11-11-11 : a very Brief History

November 10, 2011

11-11-11 or November 11, 2011, is a special date, like other special dates in the past ten years (from 1-1-1 to 10-10-10). After the next year, humans should wait 90 years for seeing such dates again. In 11-11-11, when you think about the past years, or about the current events, or about all problems of this damn world and this damn life, it can be very disappointing and very depressing. Maybe only reading the history and thinking about human legacy and human progress can give hope to us. So, lets read history, and what happened in 11-11-11 in the past centuries, and what would happen in the future.

17th century, 11-11-11 : 1600s and 1611 were special years after the Dark Ages in Europe. Of course, these years were full of war, famine, and fatal diseases, like before. The Russian famine of early 1600s kills perhaps a third of Russia. But in 1600s and 1610s, France and Britain attempted to colonize North America, the New World ! The first Britons started to live in Virginia, the first English colonies in the New World, and the first French started to live in New France. In those years, many first colonists died of scurvy, starving, and hard winters. In 1608, Quebec City founded by Samuel de Champlain in New France (present-day Canada), where Voltaire called a few acres of snow. Those years were dark, very dark. In North America, the first African slaves landed at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. And with the development of the plantation system in the southern colonies in the latter half of the 17th century, the number of Africans imported as slave increased greatly. In 1611, the English had not started to kill the Indians, and when the English were going through their “starving time” in the winter of 1610, some of them ran off to join the Indians, where they would at least be fed. At that time, England experienced pre-revolution era. In 1603, Queen Elizabeth died childless, and James succeeded her. In 1604, he ended Englands war with Spain, but his tactless attitude toward Parliament, and his belief in divine right, led to prolonged conflict with that body. In 1605, he authorized a new translation of the Bible. James I died in 1625, and was succeeded to the throne by his son, Charles I. The English Revolution, also called the Puritan Revolution, happened in Charles era, in 1640 to 1660. The causes of the conflict can be traced to social, economic, constitutional, and religious conflicts over a century or more. Charles was defeated by his opponents in Parliament, during a civil war, and he was beheaded at Whitehall, London in 1649. After killing Charles, the revolutionaries abolished the monarchy. Subsequently Cromwell became chairman of the council of state, a parliamentary agency that governed England as a republic until the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. The story of Iran in 1610s, is interesting, too. In Iran, Shah Abbas I expanded the Persian Empire by capturing the occupied territory from the Ottomans and the Portuguese. Shah Abbas and Safavids restored the Persian Empire. During the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722), Iran became a super power again. Safavids were Sufi and Iranian Turks. Ismail I, conquered first Tabriz and then the rest of Iran, and in 1501, he proclaimed himself Shah (king). It was the first time since the 7th century, after the Arab invasion, that all of Iran was unified as an independent state. Shah Ismail used the Iranian version of Islam, Sufism and Shia, to mobilize armies against the Ottomans -Turk Sunni Muslims who controlled an empire to the west. Intermittent warfare between the Safavids and the Ottomans continued for more than 150 years.

18th century, 11-11-11: 1700s and 1711 was full of war and disaster. In 1700s, and in early 1710s, War of the Spanish Succession was a conflict which involved most of Europe. The war was fought on land and sea. The principal arenas of land warfare were Italy, the Netherlands, and the German states. The War of the Spanish Succession was a part of animal wars among the powers for political and military hegemony and territorial aggrandizement. England was fighting a series of wars, and Queen Anne’s War in the early 1700s was one of them. Queen Annes War (1702 -1713) was second of the four North American wars waged by the British and French between 1689 and 1763. The wars were the result of the colonial rivalry between Britain and France and their struggle for predominance on the European and North American continents; each of the wars fought in North America corresponded more or less to a war fought between the same powers in Europe. Queen Anne’s War arose from the issues left unresolved at the end of King William’s War (1689-1697). The struggle corresponded to the European War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) fought between the allied forces of Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the Holy Roman Empire on one side and France and Spain on the other. 1710s were really dark years. In 1713, the exclusive right to supply slaves for the Spanish colonies was granted to a British company. In 1712, the African slaves and Indians joined in an insurrection in North America. But this was quickly suppressed. From 1708 to 1710, famine killed one-third of East Prussia’s population. Of course, in those dark years several cities were born. In 1703, Saint Petersburg founded by Peter the Great, and in 1718, City of New Orleans founded by the French in North America. New York had the largest slave population in the North, and there was some contact between blacks and Indians, as in 1712 Africans (slaves) and Indians joined an insurrection. In Iran, 1711 and the whole 1710s was the dark age of Shah Sultan Hussein, who ruled from 1694 to 1722. Shah Sultan Hussein, was the last and the weakest king of Safavids. The corrupt and stupid coward Shah Sultan Hussein has become a symbol in Iran’s history. He is the symbol of spineless and a corrupt religious ruler who has not balls. As we said before, many Iranians believe that Khatami is another Shah Sultan Hussein ! In fact, in 1710s, Shah Sultan Hussein was destroying Iran, like what the Mullah are doing now, and also dug his own grave and the grave of the Safavid dynasty.

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19th century, 11-11-11 : 1800s and 1811, were years of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Napoleonic Wars. After the American Revolution and the French Revolution, in 1799, Napoleon became first consul of France. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merge to form the United Kingdom. And in 1803, the UK resumed war with France on the seas; two years later Russia and Austria joined the British in a new coalition. Napoleon then abandoned plans to invade England and turned his armies against the Austro-Russian forces, defeating them in 1805. In 1806, he seized the kingdom of Naples. In 1807, Napoleon seized Portugal. In 1808, he made his brother king of Spain. In 1809, Napoleon beat the Austrians again, annexed the Illyrian Provinces (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro). In 1810, his empire reached its widest extension with the annexation of Northern Germany, together with the entire kingdom of Holland. In 1812, Napoleon launched an invasion of Russia that was the start of his downfall. 1800s and 1810s were full of war and disaster in all around the world. War of 1812, was a serious war between the United States and Britain ( in Canada), that began in 1812 and lasted until 1815. In 1809, Russia conquers Finland from Sweden in the Finnish War. In those years, the slavery was at its peak, and then began to decline. As you know, Portugal was the first modern European nation to meet its labor needs by importing slaves. The Portuguese began the practice in 1440s; by 1460, they were annually importing about 1000 slaves to Portugal from trading posts established on the African coast. Spain soon followed, but for more than a century Portugal monopolized the African traffic. England entered the slave trade in the latter half of the 16th century, and France, Holland, Denmark, and the American colonies themselves subsequently entered the trade as competitors. Apparently, Denmark was the first European country to abolish the slave trade, in early 1800s. Britain abolished slavery in 1834, and America’s 13th Amendment following their Civil War abolished slavery there in 1865. In 1800, the population of the US included about 900,000 slaves, of which about 40,000 were in the northern states. The story of Persia in early 1800s was very tragic. In 1811, Persia (Iran) was experiencing the dark years of the notorious Qajar dynasty. Russia, that Iranians called it “the savage tribes of the north”, had invaded Iran and was expanding from the north into the Caucasus Mountains, an area of historic Iranian interest and influence. Under the corrupt and stupid Fath Ali Shah, ruled from 1797 to 1834, Persia went to war against Russia, but Russians with the help of Britons and the corrupt rulers of Persia, could succeed in their invasion. Under the terms of the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813, Iran recognized Russia’s annexation of Georgia and ceded to Russia most of the north Caucasus region. A second war with Russia in the 1820s, for freeing the occupied territories, had a tragic ending. The stupid and corrupt Fath Ali Shah and other stupid Iranians thought that they could count on the British support, but the stupid Iranians did not know that the British politicians are the most unfaithful people on Earth. So, while Persia had recaptured many parts of the occupied lands in the first years of war, but the British betrayals ended the war differently. In 1828, when Persia was forced to sign the Treaty of Turkmanchai acknowledging Russian sovereignty over the entire area north of the Aras River (present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan). In 1856, Britain also prevented Iran from reasserting control over Herat, which had been part of Iran. Britain supported the city’s incorporation into Afghanistan, a country Britain helped create in order to extend eastward the buffer between its Indian territories and Russia’s expanding empire.

20th century, 11-11-11 : 1910s was very tragic and full of great disasters. In early 1910s, famine and fatal diseases killed millions, and in mid and late 1910s, the world war killed more than ten million. In 1910, Japan annexed Korea. With the annexation of Korea in 1910, Japan became a colonial power. In 1910, Revolution erupts in Mexico, and lasted a decade. In 1910, Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919), an illiterate tenant farmer rebelled against the 30-year dictatorship of Diaz, the lifelong president of Mexico. Although 80 years old, Diaz was planning on yet another reelection in 1910. He was like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. The Americans supported Diaz, and killed Zapata in 1919, but he was idolized by the Native Americans as the revolutionary hero. World War I, from August 1914 to November 1918, was the first total war. Once the war began, the countries involved mobilized their entire populations and economic resources to achieve victory on the battlefield. Of the 65 million men who were mobilized, more than 10 million were killed and more than 20 million wounded. Many of those who survived the war returned home with serious physical disabilities. Others suffered what was called shell shock, and in fact was PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), a psychological affliction that prevents a successful adaptation to civilian life. Many of the dead left widows and orphans who had to cope with severe economic hardship and emotional loss. After the war, optimism about human nature and about the glorious future of civilization was discredited. Philosophers bemoaned the decadence of civilization and the decline of the west. Artists began to produce works that mocked the self-confident assertions of humanism and modern life. The economic consequences of the war were felt throughout the world. All of the countries involved had to borrow heavily to pay for the costs of the war. Such deficit-financing generated inflation, which impoverished many citizens. 1910s was very dark. During World War I, 150,000 soldiers died of epidemic typhus. And in Iran, near 1 million died of typhus and famine. In 1910s, 99% of 10 million Iranians, were illiterate religious fanatics, and more than 90% of them lived in the rural area (the above picture shows several Iranian women in Nasseri Harem, in 1890s). Just 1% of Iranians were literate, and they were the leaders of Constitutional Revolution in 1900s. In 1906, Muzaffar al-Din Shah was forced to agree to the creation of an elected parliament (Majlis) and a constitution that limited royal power, established a parliamentary system of government, and outlined the powers of the legislature. In fact, Iran was the first country in the Middle East and African that established a Constitutional Monarchy, with a revolution. In those years, Russia had become a real evil. Russia encouraged Mohammad Ali Shah, Muzaffar’s successor, to dissolve the parliament. In 1908, he bombed the Majlis building and dissolved the Parliament. The main supporters of Mohammad Ali Shah were Russians and Mullahs. In 1909, after a year of fighting between constitutionalists and loyalists, the constitutionalists prevailed and deposed Mohammad Ali, who fled to Russia. The constitutionalists brought a senior anti-people Mullah, Ayatollah Fazlollah Nouri, to trial and hanged him in Tehran. It was quit unprecedented. It was the first serious clash between the Mullahs and the people in Iran. In 1910. Russia assisted Mohammad Ali Shah in an invasion of Iran and an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government. Russia and Britain were the real enemy of Iran and Iranians. In 1907, Anglo-Russian agreement divided Persia (Iran) into spheres of influence. By 1881, Russia had completed its conquest of present-day Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, bringing Russias frontier to Persia’s northeastern borders and severing historic Persian ties to the ancient Persian cities of Bukhara and Samarqand.

21st century, 11-11-11 : As you know, 2011 is the year of revolutions and uprisings in the most reactionary states of the world (the Arab world). And it’s a good sign of progress. Now, we don’t have any animal and periodic war, like the past centuries. Now, we don’t have any widespread and periodic famine or fatal disease. Now, the situation of women rights, black rights, child rights, worker rights, animal rights, and human rights are really better than the past centuries, and all of these are part of the human legacy, and a good sign of progress. The humans should not be disappointed. They have progressed. And they would progress for ever. Today is better than Yesterday, and Tomorrow will be better than Today. There is no doubt. It’s what the history tells us, and it’s hope and the true meaning of the human mind’s power. But as you know, we still have many dreadful problems in this f-u-c-k-ing world, and we all should try to solve them. The corrupt and stupid politicians, the big corporations, the greedy rich, the widespread shortsightedness, the global warming, the pollution, the sustainable development, the global stupidity, the stupid lefts and fake intellectuals, the poverty, the discrimination, the fatal diseases, the savage dictators, the dictatorship, the political borders and visa, the lack of free mass media, the lack of a global but decentralized and distributed management, and many other serious matters or dreadful problems need solution. We all should try to find proper solutions and add something valuable to the human legacy.

22sd century, 11-11-11 : Maybe the Arab world would rise up and protest against the Islamists and Islamic Hijab. Maybe humans would not be able to find any savage dictators or dictatorship in the world. Maybe in 2110s, Iran would celebrate the 100th anniversary of establishing secular Republic in Persia (In fact, it’s the 100th anniversary of the first anti-Islamist revolution in the world). Maybe all humans would be able to enjoy the basic rights, including free speech, good education, good health care, good housing, and real (direct) democracy.

23rd century, 11-11-11 : Maybe humans would try to convert Mars into a liveable planet. Maybe humans would have a global administration, without any big and global corporation and without any global mafia.

24th century, 11-11-11 : Maybe humans would achieve very important and considerable scientific and technological successes. Maybe humans would be able to see serious progress in our understanding of the universe and our own body. Maybe humans would be able to experience some things that are impossible dreams for us.

25th century, 11-11-11 : Maybe all humans would be able to live in our planet freely, without any political border or any discrimination. Maybe all humans would be well-educated. Maybe humans would be able to go and live in Mars. But I hope going to or living in Mars would not need any visa or passport, and humans can live there like civilized human, not animals.