Friday, August 26, 2016

History: The Year is 1858

I've uploaded year 1858 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The British Raj is Formally Established -- The East India Company is out. Queen Victoria is in.

The Great Stink of London -- The Parliament can't stand the smell and hires an engineer to design aan build a proper sewer system.

A House Divided... Cannot Stand -- Lincoln delivers his famous acceptance speech as he runs for the Senate.

In Other News -- The Wedding March, the Miracle at Lourdes, and Boss Tweed.

The British Raj is Formally Established

The Great Rebellion in India has ended. How it began is difficult to summarize, but the British bungled a number of issues that forced various Indian factions into unity against the British East India Company. In one example: the British supplied the Indian Army with new rifle cartridges lubricated with pig and cow lard. To load the rifle, the top of the cartridge had to be bitten off so the Muslims and Hindus were united in the belief that the British were secretly undermining their religious practices. This has led to a lot of fighting until this year when the rebellion is finally put down. In the aftermath Queen Victoria's government takes direct control of India and so the British Raj begins. Later the Queen will take the title of Empress of India. The British East India Company will continue to manage the tea trade until 1874 when the company is finally dissolved. The British Raj will continue on until 1947 when India and Pakistan will win their independence. Burma will become an independent state the following year. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Great Rebellion is sometimes called the 1st War of Independence for India. This suggests that somehow the people of India were united (or nearly so) against British rule. In fact, they were not unified at all. Various factions had their own reasons for opposing the British. It didn't take some unifying conspiracy or a band of brothers. All it took was for the British East India Company to do something terrible to each group separately and for each group to react in kind. The unifying element was the British East India Company and not the Indians themselves. Even in the modern day, the one unifying element in India is their common language... English. The reason is because there are so many different languages spoken natively within the country that if they chose one native tongue, all the rest would rebel, so they chose a language that was native to none but common to all which is English. Because of the British Raj that ruled so many years before they had to learn English and now they use it for official business.

The Great Stink of London

It has been a long hot summer... and a stinky one. The British sewer system has not been well thought out. It is a hodgepodge of covered ditches and cesspits located directly under homes. With the cholera epidemic in full swing, well... it is difficult to manage the waste. A lot of it goes into the Thames and the city government is proud of it. Flush toilet sales have reached an all time high because it is believed that expelling waste as quickly as possible away from people and into the Thames is best. Remember that the experts are telling everyone that cholera is transmitted by air and that excreting wastes is cleansing the body. Doctors actually administer medicines that increase one's bowel movement. They also administer large does of mercury to patients. When the tide comes in, the water from the Thames travels miles upstream to the drinking water intake pipes. Experts blame the River for cholera but not because of the water. It's the Stink.... in other words, it is the air that is spreading the cholera epidemic. With infant mortality at 50%, and the stink from the Thames gagging the Parliament they finally engage an engineer to build an entirely new sewer system. [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Yes. When the government finally experienced the smell, they got up off their duffs and did something. The new sewer system construction began in 1859 and saved tens of thousands of lives. The problem with the old system was that it was a storm drain system that would dump the sewage on the shore at low tide and then become trapped near shore as the tide came in. There was no efficient way for the sewage to wash out to sea. In the modern day, some homes are still set up in this manner where the storm drain is connected to the sewer system. A few years ago, Ottawa, Canada experienced floods that not only caused water damage but pushed sewage into the basements of homes through their basement drainage system. Thus the residents not only had water damage but a health hazard as well. [9]

A House Divided... Cannot Stand

Abraham Lincoln is the most popular political person in Illinois who does not hold public office. After his previous run for the Senate he is remembered as a calm and steady fellow, and well liked, so as he returns to Springfield for the Republican convention he is a shoe in for the nomination to run against Senator Stephen Douglas. Douglas has been losing steam after the sweep of the state elections by Republicans and in reaction to his remarks in support of the Dred Scott decision. Douglas does not believe in social equality between whites and blacks. Lincoln believes in equality at the level of working for a wage and paying for one's own bread. On that level we are all equal. At the convention Lincoln addresses the slavery question. He previews his speech for his friends. They say it is too advanced, but Lincoln delivers it anyway.
"We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South."
--Abraham Lincoln, from his acceptance speech for the Senate Republican nomination. [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
His speech was immediately criticized as abolitionist, but it fact, it was not. Lincoln said that he did not intend to abolish slavery by fiat, but he did not support its expansion. Quotes from Lincoln can be tricky because while his goal to maintain the Union never changes, the way in which he goes about making that happen does change. His hero, Henry Clay, was called "The Great Compromiser". Lincoln looked for compromise at first. [12]

In Other News

  • "The Wedding March" becomes popular for weddings. Queen Victoria selects this music to accompany her daughter's wedding ([Click Here]). It comes from the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream which is a comedy. Say no more. [13] [14] [15]
  • In Lourdes, France, Bernadette sees a vision of the Virgin Mary. Interest in the miracle at Lourdes will grow. Bernadette will die young in a convent and attain sainthood in 1933. The 1943 movie "Song of Bernadette" is inspiring. [16] [17]
  • Boss Tweed takes Tammany Hall. This chubby fellow is going to give political corruption and fraud a bad name. Tammany Hall is the Democratic Party political machine in New York City. It will lose a lot of its power in the 1930s after much of its leadership is sent to prison. [18]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1858, Wikipedia.

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