Friday, April 1, 2016

History: The Year is 1757

I've uploaded year 1757 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

'No Firing Till You See the Whites of Their Eyes!' -- Even though we remember this battle cry at Bunker Hill, it was an old battle cry even in 1757.

The Mongols have Invaded Tech Support! -- Calcutta falls to the British as elements of the British Raj are just getting started. I talk about Mongols, Moguls and why the British Raj set the conditions necessary for tech-support centers in India.

Timeline Bullet Points -- Vancouver and Lafayette are born.

'No Firing Till You See the Whites of Their Eyes!'

The Seven Year's War has caused big changes. France is now allied with their traditional enemy, Austria-Hungry. The Prussian King Frederick the Great (the Old Fritz) has made alliance with his old enemy, England. In this war he has moved on Prague and laid siege, but Austrian troops threaten him from the Kolin Hills. With such a large force in his rear, the Old Fritz conducts a number of assaults on the Kolin Hills, calling for bayonets and " firing till you see the whites of their eyes!" It is an old battle cry even in 1757. The Battle of Bunker Hill won't be until 1775. The British will incur massive losses for the Bunker Hill victory. (In the words of the ancient Greeks, "We can't win many more victories like this one.") Frederick's men are hesitating to join battle so he shouts another familiar line... "You rascals! Do you want to live forever?!" His troops push forward but to no avail. Prussia is forced to retreat. The result is 14,000 dead or wounded for Prussia alone. (In a battle, a wounded solider is as good as a kill since in the short-term he must be cared for.) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Germans were once a rowdy mob. The exception was the order of the Teutonic Knights, so Frederick the Great used their example in whipping the German people into shape. He was so successful that the word "Prussian" now means disciplined... almost like a machine. Frederick also used the cross of the Teutonic Knights as the symbol for Prussia. The cross was later stylized by modern Germany into the wide, double-lined Iron Cross that most people remember from World War 2. Germany was split into East and West after World War 2, and when talk of reunification began in 1989 I thought that such a disciplined and militaristic people would be too much of a bad thing. I was wrong. Currently Germany is busy goofing up its economy, but compared to the rest of Europe, it is using its discipline well. [10] [11]

The Mongols have Invaded Tech Support!

The word "Mogul" comes from the Persian word meaning "Mongol". The Mogul Empire once extended into India, but the last strong emperor died in 1707 and India fell into warring provinces. Now India is on the verge of surrendering to a British file clerk! ("How the mighty have fallen...") When Robert Clive arrived in India, he was a merchant's representative for the British East India Company but India was being used to fight a proxy war between the various nations of Europe. During those wars, Clive was noticed for his bravery under fire. After over 120 British soldiers died in the Black Hole of Calcutta (a dungeon), and several diplomatic letters to the Nawab (provincial representative of the Moguls) went unanswered, Clive was sent to capture the city. While Admiral Charles Watson bombarded the local fort from the sea, Clive came over land with a small force and took the fort. Shortly thereafter, Calcutta fell. [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. Why is this important? Robert Clive was the guy who set up the British Raj along with Warren Hastings. (The British Raj was the government system that Gandhi fought with passive resistance and won.) Clive also set up the conditions to locate all tech-support centers in India because the British Raj insisted on using English as the language of government. Thus today many of the people of India know both their local language and English. If you want to hate Clive for setting that up, take a number. At the time, Clive was accused of corruption and cruelty, but it can be argued that using a stick to bring order out of chaos caused less suffering and not more. (Your choice.) While the power of the Moguls diminished, their prestige did not. They still had a lot of money and influence. That is why today when we use the word "mogul" we mean someone who is powerful and rich even though what it really means is "Mongol". [15]

Timeline Bullet Points

  • George Vancouver is born in England. He will explore the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver Island will be named after him. [16]
  • The London Chronicle starts publishing. It will be the first newspaper in Europe to publish the Declaration of Independence in full (but without comment or explanation). [17]
  • Lafayette is born in France. Even though George Washington is currently fighting the French and Indian War, he will come to depend on Lafayette during the American Revolution. Lafayette Square in Washington, DC will be named after him. [17] [18]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1757, Wikipedia.

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