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Learning from History
"Whatever concept one may hold, from a metaphysical point of view, concerning the freedom of the will, certainly its appearances, which are human actions, like every other natural event, are determined by universal laws. However obscure their causes, history, which is concerned with narrating these appearances, permits us to hope that if we attend to the play of freedom of the human will in the large, we may be able to discern a regular movement in it, and that what seems complex and chaotic in the single individual may be seen from the standpoint of the human race as a whole to be a steady and progressive though slow evolution of its original endowment."
Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View (1784)
Or to quote Emerson, from his famous Essay ~ History more fully:-
"In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain, and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and fruitage is the world. His faculties refer to natures out of him, and predict the world he is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish foreshow that water exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg presuppose air. He cannot live without a world."
"Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results."
"History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future."
Robert Penn Warren
"Together we must learn how to compose difference, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
We have prepared some fairly substantial, but hopefully "truth-full and informative", pages about a most deeply revealing episode in European History in an attempt at actually learning from history!!!
The events of 1848 display the existence and latent power of many societal pressures which have subsequently fully contributed to the "Emergence of Modernity" in the Western world.
Prior to 1848 the existence of these societal pressures was often unsuspected or ignored, - their latent power was certainly vastly unappreciated.
The European Revolutions of 1848
In February 1948, the British historian Lewis Namier (1888–1960) delivered a lecture commemorating the centennial of the European Revolutions of 1848.
In this lecture Namier presented facts about the historical developments, themes, and events evident in 1848 and reached the conclusion that:-If Namier is right in viewing the "Revolutions of 1848" as featuring a seed-plot of history, and if we can identify the early attempts at growth and development by such evident resulting "seedlings" as Liberalism, Constitutionalism, Democracy, Socialism and Nationalism ~ including such competition as came to exist between them for "a Place in the Sun" (in situations where, although shaken, down-but-not-out dynastic authority was usually trying to suppress them, fairly successfully in 1848 and with diminishing effectiveness over ensuing decades) then surely we will have succeeded to some degree in actually learning from history."1848 remains a seed-plot of history. It crystallized ideas and projected the pattern of things to come; it determined the course of the following century."
Learning from history can surely be seen as a pressing necessity in the hope of yielding up some guidlines for the adoption of practical policies intended to enhance the possibility for the lessening of injustices and for the avoidance of conflict.
We would hope that our coverage of this "dramatic historical watershed" will provide something of a persuasive outline as to how it came about that the Dynastic Europe of 1815:-
The European political map above, agreed at the Congress of Vienna of 1815, saw some changes, (principally due to the emergence of Belgium and Greece), before the Revolutions of 1848-1849.
(This map has become a little out-of-date due to The Crimea
~ a southern peninsula of Ukraine since 1954 ~
seceding, early in 2014, to become closely linked with the Russian Federation).
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