viernes, 31 de julio de 2015

July 31: Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Alexandria in 30 BC in which Mark Antony gets a small victory over the troops of Octavian; but, subsequently Mark Antony troops begin to desert.

The Battle of Alexandria was a clash of forces between Mark Antony troops who dominated the East and Octavian armies of the final wars of the Roman Republic.

Cleopatra VII Philopator (January 69 BC – August 12, 30 BC) was the last Pharaoh of Egypt's Ptolemaic dynasty. Cleopatra of Alexandria – Ancientvine

Although defections had begun before the Battle, Mark Antony managed to win that battle. However, the next day, Octavian launched a second attack that took Egypt.

With the assassination of Julius Caesar, the Roman Republic became a confusion that led to a third civil war in Rome. Gaius Octavian came to Rome to claim what he considered his legacy to be adopted as son of Caesar, well-nephew.

30 BC Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieved a minor victory over Octavian's forces, but most of his army subsequently deserted, leading to his suicide.

The Battle of Alexandria marked the beginning of the end of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

jueves, 30 de julio de 2015

July 30: Today is the anniversary of the First Defenestration of Prague in which a crowd of Hussites killed seven members of the Board who were threw out the windows of the municipal building in 1419.

On Friday, 31st July 2009, the city district of Prague held a unique event commemorating for the first time in history the 1419 incident known as the First Defenestration of Prague.

The Hussites were a Christian movement that followed the teachings from Czech reformer Jan Hus who was one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation.

July 30, 1419: A crowd of radical Hussites kill seven members of the city

That move was altered by social issues and national awareness of the need to end the feudal system. Some protesters were arrested and his colleagues called for the immediate release in exchange receiving the refusal of the authorities.

The first defenestration in Prague

The result was taking the building by demonstrators who went to the offices of the mayor and began to throw the deputies through the window.

The First Defenestration of Prague

The verb “defenestrate” means to throw (a person or thing) out of a window.

Praguers have a unique way of expressing political displeasure… they chuck you out a window.

miércoles, 29 de julio de 2015

July 29: Today is the anniversary of the inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe, in 1836, in Paris. That is, 30 years after the start of construction in 1806.

The designer of the monument was the architect Jean Chalgrin assigned by Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I) to commemorate his victories in the battlefield, and particularly the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, better known as the "Battle of Three Emperors". Indeed, Napoleon, literally, crushed the "Third Coalition" against France.

On December 2, 1805, the French army commanded by his emperor Napoleon crushed the joint forces of Russia and Austria, who were in control of their emperors, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, and Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire.

That battle is remembered in military history as a "tactical masterpiece." Napoleon had promised his soldiers that "You will return home under triumphal arches."
The construction of the monument was suspended for the restoration of the French throne after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Nevertheless, King Louis-Philippe d’Orleans, so-called the "citizen king" order to restart the construction and completion of the monument Arc de Triomphe.

On December 15, 1840, the constitutional monarchy of Louis Philippe ordered the transfer of the ashes of Napoleon from St. Helena Isle to Paris, and the procession passed through the Arc de Triomphe to his sarcophagus at the National Palace des Invalides.

August 30: The people of East Timor (Official name:Timor Leste) voted for independence in 1999 through a referendum for independence from Indonesia.

A demonstration for independence from Indonesia, in Australia.

The Timor island was conquered and colonized by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century and was known as Portuguese Timor until the "Carnation Revolution" in April 1974 when a military coup ended more than 40 years of government "Fascists" in Portugal. Even with the fall of the right-wing government, also the period of Portuguese colonization began.

Location of East Timor

In late 1975, East Timor declared its independence from Portugal, but the Indonesian dictator Suharto took the opportunity and invaded East Timor, while declaring it as its 27th province.

Major language groups in East Timor. East Timor's two official languages are Portuguese and Tetum. Tetum belongs to the Austronesian family of languages spoken throughout Southeast Asia.The 2010 census found that the most commonly spoken mother tongues were Tetum Prasa (mother tongue for 36.6% of the population),Mambai (12.5%), Makasai (9.7%), Tetum Terik (6.0%), Baikenu (5.9%), Kemak (5.9%), Bunak (5.3%), Tokodede (3.7%), and Fataluku(3.6%). Other indigenous languages largely accounted for the remaining 10.9%, while Portuguese was spoken natively by just under 600 people.

In 1999, after an event sponsored by the United Nations to self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory, and East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century.

In fact, on May 20, 2002, East Timor was admitted as a member of the United Nations, in addition to becoming a member of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.

East Timorese march in a parade in Dili on August 30, during the 10th anniversary of the UN –backed vote that ended the bloody 24- year occupation by Indonesian forces in the birth of Asia’s youngest nation. (Photo: Mario Jonny Dos Santos /AF-Getty images)

Timor Leste, thus, left behind an era of terror imposed by the dictator Suharto who was determined to annihilate any nationalist movement.

An East Timorese in traditional dress

The official name is the Democratic Republic of East Timor. The adjective is Timorese and their form of government is parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government.

martes, 28 de julio de 2015

July 28: Maximilien Robespierre was guillotined without trial in the Place de la Révolution, Paris on July 28, 1794, during the French Revolution.

Maximilien de Robespierre (1758-94) c.1793 (oil on canvas)

Robespierre´s brother Augustin, his best friends Saint-Just, Couthon, Harriot, and 12 other close followers were also guillotined.

After the French King´s execution Louis XVI.

Maximilien de Robespierre was born on May 6, 1758, in Arras, France. Robespierre became a devotee of social philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, intrigued by the concept of a virtuous man who stands alone accompanied only by his conscience.

Robespierre gained fame for defending the neediest population of Paris, so he also gained the nickname of “The Incorruptible” due to his strong defense of moral values. He soon joined the radical side of Jacobin Party, during the French Revolution becoming one of its main leaders against the “Old Regime” and any form of monarchy.

Towards the end of 1793, Robespierre became the leader of the Committee of Public Safety, the principal organ of the Revolutionary government during the Reign of Terror.

Robespierre was shot through the jaw in the process of signing an appeal to arms — some say a botched suicide, but a wound from the invading national guard is more generally believed; at any rate, the bloodied document with his signature begun “R-o-” is one of the age’s most arresting historical artifacts.
Horrifically injured, he lay most of the following day exposed for public derision before he was hauled with his party to the guillotine, re-erected in the Place de la Revolution for this most memorable execution.

As a matter of fact, it is estimated that Robespierre and his close followers order the execution of mort ha 60 thousand people who did not follow the French Revolution for traitors.

Cartoon showing Robespierre guillotining the executioner after having guillotined everyone else in France.

 But in 1794 he was overthrown and guillotined along with his closest friends and followers.

lunes, 27 de julio de 2015

July 27: Today is anniversary of the suicide of Vincent van Gogh in 1890.

Vincent at the age of thirteen

Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh shot himself and died two days later, at 37 years old.

Vincent van Gogh - Self-Portrait

Theo, his younger brother, was a gallery owner and supported permanently his brother the painter. Theo had printed 20 lithographs of the painting "The Potato Eaters" which could sell in the neighborhood offering competitive rates.

The Potato Eaters by Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was poor and really miserable. He shared his house in Arles, southern France, with his friend and fellow painter Paul Gaugin.

Theo in 1888 at 31. Theo was a life-long supporter and friend to his brother. The two are buried together at Auvers-sur-Oise.

However, after a while, the coexistence deteriorated by friction between them, until a crazy relapse of Van Gogh cut his left ear, in front of his friend, after having chased Gaugin around the house with a knife.

Paul Gauguin, The Painter of Sunflowers: Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, 1888, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Van Gogh painted 900 paintings and 1,600 drawings. He painted 27 self-portraits on oil canvas. He died impoverished. His works came to be appreciated many years after his death.

Self-portrait ,1889, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London. Mirror-image self portrait with bandaged ear.

domingo, 26 de julio de 2015

July 26: Jose de San Martin arrives in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in 1822 for his only encounter with Simon Bolivar. That meeting was also known as “Guayaquil Conference”.

San Martin and Bolivar meet each other.

The interview in Guayaquil (Ecuador) on July 26, 1822 between Jose de San Martin and Simon Bolivar, has been one of the most studied and analyzed ones by historians of South American historical events. The interview of the two Liberators was closed, and therefore, there is no testimony of the topics treated there for more than two hours of talks.

The conference between Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín. The real conference took place inside an office, and not in the countryside as the portrait suggests.

San Martin was an Argentine general who, after studying in Spain, offered his services to the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata (now Argentina). Jose de San Martin freed Argentina and Chile from Spanish rule; then, he sailed across the Pacific to Lima to face off against the Viceroyalty of Peru and his victory made him Protector of Peru.

The South American wars of independence are barely known outside its borders: a bloody, twelve year conflict – spanning the entire continent.

The resources of the General San Martin were also damaged and political situation. So he turned to Bolivar, who already presided over Colombia, with great political and military support. Bolivar agreed to commit himself with Peru, and San Martin resigned to all his posts.

The interview of the two Liberators was closed.

British offered support for the two liberators to found two constitutional kingdoms in South America, with the model of constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to take advantage of them over Spain and France.

At the meeting in Guayaquil (1822), San Martin gives Bolivar the command of the Liberation Army.

Jose de San Martin was the first president of Peru. His government lasted from August 3, 1821 until September 20, 1822.

On a hot day in July 26th of 1822 in the Ecuadorean port city of Guayaquil, the two men who did more to shape the borders of modern Latin America than anyone else met in a small room in Guayaquil’s city hall for a meeting where both egos and political philosophies clashed.

sábado, 25 de julio de 2015

July 25: Sebastian de Belalcazar in search of “El Dorado” founded the city of Santiago de Cali, today in Colombia, in 1536.

El Dorado: An imaginary discovery

Sebastian de Belalcazar came to Darien and Nicaragua in the Third Voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1498. Later he met the Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro who invited him to conquer and slaughter the Incas of Peru, in today South America.

El dorado. Fabled City of Gold

After founding the city of Quito, in Ecuador, in 1534, Belalcazar went north in search of “El Dorado” that was already part of the dream of the greedy conquerors. In this adventure he founded Pasto, and Popayan, in today Colombia.

Depiction of the Legend of El Dorado, published in El Museo del Oro; 1923-1948, Banco de la Republica, 1948.

On July 25, 1536, Sebastian de Belalcazar founded the city of Santiago de Cali, on the edge of the Cauca River, and participated in the celebration of a Catholic Mass in founding what is now the Church of La Merced. Pedro de Ayala was named as the first municipal authority, in Cali, which depended on Popayan, which in turn belonged to the Royal Audience of Quito.

Muisca goldsmiths

El Dorado is a legendary kingdom or city, supposedly located in the territory of the old Viceroyalty of New Granada, in an area where it was believed that there were abundant gold mines in the thereabouts of actual Bogota, capital of Colombia.

Muisca raft (1200–1500 CE), representation of the initiation of the new Zipa in the lake of Guatavita

King Carlos I of Spain granted the title of governor of Popayan to Belalcazar and the honorary title of "Advanced", in May 1540. The title of "Advanced" was also honorary; in fact, it did qualify for governor and judge as well, leaving the area outside the hearings of Viceroyalties. Arbitrarianism!

viernes, 24 de julio de 2015

July 24: Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Lake Maracaibo, in 1823, when Admiral José Prudencio Padilla defeated the Spanish Armada, capping the independence of the Great Colombia.

Acción del Castillo de Maracaibo (1823) Oil on canvas (87 x 124 cm), Museo Nacional de Colombia. Painting by José María Espinosa Prieto (1796-1883)

This battle was the last confrontation of the War of Independence of Venezuela, and major Spanish American War for Independence. The ships belonged to the naval fleet of the Great Colombia that commanded Simon Bolivar.

Depiction of the battle from c. 1830

Let´s recall that the Battle of Carabobo in 1821 is considered as the final one that gave independence to Venezuela. Nevertheless, Lake Maracaibo and the Caribbean Sea were still held by Spain. July 24 is a day of celebration in Zulia, Venezuela's state.

Padilla was appreciated both by Simon Bolívar and General Francisco de Paula Santander.

José Prudencio Padilla was born on March 19, 1784 in Bogotá, Colombia. He served as a seaman in the Spanish navy. During the Battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1805, he was captured by British forces and taken prisoner. He was returned to Spain in 1808 and assigned to the boatswain's arsenal at Cartagena, New Granada (now Colombia). On On April 11, 1811 he supported the people of Cartagena in their quest for independence. In 1815 he served under the General Simón Bolívar in the struggle for independence from Spain. On July 24, 1823 he achieved a brilliant naval victory over the Spanish forces at the Battle of Lake Maracaibo during the war for the independence of Venezuela. Admiral Jose Padilla was instrumental in achieving the independence of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru and was the creator of the first navy of Colombia.

But the intrigues and contempt for being a Colombian peasant, Padilla of African descent, fell out with the creoles of Spanish origin to the point of charging him for the bombing of the Liberator Bolivar and was executed on October 28, 1828.

Importantly, the last battle he fought the independence of Venezuela was the July 24, 1823, with the Battle of Lake Maracaibo Navy under Admiral José Prudencio Padilla and the Battle of Carabobo on June 24, 1821.

jueves, 23 de julio de 2015

July 23: Today is the anniversary of the signature of The Congress of Berlin treaty that affected the political map of Europe in 1878.

Otto von Bismarck, German Chancellor shakes hands with Russian representative Pyotro Andreyevich Shuvalov while Astro-Hungarian rep Gyula Andrássy observes from behind, by Anton von Werne.

The main members of Congress were:

• Otto von Bismarck, as president of Congress, by the German Empire

• Benjamin Disraeli, representing Britain

• Count Gyula Andrassy, ​​representing Austria-Hungary

• William Henry Waddington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France

• Aleksandr Gorchakov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia

• The Count of Corti, Italy, and

• The Greek statesman, Alexander Karatheodori, representing Sultan Abdulhamid II.

The Congress of Berlin in 1878 was the opportunity for Bismarck achieved the recognition of the German Empire, and orchestrating a European agreement that would prevent international war.

Bulgaria-SanStefano-Congress of Berlin-1878.

The Congress of Berlin was quoted by the signatories to the Treaty of Paris, 1856, to consider the terms imposed by Russia to the Ottoman Empire in the Treaty of San Stefano, three months earlier.

The map of Europe was redrawn by the Congress of Berlin (1878).

All members of Congress, with the exception of the Russians agreed to modify the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano who had given generous benefits to Russians and Slavic people, and that drew the Turks of the European map.

Congress of Berlin and Recognition of Balkans Independence, 1878

Chancellor Bismarck, president and host of the Congress, offered himself as an "honest broker", seeking to balance the differences in the interests of Austria-Hungary, Britain and Russia. As a matter of fact, Congress had not been summoned to help the Turks, but to avoid the menacing Russian expansion, brokering friendly rivalry between Austria with Russia, and analyze the issue of nationality in the Balkans.

1877 – 1878 – Russo-Turkish war ends with the establishment and official international recognition of independent Balkan states: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria.

The three goals that Bismarck was proposed to the Congress of Berlin, were:

• Soothe the Austrian and British against the tension with Russia, and listed as an international peacemaker to European diplomacy.

• Curbing Russian expansion and prevent increase of power that could threaten the German Empire.

• And create closer ties between Germany and Austria, to prevent a French attack.

Actually, Bismarck succeeded in avoiding an international war could contain Russian expansion and improved bilateral relations with Austria-Hungary to the point that they proposed an alliance. The German Empire began to gain power through their peaceful methods.