Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A calm day will come

And now, the Johnny Pez blog closes out the year 2014 with ... an embedded music video. Here is The Joy Formidable's "The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade" in a fan video by Steve Orchard.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 30

On December 30, 1915, crowds began to gather in the Mexican city of Chapultepec. Some were there for the New Year celebrations, but most came to hold a silent vigil in support of the imprisoned slaves who were being tried en masse for treason for joining an invading French army the year before. Fighting broke out between the two groups, and when local police were unable to maintain order, soldiers were sent from Mexico City to reinforce them.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hell yes, I'm a feminist

There's a time to be subtle, and there's a time to be blunt.

As John Scalzi notes, these are the times when you want to be blunt.

Hell yes, I'm a feminist.

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 29

On December 29, 1894, North American Councilman Thomas Kronmiller responded to Governor-General Ezra Gallivan's address on foreign policy with a speech on the floor of the Grand Council. After pointing out that the United States of Mexico had over two million veteran soldiers under arms, in contrast to the C.N.A.'s inexperienced army of 500,000 men, Kronmiller went on to say, "In 1845, when the war with Mexico began, our population was fifty percent larger than theirs. The Mexican Army never had more than 650,000 men under arms, while we raised almost three times that amount. The difference between the economies was more startling then than it is today. Yet the Mexicans of a half-century ago were able to fight us to a standstill. What might they do today if we do not prepare for all eventualities?"

Kronmiller's remarks were reported in the next day's issue of the Burgoyne Register.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 27

On December 27, 1879, two days after the Paris mob murdered the French royal family, troops from the Germanic Confederation entered the city. Sobel reports that the troops were welcomed by the city's middle-class merchants, who viewed them more as saviors than as conquerors. However, almost immediately, the German soldiers began to desert their units and join the rioters.

On December 27, 1894, North American Governor-General Ezra Gallivan gave an address to the North American Congress of Historians, in which he discussed his views on the C.N.A.'s foreign policy. Gallivan said, "Look at the map and you will see why this nation has been so blessed as to be able to afford a neutral stance on the world scene. We are bounded by the Atlantic moat, the Arctic, the Gulf, and the Mexico frontier. Those who would attack us from Europe cannot do so, while on this continent the only threat could come from Mexico. Figures soon to be released will show that our economy is ten times as large as that of the U.S.M. Last year the addition to production alone was greater than that of the total Mexican output. Our population is some 7.5 million larger than that of Mexico. We are a united people; Mexico faces internal dislocations. We have the good will of the rest of the world; Mexico has only a shaky alliance with the Germans, which may mean little in time of trouble. Yet there are those who say Mr. Hermión is preparing to resume the Rocky Mountain War. He would not be so foolish, but even if troubles do develop, we can arm rapidly enough to meet any challenge that may come our way."

Gallivan's address was reported in the next day's issue of the Burgoyne Register.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 25

On December 25, 1879, the Paris mob stormed the Palace of Versailles, seized the French royal family, and put to death the recently-crowned King Louis XXI, his parents, and his three sisters.

On December 25, 1886, Mexican Chief of State Benito Hermión celebrated Christmas in San Sebastian Church in Guatemala City, which his armies had captured the month before.

On December 25, 1922, North American Motors President Owen Galloway gave a vitavised address in which he outlined the Galloway Plan to subsidize emigration within and from the Confederation of North America.

On December 25, 1939, troops from the Germanic Confederation fighting against Great Britain in the Global War captured the Victoria Canal and the city of Alexandria, Egypt.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 24

On December 24, 1823, Mexican President Andrew Jackson addressed the California state legislature as part of his grand tour of the recently-established United States of Mexico. In his address, Jackson spoke of the new country's future. "I ask Californians to join in our quest," he said. "California may have the greatest frontier of all the Mexican states." After Jackson's address, his Secretary of War, Arturo Aragon, told reporters that the president was referring to the state's agricultural potential. However, Sobel states that to others it seemed that Jackson was already seeking new conquests, perhaps at the expense of the Russian Empire. Sobel also notes that Jethro Stimson, in his 1950 book Jackson and the Pacific Dream, believed that the president was referring not to the conquest of Russian Alaska but to expansion across the Pacific.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 20

On December 20, 1901, former Emperor of Mexico Benito Hermión arrived in Spain, three weeks after boarding an Argentinian oil tanker in Tampico, Mexico.

On December 20, 1915, Judge Homer Mattfield of the Mexico Tribunal announced that a final verdict in the Chapultepec treason trials would be handed down on January 5, 1916.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sobel Wiki: The Three-Cornered Hat

This month's featured article at the Sobel Wiki is on the 1875 Mexican elections, the most momentous in Mexican history, and the last democratic elections to be held in the U.S.M. in the nineteenth century.

In discussing the formation of the U.S.M. at the September 1820 Mexico City Convention, Sobel praises the wisdom of Andrew Jackson: "With remarkable foresight, Jackson knew that to have a nation of Mexicans controlled by a numerically smaller, though more energetic group like the Jeffersonians, would do damage to the best qualities of both peoples. In such a situation all Mexicans would be reduced to the status of a permanently occupied people. In time, this would lead either to rebellion or despair, and in either case, the Jeffersonians would be the losers."

And yet, that is precisely the nation that Jackson created. The official language of the U.S.M. is English, presumably preventing the country's Spanish-speaking population from taking part in national politics. By the 1870s, the U.S.M.'s Mexicano majority is ready to rise up against the Anglo minority that has been running the country since Jackson's day, and the 1875 elections are the spark that ignites the flame of revolution.

Senator Carlos Concepción (or Conceptión, as Sobel bizarrely spells his name) of Chiapas is the leader of the radical wing of the Liberty Party, and he is determined to end Anglo rule of the U.S.M. once and for all. When he fails to win the Liberty Party's presidential nomination, he and his followers split from the party to form a third party called the Workers' Coalition. When the Workers' Coalition fails to win the presidential election in August 1875, Concepción forms a revolutionary movement called the Moralistas and launches a guerrilla war to overthrow the Anglo-dominated government. Concepción seems to be on the verge of succeeding in September 1881 when a coup d'etat brings the dictator Benito Hermión to power. Hermión crushes the Moralistas, but in the course of his twenty-year dictatorship, he himself ends the Anglo domination of the U.S.M. Every Mexican president elected in the twentieth century is Hispanic.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 9

On December 9, 1879, the Mexican Senate met to choose a successor to the recently-assassinated President Omar Kinkaid. Sobel states that the Senators genuinely wanted a person who could heal the divisions in the United States of Mexico and assure a continuation of constitutional government, but couldn't find anyone who fit the bill. Senate Minority Leader Thomas Rogers was a suspect in Kinkaid's assassination, but refused to withdraw his name from consideration. Rogers was able to gain a plurality of votes, but was unable to command a majority over the course of several ballots. In the end, Rogers finally agreed to the selection of a compromise candidate: Senator George Vining of Jefferson, an unambitious sixty-seven year old member of the majority Continentalist Party.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 7

On December 7, 1879, Mexican President Omar Kinkaid was killed by a thrown bomb during a parade (Sobel does not make clear whether Kinkaid was taking part in the parade or merely observing it). The assassin's identity was never discovered.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 4

On December 4, 1793, the state of Jefferson held its first elections to the 42-seat Chamber of Representatives under the recently-ratified Lafayette Constitution. The franchise was open to all free males owning more than £5 in property. Although Sobel doesn't mention how many voters participated in the election, the total white population of Jefferson at the time, including women and minors, was approximately 43,000.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Don't let them win

Time for another embedded music video at the Johnny Pez blog, because that's a thing we do from time to time. From 1986 comes Crowded House with "Don't Dream It's Over."

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 3

On December 3, 1931, the Mexico City Times published an editorial praising former President Emiliano Calles, claiming that "Emiliano Calles was doubtless the greatest president this nation ever had."

On December 3, 1970, Robert Sobel interviewed historian Stanley Tulin, discussing the reorganization of Kramer Associates under President John Jackson, and Jackson's successful effort to prevent President Pedro Fuentes from limiting K.A.'s control over the Mexican government.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 1

On December 1, 1928, North American Governor-General Henderson Dewey announced a major study of the National Financial Administration "to see how this important agency may better serve the interests of the nation and its people."

On December 1, 1940, British forces aided by poor weather conditions narrowly defeated an attempted amphibious invasion by the Germanic Confederation, the first major defeat suffered by the Germans in the Global War.