A day for fighting

Eoin Purcell

Strange concurrence
Looking over the events for the day I was struck by the prevalence of violent events that happened today> I thought a flavour of them might serve to show what I mean:

The Battle of Taierzhuang was in full flow in 1938. This battle although far from a critical turning point in the war, provided a much needed victory for the Chinese and helped galvanize Chinese morale. I find these battles so interesting, they turn the course of events, or they don’t but might have, or even more critically, they set the stage for future events.

The Crimean War: Either today or tomorrow, depending on where you look, Britain and France declared war on Russia. You’ll find and interesting time line for that war here on the Victorian Web. Link many wars, it is remembered principally for incidentals, like the Charge of The Light Brigade and Florence Nightingale rather than the real reason, the outcomes or the conflict itself. (PS: Mostly I just find the above video funny)

Then there is the president-to-be, Andrew Jackson led Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Frankly I’ve thought for a while that Jackson was a man who deserved attention and have been interested in the biography that has been selling in large numbers in the US. Of course he was not without his failings including a somewhat uncompromising attitude towards the Native American peoples. The Video below shows how he continued that policy when he became president.

The last event that struck me was the Battle of Komandorski Islands in the North Pacific in 1943. I had never even heard of ths engagement but the Wikipedia Article is fascinating:

Because of the remote location of the battle and chance encounter on open ocean, neither fleet had air or submarine assistance, making this the only engagement exclusively between surface ships in the Pacific Theatre, and the last pure gunnery duel between major combatants in American naval history.

All told, quite a day for the violence!

John Hawkwood: Diabolical Englishman

Eoin Purcell

From Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bramhall/3212078665/">dvdbramhall</a>
From Flickr user dvdbramhall

Image owned by dvdbramhall, cc

Battles & Such
Some years ago I read a fascinating biography of John Hawkwood an English condottiero (mercenary) in 14th century Italy. His story was a fascinating one. It was called John Hawkwood: Diabolical Englishman and it was written by Frances Stonor Saunders. I’d encourage anyone interested in the period of Italian history to read the book. It will help you get under the skin of a very, very complicated society.

The reason I raise this today is that I stumbled across an interesting note about today’s date on Wikipedia:

1387 – Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood leads Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona.

A little digging around the world of online material yields some interesting results. There is the preview version of John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-century Italy by William Caferro. The book page on Google Books is full of information and really a very rich resource worth visiting. It certainly beats the pants off the book page for Frances Stonor Saunders’ book.

Worth reading more on Hawkwood I suggest, if only as a way to understand what was a very confusing period.

The Brazillian Emperor from Portugal

Eoin Purcell

Monument to the Independence. Project by Ettore Ximenes for the 100th anniversary of Brazilian Independence. São Paulo, Brazil. Thanks to Flick user savissivik & CC
Monument to the Independence. Project by Ettore Ximenes for the 100th anniversary of Brazilian Independence. São Paulo, Brazil. Thanks to Flick user savissivik & CC

No, really!
War brings the oddest changes to the world and for Brazil the wars on mainland Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century brought a new importance, elevation within the empire of Portugal when it served as the capital of the government of Portugal in exile, headed by the King of Portugal, John VI.

The Portuguese royal family lived in Rio de Janeiro and the eldest son and heir apparent Pedro stayed behind in Brazil on his family’s return to Europe in 1821. Pedro founded the Empire of Brazil and declared himself Emperor in rather dramatic fashion (See below) splitting from Portugal in the process. He was crowned n 1 December, hence the post today.

Brazil and the Brazilians Portrayed in Historical and Descriptive Sketches By Daniel Parish Kidder, James Cooley Fletcher

But it doesn’t end there
Pedro served briefly as King of Portugal before abdicating in favour of his daughter, a trick he pulled again in Brazil, in favour of his son on this occasion. He then fought a war to reinstate his daughter as Queen of Portugal as she has been usurped by his Absolutist brother Michael. The dynastic drive of some of these royal families is truly impressive. Emperors and Queens all in one generation of Portuguese Hapsburgs!

This requires further reading I think!

The 360th Anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia

Münster, Prinzipalmarkt

(Libär: VIA FLICKR & CC)

Peace is not made at the council table or by treaties, but in the hearts of men.

Hoover, Herbert Clark on Peace
Quote from Quotations Book

What’s this you say?
The Westphalian System has been the basis for non-intervention for centuries. It has been the key to a system of sovereignty that has excluded non domestic forces from internal politics and religion. But its origins are in the Thirty Years War and religious hatred, chaos and war of the early to mid seventeenth century.

The wars tore apart the centre of Europe engulfing the lands now occupied by German, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and others. Religion and power formed a dangerous vortex for ordinary and minor figures. Even the powerful did not escape death and ruination.

My point in choosing this to remember today?
If I have any is that treaties and peace agreements, even ones as old as 360 years, can impact our lives even now. It is remarkable that the concepts that emerged from Westphalia served as the basis for our ideas of national sovereignty, self determination and underpinned both the positive and the negative aspects of nationalism.

Google Books has quite a few full view books that mention the Peace and offer us an insight too. Like this one, History of the Revolutions in Europe, from the Subversion of the Roman Empire in the West, to the Congress of Vienna: From the French of Christopher William Koch. The embedded image gives a good idea of what that focuses on concerning Westphalia.

History of the Revolutions in Europe, from the Subversion of the Roman Empire in the West, to the Congress of Vienna From the French of Christopher William Koch. With a Continuation to the Year 1815 By Christophe Koch

It’s not a simple path that history takes and we should learn that well.

Public Domain Works & GBS

Getting sick of Public Domain Works not appearing in GBS? There is much more to the story sometimes than you would think!

Eoin Purcell

Cross Posted @ Eoin Purcell’s Blog

Search Max Weber and see what happens
Here is the result when you search with no limits here is the result when you limit your search to full view books. Here is a biography for Weber. He died in 1920 and so by any stretch his work is out of copyright, in the public domain and ought by rights to be free to view in a scheme like google’s yet you cannot find a copy. What is going on?

How does Google Define Full View?
Here’s how:

Full View

You can see books in Full View if the book is out of copyright, or if the publisher or author has asked to make the book fully viewable. The Full View allows you to view any page from the book, and if the book is in the public domain, you can download, save and print a PDF version to read at your own pace.

Is there no work from this period in a library in the scheme?
This is the current list of Library Partners in Google’s Book Search program. At random I tested the catalogue of three of them.
The University of Virginia has in its archive a 1927 Edition of Weber’s General Economic History published by Greenberg in 1927.
Columbia has a similar edition
New York Public Library has the same edition too.

And then it occurred to me: what about the translator
And therein lies the solution. Weber was writing originally in German and the translator for this edition was Frank H Knight who’s bio is here. When you realise that, it all makes sense. The translation copyright therefore is not in the public domain! Such is life!

Digging and digging, finding outr stuff,