Friday, September 11, 2009

Who said, "The sun never sets on the British Empire?"

The sun never sets on the British Empire

(idea) by dabcanboulet Mon Apr 05 2004 at 6:00:21

The sentiment expressed by these words first appeared in Christopher North's 1829 work Noctes Ambrosianae. The actual words used by Christopher North were 'His Majesty's dominions, on which the sun never sets' (as these words were written in 1829, the "Majesty" in question would have been King George IV).


The meaning of the words is, of course, quite clear - that the British Empire spanned the entire globe with the result that the sun was always up in some part of the Empire. The "self-evident truth" of the sentiment in 1829 was soon expressed in the less formal "The sun never sets on the British Empire" form, a sentence and a sentiment which certainly became a foundational part of the British psyche during the coming reign of Queen Victoria.


From a historical perspective, the words were true from roughly the foundation of the East India Company in 1600 through to the end of the Second World War.

The exact dates at either end of the range are certainly open to debate. For example, did the British Empire come to an end with the founding of the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1931 or with the departure of the British from India and the partition of India into India and Pakistan in 1947? In truth, the British Empire did not simply come into being one day and cease to exist on some other day so the exact dates are not particularily relevant. The fact remains that the British Empire did span the globe for a truly impressive period of roughly 350 years.

"Imperialism Hostile to Liberty"

Charles Schurz (March 2, 1829 - May 14, 1906) was a reformer and a military general. He is noted to being the first German born American elected to the US Senate. As far as his political affiliation is concerned, he was a true Republican and campaigned for Abraham Lincoln. After the election Schurz was appointed US Envoy to Spain.

Schurz can be noted for his anti-slavery views and due to his passion he became a member of the Union Army. After success in many important battles he moved up in the ranks to a General. A quote that he is noted for, "my country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right," displays his ideals for a better America.

At Schurz’s core he was a man of morals and was an anti-imperialist during the Spanish American War. In the essay “Imperialism Hostile to Liberty,” Schurz declares why imperialism is wrong and unjust. “We insist that the subjugation of any people is ‘criminal aggression’ and open disloyalty to the distinctive principles of our government.” Here he is trying to explain that by conquering other peoples and lands we are openly going against principles of what America was founded on. He also said, “we earnestly condemn the policy of the present national administration in the Philippines.” This statement is self-explanatory in that he was against the U.S. government trying to overtake the Philippine Islands. Ultimately, “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spanish American War Poetry Resources

Several Spanish American War poetry compilations are available on Google Books.  They are searchable:

 War-time echoes; patriotic poems, heroic and pathetic, humorous and dialectic, of the Spanish-American war.  [Brownlee, James Henry, comp., Akron, O., New York: Werner, 1898.]

 War poems, 1898;  [comp. by the California club, with illustrations by W. H. Bull and Gordon Ross. San Francisco: The Murdock press, 1898.]

Spanish-American war songs. A complete collection of newspaper verse during the recent war with Spain.  [Witherbee, Sidney A., comp. and ed, Detroit: Sidney A. Witherbee, 1898.]

Reminiscences and thrilling stories of the war by returned heroes : containing vivid accounts of personal experiences by officers and men  [Young, James Rankin, and J. Hampton Moore. Philadelphia: Shepp, 1899.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big Government...

Iam an African American and I love President Obama just as much as any other liberal...but Mr. Clinton told us that big government was obsolete. I think Obama's campaign of "change" in these harsh economic times might be the rise of the "NEW SOCIAL ORDER". Love it or leave it

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Flags of our Fathers

I recently finished reading Flags of our Fathers, by James Bradley (the son of one of the surviving men that raised the flag). It is about the six men that raised the flag on Iwo Jima during World War II. Even though there is proof that these men raised the flag, there was alot of controversy over the actual picture.
Out of the six men that raised the flag only three survived, Ira Hayes, John "Doc" Bradley, and Rene Gagnon. When the picture made its way back into the United States shortly after it was taken, these three men were immediately sent home from combat. They were greeted in Washington by the President and his cabinet. They were called "heroes" and thanked for their courage in such a risky battle. They were turned into celebrities and asked to tour around the country and share their story about that fateful day. However, this was not what the men wanted at all and they actually had a different story to tell people.
The men did not in any way feel like heroes. John Bradley constantly stated "the real heroes are the ones that never came home from Iwo." Bradley, a corpsman never took any credit for the actions he took and the many lives he helped and tried to save on Iwo Jima. Later on in his life he never once spoke of the things he did and saw back there. Even his family never knew that he received the medal of honor until after he died.
Ira Hayes was never the same after he came back from Iwo. He turned to drinking and found himself in jail a few times for it. After years of struggling with alcoholism he passed away after he was found laying outside in the snow...intoxicated.
Rene Gagnon was the only man that did accept some credit for the events that occurred. He accepted the tour around the country and openly shared his story with others. he was proud to be part of that photo, but he too never spoke much of all the good friends that he left behind.
The intriguing part about the photograph was that it was not the first flag that was raised on Iwo Jima, in fact it was a replacement flag. The men did not see raising the flag as a sign of patriotism like the people back home did. Many of the men referred to the photo as "I saw some guys raising a pole and jumped in to help" and "If i had it any other way, I wouldn't have been in the picture, I don't feel like a hero and never will be one" and "It was only a picture." None of the men in the photograph saw it as being anything more than a picture. They had no intentions of becoming famous and they feel that the real heroes are the other men in the photograph that did not live to share their story.
This was one of the best history books I have ever read. Bradly does an exceptional job at really describing the lives of the men that were over analyzed and portrayed in different ways throughout the United States. He wrote about their childhood, their experiences in the Marines, and their lives after the war. Bradley deserves a lot of credit for the amount of effort he gave to really tell the story the way he knew his father would have wanted it.

Kate Ludwig