080: Keep the Right Wing Very Strong

Generalfeldmarschall Alfred von Schlieffen.

 
A look at pre-war planning by the German and Russian general staffs, and in particular, the famous “Schlieffen Plan.”
 

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Playlist:
 
Fanfare

Opening Theme

“Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre
Composed in 1870 by Richard Wagner. Public domain.
Performed by the United States Marine Band. Public domain recording. Source.

Farewell of Slavianka
Composed in 1912 by Vasily Agapin. Public domain.
Performed by the United States Coast Guard Band. Public domain recording. Source.

Closing Theme

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5.

079: Lessons Learned II

The Congress of Vienna redrew the map of Europe following the Napoleonic Wars and laid the foundation for the Concert of Europe.

 
In this episode we examine why the Concert of Europe failed, and how this led to the Great War.
 

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Fanfare

Opening Theme

Closing Theme

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5.

078: The Lamps Go Out II

Front page of the Lübeckische Anzeigen for Sunday, August 2, 1914, announcing the German mobilization.

 
The July Crisis continues as Germany mobilizes and declares war on Russia and France. With German soldiers crossing into the neutral states of Luxembourg and Belgium, the British Cabinet and Parliament take the decision to side with their entente partners.
 

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Playlist:
 
Fanfare

Opening Theme

Cello Concerto in E Minor
Composed in 1919 by Edward Elgar. Public domain.
Performed by the Skidmore College Orchestra. Public domain recording. Source.

Closing Theme

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5.

077: The Lamps Go Out I

The front page of the Washington Times for the evening of July 28, 1914.

 
Austria presents Serbia with an ultimatum. The Serbian response is conciliatory, but stops short of complete capitulation. Austria declares war on Serbia. Russia and Germany are poised to mobilize their own militaries.
 

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Playlist:
 
Fanfare

Opening Theme

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, “Pathétique”
Composed in 1893 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Public domain.
Performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Public domain recording. Source.

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5.

076: Today Is Better Than Tomorrow

Franz Xaver Josef Conrad von Hötzendorf

 
The government of the Dual Monarchy spends most of the next four weeks after the assassination pondering its response. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe is moving on, not expecting a strong Austrian response.
 

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Fanfare

Opening Theme

“Werdenfelser Trompeten-Ländler”
Traditional. Public domain.
Performed by the Dachauer Bauern-Kapelle, under the direction of Hans Straßmaier. Public domain recording made in 1910. Source.

Closing Theme

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5.

075: The Great Illusion

German Kaiser Wilhelm II (l.) and Russian Emperor Nikolai II (r.) Each is wearing the uniform of the other’s military.

 
In Europe during the last days of peace, Britain, France, and Russia are preoccupied with internal matters, while Austria and Germany discuss war.
 

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Playlist:
 
Fanfare

Opening Theme

“God Save the King”
Traditional. Public domain.
Performed by the United States Navy Band. Public domain recording. Source.

“Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean”
Composed in 1843 by Thomas A. Becket, Sr. Public domain.
Performed by the United States Navy Band. Public domain recording. Source.

“God Save the Tsar!”
Composed in 1833 by Alexei Lvov. Public domain.
Public domain recording. Source.

“La Marseillaise”
Composed in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. Public domain.
Performed by the United States Navy Band. Public domain recording. Source.

Closing Theme

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5. Above photograph from the German Federal Archives used pursuant to a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE license.

074: A Few Serbian Bullets

The Duchess Sophia and the Austrian Crown Prince, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, as they leave the Sarajevo town hall. They were assassinated minutes after this photograph was taken.

 
The Austrian Crown Prince, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, the Duchess Sophia, were assassinated on a visit to Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. Austrians reacted with shock, although the Archduke was not personally well liked.
 

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Playlist:
 
Fanfare

Opening Theme

Symphony No. 8 in B-minor, “Unfinished”
Composed in 1822 by Franz Schubert. Public domain.
Performed by the Davis High School Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Angelo Moreno. Public domain recording. Source.

Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children)
Composed in 1904 by Gustav Mahler. Public domain.
Public domain recording. Source.

Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano
Performed by Carol McGonnell (clarinet) and Steven Beck (piano). Public domain recording. Source.

Closing Theme

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5.

073: For Serbia We Shall Do Everything

View of modern central Sarajevo.

 
Following Serbia’s victories in the two Balkan Wars, Serb irredentists turn their attention to prying Bosnia away from Austria-Hungary and plot the assassination of the Austrian Crown Prince.

(In the above photograph of modern Sarajevo, we see the river flowing through the center of the city. On June 28, 1914, the motorcade transporting Archduke Ferdinand was traveling east (down, as the photo is oriented) along the Appel Quay on the north (right) bank of the river. As the motorcade passed the first bridge at the top of the photograph, the bomb was thrown. Gavrilo Princip was at that time waiting at the end of the Latin Bridge, which is the second bridge from the top of the photo.

(After the bombing, the motorcade proceeded to the Sarajevo town hall, which is the red and yellow building on the lower right of the photo. Princip moved to the opposite side of Appel Quay (behind the large tree in the upper right of the photo) to catch the motorcade on the way back. After the stop at the town hall, the motorcade went back the way it came, west (up) the Appel Quay and made a right turn where Princip was waiting.)
 

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Playlist:
 
Fanfare

Opening Theme

Four Romantic Pieces, Op. 75, No. 1
Composed in 1887 by Antonín Dvořák. Public domain.
Performed by Roxana Pavel Goldstein (violin) and Monica Pavel (piano). Used pursuant to a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. Source.

Strauss Waltz Medley
Composed by Johann Strauss Jr. Public domain.
Performed by the United States Air Force Band. Public domain recording. Source.

Kaval Music
Performed by Boris Todorović (kaval). Used pursuant to a Creative Commons CC BY 3.0 license. Source.

ClosingTheme

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5. Above image by Julian Nitzsche and used pursuant to Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

In Honor of “Confederate History Month”

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It’s that time of year again! It’s “Confederate History Month,” a time when we remember the Confederate States of America for what it was. And what better way to understand the CSA than through the words of its Founding Fathers. Here is an excerpt from a speech by Alexander Stephens, the first (and only) Vice-President of the Confederate States of America, the so-called “Cornerstone Speech.” In it, Stephens touts the ways in which the Confederate Constitution is superior to the United States Constitution. After running through some lesser differences, he gets to the cornerstone of his argument. (Emphases added.)

This post is dedicated to anyone who ever argued that the Civil War was really a bunch of freedom-loving patriots rebelling against an oppressive central government.

(Via.)

 

But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

In the conflict thus far, success has been on our side, complete throughout the length and breadth of the Confederate States. It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is firmly planted; and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout the civilized and enlightened world.

As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are and ever have been, in the various branches of science. It was so with the principles announced by Galileo it was so with Adam Smith and his principles of political economy. It was so with Harvey, and his theory of the circulation of the blood. It is stated that not a single one of the medical profession, living at the time of the announcement of the truths made by him, admitted them. Now, they are universally acknowledged. May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another star in glory.” The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders “is become the chief of the corner” the real “corner-stone” in our new edifice. I have been asked, what of the future? It has been apprehended by some that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world. I care not who or how many they may be against us, when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, if we are true to ourselves and the principles for which we contend, we are obliged to, and must triumph.

072: England Is No Longer an Island

1914 poster from the Women’s Political and Social Union opposing the “Cat and Mouse Act.”

 
The first heavier-than-air flight across the English Channel proves that Britain is no longer an island. Suffragettes continue to press for votes for women, and Irish Home Rule may finally become a reality.
 

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Playlist:
 
Fanfare

Opening Theme

“La Marseillaise”
Composed in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. Public domain.
Performed by the United States Navy Band. Public domain recording. Source.

Second Suite in F for Military Band
Composed in 1911 by Gustav Holst. Public domain.
Performed by the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band. Public domain recording. Source.

ClosingTheme

 

Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5.