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The Onin War [09 Aug 2004|05:26pm]

  The Kamakura Shogunate that started with the rule of Minamoto Yoritomo lasted for some 150 years, with the Minamoto holding the position of Shogun, and the Hojo largely holding true power. Imperial attempts to reclaim power from the Shogun were unsuccessful, until 1333, when the Kamakura general Ashikaga Takauji joined with the Emperor to overthrow the Shogun.
  Takauji promptly had himself installed as Shogun, but the rule of the Ashikaga Shogunate was always less forceful and centralized that that of Kamakura had been. The daimyo grew more numerous and independent, each maintaining their own armies, and finally the empire fell into true chaos with the start of the Onin War.

The Onin WarCollapse )

(3 smart alecks | say something smart)

Summer Vacation [20 Jul 2004|02:48am]

As you've probably noticed, there hasn't been an update to common_history in a few weeks. We've all been busy, and as it happens we will be for the next two weeks too. So I'm officially declaring a summer hiatus - expect us back in August. Have a good time! Drink lemonade!

(say something smart)

The Rise of the Shogunate [28 Jun 2004|02:57pm]

Japanese terms everyone should know:
- Shogun: (actually an abbreviation of "Seii Taishogun") The highest general rank in feudal Japan. The shogunate (bakufu) was the practical power in Japan throughout the late Middle Ages.
- Daimyo: (literally, "great name") The lords who served under the Shogun/Emperor. Somewhat like European Dukes.
- samurai: the warrior nobility of feudal Japan, this was both a profession and a social class. Similar to European knights, but with a stricter code of honor and behavior.
- seppuku: a form of ritual suicide. Read all you ever wanted to know about it here.

The Rise of the ShogunateCollapse )

(2 smart alecks | say something smart)

New Staff [23 Jun 2004|02:27am]

Dear common_history readers,

Just a short note to let you know that we have a new staff member, darkwhimsy. As it happens, both nuclearfruit and I will be busy this week, so darkwhimsy will be doing the next update. Stay tuned, and have a good week!


(3 smart alecks | say something smart)

The Hundred Years' War, Chapter 2 [16 Jun 2004|10:48pm]

So, when last we left England, the boy king Richard, grandson of the last king (Edward III) sat on the throne, and the French had regained some of their losses against the English.

Edward, the Black Prince, though a great military leader, was never king – he died a year before his father, and so never inherited. Interestingly, he was never called "the Black Prince" during his lifetime, but now always is – the name is believed to have come either from his black temper or his black armor. His younger brother, John of Gaunt (so called because he was born in Ghent, which was in modern-day Belgium), however, had been instead influencing politics back in England.

John the GauntCollapse )

(say something smart)

Charles Stewart Parnell, Part I [09 Jun 2004|03:24pm]

In the late 1800's, the native Irish were not exactly... prospering. The vast majority of them were poor, dirty, illiterate tenant farmers, living on what had once been their ancestors' land, but had been confiscated and divided a hundred times over by English-born and English-descended landlords. In fact, the Irish had been continuously shat upon by the English for nearly 700 years, and each year, it seemed to get worse. The English had moseyed on over to Ireland, decided that they were going to go ahead and just live on their land, and when those damn Irish got unruly, they created laws to subject the Catholic Irish to the Protestant English system of government, church, schools, customs, whatever.

Those Goddamn IrishCollapse )

(say something smart)

The Hundred Years' War, Chapter 1 [30 May 2004|09:41pm]

This week's lesson is about the so-called Hundred Years' War, which is the name people generally give to the squabbling between England and France which actually lasted for about 116 years (1337-1453). At the time, England owned large pieces of what we now consider "France", and the French weren't exactly happy about that.

In addition, the royal families of England and France were married together in all sorts of peculiar ways, much like the royal houses of all of Europe. Since it was in your interest to marry off one noble child to another noble child, the amount of inbreeding in the European nobility was hardly surprising. In addition, the French of Normandy had conquered England in 1066, and the English nobility was still largely French – in fact, the kings still made addresses in French.

However, it also led to a good deal of squabbling over inheritances.
The Hundred Years' WarCollapse )

(say something smart)

The Long Telegram [30 May 2004|02:39am]

We're all familiar with the feeling of exhaustion and dread when the alarm goes off on a Monday morning, signaling that time to rest is over; it is time to go be productive. We all know how it feels to drag oneself into the workplace, not quite awake, and to stare blankly at the familiar work environment, which has somehow become increasingly displeasing and hostile over the weekend. Perhaps you had a bad weekend. Perhaps you got in a fight with your significant other, or perhaps your car broke down in the morning and you had to take the bus. Perhaps you have a cold. Furthermore, you know how it is to begin your work in such a foul mood, and how it feels when some well-meaning co-worker, totally unaware of your misery, suddenly pops his head in your work area and cheerfully inquires about something utterly trivial.

Have you ever been in such a foul mood, you just wanted to seize that unassuming stranger, sit them down, and explain to them, arms waving, sweat dripping, spittle flying, JUST THE WAY THINGS REALLY ARE?

Onward!Collapse )

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