History Rewritten

rynner2

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Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns
US Christian conservatives drop references to slave trade and sideline Thomas Jefferson who backed church-state separation
Chris McGreal, Houston guardian.co.uk, Sunday 16 May 2010 17.19 BST

Cynthia Dunbar does not have a high regard for her local schools. She has called them unconstitutional, tyrannical and tools of perversion. The conservative Texas lawyer has even likened sending children to her state's schools to "throwing them in to the enemy's flames". Her hostility runs so deep that she educated her own offspring at home and at private Christian establishments.

Now Dunbar is on the brink of fulfilling a promise to change all that, or at least point Texas schools toward salvation. She is one of a clutch of Christian evangelists and social conservatives who have grasped control of the state's education board. This week they are expected to force through a new curriculum that is likely to shift what millions of American schoolchildren far beyond Texas learn about their history.

The board is to vote on a sweeping purge of alleged liberal bias in Texas school textbooks in favour of what Dunbar says really matters: a belief in America as a nation chosen by God as a beacon to the world, and free enterprise as the cornerstone of liberty and democracy.

"We are fighting for our children's education and our nation's future," Dunbar said. "In Texas we have certain statutory obligations to promote patriotism and to promote the free enterprise system. There seems to have been a move away from a patriotic ideology. There seems to be a denial that this was a nation founded under God. We had to go back and make some corrections."

Those corrections have prompted a blizzard of accusations of rewriting history and indoctrinating children by promoting rightwing views on religion, economics and guns while diminishing the science of evolution, the civil rights movement and the horrors of slavery.

Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favoured separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war.

The new curriculum asserts that "the right to keep and bear arms" is an important element of a democratic society. Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favour of examining scientific advances through military technology. :evil:

There is also a suggestion that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified.

The education board has dropped references to the slave trade in favour of calling it the more innocuous "Atlantic triangular trade", and recasts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as driven by Islamic fundamentalism.

"There is a battle for the soul of education," said Mavis Knight, a liberal member of the Texas education board. "They're trying to indoctrinate with American exceptionalism, the Christian founding of this country, the free enterprise system. There are strands where the free enterprise system fits appropriately but they have stretched the concept of the free enterprise system back to medieval times. The president of the Texas historical association could not find any documentation to support the stretching of the free enterprise system to ancient times but it made no difference."

The curriculum has alarmed liberals across the country in part because Texas buys millions of text books every year, giving it considerable sway over what publishers print. By some estimates, all but a handful of American states rely on text books written to meet the Texas curriculum. The California legislature is considering a bill that would bar them from being used in the state's schools.

In the past four years, Christian conservatives have won almost half the seats on the Texas education board and can rely on other Republicans for support on most issues. They previously tried to require science teachers to address the "strengths and weaknesses" in the theory of evolution – a move critics regard as a back door to teaching creationism – but failed. They have had more success in tackling history and social studies.

etc...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/ma ... us-history
 

rynner2

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Jesus did not die on cross, says scholar
Jesus may not have died nailed to the cross because there is no evidence that the Romans crucified prisoners two thousand years ago, a scholar has claimed.
Published: 11:47AM BST 23 Jun 2010

The legend of his execution is based on the traditions of the Christian church and artistic illustrations rather than antique texts, according to theologian Gunnar Samuelsson.

He claims the Bible has been misinterpreted as there are no explicit references the use of nails or to crucifixion - only that Jesus bore a "staurus" towards Calvary which is not necessarily a cross but can also mean a "pole".

Mr Samuelsson, who has written a 400-page thesis after studying the original texts, said: "The problem is descriptions of crucifixions are remarkably absent in the antique literature.

"The sources where you would expect to find support for the established understanding of the event really don't say anything."


The ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew literature from Homer to the first century AD describe an arsenal of suspension punishments but none mention "crosses" or "crucifixion."

Mr Samuelsson, of Gothenburg University, said: "Consequently, the contemporary understanding of crucifixion as a punishment is severely challenged.

"And what's even more challenging is the same can be concluded about the accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus. The New Testament doesn't say as much as we'd like to believe."

Any evidence that Jesus was left to die after being nailed to a cross is strikingly sparse - both in the ancient pre-Christian and extra-Biblical literature as well as The Bible.

Mr Samuelsson, a committed Christian himself, admitted his claims are so close to the heart of his faith that it is easy to react emotionally instead of logically.

Mr Samuelsson said the actual execution texts do not describe how Christ was attached to the execution device.

He said: "This is the heart of the problem. The text of the passion narratives is not that exact and information loaded, as we Christians sometimes want it to be."

Mr Samuelsson said: "If you are looking for texts that depict the act of nailing persons to a cross you will not find any beside the Gospels."

A lot of contemporary literature all use the same vague terminology - including the Latin accounts.

Nor does the Latin word crux automatically refer to a cross while patibulum refer to the cross-beam. Both words are used in a wider sense that that.

Mr Samuelsson said: "That a man named Jesus existed in that part of the world and in that time is well-documented. He left a rather good foot-print in the literature of the time.

"I do believe that the mentioned man is the son of God. My suggestion is not that Christians should reject or doubt the biblical text.

"My suggestion is that we should read the text as it is, not as we think it is. We should read on the lines, not between the lines. The text of the Bible is sufficient. We do not need to add anything."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... holar.html
 

rynner2

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History, with rose-tinted hindsight
Why rewrite history books - to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative for the good of the nation, asks David Cannadine in his Point of View column.

According to a newspaper report last week, the Russian authorities have recently gathered together a group of academics to draw up a school textbook that would present an approved version of the complex and controversial events that make up Russian history.

The aim is to play down the deplorable excesses of the Communist regime: the show trials, the purges, the gulags, the abuses of human rights and the denial of individual freedom.

Instead, the intention is to stress the positive contribution and the heroic achievements of the Russian people in defeating Hitler, and to build a new national identity on the basis of this selective and sanitised national narrative.

As one official explained, "we understand that school is a unique social institution that forms all citizens"; which means it is essential they should be taught history, especially the right kind of history. "We need a united society," the apparatchik goes on, and to achieve that end, "we need a united textbook".

This isn't the first time such an enterprise has been undertaken in Russia since the Bolshevik Revolution. Indeed, an earlier leader who had exactly the same idea is one of the people who must be causing this recent gathering of academics the greatest difficulties.

For in 1934, it was Stalin himself who convened an earlier meeting of historians to discuss the very same issue, namely the teaching of history in Russian schools. He disapproved of the conventional class-based accounts then available, which were strongly influenced by Marxist doctrines, and which traced the development of Russia from feudalism to capitalism and beyond.


"These textbooks," Stalin thundered, "aren't good for anything. It's all epochs and no facts, no events, no people, no concrete information."

History, he concluded somewhat enigmatically, "must be history" - by which, in this case, he meant a cavalcade of national heroes, whose doings might appeal more broadly to the Russian people than the arid abstractions of class analysis and social structure.

As such, Stalin's earlier enterprise in national history writing sounds rather similar to what's happening now. Yet in any country which aspires to a measure of academic freedom, and it is to be hoped that such is the case in Russia today, it's very difficult to produce an agreed account of the national past.

etc...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8762969.stm
 

Xanatic_

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Regarding Jesus not being nailed to a cross, I think there is a particular sect which has always maintained he was nailed to a simple pole. I think it might be Jehova´s Witnesses.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Not sure where to put this but here you go :D

BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson visits Spion Kop in South Africa to find out why Liverpool's famous terrace bears the same name.

Now I was just listening to Lawro's vid on the origins of The Kop on the BBC, when he stated a curious thing which was that during the Boer War the British fielded the "largest British Army since Agincourt".

OK the fact that Agincourt 1417 was an English venture and Britain wasn't recognized until the early 1700's I'll let go. But was it really the largest (british/english) force since Agincourt?

My understanding at Agincourt was that Henry had around 6000-10000 troops max.

I'm no great fan of wars after the late medieval period. But surely armies in the Crimean War or the Austrian Succession conflicts would have been at least double that?

Any Napoleonic buffs want to clarify that? Have I missed something?

Here is Lawro anyhow http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/footbal ... 775410.stm

Now I know Lawro is not expected to be Simon Schama but surely if Lawro is wrong you'd have some sort of editorial process before putting it on the internet?
 

rynner2

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Discovery of U-boat wrecks rewrites the history books
Newly identified sites show far more submarines were sunk by mines than previously thought
By David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent
Sunday, 4 July 2010

The final resting places of six German U-boats sunk in the final months of the Second World War's greatest naval conflict have finally been identified. After years of research, maritime experts say their discoveries will force historians to re-evaluate the battle for control of the Atlantic.

Evidence from the wrecks suggests many U-boats were sunk by mines rather than attacks by Allied air and naval forces, as had previously been believed. The findings show coastal minefields were around three times more effective than British naval intelligence gave them credit for. Experts believe their view was distorted, unintentionally, by reports from over-enthusiastic airmen and escort ship commanders who sometimes claimed they had sunk U-boats with depth charges or anti-submarine mortars.

One submarine, the U-400, previously believed sunk by Royal Navy depth charges south of Cork in Ireland, has now been identified off the coast of north Cornwall. The German sub was on its very first patrol in December 1944 when it hit a mine, underwater photography suggests.

Another, the U-1021, also identified off the north Cornish coast, was on its first patrol in March 1945 when sunk by mines. Previously, it was thought the Royal Navy had sunk it with depth charges hundreds of miles away, off the west coast of Scotland. The U-326, also on its first patrol when it was destroyed by a US aerial depth charge attack in April 1945, has been identified 100 miles off the coast of Brittany. The U-325, sunk on its second patrol in May 1945, was thought to have been destroyed by Royal Navy depth charges in the Irish Sea. Now marine archaeology and underwater photography have identified it on the seabed 230 miles away – off Lizard Point, south Cornwall.

Other U-boats, sunk far from British coastal minefields, have also been identified. The U-1208, on its first patrol, was identified off the Scilly Isles after being sunk by Royal Navy depth charges in February 1945. The U-650, recently identified through underwater photography near Land's End, was sunk by a direct hit from a hedgehog anti-submarine missile in January 1945.

From 1939 to early 1943, the Germans were very successful in their U-boat operations – sinking 2,500 Allied merchant ships and around 50 Allied warships, with the loss of around 25,000 lives. The tide turned in May 1943 when, with new equipment and a fresh strategy, the Allies got the upper hand.

The discoveries came from a survey of the western English Channel and adjacent areas, undertaken by the US firm Odyssey Marine Exploration. Dr Axel Niestlé, a German U-boat historian involved in the project, said: "It is a fine example of successful teamwork between marine archaeologists and historians rewriting naval history. The underwater photography gave us an unparalleled opportunity to learn how different types of Second World War anti-submarine weaponry worked."

From 1939-45, the Germans built 1,167 U-boats, 863 of which were deployed in the Battle of the Atlantic; 648 were sunk – with a loss of around 25,000 submariners. The locations of 40 U-boats remain a mystery. Thirty disappeared in deep water in the Atlantic, and it is unlikely they will be found. The remainder lie in a variety of suspected locations in the eastern part of the English Channel, where the team hopes to find them.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 17940.html
 

titch

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Now I was just listening to Lawro's vid on the origins of The Kop on the BBC, when he stated a curious thing which was that during the Boer War the British fielded the "largest British Army since Agincourt
Without trawling through all my books in the attic,i am sure you are right and the bbc wrong.
Taking into account,as you said there was no British army at this time.during the war of the roses both sides had army's well over 6000,at towton there was about 30000 on each side,and civil war army's would be over 6000 many times.
If someone in the bbc got clever and said they dont count because the army's where on their own territory, fighting their own countrymen,then i am sure during the peninsular and waterloo campaigns wellington would have well over 6000 British soldiers under his command.
 

Peripart

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Maybe they meant the largest army mustered for a single engagement, rather than the total number of enlisted men in the whole force?
 

titch

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wikki (ye ye i know but it sounds about right) says there was 24000 British soldiers at waterloo,so the cad is right and the bbc is wrong. :D
 

Peripart

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Who's the cad? You don't mean Rynner's avatar, do you? I say, bally poor show...
 

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Peripart said:
Who's the cad? You don't mean Rynner's avatar, do you? I say, bally poor show...

What an absolute shower...
 

GNC

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titch said:
Diiinnng dong!

That was Leslie Phillips, not Terry-Thomas! Unless Terry-Thomas is at the door.

Hard cheese!
 

titch

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All the same to me!i was originally going to do the laugh of the man that always chased babs windsor,but couldnt figure out how to write it down. :roll:
 

titch

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titch said:
All the same to me!i was originally going to do the laugh of the man that always chased babs windsor,but couldnt figure out how to write it down. :roll:
Sid james was the name i was looking for,and the laugh goes like this fnar fnar fnar.
you have got my coat already...
 

WhistlingJack

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titch said:
titch said:
All the same to me!i was originally going to do the laugh of the man that always chased babs windsor,but couldnt figure out how to write it down. :roll:
Sid james was the name i was looking for,and the laugh goes like this fnar fnar fnar.
you have got my coat already...


No it doesn't! Sid's laugh is definitely "Yak-yak-yak"... :lol:
 

Spudrick68

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Both of those laughs belong to Finbarr Saunders! Example - Mrs Jones is in the greenhouse with Finbarrs dad. The conversation goes "Ooh, thats a big purple one". "Aye, it'll make your eyes water." Cue Finvar - "yak yak yak", "fnar fnar"...

...I'll get my coat.
 

rynner2

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Jews pressured into adopting 'French-sounding' surnames fight to change them back
French-Jewish families who were pressured into changing their names to sound more Gallic after the Second World War are demanding that a law be overturned to allow them to change them back again.
By Henry Samuel in Paris
Published: 7:00AM BST 20 Jul 2010

Shamed by the deportation of Jews during the Second World War, France sought to integrate and protect Jewish emigres by urging them to change their names to sound more French.

But more than a half-century later, French Jews wishing to reclaim their original names have come up against an administrative brick wall thanks to an obscure law banning people from changing their names to "foreign sounding" ones.

Among them is Jeremie Fazel, a 32-year-old Parisian who realised he was no longer happy keeping his family's "Frenchified" name when paying his respects at his grandfather's grave.

"The name on the headstone was Benjamin Fazel. It was my grandfather's name, but not the one he was born with. For me, it was very symbolic because I felt like it wasn't him," he told the Los Angeles Times. "It was then I decided I had to change my name."

Mr Fazel, a documentary maker and a film editor, is the grandson and son of Jewish emigres from Poland. He says he is proud of his French identity, but sees no reason why he cannot be called Jeremie Fajnzylber.

"Everyone needs to know where they come from. How can it be in this day and age that we cannot have a foreign sounding name - in a country with a president called Sarkozy?" he asked.

Mr Fazel is one of a number of French Jews trying to get France's State Council to allow them to reclaim the family names their parents and grandparents dropped after the war.

The problem lies with a clause from the French civil code adopted after the war stipulating that family names are "immutable" and must be continued. The civil code has no problem with "foreign sounding" names being changed to those deemed more French, but declares the "impossibility" of reverting.

Although under no legal obligation to give up their family names, the thousands of Jews who arrived in France after the war were encouraged to do so. Many agreed, still fearful of a rebirth of anti-Semitism in a country that sent 76,000 Jews to concentration camps.

As a result, the Rubensteins became the Raimbauds; the Sztejnsznajders became the Stenays; the Frankensteins the Franiers and the Fajnzylbers the Fazels.

Mr Fazel's grandfather was the only member of his family to have survived the war and settled in France after failing to get a visa for the US.

After being naturalised, he was asked if he wanted to 'Frenchify' his name.

"He didn't really agree but was under the impression there was no real choice," said his grandson.

Today, an organisation called La Force du Nom (The Strength of the Name) has taken the plight of more than 30 French Jews to the justice ministry. Last month, it submitted its first requests for reversions of names, which the ministry said it will examine on a case-by-case basis.

Céline Masson, a senior university lecturer in psychoanalysis, whose original family name was Hassan, and Nathalie Felzenszwalbe, a lawyer whose family kept its name, are leading the fight.

Mrs Masson said her father changed his name after arriving in Strasbourg and coming up against latent anti-Semitism.

"He set up a furniture business but some customers never came back when they learned he was Jewish," she told the Daily Telegraph.

She said there were still problems linked to names in France to this day.

"There is still a sort of unspoken discomfort about foreign sounding names – not just Jewish but Arab ones. The French don't really like complicated names 'from elsewhere'," she said.

Just one result in her organisation's favour could set a legal precedent and result in a flood of cases, she added. A first ruling is expected in September.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -back.html
 

Xanatic_

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They should at least let the Franiers change their name back to Frankenstein, that´s so much cooler.
 

rynner2

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Not so much History Rewritten as History Rebuilt:

Forgotten Spitfire will fly again after major restoration
A project to create the most authentic flying Mark I Spitfire will be completed later this year when aircraft X4650 takes to the skies 70 years after the Battle of Britain.
By Alastair Jamieson
Published: 9:00PM BST 24 Jul 2010

The painstaking reconstruction of aircraft X4650 coincides with a public competition to design a permanent memorial to the aircraft's designers.

It also shines a spotlight on the extraordinary story of young pilot Howard Squire who was flying the plane on a training mission led by RAF legend 'Al' Deere when the pair collided over North Yorkshire.

Sgt Squire, now 89, has visited the restoration project and hopes to see the finished aircraft fly over the south coast of England later this year.

Those involved in the project believe X4650 will be the most accurately-rebuilt Mark I Spitfire in the skies and will contain the highest number of original parts.

The wreckage was only discovered in the long, hot summer of 1976 when low river levels exposed the metal embedded in a clay riverbank on farmland near Kirklevington, Cleveland.

It had been there since December 28 1940, after Sgt Squire, then 20, bailed out after colliding with X4276 flown by Al Deere, Flight Commander of 54 Squadron at RAF Catterick.


New Zealand-born Deere, a Battle of Britain legend who went on to become an Air Commodore, was giving his junior a lesson in how to keep doggedly close to an enemy aircraft.

"Stick to me like glue," he told Sgt Squire – a line that inspired a pilot training scene in the 1969 film, Battle of Britain.

However, the young man stuck too close and his plane – then only a few months old – hit Deere's tail with his propeller at 12,000ft, forcing them both to ditch. :oops:

"I thought I was for the chop," said Sgt Squire, who now lives near Birmingham. "There aren't many pilots who knock their Flight Commander out of the sky. He was very good about it." 8)

Sgt Squire was shot down over France on February 26, 1941, and became a prisoner of war. He said: "The Spitfire was a beautiful aircraft, like a Tiger Moth but with real power. A doddle to fly. We used to throw them about all over the place, as unfortunately I demonstrated."

The nature of the crash-landing later proved essential to the Spitfire's revival.

In order to provide himself with the safest escape in his parachute, Sgt Squires had 'trimmed' the aircraft for stable flight that led to a slow, almost level descent into the riverbank rather than a high-speed impact that might have destroyed many more of the parts.

The aircraft has cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to restore but is now thought to be worth more than £2m and is expected to enter private ownership.


It is currently registered to Peter Monk, the Spitfire enthusiast overseeing the complex project in which the engine has been refurbished by specialists in Gloucestershire and the airframe restored by craftsmen on the Isle of Wight.

There are about 50 Spitfires flying – a higher number than in the early 1950s. Britain was littered with wrecks in the years after the Second World War until enthusiasts began to recover them for sale or for museums.

The fighter plane was designed in 1936 by R J Mitchell at Southampton's Supermarine seaplane factory following urgent requests from the Ministry of Aviation because of the looming conflict with Germany.

So many RAF orders were placed that production was spread to additional sites including Castle Bromwich near Birmingham, where X4650 was built.

Air Commodore Deere was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in a ceremony conducted by King George VI on June 28th 1940 at RAF Hornchurch. He retired in 1977, died in 1995 and his ashes were scattered over the Thames estuary from a Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... ation.html
 

rynner2

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Revealed: Industrial Revolution was powered by child slaves
Huge factory expansion would not have been possible without exploitation of the young
By David Keys
Monday, 2 August 2010

Child labour was the crucial ingredient which allowed Britain's Industrial Revolution to succeed, new research by a leading economic historian has concluded.

After carrying out one of the most detailed statistical analyses of the period, Oxford's Professor Jane Humphries found that child labour was much more common and economically important than previously realised. Her estimates suggest that, by the early 19th century, England had more than a million child workers (including around 350,000 seven- to 10-year-olds) – accounting for 15 per cent of the total labour force. The work is likely to transform the academic world's understanding of that crucial period of British history which was the launch-pad of the nation's economic and imperial power.

Early factory owners – located in the countryside in order to exploit power from fast-flowing rivers – found that local labour was scarce and that those agricultural workers who were available were unsuitable for industrial production. They therefore opted instead to create a new work force composed of children, tailor-made for their factories.

"Factory owners were looking for cheap, malleable and fast-learning work forces – and found them ready-made among the children of the urban workhouses," said Professor Humphries. Her statistical research shows, for the first time, the precise extent to which the exploitation of children massively increased as newly emerging factories began their operations in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Her work has revealed that during most of the 18th century only around 35 per cent of ten year old working-class boys were in the labour force while the figure for 1791-1820 (when large scale industrialisation started) was 55 per cent, rising to 60 per cent for the period of 1821-1850.

The number of eight-year-old working-class boys at work also rose substantially in that period – with around a third of them being part of the work force between 1791 and 1850 compared to less than 20 per cent before 1791.

The use of working-class children to provide much of the labour force for the Industrial Revolution was, however, merely an expansion and extension of an already long-established practice of working-class children employed by farmers or artisans.

Professor Humphries's research – just published by Cambridge University Press – reveals that the average age at which working-class children started work fell from eleven and a half (prior to 1791) to 10 for the period 1791-1850.

The new research shows the extent to which Britain's Industrial Revolution – the first in the world – was initially dependent, as far as the factories were concerned, on what were, in effect, child slaves. They weren't paid – simply fed and given dormitory accommodation. In the 1790s, there were, at any one time, tens of thousands of such unpaid child workers.

Her statistical analysis of vast quantities of data, extracted from 600 autobiographies, is also revealing how the Industrial Revolution helped change life and culture in other ways too.

etc...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 41227.html
 

WabbitHunter

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rynner2 said:
Revealed: Industrial Revolution was powered by child slaves
Huge factory expansion would not have been possible without exploitation of the young
By David Keys
Monday, 2 August 2010

When I was in highschool, about 26 years ago we did a trip to a revamped cotton mill. I remember them saying that kids were taken from orphanages and workhouses and made to live in cramped rooms and do long hours work, so I don't think that it was hidden as such just rarely mentioned.
 

rynner2

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It seems that Prof Jane Humphries has, for the first time, put actual figures on the extent of the practice. As WabbitHunter says, we've always known that this did happen in some places.
 

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WabbitHunter said:
rynner2 said:
Revealed: Industrial Revolution was powered by child slaves
Huge factory expansion would not have been possible without exploitation of the young
By David Keys
Monday, 2 August 2010

When I was in highschool, about 26 years ago we did a trip to a revamped cotton mill. I remember them saying that kids were taken from orphanages and workhouses and made to live in cramped rooms and do long hours work, so I don't think that it was hidden as such just rarely mentioned.

I knew about it as well but its good to get actual figures. I think the extent of it wasn't realised. It would be interesting to see whose fortunes were built on slave labour.

They haven't gone away you know. There are those who see health and safety regulations and employee protection regulations as an intereference with the rights of private property.

Well they are back in power. Watch those regulations go on the back of elf n safety stories. Why should pregnant women have any protection? Didn't sending children up chimneys keep them off the streets?
 

rynner2

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This article ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10858815 ) is about entries for the Dyson Award for innovative inventions. One sentence caught my eye:

Other finalists include a lifeboat from Austria that can be transported by plane for high speed rescues...

In fact this was an idea developed in WWII, and widely used. The British Airborne Lifeboat was designed by a well-known character from the Isle of Wight, Uffa Fox. It could be carried under an aircraft and dropped by parachute to ditched aircrew or sailors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airborne_lifeboat#Uffa_Fox

I know about this because in 1973 I worked as an instructor at the Plymouth Sailing School, and they had a small fleet of these boats (sans engines) for teaching beginners. I wonder if there are any left somewhere now?
 

rynner2

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Uffa Fox also inaugurated a wacky Solent tradtion:
Out for a ducking: the Brambles cricket match
The world's wackiest cricket match has no rules and takes place on a pitch in the middle of the Solent that can be played on only once a year when the tide's out

...

Legend has it that prisoners from Parkhurst were the first to play cricket on the bank, encouraged to do so by a governor who thought that escape would be impossible. But in fact it was Uffa Fox, a skilled Isle of Wight boatbuilder and designer and a friend of the Duke of Edinburgh, who hatched this hare-brained scheme.

At first it was purely an Isle of Wight affair. Exact details are scanty but at some point in the 1950s or 1960s Fox arranged the first match between 'his' team and one from the Holmwood Hotel in Cowes. It became an annual event but petered out as Fox (who died in 1972) grew older, then was started again by Tom Richardson, the proprietor of the Elephant Boatyard in Hampshire (famous not just for the yachts built there, but also for starring in the 1980 television series Howards' Way). In 1983 Richardson was sailing back from Cowes with two friends, Tony Lovell and Chris Freer, when they saw four boats aground on Bramble Bank. 'We agreed it would be fun to play cricket on the bank again and so the following year we challenged the Island Sailing Club.'

...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricke ... match.html
 

rynner2

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Scotland's image-maker Sir Walter Scott 'invented English legends'
Author claims unfashionable novelist first wrote some of the famous exploits of Robin Hood and Sir Walter Raleigh
Charlotte Higgins, chief arts writer guardian.co.uk, Monday 16 August 2010 17.21 BST

The novels of Sir Walter Scott are now – in England, at least – almost unread. It is hard to imagine an author simultaneously so famous and so unfashionable, his novels frequently written off as prolix and unbearably dense.

However, according to one writer and critic, the author of Ivanhoe and the Waverley novels was not only crucial in creating the idea of Scotland as it persists today, but also "invented England".

Speaking at the Edinburgh international book festival, Stuart Kelly argued that Scott invented a raft of English national stereotypes. That quintessentially English hero, Robin Hood, for example, owes some of his most famous exploits to the author.

The notion of Robin's arrow splitting that of the Sheriff of Nottingham – which appears in the Disney cartoon – comes direct from Ivanhoe, in which Scott's character Wilfrid performs the deed. The detail, said Kelly, was then incorporated into later versions of the Robin Hood story.

Scott was also, said Kelly, the first person to coin the phrase "the Wars of the Roses" to describe the conflict between the houses of York and Lancaster, while the incident in which Sir Walter Raleigh laid his cloak before Elizabeth I to protect the royal footstep from a muddy puddle comes from Scott's novel Kenilworth.

He was key in making "medievalism the centre of English experience", said Kelly. Without Scott, "there would probably have been a neo-classical houses of parliament rather than a neo-gothic houses of parliament".

Scott, by way of novels such as Ivanhoe, popularised the notion of the centrality of the medieval period to the extent that its architecture was adopted as "the national style" when the new Palace of Westminster came to be built in 1835.

Kelly also pointed out that the former prime minister Tony Blair chose Ivanhoe as his favourite novel when he appeared on the radio show Desert Island Discs in 1996. According to Kelly, in his new book Scotland: The Man Who Invented A Nation: "It was a canny choice. Blair chose a novel that ostentatiously lauded a national unity. It featured a leader committed to progressive reconciliation – in its synthesis of Norman, Saxon and even Jewish elements – as an allegory of a multicultural Britain."

In terms of his effect on the reputation of his native Scotland, Kelly said Scott "invented a great simulacrum of Scotland; he invented the image of the country". Eighteenth-century accounts of the Highlands characterised them as "treacherous, poor, a hotbed of villains, and barren". Samuel Johnson's A Journey To The Western Islands of Scotland (1775) was "an anthropological exercise to see what backwardness looked like". By contrast, post-Scott the Highlands were seen as "picturesque, romantic, loyal and a hive of industry and inventiveness," said Kelly.

Scott's novels were the "fulcrum" around which Scotland's reputation turned: "The fact that we still have a national identity of any kind is down to Scott."

Scott organised the visit to Edinburgh of George IV in 1822 – the first visit to Scotland by a royal who was not arriving at the head of an army since James I. The king wore a kilt and silk stockings, sparking off a rage for tartan that has lasted to this day.

Scott is also, said Kelly, "vastly underrated as a novelist. He is self-aware, exuberant and experimental." He described Scott as postmodern, and even put up an argument for his being an inventor of "cyber-literature". He said: "In the preface to The Betrothed he imagines a steam-powered novel engine producing books by machinery rather than inspiration." 8)

Although he wrote some "hasty things" and some "mad things", Scott's books "incarnate a deeply humane vision of the world", said Kelly. "None of his lower-class characters is a caricature. To that extent, he makes Dickens seem regressive. He also creates some of the earliest sympathetic portraits of Jewish and Hindu characters. It should be celebrated as a cosmopolitan, enlightened and humane writer. His Toryism was so close to Fabianism you can't put a credit card between them.

"No one else tried to deal in fiction with the entirety of a country – its geography, politics, class structure, religion – not Eliot, and not Dickens. Had he been alive today I think he would have taken on the new multicultural Scotland. He believed you were not necessarily born Scottish, but could become Scottish – as does Edward Waverley."

The writer Joan McAlpine argued that Scott's influence was far from wholly benign. As an arch-conservative, stolidly pro-union, he "perverted and emasculated" the image of Scotland, she said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/au ... k-festival
 

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Oh, I do love Scott!

I have read most of this novels. Hes a bit overdone but still a writer who feels for his subjects.

And yes, he did invent Scotland, or more like discover Scotland.

it was there all the time but no one noticed it.
 
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