martes, 31 de marzo de 2015

March 31: The Commodore Matthew C. Perry forced the Japanese to open its ports to trade with the US, by signing the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854, also known as the Perry Convention.

PERRY carrying the 'GOSPEL of GOD' 

The US president, Millard Fillmore, in one of his last acts of government, instructed the Commodore Matthew C. Perry to hand an official diplomatic statement to the Emperor of Japan. The document called for the Japanese Emperor to consider the opportunity to make trade between the two nations. Furthermore, it should be an advantage for both nations because the states of Oregon and California were in front of the Japanese archipelago, and only 18 days of steamships, across the Pacific Ocean.

Woodblock print portraying an 1854 meeting between Commodore Perry, his officers and Japanese noblemen, circa 1887 (Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum)

The Commodore Perry took the opportunity and exceeded his mission by delivering two letters to the Japanese emperor: the diplomatic note from President Fillmore, and a letter with threats, written by Perry himself, forcing trade liberalization in Japan.

Matthew C. Perry in 1854.

In addition, to impress the Japanese with the size of American ships, technology, and artillery, Perry softened his arrogance, announcing that would give them eight months later to answer positively, and told the Japanese to be prepared to open their borders to trade with the United States at his arrival.

Commodore Perry's fleet for his second visit to Japan, 1854. Notice the difference among ships and Japanese pagodas.

Perry announced that he would return on March 31, 1854, time enough for the Japanese to issue the necessary decrees, and ads its population to its population to accept the transit of foreign navigation on Japanese seas. But most important of all, Perry required that the Japanese people accepted the entry of foreign goods to the "land of the rising sun". As a matter of fact, The Japanese tradition teaches that the Japanese emperor comes from the sun.

Commodore Perry's fleet for his second visit to Japan, 1854

The negotiations agreed upon included the following points:

 Initial opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate.

 Establishment of an American consulate in Shimoda.

 Implementation of the most favored nation clause -MFN-

The Kanagawa Treaty is at the red point.

The most Favored Nation clause meant that USA would not discriminate Japan among its trading partners. That is to say that if USA granted someone a special favor (such as a lower customs duty rate for one of their products) then USA would have to do the same for all other trade members. No trade discrimination.

lunes, 30 de marzo de 2015

March 30: Today is anniversary of the signing of the 1856 Treaty of Paris that ended the Crimean War between Imperial Russia and the Franco-British alliance with the Turkish-Ottoman Empire. At the end the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia joined the alliance, for their interest in the unification of Italy.

Detail of Franz Roubaud’s panoramic painting “The Siege of Sebastopol”(1904)   

The Treaty of Paris of March 30, 1856 ended the Crimean War that began in October 1853. Napoleon III exercised his power to call a peace meeting in Paris. This will inflate his ego and recalled the French people his uncle Napoleon I (Bonaparte).

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston by Francis Cruikshank.

The Treaty of Paris established the territory of the Black Sea as neutral; closed to all vessels of war; prohibited naval bases; fortifications, and the presence of weapons in mainland beaches and around the Black Sea. The Treaty was adverse to Russia because it stopped all Russians intentions to expand into the Middle East.

Napoleon III, Second and last Emperor of France

The Turkish-Ottoman Empire survived thanks to The United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Second French Empire. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Lord Palmerston, had long maintained a suspicious and hostile attitude towards Russia, whose autocratic government offended his liberal principles. High authorities of the British government were quite paranoid about Russian incursions into the Ottoman Empire.

Abdülmecid I, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

Lord Palmerston argued in Cabinet, after Russian troops concentrated on the Ottoman border in February 1853, that the Royal Navy should join the French fleet in the Strait of Dardanelles, gate to the Black Sea, as a warning to Russia.

Painting by Edouard Louis Dubufe, Congrès de Paris, 1856, Palace of Versailles.

The Russians considered of extremely importance the access to "hot waters" of the Mediterranean Sea, through which it was conducting global trade.

domingo, 29 de marzo de 2015

March 29: In 1500, Pope Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia's father, gives his illegitimate son the title of Captain General and Gonfalonier (a highly prestigious communal post in medieval Florence, and Papal States) after returning from his conquests in the Romagna.

Pope Alexander VI (Roderic Borja)

Cesare Borgia was one of the illegitimate children of Cardinal Roderic Borja who would be inaugurated as Pope Alexander VI, years later. Cesare was enrolled in the church school by order of his father and studied law and theology at the University of Perugia.

Portrait of a man traditionally said to be Cesare Borgia.

At the age of 15, Cesare, was consecrated Bishop of Pamplona and two years later he was appointed Archbishop of Valencia. When his father Roderic Borja was elected Pope as Alexander VI, immediately appointed his son Caesar as Cardinal of Valencia, at the age of 18.

Profile portrait of Cesare Borgia in the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, ca. 1500–10

Cesare was the first cardinal in the history to resign the cardinalate. But the day of his resignation, the King of France named him Duke of Valentinois. That peerage with the cardinal of Valencia, imposed the nickname "Valentino".

sábado, 28 de marzo de 2015

March 28: Viking invaders and plunderers are taken to Paris in 845 and demanded a huge ransom to free the city.

A Viking siege of Paris, 19th century portrayal

The Viking pillaging of Paris in 845 was led by Danish Ragnar Lodbrok with 120 Viking ships that entered the Seine River and sailed to reach Paris.

Charles the Bald in old age; picture from his Psalter.

After occupying the city, the Vikings demanded more than two and a half tons of gold and silver of King Charles the Bald.

Viking expeditions (blue line): depicting the immense breadth of their voyages

The Normandy region of France named after the invaders were called "Normans" meaning "Northmen".

viernes, 27 de marzo de 2015

March 27: Crimean War begins in 1854 when the United Kingdom of Great Britain declares war on Russia, because it intrudes on others war.

The Crimean War was the first international war in Europe, after the Napoleonic Wars of the early nineteenth century. After 38 years of international peace, the so-called “balance of power”, signed at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 broke.

Russia invaded Turkish teritories.

The Russians defended the right of Orthodox access to the Holy Land in the hands of Turkish-Ottoman Christians. Similarly the French claimed the right of Catholics to go to the Holy Land with security guarantees. A kind of paranoia invaded the minds of the British Prime Minister, George Hamilton Gordon, Earl of Aberdeen, who began to speculate about the different types of risks that arise if Russia continued its expansion into the Mediterranean Sea.

Map of the war

The Emperor of France, Napoleon III, was persuaded by the British to support military adventure to defend Turkish-Russian threat. The French emperor appreciated the opportunity to regain national pride which was lost with his uncle, Napoleon I, in the campaign of 1812.

A Caribbean view

The British reported the Turkish Sultan who, along with the French, were ready to support him if he declared war on Russia. Indeed, the Sultan Abdul-Mejid I proceeded to declare war on Russia, October 5, 1853.On January 4, 1854, the allied fleets of France and Britain, entered the Black Sea and the March 27 formally declared war on Russia after the Russians destroyed the Turkish fleet.

jueves, 26 de marzo de 2015

March 26: The Treaty of Schengen visas 1995 on the European Union and other provisions, take effect as from 26 March 1995. The free movement of persons in Europe.

AMSTERDAM TREATY,1997: Incorporated the Schengen agreements into EU law.

Schengen is a town in Luxembourg where Europeans came together to create a "Europe without borders", for travelers in 1995.

This borderless Schengen zone consists of 25 European countries

The Treaty was signed by five of the then 10 members of the European Economic Community, in the town of Schengen, Luxemburg.

Schengen agreements into EU law.

The proposal was the gradual abolition of border formalities. It also included the abolition of visas between member countries.

Añadir leThis borderless Schengen zone consists of 25 European countries

The Agreement was supplemented by the Schengen Convention, that proposed the abolition of all border controls, and common visa policy.

Actually there are 26 European countries that joined the Schengen Convention.

miércoles, 25 de marzo de 2015

March 25: France and Britain signed the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, supposedly the "Definitive Treaty of Peace."

Map of Europe in 1800

The Treaty of Amiens was held between the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Spain and the Indies, and the Republic of Batavia on one side; and his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, on the other. Indeed, Napoleon and the British king, George III, "desirous of ending the calamities of war" laid the foundations of peace, on 1 October 1801 in London.

The First Kiss in these 10 years in the encounter of Britain and the Citizen François in 1803, by James Gillray

Napoleon appointed his brother Joseph Bonaparte, State Councilor, with the rank of plenipotentiary (with full diplomatic powers) for the lead talks on the final treaty with representatives of other contracting authorities.

Map of Europe in 1803

The Treaty of Amiens was signed on March 25, 1802, by which Britain and Ireland gave recognition to the French Republic. It is important to emphasize that this treaty ended the "War of the Second Coalition", temporarily, and established the goal of "peace, friendship, and good understanding" between the signatories, also temporarily. Indeed, it is clear that the Second Coalition was dismantled in the Battle of Marengo, and the signing of the Treaty of Campo Formio (today Campoformido, Northeast Italy).

Signing of the Treaty of Amiens (Amiens Town Hall)

Through the Treaty of Amiens, Britain withdrew from Egypt and gave some Caribbean islands (West Indies) to the Republic of Batavia (today Netherlandas) and yielded to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

His Majesty George III, King of England

France withdrew from the Papal States, and became entrenched in French Guyana, northeast of South America; the islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino, which had been taken by Napoleon in his campaign to Egypt, were returned to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

Joseph Bonaparte, by Luigi Toro. 

Britain required quid pro quo ("something for something" in Latin) in order to accept Napoleon´s request to British recognition of the three new republics.

First Consul Bonaparte, oil on canvas by Antoine-Jean Gros, c. 1802; National Museum of the Legion of Honor, Paris.

martes, 24 de marzo de 2015

March 24: The Emperor Go-Yosei of Japan granted the first title of Shogun to Tokugawa Ieyasu and so was born the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo then, now Tokyo, Japan in 1603.

Emperor Go-Yōzei ruled Japan from December 31, 1571 until September 25, 1617.

Tokugawa Ieyasu was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa Japanese Empire that ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration of 1668. The Tokugawa Shogunate was, actually, a feudal Japanese military government who ruled from Edo Castle.

Tokugawa Ieyasu, first Tokugawa shogun 

Leyazu seized power in 1600, he was appointed shogun in 1603, when he was 60 years old and two years later abdicated but continued to use the power until his death in 1616. Japanese power is exercised from Edo, now Tokyo.

"View of Edo" (Edo zu) pair of six-panel folding screens (17th century). Upper middle of first panel, left screen. Central enciente of Edo Castle, Castle Tower, Bairinzaka, Hirakawaguchi Gate.

The term Shogun resembles an army commander in chief. The legacy of the Shogunate persists. Currently, the head of state in Japan is the Emperor; but the head of government is the Prime Minister. However, the term "Shogun" seems to persist.

The Empire of Japan with its provinces, done by Englebert Keampfer in 1727.

When a Prime Minister withdraws, still holds political power with considerable influence, so respectfully nicknamed as "Yami Shogun" or a "shadow shogun", as has happened with Kakuei Tanaka Ichiro Ozawa and recently.

lunes, 23 de marzo de 2015

March 23: Today is the anniversary of the Greek victory in the Battle of Kalamanta against the Ottoman army, in 1821.

The Peloponnesian Prefecture of Messinia has as its capital Kalamata, well known for its olives and traditional dance, 'the kalamatianon'

It was the first important victory of the Greek War of Independence. The Greek revolutionary forces captured the city of Kalamanta which became the first city to be liberated from the Turks.

The Prefecture of Messinia is located in the western part of the District of the Peloponnese, Greece.The capital is the city of Kalamanta.

Recall that the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Turkish Empire in 1453, with the capture of Constantinople (now Istanbul). More than three and a half centuries the Greeks were subjected to the Turks.

General Alexander Ypsilantis (Alexandros Ypsilantis)

Filiki Etaria was a secret organization founded in 1814 to launch revolts which actually started on 6 March 1821 in the Danubian Principalities. General Alexander Ypsilantis began his rebellion form Modavia with an army of 4500 Hellenes. He was a member of the secret society Filiki Eteria.

As Western civilization has its roots in Hellenism founded by Alexander the Great. Therefore, there was great sympathy in Europe and America for the Greek cause. The English poet Lord Byron went to Greece and from there to the West sought help to finance the independence of Greece.

domingo, 22 de marzo de 2015

March 22: Please please me was the first Long Play or music album performed by The Beatles and published in the United Kingdom in 1963.

The album "Please Please Me" recorded on acetate with 14 songs of which 8 were composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, credited as "McCartney-Lennon" and what the magazine "Rolling Stone" called the invention of a rock band that writes and performs their own songs with their own instruments.

The album "Please Please Me" was released on March 22, 1963 throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The single disc with two songs: Please Please Me and Love Me Do were so successful that the first was at the top of the British charts.

In 2012, Please Please Me was voted 39th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

sábado, 21 de marzo de 2015

Marzo 21: El Código Napoleónico es adoptado por la ley civil francesa, en 1804.

El Código Napoleónico, o Código Civil Francés quedó compuesto por el Código Civil (1804), el Código de Procedimiento Civil (1806), el Código de Procedimiento Criminal (1808) y el Código Penal (1810), constituyó un tipo de sociedad en la que primaba el orden y la estabilidad en las relaciones interpersonales, además de la igualdad civil, la libertad religiosa, la centralización y el poder del Estado.

El Código Napoleónico se implantó en todos los Estados que él fundaría. Se abolieron el feudalismo y la servidumbre y se estableció la libertad de culto (salvo en España). A cada Estado le asignaron una constitución en la que se concedía el sufragio universal masculino, la Declaración de Derechos del Hombre y del Ciudadano, y la creación de un parlamento. Además, fue instituido el sistema administrativo y judicial francés; también se crearon gobiernos constitucionales, pero que no fueron más que una promesa.

El Código Civil recogía los elementos esenciales del pensamiento social de la época Napoleónica y además los transmitió a toda Europa, en muchos de cuyos países contribuyó a establecer las bases de la sociedad moderna. Concebido, como ya se ha señalado, en función de los intereses de la burguesía, consagraba y sancionaba el derecho a la propiedad.


La familia aparecía como uno de esos cuerpos sociales que "disciplinan la actividad de los individuos". La autoridad del padre, que se había visto debilitada por la Revolución, se veía reforzada en el Código, de tal manera que podía imponer prisión a sus hijos durante seis meses, sin necesidad de control por parte de la autoridad judicial. Se le reconocía la propiedad de los bienes de éstos y la administración de los de su mujer.

Todas estas reformas emprendidas por Napoleón durante el Consulado contribuyeron a restablecer el orden y la disciplina en Francia, después de los duros años transcurridos desde 1789. 


Se acabó con el bandolerismo y la sistemática violación de las leyes, se garantizó la vida y la propiedad privada, se pusieron en marcha las obras públicas y se dieron más oportunidades a los franceses para que accedieran a una mejor educación según la capacidad de cada uno.