the peasant's revolt

no but (among the 1424356 other things on my list) i so need to write a book about medieval history for a popular audience, just because the reality would blow people’s minds

there are so many things you can learn from it, so many misconceptions to destroy, and such an interesting social and cultural study of people learning to do things in different ways after rome fell. they had a period of almost 1000 years where classical culture was NOT the automatic standard. that is why we have gothic architecture and script. why they invented new literary and artistic genres, why they developed new laws. where, unlike in the ancient world, women and slaves were not relegated to a position of utter inferiority – in fact, slavery was abolished throughout most of the middle ages, and only began returning in the 16th-17th century when people were determined to replicate the criteria and legal systems of antiquity. same with women. you can find records of women doctors, bookbinders, copyists, shopkeepers, traders etc throughout the high middle ages. women religious were HUGELY influential; the abbey of fontevrault in france was required to have an abbess, not an abbot, in charge. queens regularly ruled whenever the king wasn’t around. it was only in 1593 that france, for example, decided to outlaw them from public/professional life. the salic law, made by philip iv in the early 14th century, barred them from inheriting the throne and later spread throughout europe, but that was not the case beforehand.

don’t talk to me about how “feudal anarchy” was a thing. feudalism was the last thing from anarchy, and it wasn’t about a lord mistreating or killing his peasants however he pleased. it was a highly structured and regulated system of mutual obligations – not a desirable condition for the serf, but still the bedrock on which society functioned. serfs were not slaves. they had personhood, social mobility, could own property, marry, form families, and often obtain freedom once they were no longer in an economic condition to make serfhood a necessity. abbot suger of france (late 11th-early 12th century) was most likely a son of serfs. he was educated at the same monastery school as the later king louis vi, ran the kingdom while louis vii was on crusade, and became the foremost historian of the period and partially responsible for establishing the tradition of ecclesiastical chronicles.

don’t talk to me about how everyone was a fervent and uncritical religious fanatic. church attendance on the parish level was so low that in 1215, pope innocent III had to issue a bull ordering people to take communion at least once a year. the content of clerical grievances tells us that people behaved and thought exactly as we do today – they wanted to sleep in on sunday, they wanted to have sex when they pleased, they didn’t believe the guy mumbling bad latin at them, they openly questioned the institutional church’s legitimacy (especially in the 13th century – it was taking assaults on every side as splinter and spinoff sects of every nature grew, along with literacy and the ability of common people to access books and learning for themselves). in the 14th century, john wycliffe and the lollards blasted the rigidly hierarchical nature of medieval society (“when adam delved and eve span, who then was the gentleman?”) partly as a result, wat tyler, a fellow englishman, led the peasants’ revolt in 1381. yes, the catholic church had a social and institutional power which we can’t imagine, but it was fought and questioned and spoken back to every step of the way.

don’t talk to me about how they were scientifically ignorant. isidore of seville, in the frickin 7th century, wrote books and books on science and reason from his home at the center of the andalusian “golden age” in muslim spain. toledo in the 9th century was a hotbed of theology, mathematics, and writing; admiring western european observers called multicultural, educated iberia “the ornament of the world.” in the 8th century in the monastery of jarrow in northumbria (aka in the middle of FRICKING NOWHERE) the venerable bede was able to open his “ecclesiastical history of the english people” with a discussion on cultural, linguistic, demographic, historical, geographical, and astronomical details, and refers to britain’s location near the north pole as a reason for its days being long in summer and short in winter (“for the sun has then departed to the region of Africa”). while bede’s information is obviously imperfect by virtue of his social and chronological location, he is a trained scholar with a strong critical sensibility and the ability to turn a memorable phrase; discussing an attempted imperial coup by an illiterate roman soldier, he sniffs, “As soon as he had seized power he crossed over to Gaul. There he was often deluded by the barbarians into making doubtful treaties, and so inflicted great harm on the body politic.”

don’t talk to me about how they were uneducated and illiterate. they were well versed in antiquity and classical authors through the high middle ages. they didn’t just suddenly discover them again when the 15th century started. the renaissance wasn’t about finding the texts, it was about deciding to apply them in a systematic way. beforehand, the 13th century saw the rediscovery of aristotle and the development of a new philosophical system to compete with the long-entrenched and studied works of plato. thomas aquinas and the dominicans were writing in this century. dante wrote the inferno in this century. i could go on.

don’t talk to me about the stereotype of the silent and oppressed woman – we already discussed that a bit above. i should also add, women usually had voting rights on the level of their community and this wasn’t regarded as odd. i already wrote a ranty post earlier on the myth that “it was just medieval times” and thus a rapey free-for-all.

we should also talk about how a form of gay marriage was legal for hundreds of years – two men could take wedding vows in a church and live together like any other married couple (though they called them “spiritual brotherhoods”). we should also talk about the cult of male bonds between knights in the 12th/13th century, and how it was idealized as the highest form of love. i also wrote a post a while ago about richard the lionheart and how sexuality worked. so.

we should talk about how all of this was happening in the time period that routinely gets written off as basically a wash between the fall of rome and the renaissance. we should remember that the renaissance was what led to modern structures of oppression for women, slaves, etc – everyone who had been worth nothing in antiquity. we should tear into the myth of historical progress and how it was invented to justify massive, wholesale colonization, genocide, and “civilization” in the supposedly enlightened 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – because nothing we do now, apparently, can be as bad as what those bad ol’ bloodthirsty ignoramuses did back then.

we shouldn’t idealize the medieval era as a golden age either. that is never the right way to approach history. but we should take a long, long look at why we are so insistent on our simplistic, erroneous concepts of this time period, and how exactly they serve to justify our behaviors, mindsets, and practices today.

further reading to support any of these topics available on request.

IMPORTANT EVENTS AND THEIR DATES IN MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY

1453  Constantinople is sacked by Muslim forces

1488  Bartolomeu Diaz rounds the Cape of Good Hope

1492  Columbus encounters the Americas (God, Glory and Gold.)

1517  Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses

1520  Diet of Worms declares Martin Luther an outlaw

1524-1525  The Peasants’ Revolt takes place in Germany

1534  Act of Supremacy passed in England → Henry VIII becomes head of the Anglican Church

1545  Council of Trent begins The Counter Reformation

1555  Peace of Augsburg (cuius regio, eius religio →whose region, his religion)

1585-1589  War of the Three Henries in France

1588  Spanish Armada destroyed by the English and “The Protestant Wind”

1603  Elizabeth I Dies → Tudor Dynasty Ends and the Stuart Dynasty Begins

1618-1648  The Thirty Years War (Treaty of Westphalia ends the war in 1648)

1642-1646  English Civil War (Roundheads vs. the Cavaliers)

1649  Charles I is executed → Oliver Cromwell begins his rule

1660  Stuart Restoration in England through Charles II

1688-1689  Glorious Revolution in England→ William and Mary of Orange replace James II and sign the English Bill of Rights

1643-1715  Era of Louis XIV  The Sun King (l’etat c’est moi)

1689-1725  Reign of Peter the Great in Russia

1756-1763  The Seven Years War

1789-1799  Era of the French Revolution (Radical Stage → late 1792-1795)

1799  Napoleon comes to power

1805-1815  Napoleonic Wars are waged

1814-1815  The Congress of Vienna meets (Main principles: Legitimacy, Conservatism, Compensation & Balance of Power)

1819  Peterloo Massacre in England

1830  Belgian Independence

1832  Reform Bill in England Passed

1848  Revolutions break out across Western Europe (France, Austria, Italy and Germany)

1861  Serfs emancipated in Russia under Alexander II

1870-1871  Germany and Italy Unification

1884-1885  Berlin Conference is held (“Scramble for Africa”)

1894  Tsar Nicholas II comes to power in Russia (the last of the Romanovs)

1905  Sunday Bloody Revolution in Russia → “The Dress Rehearsal”

1914  Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated → WWI starts

1917  March and November (Bolshevik) Revolutions in Russia

1918  Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is signed →Russia withdraws from war

1918  WWI ends

1919  Treaty of Versailles is signed

1918-1921  Russian Civil War (Reds vs. Whites)

1922  Mussolini comes to power in Italy and establishes the 1st Fascist government

1922  Russia officially becomes known as the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) → The Soviet Union

1923  Adolf Hitler leads the Beer Hall Putsch in Germany

1924  Lenin dies

1928  Stalin is firmly entrenched as the leader of the Soviet Union → begins the first of several 5 year plans

1929  Stock Market Crash in the US → The Great Depression begins

1933  Hitler comes to power in Germany

1938  Munich Conference (Peace in our time→Neville Chamberlain)

1939  World War II starts with Germany’s invasion of Poland

1945  World War II ends (V-E Day → May 8, 1945 and V-J Day → August 15, 1945)

1945  First session of the United Nations is held

1945-1989  Cold War (U.S. vs. S.U. begins and begins to end in Poland)

POST WW II  Decolonization → European colonies become independent

1946  Winston Churchill gives the “Iron Curtain” speech

1948-1949 Operation Vittles→the Berlin Airlift

1949  USSR successfully tests first atomic bomb

1951  European Coal and Steel Community formed (sounds like the Zollverein)

1953  Stalin dies and is succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev → destalinization begins

1954  French forces defeated in French-Indochina at Dien Bien Phu

1956  Hungarian revolt against the Soviet Union → it is crushed by the Soviets

1957  Rome Treaty is signed → The European Economic Community (EEC) is created = Common Market

1957  Sputnik is launched by the Soviet Union → the first space satellite

1958  The fifth Republic is born in France and Charles de Gaulle becomes President

1961  Berlin Wall built → dividing East and West Berlin

1961  Soviet Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space

1962  Cuban Missile Crisis → 90 miles off the coast of Florida

1963  Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is published

1964  Leonid Brezhnev becomes leader of the Soviet Union

1966  Under President Charles de Gaulle, France withdraws from the common NATO military command

1968  “Prague Spring” occurs in Czechoslovakia → it is crushed by the Soviets

1968  Student revolt in France (Paris)

1978  Pole Karol Wojtyla elected Pope → Pope John Paul II → 1st non-Italian in 455 years

1979  Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of England (“The Iron Lady”) (Mags loathes no one more than this heinous twat)

1979  The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (eventually becomes their own “little Vietnam”)

1980  1st independent labor union in the Soviet Bloc formed  “Solidarity” led by Lech Walesa of Poland

1980  Ronald Reagan elected President of the US (calls the Soviet Union an “evil empire”)

1985  Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader (implements policies of perestroika and glasnost)

1986  Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident in the Soviet Union (specifically the Ukraine)

1989  Berlin Wall comes down

1989  The “Velvet Revolution” occurs in Czechoslovakia → Vaclav Havel becomes President

1989  The Soviet Union withdraws its forces from Afghanistan

1989  Romanian leader Nicolai Ceausescu is overthrown and killed

1990  Lech Walesa becomes President of Poland

1990  East Germany and West Germany reunify into one Germany

1990  The first McDonalds opens in Russia

1991  Attempted coup attempt in the Soviet Union → The Soviet Union begins to disintegrate

1991  Boris Yeltsin becomes President of Russia → former 15 republics of the Soviet Union form the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.)

1991  Yugoslavia begins to break apart

1992  Maastricht Treaty signed

1997  Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of England → 1st Labor Party leader in 18 years

1999  Eurodollar becomes the single currency of the European Union (EU)

chasing--the--universe  asked:

I'd to point you to a couple of things. They are. Soviet Russia. Maoist China

Original.

Soviet Russia and China are examples of countries that were still entrenched in feudalism at the times of their respective socialist revolutions, which effectively catapulted them into variations of state capitalist development instead of full workers-democratically-control-production socialism. The state became the analogous capitalist class and instituted developments and policies over the course of a few decades that private capitalists elsewhere were pushing for centuries – think forced proletarianization of peasants and concentrated industrialization. The state took over the functions of a bunch of private capitalists, appropriating surplus value generated by workers and distributing the surplus where deemed necessary; they often put this towards the industrialization of infrastructure and public services, but it just as often was used to enrich the party apparatus. Even Lenin literally deemed this setup as “state capitalism”, the idea being an intermediary stage for formerly-feudal societies before full socialism. 

As a libertarian socialist/Marxist, I don’t defend the actions taken in these countries, but it’s important to contextualize what was going on. The idea is that it’s near-impossible to just jump from feudalism to socialism – a period of capitalist development/accumulation and liberal institutions makes the jump more viable. As far as I’m concerned, this could have been accomplished through mutualism or market socialism, combining the liberalism of markets with the democratic accountability of worker control (thus mitigating much of the poverty and violent consequences of class domination).

To quote Terry Eagleton:

“Marx himself never imagined that socialism could be achieved in impoverished conditions [i.e. Russia and China]. Such a project would require almost as bizarre a loop in time as inventing the Internet in the Middle Ages. Nor did any Marxist thinker until Stalin imagine that this was possible, including Lenin, Trotsky, and the rest of the Bolshevik leadership…

Building up an economy from very low levels is a back-breaking, dispiriting task. It is unlikely that men and women will freely submit to the hardships it involves. So unless this project is executed gradually, under democratic control and in accordance with socialist values, an authoritarian state may step in and force its citizens to do what they are reluctant to undertake voluntarily. The militarization of labor in Bolshevik Russia is a case in point. The result, in a grisly irony, will be to undermine the political superstructure of socialism (popular democracy, genuine self-government) in the very attempt to build up its economic base…

As Marx insists, socialism also requires a shortening of the working day – partly to provide men and women with the leisure for personal fulfillment, partly to create time for the business of political and economic self-government. You can not do this if people have no shoes; and to distribute shoes among millions of citizens is likely to require a centralized bureaucratic state. If your nation is under invasion from an array of hostile capitalist powers, as Russia was in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution, an autocratic state will seem all the more inevitable…

To go socialist, then, you need to be reasonably well-heeled, in both the literal and the metaphorical senses of the term. No Marxist from Marx and Engels to Lenin and Trotsky ever dreamt of anything else. Or if you are not well-heeled yourself, then a sympathetic neighbor reasonably flush in material resources needs to spring to your aid. In the case of the Bolsheviks, this would have meant such neighbors (Germany in particular) having their own revolutions, too. If the working class of these countries could overthrow their own capitalist masters and lay hands on their productive powers, they could use those resources to save the first workers’ state in history from sinking without a trace. This was not as improbable a proposal as it might sound. Europe at the time was aflame with revolutionary hopes, as councils of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies (or soviets) sprang up in cities such as Berlin, Warsaw, Vienna, Munich, and Riga. Once these insurrections were defeated, Lenin and Trotsky knew their own revolution was in dire straights.

It is not that the building of socialism cannot be begun in deprived conditions. It is rather that without material resources it will tend to twist into the monstrous caricature of socialism known as Stalinism. The Bolshevik revolution soon found itself besieged by imperial Western armies, as well as threatened by counterrevolution, urban famine, and a bloody civil war. It was marooned in an ocean of largely hostile peasants reluctant to hand over their hard-earned surplus at gunpoint to the starving towns. With a narrow capitalist base, disastrously low levels of material production, scant traces of civil institutions, a decimated, exhausted working class, peasant revolts, and a swollen bureaucracy to rival the Tsar’s, the revolution was in deep trouble almost from the outset…

Imagine a slightly crazed capitalist outfit that tried to turn a pre-modern tribe into a set of ruthlessly acquisitive, technologically sophisticated entrepreneurs speaking the jargon of public relations and free market economics, all in a surreally short period of time. Does the fact that the experiment would almost certainly prove less than dramatically successful constitute a fair condemnation of capitalism? Surely not. To think so would be as absurd as claiming that the Girl Guides should be disbanded because they cannot solve certain tricky problems in quantum physics. Marxists do not believe that the mighty liberal lineage from Thomas Jefferson to John Stuart Mill is annulled by the existence of secret CIA-run prisons for torturing Muslims, even though such prisons are part of the politics of today’s liberal societies. Yet the critics of Marxism are rarely willing to concede that show trials and mass terror are no refutation of it.” 

TL;DR:

1) You can’t just expect socialism to quickly arise in materially- and socially-isolated countries in the throngs of feudalism (Russia and China). A material base of industrialization and a social base of liberalism are generally understood to be useful/basically-necessary prerequisites to build from. If other capitalist countries had undergone socialist revolution and provided aid to the struggling formerly-feudal state capitalist countries, they probably wouldn’t have congealed into top-down bureaucracies. A domino effect of worker revolutions across capitalist countries is considered necessary for socialism to fully take hold, just as a domino effect of bourgeois revolutions across feudal countries was needed for capitalism to fully take hold.

2) The violent primitive accumulation of early capitalism and the concentrated industrialization of state capitalist Russia and China served similar analogous functions in the broader context of historical materialism. Private capitalism for the enrichment of individual capitalists over the centuries, state capitalism supposedly for the enrichment of society’s material base and an eventual transition to full socialism. 

3) Capitalist societies have unleashed violent imperialism, mass enslavement, systemic poverty, and police states. If we’re going to bring up the disasters of isolated countries that set their aims at socialism, then we need to bring up the centuries-long disasters of not-isolated capitalist countries that have actively oppressed domestic and foreign populations of people. 

4) We live in an era of material abundance aided by advanced technology and automation; any attempt at socialism in late-capitalist countries would be significantly easier than what Russia and China experienced. As such, these industrialized late-capitalist countries need to undergo social revolution and provide aid to each other and to struggling countries that would have otherwise been state capitalist. 

(This answer has mainly been for the benefit of people already at least relatively sympathetic to anti-capitalism; I realize it is unlikely to sway someone so entrenched in capitalist ideology that they have no clue what socialist movements have entailed and strove for. If your analysis stops at “Russia and China were bad and that’s what socialism means and therefore it’s not worth fighting for”, then I don’t know what to tell ya. If your analysis stops at “capitalism preaches liberal individual freedom so therefore it is good”, then I don’t know what to tell ya. Dig past the ideology you’ve been spoon-fed by capitalist media and the state since childhood and recognize that you’ve been conned, all for the enrichment of the bosses and the bureaucrats.)

-Daividh

anonymous asked:

I was going to say I'd love to have you show me your collection of books on mythology and cults and cosmic horror but then I realized- You kind of can do that. Do you have any book recs of the non-Lovecraft Lovecraftian sort?

Okay so I pulled some of my favourite things off my bookshelf which I think might appeal to people interested in Lovecraft. I tend to veer towards the more gothic of his tales so that’s what this collection reflects. There is a mixture of fiction and non fiction here so I hope this is useful!! 

1. The Hell-Fire Clubs by Evelyn Lord

A History of devil worshipping cults in the British Isles which supposedly operated from about the 16th-19th centuries. 

2. America Bewitched by Owen Davies

A history of witchcraft in America after the salem witch trials, really interesting to see how that initial incident affected the later ‘outbreaks’. 

3. Primitive Mythology by Joseph Campbell 

This is part one in a series of texts about the impact of mythology on the psychology/culture/identity of the human race. It reminds me a lot of the ideas Lovecraft explores about the idea of an ingrained fear that has been passed down through generations. 

4. The Devil Within by Brian Levak 

The best history of exorcism I have read, worth pointing out that is does only focus on Western history/concepts. 

5. Vampyres by Christopher Frayling 

Super comprehensive and very literary based, actually a really good reference text for people studying the gothic in any capacity. A social and anthropological history of the Vampyre in popular culture. 

6/7. The Blake and Avery Detective Series by M.J Carter 

Victorian detective series full of satanic cults, weird witch doctors, ancient symbolism and gruesome murders. 

8. Heavenly Bodies by Paul Koudounaris 

I have been obsessed with the Catholic practice of decorating the bodies of saints for ages and this is the definitive book on the subject. Full of gorgeous, fascinating photos and lots of insights into the ritual behind it all. 

9. This Way Madness Lies by Mike Jay 

A really well illustrated and gorgeously presented history of Bedlam in London. Any publication put out by the Wellcome Collection is always worth the money. 

10/11/12. The Annihilation Trilogy by Jeff Vandemeer 

My favourite weird fiction trilogy ever. Worth reading Annihilation on it’s own even if you don’t pick up the other two. Sort of like At the Mountains of Madness meets The X Files meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Also a nearly all female cast of characters. 

13. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

I’m an absolute sucker for things based on Russian Folklore and this is a bizarre fever dream of a narrative which never quite makes sense but the prose is insanely gorgeous. 

14. Satantango by Laszlo Kraszahorkai 

One to pick up if you like the Lovecraft stories like Dreams in the Witch House, The Colour out of Space and The Cats of Ulthar. Follows the impact of a group of uncanny individuals whose appearance in a rural town causes a slow descent into chaos. 

15. Moon Over Soho (The Rivers of London series) by Ben Aaronovitch 

The Rivers of London series is dark, funny and perfect as a light hearted monsters, girls and ghosts read. I love them because they are set around where I live which is always fun. 

16. The Wolves of London by Mark Morris 

Weirdly this series was released around the same time as the above one but has a much more overt Lovecraftian tone to it. I prefer the ideas and the bleakness of this series but the writing style of Aaronovitch. 

16. Q by Luther Blissett 

Tonally quite similar to Lovecraft’s work. It’s dense but worth the read if you can get through it as it’s a maze of religious fever, manic peasant revolts and political upheaval. 

17. The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley 

One of my favourite books of the last year. Deeply unsettling and an amazing blend of supernatural and domestic horror where you can never tell who is reliable. 

18. Thin Air by Michelle Paver 

Perfect for fans of Algernon Blackwood, M.J James and all those wonderful classic ghost writers. Genuinely frightening with an excellent payoff. 

19/20/21. Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook 

Probably visually the most Lovecraftian of this list. A classic tale of supernatural happenings in an isolated rural area but the illustrations and creature designs are some of the most beautiful and horrifying I’ve ever seen. 

Not pictured because I couldn’t find my copy of it is Kraken by China Miéville which starts with a giant embalmed squid being stolen from the Natural History Museum and explodes into a story of cults, magical books, sea monsters and a chilling use of origami. 

I’m also half way through Là-Bas, by J.K Huysmans which follows a young man who becomes obsessed with Gilles de Rais and eventually pursues satanism in turn of the century France. It’s a morbid delight and the love story at it’s centre will really appeal to people who aren’t normally into that aspect of the narrative. Who doesn’t want to go to a black mass with your lover? 

The night of June 7, 1525 Albrecht Durer had an apocalyptic dream of a great flood destroying the world. Shaken by the experience, he painted this scene the following morning. Durer’s distress over this vision was not unusual considering the time. The early years of the Reformation brought violence, rebellion, and intense religious anxiety. In 1525 Germany was in the midst of a violent peasant revolt, and there was mounting fear among some that a flood would soon end the world.  Below is a translation of the text.

In 1525, during the night between Wednesday and Thursday after Whitsuntide, I had this vision in my sleep, and saw how many great waters fell from heaven. The first struck the ground about four miles away from me with such a terrible force, enormous noise and splashing that it drowned the entire countryside. I was so greatly shocked at this that I awoke before the cloudburst. And the ensuing downpour was huge. Some of the waters fell some distance away and some close by. And they came from such a height that they seemed to fall at an equally slow pace. But the very first water that hit the ground so suddenly had fallen at such velocity, and was accompanied by wind and roaring so frightening, that when I awoke my whole body trembled and I could not recover for a long time. When I arose in the morning, I painted the above as I had seen it. May the Lord turn all things to the best.

bbc.co.uk
Peasants' Revolt: The time when women took up arms - BBC News
The Peasants' Revolt of 1381 has always been believed a male-dominated affair, but new research shows the role of women.

On 14 June 1381, rebels dragged Lord Chancellor Simon of Sudbury from the Tower of London and brutally beheaded him. Outraged by his hated poll tax, the insurgents had stormed into London looking for him, plundering and burning buildings as they went.

It was the leader of the group who arrested Sudbury and dragged him to the chopping block, ordering that he be beheaded.

Her name was Johanna Ferrour.  

In court documents she was described as “chief perpetrator and leader of rebellious evildoers from Kent”. She also ordered the death of the treasurer, Robert Hales.

As well as leading the rebels into London, she was charged with burning the Savoy Palace - the grandest townhouse in London at the time - and stealing a chest of gold from a duke.

Johanna Ferrour did nothing wrong

Sparrows and Lollards: The Historical Parallel

A few weeks back I promised @poorquentyn that I’d write up that comparison between the English heretics known as Lollards, their connection with the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, and the Sparrows of ASoIaF. It took a bit longer than I’d hoped, but as promised, and for your reading pleasure, the case for why the Lollards and the Peasants’ Revolt is the strongest parallel we’ve got here, and their similarities - theological and political.

I’d also like to thank @meddlingwithdragons for her assistance with this essay.

Keep reading

evergloriousoverlord  asked:

I've been thinking about this for a while, so I decided to find out your thoughts on the matter. How would you go about creating a good fantasy religion?

When it comes to building a religion, the key things to remember is that religion is tied very much to ethics, the nature of reality, the meaning of life (and anything that comes after), and other deep philosophical underpinnings of what it means to be alive, to be good or evil, what responsibilities do we have in life. Religion offered to the people of the past (and continues to offer to the people in the present) profound comfort, meaning, and purpose for the entire life. So, you have your work cut out for you. But this is not beyond the ability of the aspiring worldbuilder and fantasy writer. I’m going to caveat this: I’ve studied religions, but a lot of my studies were focused on western religions. Someone who has studied more Eastern, African, or Pacific religions feel free to add anything. I acknowledge my limitations and have done what I could be as inclusive as possible, but I am certain there was stuff I missed.

Keep reading

So I was just looking at books about the peasant’s revolt on amazon and there’re multiple people writing reviews like this complaining about them being “too sympathetic” to the rebels, saying like “the peasants were bad because they damaged property and attacked their feudal overlords”

Seriously we have people straight up defending feudalism in 2017

anonymous asked:

Hey, It seems like there's not much the lord actually does in the feudal economy? How easy would it be to just cut him out of the process? (I understand it was extremely hard in practice but I'm curious if there were any attempts to cut them out of the process and just manage the estate without them)

Well, primarily what the lord did was to take all the rent and taxes, the free labor, the extra income from mills and bridges and the like, and all the other feudal privileges to which they felt entitled, and not work for a living and instead focus on hunting and jousting and war and politics and really stupendous levels of conspicious consumption. 

In terms of how easy it would be to get rid of them, well, that was most of what the 14th century peasant revolts were all about. When you look at how the revolts start, one of the first targets of the peasantry were court records - chiefly manorial court records that were the only source of information about who was a serf and who wasn’t, who owed feudal obligations and who didn’t. Even before they got to the point of capturing capitol cities and demanding royal charters of liberty, the peasants would just burn the records that said they were serfs or villeins or owed any kind of free labor and then dare their landlords to prove that they weren’t free men. 

So ultimately, I’d say the main difficulty with getting rid of the nobility is that they were perfectly willing to 1. renege on any agreement or oath made to rebellious peasants, 2. ignore a flag of truce and murder the peasants’ leadership, 3. call out the army and kill thousands of people to restore compliance with the ancien regime. 

March 24, 1917 - Greece Protests Italian Occupation of Epirus

Pictured - Italian soldiers in Greece, WWI.

Albania was a mess during the First World War. It had only recently become independent of Ottoman rule in 1912, but centuries of Turkish occupation had left it an ethnic and religious melting pot, with none of the groups eager to get along with the others. It was nominally a principality, but tribal chiefs squabbled and the central government controlled almost nothing. A Muslim peasant revolt forced the German prince invited to rule into exile within months. In the south of the country, the region known in antiquity as Epirus, Greek settlers declared independence in a move to integrate their country with Greece.

Greece occupied Epirus in 1914, but the situation was complicated because Italy did not hide its desire to annex parts of Albania. In 1915, the Treaty of London gave some coastal ports to Italy, while Serbia and Montenegro also occupied portions. It was all part of complicated balancing act by which Paris and London tried to appease both Greece and Italy to have them as allies.

Italy joined the Entente, but not Greece, and when Athens ceded border forts to Bulgaria in 1916, the Allies ceased favoring it over Italy. Italian soldiers marched into northern Epirus in 1916, where they did not hide their annexationist attitudes. They disarmed Greeks, removed Greek flags, and closed Greek-language schools. In June Italy declared that Albania was “independent” under the Italian king. Obviously, this greatly irked the Greeks, who were now divided in a civil war between a pro-Allied splinter government in Salonika, and the royalist, neutral government in Athens. Both sides protested to the Allies in March about Italy’s occupation of Epirus.

In the end, the war pleased nobody. The Allies confirmed Albanian independence after the conflict, which annoyed the Greeks who hoped to annex parts. The Italians celebrated the decision and kept troops in the hopes of making Albania a puppet state, but Albanian guerrillas chased them out in 1920. Italy’s failure to win much territory at the peace table drove anger at the Allies and eventually helped the rise of fascists in the 1920s who wanted to redraw the world order implemented by the Treaty of Versailles.

On This Day: June 12
  • 1381: Peasants’ Revolt: Up to 20,000 rebels, led by Wat Tyler, arrive at Blackheath, just south of London.
  • 1776: Adoption of Virginia Declaration of Rights by the united States. Gives inherent rights, including right to rebel against “inadequate” government.
  • 1798: Battle of Ballynahinch between United Irishmen and British forces leads to defeat for the Rebellion in Ulster.
  • 1868: The United States invade Japan during its civil war “to protect US interests”.
  • 1885: Anarcho-communist Adrienne Montégudet was born in Issoudun-Letrieix, France. She was an organizer with the CGT.
  • 1890: Voltairine de Cleyre gives birth to a son, Harry de Cleyre.
  • 1900: Turkish-born revolutionary socialist and anarchist Jules Regis aka Siger dies.
  • 1903: Cokers strike at Crows Nest Pass Coal Company in Fernie, BC ends.
  • 1904: 50,000 members of Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen walk off the job across the United States.
  • 1907: Anarchist Francisco Ferrer y Guàrdia released due to lack of evidence after the assassination attempt on King Alfonso of Spain.
  • 1910: Mexican Liberal Party Junta organization moves to Los Angeles, California.
  • 1915: Emma Goldman continues her lecture tour in Los Angeles and San Diego, raising support for the Caplan-Schmidt defense fund.
  • 1943: The Nazis liquidate the Jewish Ghetto in Brzeżany, Poland (now Ukraine). Over a thousand Jews are shot in the city’s old Jewish graveyard.
  • 1958: Socialist Julie Watersonborn. She was a leading British socialist, anti-fascist activist, and organiser for the ANL.
  • 1963: NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers is assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi by white supremacist Byron De la Beckwith.
  • 1964: French anarcho-syndicalist Antoine Bertrand dies. He was a member of “Free Youth” group.
  • 1964: Anti-apartheid activist and ANC leader Nelson Mandela is convicted in the Rivonia Trial and sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in South Africa.
  • 1967: The US Supreme Court rules that state laws prohibiting interracial marriage are unconstitutional.
  • 1969: Martial law declared in Spain during student protests.
  • 1990: Elijah Harper holds eagle feather for strength & votes no to Meech Lake Accord.
  • 1991: The Sri Lankan Army massacres 152 minority Tamil civilians in the village of Kokkadichcholai.
  • 1994: The Second Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle is issued by the EZLN.
  • 2016: Pulse Shooting: The deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history as a gunmen opens fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando. Forty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured.

wingsfreedom  asked:

Who do you think are the most overrated characters in ATLA?

What a controversial question xD Well, probably under the cut, for the best.

DISCLAIMER: if you adore any of the characters on this list, this is NOT an attempt to attack you or your peers, merely criticism on how the fandom behaves regarding certain characters.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hello, You did have some interesting thoughts about the sparrows. "Here’s another big honking sign that the Sparrows are right-wing culture warriors in a paper-thin disguise". Do you think it is also true for the book!sparrows? While reading the books, I got the impression that they really cared about the smallfolk and their aim was to improve their life conditions. They even sold the High Septons crown to provide food for the poor.

No, the book!Sparrows have different historical parallels. One is the Puritans, it’s true, but there are also parallels to Lollardy there, the Peasants’ Revolt and the Thirty Years’ War as well.

The book!High Sparrow also let refugees camp in the square outside the Sept of Baelor and allowed the pile of bones around Baelor’s statute to remain, as a gesture of protest. (I’m still sore that we didn’t get the pile of bones in the show.)

What’s important to note is how the strongly misogynistic aspect of the book!Sparrows arises logically out of the worldbuilding and the plot to that point. A lot of the Sparrows have been displaced by war and are motivated by the things they have suffered in the process - a war which was caused by conflict over whether the Queen committed (incest and) adultery and passed off the children of her (incest and) adultery as the King’s. It doesn’t take a genius to see how the Sparrows, products of patriarchal Westeros in the first place, got traction with the argument that women are icky and adulterous women are icky and evil. By contrast, the show!Sparrows’ hatred for gay people and wine has no grounding in preceding events other than that they’re religious, and that’s what religious people are like, right? They hate gay people and wine.

Screwball Ninja’s Crack Theories: Black Fairy’s Doom Edition

I don’t know how the Black Fairy will be defeated, but it probably WON’T be any of the following:

  1. Rumple gives Belle a flying assist and Belle brains the Black Fairy with a copy of His Handsome Hero.
  2. Three words: Warlord Bo Peep.
  3. Ogres fall; everyone dies.
  4. The peasants revolt and chuck magic beans at Henry’s entire family tree– cue S7 with the remaining cast in a new location.
  5. “You are defeated now, Black Fairy!” cries Rumple, waving a bunch of pages. “It’s in the script!” “Oh drat!” says the Black Fairy, and obligingly turns to dust.
  6. Rumple makes the Black Fairy watch all the back episodes of OUAT and her head explodes.
  7. She falls down a giant plot hole. No-one notices.
  8. Mulan comes to town and gives the Black Fairy TLK. They open a combination martial arts dojo/S&M dungeon called Honor Hurts.
  9. The Black Fairy is secretly Wish!Cora, who decides to stay in Storybrooke and enjoy indoor plumbing and free cheesecake.
  10. Henry uses his magic pen to change the book to Once Upon a Sexytimes– everyone falls into the Skinemax dimension and bangs out their conflict.

Canterbury Castle
Canterbury, Kent

Dating back to the Norman Conquest (1066-1072 CE), Canterbury Castle was one of three royal castles in Kent. Originally, it was a simple wooden motte-and-bailey castle, but was rebuilt in stone between 1090 and 1125. The castle saw conflict in the First Baron’s War (1215-1217) and the Peasants’ Revolt (1381) – surrendering to the opposing side in both conflicts.