Friday, September 24, 2010
July 13th in History
Bonus points geography points, if you know where Ghent is. The 'old' Northwest Territory that was being handed around in all of these treaties in Europe, would later become Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the northeastern part of Minnesota up around Duluth. George Rogers Clark, of the Virginia Militia claimed it for Virginia, having won it from the in battle fair and square. Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, planning on extending their western boundaries. All of these states gave up their claims in the 1780s, out of fears by other states that they would become too big and have a disproportionate power in the new country. All of which was purely theoretical, as the area was still largely inhabited by Brits, French and Native Americans, not citizens of the United States, a significant 'practical detail' when your claim exists only on paper. Mega geography and history points if you know 1. where Rupert's Land was in relation to the Ol' Northwest Territory, and 2. who it was named after, and 3. who owned it. This also ties in to the Burr conspiracy to set up his own monarchy 'way out west', so it is important to know who had it before we did and before Burr tried to get some of it. It's also middling interesting to know how our country came to be our country, and when and how to join the original 13 colonies was established. I find it intriguing that at this point in our history, no one had any idea where our final western borders, or the western edge of the continent, might be.
Many years later, Sir Kenneth Clark, born on this day, would lecture on these events in his series "Civilization" for the benefit of students of art and history, and art history (see below).
Also, on Modigliani, (see July 12th).
1878 - Treaty of Berlin. The Balkans once again play musical chairs with whole countries. The Ottoman Empire loses.
1903 - birth of Sir Kenneth Clark, Baron Clark, OM, CH, KCB, FBA, art historian and creator of the BBC series "Civilization". He had some great quotes, "Opera, next to Gothic architecture, is one of the strangest inventions of western man. It could not have been forseen by any logical process." and "Lives devoted to Beauty seldom end well." (I wonder if those devoted to beauty, small b, do better?)