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The odd things that go through one's mind

While I was getting ready for work this morning, the latent historian in me kicked in.

When did conquest become "a bad thing"?

I was thinking about the map of Europe and how it hasn't changed much since about 1700. Oh, sure I realize Germany and Italy united and Poland has been subdivided and reformed a few times, but for all intents and purposes, the only major changes to the map, especially since WWI has been for countries to split apart into sections. (Austria-Hungary = Austria, Hungary, parts of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Transylvania merging with Romania, for example. Or in the modern day, watching Yugoslavia split up as well as the Soviet Union.)

In the past, countries rose, conquered their nearby neighbors and then were conquered in their own right. The Assyrians were defeated by the Persians who were defeated by the Macedonians who were defeated by the Romans who were defeated by the Visigoths/Ostrogoths/Germans/Vandals (it was a big empire after all), who were defeated by the Byzantines/Franks and Moslems, and so on. African empires rose and fell in West Africa. China was conquered numerous times only to absorb their invaders and add their cultures to its own.

The Age of Colonization was in its own way Europe's continuation of the waves of conquest/immigration from Western Asia and the Middle East. Even n World War I, the winning sides stripped territory and colonies away from the losing side.

But somewhere, the human psyche changed. Now, wars are fought for ideas rather than territory.

In fact, since 1945, I can only think of a few wars where the losing side lost territory - North Vietnam absorbed South Vietnam in 1975, China conquered Tibet in the 50s and the Israelis took the Golan Heights/West Bank/Gaza/Sinai in 67 and Iraq taking Kuwait in 90 (and losing it in 91). In the 1700s, if the Russian Empire had taken over Eastern Europe, it would certainly have been added to their empire. But, when the Soviet Union effectively "conquered" Eastern Europe, it maintained a facade that the conquered territories were "allies" because "conquest was bad".

In fact, more countries have been created by larger countries self-destructing since 1945 than countries have been absorbed into larger countries which was the norm a century ago.

*This has been an insight into the wanderings of a historian's mind. You were warned.*

Beside my mind wandering down the garden path, work went well today. When I got home, we found the contractors had finished painting two more rooms downstairs. I must admit, the color in the powder room is a tad greener than it looked on the paint chip, but it goes well with the new tile and I like it.

wishweaver and I watched another Dragnet disk tonight. It was strange seeing actors I'd seen in the 1960s performing in this show from 1954. Martin Milner as a troubled juvenile (He was Pete Malloy in Adam-12), Frances Bavier (Aunt Bea) as a homeowner who'd been burglarized, Dennis Weaver as a young cop getting started and so on. I can definitely say, this box set was a lot of fun to pick up. If nothing else, watching them running the punch cards through the computer brings back old memories for me.

I managed to get some writing done on Steel on Target tonight. 1046 words later, I've given my cavalry unit a chance to breath and make some repairs. Of course, if I'm giving them a breather, you know I've got something planned for them in a bit. *cue ominous laughter*


Words for Today

1046 / 1000 words. 105%

Progress on Steel on Target

17495 / 90000 words. 19%

Words for 2008

28533 / 366000 words. 8%

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March 2017


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