Saturday, February 27, 2010

Canadian History Quiz

Source: Citytv

1) Which country took control of Quebec away from France, by winning the battle of the Plains of Abraham?
2) Who was Canada's first francophone Prime Minister?
3) What term is used to describe the severe economic hardships of the 1930's?
4) In the 19th century, some inhabitants of what is now Quebec rebelled against the colonial government of the time. Who was the leader of that rebellion?
5) What was the name of the route to Canada taken by blacks escaping slavery in the US? 6) Name one group of Canadians who were evacuated from the West Coast during WWII because of their ethnic origin?
7) What Canadian city was severely damaged by a massive explosion in its harbour in 1917?
8) Which province was the last one to join Canada?
9) In 1944, Canadians joined in an event called D Day. What happened on that day?
10) Remembrance Day in Canada falls on November 11. November 11 was the last day of which war?
11) In what year were all Canadian women eligible to vote in federal elections?
12) Many of the early settlers of what is now New Brunswick and Nova Scotia spoke French and were resettled by the British government. What are those people and their descendants called? 13) The members of which ethnic group were once forced to pay a head tax to immigrate to Canada?
14) Name one of the wars in which Canada was invaded by the United States.
15) What is the name of the Metis leader who was hanged by the federal government in 1885? 16) What economic issue between the US and Canada dominated the Canadian Federal elections of 1891, 1911 and 1988?
17) What American war helped convince Canadians and their leaders to unite and form a federation in the north?
18) What name is commonly used to refer to the British subjects who fled to Canada during and after the American Revolution?
19) Name two countries Canada fought against during World War I?
20) What term is commonly used to refer to early French fur traders in Canada?
21) Name the Canadian who received the Noble Prize for Peace in 1957 for his efforts to peacefully resolve the Suez Crisis and then went on to become Prime Minister.
22) What is the name commonly given to the political and social movement that swept Quebec in the beginning of the 1960's?
23) Who was the first Canadian in space?
24) What year was Canada's constitution patriated from Great Britain?
25) Name a Canadian who received the Noble Prize for the discovery of insulin?
26) What is the name of the native people of Newfoundland who were hunted to extinction by Europeans?

Answers:

1) England
2) Wilfred Laurier
3) The Great Depression
4) Louis-Joseph Papineau
5) The Underground Railway
6) The Japanese
7) Halifax
8) Newfoundland
9) Invasion of Europe/ France/ Normandy
10) World War I
11) 1921
12) Acadians
13) Chinese Canadians
14) War of 1812/Revolutionary/War of Independence
15) Louis Riel
16) Free Trade
17) The Civil War
18) Loyalists /United Empire Loyalists
19) Germany/Austria/Austro-Hungarian/Turkey
20) Voyageurs/Coureurs des bois
21) Lester B. Pearson
22) The Quiet Revolution
23) Marc Garneau
24) 1982
25) Banting/MacCloud/Collip
26) Beothuks

What really ended the Great Depression?

Written by: Burton W. Folsom

What finally ended the Great Depression? That question may be the most important in economic history. If we can answer it, we can better grasp what perpetuates economic stagnation and what cures it.

The Great Depression was the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. From 1931 to 1940 unemployment was always in double digits. In April 1939, almost ten years after the crisis began, more than one in five Americans still could not find work.

On the surface World War II seems to mark the end of the Great Depression. During the war more than 12 million Americans were sent into the military, and a similar number toiled in defense-related jobs. Those war jobs seemingly took care of the 17 million unemployed in 1939. Most historians have therefore cited the massive spending during wartime as the event that ended the Great Depression.

Some economists—especially Robert Higgs—have wisely challenged that conclusion. Let’s be blunt. If the recipe for economic recovery is putting tens of millions of people in defense plants or military marches, then having them make or drop bombs on our enemies overseas, the value of world peace is called into question. In truth, building tanks and feeding soldiers—necessary as it was to winning the war—became a crushing financial burden. We merely traded debt for unemployment. The expense of funding World War II hiked the national debt from $49 billion in 1941 to almost $260 billion in 1945. In other words, the war had only postponed the issue of recovery.

Even President Roosevelt and his New Dealers sensed that war spending was not the ultimate solution; they feared that the Great Depression—with more unemployment than ever—would resume after Hitler and Hirohito surrendered. Yet FDR’s team was blindly wedded to the federal spending that (as I argue in New Deal or Raw Deal?) had perpetuated the Great Depression during the 1930s.

FDR had halted many of his New Deal programs during the war—and he allowed Congress to kill the WPA, the CCC, the NYA, and others—because winning the war came first. In 1944, however, as it became apparent that the Allies would prevail, he and his New Dealers prepared the country for his New Deal revival by promising a second bill of rights. Included in the President’s package of new entitlements was the right to “adequate medical care,” a “decent home,” and a “useful and remunerative job.” These rights (unlike free speech and freedom of religion) imposed obligations on other Americans to pay taxes for eyeglasses, “decent” houses, and “useful” jobs, but FDR believed his second bill of rights was an advance in thinking from what the Founders had conceived.

Roosevelt’s death in the last year of the war prevented him from unveiling his New Deal revival. But President Harry Truman was on board for most of the new reforms. In the months after the end of the war Truman gave major speeches showcasing a full employment bill—with jobs and spending to be triggered if people failed to find work in the private sector. He also endorsed a national health care program and a federal housing program.

But 1946 was very different from 1933. In 1933 large Democratic majorities in Congress and public support gave FDR his New Deal, but stagnation and unemployment persisted. By contrast, Truman had only a small Democratic majority—and no majority at all if you subtract the more conservative southern Democrats. Plus, the failure of FDR’s New Deal left fewer Americans cheering for an encore.

For the rest go to the source

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Messages from the Stone Age

From New Scientist

THE first intrepid explorers to brave the 7-metre crawl through a perilously narrow tunnel leading to the Chauvet caves in southern France were rewarded with magnificent artwork to rival any modern composition. Stretching a full 3 metres in height, the paintings depict a troupe of majestic horses in deep colours, above a pair of boisterous rhinos in the midst of a fight. To the left, they found the beautiful rendering of a herd of prehistoric cows. "The horse heads just seem to leap out of the wall towards you," says Jean Clottes, former director of scientific research at the caves and one of the few people to see the paintings with his own eyes.

When faced with such spectacular beauty, who could blame the visiting anthropologists for largely ignoring the modest semicircles, lines and zigzags also marked on the walls? Yet dismissing them has proved to be something of a mistake. The latest research has shown that, far from being doodles, the marks are in fact highly symbolic, forming a written "code" that was familiar to all of the prehistoric tribes around France and possibly beyond. Indeed, these unprepossessing shapes may be just as remarkable as the paintings of trotting horses and tussling rhinos, providing a snapshot into humankind's first steps towards symbolism and writing.

Until now, the accepted view has been that our ancestors underwent a "creative explosion" around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, when they suddenly began to think abstractly and create rock art. This idea is supported by the plethora of stunning cave paintings, like those at Chauvet, which started to proliferate across Europe around this time. Writing, on the other hand, appeared to come much later, with the earliest records of a pictographic writing system dating back to just 5000 years ago.

Few researchers, though, had given any serious thought to the relatively small and inconspicuous marks around the cave paintings. The evidence of humanity's early creativity, they thought, was clearly in the elaborate drawings.

For the rest go to the Source: New Scientist

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What if the South won the Civil War?

Its all speculation...

Confederacy forms alliance with the United Kingdom

Mexico attacks the Confederacy in an attempt to win back territory in the South Western United states.

Mexicans are driven backward and defeated.

US and Confederacy clash in the 1880's in a Second War. Conflict ends in stalemate. The War is fought over Expansion rights in the Western Half of North America.

Politics in the Confederacy is dominated by two groups: The Industrialists, who feel that the Confederates should focus on growing an industrial base to rival the North and the agriculturists, who still view the South as an agrarian society. The Industrialists will eventually succeed and as a result of necessity the Confederacy will become more industrialized than it did in Plane-zero USA.

The North (or the US) will continue to grow industrially fueled of course by the influx of European immigrants in the 19th century.

US and Confederacy agree to divide the Western states amongst each other. The Northwestern States and California will fall under US Domination. The southwestern and several mid-western states will join the Confederacy.

Slavery will eventually be abolished in the Confederacy but only in the 1920s after several devastating slave rebellions bring chaos to the Southern States. International pressure and a changing political scene will force the Confederacy to drop its pro-slavery stance.

Texas will break away from the Confederacy in the 1910s and form a new nation the Republic of Texas.

Without a dominant power in North America, the European countries will become more involved in South America. Major players will include Britain, France and Germany.

The Confederacy will enter the First World War at an earlier stage than the US did in reality.

The reason for this early entry by the Confederacy is motivated by a need to assist the British Empire, the South's most significant trading partner.

30 Greatest Breakthroughs in Mathematics

Ancient Humanity develops the know how to reason and comprehend numbers.
Development of the standard operations of Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division.
The development of Fractions.
The development of the concept of the positive and negative integer.
Euclid formalizes Geometric Knowledge.
Early Development of Algebra by the Ancient Greeks and Arabs.
The development of the number zero by the Ancient Indians.
Arab Numerals make their way into the Western World.
Rene Descartes creates the discipline of Cartesian Geometry. Birth of the Era of the Graph.
Issac Netwton and Gottfried Leibnitz independently invent the calculus.
Birth of the discipline of trigonometry.
Indians develop what will later become known as Pythagoras's Theorem.
Development of the concept of the vector and n-space: Birth of Vector Algebra and Vector Geometry.
Blaise Pascal's work gives rise to Probability Theory.
The development of logarithms as a calculating technique by John Napier.
Development of Statistics as a mathematical discipline.
Development of the discipline of Numerical iteration by messrs: Newton, Simpson, Euler and Runge-Kutte.
Development of Matrix Algebra by Messrs Gauss, Jordan.
Geometrical work on the Theory of Conic Sections.
Development of the concept of Irrational numbers.
The Development of Set Theory.
Number Theory comes to light in the 19th century.
Invention of the concept of the Imaginary Number.
Invention of the discipline of game theory.
The development of Chaos Theory in the 20th century.
Birth of the discipline of surface topography.
Development of the concept of infinity.
Development of the mathematics of Solids and Crystals.
Omar Khayyam Develops the Binomial Theorem.
Formalization of Fermat's Last Theorem (by Pierre Fermat) and its eventual proof by Andrew Wiley.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Early French History

Many English speakers don't know much about French history....here is a snapshot of some key milestones prior to 1328.

1.Prehistoric activity in Early France as is evidenced by caves paintings at Lascaux and Gargas.
2. The Celts settle France (Gaul). City of Paris founded by Parsii tribe. Other cities founded by the Celts are Bordeaux and Toulouse.
3. Greeks found the port of Marseilles.
4. Gauls sack Rome in the 4th century BC
5. Caesar launches his Gallic Wars. Gauls defeated Romans at Gergovia but Caesar wins at Alesia and captures Gaulish chieftain Vercingetorix. Gaul is assimilated into the Roman Sphere of Influence.
6.Romans Latinise the Gauls. Growth of Paris (known as Lutetia by the Romans)
7. Cities founded by the Romans include Lyon and Narbonne.
8. Germanic (Franks) tribes invade France in the 5th century. Clovis defeats the Romans at the Battle of Soissons (later a World War One site).
9. Paris established as capital by Clovis I in 508AD
10. Clovis I introduces Christianity to France. He is the First King of the Franks.
11. Merovingian dynasty founded by Sailian Franks.
12. Clovis battles his Burgundian rivals in the early 6th century.
13. Merovingians rule France between 481-751CE.
14. Charles Martel defeats the Muslims at the Battle of Tours in 732 saving Christian France from Islam.
15. Pippin the Short establishes the Carolingian dynasty in 751AD.
16. Carolingian dynasty reaches the zenith of its power under Charlemagne.
17. Charlemagne defeated the Lombards, the Avars and the Saxons. He extended the frontier of his kingdom as far south as Barcelona and succeeds in uniting the Franks.
18. Golden age of learning under Charlemagne.
19. Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800AD (by Pope Leo III)
20. Louis I the Pious, Charlemagne’s son inherits kingdom. After Louis’s death the kingdom is divided after a series of military clashes and the Treaty of Verdun between Louis the German, Charles the Bald and Lothair.
21. Carolingian power declines under Viking attacks.
22. Vikings under Rollo establish kingdom of Normandy.
23. Carolingian dynasty ends in 987 AD.
24. Hugh Capet – The Duke of Franks becomes king of the Franks in 987 AD. His kingdom does not extend much beyond Paris. This does mark thebeginning of Capetian dynasty.
25. Abbey of Cluny becomes more influential in France Religious and Political circles.
26. French knights lead the successful First Crusade.
27. Louis VI extends Royal power at the expense of popularity, He is assisted by the talented politician Abbot Sugar (forerunner to Richelieu)
28. Sugar arranges for the marriage between Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine – more consolidation of Royal power.
29. Louis VII involves France in the disastrous Second Crusade.
30. Much of France is under control of the Plantagenet dynasty, which controls the English, thrown (through Henry II and his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine – she had split with Louis VII by then of course).
31. Reign of Philip II Augustus. France enters diplomatic period. Philip involves France in the Third Crusade and wins back territory from the English king John.
32. Louis IX (later St. Louis) defeats rivals and begins French expansion in Europe. Gothic architecture and biblical gain significance during his reign. Louis regains territory from English King Henry III but also involves France in the failed Seventh and Eight crusades. Louis, himself died in the eighth crusade.
33. Charles IV the Fair dies in 1328. He is the last Capetian ruler.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

History in the News

Celebrating Stalin
He is arguably one of the most evil individuals in history but he is still has his supporters. The Boston Globe has another take on the issue.

How the Left Turned on Israel
The left has a strong anti-semitic history as well as a tendency to support totalitarianism. The fact that it has turned against the a Democracy in the Middle East is therefore not surprising.

Japan and China continue talks on World War II History
Their view of events couldn't be more polarized but at least they are talking.

Looking at the Japanese Meiji Period
During this period Japan transformed herself into a power. The philosophy inherent in the change is therefore worth looking at.