Category Archives: History

This covers the history of many countries over centuries. My main interests are the British Isles, Russia and America.

Azerbaijan

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AZERBAIJAN

Azerbaijan is a country that can be regarded as being in Europe or in Asia. This country is in the Caucasus Mountains. It is beside the Caspian Sea. The climate is cool in winter and warm in summer. It is cold and snowy atop the mountains.

This country has neighbours – namely – Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Iran. The Nakhchivan Exclave is an area of Azerbaijan which does not connect to most of Azerbaijan by land. Nakhchivan is separated from the rest of the country by Armenia. It is Nakhchivan that borders Turkey and not the main part of Azerbaijan that does.

There is oil below the ground. Where it seeps up it goes on fire. In ancient times some people here were Zoroastrians – as in they followed the faith preached by the Prophet Zarathustra. This country’s name means ”Land of Fire.”

The people of this country have mixed routes. Many centuries ago they were called Albanians but were in no wise connected to the country that is now called Albania. They were Christians in the Dark Ages. Then Islam came in the 8th century AD. They people converted en bloc. They practiced the Sunni version of the faith. They were part of the Islamic Empire. At time the land was ruled by Arabs. Later it became part of Iran.

The Turks passed through 900 years ago. The language of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani. This is the same as Old Turkish. Then the Mongols passed through.

When the Iranians came back in the 17th century they had most of the people change to Shia Islam. Later this country became part of the Ottoman Empire. Then Azerbaijan became independent again. By the 18th century the country had fallen apart into many different emirates.

In the late 18th century the Russians persuaded some Azerbaijani emirs to be their liege men. The Azerbaijani emirs often fought each other.

In the 1820s Russia and Iran signed a treaty. Azerbaijan was divided along a river. Two-thirds of the country went to Iran and the remainder became part of the Russian Empire. Tabriz, the historic capital, is in Iran.

Russian was introduced as the official language. Russians moved in especially when the railway was built. The Russians did not interfere with the Islamic faith. Most Azerbaijanis were highly traditional. They were traders and farmers. The land was famed for its carpets.

Oil was discovered at a fishing port called Baku. Baku became the capital. In the 1860s oil started to be pumped. The Nobel brothers from Sweden came here. They made a fortune. One of them was Alfred Nobel who started the Nobel Prize. Britishers and Frenchmen came too. There is still a street in Baku that bears Nobel’s name.

More Russians and Ukrainians moved into the country in the late 19th century. There were many Armenians too. These foreigners were concentrated in Baku.

Socialist and liberal ideas were spread. The oil workers often labored in terrible conditions. Some Azerbaijanis spoke of independence from the Russian Empire. However, the Tsar would not permit free expression or elections. Many Azerbaijanis felt little loyalty to Russia. They were not Russian, were not Christian and in some cases could not speak Russian. They believed their country to be occupied. Most of its wealth was expatriated.

There was much revolutionary activity. Joseph Stalin organized a bank robbery there to raise funds for the Bolsheviks (communists). An Armenian socialist named Stephan Shaumpanian was there – agitating for revolution.

In 1914 the First World War broke out. Some Azerbaijanis volunteered for the Russian Army. In 1917 there were two revolutions in Russia. The Russian Government’s authority in Azerbaijan was severely weakened.

In October 1917 the Communists seized power in St Petersburg which was then the Russian capital. The new Prime Minister was Lenin. He said that non-Russian countries were allowed to become independent.

On 28 May 1918 Azerbaijanis met in Ganja and proclaimed the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The country was independent! However, Baku was still controlled by Russia. Half the population of the city was not Azerbaijani.

The Azerbaijani Army wanted to liberate Baku. In 1918 the Ottoman Empire formed the Army of Islam. This was an army for all Turkic Muslims whether Sunni or Shia. Muslims in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and so on were to unite. The Army of Islam came to Baku to try to wrest the city from the foreigners.

Baku was held by a bizarre alliance of Red Russians, White Russians, British, Indians, Armenians and Georgians. The Battle of Baku was fought in August and September 1918. The Army of Islam was beaten back at the Wolf’s Gate – the highest point in Baku. A British general named Dunster commanded Baku. He did not want his enemy to capture the Wolf’S Gate because then they could bombard Baku Harbour.

Dunster then decided to evacuate. He shipped his men out. There were 28 communist commissars in the city. Among them was an Armenian named Stepan Shaumpanian. He and his comrades sailed to Turkmenistan. There they were seized by White Russians and executed. They were later buried in Baku with great honour in the middle of the city.

The Azerbaijani nationalists took control of Baku in September 1918. The later sent a delegate to Paris to the peace conference. They secured recognition of their state. This was the first secular Muslim state in the world. President Wilson of the USA professed himself deeply impressed by the Azerbaijani representatives whom he met.

In 1920 Lenin changed his mind about Azerbaijani independence. He wanted oil. The Red Army invaded Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Army was defeated. The country was then declared to be part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republic. This included Georgia and Azerbaijan. Baku was besieged at this time. A train of food to relieve the starving people was sent. It was intercepted at Volgagrad by Stalin who took all the food for his men.

In 1922 the country formed part of the Soviet Union. The General-Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan was a Russian named Sergei Kirov. The first few general-secretaries after him were also Russian. Only in 1936 did Azerbaijan become a union republic of the USSR.

The communists forced women to cast off the veil. Gender equality was enforced.. The secret police rooted out those suspected of wanting independence. They were labeled reactionaries, counter-revolutionaries, enemy agents, traitors, extremists and bourgeois nationalists. They were tortured and sent to slave labour camps. Many were executed.

Stalin moved other ethnicities into the country and he moved Azerbaijanis out. He gave Azerbaijani land to Georgia and Armenian land to Azerbaijan. Ganja was renamed Kirovabad after Kirov was assassinated in 1934.

In the Second World War many Azerbaijanis were conscripted into the Red Army. Some distinguished themselves by valorous deeds. The country’s oil was vital to the USSR.

After the Second World War oil production shifted to Kazakhstan. There was much development in Azerbaijan in the 1950s. Many apartment blocks were built.

In 1970 Heydar Aliyev was made General-Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan. He was effectively governor of the country.

In the 1970s there was an Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Soviet Government was very anxious in case it spread to Azerbaijan. It did not occur. In 1980 Aliyev became part of the Politburo and moved to Moscow.

In the late 1980s the government stopped sending people to prison for speaking their minds. The Azerbaijan Popular Front was formed. It campaigned for independence.

Fighting broke out between Azerbaijanis and Armenians. Dozens were killed.

On 20 January 1990 there confrontations between the Soviet Army and protestors. The army opened fire and over 100 people were killed. Aliyev resigned from the Politburo in protests. Many people left the Communist Party over the massacre.

In late 1991 the country declared independence. Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over Nagorno Karabakh. This is now a frozen conflict.

The 1990s was a time of great upheaval. In 1994 Aliyev became president. He signed a truce with Armenia. The country suffered hyperinflation. He managed to right the economy. The country returned to stability.

In 2003 it was clear that Heydar Aliyev was terminally ill. In October he resigned the presidency and handed over to his son Ilham. In December Heydar died. He is interred at Honour Cemetery in Baku.

Ilham Aliyev has been re-elected several times.

The capital is Baku.

The currency is the Manat. This is derived from the Russian word for coin.

This is a resolutely secular country. Headscarves are not allowed for schoolgirls – no exceptions.

AZAL is the national airline.

The flag is blue, red and green horizontal bars from top to bottom. There is a nine pointed white star and crescent moon on the middle bar.

 

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  1. Which two continents could this country be said to be part of? Two marks.
  2.  This country is astride which mountain range?
  3. Which sea is this land beside?
  4. What is the capital city?
  5. What faith was the main one here before Islam?
  6. What is the main Muslim denomination here?
  7. Which three empires ruled this land?
  8. What was this country called that is also the name of another European country?
  9. Name the neighbours of Azerbaijan?
  10. What does Azerbaijan mean?
  11. Why might it have had that name?
  12. What is the name of the historic capital of Azerbaijan?
  13. Draw the flag. Five marks.
  14. What is the currency?
  15. What is the official language?
  16. What exclave is beside Turkey?
  17. What is the disputed area with Armenia?
  18. Who was the first secretary-general of the Azerbaijan CP?
  19. Who organized a bank robbery here before the First World War?
  20. Who was Shaumpanian? Three marks.
  21.  What happened at the Battle of Baku? Five marks.
  22. Who was the secretary-general of the Azerbaijan CP in the 1970s?
  23.  What is this country’s most important export?
  24. What is the name of the national airline?
  25. Which language is Azerbaijani most closely related to?
  26. Which country contains most of historic Azerbaijan?
  27. Who is the president of Azerbaijan?
  28. Which Swedish inventor lived in Baku?

 

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should we welcome abortion in Ireland =================

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can we rejoice?

people are not people

some people switch off compassion.

I know good people who have done this.

I knew an elderly German. uxorious, loving grandfather etc…. was in SS. Do not know what he did.

people are multidimensional

judge people. we all have the right to judge

be honest about why you have abortion

woman in 20s married , plenty of money, married so husband could buy expensive clothes and be in the golf club

baby does not have a choice

embryos do not look like humans

if you are a foetus be worried. I am being flippant.

get your rosaries off my ovaries

catholic Ireland is gone. holy Ireland is gone

we were  a virtual theocracy for 50 years

no hope of repeal of new law. it will be widened/

 

 

Why did Germany almost have a communist revolution in 1919?

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In 1919 the First World War had just ended. The Weimar Republic had been founded in Germany in 1918. The republic was detested both by conservatives and communists. The country was polarised and therefore ripe for revolution.

There were several reasons why Germany almost had a communist revolution at this time. These were – suffering caused by the war, the lack of respect for the government, the example of Russia and the anti-democratic character of the German elite.

Germany had lost the First World War. The horrific suffering engendered by war made people furious. Many of them had lost faith in their government. The Allies kept up the blockade of Germany until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919. The blockade meant that many Germans were almost starving. Because they were malnourished and irate they were susceptible to communist propaganda. They sought a radical solution to their problems.

The old system of Imperial Germany seemed to have failed the working class. The Kaiser and his acolytes had started an unnecessary war in 1914. They had caused the deaths of millions of Germans and still lost. In October 1918 soldiers and sailors in Germany had mutinied. They had hoisted the red flag of communism.

Russia had had a communist revolution in October 1918. This inspired many Germans. They believed that in Russia a new state was being built that would advantage the working class. Germans who had been Prisoners of War in Russia during the war came home in 1918. They had been exposed to communist ideas. Many of them wanted to launch a communist revolution in Germany.

In January 1919 the Spartakists (communists) had attempted a communist revolution in Berlin. They had tried to overthrow the social democrat government headed by Friedrich Ebert. Ebert had asked the head of the army General Groener to defeat the Spartakists. Groener had done so. Groener used the Free Corps to help him. The Free Corps were right wing ex-soldiers.

The social democrats wanted some of the same things as the communists. They wanted to redistribute wealth. They wanted good public services paid for by high taxes. However, the social democrats believed they could accomplish their goals through peaceful and democratic means. Communists said that parliamentary methods were a sham. They rejected bourgeois legality because they said that reactionary elements in the army, the police, the courts and the civil service would thwart them. Communists said that armed revolution was the only way to bring about radical social change.

In conclusion, Germany came close to a communist revolution because of its social, economic and political conditions. A wave of revolution was sweeping Europe at the time. Communist revolution was only averted because the conservative elite joined forces with the social democrats to crush the communists.

 

 

 

Romania

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ROMANIA

Romania is a European country. It is in Eastern Europe. The neighbours of this nation are Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Moldova and the Ukraine.

Romania was inhabited by the Trac people in ancient times. Then the Dac people lived there. The Romans called this country Dacia. They conquered Dacia. The Roman poet Ovid was exiled to Tomis on the Black Sea. This city is in Romania.

The Roman Empire broke up. Romania became independent. The country split into several warring kingdoms. The Romanian language grew out of Latin. Hungary conquered Transylvania in the Middle Ages. Romanians followed Orthodox Christianity whereas the Hungarians were Catholics.

Tatars traded with the Romanians. The Tatars had enslaved Gypsies. Gypsy slaves were sold to Romanians. The aristocrats and monasteries owned people.

The Ottomans conquered Wallachia in the 15th century. Vlad Tepes fought them and drove them out. Wallachia, Dacia and Moldova were united in 1499. However, under renewed Ottoman assault this union fell apart. The whole of Romania was conquered by the Ottomans again. Some Romanians were taken as slaves.

The Ottomans brought some Turkish words into the Romanian language – chiftele, pantofi, ceai, ciorba and so on. The Ottomans did not attempt to convert the Romanians to the Mohammedan faith. The Ottomans demanded tax and recruits for the army.

In the 18th century the Hungarians defeated the Ottomans and drove them out of Transylvania. The Hungarians came to rule that province. The Russians beat the Ottomans in Moldova and pushed them out. The Ottomans still ruled Wallachia. An agreement was reached that a Christian prince must rule Wallachia on behalf of the Ottomans.

In 1848 there were revolutions across Europe. By that time Hungary was part of the Austrian Empire. Hungarian nationalists in Transylvania rebelled. Romanians helped the Austrians to put down the Hungarian uprising. The Romanians were a majority in that province.

In 1859 a major rebellion in Wallachia succeeded. Wallachia broke away from the Ottomans in all but a purely nominal sense. Romania acquired a ‘domnitor’ named Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Cuza was the ruler. Cuza abolished slavery. He was too liberal for some aristocrats. He was overthrown after a few years.

Wallachia searched for a new prince. They found one from a minor German princely family – Hohenzollern-Sigmarinen. Carol I came over from Germany to be Prince of Wallachia. It was felt that a proper country needed a monarchy.

Romanian copied much of the French legal code. France was the cultural leader in Europe. Many French words were borrowed by the Romanian language. The Romanian Flag – blue, yellow and red vertical bars – is based on the Tricolore. The country changed to the Latin alphabet

In 1878 Wallachia took advantage of the defeat of the Ottomans by Russia to proclaim her formal sovereignty. Prince Carol I became King Carol I. Wallachia renamed herself Romania. The country was a parliamentary democracy.

In 1914 the First World War broke out. Romania at first remained neutral under King Ferdinand. In 1916 Romania entered the war on the Allied side. She was soon whipped by the Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Bulgarians and Ottomans. Bucharest was captured by the Central Powers only four months after Romania had declared war.

In May 1918 the Treaty of Bucharest was signed. Romania had to pay crippling reparations. She was out of the war. In November 1918 the Central Powers were defeated by the Allies. The Treaty of Bucharest was declared null and void by the Central Powers and the Allies.

On 1 December 1918 the unification of Romania was proclaimed. This included what is now called the Republic of Moldova, some land in Bulgaria and Hungary.  This is the largest that Romania ever grew.

Ferdinand died. He was succeeded by Carol II. Carol II was a playboy. He abdicated in favour of his baby son Mihai. However, Carol II soon returned and resumed the throne.

Ultra nationalism grew. The League of the Archangel Michael wanted to persecute non Romanians and those who were not Orthodox Christians. The Crusade of Romanianism was another ultra nationalist party.

Romania was neutral at the outset of the Second World War. The Soviet Union threatened Romania into returning Bessarabia to them. Hungary was backed by Germany and demanded Transylvania back. Bulgaria got land back too. German troops demanded the right to be stationed in Romania. It was granted. They built Bucharest Airport. Romanian Jews were killed as part of the Holocaust.

In 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Romania joined on the German side. Romania regained land. However, in 1943 Romanian and German troops suffered a major reverse at Stalingrad. In 1944 the Red Army entered Romania. King Mihai ousted the dictator Ion Antonescu. The Romanian Army turned against Germany.

In 1945 the communist party became the dominant party. In 1947 the communists told Mihai to abdicate the crown or hundreds of hostages would be shot. He complied and left the country.

In 1948 the Communists became the sole legal party. Gheorghiu Dej ruled the nation. It was the Socialist Republic of Romania. The president died in 1965. He was succeeded by Ceausescu. This man had himself declared the Genius of the Carpathians. In 1989 his policies caused such malnutrition that he was overthrown and executed.

In the 1990s Romania adjusted to capitalism. Many people went abroad to work. The king returned but the monarchy was not restored.

Romania has the Danube flowing on its southern border. The Carpathians are the main mountain range. Moldoveanu Pic is the tallest mountain. The country has cold winters and hot summers. There are bears in the forests.

20 000 000 people live in Romania. The population is falling. There is a very low birth rate and half the young leave the nation.

Bucharest is the capital city. It contains the second largest building on earth – the House of the People.

Romanian is the official language. There are ethnic minorities such as Hungarians, Germans, Gypsies and Turks. Chinese and Nigerians have moved in too.

The last King of Romania died in 2017. With him perished any chance of the restoration of the monarchy.

 

 

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  1. What is the population of the country?
  2. Name an ethnic group here besides Romanians.
  3. Name the five neighbours of Romania. Five marks.
  4. Which country used to be part of Romania?
  5. What are the colours of the flag? Three marks.
  6. Which country did Romania copy in the late 19th century?
  7. Which empire ruled Romania from the 15th to the 19th century?
  8. Which country used to rule Hungary?
  9. What big river flows along Romania’s frontier?
  10. What is the main mountain range in Romania?
  11. What is the tallest mountain in the country?
  12. Who was the last king?
  13. Where did the royal family come from?
  14. What alphabet used to be used for the Romanian language?
  15. Is this country landlocked?
  16. Who was Alexandru Ioan Cuza?
  17. What is the southern part of Romania called?
  18. In what year was Romania first united?
  19. What did the Romans used to call this country?
  20. Who were the first people to live in Romania?
  21. Who was the last communist ruler of this country?
  22. Would you like to visit this land? Five marks.
  23. What is the population?

assessment of Ian Smith ====================

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He died ten years ago.

who was he?

what did he do?

UDI. racial discrimination

bush war. nayzonga raid

power sharing

Lancaster house.

elections. 80 per cent for former guerrillas.

helped govt

critic of Mugabe. #

debit and credit.

unrepentant. unafraid.

wanted white rule. brighter, whiter. euros rule. only backed by SA

some v racist supporters.

did not see times had changed. slaying civilians. wanted qualification for franchise

better educ and economy.

some racial integration at the end. at least he tried.

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Irish nationalism is wrong. =================

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unhistorical not evil. #

Ireland in 1170s

nationalism ivented 1790s

halcyom age is gaelic era

gaelic revivial. hark back to middle ages like rest of Europe. king Arthur.

noorwegian blood

separatists attempted to unite us with spain, france and germany

#foreign help for IRA. USA and Libya unholy alliance

 

euro nationalism

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Irish nationalism is not immoral. It is merely unhistorical.

Most of what you have read about Ireland’s past is false. Look into the annals. You will discover that when English soldiers first came to Ireland we were not fully independent, united, Irish speaking or Catholic. Nor is Ireland our original language.

Irish nationalism emerged in an identifiable form in the 1790s. It was then led by upper middle class Protestant intellectuals who wanted to copy the French Revolution. The anarchy, internecine fighting and mass executions of the French Revolution might have given them payse for thought. Nonetheless the wish to found an Irish Republic with religious equality was not a totally bad idea. The legal discrimination against the Catholic majority at the time made the Kingdom of Ireland a place badly in need of reform.

In the late 19th century Irish nationalism became Gaelic nationalism. Arlene Foster correctly identified it as such in 2005. Gaelic nationalism is about trying to have our culture preserved in aspic from the 8th century AD. A few centuries when the Gaels dominated are supposed to be the golden age. Like most tales of a gilded age it is largely false. We were deeply divided and almost incessantly at war against each other.  We had no royal dynasty.  Different dynasties tussled for the high kingship every few years. This at least meant a capable ruler came out on top which did not always happen under primogeniture.

Ancient Britons fled to Ireland in the 4th century AD so we are more British than the people of Great Britain. Britannia was a polity at the time. This cannot be compared to British people being German due to Angles and Saxons coming from modern Germany at that time. There was no concept of Germany back then.

All nations are created at some point as Anderson wrote in Imagined Communities. In Ireland there has been an erasure of our Welsh, Scots and English stock.

Gaelic nationalism’s twin engines were the Gaelic League and the Gaelic Athletic. These atavistic organisations harked back to the 12th century. That was before English and Welsh soldiers arrived in Ireland at the invitation of the King of Leinster.

Gaelic nationalism considered Gaelige to be the language of Ireland. Irish is not the original language of Ireland. There was a prior Celtic language before Irish. That Celtic language has been lost and was never written. So much for lingucide. Gaelic nationalists often accused the English of killing the Irish tongue. In fact the Gaels killed the previous Celtic tongue. Does that make Gaels bad?

Gaelic nationalists pretended that everyone in Ireland was  a Gael. There were several waves of immigration and invasion into Ireland before the 12 the century. Ancient Britons fled to Ireland in the 4th century AD. In that sense the people of Ireland are the true owners of Great Britain. The Britons who came to Ireland at the time were running away from the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who attacked Britannia.

The Gaels dominated Ireland for only six centuries but it gives them eternal mastery. 850 years of more recent connection to Wales and England is held to confer no legitimacy at all. Such is the illogic and vindictiveness of the closed minded nationalist.

Therefore many changes had occurred prior to the arrival of Strongbow and King Henry II of England in 1169.  All these changes before the 12 th century were accepted. Everything since 1169 was an abomination according to Gaelic separatists.

Gaelic nationalists stressed Irish unity. They overlooked the historical truth. In 1169 Ireland was divided into several kingdoms that were often at war against each other. There was a high king at Tara. But he had little authority. There was no regal dynasty. The country lapsed into fratricidal war every so often when a king died. These kingly elections were fractious affairs and often bloody ones.

There were Danes in Ireland in 1169 and that had been in Ireland for 300 years. They controlled Dublin. Brian Boru had bested the Danes at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Separatists ignored that this was a very temporary victory. The Danes soon returned.

Irish kings often enlisted Danish aid against each other.

It is the entitlement of any person to believe himself to belong to a distinct nation whether or not this opinion is borne out by historical evidence. Everyone has the right to seek independence for anything they consider to be a nation. That is not to say that every group that calls itself is a nation is one or indeed should be granted independence even if all the members of the same wish for independence.

After 1169 we had many English and Welsh immigrants coming. We also had Scots coming. The Scots were an Irish tribe originally. There was a kingdom that spanned the North Channel.

The Anglo-Normans and the Cambro-Normans who came to Ireland in the 12th century were soon gaelicised. The later Statues of Kilkenny were to forbid this but were soon ineffectual. Even that piece of legislation recognised that in most of Ireland – the Irishry – we were permitted our tongue culture. This law noted that the English and Welsh in Ireland had been absorbed into the native Irish. Therefore those of us who think we are native Irish are not entirely by any means. We are of Welsh, English and Norman stock.

Many Irishmen had gone to dwell in Great Britain. All sorts of people came to Ireland after 1160 such as Frenchmen, Germans, Dutch and so on.

How Gaelic are the Irish really? If we could isolate the Gaelic genes we would srely find that we are only a small fraction Gaelic. The Gales dominated Ireland for only a few centuries until the 9th century. There have been countless cultural memes that we adopted from all the other migrants who arrived in Eire.

In 1600 Sir John Davies wrote that if the people of Ireland were numbered by poll it would be found that few of us were autochthonous Irish.

Gaelic nationalism seeks to suppress all the non Gaelic heritage of Ireland.

The GAA banned people in it from playing garrison sports i.e. anything except for hurling or Gaelic football. At their social functions they had only Irish dancing and music. This is xenophobia.

There is nothing bad about playing Gaelic games. Learning a new language is laudable. Demonising another language – the language of the majority is contemptible.

Separatists in Ireland often accuse the English of invading us in the 12th century. They never accuse the Welsh who were involved too. That is historically illiterate. Moreover, the upper class in England and Wales are largely French at the time. Strongbow was invited in by an Irish king – Dermot MacMurrough. There was a high king Rory O’Connor whom MacMurrough clashed with. Was it wrong for a sub sovereign entity to enlist foreign military aid? Separatists should not think so.

Separatists wanted Ireland to be annexed by other countries. They have engineered several invasions of Ireland. They brought Spanish troops to Ireland in the 1590s.  King Philip II of Spain styled himself King of Ireland due to his marriage to our late queen Mary Tudor. They brought French soldiers to Ireland in the 1790s. They wanted French troops to invade in the late 19th century but it never happened. Some ex soldiers from the US came to Ireland to cause a conflict in 1860s. Admittedly not at the behest of Washington. They wanted German soldiers to attack us in 1916 and in 1940. The Kaiser spoke of ”taking the little place” and mused that he would make his youngest son the King of Ireland. In the 1920s some American ex soldiers were there again causing conflict. Some would have bee happy for the Soviets to invade. A few American ex soldiers joined the Irish republican cause in the 70s.  Separatists have engineered invasions and attempted to engineer invasions several times as adumbrated hereinbefore.

The Spanish troops were not wanted in Ireland in the 1580s. They were massacred at Smerwick. That is on the west coast – the most Catholic and Hibernophone region. There were Pontifical troops too. The Pope send his army and navy in 1588 and they were killed by us.

Had France conquered us we would have been a satellite of France. It might have been ana advance. Bear in mid  France was in conflict with the Catholic Church. Napoleon in time would have placed a sibling on our throne. Independence was not on the cards.

 

 

 

A century since the October Revolution.

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A hundred years have passed since the Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace. Lenin’s men encountered only a few cadets in the Winter Palace. These cadets would now be regarded as children. This bloodless seizure of the Winter Palace was to found one of the cruelest regimes of modern times.

Lenin used the Kaiser’s money to bring down the first democratic government that Russia ever had. Even the Bolshevik Military Revolutionary Committee voted not to attempt a revolution that that time. Stalin was among those who voted against it. Lenin was no respecter of democracy even within his own political sect.

The October Revolution lead to Russia making peace with Germany. Halting a war is generally a good thing. Russia had to give away huge swathes of territory and pay ruinous reparations to get Germany off her back. Much of this territory was peopled by non Russian people. They might not have liked being part of the Russian Empire. It is questionable whether being part of the German Empire represented an improvement.

Lenin shut down democracy because he lost the election. Soon he founded the Chekha. This secret police force was tasked with arresting dissidents. It went far beyond the intelligence role one would expect in a civil war. Torture was used as standard. Execuctions were carried out by the tens of thousands. There were flimsy trials. People were put to death for trifling offences such as leaving the country illegally. It should be one’s right to emigrate. The Reds committed countless massacres. It is true that the Whites did likewise. Lenin started the civil war so he bears most of the responsibility. He also caused his country to be beaten by Germany.

We now know that Germany collapsed in November 1918. Had Russia not capitulated then the two fronts would have kept up the pressure on the Second Reich. Germany would have been knocked out of the war a few months earlier if Russia had continued the right. It was not obvious that the Allies would win when Lenin signed an armistice with Germany in November 1918.

Lenin’s small band of extremists wreaked heavy violence on an already stricken country. Opposing the Bolsheviks were peasants called the Green Army. There were anarchists – the Black Guard. There were the Whites with factions ranging from reactionaries to socialists. There were nationalists of all non Russian nationalities. Lenin promised them independence if they wanted it. He very soon reneged on his vow as he was to do many times again.

Boleshevism may have started out well intentioned. Very soon it degenerated into gangsterism. These apostles of equality were residing I the palaces of the tsar. They granted themselves rest tours to the most exclusive German spas while most people had no health care. They dined well while millions starved. The Communists set up a very oppressive system. . Lenin personally authorised the deliberate killing of civilians.

The October Revolution is very much to be regretted. Not many people celebrate it in Russia. The Communists brought calamity on their country. They invaded and crushed several sovereign countries. Thee bludgeoned people were ones that had recognised states such as the Ukraine and Azerbaijan – they had diplomatic recognition by other nation states. There is no question of their legal status.

Communism failed almost as soon as it started. Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy, This was in fact the old economic policy- capitalism. Millions of people died in the Volga Famine of the early 1920s. This was partly due to drought but Lenin’s requisitioning of grain from the peasants aggravated matters. Some blame the refusal of capitalist countries t trade with Russia. No one is obliged to trade with anyone else. Besides, if the capitalist countries had trade with Russia then Communists would call to exploitation. So why would Communists wish to do commerce with bourgeois countries?

The Communists established a ruthless system of oppression. People had few if any rights. The country became appollinistic.

The Communist Government attained some admirable goals. Illiteracy was done away with. By the 1980s everyone had a decent standard of living. Healthcare was publicly funded and available to all. Education was free of charge up to PhD level. Admittedly much of it was Marxist indoctrination and academic freedom did not exist. Political prisoners were held until 1991.

Russia finally had multi party elections. People can say what they want to greater extent than before. They are allowed to travel freely. There is no mass state terror. The dream of the February Revolution has been more or less achieved.