Revenge In World War II

Revenge played a big role in the cruelty and atrocity associated with World War II. One of the best known examples of revenge in WWII are the civilian bombings by both sides. One of the most devastating was the bombing of Dresden, Germany by the Allies on February 13th-15th, 1945.

Many believe that the bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, 1945 by America, were revenge-motivated. They believe that it was unnecessary because the Japanese had already agreed to surrender. It caused the deaths of thousands of civilians and created horrific destruction. Continue reading

How World War II Became Global

World War II (1939-1945) began with the German invasion of Poland, and its subsequent division between the Soviets and the Germans. On the Eastern front, the war began with full-time Japanese vs. Chinese war. The Soviets then tried to invade Finland in what is known as the Winter War. They failed.

The next step was the invasion of Western Europe by Hitler and his Nazis. He invaded Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Holland and northern France. (Southern France had a government sympathetic and controlled by Hitler). The Germans also tried to takeover Britain in the Battle of Britain—an aerial battle in 1940. The Germans met with defeat in Britain. Italy then entered on the side of Hitler and took another part of France. The Germans then invaded Yugoslavia.

Throughout WWII Spain under the dictatorship of Franco remained neutral. The other countries that remained neutral throughout WWII were Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Andorra, Liechtenstein, the Vatican City and Switzerland.

The two main events that led to the globalization of WWII were the attack on Pearl Harbor and Operation Barbarossa. Continue reading

The Neuschwanstein Castle

The Neuschwanstein castle, situated on a mountain side on the border of the German state of Bavaria, was built for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It inspired the fantasy Disney castles of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. (When I first read this I immediately saw the resemblance, as I am sure you will.)

It was built in the late nineteenth century in Romanesque style. King Ludwig was an ardent admirer of Richard Wagner, the great 20th century composer, and so the castle became a tribute to the composer. He had all the rooms decorated with paintings from Wagner’s operas, including the theatre, which permanently had an opera painted on it’s stage.

The castle, which consists of 65,000 sq ft, has about 15 rooms. These include the throne room, Ludwig’s suite, singer’s hall and a grotto. However, the castle was left unfinished, due to the king’s death and a loss of funds. Had it been completed, the Neuschwanstein castle would have had more than 200 rooms. Continue reading

The ‘Kulturkampf’

The Kulturkampf was the effort by the Prussian prime minister, Otto von Bismarck (a Protestant), to expel the Catholic Church from Germany in his endeavor to unite the Germans into an empire in the late nineteenth century.

Bismarck was opposed in his efforts by the Center Party, a group formed to support the Catholics in 1870. They had originally been supporting Bismarck’s endeavors, but withdrew their support once he decided to expel the Catholic Church.

In his efforts to expel the Catholics Bismarck expelled the Jesuits, Dominicans and Franciscans, took the priests off of the payroll and eliminated Catholic Church supervision over German education. Finally, in 1873, he passed the May Laws, which passed the training of the clergy over from the Church to the government.

However, the real reason for Bismarck’s enmity of the Catholics was his dislike of the Pope, Pius IX. So, when Pius IX died Bismarck ended his endeavors to expel the Catholics and made peace with them, thus ending the Kulturkampf.

 

The Revolutions of 1848

I am going to discuss four different revolutions, or attempts at revolution, during the year 1848.

The French revolution of 1848 began under the reign of King Louis-Philippe. It began because the government had banned public political meetings of more than twenty people. The people got around this law by having banquets at which they would talk about politics. When the government found out and attempted to prevent such a banquet, revolts broke out. With the revolution upon him Louis-Philippe left the throne and fled France.

The Second Republic of France was then established as the government. Socialists and liberals* worked side by side in this new republic. However, the liberals wanted to get rid of the socialists and therefore gave them useless jobs to keep them busy. Continue reading