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History nerds hangout

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Re: History nerds hangout

Postby Georgiefan » Oct 22, 2009 10:58 pm

@ Gmatt: Verenigde means United. That's why we call the United States of America the Verenigde Staten van Amerika.
@ Faolchú: There are cyclingpaths next to every single road in the Netherlands, so yes it's a perfect country to cycle! You can go everywhere by cycle here.
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Re: History nerds hangout

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 23, 2009 2:59 pm

GF: Thanks for all the info! :ymapplause: Curious: what do you know about the Dutch in South Africa? About the Great Trek and the two Boer wars, for example? I probably know more about that aspect of Dutch colonial history than I do of them in the East Indies, or even of the Netherlands. And a lot of my info comes from missionary history and the novels of H. Rider Haggard. ;) 20th century South African history ... the novels of Alan Paton. How much have you read of these authors' work? How does fiction compare with history? :)

Gmatt wrote:The slave trade was certainly a very sad aspect of the era, but while I have heard the claim that "The British Empire was built on the back of slaves", that itself is incorrect, slaves being used pretty much only in the West Indies. And of course nothing did more to end the Atlantic Slave trade than the Royal Navy.
Excellent points. When I think of the British imperial slave trade, what immediately comes to mind is William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect. :ymapplause: What are your thoughts on their efforts and on the movie Amazing Grace? B-)
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Re: History nerds hangout

Postby Georgiefan » Oct 24, 2009 12:18 am

Well to be honest I don't know much about the Dutch in South Africa. What I do know is that Dutch trade ships stopped at Kaap de Goede Hoop (the nowadays Cape Town) and from there sailed to Dutch India. But I actually haven't got any history about the Dutch in South Africa for so far...

The colonies of the Netherlands used to be (what is now) Indonesia, South Africa, Suriname and the Antilles. Nowadays, only the Antilles is still a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, that's why we also call it the Netherlands Antilles. Suriname and South Africa and Indonesia aren't parts of the Netherlands anymore, but they still talk Dutch there in most places. In Indonesia we trade herbs, which was planted there. And like I said before, we used to have New Amsterdam (New York), but because the Brits conquered it, we got Suriname for it.
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Re: History nerds hangout

Postby Gmatt » Oct 27, 2009 2:53 pm

Georgiefan wrote:@ Gmatt: Verenigde means United. That's why we call the United States of America the Verenigde Staten van Amerika.


Thank you, that explains it well! I was wondering if it meant something similar to 'Honourable' such as in our own East India Company which was fully titled 'The Honourable East India Company.

220chrisTian wrote: Excellent points. When I think of the British imperial slave trade, what immediately comes to mind is William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect. :ymapplause: What are your thoughts on their efforts and on the movie Amazing Grace? B-)


Wilberforce is a tremendous inspiration to me personally, that perhaps our Western Civilisation is not yet lost, but I won't go too much into that or I would be here all night. :P
It was a tremendous thing, and I enjoyed the movie, although the statement at the beginning somewhat annoyed me (About the Empire being built on the back of slaves and all) but not enough to spoil the movie.

When thinking of the slave trade, do not forget the Royal Navy who, from the banning of the trade to at least the 1890s kept up a campaign against the trade. They did more than anyone to end it. (The fellow I am attempting to write about started his career on the Slave Patrol).

220chrisTian wrote:GFwhat do you know about the Dutch in South Africa? About the Great Trek and the two Boer wars, for example? I probably know more about that aspect of Dutch colonial history than I do of them in the East Indies, or even of the Netherlands.


I know you were not asking me, but I find South Africa quite interesting.

You must remember that those two instances happened in the 1830s, 1880s and 1890s-1900s respectively, well after the Cape became British, so it passing out of Dutch control, (And to be fair, I haven't kept well up on, say, American history since it ceased to be British. :p )
It is quite interesting history though, but I never sympathise with the Boers myself too much. The emigrated because they did not want to lose their slaves, and then the wars were fought after the Boer government's refused to give the vote to certain non-Boers in their lands (And remember they were the ones who attacked first, at least in the Great Boer War.)
This is not to say I hold any grudges against them, chaps like Jan Smuts and other Boers fought quite well for the Empire through both World Wars, but that doesn't mean I feel any sympathy for their leaving Cape Colony in the '30s or anything of that sort. (In fact, years ago I picked up a novel on them and could not get past the first chapters as their point of view was somewhat skewed.)
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Re: History nerds hangout

Postby Shadowlander » Oct 27, 2009 5:04 pm

And how does one talk about South Africa during those periods and not discuss the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift? ;) If Rorke's Drift wasn't one of the UK's finest hours I don't know what is.
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Re: History nerds hangout

Postby Gmatt » Oct 28, 2009 7:30 am

Good question, though I guess I was thinking more along the Dutch/Boer aspect as that was what we were discussing. :p

But thanks for mentioning it, Rorke's Drift certainly was an astounding battle, I have the movie 'Zulu', plus a bit of actual reading on the thing, quite an amazing battle, regardless of the fact the Zulus were still generally armed with spears. 4,500 on 140 is still pretty steep odds!
Isandlwana can honestly be put down to not understanding how to fight the Zulu's (They certainly learned quickly, the later battles show that) plus the fact it was the entire Zulu army vs a small portion of the British force, but Rorke's Drift certainly made up for Isandlwana to a degree.
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Re: History nerds hangout

Postby Shadowlander » Oct 28, 2009 4:00 pm

Zulu is an excellent film. I've only seen portions of Zulu Dawn, which supposedly covers the Battle of Isandlwana. The Zulus were fierce, brave, and disciplined warriors and I remember watching a special on History Channel regarding Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift and a historian was describing the tactics used by the Zulus when attacking, which is somewhat similar to what we call a pincer movement today. They were very organized in their attacks and efficient. From the reading I've done on the subject the Zulus did have some rifles in their possession but they were much older types than the British used (Martini-Henry rifles) in both battles. Rorke's Drift was definitely a battle in which superior technology (and a ton of guts) was the deciding factor in the outcome. And RD has the distinction of having produced the most Victoria's Cross recipients than any other engagement in British history.
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