1 Jan 24
“I fear Greeks, even when they bring gifts.”
Virgil (30BC)
With regard to European history, the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, with its upset victory (once more) by Prussia (along with the balance of loosely-unified German states) over post-Napoleonic France, essentially created the modern nation of Germany, permanently uniting most German regions, minus Austria (more correctly “Austria-Hungary,” since after WWI Austria and Hungary split, became separate sovereign nations).
Prussia was the leading German state at the time, but the term was mostly dropped after unification. The “Prusi” were an ancient tribe (long gone) who once occupied the area. “Germany” loosely translates to “The Land,” and was first coined by a territorially ambitious Julius Caesar in 50BC. Hungary got its name from invading Asian “Huns”
Austria was an influential European nation for most of the 1800s, but was carved-up at the end of WWI. Only a small, mostly German-speaking, parcel remained and retained the title of “Austria.” The name comes from “Osterreich,” for “Eastern (Goth) Kingdom,” again a term assigned by Romans
During “Interwar Years” (1918-1939), pan-German, assorted Fascist, and Marxist Revolutionary forces opposed each other all over Europe, often violently! Mixed-in was the Catholic Church, various Protestant denominations (Austria and France were mostly Catholic, Prussia mostly Protestant), Jewish enclaves, and an extensive catalog of other ethnic, cultural, and linguistic tribal groups (particularly in eastern Europe), all seeking redress for ancient “wrongs,” some kind of identity/unity, and of course a national “homeland” (but always at some other group’s expense)
After WWII, Prussia’s traditional territory was also cut-up, some of it ending-up in Poland, some in Russia. There is no “Nation of Prussia” today, and the term is no longer used, save by historians and some locals.
“Western” and “Eastern” Germany reunited in 1990. Many were/are of the opinion that was a really bad idea!
The Twentieth Century featured two enormous “World Wars” and countless lesser armed conflicts and assorted massacres.
The Twenty-First is getting off to a violent start, with China openly promising complete world-domination before the Century is even half-over!
And, if you’re wondering if there is a point lurking in all this, at the dawn of 2024, I continue to believe that a healthy distrust of government is essential for all of us privileged to live in a free state!
We modern American Operators, and other denizens of Western Civilization, need to stay skeptical and most of all, stay capable!
Like Romulus Augustus (Augustulus) in 476AD, we’re on the cusp of some exciting world history!
“There is distrust in Washington?
I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case,
… and I’ll work hard to elevate it.”
George W Bush