Architecture and Color

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Naked Lady of the Week: Marie Harper

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

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Marie Harper was a pretty popular internet model during the late ’90s. Consequently, most of her extant photos are formally disappointing. They’re frustratingly tiny things that fail to do justice to her impressively large things.

Boobs aside, her primary asset is her sweet-and-innocent affect. What is its source? What is the likelihood that it corresponds to her personality? So abiding is that affect that when she’s fancied up with makeup and lingerie the effect is almost grating.

Nudity below. Have a good weekend.

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Book Notes: “The Whig Interpretation of History”

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

This short essay — which can be easily read in a weekend or even a single sitting — is a useful rejoinder to the idea that there exists a “right side of history.” Butterfield, a Cambridge don, takes umbrage with the Whig interpretation of history, that is, the idea that history has a direction or telos. History has no direction, Butterfield argues, and the point of reading history isn’t to find the present in the past — it’s to understand the past on its own terms thereby entering into a new way of thinking. Some other thoughts and quotes:

  • “Precisely because of his unlikeness to ourselves Aquinas is the more enticing subject for the historical imagination; for the chief aim of the historian is the elucidation of the unlikeness between past and present and his chief function is to act in this way as the mediator between other generations and our own.”
  • “On this view he comes to his labor conscious of the fact that he is trying to understand the past for the sake of the past, and though it is true that he can never entirely abstract himself from his own age, it is none the less certain that this consciousness of his purpose if very different one from that of the whig historian, who tells himself that he is studying the past for the sake of the present. Real historical understanding is not achieved by the subordination of the past to the present, but rather by our making the past our present and attempting to see life with the eyes of another century than our own. It is not reached by assuming that our age is the absolute to which Luther and Calvin and their generation are only relative; it is only reached by fully accepting the fact that their generation was as valid as our generation, their issues as momentous as our issues and their day as full and vital to them as our day is to us.”
  • “It is in this sense that [the non-whig historian] is always forgiving sins by the mere fact that he is finding out why they happened.”
  • “We may believe in some providence that guides the destiny of men and we may if we like read this into our history; but what our history brings to us is not the proof of providence but rather the realization of how mysterious are its ways, how strange its caprices — the knowledge that this providence uses any means to get to its and works often at cross-purposes with itself and is curiously wayward. Our assumptions do not matter of we are conscious that they are assumptions, but the most fallacious thing in the world is to organize our historical knowledge upon an assumption without realizing what we are doing, and then to make inferences from that organization and claim that these are the voice of history. It is at this point that we tend to fall into what I have nicknamed the whig fallacy.”
  • “Behind all the fallacies of the whig historian there lies the passionate desire to come to a judgment of values, to make history answer questions and decide issues and to give the historian the last word in a controversy.”
  • “[The whig historian] wishes to come to a general proposition that can be held as a truth demonstrated by history, a lesson that can be taken away and pondered apart from the accidents of a particular historical episode; and unless he can attain to something like this he feels that he has been wasting himself upon mere processes, he has been watching complication and change for the mere sake of complication and change. Yet this, which he seems to disparage, is precisely the function of the historian. The eliciting of general truths or of propositions claiming universal validity is the one kind of consummation which it is beyond the competence of history to achieve.”
  • The Great Man theory of history has been discredited among serious historians for decades, but is Whig history that much of an improvement? Instead of individuals pushing history, it’s a disembodied abstract force called “progress.”
  • Butterfield, a Christian Tory, is reacting against those 19th and early 20th century historians who see Luther and the Protestant Reformation as ushering in the modern era of religious liberty. In the Whig interpretation, the modern world is the result of the progressive Luther triumphing over the reactionary Catholic Church. Butterfield argues that it’s more accurate to say that the modern world is a the result of the interactions between Luther and the Catholic Church.
  • “He is back in his proper place when he takes us away from simple and absolute judgments and by returning to the historical context entangles everything up again. He is back in his proper place when he tells us that a thing is good or harmful according to circumstances, according to the interactions that are produced. If history can do anything it is to remind us of those complications that undermine our certainties, and to show us that all our judgments are merely relative to time and circumstance. There is one argument against the whig interpretation of history history which is paradoxical and is in conflict with all our habits of mind, for it takes away what many might feel to be the virtue and and the utility of history, and it robs the historian of his most trenchant attitudes and his grandest note of finality. It lies in the fact that we can never assert that history has proved any man right in the long run.”
  • “The case against the whig historian lies in the fact that he brings the effort of understanding to a halt. He stops the work of imaginative sympathy at a point that could almost be fixed by a formula. It would not be untrue to say that, apart from specialist work of recent date, much greater ingenuity and a much higher imaginative endeavor have been brought into play upon whigs, progressives and even revolutionaries of the past, than have been exercised upon the elucidation of tories and conservatives and reactionaries. The whig historian withdraws the effort in the case of the men who are most in need of it.” Maybe the whig historian doesn’t really intend to be a historian at all.
  • “The truth is that the historian, whose art is a descriptive one, does not move in this world of moral ideas. His materials and his processes, and all his apparatus exist to enable him to show how a given event came to take place. Who is he to jump out of his true office and merely announce to us that it ought never to have happened at all?”
  • “The historian ministers to the economist, the politician, the diplomat, the musician; he is equally at the service of the strategist and the ecclesiastic and the administrator. He must learn a great deal from all of these before he can begin even his own work of historical explanation; and he never has the right to dictate to any one of them. He is neither judge nor jury; he is in the position of a man called upon to give evidence; and even so he may abuse his office and he requires the closest cross-examination, for he is one of these ‘expert witnesses’ who persist in offering opinions concealed within their evidence. Perhaps all history-books hold a danger for those who do not know a great deal of history already. In any case, it is never safe to forget the truth which really underlies historical research: the truth that all history perpetually requires to be corrected by more history. When everything has been said, if we have not understanding, the history of all the ages may bring us no benefit; for it may only give us a larger canvas for our smudging, a wider world for our willfulness. History is all things to all men. She is at the service of good causes and bad. In other words she is a harlot and a hireling, and for this reason she best serves those who suspect her most. Therefore, we must beware even of saying, ‘History says […]’ or ‘History proves […]’, as though she herself were the oracle; as though indeed history, once she spoken, had put the matter beyond the range of mere human inquiry. Rather we must say to ourselves: ‘She will lie to us till the very end of the last cross-examination.’ This is the goddess the whig worships when he claims to make her the arbiter of controversy. She cheats us with optical illusion, sleight-of-hand, equivocal phraseology. If we must confuse counsel by personifying history at all, it is best to treat her as an old reprobate, whose tricks and juggleries are things to be guarded against. In other words the truth of history is no simple matter, all packed and parcelled ready for handling in the market-place. And the understanding of the past is not so easy as it is sometimes made to appear.”

 

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Architecture and Color

Paleo Retiree writes:

 

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Notes on “The True History of the American Revolution”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

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If, like me, you’ve always had a hard time squaring the narrative of the American Revolution with the requirements of common sense, you might get something out of Sydney George Fisher’s “The True History of the American Revolution.” Writing around 1900 (i.e. before the establishment of the American Imperium), Fisher tackles the conflict by going back to the original sources, and divesting himself of the bullshit. In Fisher’s telling, the Revolution was an extension into the New World of Whig-Tory political jockeying, one which allowed the Patriot colonists to opportunistically impose their will on their countrymen. In this version of the Revolution the Patriots come off not as noble idealists, but as proto-SJWs. They can’t be appeased, because they don’t want to be appeased, and all of their spoutings about the Rights of Man are resorts to the most self-serving kind of sophistry. Fisher:

Before I discovered the omissions of our standard histories I always felt as though I were reading about something that had never happened, and that was contrary to the ordinary experience of human nature. I could not understand how a movement which was supposed to have been such a deep uprooting of settled thought and custom – a movement which is supposed to have been one of the great epochs of history – could have happened like an occurrence in a fairy-tale.

Some notes, quotes, and observations:

  • According to Fisher, the Revolution wasn’t a response to the imposition of draconian policies; it was a response to an attempt by the Tory government in England to — finally — treat the colonies as colonies. For years the colonies had been treated as protectorates; they contributed some money to the Crown, but to a great extent they acted as they chose to act. This liberal state affairs existed largely because the French presence in North America prevented Parliament from imposing protection laws, levying taxes, and so forth. But once the French were out of the way, it was decided that the colonies should be required to obey British law. The conduct of the French and Indian War had entailed huge expenditures, and it was seen as just that the colonists contribute, through the paying of minimal taxes, to the replenishment of national funds.
  • “The more we consider the conditions at that time, the more it becomes evident that the English-speaking communities in America were not colonies in the modern acceptance of the term. England had never fully reduced them to possession, had never really established her sovereignty among them. She had encouraged them in the beginning with liberal grants for the sake of persuading them to occupy the country, and after that she was unable to repress their steady and aggressive increase of privileges so long as France hung as a menace in the snow-bound north. The lucky colonists were ridden with a loose rein and given their heads until a large section of them began to believe that their heads were their own.”
  • So liberal were the charters of Connecticut and Rhode Island that those colonies elected their own governors. Massachusetts had a governor appointed by the Crown, but mostly did as she wished. In Pennsylvania, the legislature was elected by the colonists, but the governor was imposed by Parliament. This resulted in a weird system of public bribery: The legislature would refuse to pay the governor’s salary, until he did what the colonists wanted him to do. This would appear to be an extension of the Whig idea that public leaders ought to be beholden to their constituents. Suffice it to say that Parliament expected the governor to rule as Parliament saw fit.
  • “To-day there is no colony of the British empire that has so much freedom as Connecticut and Rhode Island always had, or as Massachusetts had down to 1685. Connecticut and Rhode Island elected their own legislatures and governors, and did not even have to send their laws to England for approval.”
  • “The British government, only too glad to be rid of rebellious Puritans, Quakers, and Roman Catholics, willingly gave them liberal charters. This explains that freedom in many of the old charters which has surprised so many students of our colonial history.”
  • “Some thirty years before that time Massachusetts had obtained a liberal charter. It was possibly intended that the governing body under this charter should remain in England; but the Puritans who had obtained it moved the whole governing body out to Massachusetts, elected their own legislature and governor, and did not submit their laws to England for approval. They assumed several of the attributes of sovereignty. They coined their own money, and issued the famous pine-tree shilling. They established by law a form of religion, sometimes called Congregationalism, which was not recognized by the laws of England. They ceased to issue writs in the king’s name. They dropped the English oath of allegiance and adopted a new oath in which public officers and the people swore allegiance, not to England, but to Massachusetts.”
  • In the shipping colonies of New England, English protection laws were rarely obeyed. England saw the colonies as existing to benefit the Empire. Therefore, she expected commerce with the colonies to benefit England rather than Holland or some other state. The colonists — adopting an early form of the American doctrine of free trade — traded with whomever they wished. Indeed, Americans had come to see this as their right. But from a British perspective, American trade during the period was one huge resort to smuggling. It was common practice to dupe British consuls about the nature and destination of shipped goods. So prevalent was smuggling that the Brits had to try smuggling cases in admiralty court, as it was well established that juries comprised of colonists would refuse to convict a man of smuggling.
  • “The desire to share profits with ‘dear old England’ was not very ardent. In 1676 Edward Randolph was sent out to Massachusetts as an agent to look into its condition. He reported the navigation laws unexecuted and smuggling so universal that commerce was free; and the governor of Massachusetts, he said, ‘would make the world believe they were a free state.'”
  • “It is hardly worth while to discuss what has sometimes been called the excessive restraint or tyranny of these trade laws, because the American colonists promptly disposed of any element of severity there was in them, by disobeying them.”
  • Though the colonists cried “no taxation without representation!” they never pushed for representation (which may have been granted), because to do so would ruin their argument for freedom from taxes. In other words — at least in Fisher’s view — “no taxation without representation” was an empty slogan, a political talking point. There seems to have been no intention on the part of the colonists to be represented in Parliament. It was the American Loyalist faction that wanted representation in Parliament. Such representation would tend to making America more British. That was the last thing the Patriots wanted.
  • The taxes imposed on the colonists were quite minimal. People in England paid 25 shillings a head in taxes; Americans were asked to pay six pence per head. Also, many commoners in Great Britain didn’t have direct Parliamentary representation, so the colonists weren’t disadvantaged in any particular way.
  • “In the year 1765 scarcely any of the great towns in England had representatives in Parliament and yet they were taxed. London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Halifax paid their taxes every year, and sent not a single member to Parliament. In fact, out of the eight million people in England there were not above three hundred thousand represented.”
  • The absurdity of the colonists’ argument regarding taxation becomes clear when one considers that Parliament had the authority to impose the death penalty on a colonist for breaking the law, but — according to the radical colonists — no authority to levy taxes.
  • In the end, the Patriots claimed that Parliament could not “internally regulate” the colonies. Yet Parliament regulated and paid for the colonial Post Office, of which Ben Franklin was the head. So on the one hand Franklin heads a body regulated and funded (through a kind of taxation) by Parliament, and on the other hand he is agitating against internal regulation by Parliament.
  • In response to the Stamp Act, hugely effective boycotts of English goods were organized by the Patriot colonists. Non-radicals who weren’t down with the boycott — possibly the majority of colonists — were threatened with violence. In Boston (the cradle of the Revolution), the stamp distributors were hung in effigy, and the house of the Lieutenant Governor was sacked. The colonists simply refused to abide by the Act.
  • “It would be difficult to find in all history another instance of such complete and thorough disobedience of a well-considered law which one of the most powerful nations of the world had made elaborate preparations to enforce.”
  • “Boston seemed to be the worst place in America. It had always been so. It needed curbing. Massachusetts was the only colony which had persistently, from her foundation, shown a disloyal spirit to the English government and the English church. Her people seemed to be naturally riotous.”
  • “It certainly amazed Englishmen to read that the mob in Boston, not content with hanging in effigy the proposed stamp distributers, levelled the office of one of them to the ground and smashed the windows and furniture of his private house; that they destroyed the papers and records of the court of admiralty, sacked the house of the comptroller of customs, and drank themselves drunk with his wines; and, finally, actually proceeded to the house of Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, who was compelled to flee to save his life. They completely gutted his house, stamped upon the chairs and mahogany tables until they were wrecked, smashed the large, gilt- framed pictures, and tore up all the fruit-trees in his garden. Governor Hutchinson was a native of the province, was its historian, and with his library perished many invaluable historical manuscripts which he had been thirty years collecting. The mob cut open the beds and let the feathers out, which they scattered with his clothes, linen, smashed furniture, and pictures in the street.”
  • When Parliament finally caved in and repealed the Stamp Act, the action proved to the colonists that they were right in being inflexible assholes.
  • Because the colonists had argued — successfully, it seems — that only internal taxation of the colonies was prohibited, Parliament imposed taxes on external goods, like glass and paper. The colonists now argued that all taxes were inappropriate absent representation. This is where the argument concerning natural rights came in. Realizing the weakness of the internal-external distinction, the colonists claimed that some natural right existed, and was inherent in the British Constitution, which prevented taxation without representation. However, they still didn’t push for actual representation.
  • “The colonists were being driven crazy, it was reported, by certain books about the rights of man, books written by men called Burlamaqui, Beccaria, Montesquieu, Grotius, and Puffendorf, which told them that all men were politically equal and entitled to self-government; and the Englishman, John Locke, who was exiled and driven from Great Britain, had written a mad book to the same effect.”
  • “The English who came out to America were largely of one of these parties, which has been successively called roundhead, whig, or liberal. They have at times claimed as part of the British Constitution doctrines which were advocated by liberals in England, and which Americans also thought ought to be part of the British Constitution, but which were never fully accepted or adopted.”
  • “The consequences [of the perceived right to pursue happiness] have certainly been vast, – vaster far than [anyone] dreamed of. Millions of people now live their daily life under the shadow of this doctrine. Millions have fled to us from Europe to seek its protection. Not only the whole American system of laws, but whole philosophies and codes of conduct have grown up under it. The abolitionists appealed to it, and freed six millions of slaves. The transcendental philosophy of New England, that extreme and beautiful attempt to develop conscience, nobility, and character from within; that call of the great writers like Lowell to every humble individual to stand by his own personality, fear it not, advance it by its own lines; even our education, the elective system of our colleges, – all these things have followed under that ‘pursuit of happiness’ which the rebel colonists seized upon so gladly in 1765 and enshrined in their Declaration of Independence in 1776.”
  • Parliament again relented, and didn’t enforce the glass and paper taxes. The infamous tea tax was the one tax they left in place. So, to recap: The colonists refused internal taxation (e.g. the Stamp Act) on the basis that only external regulation was allowed. So Parliament gave in and levied a few external taxes. The colonists then refused all taxation on the basis of some nebulous natural right. Parliament then gave in and got rid of all external taxation aside from a modest one concerning tea. The colonists’ stand doesn’t sound very heroic, doesn’t it?
  • The British stationed soldiers in Boston because they were necessary to protect the lives of their customs officials, who were trying to obtain control over the smuggling operations of Boston merchants. The customs officials were threatened constantly by mob violence.
  • The British government had been so conciliatory that, around the time of the Boston Tea Party, the colonies were run pretty much as they had been before the war with the French. In other words, there was nothing to complain about.
  • The tea tax was countered by a boycott of English tea. Therefore, the law resulting in the tax was seen as a dead letter, a non-issue. However, the radicals in Boston endeavored to use the tax as leverage to start a war. Though the shipments of tea to New York and Philadelphia were peaceably refused, the Boston SJWs illegally boarded British vessels and destroyed the tea. In Fisher’s view, radicals like Sam Adams and Paul Revere wanted a war. War was their goal.
  • “Samuel Adams was not a merchant, was seldom well dressed, was not at all proud, and never rich. He was always poor. He failed in his malting business, was unthrifty and careless with money, and had, in fact, no liking for, or ability in, any business except politics. He lived with his family in a dilapidated house on Purchase Street, and when in 1774 he was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress at Philadelphia, his admirers had to furnish the money to make him look respectable.”
  • With war imminent, the crackdown on Loyalists began. In 1774 Patriots in New England began a program of disarming Loyalists. Additionally, Loyalists were routinely tarred and feathered, tied to trees, and imprisoned without trial. Freedom of the press was squelched, and Loyalist writers were threatened with violence until they recanted. (This was the origin of American Lynch Law.) As always seems to be the case, this revolution ostensibly aimed at protecting the Rights of Man resulted in severely limiting the rights of men.
  • At the Continental Congress a group of conservative representatives proposed a branch of Parliament in Philadelphia to represent the colonies. This solution, if adopted, would have solved most of the supposed problems. However, the Patriots denied it, and then moved to erase all suggestion of it from the record.
  • Though the Continental Congress had no legislative power, it demanded that the colonies boycott British goods, and determined that individuals who did not follow this instruction be ostracized and punished without trial. Committees of Patriots in various localities were authorized by the Congress to enforce these rules, making the colonies something like a police state run by a self-appointed gestapo. The Patriot action in this instance might be seen as an early expression of Americans’ sacred right to punch Nazis.
  • Though the Continental Congress objected to the use of British admiralty courts on the grounds that they amounted to tyranny, it had no problem authorizing mob tribunals. Though it objected to taxation on the grounds that it amounted to theft, it authorized the taking of private property when that property happened to be a shipment of English goods. Loyalists who drew attention to these inconsistencies risked being tarred and feathered.
  • Fisher estimates that some 25,000 Loyalists enlisted in the British army. They appear to outnumber by a fair margin the Americans that Washington had in his army.
  • So disliked were the radicals by normal Americans that, when Washington’s army was starving at Valley Forge, the locals refused to give them food, preferring to give it to the British instead.
  • The New England troops were obsessed with “leveling,” i.e. the obliteration of social distinctions. This disgusted the Patriots from the South, who were natural aristocrats. It also bothered the Southerners that Northerners allowed blacks in the army.
  • “The New Englanders of that time, and more especially the lower classes, were full of what the colonists farther south called ‘the levelling spirit.’ Their horrible manners are described by Mrs. Knight in her diary of 1704, and at a much later date in Mrs. Grant’s ‘Memoirs of an American Lady.’ The rank, crude, and unpleasant side of democracy seems to have had its first foothold in New England. Mrs. Grant describes the disgust of the New Yorkers when they were first invaded by the Yankees, whose insolent and brutal abuse of rank and titles was as revolting as their nasal, drawling voices and their uncouth phrases and slang. They would fasten themselves upon you, pressing you with their drawling questions about your most private affairs, railing in the mean time against aristocrats and orating on liberty and the ‘eternal rights of man.’ They were the beginning of a class which, becoming inflated by the success of independence, spread over the country to the horror of all well- educated people and in fulfilment of loyalist prophecies. They gave Grant the material for his famous speech in Parliament, and many years afterwards they furnished the stock material for Dickens and other Englishmen who found profit in ridiculing the Americans.”
  • John Paul Jones was so disgusted by the Gadsden Flag that he refused to fly it on his ship. It was seen by many as an undignified, crude flag.
  • “A flag for the patriot cause had been designed about this time, and was used soon afterwards. It had on it a pinetree and a coiled rattlesnake about to strike, with the motto? ‘Don’t tread on me.’ It was a good enough pirate’s or smuggler’s flag, the loyalists said; a very proper red rag of rebellion, undignified, crude, with the snake as the emblem of low cunning, ingratitude, and treachery. Paul Jones was so disgusted with it that he was hardly willing to hoist it on his ship.”
  • The Brits’ Commander-in-Chief during the early part of the war, Lord Howe, was a Whig MP who supported the Patriot cause. (Fisher refers to him as something less than an Englishman.) Cornwallis was another. If you’ve always been confused by the British strategy during the war, don’t feel ashamed: Washington didn’t understand it either. Judging by Howe’s conduct of the war, one can make one of three conclusions about him: 1) That he was incompetent, 2) That he took it easy on the colonists as part of a strategy for brokering peace, or 3) That he conspired with his party to lose the war, because a loss in the war would benefit the Whigs politically.
  • “[Howe] allowed his enemy’s force to be disbanded under his eyes and sent to their homes while others came to take their places. Washington was amazed. ‘Search the volumes of history through and I much question whether a case similar to ours is to be found, – namely, to maintain a post against the flower of the British troops for six months together, without – , and then to have one army disbanded and another to be raised within the same distance of a reinforced enemy.’ – Ford, Writings of Washington,” vol. iii. p. 318.”
  • “Both [Howe] and his brother, the admiral, were so extremely liberal in their views that they could scarcely be called Englishmen. Had they been consistent they would have emigrated to America, for they belonged to the party that had largely peopled America.”
  • “When asked why he did not commission loyalist privateers to destroy American merchantmen, the admiral is said to have replied, ‘Will you never have done oppressing these poor people? Will you never give them an opportunity of seeing their error?’ He was a most ardent believer in conciliation.”
  • “At the close of the letter Howe and his brother, the admiral, are directed to make such an attack upon the New England coast as will destroy the rebel privateers and incapacitate the people from fitting out others. This expedition against New England Howe declined to make, giving as his reason that it was too hazardous, because of the fogs, ‘flatness of the coast,’ together with other very peculiar excuses.”
  • After the peace settlement there was a hearing in Parliament (then under a Whig administration) regarding the conduct of the war. Cornwallis made the vague statement that Howe had conducted the war as he did for “political reasons.” He declined to expand on this comment. Howe and prominent Loyalist engaged in public arguments, via pamphlets, regarding Howe’s apparently terrible strategy. Cornwallis and Clinton engaged in a similar argument. I haven’t read this, but it seems interesting.
  • While fighting in America Howe mostly engaged in limited actions, refusing to follow up on obvious victories, and then retreated to colonial cities to enjoy the winters in luxury while his men got rich on running things. (Apparently, in the 18th century, militarily occupying a city amounted to quite a racket. Maybe it still does.) While Washington was at Valley Forge, Howe’s forces were a mere 20 miles away, yet no attempt at engagement was made. Howe’s failure to move north from New York to join Burgoyne is hard to figure. (Certainly, it was hard for Burgoyne to figure.) I’m not sure the conflict during this period deserves to be called a war, to be honest.
  • “Cornwallis, who was a Whig member of Parliament and Howe’s most trusted and confidential officer, had been sent into New Jersey with 5000 men, apparently to capture Washington. But although Washington moved slowly Cornwallis never came up with him. A Hessian officer entered in his diary that Cornwallis had been instructed to follow until the patriots should make a stand, and then not to molest them. Cornwallis admitted before the committee of inquiry that Howe had instructed him to stop at New Brunswick. He could, he said, have disregarded this order; but saw no opportunity to pursue, and his troops were too tired. They must have been very tired, for, reaching New Brunswick December 1, they did not reach Trenton until December 7. They rested seventeen hours in Princeton, and took seven hours to march the twelve miles from there to Trenton, where Washington crossed the river just ahead of them, taking all the boats.”
  • “Many people believed that the whole question [of the war] depended on the patriots holding out long enough to let the Whigs get into power, and that if the Whigs were successful for only a few months the whole difficulty would be settled.”
  • “The situation expressed in figures is the most extraordinary one ever recorded, – a victorious army of 34,000 declining to end a rebellion represented by only 3300 wandering, half-armed guerillas. No great nation, no general representing a great nation, has ever before or since accomplished such a feat as that.”
  • “When we think of the measures of relentless severity and slaughter, the persistent and steady hunting down of the men, the concentration camps for the gradual destruction of the women and children, which we have known England use in our time to destroy all hope of independence, the extraordinary conduct of Howe is difficult to explain except by the method which his loyalist critics adopted.”
  • Fisher presents Washington as a noble but somewhat overrated figure. Honestly, he doesn’t do a whole lot until the end of the war, when he shows his tactical brilliance in the Yorktown campaign.
  • Once the French came into the war, the whole thing changed, as the Brits were obligated to spread their forces over a larger area. Howe was removed from command, and his replacement, Clinton (not a Whig), opened up a large can of whoop-ass. But it was largely too late. Cornwallis’ defeat in the South — which Clinton suspected was purposeful, and done for political reasons — was the final nail in the coffin.
  • As soon as the Whigs regained power, they ended the war, and acted as though the British loss was proof that the Whigs had always been right in believing the rebellion was justified and the war against the colonies unwinnable. That view became official history.

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Quote Du Jour: The Most Useless and Unproductive of All Forms of Reflection

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

It is the natural result of the whig historian’s habits of mind and his attitude to history — though it is not a necessary consequence of his actual method — that he should be interested in the promulgation of moral judgements and should count this as an important part of his office. His preoccupation is not difficult to understand when it is remembered that he regards himself as something more than an inquirer. By the very finality and absoluteness with which he was endowed the present he has heightened his own position. For him the voice of posterity is the voice of God and the historian is the voice of posterity. And it is typical of him that he tends to regard himself as the judge when by his methods and his equipment he is fitted only to be the detective. His concerns with the sphere of morality forms in fact the extreme point in his desire to make judgments of value, and to count them as the verdict of history. By a curious example of the transference of ideas he, like many other people, has come to confuse the importance which courts of legal justice must hold, and the finality they must have for practical reasons in society, with the most useless and unproductive of all forms of reflection — the dispensing of moral judgements upon people or upon actions in retrospect.

Herbert ButterfieldThe Whig Interpretation of History

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Naked Lady of the Week: Emma Sweet

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

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Whatever Emma Sweet’s real name might be, it can’t be more appropriate than Emma Sweet. She seems guileless even when putting on airs.

She’s from Ukraine, land of wars, famines, and incredibly hot chicks.

Nudity below. Have a great weekend.

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