Friday, May 04, 2007

Early and early mid 20th century

Due to other distractions, progress today was even slower than I had anticipated. For one, trying to expand on the history of nations while still keeping a fairly quick summary is a challenge, and involves more thought and writing than just creating links does.
There wasn't much new information about the early 20th century that I hadn't already known. Of the nations I looked at, the most detailed information available was on the history of Russia, which I was already roughly familiar with.
The early-mid 20th century mostly clarified the relationship between Japan and China before and at the beginning of World War II, and I got a little more information on social reform in Mexico.

Some other thoughts that have been surfacing from my other reading in the past few days. I have a persistent interest in the role of religion in history.
The author I mentioned the other day is Lois McMaster Bujold, and there are a number of interviews with her posted at her website at She mentions in one of them that in medieval times, the church ran a lot of facilities, such as schools, hospitals, shelters, and so forth, that government does today. The interplay between all these various things is part of what I want to explore on my site.
Yesterday when I was looking at United States history, I noticed a fair amount of conflict between labor movements and capitalists, and that socialism and the labor movement became allied. There are echoes of that same association in today's politics, which is something I would eventually like to explore. While I do have an interest in politics and government, I have repeatedly found myself disadvantaged by not having facts to back up my opinions, which is why I'm trying to make this blog more educational than overtly political.
I'm vaguely familiar with the state-sponsored atheist ideology of Communism that Lenin attempted to impose in Russia, which is part of why I never had any sympathy with Communism during the time of the Cold War (I was growing up in the 1960s, when it was still very much a live concern.) In the last chapter of a book I'm using for information about religious traditions. (The Great Religions, by Richard Cavendish) , the observation is made that Communism addressed similar concerns to those of religion, and functioned and was structured like one. I've been criticized for arguing that atheism should be treated along with other entirely varieties of religion, but I'm certainly not the first or only person to do so, and I'm not going to try to answer all this critic's claims and arguments right now. But I am interested in the subject, and hope to work back around to it.
I'm not even going to argue that religion is all or always good. While it's clear that the Japanese were highly militaristic up to their defeat in World War II, I haven't seen much discussion of a possible connection between Japanese militarism and state-sponsored Shinto. One of the concerns of the Mexican government during the early-mid 20th century was curbing the influence of the Roman Catholic church on it. This was nothing new to the Protestant world, which had done the same four centuries earlier, but the Reformation never took hold in Latin America.
Also during the time period I'm looking at were when some of the major corporations of today originated, but I'm going to have to save this interesting topic as well. Since the principal source I'm using now ( Isaac Asimov's "Chronology of the World") only goes up to the end of World War II, I'm going to go to other sources for history after that. I worry a little bit about depending so heavily on one source, but that's only a starting point: I am likely to revise to the point of unrecognizability as I add more detail. Eventually, I want to get to the point where I'm using more scholarly methods including documentation of sources for history, so I might as well at least name the source I'm using. If it's incomplete (which it is, no if about it), or wrong, I'll fix it later. But what I was going to say was that doing an internet search on, for instance, the mid-20th century of Germany is going to go even more slowly. I may not even get to the late 20th century before the weekend.
Soeaking of the late 20th century, one of the things I've been dissatisfied with is the placement of current events in the late 20th century. However, I had my reasons for that placement, which included plans to start making a changeover in early May. That time has come, starting Monday. Details will follow.

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