Small historical events that you are really fond of

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#1
What are some small historical events that you are really fond of?

For me, it's the abolition of a lot of monarchies in Europe and throughout the rest of the world. I view the idea of monarchy as being an anti-meritocratic idea and thus am glad that a lot of monarchies were abolished. As a side note, the abolition of a lot of monarchies also allowed their old succession rules to be frozen into place--which is interesting because it allows us to see who would have become monarch had these old succession rules remained up to the present-day. (The old succession rules are in many ways objectionable, but again, so is the idea of monarchy in general. Plus, even present-day succession rules aren't always fair--for instance, excluding illegitimate children from the throne even if/after they have been legitimized.)
 
Mar 2016
741
Australia
#2
I'm a monarchist so I certainly don't agree with your example. Also, how is the abolition of monarchy in Europe a "small historical event"? It's pretty monumental in its significance and consequences.
 
Likes: frogsofwar

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#3
I'm a monarchist so I certainly don't agree with your example. Also, how is the abolition of monarchy in Europe a "small historical event"? It's pretty monumental in its significance and consequences.
It's small in the sense that, in a practical sense, it probably wouldn't have made too much of a difference in the long(er)-run due to the fact that most monarchies right now--at least in Europe--are British-style constitutional monarchies.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#4
Even without, say, the World Wars, European monarchies are likely going to gradually become aware that if they want to avoid a revolution in the long(er)-run, they are going to need to gradually reduce their powers and give more power to the other branches of government (specifically the legislature and the judiciary).
 
Mar 2016
741
Australia
#5
It's small in the sense that, in a practical sense, it probably wouldn't have made too much of a difference in the long(er)-run due to the fact that most monarchies right now--at least in Europe--are British-style constitutional monarchies.
To say they're constitutional monarchs would be an exaggeration. That would imply they rule, but within constitutional guidelines, but in every case except Liechtenstein and Monaco the monarch does not rule whatsoever and is simply a figure-head. They're essentially 'crowned republics', a more apt description.
 
Apr 2018
702
Upland, Sweden
#6
To say they're constitutional monarchs would be an exaggeration. That would imply they rule, but within constitutional guidelines, but in every case except Liechtenstein and Monaco the monarch does not rule whatsoever and is simply a figure-head. They're essentially 'crowned republics', a more apt description.
Maybe this is unfit for this thread, but how would you see your brand of monarchism working out? I wouldn't mind a few more powers (that means a few actual ones) for our King. But I think you might underestimate the symbolic influence the Kings and Queens of Europe still have. They act as "placeholders", preventing someone else from claiming the highest honours of state - and they also set the tone for the political culture: I think Steven Fry once pointed out that "It is a good thing that policians have to say your majesty to someone". Our elected representatives are often very vain people - I am too interested in psychology but I still genuinely think these things matter. Sweden is a special case here. :p

Although I could be wrong. In some ways Western Europe is more radical than the US, so I suppose it could be argued that the existence of monarchy has just served to make our politicians sneakier while giving the population an illusion of stability
 
Last edited:
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#7
To say they're constitutional monarchs would be an exaggeration. That would imply they rule, but within constitutional guidelines, but in every case except Liechtenstein and Monaco the monarch does not rule whatsoever and is simply a figure-head. They're essentially 'crowned republics', a more apt description.
OK, but how exactly does this undercut my general point here? I prefer a regular republic over a crowned republic, but the difference between them is almost nothing. This is why I referred to the abolition of European monarchies as a small historical event.
 
Likes: Kotromanic
Apr 2018
702
Upland, Sweden
#8
I "like" the sinking of the Vasa about five minutes after it was launched, just outside of port. It is such a prescient symbol for the trajectory of the Swedish "Empire" we had during the 1600s.

There is a parallell case from financial history: I think it was the CEO of Citibank who in a televised broadcast sometime in 2008 and said something along the lines of "This kind of crisis should only happen once every 10 000 years! It is over 16 standard deviations away from what our models predict!". Hilarious, probably because I'm young enough to not have lost any money in the crash. And also very enlightening.

----
I geniunely am fond of whoever brought Coffee back to Europe though. I also get happy everytime I think of the Romans and their relationship to garum, although that is not really an event....
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#9
I "like" the sinking of the Vasa about five minutes after it was launched, just outside of port. It is such a prescient symbol for the trajectory of the Swedish "Empire" we had during the 1600s.

There is a parallell case from financial history: I think it was the CEO of Citibank who in a televised broadcast sometime in 2008 and said something along the lines of "This kind of crisis should only happen once every 10 000 years! It is over 16 standard deviations away from what our models!". Hilarious, probably because I'm young enough to not have lost any money in the crash. And also very enlightening.
What's the story behind this sinking?

I geniunely am fond of whoever brought Coffee back to Europe though. I also get happy everytime I think of the Romans and their relationship to Garum, although that is not really an event....
Oh, yeah! I forgot to mention that I really like food history and about how various foods were brought and spread to various other parts of the world. :) In the Middle Ages, even spices were a luxury! :(
 
Mar 2016
741
Australia
#10
Maybe this is unfit for this thread, but how would you see your brand of monarchism working out?
I feel like England had quite a good system in the 16th century under the Tudor dynasty, whereby the monarch and Parliament would regularly engage in a back-and-forth style of rule where they each made compromises with each other until both sides were somewhat satisfied and no one party overshadowed the other. Parliament had the right to levy taxation and issue declarations of war and peace, both of which are quite important, and the Magna Carta had transitioned from being a situational treaty into an early form of the Bill of Rights which protected the King's subjects from many arbitrary actions. England had a very strong tradition of local autonomy and representation, even early in the medieval era, so even if the King issued a command for something to be done, if the local populace was strongly opposed to it it often was just ignored and abandoned. I feel like this strikes a very good balance between the monarch retaining real power and authority, but also having to work regularly with Parliament on anything to do with legislation, and having basically no power over taxation (which often varies greatly from area to area) or war and peace. The monarch would remain the head of state and handle essentially all international relations, as well as many domestic issues that fall within his purview. But if the King wants to introduce any new legislation it still must be passed through Parliament, although like the US president he would retain a great deal of executive power via "royal decrees" (the monarchical equivalent of executive orders). I would also institute a system of houses basically identical to the United Kingdom's House of Commons and House of Lords, with the House of Lords being entirely aristocratic and hereditary, to represent that section of society (which naturally would occupy a more dominant role in society since this is a country where the monarch has real power).
 

Similar History Discussions