Category Archives: History

Look at a war none of us have heard about

Well, maybe technically a few readers here might have heard a little bit about  the NAGORNO-KARABAKH WAR. Here is an article titled “WHAT THE UNITED STATES MILITARY CAN LEARN FROM THE NAGORNO-KARABAKH WAR” in the Small Wars Journal.

short version: they made extensive use of cheap off-the-shelf items like old biplanes converted for remote control and other unmanned areal system to identify and destroy much more expensive air-defense systems. Shows how unconventional thinking, uses of miniaturized digital systems, and unmanned systems to reduce your own casualties can radically change the course of things. I do hope our military is paying attention to it.

So should we non-military people.

QOTD- James LaFond

“Plantation American of the 1600’s was almost exclusively white-over-white slave-system.
The 1700’s was a time of very mixed-race slavery, roughly 60% white, 30% black and 10% Indian or mixed race in terms of total bondage rations across the original 13 states

From The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: The Foundation of Our Misbegotten Nation by James LaFond, from the chapter titled “Boys and girls”, where he shows a bit of the etymology of the terms and their use in America and why they are perceived so differently by black and white men.

I knew from a quote in “White Cargo” that in 1775 George Washington posted a runaway slave notice that only described three of the ten runaways as black, but I didn’t think it likely that was a typical ratio. LaFond goes on to say it wasn’t until the 1800’s that slavery gradually morphed into an almost exclusively black institution.

The book is oddly organized, more like a lightly edited set of research notes, emails, blog posts and snippets, but he’s got some interesting sources quoted. Not as many specific sources cited for specific claims as a more formal history book might, but this is something like book 9 out of a planned 13. I’m thinking some if some grad student wants a good research thesis, documenting just how many slaves/indentures were shipped to North America in the 1600’s and 1700’s by decade, and what their survival / runaway / actually able to claim their headright acreage numbers and rates were, it might be very eye-opening and would have a good-sized audience.

 

Common figures

What do Captain John Smith (of Jamestown fame, to most Americans) and Miguel de Cervantes (author of Don Quixote) have in common?

       

They were both military bad-asses (Smith- fighting as a mercenary against the Turks, won 3 individual combats leaving his opponent’s head’s on pikes, look at his coat of arms; Cervantes fought with notable bravery at Lepanto). They were both doing important things in the first decade of the 1600’s. They were both white guys (English and Spanish, respectively). They both had amazing lives worth reading a biography about. And they were both Christians who were held as Muslim slaves, Smith by the Ottomans in what’s now Turkey, Cervantes by the Barbary pirates looking for galley-slaves out of Algiers. Smith killed his owner and escaped across a considerable distance to friendly Christian territory, Cervantes had four unsuccessful escape attempts and was finally ransomed after fives years a slave.