After enlisting, about seven of the class along with Paul Baumer are still together and set up in the same barracks. They begin basic training and slowly the smiles leave their faces. Their anger is directed towards their commanding officer named Himmelstoss who in civilian life had been their postman. Near the end of their training, in the spirit of pique and frustration, the boys turning men waylay Himmelstoss when he is returning to his barracks drunk and, after tripping and trussing him up in a sheet, the boys give him a few smacks with a stick and drop him in a huge puddle of mud. Soon after they are all sent to the front lines. There, Paul and his friends discover what being on the front lines means; they are despised and pitied by the older men who were forced to join, food is no longer an easy commodity and comfort is no where to be had. One of the old-timers, a man named Kat helps take the boys under his wing and tries to help them learn quickly what they must know to survive.
Historical Matrix - The order runs as follows: each number has two sections for the most part. The first section shows the parts of the film picked for analysis and a brief description of the scene. The second contains the analysis. For some sections there was no specific section in the film but the item was very pertinent so it has been added. :)
The Western Front is the name given to the 'moving' line or boundaries of the fighting between the borders of Germany and France. At the beginning of 1915, the front was about 400 miles long and stretched from Ostend near the North sea... down close to the Marne and Verdun in France and into Alsace- Lorraine. Throughout fighting, the borders of the front would vary based on land won or lost by either the Allied or the Axis powers and by the time of the end of the war, the Armistice line spread north from close Antwerp in Belgium south to past Mulhouse in France to the border of Switzerland. This 400 miles stretch is where most of the fighting was fought and the majority of casualties happened. France alone is estimated to have lost of 3.5 million soldiers on the Western Front.
Named after its chief designer, this plan gave a selection of where the war should start and how the military should initially move to gravitate a quick and successful end to the conflict. Schlieffen was appointed Chief of the German Great general Staff in 1891 and commended developing this plan over time to deal with the political tensions and realities he thought his country faces. Originally called the Great Memorandum and written officially in December 1905, this program called for withholding action from Russia while the main brunt of German forces moved through Belgium and France. Then when they were subdued (and Britain would be as well because her allies had fallen, the Germans could concentrate on Russia. It is worth noting that in the Memorandum itself, its author mentions that Germany is too weak to bring the plan to a successful conclusion – that particular sentence must have been ignored or missed during the preparation for implementation. For the first few weeks of mobilization and fighting, Germany was successful and actually made their way to Paris earlier than they had forecast. However, Britain had been able to send some troops to the aid of France and Belgium had given Germany more difficulties than they had expected. So within a few months of the war, Germany had been unable to win and was now facing war on two fronts... something it had been hoping to avoid.
Some historians suggest that this document has had consequences that still persist on into our current politics around the globe today.
This name describes several battles over five areas – Mulhouse, Lorraine and the Ardennes, the Mons, and Charleroi. These areas are considered part of the 'Western Front' of the war near the beginning. The German armies under the Schlieffen plan pushed through Belgium to attack the French, but due to delays caused in Belgium and by the British army, the French were able to mobilize enough for the stalemate to begin.
8. unknown soldier - “It must be doing somebody some good” - From a conversation some of the German troops had together on a day of rest.
I figure that all soldiers have thoughts these thoughts at least a few times in their lives. Why are they fighting, who attacks who is the goal, who is the enemy really anyway? Taking the time to study all of these leaders and read some of their words about why they made the decisions they did is interesting and how people decide who is 'bad', who is 'evil', etc... seems to really suggest to me that these leaders saw territory, riches and power and didn't see much else. People were expendable- especially if they were an enemy. And those who fought had very different thoughts and values and beliefs on war than those who didn't. Same problems, same thoughts and same deaths... for the same reasons over the centuries … just with different prettied up reasons. It's just appalling, I have no words.
9. First Battle of Champagne : Dec 1914- Mar 1915 - Another probable battle that a few of the boys would have participated in.
This battle was the first really significant one by the Allies against the Germans after the technique of trench warfare was utilized. Its goal was to move the Allied forces into new territory and to assist the Russian army, forcing the German command to keep more of its troops and assets on the Western Front. French causalities were a lot higher than the German losses and there and there wasn't really any clear victory for either party.
10. Battle of Verdun: Feb - Dec 1916 : This battle was planned by the Germans in the hopes of taking down the resources of the town so that the French would not be able to continue fighting the war. General Erich von Falkenhayn decided that sin
So over the last few years, I have actively tried to work on feeling a little less fear and trying to be more open about my thoughts. In a few ways, I have been more successful – I have a few really good friends who I actually feel safe enough to share my thoughts and feelings with. And I have actively pushed myself to try and start conversations with people I do not know. It's probably strange to some of you who know me, but I do feel uncomfortable talking to people I don't know and trust... which is funny because I can totally chat someone's ear off if I feel safe with them. (It's a mark of how the divorce has caused me to close up even more that the phone plan I used to have gave me unlimited minutes and I would use over two thousand a month and I now live comfortably on less than 450 a month.) So I actually try to say 'hi' to people I pass in stores, compliment someone or just say something basic to start an interaction. I have started conversations at church with members that I don't know (sometimes I have started them with people whose names I should know after a decade but I still don't and I am too embarrassed to ask.) And I have worked to try not and shut down conversations as much when unknown people start them with me... I''m working on it and its getting a little easier I think.
So the other night, I was headed home from work and decided that I would do my once weekly 'spontaneous' grocery shopping. Once a week, I head to a few different grocery stores and only look for the 'marked down' basics – fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat, salads, etc... I am never sure what I will find on these trips and sometimes I find nothing or just a few odds and ends. And sometimes, I come home with salad and veggies for days, some meat and fish, yogurt, milk and sour cream... and even maybe some soup or some beat up cans of tomatoes. This trip is a fun trip- an exclusion for me that doesn't cost me much and helps me to have fresher things to eat on my small income. It's also fun to see what I can find and then create different meals to cook and consume the food. Being able to have this opportunity has been such a blessing and really has made it possible for me to eat pretty well on my income. So I left the first store and started driving to the second. I parked, limped in and started the 'rounds'.
“God bless you! I am so glad I ran into you today!”
I finished my shopping and went home with a lot to think about. Even a few weeks later I am still thinking abut it. I am glad I took the risk, thankful that it didn't turn into a really painful experience that would bring my anxiety to the forefront of my mind again. And I feel able to try and do it again. But most of all, I feel like I have started a relationship that over time can turn into friendship and even more. I am so thankful that I have accomplished and earned my medallion and grateful that I found the courage inside of me to talk about it. You just never know when you can testify of Christ... you can share his love anywhere, even next to a counter of cheap fish. :)
On that basis it seems plausible, that the backwards-projection of Cold War reality, like in the leading case of Wittfogel's Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study in Total Power, certain misleads, and errors, have been allowed to occur in our perception of 16th century Russia. A tense Anglo-Russian relationship during the middle of the 19th century may have worked to establish the same effect, during the infancy of modern historiography. The emphasis on what separates the Russian and 'West-European' state formation process of the 16th century, is therefore in this paper interpreted as a false dichotomy. The dilettante 'National Histories' of the age, that favored long chains of causality for explaining their contemporary surroundings in the frame of 'The Nation', assumed, just like Yanov, Landes, Ferguson, and others, that there must be a chain-reaction spanning centuries in order to explain their contemporary condition. In order to make the writing more relevant lines of connections seem to be forced into the narrative, either backwards or forwards. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc, is a common error of reasoning where 'Correlation' is mistaken for 'Causation'. We need not all act as Skinner's pigeons.
Comparing two reigns of respectively forty-three and sixty years, of almost continual warfare at the western rim of Eurasia, called for an eagle-perspective in this paper, that ignores detailed differences in the formation of Russia and England, which there of course are. The grand lines of the narrative of the paper, however demonstrates that there are remarkable similarities in the formation of Russia and England. Russia is in its proto-state's functioning, during the period of the 16th century, more alike, than unlike England.
So, if you have taken the time to read through this whole paper, what are your thoughts? Any disagreements? What did you like and feel like you learned?
"I am a Christian and do not eat meat during Lent", said Ivan to him. "But you drink human blood," the saint replied.”
Body-count competitions are rather tedious. To manipulate statistics is not hard, and to make them with fragmentary sources, that have been 'scrubbed by the sands of time' is profoundly suspicious. It is however done, and the results are used as “facts”, to hammer in one or another point. Both Ivan and Henry killed challengers to their regime. Real, or maybe imagined challengers, but that is beyond the point. Doing so keeps others 'in line'. Crummey makes a number out of foreigners being shaken by the sight of the executions. No doubt they would have been as shaken by witnessing the 'drawing and quartering' of an English Abbot, as by the impaling of a Russian Prince. Being foreign would have had less to do with it. Impaling might sound gruesome, but is it worse than starving to death in an English gibbet?
Another example in this manner, from Russia, is the punishment of Novgorod, exacted by the Oprichniki of Ivan. Skrynnikov had the surviving prayer-lists of Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, that listed 1505 names of wealthy citizens killed. He assessed 2-3 thousand killed in total. This number could surely as well be inflated by Ivan's many campaigns.
Our two rulers might have been slick, brutal bullies. Merciless, but must they not also have been charismatic and cocksure? Most likely good orators. With a life full of surprises, and uncertainty, doubt, and fear? They grew into their position of power. They surely were remarkable, to be able to sustain themselves, develop their realms in what was, by no doubt hostile political environments. We can of course meet the stories as those mentioned above with moral outrage, over the 'bestiality' of such persons, and try to spin a moral tale out of their deeds. But if this was their way, the simple question that should be posed is; When those who succeeded, all waged war in this manner, and ruled by murdering their opposition and killing who resisted them, can we then judge such men as Ivan and Henry for surviving?
“Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit.”
As discussed up to this point, the reason for the acts of our Monarchs, amount to the end-goal of being able to finance, and field their war-machine. War was, during that age, the normal state of affairs. Both Ivan and Henry fielded gunpowder armies, with a core of drilled regulars. It is hard to find a great difference in the way the Monarchs ran their campaigns, or in how they treated the
“I believe that over twenty thousand souls were lost. It is certain that no more terrible work and divine punishment has been seen since the Destruction of Jerusalem. All of our soldiers became rich. God with us.”
"English policy was simply to pulverise Scotland, to beat her either into acquiescence or out of existence, and Hertford's campaigns ... reign of terror, extermination of all resisters, the encouragement of collaborators, and so on.”
I have not been able to find any specifics on the Russian tax-codes of the period, but the sheer logic of the Oprichnina gives the impression that there were similar principles for allowances to monarchs in Russia, as in England, and other 'emerging bureaucratic states' throughout Europe, and maybe further east as well? As the Monarch was the one responsible for foreign policy, he could levy tariffs or tolls on foreign trade and some industries, like mining, and further, in connection with minting or arms-manufacture. Besides this, the Monarch would rely on his personal domain-land to keep the Crown outfitted.
The Livonian Wars (1558–1583) were in part a result of Ivan's will to expand his sphere of influence, to gain foothold on the Baltic shore, thus avoiding the restrictions put on Russian trade by the powers controlling the Baltic ports. This crashed with the strategic ambition of several powerful neighbors holding a stake in the disintegrating fragmented Baltic territories. The Oldenburg, Vaasa and Jagellionians, with the Habsburg, the Dutch, and the Hansa meddling in the background, wanted 'a piece of the pie'. Tension between opposing forces is a given in power-games. Crummey does overestimate Ivan's role in what was to happen. In Crummey there is a blindness being cultivated towards, that the other actors in similar manner had aggressive ambition, almost as if Crummey postulates, that Ivan could have chosen peace? Statements like that, again make me reach for my Machiavelli:
“The Romans, foreseeing troubles, dealt with them at once, and, even to avoid a war, would not let them come to a head, for they knew that war is not to be avoided, but is only put off to the advantage of others.”
Leaders at times, just must lead, but the lack of proper sources does not stop Crummey from painting a grim picture. In his work the method to the madness of the Oprichnina is to be found in Ivan's sick paranoid mind. Crummey makes it easy for himself when he states, that since the conspiracies against Ivan are so poorly documented, they probably were figments of his imagination.
"The image of Ivan as a paranoiac lashing out blindly and none too effectively is well drawn by Crummey. Undoubtedly the greed, bitter internecine rivalries and self-importance of the Boyars were injurious to the efficient functioning of the administration and contributed significantly to Russia's failures in the Livonian War."
Henry and Cromwell had two advantages when they started to plunder The Church. When the land of The Church had been appropriated, it was sold to the loyal segment of The Nobility, firming them in their resolve against The Church, and implicating them in the new order. Their payments then filled the King's 'war-chest'. Henry succeeded, and was ready to subdue the whole of Britain. The other advantage was that Scotland is not The Steppe. It is not a 'never-ending' expanse. It still can make one wonder, if Ivan was not inspired by Henry's success. We know there was direct contact between England and Russia from about 1540.
To counter the claim in Crummey: It would be a mistake to see the English parliament aslittle more than a constant Byzantine court intrigue.
One trait was the 'popular' election of local tax-men. Crummey claims;
“The explanation for the Monarch's broad power lies not so much in the efficiency of his government as in the lack of barriers to his exercise of it; for no estates or corporate organizations limited the Grand Princes' freedom of action, and no constitutional norms defined their authority.”
Crummey's work ignores the bargain character of what Ivan builds, as these systems inevitably will communicate both ways. Further on, the work also ignores that there is Law, and that the system of Ivan seems to be a “normal” Divine-Right-Monarchy for its time. Even more remarkable, is Shepard's comment in his review of Crummey, when he concludes on the basis of Crummey's work;
“But at the end of Ivan's reign, after all the blood-letting, he still ruled with the collaboration of the clans of the higher nobility, and for the most part these were the same clans that had been pre-eminent in the opening years of his adult reign!”
It is a interesting contradiction to take note of. If there is cooperation with the high-nobility within the Rada, how can it be that there are “no estates or corporate organization” to limit the Grand Prince? The 'Zemsky Sobor' was also a tool for achieving cooperation, and this does not differ greatly from the English 'Parliament' during the period.
As we remember from Spittler's definition above, we are here looking at two semi-bureaucratic states where income comes from personal agricultural landholdings, and to a minor extent from the tariffs on foreign trade. Both monarchs, next to the tariffs on foreign trade, gain their means from their personal land-holdings. For any further taxation, the security of the realm needed to be at risk. This would also have been the main reason to call together 'Parliament'. The dominant reason for any self-respecting monarch to talk to a 'Common House', would have been to enact special taxes, without too much resistance. (This might be a motivational factor for the constant warfare of the period. Special taxes would have to be justified, as issues of defense of the realm. It served the concentration of capital, and the centralization of co-ordination, to the Crown.) However, if he could, the Monarch would avoid the hassle of having other people telling him how to run his 'firm'.
This takes us then to the great heist, performed in a similar way, in order to achieve similar ends, by both monarchs. The details of course differ, but Henry and Ivan do come to a remarkable solution to their challenges, regarding organizational and financial autocracy. Their goal is it to reduce dependence of people that are not necessarily to be trusted, discipline their own rank, and to gain a higher degree of fiscal independence. The Monarchs' role as Primus Interpares was changing in many emerging states during this time. As the positions become more polarized, we see the emergence of Autocracies (Denmark, Russia, Iberia, France, and England until the civil war), and their counterpart, noble-republics (The Netherlands, The Swiss federation, and to some extent also Sweden and Poland,).
Did the Russian State... Part IX by Nils Johann (Give to God what is God's, and to the Emperor what is the Emperor's.)
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.”
In their approach towards the church, our two Monarchs differ. This is due to the difference in the power-structuring of the Catholic Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Both rulers of-course demonstrated devotion in public rituals, like Henry’s 'pilgrimages' or Ivan's traditional conversion to monastic life, at the end of his reign. But then there were the challenges of Realpolitik. Henry wanted a servile Church that did not challenge his authority, and he needed cash. Ivan, in part already had the Church that Henry desired, through the traditions of the Byzantine Church and the affirmation of his title as 'Czar'.
In a rather rustic example of bending excuses in favor the “backwards-narrative” Sugenheim can remind us of the “moral superiority” of the 'Catholic' Church in comparison to the Eastern 'Orthodoxy'
-”Because it was nothing else than a, from servile priests without a conscience, for the moods and needs of the vices of the most heinous court of the world, masquerading under the name of Christianity.” -
And he makes this just as strong an argument as the Mongol invasion for explaining the contemporary “backwardness” of the Russian state... that the Church was a tool of the State? It is an old publication, but it stands well in line with other invented absurdities to make Russia different, as it does not industrialize at the same time as England. One can only wonder how Sugenheim would explain the contemporary British hegemony, with regards to the Crowns dominion over The Church of England?Further it opens the question if the cradle for the story of Russian backwardness does not lie in the defeat in the Crimean war (1853-56)?
The 'Statute in Restraint of Appeals' (1533) in combination with the '(First) Act of Supremacy' (1534) are trumped through parliament. They effected the banning of paying any dues or tides to Rome, and the right of judicial appeal to The Pope.
“...this realm of England is an empire, and so hath been accepted in the world, governed by one supreme head and king, having the dignity and royal estate of the imperial crown of the same...without restraint or provocation to any foreign princes of potentates of the world.” The latter act states directly that The Church is subject to The Crown. “...the King's Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England...”
Thus Henry VIII achieves for England what the Rus Princes have had arranged for 'quite a while'.
Did the Russian State... Part VIII by Nils Johann (The Circumstance of the Two Ruling Houses, and their Nobility)
“And men have less scruple in offending one who makes himself loved than one who makes himself feared; for love is held by a chain of obligation which, men being selfish, is broken whenever it serves their purpose; but fear is maintained by a dread of punishment which never fails.”
Ivan had slowly started to take command as Grand Duke at about age thirteen. It seems that Ivan stemmed the bickering, by having a Shuiskii Prince torn by his hunting-dogs in the Kremlin- Square. In political terms, we call that establishing credibility. Just like Henry, Ivan had to use force and terror to get his Barons in line, in order to lay the foundation for future negotiation.
After he turned sixteen in 1547, Ivan was Crowned as the first 'Czar of all Russians'. In the first years of Ivan's reign, reforms were made to gather more power around the Sovereign, centralizing government and formalizing and reformulating acts of government. Like in other domains in Western Europe, a move away from feudal structuring towards an attempt at central bureaucracy was in formation.
The similarity that we can recognize, in the background of the two rulers, is that their position is the result of preceding conflict between their respective houses, and other noble families. Their realms had been formed by the use of organized violence and were maintained by the use of force...deadly if need be. This is nothing especially original. An anecdote from Herodotus' Histories comes to mind, that might illustrate this. It is a story about Thrasybulus, the Despot of Miletos and Periander, the Tyrant of Corinth. Periander sends a messenger to asks Thrasybulus for advice on ruling, and on how to stay in power. Instead of responding verbally Thrasybulus takes the messenger for a walk in a field of corn.
“he kept cutting off the heads of those ears of corn which he saw higher than the rest; and as he cut off their heads he cast them away, until he had destroyed in this manner the finest and richest part of the crop.”
The messenger conveys what he had seen happen, to Periander, adding that he has doubts about Thrasybulus sanity. The message was still correctly interpreted by Periander; a wise ruler would pre-empt challenges to his rule by removing those prominent men who might be powerful enough to challenge him. “...to put to death those who were eminent among his subjects.”
It is the simple story about how power is taken and maintained and it is foolish to assume that not any person of power operates in this way, because social bonds are fragile. It is perfectly rational for a monarch to harbor some resentment towards nobles because he often would be in economical counter-conjuncture to them. More 'taxes' for the monarch would mean less for the nobles or vice versa. It would also be rational to feel insecure about them as they, (the other wealthy and powerful families,) were the ones the Monarch had to rely on for the stability of his reign. Monarchy (Autocracy) is a 'reference-system' for organization and order, no-one has, or will ever, rule alone.