Sunday, November 27, 2011

This Blog became the Website

This blog continue to exist as the website
on the new location

If you liked this blog, you are very welcome to visit 

There you can find all old posts and also a lot of new
Thank you !!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Manchester Martyrs

In September 1867, Colonel Thomas Kelly and Captain Timothy Deasy were arrested in the centre of Manchester on suspicion of terrorism. News of their arrest was immediately sent to Mr. Disraeli, the Prime Minister, as Colonel Kelly was the most prominent Fenian of them all, having only recently been confirmed as Chief Executive of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and as such was considered quite a capture. A few days later the both prisoners were conveyed from the Court House in Manchester to the County Jail on Hyde Road, West Gorton. They were handcuffed and locked in two separate compartments inside the Police van, there was a posse of 12 policemen to escort them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Place to Visit: Eastnor Castle, UK

Eastnor was built by the 2nd Baron (Lord) Somers, later 1st Earl, between 1810 and 1824. The combination of inherited wealth, his judicious marriage to the daughter of the eminent and rich Worcestershire historian, Rev. Treadway Russell Nash, and his great ambition prompted the 1st earl to commission a castle to impress his contemporaries and raise his family into the higher ranks of the ruling class. Then, as now, the size and splendour of a country house evidenced the standing and fortune of any family.

His architect, the young Robert Smirke, who was later well known for his design for the British Museum, proposed a Norman Revival style. From a distance, Eastnor tried to create the impression of an Edward Ist-style medieval fortress guarding the Welsh Borders. It was a symbolic a defiant assertion of power by an aristocrat in a period of fear and uncertainty following the French Revolution and during the Napoleonic Wars.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thomas Müntzer and Peasants' War

Peasant-plebeian movement in Reformation strongest was expressed in the Anabaptist movement and the Peasants' War in Germany 1524-1525. Peasants and urban population (plebs) could not accept Lutheranism and princely Reformation. There were a new sects in the Reformation movement. Anabaptists (re-baptized because they required re-baptism in the mature years of life) were particularly disseminated in the plebeian classes. Some revolutionary Anabaptists preached the abolition of private property and common property.

Among these Anabaptists in Zwickau came preacher Thomas Müntzer and committed to them a strong influence. Spoke out strongly against Luther - "fat skin from Wittenberg," as he called it - as Luther put faith in the defense of private property and wealth. Müntzer was against the nobility, against feudalism, against class society and the authorities and called for the armed struggle against the utilization of people. Nobles and priests must leave the castles and palaces, begin to live in ordinary houses and live like all other people.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Third Crusade: Richard The Lionheart in comparison with other crusaders

The allure of Jerusalem

King Richard I of England twice marched inland from the Palestinian coast towards Jerusalem, reaching the small dismantled fortress at Beit Nuba, just 12 miles from the Holy City - in December 1191 and gain in June 1192.
Christian warrior against the Muslim
On both occasions the Lionheart probably had little or no intention of actually prosecuting an attack on the city - instead these were feints, designed to test Saladin's resolve and to augment diplomatic negotiations. In all this, the king followed the best precepts of medieval generalship, but he failed to account for the distinct nature of crusading warfare - species of conflict underpinned by religious ideology and dependent upon the overwhelming devotional allure of Jerusalem.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

King Charles’ II Flight after the Battle of Worcester

On Friday 5th of September 1651 the future king Charles II hid in a Shropshire barn. It was Francis Wolfe of madley who provided this shelter from imprisonment and death, as Charles fled from defeat at the Battle of Worcester. Years later, after his restoration to the throne, the king gave a magnificent silver tankard to the Wolfe family in recognition of their kindness and bravery in concealing him. “King Charles’ barn” still stands in Madeley today.

King Charles II of England
What actually happened?

After his campaign went badly and finally finished at Worcester in 1651, Charles fled north out the Worcester and rode through the night, arriving in Shropshire on the morning of Thursday 4th. One of his companions advised him to make for “White Ladies”, a large timber-framed house on the site of a medieval nunnery. The property was owned by a Catholic family sympathetic to the Royal cause. The owners were away, but luckily for Charles, their servants the Penderel family were staunchly Royalist. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Operation "Flaming Dart"

Operation Flaming Dart was America’s response in 1965 to North Vietnamese attacks on US bases in South Vietnam. Operation Flaming Dart commenced in February 1965 and was ordered by US President Lyndon B Johnson. After a series of attacks on US bases in South Vietnam, mainly the base at Pleiku, Johnson ordered a series of air attacks on North Vietnamese bases in an attempt to warn off the government in Hanoi.

On February 7th 1965 the US base at Camp Holloway was attacked by the Viet Cong. Camp Holloway was near to the South Vietnamese town of Pleiku. Eight US soldiers were killed with over 100 injured. Johnson had two choices. He could both ignore it and treat the attack as a minor one that would not lead to an escalation in terms of the scale of attacks on US bases. Alternately, he could, as commander-in-chief of US forces, order a major military response in a show of power that the Hanoi government would have to respond to. The US military had already selected a number of military targets in North Vietnam and Johnson opted for the second option – though there is little evidence that Johnson was willing to try the diplomatic approach at this moment in time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The horse in Middle Ages

The horse was an integral and essential component of medieval existence. Horses were needed for tournaments, for hunting, for pleasure, for travel, for transport and haulage, for agricultural work, and for war.

Ladies in hunting

Friday, November 4, 2011

William Wilberforce's Mission for Humane Rights

William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833)
In the late 1700s, when William Wilberforce was a teenager, English traders raided the African coast on the Gulf of Guinea, captured between 35,000 and 50,000 Africans a year, shipped them across the Atlantic, and sold them into slavery. It was a profitable business that many powerful people had become dependent upon. One publicist for the West Indies trade wrote, "The impossibility of doing without slaves in the West Indies will always prevent this traffic being dropped. The necessity, the absolute necessity, then, of carrying it on, must, since there is no other, be its excuse."

By the late 1700s, the economics of slavery were so entrenched that only a handful of people thought anything could be done about it. That handful included William Wilberforce.

This would have surprised those who knew Wilberforce as a young man. He grew up surrounded by wealth. He was a native of Hull and educated at St. John's College at Cambridge. But he wasn't a serious student. A neighbor at Cambridge recalled, "When he [Wilberforce] returned late in the evening to his rooms, he would summon me to join him…. He was so winning and amusing that I often sat up half the night with him, much to the detriment of my attendance at lectures the next day."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reign of Tsar Ivan IV, "The Terrible"

Ivan IV, the Terrible
Ivan IV (1533 - 1584), known as "The Terrible" completed the centralization of Russia that begun with his predecessors. Though his influence is unquestioned, it is difficult to determine which of his actions were motivated by the cool rationalism of a power politician raised in an age of intrigue and sudden death and which were the act of a paranoid who felt beset by traitors.

 Early life

Ivan ascended the throne at the age of three. When Ivan was just three years old his father died from a boil and inflammation on his leg which developed into blood poisoning. Ivan was proclaimed the Grand Prince of Moscow at his father's request. At first, his mother Elena Glinskaya acted as a regent, but she died of what many believe to be assassination by poison when Ivan was only eight years old. According to his own letters, Ivan and his younger brother Yuri often felt neglected and offended by the mighty boyars from the Shuisky and Belsky families. He was fortunate to survive his minority, as boyar families struggled to reassert their authority. In 1547 he became the first ruler to take formally the title Czar of all Russians, and he moved quickly thereafter to extend the authority and to destroy boyar independence.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review: Matilda: Queen of the Conqueror By Tracy Borman

Behind every great man, so the saying goes, is a great woman - or, in the case of the man known to posterity as William the Conqueror, a diminutive one. William's wife Matilda of Flanders stood little more than four feet tall, but she loomed large, all the same, in the creation of his newly royal dynasty.

The first of her attributes that appealed to the young William, duke of Normandy, was her impeccably blue blood. Matilda's father, Baldwin, was count of the wealthy and strategically significant territories of Flanders, and a descendant of the great Charlemagne, while her mother, Adela, was a daughter of the king of France. Her lineage promised to bestow both lustre and legitimacy on the bastard-born Norman duke, whose power, amid the brutal unpredictability of eleventh-century politics, had always depended principally on the strength of his sword-arm.

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