounded in 1915.

The French Army fielded about 11,000 Model T’s for the war effort. British and Empire Forces fielded somewhere between 20,000 to 30,000 and the Tin Lizzy’s were used in Europe, Africa and the Middle East campaigns.

Although the Great War had begun in 1914 it was not until 1917 that the United States entered the war. Henry Ford had been a prominent supporter of the “Keep America Out of the War” movement but once the United States was committed to entering the fight he realized he would need to supply what his nation demanded. 390,000 Model T’s were made and sold to the US Army, of which 15,000 saw service with the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.) in the war in Europe, and without doubt they served to help secure its speedy end.

Generally speaking the Ford Model T served remarkably well during the Great War and was generally much appreciated by those who manned them, and those who were rescued by them. One would be soldier-poet penned this tongue-in-cheek piece based on Psalm 23:

The Ford is my car
I shall not want another.
It maketh me to lie down in wet places
It soileth my soul
It leadeth me into deep waters
It leadeth me into paths of ridicule for its namesake
It prepareth a breakdown for me in the presence of mine enemies.
Yea, though I run through the valleys, I am towed up the hill
I fear great evil when it is with me.
Its rods and its engines discomfort me
It annointeth my face with oil
Its tank runneth over.
Surely to goodness if this thing follow me all the days of my life,
I shall dwell in the house of the insane forever.


The Yalta Conference, 1945

The Yalta Conference took place in a Russian resort town in the Crimea from February 4–11, 1945, during World War Two. At Yalta, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt , British Prime Minister Winston Churchill , and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin made important decisions regarding the future progress of the war and the postwar world.

The Allied leaders came to Yalta knowing that an Allied victory in Europe was practically inevitable but less convinced that the Pacific war was nearing an end. Recognizing that a victory over Japan might require a protracted fight, the United States and Great Britain saw a major strategic advantage to Soviet participation in the Pacific theater. At Yalta, Roosevelt and Churchill discussed with Stalin the conditions under which the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan and all three agreed that, in exchange for potentially crucial Soviet participation in the Pacific theater, the Soviets would be granted a sphere of influence in Manchuria following Japan’s surrender. This included the southern portion of Sakhalin, a lease at Port Arthur (now Lüshunkou), a share in the operation of the Manchurian railroads, and the Kurile Islands. This agreement was the major concrete accomplishment of the Yalta Conference.

The Allied leaders also discussed the future of Germany, Eastern Europe and the United Nations. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agreed not only to include France in the postwar governing of Germany, but also that Germany should assume some, but not all, responsibility for reparations following the war. The Americans and the British generally agreed that future governments of the Eastern European nations bordering the Soviet Union should be “friendly” to the Soviet regime while the Soviets pledged to allow free elections in all territories liberated from Nazi Germany. Negotiators also released a declaration on Poland, providing for the inclusion of Communists in the postwar national government. In discussions regarding the future of the United Nations, all parties agreed to an American plan concerning voting procedures in the Security Council, which had been expanded to five permanent members following the inclusion of France. Each of these permanent members was to hold a veto on decisions before the Security Council.


The French and Indian War (1754-1763): Causes and Outbreak

The French and Indian War is one of the most significant, yet widely forgotten, events in American history. It was a conflict that pitted two of history’s greatest empires, Great Britain and France, against each other for control of the North American continent. Swept up in the struggle were the inhabitants of New France, the British colonists, the Native Americans, and regular troops from France and Britain. While the major fighting occurred in New York, Pennsylvania, Canada, and Nova Scotia, the conflict had far greater implications overseas and ignited the Seven Years’ War worldwide.

Since the late 17 th century, hostilities between France and Great Britain in North America had been continuous. Three major conflicts—King William’s War (1689-1697), Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713), and King George’s War (1744-1748)—had all begun in Europe and made their way to the colonies. The French and Indian War is unique, because the fighting began in North America and spread to the rest of the world. In western Pennsylvania, the order to fire the first shots of the conflict were given by none other than a young officer from Virginia named George Washington. Many men, both American and British, who would serve in the Revolutionary War found themselves engulfed in the struggle.

During King George's War, the British captured the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. This fortress was used as a bargaining chip during the negotiations for the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which officially ended the war.

What was it that both sides wanted to obtain during the French and Indian War? The answer is the same as for most wars for empire—economical and territorial expansion, and to project influence over new lands and peoples.

By the 1750s, the population of Britain’s colonies in North America was over 1 million. Its inhabitants were concentrated along the eastern seaboard from Maine (Massachusetts) to Georgia, and in Nova Scotia, which was ceded to Britain following the War of Spanish Succession. Because the Atlantic Ocean rested to the east of the colonies, there was only one direction to expand—westward. As for the French, the colony of New France numbered just over 60,000, and its territorial holdings stretched in a large arc from the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence River, through the Great Lakes, and down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. The majority of settlers occupied Canada, but forts and outposts kept communications open along the waterways leading down to Louisiana. With the French to the west and the Spanish in Florida, the British colonists were boxed in. Stuck in the middle were the Native Americans, and many of them, like the Iroquois, were effective in commercially pitting Britain and France against each other all the while remaining a “neutral” nation.

New France, whose economy revolved around the fur trade, was not at all a lucrative colony for King Louis XV. That did not, however, stop France from working to prevent Britain from expanding its empire in North America. The area of contention that would ultimately serve as the spark to ignite the powder keg of war was a 200,000 square mile region known as the Ohio River Valley.

The Ohio River begins its journey at present-day Pittsburgh, where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge with it, creating what is known as the “Forks,” and eventually empties into the Mississippi River in Illinois. This waterway was crucial for France to maintain possession of in order to keep open its line of communication with its military outposts and settlements to the south. By the late 1740s, a recent uptick in British traders moving through the region to do business with the Native Americans put New France on high alert. It was only a matter of time before Britain, who saw the Forks of the Ohio as part of the King’s dominion, sent a military force from Pennsylvania or Virginia to assert its dominance in the region.

In response to the threat of British encroachment in the Ohio River Valley, in June 1749, the governor of New France dispatched a small force of over 200 men to travel through the region to reaffirm French claims and reestablish His Most Christian Majesty’s authority over the Native Americans, who were keener on trading with the British. Along the way, the French commander, Captain Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville, buried multiple lead plates inscribed with words which claimed the valley and its waterways for Louis XV. In the end, the mission was anything but a success. It was clear that the Native Americans were not solely devoted to the French any longer.

In 1747, the Ohio Company was founded to open trade into the Ohio River Valley and further expand Virginia westward. As Britain’s continued interest in the region grew, France began constructing forts below the Great Lakes with the intention of securing the Forks. The British colonies beat them there. In the spring of 1754, Virginia troops reached the confluence and began constructing a fortification. However, a larger Canadian force arrived and the Virginians abandoned the site. Subsequently, the French built Fort Duquesne. Now it was Britain’s turn to respond.

Arriving in the Ohio Country a month after the French occupied the Forks were over 100 men under the command of 22 year old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington of Virginia. They encamped 50 miles to the east of the Forks in an open field known as Great Meadows. Dispatched from Fort Duquesne and heading in their direction was a small French party led by Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville with orders to obtain intelligence on the British force and if possible, demand them to leave. Washington responded to the news of the French movement and led a force of his own to intercept them. With 40 Virginians and roughly a dozen Iroquois allies, Washington ambushed Jumonville not far from Great Meadows. These were the first shots fired during the French and Indian War and would have global ramifications. The skirmish left Jumonville and nine of his men dead, as well as twenty-one others wounded. A survivor made his way back to Fort Duquesne and reported to his superiors what had happened.

Washington returned to Great Meadows and constructed a crude palisade named Fort Necessity. On July 3, a force of over 300 Canadians and Native Americans led my Jumonville’s brother surrounded and attacked Washington. The Virginian was forced to capitulate and, through poor translating, signed a document admitting to the “assassination” of Ensign Jumonville. After receiving the news of the loss of the Ohio River Valley, London reacted. The following year, British regular regiments were on their way across the Atlantic.

Major-General Braddock's death at the Battle of the Monongahela Wikimedia

On February 19, 1755, newly-appointed Major General Edward Braddock, Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in North America, arrived in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The British were now poised to outmaneuver the French and capture territories in New York, Nova Scotia, and the Ohio River Valley before a formal declaration of war could be made between both countries. Braddock, with orders in hand from Britain’s Captain-General, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had just the plan to do so.

In the middle of April, the general met in Alexandria with the royal governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to discuss a four-pronged offensive that summer to oust the French from His Majesty’s North American dominion. Armies consisting of regular troops, colonial provincials, and Native American auxiliaries were assembled, and that summer Britain made its mighty thrust to reclaim the continent.

No war had officially been declared by Britain or France, but fighting raged in Nova Scotia, Upstate New York, and Western Pennsylvania. A British force succeeded in capturing two forts in Acadia, thus ousting French influence from the region. At the southern shore of Lake George in New York, an entirely colonial force threw back repeated assaults by professional French troops and prevented the crucial waterway from falling into enemy hands. These two victories were offset, however, by one of the most disastrous defeats in British military history. On July 9, 1755, less than ten miles outside of Fort Duquesne, a force of 1,500 regulars and provincials led by General Braddock was slaughtered at the Battle of the Monongahela. Over 900 men fell killed, wounded, or captured to the French, including Braddock, who succumbed to his wounded several days later. The British expedition that summer against Fort Niagara along Lake Ontario failed to materialize and was called off. French presence remained in the Ohio River Valley, Great Lakes, and along Lake Champlain.

Seventeen fifty-five was a disaster for British arms in North America that drew the opposing battle lines for the coming years. Blood had been spilled in an undeclared war on the continent that would ignite a world war the following spring.


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