February 2006 - AE Monthly Magazine

The Age of Discovery
The Chinese Columbus: Fact or Fiction?
Did China discover the new world?

A crowd of whale-like vessels, each with tall columns of earthly red sails and complex compartments that lodge hundreds of men, floats calmly on the ocean waves, defying the swelling tides that would have swallowed up lesser creatures.  A large, broad faced mariner, dressed in a sliver dragon robe and wrapped in a black cloak, stands firmly atop the nearest ship, his eyes gazing at the seagulls disappearing on the horizon.

As a part of the 600th anniversary celebration, the Singapore Tourism Board invited Gavin Menzies, author of the New York Times bestseller 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, to open an exhibition and hold discussions about his book.  In his controversial book, Menzies claims that, prior to Columbus and Magellan, Zheng He's men already circumnavigated the globe, discovered America, and set up colonies in areas such as Australia, the Caribbean Sea, and Massachusetts.  [Read More]

Article written by Poirot

Political and Social History
Henry Clay: American Political Genius
Frederick II
On April 12, 1777, Henry Clay was born in Hanover County, Virginia as the seventh son to John and Elizabeth Clay. His father was a Baptist Preacher and a tobacco planter whom helped out in the effort to gain religious freedom from the Church of England. During the American Revolution, John Clay would die with another sixty mounted militia defending the Hanover Court House against Banastrae Tarleton's 500 dragoons. Tarleton was notorious for such raids throughout the American Revolution, as he would later do many of these raids in Carolina before he was terribly beaten at the Battle of Cowpens. After the raid, some dragoons even thrust their swords into the grave of John Clay because they thought that it held treasure. They would stop only because of the appeals of Elizabeth Clay. Henry Clay witnessed these events when he was only four years old. Elizabeth would not stay a widow for much longer as she would marry Henry Watkins, a twenty-six-year-old planter and captain of the militia, whom was her sister's brother-in-law. [Read More]

Article Written by Emp. Barbarossa

The Aristocracy of Labor
In their classic History of Trade Unionism of 1894, Sidney and Beatrice Webb came to the conclusion that no institution that could be considered a trade union could be discovered in England prior to the beginning of the eighteenth century: they therefore began their history at that point.

Given their definition of trade union – ‘a continuous association of wage-earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment' – which rules out temporary ‘combinations' and also associations of those who earned their living other than through wages, it was probably a reasonable decision. However, to fully understand the way that the trade union movement developed in the twentieth century in the UK, in particular that section of it that was in no way Marxist and in many ways not even egalitarian, rather more needs to be taken into consideration. [Read More]

Article Written by Graham Cleverley (gcle2003)

Japan's Bridge to China: The Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902
As the twentieth century dawned, the European maritime powers had largely carved up the Eastern Hemisphere into colonies or spheres of influence.  In the Far East, China, in the trade with its huge population, was looked upon as a prize valued by British and other European commercial interests.  It was no less a prize for an eastward expanding Russia, France's recent ally, and Britain's most persistent adversary in Asia.  The Empire of Japan, such as it was, seemed not a factor in this European Great Power game.  True, Japan had defeated China in their war of 1894-95, and had secured the Ryukyu Islands and Formosa.  True also, she had participated in quelling the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 (the only non-Western participant).  Important indemnities and trade concessions had come of these events, as had recognition of Japanese interests in "Corea."  Japan was looked upon as distant and exotic, and not as a great power, but her six modern battleships, engineered, built and armed in British yards, constituted the strongest fleet in the Far East in 1901. [Read More]

Article Written by M. P. Benedict

Military History
The Indian Mutiny "A Nationalist Relolt?"
The Indian mutiny, or the sepoy rebellion, began within Indian troops near Delhi in 1857 and quicjkly spread to other parts of the country. Today it is portrayed by many as a 'nationalist' uprising against British rule in India, even though prior to British rule India had not been a single nation. After a near run struggle, the British managed to subdue the mutiny, however it had a lasting impact on both British and Indian attitudes. [Read More]

Article Written by Wilpuri
The First Scottish War of Independence

The First War of Scottish Independence started in 1296 by the English invasion of Scotland. It would end as most wars do with a treaty. The reasons for the war started much earlier than that though. During the Gaelic invasions of the 5th Century C.E. from Ireland, the native Picts of Scotland were conquered. These warlike people, though not unlike the native Picts, would have their clans commit border raids in England during the 13th Century. England could use this as a fact to justify an invasion, but that would just not be the case. The invasion would happen based on the fights over who would take the Scottish throne after King Alexander III died. [Read More]

Article Written by Emperor Barbarossa

Chinese Letters in Japan, Korea and Vietnam: Past, Present & Future

Chinese influence is found in the written languages of many east and south east Asian countries.  Several Asian languages have been written with a form of Chinese characters, such as Khitan, Miao, Nakhi (Geba), Tangut, Zhuang, Jurchen, Yi, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese. Of these tongues only the Japanese still uses a sizeable number of Chinese characters. In modern Vietnam and North Korea Chinese characters while still figuring prominently in historical documents and classical literature have become virtually extinct. In South Korea language policy has swung back and forth since 1945 but still displays an unmistakable trend toward the “de-sinification” of the Korean language. [Read More]

Article written by Flyingzone

The Chuvash & Bashkir Peoples

Sure, there are Russian Orthodox Churches and street signs in the Russian language - but the omnipresent minarets of the Kul Sharif mosque are never out of sight and the people of this city will typically welcome you with the ancient Tatar phrase ra'khim itegez. While the Volga and Kazanka rivers anchor the city firmly within Russia and through Russia to Europe, five times a day the 1000-year-old city's Muslims bow in prayer towards Central Asia, to Mecca. Ra'khim itegez to Kazan, one of the most diverse cities on the face of the planet - home to Tatars, Tatarstanli, Germans, Assurs, Jews, Ukranians, Belarussians, Poles, Azeris, Russians, and Volgans. The Volgans are comprised of four distinct ethnic groups, two of which share similarities and differences that reflect the overall beauty and uniqueness of Kazan as a whole - the Chuvash and the Bashkirs. [Read More]

Article written by Djamila Nesuvic (Mila)

Religion History
Jan Hus
Jan Hus was a Bohemian priest and martyr born in Husenitz (75 kilometers from Prague) in 1369. At a very early age, he went to the Prague where he made a living singing and serving at the churches. In 1393, he received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Prague and a master's degree three years later. He was ordained as a priest in 1400, and was a rector at the University of Prague from 1402 to 1403. He would also become a preacher at a newly erected Bethlehem Chapel. When Hus did give his sermon, he did not say it in the traditional Latin, but in Czech. Hus would later become very influenced by John Wycliffe's writings. John Wycliffe was an English theologian who was a very early critic of the corruption of the Catholic Church, and was the first man to translate the Bible into English. [Read More]

Article Written by Emperor Barbarossa

St. Jerome
There is not much in the village of Grahovopolje that testifies to the tremendous impact one of its beloved sons had on the Roman Catholic Church and, though it, the world. The village is little more than a few homes tucked into the folds of the western edge of the Dinaric Alps, it's most endearing feature the road leading back to the towns of central Bosnia and Herzegovina. This village, however, has a story of such significance to tell that many major cities are less than its equal.

In the middle of the fourth century, a little boy was born in the village - at the time known as Stridon. The settlement was a trading post on the border between the Roman provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia and the little boy was none other than Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus. Like many rural Bosnian children, Eusebius dreamed of a life away from the peaceful villages of the Balkans and longed for an existence of significance in one of the Empire's major cities, perhaps even Rome. [Read More]

Article written by Djamila Nesuvic (Mila)

Vintage Vault
A new monthly column by Paul giving the past a voice of it's own. Vintage Vault reprints newspaper columns from period publications. The first instalment comes from Stars and Stripes Newspaper, the trade newspaper of the United States forces. A previous newspaper that lasted only one issue during the American Civil War was the first to bare the name. The Great War version ran from 1918-19 and was the forerunner of Stars and Stripes Magazine which began in 1942. Stars and Stripes

Only 33 Venereal Cases in Week - Whole A.E.F. Rate Down

Thirty-three venereal cases among 233,000 men.
This report by the Army of Occupation for the week of December 25 marks a new low record in disease incidence in the history of the American Army, according to the chief surgeon’s office. It represents a yearly rate of 7 cases per thousand men. For the whole A.E.F., the rate has been cut down to 34 cases per 1,000 men a year. The Army’s before-the-war rate was 80 - 90 cases per 1,000 men, which itself, is far below the civilian rate.


Establishment of venereal disease segregation camps at Le Mans, St. Aignan, St. Nazaire, Nantes and Bordeaux, embarkation centres, mean that no soldier will be returned to the United States while capable of spreading infection, the Chief Surgeon says. Men found diseased will be kept in Quarantine at the embarkation points until they have been restored to health.

Intensive medical treatment and a program of daily working parties are features of the quarantine system. The quarantine is expected to average more than 40 days per man. All troops marked for embarkation for the States will undergo a series of rigid inspections.


Community News
New moderators appointed!
The staff of All Empires welcomed six new members as new moderators for the forum: Heraclius, Decebal, Flyingzone, Genghis, TheDiplomat (returning moderator), and Poirot.
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February Edition
Editors: Paul, Invictus
Contributing Writers: Djamila Nesuvic, Flyingzone, M. P. Benedict, Poirot, Emperor Barbarossa, Wilpuri