War and Empires

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Questioning the Wilsonian moment: the role of ethnicity and nationalism in the dissolution of
European empires from the Belle Époque through the First World War

Questioning the Wilsonian moment: the role of ethnicity and nationalism in the dissolution of European empires from the Belle Époque through the First World War

This dossier aims to problematize the widespread understanding of ethnic cleavages as the hard core undergirding national con fl ict. As such it questions the rise of ethnic nationalism during the late nineteenth century as the direct cause of the dawn of Europe ’ s ‘ oppressed peoples ’ after 1918. The di ff erent contributions evalu- ate the status of the First World War as the breakthrough moment of Wilsonian self-determination within the multi-ethnic states and empires in Europe. In this respect they investigate the recent powerful thesis propounded by scholars of national indi ff erence in Central Europe that it was the unprecedented disruption of the Great War that politicized ethnicity as never before and made it into a marker of groupness rather than a mere social category, to use Rogers Brubaker ’ s terms. The articles in this dossier also con- tribute to recent investigations that focus on how European empires tried to accommodate nationalism and how nationalist movements in and outside of Europe used the disruption of the war and Wilson ’ s plea for self-determination to ask for indepen- dence. These articles demonstrate how the speci fi c developments of war and revolution produced particular understandings of the general idea of self-determination. The Wilsonian discourse as such had a breakthrough in 1918 when the destruction of Austria-Hungary generally became accepted as an Allied post- war goal. Movements world-wide adopted self-determination as a goal and standard, but as this dossier demonstrates, all kinds of actors used Wilson ’ s words for their many purposes, such that one cannot speak of a coherent and meaningful Wilsonian moment.
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Aftershocks: Violence in Dissolving Empires after the First World War

Aftershocks: Violence in Dissolving Empires after the First World War

Julia Eichenberg’s contribution shows how, as with warlords in the Russian civil war, the absence of a centralised state authority with a monopoly on violence allowed new, less inhibited paramilitary groups to operate in parts of Ireland and Poland. While the nature of the former British and German empires differed, the struggle for independence in Ireland and Poland showed many similarities. Comparing the Irish and Polish cases, the author discusses the question of ‘shatter zones’ as applicable to these very different regions on the edge of Europe. The author discusses social, political and religious motives both for mobilisation in paramilitary formations and in their choice of targets. Her article concentrates on excesses against civilians rather than combat situations. It sheds light both on the perpetrators and their heritage of war experience, and on the victims and the change in acts of violence. Eichenberg argues that certain forms of the violence committed had a symbolic meaning and served as a message, further alienating the different ethnic and religious communities. Finally, the comparison serves to raise questions about the obvious differences in the excesses in Poland and Ireland, namely in terms of the scale of excesses and victims and in the question of antisemitism that is central to the Polish case.
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The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: From the Rise of Early Modern Empires to the End of the First World War

The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: From the Rise of Early Modern Empires to the End of the First World War

resettlement, or expulsion’ of restless ethnic minorities in the frontier areas (p. 533). And the inevitable reaction of minority groups to such repressive measures was outright resistance, replicating again the old conflict between central authorities and peripheries of imperial times. The persistence of these social and political patterns of the pre-war era ‘virtually guaranteed that the struggle over the borderlands in Eurasia had not yet come to an end’ (p. 614). A new destructive period of internal crises and international conflicts was soon to begin on the ruins of the great empires of modern Eurasian history, reaching levels of violence and destabilization which are still haunting their successor states today.
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Chinese refugee children and empires: the politics of international adoptions in cold war Hong Kong

Chinese refugee children and empires: the politics of international adoptions in cold war Hong Kong

International adoptions were a modern version of entrenched residual sol- utions to the social welfare of a transient population. First, residual social policy was in the nature of the British colonial system, historically keen on sup- porting only limited statutory services. This was much in evidence in Hong Kong, a colony valued for its location and trade potential, not for its resources or population. 43 In fact, after its post-war British reoccupation, here the ‘people’, including their children, rather became a problem. As mass immigra- tion swamped the tiny colony, this emergency reduced human beings to mere numbers and, one could add, mere costs. 44 Second, initially the colonial govern- ment thought of the Chinese refugees as temporary residents who would either return to China or emigrate. 45 Hence, it logically welcomed a child emigration scheme that conveniently relied on the classification of Chinese children as refu- gees, whether they were infant children of local paupers or older immigrants. Although eventually it had to accept the permanent settlement of Chinese refu- gees, it maintained an adoption scheme that conveniently made up for local inef- ficiencies in childcare provisions. Third, if before the war the colonial government was already eager to delegate social services to local religious and charitable organisations, in its aftermath it rather expected that ‘the costs of [refugees’] integration into Hong Kong’s own community could be accepted as a charge upon the conscience of the free world … ’. 46 International adoption could therefore be seen as an integral part of the international relief accepted by the colony in the 1950s and early 1960s. However, it was eagerly facilitated by a colonial government that saw Chinese children as a welfare burden.
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Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750 1850

Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750 1850

In this book Holger Hoock outlines the material and psychological investment of culture in the process of British identity-formation from the mid 18th to the mid 19th century. Studying the context of national consciousness Hoock draws on forms of aesthetics, war, literature and biography. His work parallels aspects of Bernard Cohn and Thomas Metcalf, but applies to an earlier period, and integrates components of North American mili-tary history. His main insight is to widen the scope of politics for early modern Britain, connecting it to strands of both art and perceived heroism. Hoock engages with and expands on the paradigm of Said, fleshing out the specific mechanism by which percep-tions were made, remade and distributed to the population. The overview explores an atmosphere drenched in masculinity, in which 18th and 19th century British artists mythologized their own contemporaries. Invariably the narrative of this history engages deeply with race and class categories as well, with the representation of men as vital and forceful subjects framed by a context in which systematic privilege operated. Such actions emerged not as a conscious plan to extend domination over people’s devoid of whiteness, but neither was the process of art, archeology and
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The first meeting of the Roman and Parthian empires : geopolitical context and consequences

The first meeting of the Roman and Parthian empires : geopolitical context and consequences

Although it would seem that Tigranes could not wait to travel such a long distance to his native capital to assume the diadem. Appian states that Tigranocerta was founded at the place where he was first crowned. 137 This implies that the feet of the Taurus Mountain Range was the recognised limit of Tigranes‘ kingdom, even in 96 BC before his conquests of the 80s BC. It is approximately 1600 to 1700 km following the Tigris River valley north from Babylon to Tigranocerta (as it would later be called) to Artaxata, the Armenian royal capital. This distance does not take into account elevation changes (Armenia‘s altitude varies from 2400 to 6000 feet or 730 to 1830 meters) 138 . At a rate of 25 Roman miles (37 km) per day (an exceptional rate sustained by Cicero in his travels in Asia Minor) 139 Tigranes would have made it to his soon to be new capital of Tigranocerta (≈1100 km) in one month at best, likely longer. Given his date of departure as late as the end of May 96 BC and his likely haste to assume power, he reached his capital of Artaxata (≈600 km from Tigranocerta) no faster than two months later in late summer early autumn. It is unlikely Tigranes sustained such a rate of march for so long. The political and ceremonial significance of his arrival would have occasioned much celebration and entertainment by his various subjects and so it is likely that this journey took far longer than this baseline conjectural and minimal figure. He would have spent what little would have remained of that year consolidating his position. The absorption of Sophene into his kingdom could have been affected during this journey as this kingdom and its Euphrates River border with Cappadocia is within 200 km of Tigranocerta. Alternatively Sophene could have been absorbed in the spring of 95 BC and this would have immediately preceded the Armenian incursion into Cappadocia in support of the bid for its throne by the Ariarathes IX/Mithridatic faction, precipitating the war with the Ariobarzanes/Sulla faction. It was this conflict that eventually brought Sulla to the Euphrates River where the meeting with the Parthians in the summer of that year took place. 140 These Babylonian cuneiform texts now make a strong argument for Tigranes‘ accession to the Armenian throne in mid 96 BC and that Parthian forces were involved in his accession to the Armenian throne at this crucial time. Furthermore this study offers an explanation for the presence of a Parthian envoy on the Cappadocian/Armenia border at this time―circumstances that have previously been little explored by scholarship.
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World Empire   or a world of Empires?

World Empire or a world of Empires?

The Bush administration’s bellicose stance was raising ever bigger question marks about the USA’s true relation to the international institutions in whose name it had so far acted. Whether it had ever subordinated itself to supranational institutions is a question that has provoked hot debates reflected in this book. With the Iraq war it literally crossed the Rubicon. It became clear that the US government would pursue the policies it had decided on, with or without a coalition, and with or without the international institutions. If multilateralism was not dead in the water, it was certainly closer to drowning than waving. When the world backed the USA, as it did in 2002, then the semblance of multilateral action persisted. When it did not, as in 2003, not even the semblance remained. Moreover the USA had shown, in the unilateral protection shown to its steel producers, that it was prepared to be just as partisan in the economic sphere. Given its enormous political, military and economic weight, what real power did this leave in the hands of the IMF, WTO and the World Bank – not to mention the United Nations and its myriad satellites?
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Serhii Plokhy. The Cossack Myth: History and Nationhood in the Age of Empires.

Serhii Plokhy. The Cossack Myth: History and Nationhood in the Age of Empires.

Building  upon  all  this  scholarship,  Plokhy  takes  the  “people  and  places”   analysis  further  and  proposes  that  it  was  not  the  Novhorod-­‐Siverskyi  area,   but  rather  the  Starodub  region  that  was  most  familiar  to  the  author,  and  he   finds   in   Starodub   several   candidates   with   the   means   and   motivation   for   writing   such   a   history.   Of   all   these,   his   favourite   is   Stepan   Shyrai   (1761– 1841),   Marshal   of   the   Chernihiv   Nobility,   who   was   an   ardent   promoter   of   the   history   and   a   political   rival   of   Prince   Nikolai   Repnin,   the   Governor-­‐ general  of  Little  Russia  (later  Leo  Tolstoy’s  hero  and  the  model  for  Prince   Andrei  Bolkonskii  in  War  and  Peace),  who  sponsored  the  official  history  of   “Little   Russia”   by   Dmytro   Bantysh-­‐Kamens'kyi.   Thus   Shyrai   and   Repnin,   according  to  Plokhy,  were  both  political  and  historiographical  competitors.   In   his   conclusions,   however,   Plokhy   admits   that   his   theory   is   far   from   conclusive   and   that   much   research   still   needs   to   be   done   to   clarify   the   matter.  
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Signifying the West: Colonialist Design in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs

Signifying the West: Colonialist Design in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs

In Shadow, you skip a generation to play Nathaniel’s grandson Chayton Black during Red Cloud’s war. Advised by Billy Holme, you must set up trading posts and a railroad, which stirs up attacks from the Sioux. You negotiate a truce with Red Cloud and Crazy Horse that holds for almost a decade. Times change when Holme is Sheriff and a gold rush hits the Black Hills; the truce is off. You return to protect the mining camps from Natives, build trading posts, and defend against incoming Spanish. You change sides when you realize Holme is just after gold at any cost, which pits you against Colonel Custer as well. You must earn trust with the Sioux and Cheyenne by killing Holme’s outlaws and facing off with Holme in a mining cave. In the Battle of Little Bighorn, the object is to bring three Warchiefs to your base, lead skirmishes before Custer arrives to destroy the nearby enemy buildings that he will otherwise get forces from, and defend your main camp. Once Custer arrives, you don’t need to defeat his entire force, but instead simply target him with a single right- click and kill him to win the campaign.
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Empires, bureaucracy and the paradox of power

Empires, bureaucracy and the paradox of power

19 extraordinary, almost exponential, increase in the number of officials employed by nation- states from the late nineteenth century, nor the capacity of the state to reach into the very pockets of its citizens with little resistance. 67 But these developments were not transposed on to imperial possessions in a systematic way. Even in the so-called ‘age of bureaucracy’, which coincided with the spate of annexations that occurred in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, European empires were often a-modern, or de-modernizing, in their governing practices. 68 The bureaucratization of empire in Africa had scarcely begun at the close of World War II , and as late as 1950 in French West Africa the administration’s ability to record basic statistical information about its subject population (registers of births and deaths) was startlingly restricted, embracing only those resident within ten kilometres of a recording centre. 69 That such limitations in colonial knowledge could exist in a ‘modern’ empire makes it seem all the more remarkable that the quipucamayocs of Tahuantinsuyu (the specialist cadre of Inca bureaucrats) could achieve such high levels of information retrieval in respect of demographics and commodities using their mnemonic system of knots (quipus). 70 Clearly a linear narrative of ever-increasing bureaucratic complexity on a grand march towards ‘modernity’ will not do.
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Incentives in Merchant Empires: Portuguese and Dutch Labor Compensation

Incentives in Merchant Empires: Portuguese and Dutch Labor Compensation

varied with each location’s trade conditions (e.g. war, good agricultural year) and worker’s e¤ort, for which the author is very explicit. Many a time, the author mentions that a given post accrued a certain value of bonus in the past, but such was no longer the case because of war, or because current workers were not as diligent as former ones. Also, the values are often mentioned as an upper bound, e.g. “The vice-royal post could import, if served with honest conscience for the time period of three years, sixty to seventy thousand cruzados, which include the …fths of the appraisals and seizings of Moor ships, yielding more or less imports according to the quantity and quality of appraisals” (Luz 1960:9-10).
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Empires of Information

Empires of Information

Indonesia Calling was collaged together some years after the events it narrates took place. In effect, only the film’s opening graphic sequence takes place in the present (of 1948), the rest of the film is all flashback, or rather two sets of flashbacks. The tenses here get complicated: from the ‘present tense’ of a map of Indonesia and Australia, the film next jumps to the finale of the story it will relate — a Cinesound newsreel about the departure of the Esperance Bay ship carrying Indonesian exiles of the war years back home, which took place in October, 1945. With a neat rhetorical manoeuvre in the narration — “On that October day the Esperance Bay sailed from Australia to Indonesia. But the real story behind this journey is the story of ships that didn’t sail. Let’s start at the beginning…” — the film launches into a sustained flash-further- back narrative about the long, combined union “direct action” which stranded the Dutch fleet in ports around Australia for two months.
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Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference

Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference

Chapter 13, ‘End of empire?’ argues that ‘the mid-twentieth century was not a self-propelled movement from empire to nation-state’ (p. 413). The authors argue that it was the imperial metropoles’ very openness to ideas of reform and adaptation that left it vulnerable to nationalist challenges and critiques. French colonialism receives a bulk of the focus of this chapter, as the authors explore the contradictions inherent in a more expansive definition of citizenship and a more nationalist vision of Europe. Again, the treatment of the USSR’s dramatic expansion after the Second World War focuses on repertoires of power, focusing both on the particularities of Soviet-style economic monopoly and on the more general politics of personal, patrimonial rule that emerged first under Stalin and then was replaced by a more stable rule by party elite and their families. The choice to end this chapter looking at China’s re-emergence – and redeployment of traditional repertoires of power, leaving ‘most productive activities in private hands while retaining its right to regulate all aspects of social life’ (p. 441) – brings the Eurasian imperial story full circle.
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Commandeering Empires: Egypt, Tripoli, and Tunis in the Age of Revolution, 1774-1835

Commandeering Empires: Egypt, Tripoli, and Tunis in the Age of Revolution, 1774-1835

Inside the walls of the High Porte, tensions grew about how to respond to the looming threat of the empire’s territorial integrity. The loss of Crimea was a massive blow, undoubtedly—and the loss of the sultan’s navy made Russian victories all the more bitter for the imperial divan. Looking at the inner workings of the Porte’s high- ranking offices in the mid-1780s one can see a great deal of discord regarding how to best address Constantinople’s growing Russian problem. While the several of Abdul Hamid I’s advisers became increasingly hawkish in their outspoken support for another war with the Russia Empire, one notable figure stands out for his cautious stance against further hostilities with St. Petersburg: the well-respected Grand Admiral, Gazi Hasan Pasha. 53 Fearing further losses in the Black Sea and in the Balkans, the admiral and was cautious to not feed into the rhetoric of war that had engulfed the majority of the sultan’s advisors and remained the strongest voice for diplomatic pragmatism throughout the mid-to-late decade. 54
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War against architecture, identity and collective memory

War against architecture, identity and collective memory

The unique location of Bint Jbeil as a point of contact between various regions led to its prosperity and development at all levels on one hand, and to making it a target of the regional conflict on the other. Lots of leaders, ministers, and political figures were from Bint Jbeil. The history of the city witnessed the resistance to the occupation since the Turkish and the French mandate. It resisted as well the Israeli occupation until the liberation in 2000. War of July 2006 came next where the fiercest battles took place and many martyrs sacrificed themselves defending their city and homeland (Fares and Fares, 2013; Fares et al., 2014). The city was named “The Capital of Resistance”, and in its honor, Victory and Liberation Festival took place there in 2000 where the leader of “Almoqawama (Resistance)” delivered an important speech. After the speech, most of the southerners regarded Bint Jbeil as a great symbolic value for resistance and patriotism.
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Europe's India   Words, People, Empires, 1500 1800

Europe's India Words, People, Empires, 1500 1800

Yet, it appears to me entirely possible, in keeping with this book’s project of writing more holistic cultural and intellectual histories, that one could use apparently mundane records o[r]

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Empires of Knowledge: Scientific Networks in the Early Modern World

Empires of Knowledge: Scientific Networks in the Early Modern World

introduction, and where Empires of Knowledge makes contributions as a collective endeavor, it is often by uniting fields of scholarship that are too commonly kept at arm’s-length. Contributors draw on a diverse body of primary sources to sketch the contours of what Lorraine Daston has elsewhere called an ‘empire of observation’ in order to show how a global vision is not only a political nicety, but a historical necessity when narrating the epistemic changes occurring between 1500 and 1800.(2)

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Europe and Syria: Diplomacy, Law and War

Europe and Syria: Diplomacy, Law and War

The difference between Ukraine and Iran on one hand and Syria, Libya, and Serbia on the other may well lie in Europe’s fear of war with Russia and Iran. The positions of various EU States respecting the 2003 Iraq War can be explained using the same calcu- lation. Recall that the United States and United Kingdom had been bombing Iraq since the end of the Gulf War. France dropped out of that legally questionable practice and forged better relations with Iraq, together with Russia. France was likely in a better posi- tion to know the costs of invading Iraq. At any rate, France plainly stood to gain more by holding out for a new Security Council authorization, including the gain to its reputation for upholding international law.
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The kingly man : an examination of the monarchical theories of the Hellenistic and Roman Empires

The kingly man : an examination of the monarchical theories of the Hellenistic and Roman Empires

This thesis examines the attitudes to government common to Greek and Roman writers who lived between the advent of the Hellenistic Age and the heyday of the Roman Empire in the second ce[r]

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Week 4.Technology

Week 4.Technology

Allows Europe to conquer South America (New World) and Colonize/create Empires in India, Africa, and ChinaV. Age of Exploration Inventions.[r]

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