Monday, May 07, 2007

Late 20th and early 21st century

I got almost further than I had planned on. For the main page of the late 20th century, I did a little bit of cleanup with some important missing incidents, and did some looking up of the United Kingdom, Congo, Italy, and South Korea. I've kept reasonable track of Great Britain, so there weren't any surprises there. but I hadn't known about the Congo. This used to be known as the Belgian Congo back in the bad old colonial days, and not too long after independence, it was renamed Zaire. Then, when I wasn't paying attention, its name was changed back to the Democratic republic of the Congo. The history of Italy in this period turned out to be an almost incomprehensible mess, full of detail and party acronyms that mean next to nothing to me. This is another of the kind of things that motivate this project in the first place. With a little bit of earlier history for background, links to what else was going on at the time, and a little bit of detail on political parties and the Roman Catholic church, this should begin to make more sense. I've also paid little attention to South Korean politics, so this didn't make a whole lot of sense to me ether. But at least I know a little bit more than I did before. I also did the usual extending of links to other areas. I haven't worked as far back in this period, comparatively speaking as I have in others, but I did get a fair amount done.

For the early 1990s, I made connections to the United States, China, India, and Indonesia. I had a hard time recalling events of the early Clinton administration, so this was a useful reminder. I had studied this period before, when it was more recent, and had it on an old version of the web site. Events in a few countries have progressed in the last five years or so and I had been working in other areas, so I hadn't kept caught up.

For the late 1990s, I made connections to Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Russia. I suppose what struck me most in Pakistan and Bangladesh (as well as the Congo, more generally speaking) was that democratic or republican forms of government mean very little if there is no respect for the rule of law. It is just too easy for a "strong man" to ignore the law, or rewrite it according to whim. Then I keep seeing how frequently the leaders in these countries are charged with corruption of some form.

I also got a start on the early 21st century. This was fairly easy to do, since all I had to do was create the appropriate page, create links from it and back-links to it, and just move a couple of paragraphs wholesale from the late 20th. There's more to do, since a lot of countries that have some information from 2001 and later need to be properly linked, but I have a start. I'm getting closer to being able to work on current events; something I had started to do back in December and January. I had to set that aside and work on particular nations, because they pages were so badly underdeveloped, but I'm catching back up.

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