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The Cool Stuff From [History] Thread

KanaKana Registered User regular
edited July 2014 in Debate and/or Discourse
So many moons ago we had a pretty cool History thread that I enjoyed a bunch, but when it got to 100 pages we never made a new one. Well, I officially changed my major to history this week after realizing that maybe I should spend the next 4 years of my life learning something I actually enjoy, and so I thought I'd celebrate by starting a new history thread.

In this case "cool stuff" just means "really interesting", so it's cool if we talk about terrible stuff too, most of history is depressing for somebody after all.

As this thread goes along I'd like to add more resources to the OP, especially primary sources that through the modern wonders of technology are now available for free online. A couple to start us off with (I've been doing a lot of American women's history reading lately):

Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation 1838-1839 by Frances Anne Kemble
A British actress meets the heir to an Antebellum Plantation, marries him and moves to America for the first time. Her collected letters to a friend back home struggle to comprehend the magnitude of the horrors of slavery, as well as the softer imprisonment of marriage. Well-intentioned but god damn do you want to reach through time and smack her in the face every few pages.

A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Chesnut
Unlike Kemble, Chesnut was born and raised in the South and idealized the south far more, although she wasn't blind to its especial abuse of women. Her Diary goes from 1861 through the end of the Civil War, and her eyewitness accounts of many important episodes from the war have been a vital part of Civil War history (maybe even a bit too vital, at that).

The Collected Writings of Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly is just generally awesome, fun reading. There weren't a lot of young smartass writers around in the 1880's and '90s! One of the first ever investigative journalists, she got herself committed to a mental institution, went around the world in 80 days, fled Mexico ahead of an order for her arrest, and interviewed factory workers, Pullman strikers, homeless women, and prizefighters. I may or may not totally have a crush on her.

Leaves From the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian by Edith Maude Eaton writing under the pen name of Sui Sin Far.
A personal essay from 1890 on the discrimination faced by those of Chinese and mixed ancestry in the US.

The Memoirs of Madison Hemmings 1805-1877
A black freedman, Madison Hemmings was the son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings. He reminisces about his life at Monticello, his father, and his life since leaving.

History Matters is a resource for US History primary documents, as well as essays and activities designed to teach analysis skills of documents and images.

A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
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Posts

  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    aliens

    also, thanks for bringing back this thread it was highly educational last time and look forward to all the fun stuff in this iteration

    dlinfiniti on
    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
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  • RichyRichy http://torchlightmedia.netRegistered User regular
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Also this is one of my favorite random browsing pages ever: Fashion History Gallery!

    Just for a 100-year sample:

    French skirt from 1710, during the reign of Louis XIV
    b6430cf444d1535b49cb68b8348ff848.jpg

    The girls in Italy 15 years later were dressing more like this. Classy, timeless!
    9f00741ed9cc59a9a27e581f5325ecc9.jpg

    But the girls in England 15 years after that were, uh... hmm. See us after class England.
    6d49fce466b733c55c26304e55d7dc4d.jpg

    Marie Antoinette period France was thankfully avoiding the SUV-chic fashion from up north and instead investing their technology points in HATS!
    781192e1a4e3a1d7cd4495104afc7ccf.jpg
    Also look at those glorious shoes ^

    By 1790 England is desperately trying to catch up to their rivals in the hat race
    f843d5742b8f7f61a2fa4773f0f2a0b8.jpg

    But little does England realize that across the ocean, in the future hat superpower of America, a champion has been born:
    p13.bmp

    AMURICA, FUCK YEAH

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    aliens

    also, thanks for bringing back this thread it was highly educational last time and look forward to all the fun stuff in this iteration

    Did a race of extraterrestrial astronauts from Tau Ceti 5 build the pyramids using lasers and gravity beams (because God knows those savages in Egypt couldn't possibly have built such structure themselves)? Stayed tuned as we interview 5 expert UFOologists and 1 dentist from Okalama as they explore ANCIENT ASTRONAUT THEORY.


    Oh, History. I remember when you were actually a half-decent channel. :/ I blame myself for watching all of those UFO 'documentaries' for fun, until they got boring because they just circle-jerked over the same crap week after week.



    Lately I've been reading up on the 20s and 30s in America. I'd have to recommend John Dillinger: The Life and Death of America's First Celebrity Criminal, as it's a fantastic read.

    Not today, motherfucker
    Edith Upwards
  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    So about that red(? I'm colorblind) English dress up there: I still don't understand how women got around in those. If you went to a party or something, how did you get into the carriage? (ie Is that hip-piece-thing really as stiff as it looks?) Or were those strictly for wearing while you walked around your mansion or whatever, and you wore something different when you went out?

    Steam: Mike Danger | PSN/NNID: remadeking | 3DS: 2079-9204-4075
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  • MuddypawsMuddypaws Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    I don't know if this falls under history or not, but it's pretty cool.

    All blue eyed people are descended from a single common ancestor only 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. High five my blue eyed cousins! I wonder what the reaction was to the first ever blue eyed child? Mutant outcast or blessed by the gods? Whatever, it must have shaken the community into which she or he was born. I wonder what else chance mutation has in store for us?

    Blue eyes, babys got blue eyes..

    Muddypaws on
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  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    What do you do if your Byzantine Empire is a backstabbing mess, and you want adequate personal protection?

    Of course, you hires Vikings & Brits to form your personal bodyguard. For several centuries the Varangian Guard were the elite unit of the Byzantine Empire, complete with cultivation of mystical barbarism to instill fear.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    I've been reading the Instructions for British Servicemen books, and they're fascinating.

    Some highlights from Instructions for British Servicemen in Germany 1944:

    There will be no brutality about a British occupation, but neither will there be softness or sentimentality.

    After the defeat of 1918 Germany went through a sort of revolution. This revolution was largely lath and plaster, but was accepted by the Germans because they are used to political shams.
    That is one reason why they accepted Hitler. He ordered them about, and most of them liked it. It saved them the trouble of thinking. All they had to do was obey and leave the thinking to him.
    It also saved them, they thought, from responsibility. The vile cruelties of the Gestapo and S.S. were nothing to do with them. They did not order them; they did not even want to know about them. The rape of Norway, Holland and Belgium was not their business. It was the business of Hitler and the General Staff.
    That is the tale that will be told over and over again by the Germans. They will protest with deep sincerity that they are as innocent as a babe in arms.
    But the German people cannot slide out of their responsibility quite so easily.

    After the fall of France most Germans supposed his military conquests with enthusiasm. It was only when they felt the cold wind of defeat that they discovered their consciences.

    The mind of the German. The Germans adore military show. In Nazi German everyone has a uniform. If it isn't the uniform of the Army, Navy or Air Force, it is that of the S.A., S.S. or some other party organization. Even the little boys and girls have been strutting about in the uniform of the Hitler Youth or the Union of German Girls.

    There are signs that the Germans leaders are already making plans for a Third World War. That must be prevented at all costs.

    After the last war prostitutes streamed into the zone occupied by British and American troops. They will probably try this again, even though this time you will be living apart from the Germans. Be on your guard. Most of them will be infected.
    Marriages between members of British forces and Germans are, as you know, forbidden.
    But for this prohibition such marriages would certainly take place. Germany will not be a pleasant place to live in for some time after the war, and German girls know that, if they marry British husbands, they will become British with all the advantages of belonging to a victor nation instead of to a vanquished one.
    If you have to give orders to German civilians, give them in a firm, military manner. The German civilian is used to it and expects it.
    It is only natural that Germans who have suffered personally under Nazi oppression will try to take revenge on their local tyrants. They will regard this as their own affair and will resent interference. Don't go looking for trouble.

    GO EASY on Schnaps.
    REMEMBER that in Germany, "venereal diseases strike at every fourth person between the ages of 15 and 41."
    DON'T be taken in by surface resemblances between the Germans and ourselves.

    firewaterwordSynthesisCasual EddyshrykeTL DRSCREECH OF THE FARGKristmas KthulhuElvenshaeBig Classy
  • RichyRichy http://torchlightmedia.netRegistered User regular
    World's Oldest Calendar Discovered in U.K.
    Without some form of calibration with the solar year a calendar based on 12 lunar months would soon be out of sync with the sun and become meaningless.

    "Positioning their calendar in the landscape the way they did would have allowed the people who built it to 'recalibrate' the lunar months every winter to bring their calendar in line with the solar year."

    And this is something they appear to have done, since the geophysical evidence suggests the pits had been maintained and periodically reshaped many dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of times over the succeeding millennia until at last the calendar-monument seemed to fall out of use around 4,000 years ago.

    RichyFlag.gifsig.gif
    TL DR
  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Muddypaws wrote: »
    I don't know if this falls under history or not, but it's pretty cool.

    All blue eyed people are descended from a single common ancestor only 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. High five my blue eyed cousins! I wonder what the reaction was to the first ever blue eyed child? Mutant outcast or blessed by the gods? Whatever, it must have shaken the community into which she or he was born. I wonder what else chance mutation has in store for us?

    Blue eyes, babys got blue eyes..

    The gene for blue eyes is recessive, so by the time someone was born with two copies of the gene it was probably fairly dispersed.

    This means that all of a sudden there were blue eyed babies popping up in random places with brown-eyed parents.

    I do wonder what people thought.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I've been reading the Instructions for British Servicemen books, and they're fascinating.

    Some highlights from Instructions for British Servicemen in Germany 1944:

    There will be no brutality about a British occupation, but neither will there be softness or sentimentality.

    After the defeat of 1918 Germany went through a sort of revolution. This revolution was largely lath and plaster, but was accepted by the Germans because they are used to political shams.
    That is one reason why they accepted Hitler. He ordered them about, and most of them liked it. It saved them the trouble of thinking. All they had to do was obey and leave the thinking to him.
    It also saved them, they thought, from responsibility. The vile cruelties of the Gestapo and S.S. were nothing to do with them. They did not order them; they did not even want to know about them. The rape of Norway, Holland and Belgium was not their business. It was the business of Hitler and the General Staff.
    That is the tale that will be told over and over again by the Germans. They will protest with deep sincerity that they are as innocent as a babe in arms.
    But the German people cannot slide out of their responsibility quite so easily.

    After the fall of France most Germans supposed his military conquests with enthusiasm. It was only when they felt the cold wind of defeat that they discovered their consciences.

    The mind of the German. The Germans adore military show. In Nazi German everyone has a uniform. If it isn't the uniform of the Army, Navy or Air Force, it is that of the S.A., S.S. or some other party organization. Even the little boys and girls have been strutting about in the uniform of the Hitler Youth or the Union of German Girls.

    There are signs that the Germans leaders are already making plans for a Third World War. That must be prevented at all costs.

    After the last war prostitutes streamed into the zone occupied by British and American troops. They will probably try this again, even though this time you will be living apart from the Germans. Be on your guard. Most of them will be infected.
    Marriages between members of British forces and Germans are, as you know, forbidden.
    But for this prohibition such marriages would certainly take place. Germany will not be a pleasant place to live in for some time after the war, and German girls know that, if they marry British husbands, they will become British with all the advantages of belonging to a victor nation instead of to a vanquished one.
    If you have to give orders to German civilians, give them in a firm, military manner. The German civilian is used to it and expects it.
    It is only natural that Germans who have suffered personally under Nazi oppression will try to take revenge on their local tyrants. They will regard this as their own affair and will resent interference. Don't go looking for trouble.

    GO EASY on Schnaps.
    REMEMBER that in Germany, "venereal diseases strike at every fourth person between the ages of 15 and 41."
    DON'T be taken in by surface resemblances between the Germans and ourselves.

    Sound advice from start to finish!

    shrykeJoolander
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Kana wrote: »
    9f00741ed9cc59a9a27e581f5325ecc9.jpg

    Pretty.
    Shivahn wrote: »
    Muddypaws wrote: »
    I don't know if this falls under history or not, but it's pretty cool.

    All blue eyed people are descended from a single common ancestor only 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. High five my blue eyed cousins! I wonder what the reaction was to the first ever blue eyed child? Mutant outcast or blessed by the gods? Whatever, it must have shaken the community into which she or he was born. I wonder what else chance mutation has in store for us?

    Blue eyes, babys got blue eyes..

    The gene for blue eyes is recessive, so by the time someone was born with two copies of the gene it was probably fairly dispersed.

    This means that all of a sudden there were blue eyed babies popping up in random places with brown-eyed parents.

    I do wonder what people thought.

    It just fails to turn darker. At first, they'd just think it went more slowly than usual, then maybe start wondering how long it's going to take. Once they realise it's just not happening, though, you might get a stronger reaction.

    PLA on
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    I'm a big fan of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast, and one of my favorite ones was his most recent one about the Munster Rebellion, where a cult-offshoot of Lutheranism took over the whole city for a year and a half. Really crazy story.

    Raiden333 on
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    Caveman Paws
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Never heard of Hardcore History before your post. Thank to you I'm going to lock myself in my house until I finish them all.

  • Caveman PawsCaveman Paws Registered User regular
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    I'm a big fan of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast, and one of my favorite ones was his most recent one about the Munster Rebellion, where a cult-offshoot of Lutheranism took over the whole city for a year and a half. Really crazy story.

    I skimmed the whole thread to see if anyone had mentioned Carlins podcast. Blast your alacrity, good sir!

    Another great (though far more specific) history related podcast:
    http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/

    Kana
  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    PLA wrote: »
    Shivahn wrote: »
    Muddypaws wrote: »
    I don't know if this falls under history or not, but it's pretty cool.

    All blue eyed people are descended from a single common ancestor only 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. High five my blue eyed cousins! I wonder what the reaction was to the first ever blue eyed child? Mutant outcast or blessed by the gods? Whatever, it must have shaken the community into which she or he was born. I wonder what else chance mutation has in store for us?

    Blue eyes, babys got blue eyes..

    The gene for blue eyes is recessive, so by the time someone was born with two copies of the gene it was probably fairly dispersed.

    This means that all of a sudden there were blue eyed babies popping up in random places with brown-eyed parents.

    I do wonder what people thought.

    It just fails to turn darker. At first, they'd just think it went more slowly than usual, then maybe start wondering how long it's going to take. Once they realise it's just not happening, though, you might get a stronger reaction.

    For some reason I didn't know that people did this.

    I did for cats though.

    I am the worst human.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Welp.. Went from 2 episodes of Car Talk and 1 of StarTalk, to having 19 podcasts waiting to listen to thanks to Hardcore History.
    Instacast only lists 16 episodes, though... Weird.

    steam_sig.png
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Shivahn wrote: »
    PLA wrote: »
    Shivahn wrote: »
    Muddypaws wrote: »
    I don't know if this falls under history or not, but it's pretty cool.

    All blue eyed people are descended from a single common ancestor only 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. High five my blue eyed cousins! I wonder what the reaction was to the first ever blue eyed child? Mutant outcast or blessed by the gods? Whatever, it must have shaken the community into which she or he was born. I wonder what else chance mutation has in store for us?

    Blue eyes, babys got blue eyes..

    The gene for blue eyes is recessive, so by the time someone was born with two copies of the gene it was probably fairly dispersed.

    This means that all of a sudden there were blue eyed babies popping up in random places with brown-eyed parents.

    I do wonder what people thought.

    It just fails to turn darker. At first, they'd just think it went more slowly than usual, then maybe start wondering how long it's going to take. Once they realise it's just not happening, though, you might get a stronger reaction.

    For some reason I didn't know that people did this.

    I did for cats though.

    I am the worst human.

    Don't know how much it varies. Late and premature births and all that jazz has me expecting variance.

  • Megaton HopeMegaton Hope Registered User regular
    Definitely to be placed in the "terrible" category:

    http://countrystudies.us/nicaragua/10.htm

    US occupies Nicaragua for two decades, partly out of an interest in seeing a canal connecting Pacific with Atlantic completed under US control. US occupation gives rise to Sandinista rebellion. Handover by U.S. to Nicaraguan-led government. (Echoes of later "peace with honor" in Vietnam, and similar arrangements with Afghanistan's Northern Alliance and the fledgling Shi'ite Iraqi state.) Sandino murdered; coup displaces democratic leadership.

    Decades later, the U.S. arms the rebels fighting to overthrow the Sandinista regime it had effectively created, although these "Contras" are implicated in the drug trade and human rights abuses. The reason? "Support for freedom fighters is self defense." The same reasoning applied to the Mujahideen insurgents in Afghanistan.

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1973/

    Henry Kissinger was granted half of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1973, effectively for this:

    http://www.voanews.com/content/vietnam-remembers-nixons-christmas-bombing-40-years-later/1567089.html
    http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/cambodia/tl02.html

    That is to say, he was given the award for "ending" the war in Vietnam, by escalating the carnage in Vietnam and Cambodia in order to pressure the North to negotiate a detente and withdrawal. Following which, US forces withdrew, and the North conquered the South with overwhelming force. Not to mention that Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia only a couple years later.

    http://www.cnn.com/EVENTS/1996/year.in.review/topten/hutu/history.html

    For some time, Europeans colonized/occupied/subjugated central Africa. Part of their plan to maintain dominance was to cultivate friction between social classes; the Hutu and Tutsi, both Bantu-speaking groups which commonly intermarried, were distinguished from one another artificially based on the ownership of livestock. German (and later Belgian) colonial powers discriminated against the more numerous Hutu, considering the relatively more affluent Tutsi minority to be a superior race. Ultimately, after independence, the Rwanda-Urundi region split into two separate countries. From the early 1970s through the early 1990s, Tutsis and Hutus committed acts of genocide and reprisal against one another over their acrimonious shared history, destabilizing Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and Uganda politically and economically.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0507/feature2/

    This one goes in the "kind of neat" category. Admiral Zheng He, a Chinese eunuch, was sent on a voyage of exploration and trade by the Emperor in the 1400s. Some scholars believe that he may have discovered the Americas, although I personally consider that a dubious proposition. He did, however, command a tremendous fleet, one which dwarfed Christopher Columbus's vessels in size. And his voyages took him as far west as Mecca.

  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    I always found the idea of the Chinese "discovering" the Americas as irrelevant, because regardless of whether or not they got there before Columbus, the Vikings beat them both by centuries.

    It's still neat if they made it there, but they wouldn't be the first sailors to find the place.

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  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    Didn't the native Americans discover America before anyone else? Vikings and Chinese and spaniard-backed Italians be damned.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
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  • Megaton HopeMegaton Hope Registered User regular
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    I always found the idea of the Chinese "discovering" the Americas as irrelevant, because regardless of whether or not they got there before Columbus, the Vikings beat them both by centuries.

    It's still neat if they made it there, but they wouldn't be the first sailors to find the place.
    Leif Ericson and Zheng He were both late to the party, though; the real discoverers were pedestrians crossing the Bering Strait, they just didn't leave a written record notifying everybody of their achievement. Or so the most reasonable theories suggest.

    Always seemed pretty headstrong to me, claiming to have discovered a place people are living in. It's like how the "first man to summit Everest" was absolutely the first man "other than a Sherpa" to do so.

    BloodySlothElvenshae
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Speaking of the Chinese 'discovery' of America, one of the pieces of evidence provided involves old shipwrecks along the Pacific coast of North America. The native peoples there had iron tools, not because they could forge metal but because whenever a shipwreck washed up on shore they would very quickly and carefully strip it of anything useful, especially anything metal. Here's the thing: it wasn't necessary for anyone to actually pilot the ship to the coast for purposes of wrecking it against the treacherous rocks. Along the northern Pacific is a powerful current called the Kuroshio or Japan Current. It's perfectly possible for something buoyant to float along it and end up on the coast.

    In recorded history, this happened in the early 1800s to three Japanese fishermen whose broken-ruddered fishing boat drifted across the Pacific Ocean and end up on the coast of lands held by the Makah tribe. They became world travelers after that, but because of the Japanese closed ports at the time only one of them ever managed to go home (at least for a visit).

    In the current day, this current is the path by which tsunami debris has traveled across the ocean to wash up on the beaches.

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  • RichyRichy http://torchlightmedia.netRegistered User regular
    Always seemed pretty headstrong to me, claiming to have discovered a place people are living in. It's like how the "first man to summit Everest" was absolutely the first man "other than a Sherpa" to do so.

    It's more like if the "first man to summit Everest" got there to find a large thriving mountaintop civilization but still held on to his claim of being the first one there.

    RichyFlag.gifsig.gif
    Lovely
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular

    While the Vikings weren't the first ones to reach the Americas, they were the first ones to do so by deliberately crossing the ocean. Those men and women crossed the North Atlantic in open boats. That's pretty damn hardcore.

    It also says something about the natives in Newfoundland that the Vikings left shortly afterwards.

    Rhan9shrykeSCREECH OF THE FARG
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    To be fair, the vikings already had a plethora of new settlements to expand that didn't require crossing the north atlantic.

    It is kind of a fun alternate history though. If the Native Americans had been meaningfully exposed to European diseases hundreds of years before Columbus arrived on the scene, the settlement of the Americas could have gone very, very differently. Epidemics of disease were by far the biggest killers of natives.

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Speaking of diseases, Syphilis was almost certainly a new world disease that was brought back by Columbus. Pretty much all the science that's been done agrees on it: European skeletons pre-Columbus don't show the effects of the disease, post-Columbus increasingly they do. Meanwhile syphilitic skeletons in the new world show up all over the place, independent of contact with Europeans.

    And Syphilis in Europe in the late 15th, early 16th century has all the symptoms of a disease spreading through a new, non-resistant population. The early European outbreaks could kill within a few months or a year, it killed several million people, and the name syphilis itself wasn't termed until 1530. You can even see how it spread eastward in how Europeans called it before its naming (going off my memory here): The french called it the Spanish disease, the italians and Germans called it the French disease, the Russians called it the Polish disease, the Turks called it the Christian disease. It seems an odd coincidence for a disease that had already been present in Europe.

    Which is why it's interesting that up until really recently this was a pretty controversial issue. Not so much in the scientific community, but there had been pretty stiff resistance among historians of two different camps. The first is the Spread of Civilization crowd, who implicitly viewed Europe as obviously far more advanced, and the Columbian exchange naturally resulting in a lot of savages dying from diseases they had never been advanced enough to be exposed to, unlike the naturally hardy Europeans who could resist them. Obviously the farther back you go the more explicitly this argument is made, but it's pretty much what it boils down to. The savages could never have their own diseases that Europeans were vulnerable to, psh!

    The other camp essentially viewed the settlement of the Americas by Europeans as the rape of the new world, an inherently aggressive exploitation of a purer culture. Which I mean, obviously they have a point, but the spread of disease in that argument is often treated as a conscious action - traders using "smallpox infected blankets" as if they had a national plan based on germ theory. In reality the spread of European diseases through native populations were so virulent that purposefully spreading the disease was kind of pointless, like throwing a lit match into an already burning wildfire (alcohol on the other hand, really was used as a tool of suppression as a trade good, but not until later). But in this view, the spread of disease to an uninfected population takes on a moral implication, the Noble Savage destroyed by modern man's uncleanliness. So for one of the defining diseases of the 18th and 19th centuries to be a new world disease, and a sexually spread disease at that... They didn't much care for that, as it turns their Noble Savages in The State of Nature into just another population.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
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  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    Always seemed pretty headstrong to me, claiming to have discovered a place people are living in. It's like how the "first man to summit Everest" was absolutely the first man "other than a Sherpa" to do so.

    It's more like if the "first man to summit Everest" got there to find a large thriving mountaintop civilization but still held on to his claim of being the first one there.

    That's the 'discovery' of Machu Picchu. The 'discoverer' was lead there by a boy who lived in the area. All the locals knew about it. Kinda hard for them to miss the giant ruined city in the place where they resided.

  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    While the Vikings weren't the first ones to reach the Americas, they were the first ones to do so by deliberately crossing the ocean. Those men and women crossed the North Atlantic in open boats. That's pretty damn hardcore.

    It also says something about the natives in Newfoundland that the Vikings left shortly afterwards.

    Jared Diamond covered this in some detail

    lack of trade had a lot to do with it, as did the small initial population with little influx of new settlers

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Yeah, I usually don't get too up in arms about "discovering" places that people already live

    I mean technically no, no you didn't. But it's sorta like re-inventing the wheel. Just because someone's already done it doesn't mean you shouldn't get a little credit. I mean holy shit you still invented the wheel.

    (machu pichu on the other hand is just pathetic)

    Kana on
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  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Is there any other way to "discover" manmade structures than making your own little group aware of them? You can't be the first one who noticed it if it's already built.

  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    I always found the idea of the Chinese "discovering" the Americas as irrelevant, because regardless of whether or not they got there before Columbus, the Vikings beat them both by centuries.

    It's still neat if they made it there, but they wouldn't be the first sailors to find the place.
    Leif Ericson and Zheng He were both late to the party, though; the real discoverers were pedestrians crossing the Bering Strait, they just didn't leave a written record notifying everybody of their achievement. Or so the most reasonable theories suggest.

    Always seemed pretty headstrong to me, claiming to have discovered a place people are living in. It's like how the "first man to summit Everest" was absolutely the first man "other than a Sherpa" to do so.

    The natives don't count because I was talking specifically about sailors. Obviously the people who crossed by the bridge back in prehistory were the first, but they didn't exactly sail there.

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  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Yeah, I usually don't get too up in arms about "discovering" places that people already live

    I mean technically no, no you didn't. But it's sorta like re-inventing the wheel. Just because someone's already done it doesn't mean you shouldn't get a little credit. I mean holy shit you still invented the wheel.

    (machu pichu on the other hand is just pathetic)

    It's of interest to me personally due to the sheer disparity in the navigation abilities between Vikings and anyone else for a long time after. They figured out ways to navigate reliably without a compass, and cross incredible distances in fairly small ships. Another similarly skilled maritime culture are the polynesian navigators, who made stick and rope maps that could be used to navigate by sea currents, and crossed similarly impressive distances. These two cultures have others beat as far as I'm concerned when it comes to exploration.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    I think Mt. Everest was a pretty hard climb prior to modern technology. Tzentzin and Hillary both used air bottles and masks to have a shot at it.

    While I think there probably was Sherpas that climbed Everest before Hillary. It couldn't have been many, and it could certainly not have been often.

    K2 I doubt anybody climbed, because its fucking hard even by Himalaya standards.

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  • gjaustingjaustin Registered User regular
    PLA wrote: »
    Is there any other way to "discover" manmade structures than making your own little group aware of them? You can't be the first one who noticed it if it's already built.

    I'd argue that you can discover them if they've been forgotten or lost. So, for example, Pompeii was discovered when it was unearthed.

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Kana wrote: »
    Also this is one of my favorite random browsing pages ever: Fashion History Gallery!

    Just for a 100-year sample:

    But the girls in England 15 years after that were, uh... hmm. See us after class England.
    6d49fce466b733c55c26304e55d7dc4d.jpg

    I see the crazy hip dress. And I get the idea, because wide hips meant something at the time(easier childbirth). However I find it hard to believe this was actually worn by any number of people, and was anymore than the garbage we see at fashion shows today (or concept cars if you will. the real version is nothing like the high concept).


    I can't wait to dive into this thread for some crazy stories of history. Them wacky romans at war building gigantic ramps up to cities so they didnt have to wait to starve them out, and building country long defensive fortifications by their army in short periods of time.

    Edit: I am reading that plantation wife's diary now, and she burns the shit out of the guy she is arguing with in the very first letter. Paraphrased "If they are incapable of learning, why is it illegal to try and teach them? What difference does it make"

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  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    I see the crazy hip dress. And I get the idea, because wide hips meant something at the time(easier childbirth).

    Are you implying that hips mean nothing now

    Because if so allow me to retort: Hips don't lie

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Leif Ericson and Zheng He were both late to the party, though; the real discoverers were pedestrians crossing the Bering Strait, they just didn't leave a written record notifying everybody of their achievement. Or so the most reasonable theories suggest
    Interestingly the consensus on this is fairly rapidly changing over the last 20 years or so. The increasing acceptance of pre-Clovis archaeological sites indicates that it would be extremely difficult or impossible for the first human settlers in the Americas to have crossed a Bering land bridge.

    When Did Humans Come to the Americas? - Smithsonian Magazine

    Currently the strongest theory as I understand it is a coast migration theory not dissimilar to the one that settled Australia. Its possible the Clovis people were an offshoot of those populations but the tool working techniques were very distinct. And its possible modern American populations are descendents completely from Clovis or Clovis-like migrations that won out over thousands of years, or separate.

    There's even a semi-legitimate theory that says a culture called the Solutrean culture from Spain/France may have migrated in an Inuit style to the US/Canadian east coast and become the Clovis culture gradually during the last Ice Age. That's much less accepted than the Pacific coast migration theories though, especially the "kelp highway" hypothesis.

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    The other camp essentially viewed the settlement of the Americas by Europeans as the rape of the new world, an inherently aggressive exploitation of a purer culture. Which I mean, obviously they have a point, but the spread of disease in that argument is often treated as a conscious action - traders using "smallpox infected blankets" as if they had a national plan based on germ theory. In reality the spread of European diseases through native populations were so virulent that purposefully spreading the disease was kind of pointless, like throwing a lit match into an already burning wildfire (alcohol on the other hand, really was used as a tool of suppression as a trade good, but not until later). But in this view, the spread of disease to an uninfected population takes on a moral implication, the Noble Savage destroyed by modern man's uncleanliness. So for one of the defining diseases of the 18th and 19th centuries to be a new world disease, and a sexually spread disease at that... They didn't much care for that, as it turns their Noble Savages in The State of Nature into just another population.

    We do have written & signed letters from military commanders acknowledging that they gave native communities blankets & clothing infected with smallpox. The germ theory wasn't formalized, but it was well enough understood on some rudimentary level that militaries were actively engaged in biological warfare.

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    The other camp essentially viewed the settlement of the Americas by Europeans as the rape of the new world, an inherently aggressive exploitation of a purer culture. Which I mean, obviously they have a point, but the spread of disease in that argument is often treated as a conscious action - traders using "smallpox infected blankets" as if they had a national plan based on germ theory. In reality the spread of European diseases through native populations were so virulent that purposefully spreading the disease was kind of pointless, like throwing a lit match into an already burning wildfire (alcohol on the other hand, really was used as a tool of suppression as a trade good, but not until later). But in this view, the spread of disease to an uninfected population takes on a moral implication, the Noble Savage destroyed by modern man's uncleanliness. So for one of the defining diseases of the 18th and 19th centuries to be a new world disease, and a sexually spread disease at that... They didn't much care for that, as it turns their Noble Savages in The State of Nature into just another population.

    We do have written & signed letters from military commanders acknowledging that they gave native communities blankets & clothing infected with smallpox. The germ theory wasn't formalized, but it was well enough understood on some rudimentary level that militaries were actively engaged in biological warfare.

    ...Do you have versions of those links that are legible? I can't make out anything from them

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
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