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EmperorNero's Western History

 
 
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 07:58 am
Humans first settled in Europe about 40.000 years ago. They spent their days as hunters and gatherers in small tribes, moving around as nomads. Not much happened until around 10.000 BC some chick had the idea to put some seeds in the ground and wait around for them to grow. This was a way more stable food supply than hunting and gathering, but it also required more labor. Thus it was now an advantage to have many children to help out, who formerly had been a annoyance to carry around. The population ten-folded within a short time.

Those humans now had the food surplus to get together and form civilizations. Which means extra societal complexity so you can have cities, government and priests. Civilizations at first formed where the conditions for agriculture were the best; in the west that was around the Mediterranean sea. Greek civilization was first on Crete, but then the Greek mainland became more prosperous and expanded their colonies all around the Mediterranean. They were organized in city states, and pretty busy beating each others over the head. So when one of the other ancient civilizations, Persia, came around invading, after all that fighting the Greek city states were ready to repeal the invasion. But then they went on battling each others and went into decline. The Macedonians to the north managed to take over the flame and battle their way all up to India. But when their empire fractured up Greece was conquered by the Romans.

The Romans only a while ago had been an unimportant middle-Italian city with an Etruscan king. But when they had a particularly bad king, they had the idea that no man should hold too much power, and declared themselves independent. Every Roman land owner had to do a few years of military service. This worked pretty good, since they managed to keep beating people who tried to invade them until they pretty much ruled central Italy. So they just kept on being attacked and ended up beating all of Italy, all around the Mediterranean sea and their big rival the Phoenicians in north Africa. But there was a problem with winning all the time. They had slavery back then, so every victory meant more slaves came to the empire. Big farms with slaves easily out-competed the small farmers. This had two effects. There were fewer land owning peasants left to fight in the army and there were a bunch of useless poor people hanging around in the cities who the state had to feed. So one day a guy had the idea to put those useless poor people into the army instead. The troops now had no particular interest in being loyal to the republic. So a general took his troops to Rome and made himself emperor. From there Rome was ruled by emperors and didn't expand much, but dug in to keep their wealth to themselves. The Roman empire worked so great that Romans didn't feel the need to join the army. Instead Germanic tribes to the north of the empire were paid to do the dirty work of defending the empire. That meant that the Germanic tribes now learned Roman military tricks and then returned to their brutish tribal life to teach their fellows. Pretty soon the Germans thought they would be much better at running the empire themselves and gave the Romans a invasion and free beating and each carved out their own empires. In the end it was a bunch of Swedes who burned down Rome. It turned out they weren't that good at all that Roman stuff, so there was a bit of a dark age for a while. In that time a bunch of Saxons and Angles conquered Britain.

The European kingdoms went on battling each others until they were invaded by muslims from the south, which made them band together and beat the invaders. Since beating the muslims out of Spain had worked so great, the Spanish just continued their conquering in the new world. And they ended up with a cool overseas empire. But aforementioned Saxons and Angles in Britain, who now called themselves British, turned up to the stage and made their own, even bigger, empire. Which was mainly about getting a hold of India which produced a lot of stuff at the time. The British didn't just steal all the stuff from places they conquered but maintained them, which turned out to be a better long term strategy. Being able to tell all those people that 'you're in my empire now' had to do with some Brit having the idea to build a steam engine and the Brits were now much better at producing guns and stuff than everybody else. They conquered a fourth of the world, among that a strip of colonies on the American east coast. America was scarcely populated, so the British thought they could send over their own people. This was handy, since they had just figured out infant mortality, so they had a lot of spare people.

Nobody expected that at one point those colonies were tired of being bossed around by some British king half way around the world, they caused so much trouble that the Brits just said 'screw it, you can have it' and went on cashing in from the rest of their empire.

Now the trouble arose from the decedents of those Germanic tribes who had not snatched a piece of the Roman empire, but rather had stayed at home or had filled the void left by those that had gone. They quite imaginatively were called Germans and thought that this industrialization thing was a great idea, and it worked so great for them that they thought they might be quite capable of taking over the British empire. Which they then tried to do, causing trouble all around the British empire. As for the fight in Europe they pretty much got stuck in the trenches in France. And since everyone from the British empire pitched in, even those sassy colonists, the Germans were eventually starved out and lost.
Understandably the Brits were pissed at them for trying. And the war had been fricking expensive. Neither the British or their colonists were really in the mood to finance another war. Unfortunately the Germans wanted to try again. So the British hoped that if they just didn't go to war, there would be no war. Which would technically be right. But the Germans didn't really care about that technicality, more about Lebensraum, so they just went ahead and conquered most of Europe. By then the British almost spilled their tea and spent whatever they had to to fight the Germans, which they managed to do with the help of their former colonists. But the war was so expensive that the British didn't have the cash left to finance their empire, so the British had to give it back to whoever was there before and retreat to their little island.

This really fitted the long term plan of the colonists, who now called themselves Americans, and by now had beat everybody over the head who was in the way of them and the western coast of the American continent. The rest of the western world now lay in rubble or was so far in debt that the Americans pretty much were the only ones left to produce anything. Which they did. They were now the big guy. But there was another big guy, Russians who wanted to share. Ironically an idea thought up by a German. And the Americans and the Russians got into quite a lot of proxy wars over whether it was a good idea to share. Such as in Vietnam. But many people in America thought that it was too mean to have a war, so the Americans had to retreat. The people who wanted to share eventually went belly up because they had forgotten the 'share' part. Then the Americans were the only big guy left. By that the muslims felt picked on, who were beat back just a few centuries ago. So they flew an airplane into a tower, which ironically an American had invented a century earlier. This pissed off the westerners so they got themselves into a brawl with the muslims. Which seems to be the current situation. I will add add to this post as circumstances unfold.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 965 • Replies: 11
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Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 08:08 am
@EmperorNero,
Fantasy manuscripts belong in the Creative Writing section, even if they are loosely rooted in reality by the use of proper nouns.
0 Replies
 
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 08:09 am
@EmperorNero,
Didymos Thomas;101442 wrote:
Fantasy manuscripts belong in the Creative Writing section, even if they are loosely rooted in reality by the use of proper nouns.


You're being mean. As a moderator you shouldn't pick on people.
What do you dislike about it?
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 08:17 am
@EmperorNero,
I dont know what or how I am to reply. Is there a purpose to this thread? Suspicious, I am , young apprentice. Its concise, reasonably accurate but has certain input that causes me to question , motives.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 08:22 am
@EmperorNero,
Yeah, maybe that was kinda harsh, but I'm a history major and cringe at this sort of product. I did not like the historical narrative - it suffers from a shallow perspective. I'm not saying you are shallow (I'm not that mean), I'm saying that the universe of information used to develop the narrative is shallow. The narrative also suffers from strange assertions.

Strange assertions - like having many children was disadvantageous prior to agriculture because they were annoying to carry around. The population boom was brought on by the food surplus of agriculture.

You say that the American colonists had a "long term plan" to gain independence, when this is simply not the case. It's pure nonsense, and the reverse is true.

Somehow you skip from American independence to America as a superpower locked in the Cold War, which means you forgot two World Wars. Kinda important stuff, ya know?

Oh, and Vietnam was not a proxy war. It just happened to be that many American leaders believed it was despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

There is a single book, a great book, that covers both the causes of the American Revolution and America's involvement in Vietnam. It's Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly. In it you will learn how British folly lead to the Revolution, and you will learn how the folly of American leadership lead to the Vietnam blunder of over a decade.

There are a host of other problems; hardly a line passes without some error or misleading claim. Much of what you write is vaguely like what happened as best scholars can tell, but I mean vaguely.
0 Replies
 
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 08:23 am
@xris,
xris;101449 wrote:
I dont know what or how I am to reply. Is there a purpose to this thread? Suspicious, I am , young apprentice. Its concise, reasonably accurate but has certain input that causes me to question , motives.


I wanted to do a sarcastic recap of world history, and thought it easier to stay with the west.
It doesn't really have a point, except maybe that history isn't a bunch of dates, but all connected.

---------- Post added 11-03-2009 at 03:39 PM ----------

Didymos Thomas;101450 wrote:
Yeah, maybe that was kinda harsh, but I'm a history major and cringe at this sort of product. I did not like the historical narrative - it suffers from a shallow perspective. I'm not saying you are shallow (I'm not that mean), I'm saying that the universe of information used to develop the narrative is shallow. The narrative also suffers from strange assertions.


Okay then.

In such a short form it's bound to be shallow.
You can see I left out a lot of things entirely, like religion.

I'm just a dilettante historian, I appreciate the critique.

Didymos Thomas;101450 wrote:
Strange assertions - like having many children was disadvantageous prior to agriculture because they were annoying to carry around. The population boom was brought on by the food surplus of agriculture.


Yes, that's pretty much my idea of the neolithic revolution.
In nomadic hunter gatherer society having children wasn't that much of a benefit. When agriculture emerged the extra work power was a benefit. This wasn't an isolated incident, nor was it restricted to the west. But humanities population did five or ten double in that time.

Didymos Thomas;101450 wrote:
You say that the American colonists had a "long term plan" to gain independence, when this is simply not the case. It's pure nonsense, and the reverse is true.


Right, this was just sarcastic phrasing. I didn't mean to imply that.

Didymos Thomas;101450 wrote:
Somehow you skip from American independence to America as a superpower locked in the Cold War, which means you forgot two World Wars. Kinda important stuff, ya know?


I go through the world wars at another point. But yes, I sort off keep parts of US history short.

Didymos Thomas;101450 wrote:
Oh, and Vietnam was not a proxy war. It just happened to be that many American leaders believed it was despite mounting evidence to the contrary.


Well, ok. Point taken.
Maybe it doesn't fit the exact definition of a proxy war. But the north Vietnamese got their weapons largely from the Soviet block and shared their ideology. That's what I meant. i understand that they really fought for independence as they had done against other powers.
But the super powers seemed to have made it a proxy war.

Didymos Thomas;101450 wrote:
There is a single book, a great book, that covers both the causes of the American Revolution and America's involvement in Vietnam. It's Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly. In it you will learn how British folly lead to the Revolution, and you will learn how the folly of American leadership lead to the Vietnam blunder of over a decade.


I'll have a look at it.

Didymos Thomas;101450 wrote:
There are a host of other problems; hardly a line passes without some error or misleading claim. Much of what you write is vaguely like what happened as best scholars can tell, but I mean vaguely.


Well it was very brief and with a somewhat subjective focus.
And it is very simplified, which you might find misleading.
But it is hard to argue with 'every phrase is misleading'.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 09:31 am
@EmperorNero,
EmperorNero;101437 wrote:
Now the trouble arose from the decedents of those Germanic tribes who had not snatched a piece of the Roman empire, but rather had stayed at home or had filled the void left by those that had gone. They quite imaginatively were called Germans and thought that this industrialization thing was a great idea, and it worked so great for them that they thought they might be quite capable of taking over the British empire. Which they then tried to do, causing trouble all around the British empire. As for the fight in Europe they pretty much got stuck in the trenches in France. And since everyone from the British empire pitched in, even those sassy colonists, the Germans were eventually starved out and lost.

What's this supposed to be?
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 09:33 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;101486 wrote:
What's this supposed to be?


The great war; world war one.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 10:23 am
@EmperorNero,
I don't really want to comment on your post as a whole, other than to say to my eyes, as a relative layman on the subject of history, it seems to me that you have never made even a cursory effort to understand it.

I'll reserve my remarks for the particular paragraph that I just quoted, because it seems to me too daunting a task to sift through your post for all the mistakes, stereotyping, important ommissions and crediting of apparently significant developments to irrelevant factors.

"Now the trouble arose from the decedents of those Germanic tribes who had not snatched a piece of the Roman empire, but rather had stayed at home or had filled the void left by those that had gone."

Actually, the Holy Roman Empire was centred on Germany, the electors and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire were often Germans. The Germans inherited more of the Western Empire than anyone else in terms of territory and cultural continuity.

"They quite imaginatively were called Germans"

I realise this is a bit petty and you were probably just trying to be witty, but why choose to be condescending about the apparent imagination or lack of it of Germans being called Germans as opposed to British being known as British, or Americans or Chinese or whatever?

Just seems like a needless snark really.

"thought that this industrialization thing was a great idea, and it worked so great for them"

Again, most powers at the time were getting to grips with machines and engines, Germany was no better at it really than other European powers. It was Nazi Germany that really went for broke with industrialisation in a comparitive sense. You seem to me to be choosing a particular characteristic of a particular historic period of Germany and assigning it to 20th centrury Germany as a whole.

It was Britian who were the main exploiters of industry in this war - turning an obsolete 1914 infantry/cavalry army into a mechanised force by 1918.

"that they thought they might be quite capable of taking over the British empire."

I think this is utterly wrong.

All the main power blocks in Europe at the time were competitive and bellicose, though Britain and Germany were by no means friendly they had bonds that didn't exist between - say - Britain and France (extensive family ties in the ruling class). The main objective of Germany at the time was not to conquer British Territories, but to win back regions of France that had been German in the past (Alsace-Lorraine) and to wrest control of the Balkans (sparked off by the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand and general lack of central authority in the region that allowed the Germans to see it as a security risk to let it remain independent).

Until Britian declared war as a result of Germany's invasion of France Germany had made no moves against Britian along the lines of seeking to conquer the British Empire.

"Which they then tried to do, causing trouble all around the British empire."

Not really, the British Empire went largely unmolested. The fighting was largely confined to continental europe. As far as I know there wasn't actually any fighting on British soil in WW1.

"And since everyone from the British empire pitched in, even those sassy colonists, the Germans were eventually starved out and lost."

I assume the "sassy colonists" are the US troops who fought in WW1, even though the US wasn't part of the British empire at the time. Gotta love the bias - the unimaginative troublesome Germans vs the Sassy US.

I realise "starved out" is used as a colloquialism for ruin in a wide sense, and can therefore be applied generally. However I find it's use misleading in this case. The German forces were being beaten back from positions that had been fortified into positions that were not, and their late-war strategy could not cope with the paradigm shift caused by the increased mechanism of British forces. There was also the small issue of the Red Army to deal with. They didn't really face imminent ecomonic ruin or starvation - it was just obvious they had lost and were going to continue to lose until they surrendered, so they did.

Then they faced ecomonic ruin, because of the massive war debts they were asked to pay as part of the treaty of Versailles - leading to the German people looking for scapegoats, increased industry and a dignity-restoring nationalism - which led to further disaster.

Like most of your writing on history I find this a piece mostly conceived in order to glorify the US, condescend to pretty much everyone else, and particularly villify Islam and communism.

I'm suspicious of such motives in general, because I think periods of history and ideological movements answer needs of the moment or situation, and that US liberal democracy is not some sort of teleological end or pinnacle of human cultural achievement.

Even if I did - I wouldn't want to see an argument for such supported through a false view of history. Rewriting history to make a particular ideology seem like a logical winner, or end, is something I'd leave to the likes of Hitler or Stalin.
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 11:01 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
I don't really want to comment on your post as a whole, other than to say to my eyes, as a relative layman on the subject of history, it seems to me that you have never made even a cursory effort to understand it.

I'll reserve my remarks for the particular paragraph that I just quoted, because it seems to me too daunting a task to sift through your post for all the mistakes, stereotyping, important ommissions and crediting of apparently significant developments to irrelevant factors.


I appreciate your comments, and I don't want this to turn into bickering over historical details, so I make some explanatory comments to 'defend' my statements.
It was sort off a creative writing thing to connect all of western history into one. It's not really supposed to be super exact on all the details.

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
"Now the trouble arose from the decedents of those Germanic tribes who had not snatched a piece of the Roman empire, but rather had stayed at home or had filled the void left by those that had gone."

Actually, the Holy Roman Empire was centred on Germany, the electors and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire were often Germans. The Germans inherited more of the Western Empire than anyone else in terms of territory and cultural continuity.


Yes, that's what I said. I'm not sure what you disagree with.

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
"They quite imaginatively were called Germans"

I realise this is a bit petty and you were probably just trying to be witty, but why choose to be condescending about the apparent imagination or lack of it of Germans as opposed to Brits, Americans or Chinese?

Just seems like a needless snark really.


"The Germans were called Germans", that's all.

Btw. not by themselves. I don't call them unimaginative, but those who called them that.
See the quote: "They quite imaginatively were called Germans..."

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
"thought that this industrialization thing was a great idea, and it worked so great for them"

Again, most powers at the time were getting to grips with machines and engines, Germany was no better at it really than other European powers. It was nazi Germany that really went for broke with industrialisation in a comparitive sense. You seem to me to be choosing a particular characteristic of a particular historic period of Germany and assigning it to 20th centrury Germany as a whole.


Industrialization was something that went on for a long time before the war, also in Germany. You might be right that I am applying a characteristic to a broader timeframe than it actually happened. But this all is to be seen in a very broad way.

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
"that they thought they might be quite capable of taking over the British empire."

I think this is utterly wrong.

All the main power blocks in Europe at the time were competitive and bellicose, though Britain and Germany were by no means friendly they had bonds that didn't exist between - say - Britain and France (extensive family ties in the ruling class). The main objective of Germany at the time was not to conquer British Territories, but to win back regions of France that had been German in the past (Alsace-Lorraine) and to wrest control of the Balkans (sparked off by the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand and general lack of central authority in the region that allowed the Germans to see it as a security risk to let it remain independent).

Until Britian declared war as a result of Germany's invasion of France Germany had made no moves against Britian along the lines of seeking to conquer the British Empire.


While, it is correct that it wasn't the intention of the Axis powers in world war one to conquer the British empire. But fighting went on all all parts of the world because that's where the British empire was.
That's why we call it the world war.

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
"Which they then tried to do, causing trouble all around the British empire."

Not really, the British Empire went largely unmolested. The fighting was largely confined to continental europe. As far as I know there wasn't actually any fighting on British soil in WW1.


No, fighting went on all around the empire. With troops from all around the world and with great parts of the world as the prize for the winner. It was a world war. Ever seen Lawrence of Arabia?

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
"And since everyone from the British empire pitched in, even those sassy colonists, the Germans were eventually starved out and lost."

I assume the "sassy colonists" are the US troops who fought in WW1, even though the US wasn't part of the British empire at the time. Gotta love the bias - the unimaginative Germans vs the Sassy US.


I actually didn't call the Germans unimaginative, they don't call themselves Germans. We do.
And yes, the US was no longer part of the empire, that's the point. They're sassy (contumelious/daring) because they threw off their British rulers.

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
I realise "starved out" is used as a general colloquialism for ruin in a general sense, and can therefore be applied generally. However I find it's use misleading in this case. The German forces were being beaten back from positions that had been fortified, and their late-war strategy could not cope with the paradigm shift caused by the increased mechanism of British forces. They didn't really face ecomonic ruin or starvation - it was just obvious they had lost and were going to continue to lose until they surrendered, so they did.


The German civil population was literally starved out. They weren't pushed back militarily as in wwII, the nation couldn't keep up the war effort.

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
Then they faced ecomonic ruin, because of the massive war debts they were asked to pay as part of the treaty of Versailles - leading to the German people looking for scapegoats, increased industry and a dignity-restoring nationalism - which led to further disaster.

Like most of your writing on history I find this a piece mostly conceived in order to glorify the US, condescend to pretty much everyone else and particularly villify Islam and communism.


That's kind off funny. Because I was very careful to do exactly the opposite. Maybe that's just what you expect from me? :sarcastic:

I was pretty negative about Americans, and put very little focus on the US, put a lot of focus on Germany, and was quite positive about communism (they like to share).
If mentioning the conquest of Spain is vilifying Islam then we better leave it out of history.

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
I'm suspicious of such motives in general, because I think periods of history and ideological movements answer needs of the moment or situation, and that US liberal democracy is not some sort of teleological end or pinnacle of human cultural achievement.


Oh, I absolutely agree with you that US liberal democracy is not some sort of teleological end or pinnacle of human cultural achievement. Not at all. That's just how far history got, so that's where I ended.

Dave Allen;101507 wrote:
Even if I did - I wouldn't want to see an argument for such supported through a false veiw of history. Rewriting history to make a particular ideology seem like a logical winner, or end, is something I'd leave to the likes of Hitler or Stalin.


It really didn't have a theme or a point with this. Except that we can see western history as a sort of continuous stream of events.
Yes, it was very generalized. But I'm not making any false claims for any point.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 11:28 am
@EmperorNero,
Quote:
While, it is correct that it wasn't the intention of the Axis powers in world war one
There was no axis in world war one.
Quote:
But fighting went on all all parts of the world because that's where the British empire was.
That's why we call it the world war.
Forces from all over the world fought, but the fighting was not going on all over the world.
Quote:
No, fighting went on all around the empire. With troops from all around the world and with great parts of the world as the prize for the winner. It was a world war. Ever seen Lawrence of Arabia?
No I have not - but it wouldn't make much difference. I said the fighting was mostly contained to continental europe and the British Empire went largely unmolested - as was the case. That some parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East saw conflict hardly makes matters different. What conflict that did take place there was hardly an attempt by Germany to conquer, as often it was the Turks who proved the opponents.
Quote:
The German civil population was literally starved out. They weren't pushed back militarily as in wwII.
They were. The loss of the Hindernburg line was essential in breaking their morale and surrender came soon after.
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 11:40 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;101522 wrote:
There was no axis in world war one.


You know what I mean, the Central Powers.
I was just watching something about ww2 on TV. Wink

Dave Allen;101522 wrote:
Forces from all over the world fought, but the fighting was not going on all over the world.
No I have not - but it wouldn't make much difference. I said the fighting was mostly contained to continental europe and the British Empire went largely unmolested - as was the case. That some parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East saw conflict hardly makes matters different. What conflict that did take place there was hardly an attempt by Germany to conquer, as often it was the Turks who proved the opponents.


Then I disagree.

Dave Allen;101522 wrote:
They were. The loss of the Hindernburg line was essential in breaking their morale and surrender came soon after.


I suppose it was a combination of starving out the nation and military movements, but I suppose I disagree as well.
0 Replies
 
 

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