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A hundred years ago May 25, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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I am an avid reader. One type of book I like, when I find what seem to be the rarities, is a book on travel, world or US politics or history that were written decades ago. Reading California history from the perspective of a book written in the 1870s or 1890s as current events, is fascinating because it seems less filtered, less edited by historians.

One recently-read book just smacks of this, a geographic book on the world’s nations written in the early 1900s. Several nations had different names: Siam (Thailand), Mesopotamia (as part of the Ottoman Empire (Iraq), Persia (Iran), and Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Others were the norm then, rather than, then recently created as they are again now, Montenegro and Serbia. The US had 45 states!

The Panama Canal was not finished then. The Indian Wars in the US were recent happenings. Germany and England were friendly rivals whose rulers were cousins. France seemed a more likely foe for war with England, over their colonial interests in Africa. The US had a new empire in the Pacific and Caribbean. Japan was going to be the Asian power to modernize that region as it had been after the US opened them up to our advanced civilization. Quaint and ironic views given what later happened.

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