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History Rant

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[20 Apr 2008|02:42pm]

 i was wondering why did Edward Rutledge-A signer of the Declaration of Independence put a symbol by his name?

it looked like this /.
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[18 Mar 2008|08:19pm]

i made this comm. foundinfathers where you can choose a  founder and portray him =)
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[09 Nov 2005|09:32pm]

Just an update for those that have helped me with my Thesis...

So I turned in the first draft of my Thesis last Friday and got it back today. First off, to refresh memories, my thesis is on the Spanish Ambassador, Don Diego Guzman de Silva and his residency in England in 1564-1568 and his dealing with Elizabeth Tudor. I am focusing on the instructions that he received from Philip of Spain during this time. Anyway, I got an A+++ on it. The second draft is due next Wednesday and then the final in December. Getting such a great grade is really a motivator to do even that much more for the second draft.

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[02 Nov 2005|11:24am]

I am continuing to work on my Thesis on the Spanish Ambassador, Don Diego Guzman de Silva, and his residency in England from 1564-68. I was wondering if anyone has a good book or web site that they know of that would help me... I have a few topics that I am going to be discussing. Here they are:

- Marriage Negiations between Spain and England (in particualr the one with Archduke Charles of Austria)
- All the other marriage negotiations and offers Elizabeth had at this time
- Flemish Trade/ the Low Countries
- Spain's relationship with Robert Dudley - how de Silva wsa told to gain his support
- the reopening of the ports both on the Spanish side and the English side
- Spanish Protestants in England at this time / "heretics"

If anyone could help me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.


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Something of amusement [28 Oct 2005|12:25am]


X-posted to various history communities, so they can share in the amusement.
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[08 Oct 2005|07:17pm]

Im taking a little break from working on my thesis in the library... I am actually realy enjoying the information that I am reading. I know that sounds really nerdy of me, but I am learning so much about Elizabeth Tudor and things around her. Of coarse, I hate the readings that give opinions of the author and not just facts, but I can see how it can be hard to not be opionated on something you are passionate about. But they do distort history, which is what I do not want to do. I'm doing my thesis on Don Diego Guzman de Silva, the Spanish Ambassador in England from 1564-1568. I am focusing on his dealings with Queen Elizabeth on many topics. I am either trying to just show all this dealings (Philip of Spain's instructions to him), or to show how he was an amazing ambassador compared to de Quadra (the one before him) and the one after him, or why the marriage negotiations between England and Spain failed. I would love to show all three things if I can, but I still am involved in the research. I've been actually reading letters written by Guzman and Philip and even Elizabeth about all this... its in the Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Cal.S.P.Span.). I am so excited that I am really doing what I want to do for the rest of my life... research and writting about it.

Okay, break done.
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[04 Oct 2005|01:06pm]

I'm a newbie. That's about it.

Did anyone else see the Elizabeth I thingy on BBC One and want to retch?

Jesus H. Christ!

I only really watched it because Jeremy Irons = Eye Candy. I tend to find any interpretation of Elizabeth lacking. Film-makers and directors seem to think of her as a femenist pin-up, and therefore will invariably surround her with incompotent old codgers for her to shout at. This production was no exception.

The good points were that the set and costume. But it's always painfull when they're the only good points because it makes that in which it was lacking stand out. The extras were like something of Monty Python. The army at Tilbury staring, awe-struck, into a fog maschine, was frankly the stupidest attempt at evoking some sort of patriotic emotion I've ever seen.

The script was like an amateur adaptation of a Jane Austen with some soap-style dramatics thrown in for good measure and effect. And the delivery? Don't get me started... The way that the speech at Tilbury was done made me want to cry at a sheer sense of betrayal.

They were obviously trying to make a point with Liz not having had slept with Dudley, something about being different and having a better underdstanding of Elizabeth. I agree that she probably never slapt with him, but if you're going to do that, what's the point when you have them snogging every time they're alone together? He seemed to be constantly lurking in her bed-chamber. It was ridiculous.

She met up with Mary. What. The. Fuck? That never, repeat, NEVER happened. And I don't incline to the, "Oh, it's not written in any records and so it probably never happened" way of thinking. Firstly, the prisons that Mary was kept in were so remote Elizabeth couldn't have gotten to one without being noticed. Secondly, Elizabeth didn't want to see Mary. She had her prisoner for 19 years, and if she wanted to speak to her, she would have done. Elizabeth the First and Mary Queen of Scots NEVER MET. I don't know what they were trying to prove.

The characterisation was by far the most iritating I've come across. And I thought Cate Blancett could be irritating at times. Since femenism, some people always want to judge her by a modern light. To me, this shows a really dispicable disrespect for the past. Apparantly, this director was only impressed by the architecture and costume of the past, and so his ideal protagonist was someone he could treat as modern. She was always crying and being all pasionate. This irritates the hell out of me. It's because women are always behaving like this that we ended up as second-class citizens in the first place. You wouldn't want some highly-strung, compasionate, indicisive bimbo commanding an army, would you? Men saw woman as inferior because they were always giving in to their emotions. They wouldn't have taken Elizabeth seriously if she acted the way Hellen Mirren did. Elizabeth was the ultimate politician, and all politicians know that it's all about acting. If that means being an iron-hearted bitch at times, or making the best use of feminine charms, so be it. But it probably isn't going to mean having a hissy fit and burting into tears in front of your privy council.
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Help That Would Be GREATLY APPRECIATED! [06 Sep 2005|01:21am]

I am doing a major research paper on a traveler to England... At first it was going to deal with Archduke Charles of Austria and his foreign marriage negotiations with Elizabeth, but the topic got changed. The new topic is the ambassador, for Philip II, Don Diego Guzman de Silva and his travels. I am trying to stick with his travels that specifically dealt with the marriage negotiations with Elizabeth (since she is what I study mainly)... I have been looking in the Calender State Papers of Span. 1558-67 but haven't really been able to come up with much more. I know that Guzman is not a well known person but that is unfortunately what I have to write on.

So if anyone can help lead me in the right way to more sources or questions I can think about or facts, I would greatly appreciate it. I could use all the help I can get.

Again the name of the ambassador is Don Diego Guzman de Silva.

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[19 Mar 2005|01:23am]

Subject: Containment, Communism, and Cleverness.

George Kennan: Passes at Age 101
Article as appearing at CNN.com
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Hitler: The Sponge Years? [17 Feb 2005|09:52am]

[ mood | curious ]

We know that Hitler lived off of his father's civil servant pension and a small inheritance after his father died. Then he was in the army during WWI, and remained in the military for a short time after that.

Between leaving the army and the Beer Hall Pustch... how did Hitler support himself? Was said pension still in effect? Did he have a part-time job during the early days of the Nazi party that nobody know about? Did he have roommates or something?

I found myself asking these questions while reading a general history of World War II. Mussolini at least had "real" jobs to speak of until his party really took off and it became something that would support him. I'm really curious about Hitler, though. Charismatic as he may have been, it's hard to imagine a psycho like him being that guy who used to crash on your couch.

Anyone know the answer to this question? How did Hitler support himself between his military years and his time as a jailbird?

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Unification or Death [30 Jan 2005|06:28pm]

[ mood | contemplative ]

The Unification or Death, better known as the Black Hand of Serbia, were the wrost planned secret organization ever; even though they "sparked" one of the bloodiest wars in human history. Mostly made up of ex-army officers and teenagers, they assignated Archduke Franz Ferdinand because of pure luck. The Black Hand had seven members waiting and ready to assignate the Archduke, and each one of them failed. Honestly, you fail with seven attempts! And Gavrilo Princip the final memeber to try only succeeded because he was hungry and went to get a sandwich on the street the Archduke's limo accidently turned onto. This story always amuses me.

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HEHE [26 Nov 2004|07:12pm]

[ mood | Interested ]

The man we know as Jesus, was supposedly born during the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus. On every coin Augustus minted, it said that he was the son of god. God refering to Caesar. Man was he off...

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An Open Letter to the Media (on Stone, Alexander, and sex) [21 Nov 2004|07:09pm]

I've about had it with the recent media treatment of Oliver Stone's Alexander.

And no, my irritation doesn't stem from slams at the movie generally (I'm keeping an open mind, but I'd be lying if I said I entertained no doubts).

It also doesn't stem from any misbegotten notion that history is some sacral discipline not to be besmirched by fictional treatments. I write historical fiction, too. They just label it 'history,' print it in journals, and shelve it in non-fiction. ;> (Any historian who won't admit how much supposition goes into her/his theories about the past is rather too precariously balanced on a high horse.)

No, my irritation relates to one thing and one thing only ...


There. I feel better.

Good God, what is with the utter fixation on Alexander's 'sexuality'? (A modern term imposed on the past incorrectly anyway.)

All that says far more about US than about Alexander.

News Flash: Alexander's 'sexual exploits' were a non-issue in antiquity. Nobody much gossiped about it. Why? Because he was regarded as rather boring in the sex department. Yup, really.

What was he critiqued for in his own day?

His drinking. His ambition. His temper.

He had a terrible temper. In a fit of rage, he speared the little brother of his own nurse, a man who'd once saved his life. (And to be fair, he was inconsolable for days -- but that doesn't change the fact he did it.) His drinking was considered a problem even by ancient standards (although how much of that may owe to a difference in Greek and Macedonian drinking traditions is very much a matter of debate).

But his REAL fatal flaw? HUBRIS. The man had an ego the size of ... well, Persia.

Ancient sources tell us he could be enormously charming, the kind of person who draws ALL eyes the minute he walks into a room. (Something I fear Colin Farrell may not have captured. Broody alone won't do it.) One of the voice-overs from the film has Anthony Hopkins saying that he's know many great men, "but only one colossus." That's it. Alexander really WAS a colossus, with magnetic charisma, unparalleled perseverance, unbridled ambition, and the (probable) talent of a polymath. (He did a number of things extraordinarily well, imo.)

And all the (especially) American media can fixate on is who he slept with? (Oh, and the dye job. We mustn't forget the dye job! Really, people ... ATG was [probably] blond; Farrell isn't. That requires a little peroxide; too bad they forgot to lighten the eyebrows, too.)

Does all that make him a 'good' man -- a 'hero,' someone to admire? No. These guys were SHARKS, make no mistake. Alexander was just the Great White, and there are a LOT of things we can critique him for, and a lot of things we can discuss about his reign. (See Brian Bosworth's Alexander in the East.)

And what DO we talk about ... endlessly, in almost every article? His interest in both genders.

Er, fixated much?

What's wrong with talking about sex and sexual preference? Why, nothing. And yes, I'm well aware this is the first time such a big-budget film will feature a main character who's predilections ran both ways. But let's be clear that when we seem impelled to note this, it's OURSELVES we're talking about ... not Alexander. Some of the media writeups I've seen would lead one to believe Alexander was some kind of sybaritic debauchee! Yet this is the same man who once quipped, "Sleep and sex remind me I'm mortal." Not exactly a mantra for orgies.

Get it through your heads, [U.S.] Media ... Alexander the Great was a bit of a PRUDE.

He really was. If sex scandals are what we want -- the ancient equivalent of Zippergate -- we're all barking up the wrong historical tree. Go read about Alkibiades, nephew of Perikles, or even Alexander's father, Philip II of Macedon. THEY had sex scandals. Oh, boy, did they! Alexander? Not hardly. The worst they could accuse him of was publicly kissing a eunuch quickly on the lips after a dance. And he was applauded for it. Whee! Definitely hard core scandal there!

(Keep in mind that Philip II was killed by a former lover who'd been replaced by a boy who was the younger brother of Philip's last wife ... And Philip may also have had an affair with Olympias' younger brother ... another Alexandros. 'As the Macedonian World Turns' -- that was Philip's court. One needs a flow-chart to keep up with Philip's affairs. And Alkibiades? The biggest wanker of the ancient world. He's the one Hollywood should make a movie about! Alexander was downright TAME, folks! tame.)

Please, please, please ... stop overdramatizing the WRONG thing.

Or at least be honest and admit we're excited because -- ooooh -- Alexander was emotionally loyal to one person for 19+ years ... longer than the average modern marriage. That gets our (American) panties in a wad these days because that 'person' just happened to be the same gender as Alexander.

The plain truth is Alexander and Hephaistion would have been utterly baffled by all the hulabaloo ... and would probably laugh their heads off, if they knew.
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[06 Nov 2004|08:29am]

I am thinking about starting a branch in Arizona for the Queen Elizabeth Society or starting an entire new one. I just wanted to get a feel of how many people would join something like that?
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The History of the Middle Finger and "Fuck you" [12 Oct 2004|02:02pm]

[ mood | amused ]

A friend of mine posted this on her LJ, I just had to share:

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future.

This famous weapon was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the yew" (or "pluck yew").

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, "See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!"

Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative 'F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute!

It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird."

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Quote [03 Oct 2004|02:09pm]

Anyone who studies Canadian History may have heard of the Historian Ged Martin. If you ever want a good Canadian history read without falling a sleep I recommend his works. I'm currently writing a Book review on his Book Britain and the Origins of Canadian Confederation, 1837-67 and it is quite enjoyable.

"A book that needs apologies ought never to have been written" - William Howard Russell.

This is Martin's opening quote for the preface of the book and I found it a bit refreshing.

In one part he points out the stupidity of the railroad to the west for the purpose of transporting troops should British North America be attacked by the Americans:

"It was ridiculous to imagine that the Americans would sit by while convoys of potentially hostile troops lumbered along hundreds of miles of railway line close enough to their own border to be sabotaged"

Sorry the mental image made me laugh ^_^
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For those who are interested... [13 Sep 2004|10:51pm]

Just formed a new community entitled america_history, for those interested in U.S. History from the native americans to today.
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Finally! [18 Aug 2004|11:25pm]

[ mood | curious ]

I've found a historical community that I'll enjoy!

My name is Monique, I'm from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I study History and Anthropology at the University of Winnipeg, and I presently work as a costumed interpreter at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, operated by Parks Canada. The Fort was built of limestone in 1831, for the Hudson's Bay Company governor, George Simpson and was a major transhipment post and agricultural depot for the HBC.

My main historical interests are: Canadian fur Trade, Hudson Bay Company History, British Naval History, Aboriginal (or Native American, for all the Americans out there) History. I also study Paleoanthropology and Primatology. Oh, and just as an aside, I'm also a sucker for Popular Musicology ;)

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Shameless Plug [11 Aug 2004|02:27pm]

Hello all, I'd like to (if i may) advertise a new community that my friends and I have created, which is dedicated to alternate history, and "what-if?" senerios. The community is called change_history. I hope to see some of you there:-)

(X-posted everywhere i can think of)
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It Sucked To Be President John Tyler [07 Aug 2004|10:18am]

[ mood | working ]

*My first history rant, how cute*

President John Tyler (1841-1845) has to rank as one of America's suckiest presidents along side other such American dynamos as Grant and Harding. He was the first vice president ever to ascend to the highest office in the land because of the death of the sitting president elect, who happened to be beloved war hero, William Henry Harrison. Tyler assured his place in politics by riding the coat-tails of Harrison with the campaign slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!" Once Tyler became the headcheese in Washington, he was dubbed, "His Accidency." That little endearing nickname showed how much faith politicians had in this man as president :-). With "Tyler Too," as President, his party, the Whigs were thrown into a tizzy. They even expelled him from the party (HA), because he didn't follow the party agenda at all. And like everybody's favorite presidential drunk, A. Jackson, Tyler used his veto powers so much that he could veto bills in his sleep. As a result of his stellar performance in office, his whole cabinet resigned in protest of his actions (hehe), expect for Daniel Webster (wtf was he thinking?). But Webster eventually left Tyler as well.
However, the little known "crowning achievement" of Tyler's administration has to be the untimely deaths of two of the highest ranking members of his second cabinet aboard the USS Princeton in 1844. As most of his cabinet admired the new weaponry of the ship, a cannon (aptly named "The Peacemaker"), exploded killing eight people, including his Secretary of State, Abel Upshur and the Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Gilmer. As his cabinet was thrown into panic by this tragedy, Tyler was below deck...erm let's just say boarding a vessel of his own that took form the of a teenage girl. The 54 year old Tyler had a penchant for the young ladies. After his administration literally blew-up in his face, his fate was sealed as one of American's worst Commanders-in-Chief.

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