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History Questions Not Worth Their Own Thread VIII

Discussion in 'World History' started by Flying Pig, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    From my understanding, the 1904 Entente Cordiale between France and Britain was widely the result of their Empires overstretching. It was mutually beneficial for both to cooperate in their global colonial ruling as that was a lot more economically efficient to work as a peaceful alliance rather than it would have been otherwise. Both powers could mutually benefit of the facilities of one another to master sea trade as a kind of unrivaled cartel. Bringing Germany to the game was clearly not in their interests.

    As a matter of fact, it seems so obvious when you think about it that we can hardly understand the logic of the "Britain and the US should have allied with Germany instead of France" usual narrative. Behaving aggressively towards France would have really endangered trade flows in the British Empire.
     
  2. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Hawks4life

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    Roosevelt and Stalin were both attacked first. That changes things immensely. Stalin, in particular, had pretty much no choice whatsoever.
     
  3. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Churchill didn't chose to go to war, either. He wasn't even a member of the government until after the war began, and before assuming the premiership, he was First Lord of the Admiralty, a position essentially equivalent to the Secretary of the Navy in the US; an important office in wartime, but by no means the natural successor to a resigning premier. He was only appointed prime minister nine months into the war, and was able to assume and then remain in office because he reflected the mood in parliament, which was in favour of continuing the war. If he had changed his mind, assuming no major deviations from actual history, parliament could have replaced him with somebody who was more determined to continue. Roosevelt or Stalin, while certainly bound by circumstances not of their own making, had a greater degree of personal authority over whether their countries remained in the war and on what terms, because they could not simply be replaced if they contradicted their respective legislatures.
     
  4. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I don't think Stalin had much choice.
     
  5. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Probably not, but it was his choice not to have, if that makes sense. Churchill wasn't simply constrained by circumstances, he was constrained by parliament; if they were in favour of continuing the war and he was not, he would have been removed, before it ever reached the point of discovering whether peace was on the table.
     
  6. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I generally agree. Churchill was for standing against Hitler but afaik there was no real peace party in Britain other than Mosley's gang and they were pretty thoroughly discredited by then anyway.
     
  7. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    FDR really didn't have a say either. While it's true that he could only really have been removed from office had he lost election in 1940 or 1944, it's also true that Congress declares war. And while the president in commander in chief, the actual running of the war was done by the Army and the Navy, with the money appropriated by Congress. Now given that the national mood was overwhelmingly for the war, had there been a president in office at the time who was not actively supporting the war efforts, he could have, and ultimately would have, been removed. Congress does have that power.

    Before Pearl Harbor, the general consensus in the US was against the war. After Pearl Harbor, the country as a whole wanted to get in on the killing, as fast and completely as possible.
     
  8. r16

    r16 not deity

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    the media would be surely moving the decision to war . Wasn't the USN in undeclared war against the Germans from maybe April 1941 ?
     
  9. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    FDR was responsible for the USN involved in anti-submarine warfare against the Germans before the US entered the war. So it's not like he wasn't pro-war. He wanted the US in it in alliance with Britain. But his was not the majority opinion before Pearl Harbor.
     
  10. r16

    r16 not deity

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    ı would say that's over-estimating the power of the Isolationists . This despite it was like real hard in the Congress and the like . This despite me long "favouring" the idea that Roosevelt allowed Pearl Harbour to happen and he got away with it only through being a Navy man . His underlings could not believe that it could be happening , and like once again it revolves around the oaths the really honourable men take and follow .
     
  11. Absolution

    Absolution Prince

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    When seeing how the Indus Valley history is presented around the web, I sometimes see attempts for conrete description about the social construct of the settlements and the regional system as a whole.
    It always gets me wondering - do we even know that it was in some level a single culture?

    Considering the vast time-frame and territory that is counted as "Indus Valley Civilisation", isn't it highly probable that different groups of peoples, "religions", "nations", or social constructs existed throughout it?
    How does the archaeology help decide on this case?

    If comparison is relevant, I would calrify myself by presenting two "models":
    - The Nile River model - a single (or one prominent) culture with a mostly unified linguistic and religious tradition (Egypt), which defined most of what we would credit to the Nile River Civilisation.
    - The Mesopotamian model - generally started with one specific culture (Sumer), which influenced other various peoples of the wider area (Elam and northern Semites), and later being totally replaced by newer cultures of the more recent Mesopotamian periods (Babylonians, Assyrians, Mittani).

    Is it likely that the Indus Valley Civilisation actually resembled the latter, contrary to the way it is mostly presented? Or can we simpy know nothing?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  12. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    This is going to depend on how much archeological work has been done there. This is certainly an extremely ancient center of human settlement. And, because of that, has most likely had a lot of groups of people moving across it, taking it from others, killing past groups, or merging with them. But to separate out what has happened, that takes a lot of work. And you'll have to dig into who has done, or tried to do, that work.

    The Nile Valley is unusual in being isolated by geography from invading groups. So a continuation of 1 culture is much more likely there.
     
  13. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Certainly. You have to work with the evidence you have, and we only really have access to material culture that was left behind. Similarities in structures, urban organization, weapons/jewelry, pottery, artistic motifs, etc. certainly speak to either a homogenous culture, or else multiple cultures linked to a productive or cultural hegemon. However that says nothing to the granular realities - absent written records we have no way of really knowing cultural demographic details, language, political realities at the ground level, etc. We do know a great deal about the Indus River Valley Civilization - the archaeological record they left behind is quite rich - but the reality is that until we decode those artifacts which academics in the field are speculatively identifying as a robust writing system - we won't know those granular details definitively.

    We can only work with what we have, and as you note, attempts to align material culture/archaeological findings with reconstructive linguistic or comparative religious work has historically been a fraught endeavor (see the attempts to place the Proto-Germanics or Proto-Indo-Europeans in the archaeological record for examples of this). But that being said, I don't think you'll find a credible academic in these fields that doesn't explicitly note the inherently speculative nature of that sort of work.
     
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