Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Chronology of Human Liberty

If the wide swathe of human history is anything other than "the record of man's crimes and follies" then, to the conservative, it must be the halting but steady progress of the idea of individual liberty in its struggle against tyranny, slavery and ignorance.
Here is an attempt at a brief Chronology of Liberty...

1) 460 to 404 BC.  The Age of Pericles: The golden age of Athenian democracy.

2) 399 BC.  The Trial and death of Socrates.  The heroic individual versus the toxic, poisonous state, round one.

3) 384 BC.  Birth of Aristotle.  Founder of Ancient Conservatism.

4) 508 to 44 BC.  Roman Republic.   Limitations placed on government by an aristocratic elite--the Senate.  SPQR.

5) 73 to 71 BC.  Spartacus leads the slaves in the Third Servile War.  Roman power is shaken for three years by a rebellion led by a slave and ex-gladiator.

6) 697 to 1797.  The Venetian Republic flourishes in the Mediterranean with naval power, free trade and fine glassware.

7) 1040.  Invention of Moveable Type in China by Bi Sheng.  Wider dissemination of knowledge becomes possible.

8) 1215.  Magna Carta.  England's King John compelled to embrace rule of law and share power with the Barons.

9) 1450.  Guttenberg invents the Printing Press.  Technological sine qua non of a free press.

10) 1492.  Columbus discovers the New World.  New vistas opened in which liberty will flourish.

US Constitution
11) 1776.  Adam Smith publishes the Wealth of Nations.

12) July 4th 1776.  Declaration of Independence.

13) 1787.  Ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, including the Bill of Rights.

14) 1789.  Beginning of the French revolution.

15) 1790. Edmund Burke, founder of modern conservatism, publishes Reflections on the Revolution in France.

16) October 21st, 1805.  Battle of Trafalgar.  Nelson's victory guarantees British liberty and allows spread of free trade and liberty through the 19th century under the banner of the British Empire.

17)  1807.  Parliament votes to end the slave trade.

18) June 18th, 1815.  Battle of Waterloo. Duke of Wellington leads the Allied forces over Napoleon and the French.  Dictatorship, French hegemony and Continental system (Euro prototype I) all vanquished.

19) 1859.  Publication of John Stuart Mill's On Liberty.  "Over himself, over his own body and mind the individual is sovereign."

20) 1861.  Emancipation Reform of 1861.  Tsar Alexander II of Russia frees the serfs.
First Republican

21) January 1st, 1863.  Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln.

22) December 1865.  13th amendment passed in the US outlawing slavery.

23) 1883 to 1929.  Carnegie Libraries.  2,509 libraries built by Carnegie throughout the world forming the prototype of the Internet.

24) 1920.  Women's Suffrage.  The 19th amendment is ratified in the USA which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex by states or the federal government.

25) 1933.  Repeal of Prohibition with the 21st Amendment to the US constitution.

26)  December 7th 1941.  Pearl Harbor attacked by Imperial Japan.  End of American isolationism.

27) June 6th, 1944.  D-Day.  Allied forces begin the liberation of France and Northwest Europe from Nazism.

28) 1945.  World War II ends.  Worst war in human history ends with the suicide of Adolf Hitler and unconditional surrender of Japan.  Second Euro prototype lies in ruins.
Future Imperfect

29) 1948.  Creation of Israel.  Foundation of a Democratic Jewish state in the Middle East.

30) 1948.  Publication of George Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four which along with Animal Farm (1945) make the case against totalitarianism of all stripes.  "Big Brother is watching and some pigs are more equal than others!"

31) 1949. NATO founded.  North Atlantic Treaty Organisation created to defend the West against Soviet communism.

32) 1964.  Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Outlaws major forms of discrimination against African-Americans and women.  Supported by a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats.

33) 1979-1990.  Margaret Thatcher serves as Prime minister of Great Britain.

34) 1980.  Ronald Reagan elected 40th President of USA.

"Tear Down that Wall"
35) 1989.  Collapse of Soviet communism.  Fall of the Berlin Wall.

36) 1990-91.  Operation Desert Storm.  Liberation of Kuwait.

37)  1990's.  Commercialisation of the Internet.   Spread of human knowledge across borders.

38) 2001.  Afghanistan invaded by coalition forces following the events of 9/11.  Taliban government toppled.  Elections held.

39) 2003.  Invasion of Iraq.  Eventual capture and execution of Saddam Hussein.  Elections held.
Saddam's statue 
40) 2011.  Arab Spring sweeps North Africa.  Ending dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

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first book, America Invades or on

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