1858

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The British Raj is Formally Established

The Great Rebellion in India has ended. How it began is difficult to summarize, but the British bungled a number of issues that forced various Indian factions into unity against the British East India Company. In one example: the British supplied the Indian Army with new rifle cartridges lubricated with pig and cow lard. To load the rifle, the top of the cartridge had to be bitten off so the Muslims and Hindus were united in the belief that the British were secretly undermining their religious practices. This has led to a lot of fighting until this year when the rebellion is finally put down. In the aftermath Queen Victoria's government takes direct control of India and so the British Raj begins. Later the Queen will take the title of Empress of India. The British East India Company will continue to manage the tea trade until 1874 when the company is finally dissolved. The British Raj will continue on until 1947 when India and Pakistan will win their independence. Burma will become an independent state the following year. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Great Rebellion is sometimes called the 1st War of Independence for India. This suggests that somehow the people of India were united (or nearly so) against British rule. In fact, they were not unified at all. Various factions had their own reasons for opposing the British. It didn't take some unifying conspiracy or a band of brothers. All it took was for the British East India Company to do something terrible to each group separately and for each group to react in kind. The unifying element was the British East India Company and not the Indians themselves. Even in the modern day, the one unifying element in India is their common language... English. The reason is because there are so many different languages spoken natively within the country that if they chose one native tongue, all the rest would rebel, so they chose a language that was native to none but common to all which is English. Because of the British Raj that ruled so many years before they had to learn English and now they use it for official business.

The Great Stink of London

It has been a long hot summer... and a stinky one. The British sewer system has not been well thought out. It is a hodgepodge of covered ditches and cesspits located directly under homes. With the cholera epidemic in full swing, well... it is difficult to manage the waste. A lot of it goes into the Thames and the city government is proud of it. Flush toilet sales have reached an all time high because it is believed that expelling waste as quickly as possible away from people and into the Thames is best. Remember that the experts are telling everyone that cholera is transmitted by air and that excreting wastes is cleansing the body. Doctors actually administer medicines that increase one's bowel movement. They also administer large does of mercury to patients. When the tide comes in, the water from the Thames travels miles upstream to the drinking water intake pipes. Experts blame the River for cholera but not because of the water. It's the Stink.... in other words, it is the air that is spreading the cholera epidemic. With infant mortality at 50%, and the stink from the Thames gagging the Parliament they finally engage an engineer to build an entirely new sewer system. [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Yes. When the government finally experienced the smell, they got up off their duffs and did something. The new sewer system construction began in 1859 and saved tens of thousands of lives. The problem with the old system was that it was a storm drain system that would dump the sewage on the shore at low tide and then become trapped near shore as the tide came in. There was no efficient way for the sewage to wash out to sea. In the modern day, some homes are still set up in this manner where the storm drain is connected to the sewer system. A few years ago, Ottawa, Canada experienced floods that not only caused water damage but pushed sewage into the basements of homes through their basement drainage system. Thus the residents not only had water damage but a health hazard as well. [9]

A House Divided... Cannot Stand

Abraham Lincoln is the most popular political person in Illinois who does not hold public office. After his previous run for the Senate he is remembered as a calm and steady fellow, and well liked, so as he returns to Springfield for the Republican convention he is a shoe in for the nomination to run against Senator Stephen Douglas. Douglas has been losing steam after the sweep of the state elections by Republicans and in reaction to his remarks in support of the Dred Scott decision. Douglas does not believe in social equality between whites and blacks. Lincoln believes in equality at the level of working for a wage and paying for one's own bread. On that level we are all equal. At the convention Lincoln addresses the slavery question. He previews his speech for his friends. They say it is too advanced, but Lincoln delivers it anyway.

"We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South."
--Abraham Lincoln, from his acceptance speech for the Senate Republican nomination. [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
His speech was immediately criticized as abolitionist, but it fact, it was not. Lincoln said that he did not intend to abolish slavery by fiat, but he did not support its expansion. Quotes from Lincoln can be tricky because while his goal to maintain the Union never changes, the way in which he goes about making that happen does change. His hero, Henry Clay, was called "The Great Compromiser". Lincoln looked for compromise at first. [12]

In Other News

  • "The Wedding March" becomes popular for weddings. Queen Victoria selects this music to accompany her daughter's wedding ([Click Here]). It comes from the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream which is a comedy. Say no more. [13] [14] [15]
  • In Lourdes, France, Bernadette sees a vision of the Virgin Mary. Interest in the miracle at Lourdes will grow. Bernadette will die young in a convent and attain sainthood in 1933. The 1943 movie "Song of Bernadette" is inspiring. [16] [17]
  • Boss Tweed takes Tammany Hall. This chubby fellow is going to give political corruption and fraud a bad name. Tammany Hall is the Democratic Party political machine in New York City. It will lose a lot of its power in the 1930s after much of its leadership is sent to prison. [18]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1858, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. British Raj - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 23 June 2016. “This system of governance was instituted on 28 June 1858, when, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria (who, in 1876, was proclaimed Empress of India). It lasted until 1947, when the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India (later the Republic of India) and the Dominion of Pakistan (later the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the eastern part of which, still later, became the People's Republic of Bangladesh).”
  2. Alex Shrugged notes: While it might seem far fetched that the British might plot to corrupt someone's soul, remember that this is the same year when a Jewish boy is kidnapped by the Papal Police after being secretly baptized as an infant by his babysitter. He was never returned to his parents. Although I don't believe the British are attempting to corrupt the souls of the Indians of India (at least not as official policy) it is not out of the question.
  3. Mortara seizure case - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 August 2016. “It concerned the Papal States' seizure from a Jewish family in Bologna of one of their children, six-year-old Edgardo Mortara, on the basis of a former servant's testimony that she had administered emergency baptism to the boy when he fell sick as an infant. Mortara grew up as a Catholic under the protection of Pope Pius IX—who refused his parents' desperate pleas for his return—and eventually became a priest. The domestic and international outrage against the pontifical state's actions may have contributed to its downfall amid the unification of Italy.”
  4. Keay, John. India: A History. Atlantic Monthly Pr. ISBN 9780871138002. “Although the offending cartridges were quickly withdrawn, all existing cartridges immediately became suspect. So did other official issues like those of flour and cooking oil. Detected in such an underhand attempt, the British were deemed capable of adulterating anything whereby they might compromise the sepoy's religion and so advance his conversion to Christianity. In Bengal itself a serious mutiny over the cartridges was easily suppressed in February 1857, but as the rumours and the rancour spread upcountry they multiplied and were magnified.” 
  5. East India Company - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 August 2016. “The Company remained in existence in vestigial form, continuing to manage the tea trade on behalf of the British Government (and the supply of Saint Helena) until the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act 1873 came into effect, on 1 January 1874. This Act provided for the formal dissolution of the company on 1 June 1874, after a final dividend payment and the commutation or redemption of its stock.[”
  6. Great Stink - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 14 July 2016. “The Great Stink was an event in central London in July and August 1858 during which the hot weather exacerbated the smell of untreated human waste and industrial effluent that was present on the banks of the River Thames. The problem had been mounting for some years, with an ageing and inadequate sewer system that emptied directly into the Thames. The miasma from the effluent was thought to transmit contagious diseases, and three outbreaks of cholera prior to the Great Stink were blamed on the ongoing problems with the river.”
  7. Carter, W. Hodding. Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization. Atria. ISBN 9780743474092. “England's infant mortality rate rose close to fifty percent. Babies were dying of infected drinking water, perhaps killed by their own parents' waste, since, quite often, drinking supplies taken from the Thames were a stone's throw from a sewage discharge. Fishing, once a thriving industry along the Thames, became a practice of only the desperate. Not a single salmon had been caught for more than three decades and the only thing living in the Thames, besides bacteria, were eels. They were everywhere, and not so coincidentally, they were one of the more popular fish of the period.” 
  8. Shah, Sonia. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond. Sarah Crichton Books. ISBN 9780374708740. “According to miasmatic theory, the flush toilet, or 'water closet,' improved human health by rapidly ridding human habitations of bad smells. People in London started installing them in the late eighteenth century. Because they considered the smells dangerous but the actual excreta harmless, they cared little about where the waste was dumped, so long as it was distant enough to save their noses from the odors. Thus they sent their waste through the sewers into the most convenient dump site, the Thames River, which ran through the city. The more excreta they deposited in the river, the safer they felt.” 
  9. Holmes Makes It Right. minisites.makeitright.ca (2016). Retrieved on 26 August 2016. “EP2031: Flood Suckers After a historic downpour in the City of Toronto, Gina’s basement floods with water from the City’s sewage system. Mike does double-duty as he tries to save this family’s home, as well as the memories stored in an old workshop in the basement.”
  10. Lincoln's House Divided Speech - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 14 July 2016. “The House Divided Speech was an address given by Abraham Lincoln (who would later become President of the United States) on June 16, 1858, at what was then the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, upon accepting the Illinois Republican Party's nomination as that state's United States senator.”
  11. Life and Works of Abraham Lincoln/Volume 4/A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand. en.wikisource.org (1858). Retrieved on 26 August 2016.
  12. Henry Clay - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 August 2016. “Known as 'The Great Compromiser', Clay brokered important agreements during the Nullification Crisis and on the slavery issue. As part of the 'Great Triumvirate' or 'Immortal Trio,' along with his colleagues Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun, he was instrumental in formulating the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, and the Compromise of 1850 to ease sectional tensions. He was viewed as the primary representative of Western interests in this group, and was given the names 'Henry of the West' and 'The Western Star.' As a plantation owner, Clay held slaves during his lifetime, but freed them in his will.”
  13. Wedding March (Mendelssohn) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 14 July 2016. “The first time that Mendelssohn's 'Wedding March' was used at a wedding was when Dorothy Carew wed Tom Daniel at St Peter's Church, Tiverton, England, on 2 June 1847 when it was performed by organist Samuel Reay. However, it did not become popular at weddings until it was selected by Victoria, The Princess Royal for her marriage to Prince Frederick William of Prussia on 25 January 1858. The bride was the daughter of Queen Victoria, who loved Mendelssohn's music and for whom Mendelssohn often played while on his visits to Britain.”
  14. A Midsummer Night's Dream - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 August 2016. “In 1826, Felix Mendelssohn composed a concert overture, inspired by the play, that was first performed in 1827. In 1842, partly because of the fame of the overture, and partly because his employer King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia liked the incidental music that Mendelssohn had written for other plays that had been staged at the palace in German translation, Mendelssohn was commissioned to write incidental music for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that was to be staged in 1843 in Potsdam. He incorporated the existing Overture into the incidental music, which was used in most stage versions through the 19th century. The best known of the pieces from the incidental music is the famous Wedding March, frequently used as a recessional in weddings.”
  15. Mendelssohn's Wedding March. YouTube.com (2016). Retrieved on 26 August 2016. “Mendelssohn's Wedding March”
  16. Bernadette Soubirous - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 August 2016. “Some of the people who interviewed her after her revelation of the visions thought her simple-minded. However, despite being rigorously interviewed by officials of both the Catholic Church and the French government, she stuck consistently to her story.”
  17. The Song of Bernadette (film) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 August 2016.
  18. William M. Tweed - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 14 July 2016. “Tweed was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1852 and the New York County Board of Supervisors in 1858, the year he became the head of the Tammany Hall political machine.”

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