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Events in History Everyone Should Study


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#1
Outlook

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This is a thread where we can recommend events in history that should be studied because it teaches us something fundamental, whether about politics and social strife, or the shape of the world today.

It's preferred that obscure events are listed, but it doesn't matter too much because I'm about to list popular events.

My events:

+The development of Athenian democracy

While the fact it only counted Athenian land-owning male citizens, it opens your ideas to the very different kinds of structure and systems a democracy can have. It doesnt limit your idea to Republican or Parliamentary systems, or even representative democracy, as the sole syztems of democracy. One interesting idea was that Athenians could directly vote to ostracize one of their own in case they get too powerful, and was set as a check against tyranny. Of course, there was a lot of criticism towards Athenian democracy, and you could read about this through a lot of Athenian intellectuals who lived through the Democracy. For example Xenophon and Plato's Socrates both highly prefer Spartan government, which was a dual monarchy (two kings) over the Athenian democracy.

+ The fall (or transition) of the Roman Republic

Not to be confused with the fall of the Roman empire, this concerns the growing amount of socioeconomic and political pressures that caused the Roman Republic which had lasted for over four centuries to turn to Empire. It's generally regarded as a long series of events with certain layers, all of which are unbelivably intricate and interesting. On one layer, you have the great political actors which create a story that reads like a masterful political novel, and on another layer you have the social strife which can be related to modern neoliberal republics so very well. If you haven't read about it in depth, then you are missing out on of the greatest experiences in your life.

You learn on how dictatorships form, how politicians commit certain acts to cull popularity and create a cult of personality, how ineffective and elitist democracies that can not address social issues will fall to tyranny-- something that's relevant all the time today, and the way the roman republic even fell to tyranny is so very telling. And because it's a very popular event the amount of literature you can read on it is never-ending, and can be seen through many perspectives and traditions. Just read it. It's amazing.

+ The Peloponnesian Wars

I was hesitant to put it here, because I haven't read it to a sufficient depth, only reading like a section in a textbook on all of greek history and culture, but it still is a very important topic especially in the military and political sciences, and is wholly interesting in its own right. In a way, it mirrors the stupidity of certain actors in ww1 with the concept of total war, and isn't the absolute epic that the fall of the Roman Republic was, however I may be wrong once I read further.

To take a summary from wikipedia on the topic: "On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war's beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta became established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese, while Athens found itself completely devastated, and never regained its pre-war prosperity. The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported friendly political factions within other states, made civil war a common occurrence in the Greek world.

Ancient Greek warfare, meanwhile, originally a limited and formalized form of conflict, was transformed into an all-out struggle between city-states, complete with atrocities on a large scale. Shattering religious and cultural taboos, devastating vast swathes of countryside, and destroying whole cities, the Peloponnesian War marked the dramatic end to the fifth century BC and the golden age of Greece."

+ The Reign of the Rashidun, the first 4 caliphs

It's not something really popular in the Western world, unlike the last three, but should be. Sort of romanticized in the Islamic world as the Fall of the Roman Empire is in the west, the transition from Muhammad's caliphate to the Umayyad caliphate was filled with political, socioeconomic and cultural strife that would define the Islamic world forever, whether through sectarian division, to the adoption of the Levant as an Islamic and Arab center. Essentially, people who once were merchants, pastoralists, and date sellers trying to manage empire.

EDIT: It should also be noted that the later 3 were all assassinated by political opponents.

+ Abassid Revolution

This is the revolution that ended Ummayad rule in much of the middle east and north africa, in 750AD. This was due to Arabs treating the rest of their subjects like second class citizens in their holdings, and is generally regarded as one of the most well executed revolutions in history. It marked a turn from the Islamic world being Arab-centric, to instead being much more inclusive of the diverse range of ethnicities in the middle east.

So that's it from me. Those are all the events I can think of. Feel free to state your own.


  • Cody930, Yuli Ban and PhoenixRu like this

Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/3V9zxXN1rx0


#2
PhoenixRu

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+ Pre-Columbian America

 

Why is it so important? Because this is the entirely independently arisen human civilization(s). Each civilization of the Old World was influenced by predecessors or neighbours, but here, in the New World, we can see almost a laboratory experiment showing us what was unique and specific to each civilization and what must be common to all of them.


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#3
Yuli Ban

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Spartacus's uprising, one of the most fascinating rebellions in history.


  • Outlook likes this

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#4
Yuli Ban

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From Reddit, here's one of the many comments I've saved that goes to show you how fleeting national pride and history can be, as well as how cold geopolitics really are. No one is your friend; they are either allies or subjugated. 

 

 

The collapse of the Assyrian Empire. They ruled more or less uncontested over a huge swath of western Asia for centuries. People living under the Assyrian Empire lived in a very, very old world, and they knew it was old. The Assyrians ruled with an iron fist, we're talking slaughter every soldier and take your women and children for slaves, flay the chief and his whole court and family, feed him his children, just the worst things you could think of. And they ruled this way for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Every time the king died, if he had multiple sons they usually fought a big civil war, the winner would be the next king and things would continue on as they always had. The power of the empire waxed and waned over the centuries but during the last real king, Ashurbanipal, they were in a pretty bad slump. When he died, his sons split the army and went to war with each other, but this time their vassal tribes took the opportunity to rebel. Now tribes had rebelled in the past, and succession wars were the usual time to try it. But in the past the Assyrian army had been so overwhelmingly powerful that it could crush rebellions while fighting itself for the throne.

But this time was different. The Assyrian state was weakened, and a coalition of Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians, Scythians, Cimmerians, and a host of smaller tribes rebelled at once. It took them less than five years to completely unravel the empire and sack the capital city of Nineveh. The world which had been the same for centuries changed almost overnight.

300 years later, while fighting their way out of Persian territory, a Greek army accompanied by the Greek historian Xenophon came across a mysterious ruined city. It wasn't on any maps, and they had no idea who built it. The walls of the city were many times bigger than anything the Greeks had ever seen or built, and the city's size had obviously once dwarfed Athens. Other than a handful of squatters, no one lived there. It was a complete ghost town. When they asked the people living in the surrounding lands about the city, no one could tell them anything. Who lived there, what happened, they didn't even know it's name. Only centuries later would historians figure out that the ruins he happened upon were those of Nineveh, the once great capital of the eternal kingdom of the Assyrians. The people they oppressed destroyed them so completely, that 300 years later no one even knew the city's name.

If that's not post apocalyptic I don't know what is.


  • Outlook and Erowind like this

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#5
Erowind

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+ American Atomic Age nuclear armament

With the dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan a new era began for humankind. For a moment, the world balanced on a knifes edge between the struggle of scientific authority vs the state. Would the Bulletin of Atomic scientists and other international responsible scientists succeed in disarming nation states? Or would those same nation states use them as tools for their own ends? I can't remember any of these figures names because it's been so long since I've studied these events. But in the post-war period prior to Soviet armament there were public figures arguing for preemptive nuclear strikes against the U.S.S.R to prevent Soviet nuclear development pitted against public figures who advocated giving the Soviets nuclear weapons alongside a global disarmament treaty.

Some events that changed the world during this period.

The executive branch of American government had its power expanded by necessity, contributing to the decline of democracy in America. Through vesting the power to launch nuclear bombs without congressional or military oversight in the executive branch President Truman would open the door to modern warfare. The modern consequences of this are modern Presidents authorizing drone strikes without formal decelerations of war, violating both the fundamental principles of a democratic republic and international law.

America arming itself forced the Soviet's to arm preventing the U.S.S.R from allocating much needed spending towards economic development contributing to the decline of the Soviet Union.

America in a move to curtial the growing reach of scientific authority opted for a university based research system instead of public research institutions funded by taxpayers. This would overtime erode the academy as a guild, lead to business interests co-opting science and remove democratic oversight from scientific research. In essance, America chose a neutered academy serving profit interests over what would have been a scientific industrial complex serving the public.

If a secular Mecca were to exist it should be Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Everyone should visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museam and see the destruction brought by unaccountable men with the most dangerous weapons ever created.

Speaking as an American here. My people chose the wrong path historically but we don't need to in the future. We could have been friends with the Soviets, instead we antagonized them. We could have maintained our democracy, instead we opened the door to rulers not leaders. We could haved wielded science for the wellbeing of all, instead we nuetered it and made a concerted effort to prevent it from ever being used to displace authoritarian power structures again. We see this same struggle forming today with scientific consensus on global warming falling on deaf ears. To everyone reading this. Do not be like my forfathers.
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Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.





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