Linky Friday: A Bit of History

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Two of my faves, Pentatonix and Hal Holbrook!Report

  2. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    Hi6: I mostly ignore the “who invented the airplane” debate. Get past the nationalist rah-rah and it is a pretty uninteresting question. Lots of people understood how a wing would work. Engine technology, entirely apart from the flight problem, was reaching the point that sufficient lift was on the cusp of possible. Pretty much everyone interested in the problem understood this. So lots of people were trying essentially the same things to achieve the same end. What difference does it make who got there first? This doesn’t change the history of flight in any but the most trivial sense. My understanding (which may well be wrong) is that the Wright brothers understood control surfaces better than most. If we must anoint a winner, this seems a better criterion. Though even there I very much suspect that had the Wright brothers never been born, someone else would have figured it out at roughly the same time.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Hi14

    First and foremost, it is vital to appreciate that comparisons between Sino-U.S. relations today, and Anglo-German relations in 1914 are fundamentally artificial. The United States has an almighty navy, but America will never be as dependent upon the sea as Britain was in the early 20th century. Nor will seapower ever be the ubiquitous cultural reference point for Americans that it was for the British in the “age of navalism.” Moreover, contemporary Britain was committed to laissez faire free-trade economics, and depended upon their smooth functioning for its day-to-day needs. As President Donald Trump escalates protectionist trade wars with a growing number of countries, the comparison between the Britain of 1914 and the United States of the early 21st century stretches to its breaking point.

    There are good arguments on why early 20th century British Empire and its relationship with an awaking Germany is not sufficiently similar to the early 21st century American “Empire” and its relationship with an awakening China.

    These are not them.

    First the British Empire was a no-kidding real genuine empire. Calling it fully committed to laissez faire is just wrong. Even as its partly diminished by the Trump administration, the US commitment too (and reliance on) free(ish) trade is far more than anything that occurred in the world until around the 1960s.

    The American preference for naval power over continental power is the historical norm; the post WW2 era has been the exception. Though granted, the image of the 19th cavalry soldier in the American West (i.e. John Wayne) is probably a more iconic self-image than Horatio Hornblower et al.

    Last, the US absolutely depends on the ordinary daily comings and goings of goods to and from US in the global trade scheme. Yes, in theory, due to its large size and diverse (and mostly contiguous) geography, the US has the capacity to be somewhat ‘self-sufficient’ in food and energy. But none of the systems for each are currently designed that way. If stuff can’t flow into and out of any given set of ports on either coast, the entire chain gets severely disrupted, and it would take a long time to build up the work arounds. Meanwhile, that creates a lot of cold (or hot) and hungry people.Report

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