Archive for September, 2010

Ottoman Failure

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Ottoman March

During this period, the Empire faced challenges in defending itself against foreign invasion and occupation. The Empire ceased to enter conflicts on its own and began to forge alliances with European countries such as France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Russia. As an example, in the 1853 Crimean War the Ottomans united with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Second French Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia against the Russian Empire.

The Crimean War caused an exodus of the Crimean Tatars. From the total Tatar population of 300,000 in the Tauride Province, about 200,000 Crimean Tatars moved to the Ottoman Empire in continuing waves of emigration.[46] Toward the end of the Caucasian Wars, many Circassians fled their homelands in the Caucasus and settled in the Ottoman Empire. Since the 19th century, the exodus to present-day Turkey by the large portion of Muslim peoples from the Balkans, Caucasus, Crimea and Crete,[47] had great influence in molding the country’s fundamental features. These people were called Muhaci under a general definition.


Napoleon’s Coronation Painting

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

As discussed in class, there is some uncertainty about whether Napoleon Bonaparte was crowning himself or his wife Josephine in Jacques-Louis David’s painting of Napoleon’s coronation on December 2, 1804. Although Napoleon did crown himself, the text The West: A Narrative History, says that in David’s painting, Napoleon was crowning Josephine.

This is what the movie version (Napoleon Bonaparte (2002)) depicts:Napoleon\’s Coronation (Movie Version)




Friday, September 24th, 2010

Evidently French inches were measured longer than English inches, which would put Napoleon at around 5.5-5.7 which was average height for Frenchmen during the period. I don’t know much you trust, but here is the link

Scramble for Africa

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

During the Age of New Imperialism, Africa was divided amongst the European powers.  This division occurred from the 1880s to 1914.  In the mid-1870s territorial disputes amoung European powers arose over interest in sub-Saharan Africa.  Beginning with King Leopold II of Belgium, many countries entered Africa with the intention of gaining the profits and prestige of the land.

Marie Antoinette

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

As discussed in class, Marie Antoinette, Queen and wife of Louis XVI, is thought to be clueless of the harsh conditions that citizens of France were faced with. She was thought to be living it up in the palace, unaware of what was happening in the pre-revolutionary period and actual revolution of France. She is most known for saying, “Let them eat cake” which refers to those who were suffering in famine with hardly any food. These people could barely buy bread let alone cake. As was also mentioned in class, there are those who think Marie Antoinette was just clueless when she supposedly said these words, and others who think she was being deliberatley malicious. Director Sofia Coppola’s film version of Marie Antoinette depicts Marie Antoinette’s words like this:

Let Them Eat Cake- Marie Antoinette Film (video)

Video from:

Joseph de Maistre

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Joseph de Maistre was a lawyer, diplomat, writer, and philosopher. He was one of the most influential spokesmen for hierarchical authoritarianism in the period immediately following the French Revolution. He was one of the key intellectual figures of the Counter-Enlightenment and  argued for the restoration of hereditary monarchy. One of his most famous works was  Considérations sur la France (“Considerations on France,” 1796), it stated that that France had a divine mission as the principal instrument of good and  evil on Earth. He also believed that the French Revolution was a Providential occurrence and that it wouldn’t effect other countries.

Some of his more famous quotes are listed below.

“A constitution that is made for all nations is made for none.”

“Every country has the government it deserves.”

 “I don’t know what a scoundrel is like, but I know what a respectable man is like, and it’s enough to make one’s flesh creep.”

“If there was no moral evil upon earth, there would be no physical evil.”

“Man is insatiable for power; he is infantile in his desires and, always discontented with what he has, loves only what he has not. People complain of the despotism of princes; they ought to complain of the despotism of man.”

“Wherever an altar is found, there civilization exists.”

The “Sacred Ground” of a nation-state

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Before the French Revolution, the event which the modern world unfolded int he shadow of, the idea of the nation-state was quite different. Nowadays, A state like Germany would be germany despite who controls the location or draws the borders, it is a sort of primordial, “Sacred ground” of the German people. The same goes with Japan or any other country on the map today. These are not interchangeable borders and domains based on the politics and whims of the rulers, with the language and culture as the binding glue.
But it was not always like this, which is interesting to think about. The paradigm shift of the French Revolution put us into this frame of thought, that borders are not interchangeable as the political situation allows. Before nation-states, different multi-ethnic empires rise and fell with different peoples and languages overlapping on the same land, only separated by time. Politics and rulers could make up “countries”, and another ruler could come by and erase them into the sands of time.

The Guillotine

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The guillotine was a new invention around the time that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed (1792-1793). The guillotine is a device used for decapitation, in which a blade inside of a wooden frame, suspended by pulling a rope, is dropped, killing whoever is on the receiving end.  This is what it looks like: 

This device became a symbol of great terror in France, and was used commonly during the French Revolution. 

Also, here is a clip from the film version of A Tale of Two Cities from 1935 based on the novel by Charles Dickens.  Starting around 4:00, the clip shows the final scene, in which the guillotine is used for one of the character’s execution.

A Tale Of Two Cities (video)



Maps Before and After the French Revolution

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Due to al-Tikriti’s request, I decided to search for the before and after maps depicting the change in the organization of France.

This shows how France was divided and had no means of unification because of the way in which they were divided into larger “territories”. Through the territories, people didn’t identify as a nation because they felt no connection to the concept and felt tied to the specific territory in which they lived.

This map is an exceptional representation of how France, after the French Revolution, was able to eliminate the larger “territories” and break them into Departments that drove those living in France to identify as a Frenchman rather than (for example) a Bretagne.

First image

Second Image


Monday, September 20th, 2010

This here is a video of one of Hitler’s speeches. It is easy to see how he so easily brained, washed so many people into following his ways of life and his hatred towards the jews, he was a great speaker and a very powerful character. All you have to do is listen to the way he talks and watch his gestures. [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]