March 25th: celebrating the Annunciation and the War of Independence | Letters from Athens

One of our main national celebrations in Greece is March 25, which commemorates the start of the 1821 Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, a revolt whose motto was the cry “Freedom or death.”

Following the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Greece remained under Turkish occupation for four centuries. After a number of unsuccessful attempts at revolt, the War of Independence started in 1821. Despite many reversals, this would lead to the establishment of a Greek sovereign state with the London Protocol of 1830, signed by England, France and Russia – the allies who intervened to help win the war. The Greek struggle had elicited strong sympathy in Europe, and many leading intellectuals had promoted the Greek cause, including…

Source: March 25th: celebrating the Annunciation and the War of Independence | Letters from Athens

Ireland’s Dirty War… | historywithatwist

Members of The Squad (from left) Mick McDonnell, Liam Tobin, Vinny Byrne, Paddy Daly and Jim Slattery

Right now, Ireland is gearing up to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising. Events will be held throughout the country to mark the moment when a brave few hundred stood up against the British Empire and sowed the seeds of a nationwide rebellion that would come to fruition just a few years later in the Irish War of Independence . . . at least that’s one narrative doing the rounds. Another narrative berates the irresponsibility of the rebels and the destruction their actions brought upon the country.

Whichever version you choose, rest assured that there will be much basking in a green national glow. The 1916 Rising was pivotal, as was the War of Independence. Both are momentous occasions in the history of this State. However, there is one other huge moment when arms were taken up to fight for a cause . . .Ireland’s Civil War, which ran from June 1922 to May of 1923.

It was 11 months of bloody struggle in which atrocities occurred far worse than…

Source: Ireland’s Dirty War… | historywithatwist

Slavery in America was much worse than you probably imagined

This August, when Hillary Clinton met with Black Lives Matter protesters, they told her that ongoing violence and prejudice against blacks was part of a long historic continuum where, for example, today’s prison system descended from the old Southern plantations. Slavery, Clinton replied, was the “original sin… that America has not recovered from.

”But how much do modern Americans really know about slavery in colonial America? In the genocide of Native Americans? In the War of Independence or the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights? Or afterward for decades until the Civil War? Chances are, not very much. Not that slaves, for example, were money in the antebellum South—currency and credit—which led to the enforced, systematic break-up of black families in generation after generation. There was no national currency, and little silver or gold, but there was paper tied to slaves bought on credit whose offspring were seen as a dividend that grew over time.

That’s just one of the riveting and revolting details from a new book, The American Slave Coast: A History of The Slave Breeding Industry, by Ned and Constance Sublette. They trace other telling details that are not found in…

Source: Slavery in America was much worse than you probably imagined

4th of July: What Happened to the Signers of the Declaration of Independence?

Nicholas C. Rossis

4th of July flag-fireworksAlthough this post concerns mostly my American friends, the 4th of July had a profound impact on Greece, as well, as it inspired its own war of independence, in 1821. Much like the people mentioned below, the protagonists of 1821 more often than not found untimely death, died in penury or, in one notable case, were imprisoned post-independence by their fellow Greeks during political infighting.

It can be hard to remember that the people we worship as heroes today were just normal people like you and me, who made a conscious choice to sacrifice comfort and security for freedom. Since some complain that Pearseus, my epic fantasy series, is a bit hard on its heroes, I was curious: what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

  • Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
  • Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
  • Two lost their sons…

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