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.
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:
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. Eoin
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.
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!
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.
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?
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!