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Fifth War of Religion, 1575-76
The Fifth War of Religion (1575-76) emerged from a period of continued warfare after the official end of the Fourth War, and although it was ended by one of the more generous peace treaties was quickly followed by the Sixth War (1576-77)
The Fourth War of Religion was officially ended by the Edict of Pacification issued at Boulogne in July 1573, but fighting continued across large parts of France, and in particular along the Rhône when the Huguenot leader Montbrun was still active. At La Rochelle it was the Court that made the first move, making an unsuccessful attempt to put a Royal garrison into the city despite having agreed not to.
There were now three main factions in France - the Huguenots who were generally fighting for their right to worship; the ardent Catholics (led by the Guise family) whose aim was to eliminate the Protestants and a middle-group, the 'malcontents' or 'Politiques', a group of more moderate Catholics who were more shocked by the extremes of the Catholic grouping (most notably the St. Bartholomew's Eve Massacre of 1572). Amongst the more important members of this grouping were a number of members of the Montmorency family (including Marshal Damville Montmorency, the second brother), fierce rivals of the Guise family. The 'Politiques' would soon be led by Charles IX's youngest brother, the Duke of Alençon.
The situation was not helped by concerns about the king and his brothers. Charles IX was clearly unwell, and was widely expected to die during 1573, although he recovered and survived into the following year. His brother Henry of Anjou had been elected King of Poland, and departed for his new kingdom at the start of 1574. That left the youngest brother, Alençon, generally seen as a rather unimpressive figure, both physically and intellectually. Henry was the favourite of their mother Catherine de Medici. This partly explains the eagerness with which Catherine attempted to negotiate a marriage between Alençon and Elizabeth I of England, a move that would have removed a potential rival to Henry.
Despite these marriage negotiations Alençon was a virtual prisoner at the court, where Henry of Navarre and the Prince of Condé were also held, having been forced to give up their Protestant faith after the St. Bartholomew's Eve Massacre.
The first major outbreak of fighting came early in 1574. The Huguenots and the Politiques agreed to attempt an uprising on 10 March. Alençon and Navarre were to escape from the court at St. Germain and flee to Sedan, but the plot was betrayed by Alençon. The court moved to Paris and then Vincennes. A second escape attempt also failed, and Alençon revealed the names of many of his supporters. The Prince of Condé did managed to make his escape during this disturbance and moved to Strasbourg, from where he attempted to gain support for his fellow Huguenots within France.
At about the same time as the failure of the affair of St. Germain the Huguenots attempted to seize control of Normandy. St. Lo was already in their hands when Count Montgomery returned from England and occupied Carentan. On this occasion the Court acted promptly, sending an army of 5,000 men into Normandy. Montgomery was captured at Domfront and executed on 26 June 1574.
On 30 May 1574 Charles IX finally died. Catherine de Medici immediately made herself the regent for Henry of Anjou, and messengers were sent to summon him from Poland. Henry made a rapid exit from his old kingdom, but his journey home slowed down dramatically when he reached Italy, and he didn't arrive in France until September, reaching Lyons on 6 September.
The fighting in the south continued while Henry made his way back to France. In June the small town of Livron was besieged for the first time, but its Huguenot garrison fought off the Catholic attack. The longer siege of Lusignan began in September and would drag on into the following year.
Everything depended on Henry's attitude after his return to France, and it was soon clear that he intended to continue the persecution of the Huguenots. In Letters Patent of 10 September he announced a pardon for anyone who had born arms against the king or who had left the country without permission as long as they laid down their arms and returned home. Religion was not mentioned in these letters, but was the main subject in Letters Patent issued by Henry on 13 October in which he offered freedom of conscience (Huguenots would not be forced to worship in Catholic churches) but would not be free to worship in their own way. At the same time he prepared to raise Swiss and German mercenaries, and the fighting continued, with the small town of Le Pouzin falling after a siege that lasted from 5-15 October.
The Huguenots responded by forming a semi-independent state in the south of France. Henry, Prince of Condé was appointed as their governor-general and protector while Marshal Damville was recognised as governor and protector in Languedoc and commander of the armies. This agreement was formalised in a meeting of the States of Languedoc which began on 6 November.
Although there had been fighting throughout much of 1574 the Fifth War of Religion is generally considered to have started in 1575. The year started with Henry making his escape from the south of France, leaving Avignon in January. On his way north he took part in the second unsuccessful siege of Livron, before reaching Rheims, where he was crowned on 13 February.
Henry's coronation was followed by one last attempt to avoid war. Henry asked a delegation of Huguenots to come to Paris to present their demands, and allowed Damville and the Protestants confer with Condé at Basle. On 11 April the delegation presented the dramatic Huguenot demands. These called for complete freedom of religion, the right to use common cemeteries and schools, to hold synods, to build their own churches, and to collect tithes. These sweeping demands were to much for Henry, but he did respond on 23 April with a counter-offer in which sixteen cities would be held by the Huguenots, court cases involving them would be seen in front of a selected bench of twenty judges and the Huguenots would have the right to challenge the appointment of four judges in each parliament. On the next day the terms were extended to allow the Huguenots to live anywhere in the kingdom and to keep all of the places in their hands apart from Montpellier, Castres, Aigues-mortes and Beaucaire. These terms were very similar to the ones that had ended the first four Wars of Religion, and the Huguenot delegates agreed to take them back to their leaders. Despite these concesions the gap between the King and the Huguenots was too wide to be bridged at this point, and negotiations were broken off.
The Fifth War of Religion is generally seen as beginning after the failure of these negotiations. The Huguenots took a number of towns in Lyonnais during the summer, while in Germany Condé came to an agreement with Duke John Casimir to raise an army. Casimir agreed to provide 2,000 reiters in his own name and 6,000 in Condé's name, as well as 8,000 Swiss foot soldiers. In return the Huguenots agreed that Damville would bring 12,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry from Languedoc.
On 13 September the Huguenots were given a dramatic boost when Alençon escaped from the court to Dreux. Once there he repeated Damville's demands from the spring and began to gather a small army around himself. Alençon was now heir to the throne, and his high rank encouraged the Huguenots to appoint him their leader.
In early October part of Casimir's army, under Damville's younger brother Thoré attempted to join up with Damville, but was intercepted and defeated by Henry of Guise at Dormans (10 October 1575) in the only major battle of the war. Thoré and a number of his followers escaped from the scene, and eventually joined up with Alençon well to the south-west of Paris.
Meanwhile Catherine de Medici was attempting to come to terms with her son Alençon. On 21 November they agreed the Truce of Champigny. Under the terms of this truce Alençon would have been given five security towns and Condé one, the German troops would have been paid and Henry of Navarre released. Condé and Casimir refused to accept these terms, while two of the security towns refused to admit Alençon's men, and the agreement collapsed.
By the end of the year Casimir's army was over 20,000 strong (around 10,000 cavalry, 6,000 Swiss infantry, 2,000 lansquenets and 3,000 French arquebusiers for a total of 21,000, although some sources give Casimir 25,000 men).
On 9 January 1576 this army crossed the Meuse and began a march across France that was marked by burning and looting. The Abbey of Citeaux, the original home of the Cistercians, was looted, as was Nuits. Henry III raised two armies, taking command of one himself while the Duke of Mayenne (brother of Henry of Guise) commanded the other, but the two Royal armies were only able to shadow the Germans as they advanced. On 5 February Henry of Navarre took advantage of the confusion to escape from the court. Once in safety he renounced his conversion to Catholicism and resumed Protestant worship. He then returned to his home in the south-west and began to raise an army.
By the spring the Germans had united with Alençon, giving the Huguenots an army of 30,000 men. Henry III was running out of money, and was finally forced into genuine peace negotiations.
The negotiations eventually produced the Edict of Beaulieu (6 May), in which the Huguenots were granted religious freedom across all of France (apart from Paris, the Court and the lands of any nobleman who objected). The Huguenot leaders and Alençon all received generous rewards - in the case of Alençon so generous that the edict became known as the 'Peace of Monsieur'.
The Edict of Bealieu was very unpopular amongst a large part of Catholic opinion. The people of Paris refused to celebrate the news. More seriously Henry, duke of Guise, began to form the Holy or Catholic League, which with the support of Philip II of Spain would eventually turn the two-sided Wars of Religion into much more complex three-sided Civil Wars, with the king often the weakest of the three. The peace itself didn't last for long, and the Sixth War of Religion broke out before the end of the year.
The issues raised in the historic conflict between Charles I, resting his claim to govern Britain on the divine right of kings, and Parliament - representing, however imperfectly, a demand for the wider sharing of power - concerned the use and abuse of state power, the right of the governed to a say in their government, and the nature of political freedom.
They found spokesmen in John Lilburn, Richard Overton, William Wallwyn, Gerard Winstanley and others.
The Levellers grew out of this conflict. They represented the aspirations of working people who suffered under the persecution of kings, landowners and the priestly class, and they spoke for those who experienced the hardships of poverty and deprivation. They developed and campaigned, first with Cromwell and then against him, for a political and constitutional settlement of the civil war which would embody principles of political freedom, anticipating by a century and a half the ideas of the American and French revolutions.
Athenian Religion: A History
This substantial contribution to the study of Athenian religion was originally intended, Parker tells us (9), “as a brief historical introduction to a thematic study of Athenian religious practices and attitudes.” Given Parker’s attention to detail, his concern to summarize old and new theory on a multitude of social, religious, archaeological, and historical points, his interest in setting out almost each option for each argument, and his very thorough coverage of a very large bibliography, it could not remain brief. Nor did it. The words of text in the nearly 350 tightly packed pages are closely matched in number, it would appear, by the words in the footnotes. It is historical in the sense that it traces, or attempts to trace, or records others’ attempts to trace the origins and new developments in Athenian religious institutions (including cults, sites, festivals, and religious authorities) and links, or describes attempts to link religious phenomena with historical events and persons from the Mycenaean period down to—well, down to “after the death of Alexander.” More on the endpoint of this history of Athenian religion later. The orientation is strongly political and sociological, and those more interested in the ethical, ritual, and other aspects of Greek religion will await eagerly Part 2, the thematic study of practices and attitudes.
In the Introduction (Chapter 1) Parker states clearly (in fact, a distinguishing feature of this book is that he states everything concisely and clearly) his adherence, for this book, to the Durkheimian scheme of concentrating on the social function of religion, on the “worshipping groups,” and on fitting his account “of rites and gods upon the underlying social framework” (3). He stresses, rightly, the value of focusing on one city, especially when that city is as well known (comparatively) as Athens, and of linking developments in religion to their historical context. He introduces what becomes a persistent concern of the book, the not wholly valid, but not completely invalid distinction usually made between “private” and “public” in discussions of Greek religion. All “private” cults—even domestic cults in his argument—have some greater or lesser degree of state involvement or oversight, and they should not be imagined too differently from “public” cults.
In Chapter 2 (“Out of the Dark Ages”) Parker treats the very murky beginnings of Athenian religion, from the Mycenaean period to ca. 700 B.C. This involves him in a host of historical and archaeological questions, including four possibilities for the date and nature of “Theseus'”synoecism, three current theories about the political structure of Dark Age society in Attica, the recent controversies about the origins of the “polis,” and the uncertainties of the nature of the early tribes and gene. He lays out the evidence and the issues for each meticulously, but with appropriate agnosticism draws few conclusions, and even these very circumspectly. The following is a not atypical result of such discussions:
If there was a king or a paramount chief in Attica before the synoecism (to assume for the moment that one occurred), there was also some measure of centralized authority. But even if there was not, it is entirely possible that men from all Attica engaged in some activity in common, provided, of course, that they had some sense of a shared cultural or ethnic identity.
More strictly on the religious side, Parker gives the evidence for Zeus on Hymettos and Parnes, Artemis at Mounichia and (“perhaps”) at Brauron, and for the cult house near the Academy, all from the tenth to ninth centuries. By 700 B.C. we have evidence, however meager it might be, also for cults on the Acropolis, at Eleusis, Sounion, and Rhamnus. At p. 26 he offers a “conjectural restoration” of the fragments of the religious evidence for Athens in 700, bringing together the bits and pieces previously treated. The central point is that, now, “at the centre of public cult was the ‘king'” (27). But having learned for many pages the multitude of uncertainties that involve “the centre,” “public,” and “the king,” we wonder, as we often do in this book, what we do know.
In Chapter 3 (“Mountain Peaks and Tombs of Heroes”) we survey the eleven known Attic mountain and hill top sanctuaries whose “boom time” was the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. The deity, Zeus when named, is usually thought a “rain god,” but there are slight indications of other activity, and, to accommodate these, Parker offers the possibility that mountain peak deities may have met needs of every kind” and “were in fact a principal context of religious activity” (33). Heroes appear first, if in fact these are true hero cults, with the eighth and seventh century offerings at the tholos tombs at Menidi and Thorikos, the heroon in the Academy (if it is that), and with deposits in the Agora. Four theories (with their variants) are offered on why heroes become prominent just now, but none suffices entirely. Heroes, Parker properly observes, are in fact “of a spectacular diversity,” and these theories “tend to give primacy to a single type” (38).
Chapter 4 is devoted to “Solon’s Calendar” (if it is really his!), “one of the great landmarks in the history of Greek religion” (43). Parker reconstructs, as best one can, what little can be known of it from the late fifth century evidence about Nicomachos’ work on the sacred calendar. The sacrifices on the kyrbeis were probably Solonian, the others, “from the stelai,” being later additions. For the ἐκ τῶν μὴ ῤητῇ rubrics he suggests as a possibility “movable feasts” which by the classical period were given assigned days. He offers four possible reasons why Solon limited ostentation at funerals, none of which can be “eliminated” (50). He describes, rather harshly, the “totalitarian side of the city” (50) in these attempts at funerary legislation. In a concluding section on the use (and non-use) of writing on religious matters, Parker speaks somewhat lyrically of the purpose of Solon’s calendar, moving from it being a vehicle for recording the deities, dates, and expenses of sacrifices to a document that, “in a sense,” defines “the pantheon of the city” (53), to a use of writing that records publicly the city’s “commitment, financial and so moral, to the cult of particular gods” (54).
Chapter 5, “Archaic Priesthood: The Problem of the Gene,” might more accurately have been subtitled “The Problems of the Gene,” for the “problems” are legion. For Athenian religious history the critical point is that gennetai held most, and all early, priesthoods of state cult from earliest times right through the Hellenistic period. How they got this power—and this chapter is very much about “power” and “authority” in Athenian society—is a historical question, but what this power meant in practice raises the issue of the relationship of “private” and “public” since, at least in the classical period, state cults were in most ways public but with the gene still controlling the priesthoods. But first we need to know what these gene were in early times, and that question comes to dominate the chapter. They are, of course, best known from the fourth century, and Parker reasonably chooses to begin there. Then he attempts to move backwards in time to the archaic period. As usual, when evidence begins to fail, theory abounds, and Parker summarizes and criticizes current theories on the nature of the early gene, especially that distinguishing between oikoi and gene. In the end Parker comes, as he often does, back to the “orthodox” view, tentatively stated, that “we have no absolute reason to deny that a closed Eupatrid order once existed” (65), that gennetai, and only gennetai, held public priesthoods in the archaic period, and that gene were were largely responsible for the state festivals of the time. Here it would have been helpful for the author to restate his strong view (24) that, in the dialogue between “private” and “public,” the cults which we eventually see as major state cults were even in the earliest times primarily “public” and their gennetai priests were merely a type of magistrate or functionary.
In Chapter 6 (“The Sixth Century: New Splendours”) Peisistratos and his sons, who controlled Athens in varying degrees from 561 to 510, are the focus, and the persistent question for each religious datum of the period is whether, or to what extent, it can be associated with the Peisistratidai. The building of the Telesterion at Eleusis can be, but not necessarily an expansion of the cult. The temple of Zeus Olympios, of course, must be, but not necessarily a development of the Olympieia. Serious questions are raised about linking, even in time, with the Peisistratids each of the following: development of the Agora the Panathenaia the foundation or expansion of the City Dionysia the development of Theseus’ myth cycle various sanctuaries and temples, including those of Apollo Pythios, of Apollo Patroos and of Zeus in the Agora, and of a stone temple of Athena on Acropolis. One is left with, as assuredly Peisistratid, the Telesterion, the Olympieion, the Altar of Athena Nike, the altar in the Pythion, the Altar of the Twelve Gods, the temple at Brauron, and the partial purification of Delos. In more general terms, it is distinctive of the Peisistratid period (in Parker’s careful formulation—and such careful formulations are a very valuable element of the book) not “that public religion was in some sense made more open to all” (75). Rather, “festivals were opened up in the sense, perhaps, that elite practices were given a more popular setting, which may have encouraged broader participation” (76). On the important question of whether the new, more spectacular festivals were still “religious,” Parker properly says that “putting on a show in a way ‘worthy of a god’ was an act of piety” (79) (though neither here nor elsewhere does he define what “piety” is—that, no doubt, will be featured in Part 2), and that “the distinction between ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ aspects of festivals … was one not drawn by the Greeks” (80). After brief discussions of Peisistratid ties to herms, to Hermes and Theseus, oracles, and Delos, Parker closes this chapter with a 12 page “Annexe” on the sixth-century Panathenaia, City Dionysia, Thargelia, Olympieia, Eleusinia, Heracleia at Marathon, Anakeia, and Eleusinian Mysteries.
Chapter 7 (“Before and After Clisthenes”) opens with the strong claim that “Attic religion in its familiar shape is a creation of Clisthenes no less than is the democracy” (102). If one conceives of religion as primarily or solely a social/political phenomenon, then of course the Cleisthenic social and political reforms might justify this claim. Parker lays out in detail the activities of the tribes, the phratries, the gene, the citizen orgeones, and the multi-deme groups such as the Marathonian Tetrapolis, in both immediately post- and pre-Cleisthenic times (in that order). Parker’s own discussions reveal how very much of the religious substructure was maintained, despite the reshuffling of the Athenian population into the ten tribes. In a sense a new intermediate layer (ten tribal) of religious activities and in some cases an administrative reorganization of parts of major festivals resulted, but the primary religious structures (families—little treated in this book—phratries, gene, demes, priesthoods, etc.) were little changed. Even now, abandoned political structures, like the four Ionian tribes, persisted in places, like geometric decorations on red figured pots, and one wonders if Cleisthenes’ reforms really did shape all that much classical Athenian religion, in either structure or content. Against Parker (although he is well aware of the “conservative” position and argues against it), one might even claim that the major new cultic innovation, the ten eponymous heroes, was of relatively modest importance religiously, the cult of each hero, perhaps, now of less importance to its devotees (apart from its priestly genos, if it had one) than it had been before it was brought into the government bureaucracy and assigned to 1/10 of the citizens. Hence the tribes and heroes later could be again reshuffled, and Macedonian benefactors could be made into such eponymous heroes.
With Chapter 8 (“The Fifth Century: Democracy and Empire”) the theme of changing religious authority and power reaches its conclusion. “Religious authority now lay with the council and assembly” (124), with the Demos. Henceforth no new priesthood was given to a genos, but of course there were very few new priesthoods in the fifth century (or later) to be allotted democratically—those of Athena Nike and Bendis being the most notable. The now compulsory festival liturgies “transformed generosity, for the rich, into an obligation” and were the “institutionalization of old patronal practices” (128). Parker sees in the financial audits and religious committees the reduction of traditional priesthoods into minor magistracies—perhaps a bit too strongly. After describing the uncertain history of changing practices of burying the war dead—and what it may have meant socially, Parker, following Loraux, outlines the “patriotic mythology” in the funeral orations, with the themes (much more familiar from the fourth century), of autochthony, grain for all the world from Eleusinian Demeter, valor in defense of piety (cf. E. Heracleidai and Suppliants), and the Persian Wars. Political ideology is also apparent in the grand temples, “I exist, and it was power that built me” (141). In the realm of international power politics lies Athens’ demand that the subject states send victims and panoplies for the Greater Panathenaia, and the later request to its subjects for first-fruits for Eleusis. The currently popular theory that Athens placed cults in border or foreign lands as markers or claims (e.g. Amphiaraos at Oropos) is set out (see also pp. 25-26), but its significant problems are noted. Delos is reasonably held forth here as the prime example of Athens’ imperial use of religion.
Chapter 9 (“The Fifth Century: New Gods”) reminds us, with its 47 pages on new and “foreign” gods (vs. the 30 pages of Chapter 8 on other fifth-century matters) how, despite occasional caveats, Parker concentrates on change over continuity. This is in part, no doubt, because change is of greater interest to the historian, but also because evidence is now more abundant and we have more of it for the new than for the old, familiar deities. The innovations, in isolation, may seem important (and, as in the case of Asclepios, may well turn out so to be), but they do need also to be weighed on the scale of the underlying continuity. In any case, Parker sees some “minor” cults raised to new prominence, some because of association with historical events (Heracles at Marathon, Artemis Agrotera, Ajax on Salamis), some with new temples (Poseidon at Sounion, Nemesis at Rhamnous, Ares at Acharnai—if, in fact, there was a temple there—Hephaistos in the Agora). Themistocles founds a cult of Artemis Aristoboule, and Eukleia, Pheme, and even the mythological Boreas appear, all again associated with military victory. A few deities are adopted from other Greek states, Zeus Kenaios of Euboea, Poseidon of Kalaureia, Athena Itoneia of Thessaly—all regions that wax large in the pages of Thucydides, but all deities of minimal significance in the pantheon of Athens. In discussing “new gods” in the Greek context, we commonly and casually speak of “foreign” gods, and Parker helpfully points out that this is largely a modern concept, and “many complications have to be recognized” (159). Truly “foreign” deities from the east might early (Aphrodite) or late (Magna Mater) be largely or completely Hellenized, and other “foreign” deities, like Asclepios, were in no real sense foreign. For Parker, the crucial distinction is “not between foreign and native but between established and non-established cults” (163). To me, the more critical distinction is whether, in Athens, the deity was being worshipped by Athenians or non-Athenians. Those being worshipped by non-Athenians would truly be “foreign.” In any case, Parker gives full and good treatment to the “new” fifth-century cults of Pan, Theseus, Bendis, and Asclepios (but it is highly unlikely that Asclepios’ patron Telemachos was himself an Epidaurian)—all imports that were widely accepted and in some cases modified. To the chapter is appended an “Annexe” of further imports, including the exceptionally problematic Mother of the Gods and the Corybantes, Adonis, Sabazios, Adrasteia, Ammon, and Aphrodite Ourania. Despite this seemingly long list of “new gods,” on p. 196 Parker makes the statement, correct and very important for the history of Athenian religion, that “the common supposition that the last quarter of the fifth century saw a sudden outburst of interest in barbarian gods is simply false.”
The question mark in the title of Chapter 10 (“The Trial of Socrates: And a Religious Crisis?”) is important and welcome. Parker reviews and reweighs the religious and political issues of Socrates’ trial from the familiar sources, with special attention to the Clouds and the interrelated issues of atheism, immorality, and the Sophists. Was there a religious crisis in the late fifth century? “In the sense that traditional religion was seriously undermined, certainly not” (210)—surely the correct answer in view of what we know of religion in the fourth century and later. But, in terms of intellectual if not religious history, now “speculative thought was perceived by some as a threat” (210) and the prosecutions of scientists and philosophers (if they really did occur) begin in the fifth century because by then “they were common, and influential, enough to be felt as a threat” (212).
“Financial difficulties, a thoroughly conservative ‘modernization'” (220) characterize “The Fourth Century” of Chapter 11, a “modernization” in which “no fundamental structure or principle was affected” (221). Parker takes up again Nicomachos’ very late fifth century revision of the sacrificial calendar, looking now forward and not backward. He then offers a much needed political / religious historical account of Athenian dealings with Delos, with some special attention to Hyperides’ fragmentary Deliakos. He then devotes 16 more pages to new deities of the time, mostly the personified abstractions Demokratia, Eirene, and Agathe Tyche. He asks (the author asks many questions in this book, usually on points for which he will offer no, or no simple answer), whether the worship of these personifications represents “in any way a new phenomenon, as has often been supposed” (235). The answer is no, and yes. Abstractions are common in archaic (and, I would add, poetic) thought, but now in the 330’s “were claiming a substantial share of the public ritual budget” (236), but then again figures such as Demokratia are “givers of blessings” much like traditional gods. Some new (or, better, newly attested) Olympians also appear, e.g. Hermes Hegemonios, Aphrodite Euploia. Zeus Soter and Zeus Philios receive new prominence. Parker concludes this chapter with a detailed study of the religious activities of Lycurgus, that exceptionally important post-Chaeroneian Athenian statesman. He has, as I do (and will argue in a forthcoming book on Religion in Hellenistic Athens), a positive view of Lycurgus’ many contributions to the religious aspects of Athenian life, a view espoused first by F.W. Mitchel against the long prevailing hostility of W.S. Ferguson.
The title of the final chapter (12), “Beyond the Death of Alexander,” reflects Parker’s discomfiture at having to find a suitable date at which to end his historical introduction to Athenian religion. He recognizes that the death of Alexander, less than decade after Lycurgus’ rejuvenation of Athenian religion and sixteen years before the Athenian reaffirmation of Lycurgan reforms in the Stratocles’ decree will not suit. In my book I will argue for the sack of Sulla in 86, an event followed by two generations of desperate circumstances and then a revival, in an antiquarian spirit, of many old traditions. Parker chooses the middle of the third century, largely because from that time on our evidence becomes almost solely epigraphical. Quite remarkably, perhaps whimsically (?), he, a historian of Athenian religion, ultimately decides that the critical date is the death, in the late 260’s, of another historian of Athenian religion, Philochoros. I may think that he kills off Athenian traditional religion prematurely, but I strongly agree with his general approach to and characterizations of religion in the early Hellenistic period. He details, as a historian should, the changes but avoids facile and usually misleading degradation of them. In the Athenian context the notorious hymn to Demetrios of Phaleron is “quite atypical” (262), even of this period. In terms of “ruler cult,” “saviour kings could be assimilated to saviour gods precisely because saviour gods still had power” (263). He discusses the gradual disappearance (at least from our record) of some religious centers such as the deme and phratry. Here he might have mentioned Philip’s ravaging of the rural sanctuaries in 200 B.C. which must have contributed significantly to the decline or have been the fatal blow. He rightly notes that the foreign cult associations attested for the early third century “do not indicate a revolution” (266), a revolution much touted in the handbooks. Public funds for public religion are now being regularly replaced, or better, supplemented by private wealth. Many major festivals disappear from the record, but other new ones, e.g. the Theseia and Ptolemaia, take their place, and these offer even more opportunity for the public (or at least the rich public) to participate. Some new festivals, like the Delphic Soteria, are linked closely to recent historical events, but this is not new: “the novelty here is simply the explicitness with which the festival’s commemorative function is recognized” (274). Here and elsewhere Parker stresses rightly how commonly festivals throughout Greek religious history were founded as, essentially, war thank offerings and memorials.
The text is followed by four appendices. The first is a brief appendix on the “Rattle Shakers” depicted on late Geometric vases. The second, “The Gene: A Checklist,” is a major contribution, providing (in 43 pages) discussion and all the evidence on religious affairs for A) forty-seven “Certain and Probable Gene” and B) thirty-three “Uncertain and Spurious Gene.” Chapter 5 and Appendix 2, together, can easily be thought of as a separate monograph, a welcome parallel to E. Kearn’s valuable discussion and catalogue of Athenian heroes in BICS Supplement 57 (1987). Appendix 3 treats eight “local” religious associations, most being, like the Marathonian Tetrapolis, made up of two or more demes. Appendix 4 (“Private Religious Associations”) offers a more general discussion, set out chronologically, of the nature of groups whose members were called, variously, orgeones, thiasotai, and eranistai. Included among them are the Dipoliastai, Paianistai, Sabaziastai, dining club members such as the Noumeniastai and the notorious Kakodaimonistai, and the Eikadeis, and various other citizen, non-citizen, and mixed groups of the Hellenistic period.
It must be remembered that this is the first book (or, we hope, set of books) that undertakes a comprehensive history of Athenian religion. Only those who have seriously contemplated such a project will be aware not only of its magnitude but also of the even more daunting structural difficulties involved. Athenian History (Part I) lays a solid and important foundation, and my survey of its contents, eclectic and necessarily superficial, gives little indication of the wealth of evidence and discussion to be found there. This is a book for scholars, not for students, for those who are more comfortable with questions than answers. Scarcely anything that was considered a “fact” about Athenian religious cults, festivals, officials, institutions, or chronology twenty years ago escapes unscathed.
New evidence, historical Quellenforschung, shifting archaeological and artistic dating, and more critical and historical attitudes touch them all. Parker lays out all this material and carefully and thoughtfully picks his way through it. A typical discussion will ask a question, introduce the evidence, flirt with one, two, or more modern theories, gently find reason to disagree with but not completely reject most of them, and then, tentatively, reassert or more precisely state the traditional view. Parker, unlike so many writing on matters of “Greek religion” these days, presents his arguments, as it were, linearly, treating hypotheses one by one on ground level, and not, vertically, piling untested hypotheses into an airy castle. His conclusions are, for the most part, tentative, very carefully and precisely stated, and modest in spirit, certainly not radical, but this gives greater credence to important conclusions which he does state with some confidence on, among many other matters, the origins of cults and festivals often as war memorials, the lack of a real religious crisis in the late fifth century, the relative unimportance of “foreign cults” as indicators of a religious revolution, and, finally, to his appraisal of religion in the Hellenistic period. But, perhaps, one’s strongest impression from the book may be how insecure our evidence is for determining most of what we thought we knew of Athenian religious history.
King Philip's War
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King Philip’s War, also called Great Narragansett War, (1675–76), in British American colonial history, war that pitted Native Americans against English settlers and their Indian allies that was one of the bloodiest conflicts (per capita) in U.S. history. Historians since the early 18th century, relying on accounts from the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies, have referred to the conflict as King Philip’s War. Philip ( Metacom), sachem (chief) of a Wampanoag band, was a son of Massasoit, who had greeted the first colonists of New England at Plymouth in 1621. However, because of the central role in the conflict played by the Narragansetts, who composed the largest Native American group then in southern New England, some historians refer to the conflict as the Great Narragansett War.
The war’s proximate cause was Plymouth Colony’s execution in June 1675 of three of Philip’s warriors. They had been tried and found guilty of murdering John Sassamon, a Harvard-educated “praying Indian” convert to Puritanism who had served as an interpreter and advisor to Philip but whom Philip had accused of spying for the colonists. His murder ignited a tinderbox of tensions between Indians and whites that had been smoldering for 55 years over competing land claims (including disputes over the grazing of colonial livestock on hunting and fishing grounds), interracial insensitivities, and English cultural encroachment on Native America. That was the case even with a somewhat intertwined Native American–English economy and the conversion to Christianity by some Indians.
Over the next six months, colonial militia and Native American raiding parties ranged over modern-day Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and even coastal Maine. Although the Narragansetts had attempted to stay neutral, individual Narragansett warriors had participated clandestinely in raids on colonial strongholds and militia. Soon colonial leaders deemed the Narragansetts in violation of a series of peace treaties, leading the United Colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Connecticut to amass the largest colonial army assembled to date in New England, consisting of 1,000 militia and some 150 Indian allies. In November 1675 Gov. Josiah Winslow of Plymouth Colony marshaled the colonial militia and rendezvoused in Rhode Island territory. The objective was to attack the Narragansett before they could muster a spring offensive. The militia burned abandoned Indian villages along the way.
Beginning on the morning of December 19, during a bitterly cold snow storm, the militia and its Indian allies began their attack on the Narragansetts’ main fort, situated on an island amid a frozen swamp in what is now West Kingston, Rhode Island, an attack henceforth known as the Great Swamp Fight. By evening, the militia had overrun the fort and begun burning the homes and food supplies of the Indian defenders. Although determining numbers of casualties is always difficult, perhaps some 150 Indian inhabitants, many of them women, children, and the elderly, were killed or burned alive. Others escaped across the swamp, though many of them then died from exposure. The militia suffered about 70 dead and 150 wounded, some of whom died from their wounds. In the wake of the attack and ensuing slaughter, the Narragansetts wholeheartedly joined the anti-English war effort, albeit in a weakened state.
Meanwhile, raids by the English-allied Mohawks damaged Philip’s diplomatic entreaties to expand the conflict by enlisting other regional Indian groups. A colonial expedition after the Great Swamp Fight had some success but did not end the conflict. The Indian coalition, having come under the leadership of the Narragansett sachem, Canonchet, then embarked on a late-winter offensive in 1676 that pushed back most of the colonial frontier in the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Rhode Island colonies. In fact, much of the war’s extraordinary damage occurred during that phase of the conflict. The Narragansetts, for example, destroyed all white settlements in Rhode Island on the western side of the bay, including Providence, which they burned in March 1676. In the end, however, Native American opposition in Rhode Island was eradicated, and nearly all of the colony was opened to white settlement. Connecticut claimed most of the southern part of the colony by right of conquest for having defeated the Narragansetts.
By late spring 1676, other colonies began to follow Connecticut’s lead by incorporating friendly Indians into their forces. Benjamin Church’s Plymouth command, a non-Connecticut exception, had utilized Indian allies since the beginning of the war, and he succeeded in killing Philip in August 1676. By September the colonists and their Indian allies had destroyed much of the Native American opposition in southern New England, killing thousands of Native Americans and selling many into slavery and indentured servitude. Some 600 English soldiers had been killed in the conflict and 17 white settlements destroyed some 50 additional settlements had been damaged. Only Connecticut emerged unscathed from the conflict, because of its unique relationship with local Native American groups.
The Problems of the American Anglicans
The American Revolution inflicted deeper wounds on the Church of England in America than on any other denomination because the King of England was the head of the church. Anglican priests, at their ordination, swore allegiance to the King. The Book of Common Prayer offered prayers for the monarch, beseeching God "to be his defender and keeper, giving him victory over all his enemies," who in 1776 were American soldiers as well as friends and neighbors of American Anglicans. Loyalty to the church and to its head could be construed as treason to the American cause. Patriotic American Anglicans, loathe to discard so fundamental a component of their faith as The Book of Common Prayer, revised it to conform to the political realities.
Maryland's Revised Book of Common Prayer
The Maryland Convention voted on May 25, 1776, "that every Prayer and Petition for the King's Majesty, in the book of Common Prayer . . . be henceforth omitted in all Churches and Chapels in this Province." The rector of Christ Church (then called Chaptico Church) in St. Mary's County, Maryland, placed over the offending passages strips of paper showing prayers composed for the Continental Congress. The petition that God "keep and strengthen in the true worshipping of thee, in righteousness and holiness of life, thy servant GEORGE, our most gracious King and Governour" was changed to a plea that "it might please thee to bless the honorable Congress with Wisdom to discern and Integrity to pursue the true Interest of the United States."
Book of Common Prayer. England: John Baskerville, c. 1762. Washington National Cathedral Rare Books Library (95)
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Christ Church, Philadelphia's Revised Book of Common Prayer
The problem was handled differently by Christ Church, Philadelphia. The rector, the Reverend Jacob Duché, called a special vestry meeting on July 4, 1776, to ask whether it was advisable "for the peace and welfare of the congregation, to shut up the churches or to continue the service, without using the prayers for the Royal Family." The vestry decided to keep the church open but replace the prayers for the King with a prayer for Congress: "That is may please thee to endue the Congress of the United States & all others in Authority, legislative, executive, & judicial with grace, wisdom & understanding, to execute Justice and to maintain Truth."
Book of Common Prayer. London: Mark Basket, 1766. Courtesy of the Rector, Church Wardens, and Vestrymen of Christ Church, Philadelphia (96)
Book of Common Prayer. [left page] - [right page] Here is a facsimile of the page from the Book of Common Prayer, containing the prayers for the king, that were altered in various ways. Oxford: Printed by Mark Basket, printer to the University, 1763. Copyprint. Rare Book & Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (95a)
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A Tory Preacher on the Attack
More than half of the Anglican priests in America, unable to reconcile their oaths of allegiance to George III with the independence of the United States, relinquished their pulpits during the Revolutionary War. Some of the more intrepid priests put their loyalty to the Crown at the service of British forces in America. One of these, Jonathan Odell (1737-1818), rector at Burlington, New Jersey, became a confidant of Benedict Arnold and scourged the Patriots with a sharp, satirical pen. This long, rhymed attack on John Witherspoon contains the clumsy couplet, "Whilst to myself I've humm'd in dismal tune, I'd rather be a dog than Witherspoon." Odell blasted his fellow Anglican ministers, who supported the American cause, for apostasy.
The American Times: A Satire in Three Parts in which are delineated . . . the Leaders of the American Rebellion. Jonathan Odell, London: 1780. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (97)
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An Argument for an American Episcopal Church
In the years following American independence, Anglican ministers who had remained in the colonies began planning for an independent American church. One of the publications that focused discussion on the issue was this volume by William White. A series of conferences in the 1780s failed to bridge the differences between two parties that emerged but, at a convention in 1789, the two groups formed the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. A church government and revised Book of Common Prayer believed to be compatible with a rising democratic nation were adopted.
The Case of the Episcopal Churches in the United States Considered. William White. Philadelphia: David Claypoole, 1782. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (98)
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The Establishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church
The independence of the United States stimulated American Methodists, as it did their brethren in the Church of England, with whom the Methodists had considered themselves "in communion," to organize themselves as an independent, American church. This happened at the Christmas Conference in Baltimore in 1784, where Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke were elected as superintendents of the new Methodist Episcopal Church. Asbury was ordained as deacon, elder, and superintendent. American Methodists adopted the title of bishop for their leaders three years later.
The Ordination of Bishop Asbury, and the Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Engraving by A. Gilchrist Campbell, 1882, after a painting by Thomas Coke Ruckle. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Lovely Lane Museum, Baltimore (99)
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Reforms in the Presbyterian Church
Like the Anglicans and Methodists, Presbyterians reorganized their church as a distinctly American entity, thereby reducing some of the influence of the Church of Scotland. From debates at the synods of 1787 and 1788 emerged a new Plan of Government and Discipline, a Directory of Public Worship, and a revised version of the Westminster Confession, which was made "a part of the constitution." In the proceedings of the 1787 and 1788 synods, shown here, the Presbyterian Church, along with other contemporary American churches, took a stand against slavery, recommending that Presbyterians work to "procure, eventually, the final abolition of slavery in America."
Brief History of William Penn
William Penn (October 14, 1644&ndashJuly 30, 1718) founded the Province of Pennsylvania, the British North American colony that became the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The democratic principles that he set forth served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. Ahead of his time, Penn also published a plan for a United States of Europe, "European Dyet, Parliament or Estates."
Although born into a distinguished Anglican family and the son of Admiral Sir William Penn, Penn joined the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers at the age of 22. The Quakers obeyed their "inner light", which they believed to come directly from God, refused to bow or take off their hats to any man, and refused to take up arms. Penn was a close friend of George Fox, the founder of the Quakers. These were times of turmoil, just after Cromwell's death, and the Quakers were suspect, because of their principles which differed from the state imposed religion and because of their refusal to swear an oath of loyalty to Cromwell or the King (Quakers obeyed the command of Christ to not swear, Matthew 5:34).
Penn's religious views were extremely distressing to his father, Admiral Sir William Penn, who had through naval service earned an estate in Ireland and hoped that Penn's charisma and intelligence would be able to win him favor at the court of Charles II. In 1668 he was imprisoned for writing a tract (The Sandy Foundation Shaken) which attacked the doctrine of the trinity.
Penn was a frequent companion of George Fox, the founder of the Quakers, travelling in Europe and England with him in their ministry. He also wrote a comprehensive, detailed explanation of Quakerism along with a testimony to the character of George Fox, in his Introductionto the autobiographical Journal of George Fox.
Penn was educated at Chigwell School, Essex where he had his earliest religious experience. Thereafter, young Penn's religious views effectively exiled him from English society &mdash he was sent down (expelled) from Christ Church, Oxford for being a Quaker, and was arrested several times. Among the most famous of these was the trial following his arrest with William Meade for preaching before a Quaker gathering. Penn pleaded for his right to see a copy of the charges laid against him and the laws he had supposedly broken, but the judge, the Lord Mayor of London, refused &mdash even though this right was guaranteed by the law. Despite heavy pressure from the Lord Mayor to convict the men, the jury returned a verdict of "not guilty". The Lord Mayor then not only had Penn sent to jail again (on a charge of contempt of court), but also the full jury. The members of the jury, fighting their case from prison, managed to win the right for all English juries to be free from the control of judges. (See jury nullification.)The persecution of Quakers became so fierce that Penn decided that it would be better to try to found a new, free, Quaker settlement in North America. Some Quakers had already moved to North America, but the New England Puritans, especially, were as negative towards Quakers as the people back home, and some of them had been banished to the Caribbean.
The founding of Pennsylvania
In 1677, Penn's chance came, as a group of prominent Quakers, among them Penn, received the colonial province of West New Jersey (half of the current state of New Jersey). That same year, two hundred settlers from the towns of Chorleywood and Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire and other towns in nearby Buckinghamshire arrived, and founded the town of Burlington. Penn, who was involved in the project but himself remained in England, drafted a charter of liberties for the settlement. He guaranteed free and fair trial by jury, freedom of religion, freedom from unjust imprisonment and free elections.
King Charles II of England had a large loan with Penn's father, after whose death, King Charles settled by granting Penn a large area west and south of New Jersey on March 4, 1681. Penn called the area Sylvania (Latin for woods), which Charles changed to Pennsylvania in honor of the elder Penn. Perhaps the king was glad to have a place where religious and political outsiders (like the Quakers, or the Whigs, who wanted more influence for the people's representatives) could have their own place, far away from England. One of the first counties of Pennsylvania was called Bucks County, named after Buckinghamshire (Bucks) in England, where the Penn's family seat was, and from whence many of the first settlers came.
Although Penn's authority over the colony was officially subject only to that of the king, through his Frame of Government he implemented a democratic system with full freedom of religion, fair trials, elected representatives of the people in power, and a separation of powers &mdash again ideas that would later form the basis of the American constitution. The freedom of religion in Pennsylvania (complete freedom of religion for everybody who believed in God) brought not only English, Welsh, German and Dutch Quakers to the colony, but also Huguenots (French Protestants), Mennonites, Amish, and Lutherans from Catholic German states.
Penn had hoped that Pennsylvania would be a profitable venture for himself and his family. Penn marketed the colony throughout Europe in various languages and, as a result, settlers flocked to Pennsylvania. Despite Pennsylvania's rapid growth and diversity, the colony never turned a profit for Penn or his family. In fact, Penn would later be imprisoned in England for debt and, at the time of his death in 1718, he was penniless.
From 1682 to 1684 Penn was, himself, in the Province of Pennsylvania. After the building plans for Philadelphia ("Brotherly Love") had been completed, and Penn's political ideas had been put into a workable form, Penn explored the interior. He befriended the local Indians (primarily of the Leni Lenape (aka Delaware) tribe) , and ensured that they were paid fairly for their lands. Penn even learned several different Indian dialects in order to communicate in negiotiations without interpreters. Penn introduced laws saying that if a European did an Indian wrong, there would be a fair trial, with an equal number of people from both groups deciding the matter. His measures in this matter proved successful: even though later colonists did not treat the Indians as fairly as Penn and his first group of colonists had done, colonists and Indians remained at peace in Pennsylvania much longer than in the other English colonies.
Penn began construction of Pennsbury Manor, his intended country estate in Bucks County on the right bank of the Delaware River, in 1683.
Penn also made a treaty with the Indians at Shackamaxon (near Kensington in Philadelphia) under an elm tree. Penn chose to acquire lands for his colony through business rather than conquest. He paid the Indians 1200 pounds for their land under the treaty, an amount considered fair. Voltaire praised this "Great Treaty" as "the only treaty between those people [Indians and Europeans] that was not ratified by an oath, and that was never infringed." Many regard the Great Treaty as a myth that sprung up around Penn. However, the story has had enduring power. The event has taken iconic status and is commemorated in a frieze on the United States Capitol.
Penn visited America once more, in 1699. In those years he put forward a plan to make a federation of all English colonies in America. There have been claims that he also fought slavery, but that seems unlikely, as he owned and even traded slaves himself. However, he did promote good treatment for slaves, and other Pennsylvania Quakers were among the earliest fighters against slavery.
Penn had wished to settle in Philadelphia himself, but financial problems forced him back to England in 1701. His financial advisor, Philip Ford, had cheated him out of thousands of pounds, and he had nearly lost Pennsylvania through Ford's machinations. The next decade of Penn's life was mainly filled with various court cases against Ford. He tried to sell Pennsylvania back to the state, but while the deal was still being discussed, he was hit by a stroke in 1712, after which he was unable to speak or take care of himself.
Penn died in 1718 at his home in Ruscombe, near Twyford in Berkshire, and was buried next to his first wife in the cemetery of the Jordans Quaker meeting house at Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire in England. His family retained ownership of the colony of Pennsylvania until the American Revolution.
Odds and Ends
On November 28, 1984 Ronald Reagan, upon an Act of Congress by Presidential Proclamation 5284 declared William Penn and his second wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn, each to be an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
There is a widely told, entirely apocryphal, story of an en encounter between Penn and George Fox, in which Penn expressed concern over wearing a sword (a standard part of dress for people of his station), and how this was not in keeping with Quaker beliefs. Fox responded, "Wear it as long as thou canst." Later, according to the story, Penn again met Fox, but this time without the sword. Penn then said, "I have taken thy advice I wore it as long as I could." Though this story is entirely unfounded, it serves as an instructive parable about Penn's Quaker beliefs.
There is a common misconception that the smiling Quaker found on boxes of Quaker Oats is William Penn. The Quaker Oats Company has stated that this is not true.
Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable
WASHINGTON ― In 2009, the historian David Kaiser, then a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, got a call from a guy named Steve Bannon.
Bannon wanted to interview Kaiser for a documentary he was making based on the work of the generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe. Kaiser, an expert on Strauss and Howe, didn’t know Bannon from Adam, but he agreed to participate. He went to the Washington headquarters of the conservative activist group Citizens United, where Bannon was then based, for a chat.
Kaiser was impressed by how much Bannon knew about Strauss and Howe, who argued that American history operates in four-stage cycles that move from major crisis to awakening to major crisis. These crises are called “Fourth Turnings” — and Bannon believed the U.S. had entered one on Sept. 18, 2008, when Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke went to Capitol Hill to ask for a bailout of the international banking system.
“He knew the theory,” Kaiser said. “He obviously enjoyed interviewing me.”
Bannon pressed Kaiser on one point during the interview. “He was talking about the wars of the Fourth Turnings,” Kaiser recalled. “You have the American Revolution, you have the Civil War, you have World War II they’re getting bigger and bigger. Clearly, he was anticipating that in this Fourth Turning there would be one at least as big. And he really made an effort, I remember, to get me to say that on the air.”
Kaiser didn’t believe global war was preordained, so he demurred. The line of questioning didn’t make it into the documentary — a polemical piece, released in 2010, called “Generation Zero.”
Bannon, who’s now ensconced in the West Wing as President Donald Trump’s closest adviser, has been portrayed as Trump’s main ideas guy. But in interviews, speeches and writing — and especially in his embrace of Strauss and Howe — he has made clear that he is, first and foremost, an apocalypticist.
In Bannon’s view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now.
“What we are witnessing,” Bannon told The Washington Post last month, “is the birth of a new political order.”
Strauss died in 2007, and Howe did not respond to requests for comment. But their books speak for themselves. The first, Generations, released in 1991, set forth the idea that history unfolds in repetitive, predictable four-part cycles ― and that the U.S. was, and still is, going through the most recent cycle’s tail end. (In Generations, Strauss and Howe became perhaps the first writers to use the term “millennials” to describe the current cohort of young people.)
Strauss and Howe’s theory is based on a series of generational archetypes — the Artists, the Prophets, the Nomads and the Heroes — that sound like they were pulled from a dystopian young adult fiction series. Each complete four-part cycle, or saeculum, takes about 80 to 100 years, in Strauss and Howe’s reckoning. The Fourth Turning, which the authors published in 1997, focuses on the final, apocalyptic part of the cycle.
Strauss and Howe postulate that during this Fourth Turning crisis, an unexpected leader will emerge from an older generation to lead the nation, and what they call the “Hero” generation (in this case, millennials), to a new order. This person is known as the Grey Champion. An election or another event — perhaps a war — will bring this person to power, and their regime will rule throughout the crisis.
“The winners will now have the power to pursue the more potent, less incrementalist agenda about which they had long dreamed and against which their adversaries had darkly warned,” Strauss and Howe wrote in The Fourth Turning. “This new regime will enthrone itself for the duration of the Crisis. Regardless of its ideology, that new leadership will assert public authority and demand private sacrifice. Where leaders had once been inclined to alleviate societal pressures, they will now aggravate them to command the nation’s attention.”
Cyclical models of history are something academics kick around every now and then, said Sean Wilentz, an American history professor at Princeton University. But the idea has not caught on among historians or political actors.
“It’s just a conceit. It’s a fiction, it’s all made up,” Wilentz said about cyclical historical models. “There’s nothing to them. They’re just inventions.”
Michael Lind, a historian and co-founder of the New America Foundation, a liberal think tank, has called Strauss and Howe’s work “pseudoscience” and said their “predictions about the American future turn out to be as vague as those of fortune cookies.”
“This is the fourth great crisis in American history,” Bannon told an audience at the Liberty Restoration Foundation, a conservative nonprofit, in 2011. “We had the Revolution. We had the Civil War. We had the Great Depression and World War II. This is the great Fourth Turning in American history, and we’re going to be one thing on the other side.”
Major crises “happen in about 80- or 100-year cycles,” Bannon told a conference put on by the Republican women’s group Project GoPink that same year. “And somewhere over the next 10 or 20 years, we’re going to come through this crisis, and we’re either going to be the country that was bequeathed to us or it’s going to be something that’s completely or totally different.”
The “Judeo-Christian West is collapsing,” he went on. “It’s imploding. And it’s imploding on our watch. And the blowback of that is going to be tremendous.”
War is coming, Bannon has warned. In fact, it’s already here.
“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China,” he said during a 2016 radio appearance. “They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian West is on the retreat.”
“Against radical Islam, we’re in a 100-year war,” he told Political Vindication Radio in 2011.
“We’re going to war in the South China Seas in the next five to 10 years, aren’t we?” Bannon asked during a 2016 interview with Reagan biographer Lee Edwards.
“We are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism,” he said in a speech to a Vatican conference in 2014. “And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it.”
In a 2015 radio appearance, Bannon described how he ran Breitbart, the far-right news site he chaired at the time. “It’s war,” he said. “It’s war. Every day, we put up: America’s at war, America’s at war. We’re at war.”
To confront this threat, Bannon argued, the Judeo-Christian West must fight back, lest it lose as it did when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453. He called Islam a “religion of submission” in 2016 — a refutation of President George W. Bush’s post-9/11 description of Islam as a religion of peace. In 2007, Bannon wrote a draft movie treatment for a documentary depicting a “fifth column” of Muslim community groups, the media, Jewish organizations and government agencies working to overthrow the government and impose Islamic law.
“There’s clearly a fifth column here in the United States,” Bannon warned in July 2016. “There’s rot at the center of the Judeo-Christian West,” he said in November 2015. “Secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals,” he argued at the Vatican conference. The “aristocratic Washington class” and the media, he has claimed, are in league with the entire religion of Islam and an expansionist China to undermine Judeo-Christian America.
This sort of existential conflict is central to Strauss and Howe’s predictions. There are four ways a Fourth Turning can end, they argued, and three of them involve some kind of massive collapse. America might “be reborn,” and we’d wait another 80 to 100 years for a new cycle to culminate in a crisis again. The modern world — the era of Western history that Strauss and Howe believe began in the 15th century — might come to an end. We might “spare modernity but mark the end of our nation.” Or we might face “the end of man,” in a global war leading to “omnicidal Armageddon.”
Now, a believer in these vague and unfounded predictions sits in the White House, at the right hand of the president.
“We’re gonna have to have some dark days before we get to the blue sky of morning again in America,” Bannon warned in 2010. “We are going to have to take some massive pain. Anybody who thinks we don’t have to take pain is, I believe, fooling you.”
“This movement,” he said in November, “is in the top of the first inning.”
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The Six-Day War: Background & Overview
Israel consistently expressed a desire to negotiate with its neighbors. In an address to the UN General Assembly on October 10, 1960, Foreign Minister Golda Meir challenged Arab leaders to meet with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to negotiate a peace settlement. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser answered on October 15, saying that Israel was trying to deceive world opinion, and reiterating that his country would never recognize the Jewish State. (1)
The Arabs were equally adamant in their refusal to negotiate a separate settlement for the refugees. As Nasser told the United Arab Republic National Assembly March 26, 1964:
The Palestinian Liberation Organization
In 1963, the Arab League decided to introduce a new weapon in its war against Israel &mdash the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO formally came into being during a 1964 meeting of the first Palestinian Congress. Shortly thereafter, the group began to splinter into various factions. Ultimately, the largest faction, Fatah, would come to dominate the organization, and its leader, Yasser Arafat, would become the PLO chairman and most visible symbol. All the groups adhered to a set of principles laid out in the Palestine National Charter, which called for Israel's destruction.
The PLO&rsquos belligerent rhetoric was matched by deeds. Terrorist attacks by the group grew more frequent. In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched. The targets were always civilians. (3)
Most of the attacks involved Palestinian guerillas infiltrating Israel from Jordan, the Gaza Strip, and Lebanon. The orders and logistical support for the attacks were coming, however, from Cairo and Damascus. Egyptian President Nasser&rsquos main objective was to harass the Israelis, but a secondary one was to undermine King Hussein&rsquos regime in Jordan.
King Hussein viewed the PLO as both a direct and indirect threat to his power. Hussein feared that the PLO might try to depose him with Nasser&rsquos help or that the PLO&rsquos attacks on Israel would provoke retaliatory strikes by Israeli forces that could weaken his authority. By the beginning of 1967, Hussein had closed the PLO&rsquos offices in Jerusalem, arrested many of the group&rsquos members, and withdrew recognition of the organization. Nasser and his friends in the region unleashed a torrent of criticism on Hussein for betraying the Arab cause. Hussein would soon have the chance to redeem himself.
Arab War Plans Revealed
In September 1965, Arab leaders and their military and intelligence chiefs met secretly at the Casablanca Hotel in Morocco to discuss whether they were ready to go to war against Israel and, if so, whether they should create a joint Arab command. The host of the meeting, King Hassan II, did not trust his Arab League guests and, initially, planned to allow a joint Shin Bet-Mossad unit known as &ldquoThe Birds&rdquo to spy on the conference. A day before the conference was scheduled to begin, however, the king told them to leave out of fear they would be noticed by the Arab guests. Hassan secretly recorded the meeting and gave it to the Israelis, who learned the Arabs were gearing up for war, but were divided and unprepared.
&ldquoThese recordings, which were truly an extraordinary intelligence achievement, further showed us that, on the one hand, the Arab states were heading toward a conflict that we must prepare for. On the other hand, their rambling about Arab unity and having a united front against Israel didn&rsquot reflect real unanimity among them,&rdquo said Major General Shlomo Gazit, who headed the Research Department of Israel&rsquos Military Intelligence Directorate. (3a)
Terror from the Heights
The breakup of the U.A.R. and the resulting political instability only made Syria more hostile toward Israel. Another major cause of conflict was Syria&rsquos resistance to Israel&rsquos creation of a National Water Carrier to take water from the Jordan River to supply the country. The Syrian army used the Golan Heights, which tower 3,000 feet above the Galilee, to shell Israeli farms and villages. Syria&rsquos attacks grew more frequent in 1965 and 1966, forcing children living on kibbutzim in the Huleh Valley to sleep in bomb shelters. Israel repeatedly protested the Syrian bombardments to the UN Mixed Armistice Commission, which was charged with policing the cease-fire, but the UN did nothing to stop Syria&rsquos aggression &mdash even a mild Security Council resolution expressing &ldquoregret&rdquo for such incidents was vetoed by the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Israel was condemned by the United Nations when it retaliated.
While the Syrian military bombardment and terrorist attacks intensified, Nasser&rsquos rhetoric became increasingly bellicose. In 1965, he announced, &ldquoWe shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.&rdquo (4)
Again, a few months later, Nasser expressed the Arabs&rsquo aspiration: &ldquo[el] the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the state of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel.&rdquo (5)
Syria&rsquos attacks on Israeli kibbutzim from the Golan Heights finally provoked a retaliatory strike on April 7, 1967. During the attack, Israeli planes shot down six Syrian fighter planes &mdash MiGs supplied by the Soviet Union. Shortly thereafter, the Soviets &mdash who had been providing military and economic assistance to both Syria and Egypt &mdash gave Damascus false information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack. Despite Israeli denials, Syria decided to invoke its defense treaty with Egypt and asked Nasser to come to its aid.
Countdown to War
In early May, the Soviet Union gave Egypt false information that Israel had massed troops along the northern border in preparation for an attack on Syria. In response, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border on May 15, Israel's Independence Day. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.
Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force (UNEF), stationed in the Sinai since 1956 as a buffer between Israeli and Egyptian forces after Israel&rsquos withdrawal following the Sinai Campaign, to withdraw on May 16. Without bringing the matter to the attention of the General Assembly (as his predecessor had promised), Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand. After the withdrawal of the UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs radio station proclaimed on May 18, 1967:
An enthusiastic echo was heard May 20 from Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad:
On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel's only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran.
In 1956, the United States gave Israel assurances that it recognized the Jewish State's right of access to the Straits of Tiran. In 1957, at the UN, 17 maritime powers declared that Israel had a right to transit the Strait. Moreover, the blockade violated the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, which was adopted by the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea on April 27, 1958. (8)
President Johnson expressed the belief that the blockade was illegal and unsuccessfully tried to organize an international flotilla to test it. At the same time, he advised the Israelis not to take any military action. After the war, he acknowledged the closure of the Strait of Tiran was the casus belli (June 19, 1967):
Nasser was aware of the pressure he was exerting to force Israel&rsquos hand, and challenged Israel to fight almost daily. The day after the blockade was set up, he said defiantly: "The Jews threaten to make war. I reply: Welcome! We are ready for war." (10)
Nasser challenged Israel to fight almost daily. "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight," he said on May 27. (11) The following day, he added: We will not accept any. coexistence with Israel. Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel. The war with Israel is in effect since 1948. ( 12)
King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30. Nasser then announced:
President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the war of words: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map." (14) On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
The Arab rhetoric was matched by the mobilization of Arab forces. Approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,800 tanks, and 800 aircraft ringed Israel. (15)
By this time, Israeli forces had been on alert for three weeks. The country could not remain fully mobilized indefinitely, nor could it allow its sea lane through the Gulf of Aqaba to be interdicted. Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol had transferred all defense and military decisions to IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, who warned, &ldquoI believe we could find ourselves in a situation in which the existence of Israel is at great risk.&rdquo On June 2, 1967, Rabin told the Ministerial Committee for Defense, &ldquoThis forum and myself &ndash and I&rsquom sure this applies to the majority of the army&rsquos officers &ndash don&rsquot want war for its own sake. I think we may find ourselves in a military situation in which we have lost many of our advantages, reaching a position, which I don&rsquot want to express too harshly, in which our existence is in serious danger. The war will be difficult and involve many casualties.&rdquo Rabin warned that Israel could not afford to wait to act. &ldquoI feel very strongly that the diplomatic-military choke hold around our neck is tightening, and I don&rsquot see anyone else breaking it,&rdquo Rabin stated. &ldquoTime is not on our side. And in a week or two, or in three or four weeks, the situation will be worse.&rdquo (15a)
One man who opposed going to war was David Ben-Gurion. After the bitter experience of the Suez War, when he ordered the attack on Egypt without the support of the United States, and President Eisenhower subsequently forced Israel to withdraw from the territory it won in the war, Ben-Gurion believed Israel needed the support of a Western power. He also feared Israel weapons supplies would be jeopardized and Israeli casualties would be enormous. Some Israelis were calling for Ben-Gurion to replace Eshkol, but his anti-war views caused him to lose political support. Instead, pro-war factions of the government who thought Eshkol was too weak to lead the country successfully pressured him to appoint Moshe Dayan as defense minister.
Israel decided to preempt the expected Arab attack. To do this successfully, Israel needed the element of surprise. Had it waited for an Arab invasion, Israel would have been at a potentially catastrophic disadvantage. On June 5, Prime Minister Eshkol gave the order to attack Egypt.
The U.S. Position
The United States tried to prevent the war through negotiations, but it was not able to persuade Nasser or the other Arab states to cease their belligerent statements and actions. Eshkol sent the head of the Mossad, Meir Amit, to Washington to gauge the sentiment for war. Amit learned the flotilla idea had failed and that the United States would not object to an Israeli offensive. (15b) Still, right before the war, Johnson warned: Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone. (16) Then, when the war began, the State Department announced: Our position is neutral in thought, word and deed. (17)
Moreover, while the Arabs were falsely accusing the United States of airlifting supplies to Israel, Johnson imposed an arms embargo on the region (France, Israel's other main arms supplier, also embargoed arms after Israel ignored De Gaulle&rsquos plea not go to war).
By contrast, the Soviets were supplying massive amounts of arms to the Arabs. Simultaneously, the armies of Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were contributing troops and arms to the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian fronts. (18)
Israel Launches Preemptive Strike
During the last Israel Defense Forces General Staff meeting before the war, on May 19, 1967, the head of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Yariv, said the Egyptians had radically changed their conduct in the preceding days. &ldquoTheir moves show a willingness to move towards or even instigate a confrontation with us,&rdquo he said. Yariv suggested the Egyptians were afraid Israel was close to building a nuclear weapon. He also said the Soviets may have convinced them of &ldquoa wider conspiracy to harm Egypt.&rdquo Rabin also addressed the question of Western assistance to respond to the Arab threats. &ldquoIt&rsquos time we stop deluding ourselves that someone will come to our aid,&rdquo said Rabin. &ldquoThis is the most grave situation since the War of Independence,&rdquo he said and told his staff they &ldquoshould prepare for war.&rdquo (18.1)
Thanks to the recordings made by King Hassan II in 1965, along with other sources, &ldquowe knew just how unprepared they were for war,&rdquo Gazit recalled. &ldquoWe reached the conclusion that the Egyptian Armored Corps was in pitiful shape and not prepared for battle.&rdquo The information in those recordings gave the Israeli army&rsquos leaders confidence &ldquowe were going to win a war against Egypt. Prophecies of doom and the feeling of imminent defeat were prevalent among the majority in Israel and the officials outside the defense establishment, but we were confident in our strength.&rdquo (18a)
|Egyptian planes destroyed in the 1967 war|
Despite this confidence among military leaders, the government made preparations for mass temporary graves for tens of thousands of victims in Tel Aviv parks, a fact journalists were prevented from publishing by the military censor. (18b)
On June 4, 1967, the Israeli cabinet met and voted unanimously to give the defense ministry approval to decide when and how to respond to Egypt&rsquos aggression. Foreign Minister Abba Eban wrote in his memoir:
Once we voted, we knew that we had expressed our people&rsquos will, for amid the alarms and fears of mid-May, our nation gave birth to new impulses within itself. All the conditions which divide us from each other and give our society a deceptive air of fragmentation, all the deeply rooted Jewish recalcitrance toward authority now seemed to have been transmuted into a new metal which few of us had felt before. There had, of course, been some fear, as was natural for a people which had endured unendurable things. Many in the world were afraid that a great massacre was sweeping down upon us. And in many places in Israel there was talk of Auschwitz and Maidenek. The anxiety expressed by friends outside told us that our apprehension was not vain. Yet, as the last days of May were passing into the haze of memory, the people were gripped by a spirit of union and resolve. Men of military age silently laid down their work in factory, office and farm, took up their files of reservist papers and disappeared toward the south. (18c)
Eban also noted that thousands of you men were crowding the offices of Israeli consulates and Jewish Agency institutions throughout the world, asking to be sent to Israel for immediate service. (18d)
On June 5, 1967, Israel was isolated, but its military commanders had conceived a brilliant war strategy. The entire Israeli Air Force, with the exception of just 12 fighters assigned to defend Israeli air space, took off at 7:14 a.m. in Operation Moked (aka Operation Focus) with the intent of bombing Egyptian airfields while the Egyptian pilots were eating breakfast. The day before the attack, Rabin visited several air bases and told the pilots:
Remember: your mission is one of life or death. If you succeed &ndash we win the war if you fail &ndash God help us. (18e)
By 11:05 a.m., 180 Egyptian fighter planes were destroyed. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was not planning to attack Syria until the Syrians attacked Tiberias and Megiddo. Israeli fighters subsequently attacked the Syrian and Jordanian air forces, as well as one airfield in Iraq. By the end of the first day, most of the Egyptian and half the Syrian air forces had been destroyed on the ground. Altogether Israel claimed to have destroyed 302 Egyptian, 20 Jordanian, and 52 Syrian aircraft. (18f)
Despite the success of the opening salvo, Dayan did not want to contradict reports emanating from Cairo, Damascus and Amman that Arab planes had bombed Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem and caused massive casualties because he wanted the world to continue to view Israel as the victim for as long as possible. (18g)
The battle then moved to the ground, and some of history&rsquos greatest tank battles were fought between Egyptian and Israeli armor in the blast-furnace conditions of the Sinai desert. On June 9, at 5:45 a.m., the head of Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yeshayahu Gavish, informed the chief of staff: &ldquoIDF forces are on the banks of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. The Sinai Peninsula is in our hands. Congratulations to you and the IDF.&rdquo
Meanwhile, the Arab oil-producing countries meeting in Bagdad unanimously decided to stop the flow of oil to any country taking part in an attack on any Arab States.
Click on maps to enlarge
The Unity Government
To demonstrate the national consensus behind the decision to go to war, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol decided on the night the war began to invite opposition leader Menachem Begin to join the government. In the context of Israeli politics, this was an extraordinary move because Begin was not only the opposition leader but someone long seen as dangerous by his rivals. Labor Party leader David Ben-Gurion, just 19 years earlier, had been so afraid of the possibility that Begin&rsquos Irgun was a threat to the newly established state of Israel that he ordered his forces to shell the Altalena arms ship.
Jerusalem Is Attacked
Initially, Israel did not plan to capture the West Bank. &ldquoThe conquest of the West Bank was made conditional on the situation in the south,&rdquo Dayan said the evening of June 5. &ldquoIn any case, the possibility of capturing the West Bank is considered preferable to breaking a corridor through to Mount Scopus.&rdquo
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sent a message to King Hussein on June 5 saying Israel would not attack Jordan unless he initiated hostilities. When Jordanian radar picked up a cluster of planes flying from Egypt to Israel, and the Egyptians convinced Hussein the planes were theirs, he ordered the takeover of the UN headquarters located near Talpiot and the shelling of West Jerusalem. Snipers were shooting at the King David Hotel and Jordanian mortars had hit the Knesset. It turned out that the planes were Israel&rsquos and were returning from destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground.
Paratrooper Brigade 55, commanded by Colonel Motta Gur, was sent to Jerusalem and given the impossible task of preparing an assault on the city in just 12 hours. Jordan had two battalions of experienced, well-trained fighters assaulting the city. The initial mission was to stop Jordanian shelling of Jewish neighborhoods and rescue a besieged Israeli unit stationed on Mount Scopus, the sole Israeli enclave in East Jerusalem. The soldiers were ordered to stay away from the Old City and its sacred sites.
When the paratroopers arrived, fires were raging and the streets were full of glass. They could smell exploding shells. When they got off their bus, people suddenly began to appear from all directions carrying food. People came from all over, Avital Geva recalled in the documentary In Our Hands. They didn&rsquot care about the bombings. Women brought food, sweets, coffee, everything. You cannot describe it. It was spontaneous love.
At 2 a.m. on June 6, one of Brigade 55&rsquos three battalions attacked the Jordanian position known as Ammunition Hill, and fought one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The paratroopers blasted their way through the mine fields and cut through layers of razor wire fences, but the price was high. In just the initial thrust, seven soldiers were killed and more than a dozen injured. The Israelis had not trained for trench warfare and had to improvise. Two soldiers jumped on tanks and ordered them up the hill firing at every Jordanian soldier they spotted. Years later, a Jordanian soldier admitted the tanks had convinced them the battle was lost and they retreated from the hill. It had taken three hours to capture the Jordanian command bunker. Of the 260 soldiers who fought at Ammunition Hill, only eleven emerged without being wounded or killed &mdash 36 died. The Jordanians lost 71 men. After the battle, the Israelis buried 17 Jordanian soldiers in a mass grave with the English epitaph, Here lay 17 brave Jordanian soldiers, IDF, 1967.
A second battalion, the 66th, was assigned to take up a position at the Rockefeller Museum opposite the Arab quarter of the Old City to prepare to enter through the city if given the order. The soliders were unfamiliar with the city, however, and took a wrong turn that led down a narrow alley where they faced withering fire from the Jordanian forces. The Israelis made their way through to the museum, but only 30 paratroopers, half their original force emerged unharmed from what they later called the Alley of Death.
Meanwhile, a third group of paratroopers from the 71st battalion succeeded in achieving its objective of securing a position on Mount Scopus.
While forbidding the army from entering the Old City, Eshkol said, &ldquoif the connection to Mount Scopus is completed this morning, the West Bank should be conquered up to the peak mountain ridges, while enabling escape routes for civilians.&rdquo Palestinians took advantage of those routes to flee eastward.
The night after the battle on Ammunition Hill, Dayan and Uzi Narkiss, the commander responsible for combating the Jordanian offensive, met on Mount Scopus and discussed how they might take the Old City. Narkiss explained where his troops were deployed and the various gates through which they could enter the city. Dayan asked, Why don't you go through the Lion&rsquos Gate? Narkiss had not considered this option and said to Dayan, You know what Moshe, since the time of King David, Jerusalem has never been conquered from the east. Dayan replied, Then this will be the second and last time. (18h)
Nasser and Hussein still hoped to save face and their remaining troops. During a phone conversation they decided to tell the world they were losing because the British and Americans were helping the Israelis. The Israelis had recorded the call, however, and shared it with the world, which confirmed the denials of Western officials. President Johnson referred to the episode as The Big Lie.
The Israelis offererd Hussein a way out of the dilemma. Eshkol said Israeli troops were perpared to take the Old City but would not do it if the king agreed to an immediate unconditional ceasefire, expelled the Egyptians generals from Jordan and began a peace process with Israel. Hussein&rsquos response was to send troops back to Jerusalem in hopes of holding as much territory as possible before a ceasefire was declared.
Dayan realized he had to make a decision. At 6:15 a.m. on June 7, Dayan ordered the encirclement of the Old City and instructed the army to enter with the warning not to damage any of the holy places. Fortunately, the night before most of the Jordanian troops had retreated so when the paratroopers stormed the gate onto the Via Dolorosa, they met no resistance. Gur led the charge up to the Temple Mount and radioed headquarters at 10:08 a.m., &ldquoThe Temple Mount is in our hands and our forces are by the [Western] Wall.&rdquo The brigade&rsquos chief communications officer, Ezra Orni, hung an Israeli flag over the Dome of the Rock. Dayan was observing from Mount Scopus and angrily radioed Gur, Do you want to set the Middle East on fire? The flag was removed. Shortly afterward, Dayan arrived with Rabin to formally mark the Jews&rsquo return to their historic capital and their holiest site. At the Western Wall, the IDF&rsquos chaplain, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, blew a shofar to celebrate the event, which was broadcast live on Voice of Israel Radio.
The joy of reuniting Jerusalem was tempered by the loss of so many soldiers. A total of 430 paratroopers were wounded and 97 were killed.
Hussein's decision changed the course of the war and history. Following the shelling of Jerusalem, Israel counterattacked and took over the West Bank of Jordan within 48 hours. According to Major General Rephael Vardi, the Palestinians believed the Jordanian and other Arab forces were going to quickly occupy Israel. Such was their surprise that the Israeli forces that entered Nablus were welcomed by the population with flowers and with flags because they believed that these were Iraqi forces that had come to support the Jordanians. (18i)
A Second Exodus
After Jordan launched its attack on June 5, approximately 325,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank fled to other parts of Jordan, primarily to avoid being caught in the cross-fire of a war. (19)
A Palestinian refugee who was an administrator in a UNRWA camp in Jericho said Arab politicians had spread rumors in the camp. "They said all the young people would be killed. People heard on the radio that this is not the end, only the beginning, so they think maybe it will be a long war and they want to be in Jordan." (20)
Some Palestinians who left preferred to live in an Arab state rather than under Israeli military rule. Members of various PLO factions fled to avoid capture by the Israelis. Nils-Göran Gussing, the person appointed by the UN Secretary-General to investigate the situation, found that many Arabs also feared they would no longer be able to receive money from family members working abroad. (21)
Rabin issued the following order, Prevent people from leaving for Jordan, but not by force. We&rsquore trying not to increase the population of Jerusalem. Only 200 families who were living in synagogues and desecrating them were expelled. We found them alternative housing. There are no expulsions. I don&rsquot know what the diplomatic solutions will be. That isn&rsquot the army&rsquos responsibility. (21a)
Israeli forces ordered a handful of Palestinians to move for "strategic and security reasons." In some cases, they were allowed to return in a few days, in others Israel offered to help them resettle elsewhere. (22) The net result was that a new refugee population had been created and the old refugee problem was made worse.
The Stunning Victory
While most IDF units were fighting the Egyptians and Jordanians, a small, heroic group of soldiers were left to defend the northern border against the Syrians. It was not until the Jordanians and Egyptians were subdued that reinforcements could be sent to the Golan Heights, where Syrian gunners commanding the strategic high ground made it exceedingly difficult and costly for Israeli forces to penetrate. Finally, on June 9, after two days of heavy air bombardment, Israeli forces succeeded in breaking through the Syrian lines.
After just six days of fighting, Israeli forces were in a position to march on Cairo, Damascus, and Amman. By this time, the principal objectives of capturing the Sinai and the Golan Heights had been accomplished, and Israeli political leaders had no desire to fight in the Arab capitals. Furthermore, the Soviet Union had become increasingly alarmed by the Israeli advances and was threatening to intervene. At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk advised the Israelis &ldquoin the strongest possible terms&rdquo to accept a cease-fire. On June 10, Israel did just that.
The victory came at a very high cost. In storming the Golan Heights, Israel suffered 115 dead-roughly the number of Americans killed during Operation Desert Storm. Altogether, Israel lost twice as many men &mdash 777 dead and 2,586 wounded-in proportion to her total population as the U.S. lost in eight years of fighting in Vietnam. (23) Also, despite the incredible success of the air campaign, the Israeli Air Force lost 46 of its 200 fighters. (24) The death toll on the Arab side was 15,000 Egyptians, 2,500 Syrians, and 800 Jordanians.
By the end of the war, Israel had conquered enough territory to more than triple the size of the area it controlled, from 8,000 to 26,000 square miles. The victory enabled Israel to unify Jerusalem. Israeli forces had also captured the Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank.
The Nuclear Option
A previously little known story was publicized just before the 50th anniversary of the war disclosing that Israel had considered using a nuclear weapon to scare the Egyptians. According to retired brigadier general Itzhak Yaakov , Israel had a contingency plan code-named Shimshon, or Samson . [Israel's use of nuclear weapons as a last resort if it faced annhilation is sometimes referred to as the Samson Option.] Yaakov said Israel rushed to assemble an atom bomb with the intention of detonating it on a mountaintop in the Sinai desert about 12 miles from an Egyptian military complex at Abu Ageila as a warning to Egypt and the other Arab states if Israel feared it would lose the war.
During a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on May 26, 1967, Eshkol reported: &ldquoToday four [Egyptian] airplanes flew over Israel. We immediately telegrammed Abba Eban about it. The purpose of a certain weapon can be crucial in this matter, and I don&rsquot mean something which is out of this world. It&rsquos a weapon that exists in [other countries] in the hundreds and thousands.&rdquo
As the New York Times reported, The plan, if activated by order of the prime minister and military chief of staff, was to send a small paratrooper force to divert the Egyptian Army in the desert area so that a team could lay preparations for the atomic blast. Two large helicopters were to land, deliver the nuclear device and then create a command post in a mountain creek or canyon. If the order came to detonate, the blinding flash and mushroom cloud would have been seen throughout the Sinai and Negev Deserts, and perhaps as far away as Cairo.
&ldquoLook, it was so natural,&rdquo said Mr. Yaakov, according to a transcription of a taped interview. &ldquoYou&rsquove got an enemy, and he says he&rsquos going to throw you to the sea. You believe him.&rdquo
&ldquoHow can you stop him?&rdquo he asked. &ldquoYou scare him. If you&rsquove got something you can scare him with, you scare him.&rdquo (24a)
The West Bank and Gaza
Israel now ruled more than three-quarters of a million Palestinians &mdash most of whom were hostile to the government. Nevertheless, Israel allowed many of the refugees who fled the fighting to return, reuniting more than 9,000 Palestinian families in 1967. Ultimately, more than 60,000 Palestinians were allowed to return. (25)
In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 242, which established a formula for Arab-Israeli peace whereby Israel would withdraw from territories occupied in the war in exchange for peace with its neighbors. This resolution has served as the basis for peace negotiations from that time on.
Israel's leaders fully expected to negotiate a peace agreement with their neighbors that would involve some territorial compromise. According to Medzini, On June 19, the government adopted a secret resolution instructing Eban to tell the Americans that Israel was prepared to withdraw from the Golan and Sinai for full peace with Syria and Egypt and a willingness to create special arrangements with Jordan. (26)
Consequently, instead of annexing the West Bank, a military administration was created. According to Major General Vardi, Israel did not expect to be saddled with responsibility for the captured territories:
We did not believe that the Israeli rule of the territories would last more than a few months following our experience after the Sinai Campaign in 1956 in which by March 1957 we were compelled to withdraw from the whole of Sinai. Some preparations for a military government in the West Bank, in case of war, had been made, but these were minimal because the possibility that the Big Powers would allow the occupation of the West Bank seemed unreal. Therefore we had to start organizing the military government virtually from scratch in order to establish the rule of the IDF, assume the functions of a civil government, maintain law and order, organize and provide public services, look after all the other necessities of the population, restore life to normal, and especially to reconstruct the economy. (27)
No occupation is pleasant for the inhabitants, but the Israeli authorities did try to minimize the impact on the population. Don Peretz, a frequent writer on the situation of Arabs in Israel and a sharp critic of the Israeli government, visited the West Bank shortly after the Israeli troops had taken over. He found they were trying to restore normal life and prevent any incidents that might encourage the Arabs to leave their homes. (28)
Except for the requirement that school texts in the territories be purged of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic language, the authorities tried not to interfere with the inhabitants. They did provide economic assistance for example, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were moved from camps to new homes. This stimulated protests from Egypt, which had done nothing for the refugees when it controlled the area.
Arabs were given freedom of movement. They were allowed to travel to and from Jordan. In 1972, elections were held in the West Bank. Women and non-landowners, unable to participate under Jordanian rule, were now permitted to vote.
East Jerusalem Arabs were given the option of retaining Jordanian citizenship or acquiring Israeli citizenship. They were recognized as residents of united Jerusalem and given the right to vote and run for the city council. Also, Islamic holy places were put in the care of a Muslim Council. Despite the Temple Mount's significance in Jewish history, Jews were barred from conducting prayers there.
Why Didn&rsquot the War Lead to Peace?
Israelis thought that routing the Arab armies would convince their leaders they had no hope of destroying Israel and would agree to a peace agreement. On June 19, 1967, the Israeli Cabinet secretly decided to exchange Sinai and the Golan for peace agreements with Egypt and Syria but no consensus was reached on the West Bank, though the Cabinet agreed to incorporate Gaza into Israel and to resettle refugees elsewhere in the region. (29)
The Arabs, however, had been humiliated and would have to regain their honor before contemplating any accommodation with Israel. Instead of peace, the Arab League Summit in Khartoum in August 1967 declared the Arab position toward Israel would be no peace, no negotiations, and no recognition.
On November 22, 1967, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 242, calling on Israel to withdraw from territory &ndash not all the territories &ndash captured in the war in exchange for &ldquosecure and recognized boundaries&rdquo with the aim of achieving a &ldquopeaceful and accepted settlement.&rdquo This resolution became the basis for future peace talks.
Almost immediately after the end of the war, any hope for peace was shattered when Egypt began shelling Israeli positions near the Suez Canal. Nasser believed Israel could not withstand a lengthy war of attrition. Before a cease-fire was declared three years later, 1,424 Israeli soldiers and more than one hundred civilians were killed Egypt suffered approximately five thousand dead.
Sources: Mitchell G. Bard, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Middle East Conflict. 4th Edition. NY: Alpha Books, 2008
Content supplied by CBN ©2016 The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
(1) Encyclopedia Americana Annual 1961, (NY: Americana Corporation, 1961), p. 387.
(2) Yehoshafat Harkabi, Arab Attitudes To Israel, (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1972), p. 27.
(3) Howard Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 616.
(3a) Sue Surkes, &ldquoMorocco tipped off Israeli intelligence, &lsquohelped Israel win Six Day War,&rsquo&rdquo Times of Israel , (October 16, 2016).
(4) Samuel Katz, Battleground-Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, (NY: Bantam Books, 1985), pp. 10-11, 185.
(5) Netanel Lorch, One Long War, (Jerusalem: Keter, 1976), p. 110.
(6) Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel, (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972), p. 60.
(8) United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, (Geneva: UN Publications 1958), pp. 132-134.
(9) Yehuda Lukacs, Documents on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 1967-1983, (NY: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 17-18 Abba Eban, Abba Eban, (NY: Random House, 1977), p. 358
(10) Eban, p. 330.
(11) Leibler, p. 60.
(12) Leibler, p. 18.
(13) Leibler, p. 60.
(14) Leibler, p. 18.
(15) Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Wars, (NY: Random House, 1982), p. 149.
(15a) Gili Cohen, Six-Day War documents show Dayan proposed Arab rule in parts of West Bank, Haaretz,(June 4, 2015).
(15b) Michael Bar-Zohar, The War Nobody Wanted, inFocus, (Spring 2017), p. 12.
(16) Lyndon B. Johnson, The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency 1963-1969, (NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971), p. 293.
(17) AP, (June 5, 1967).
(18) Sachar, p. 629.
(18.1) Gili Cohen, &ldquoMinutes of Last General Staff Meeting Before 1967 War: &lsquoEgypt Worried Israel Close to Nuclear Bomb,&rsquo&rdquo Haaretz, (June 24, 2017).
(18a) Sue Surkes, &ldquoMorocco tipped off Israeli intelligence, &lsquohelped Israel win Six Day War,&rsquo&rdquo Times of Israel, (October 16, 2016).
(18b) Meron Medzini, 1967 | The international media and the Six-Day War, Fathom, (2017).
(18c) Abba Eban, An Autobiography, (NY: Random House, 1977), pp. 400-401.
(18d) Eban, p. 401.
(18e) Michael Bar-Zohar, The War Nobody Wanted, inFocus, (Spring 2017), p. 12.
(18f) The six-day war: Israel claims land and air successes as Britain and US declare neutrality, The Guardian, (June 6, 1947).
(18g) Meron Medzini, 1967 | The international media and the Six-Day War, Fathom, (2017).
(18h) Jerusalem Report, (June 12, 2017).
(18i) Major General Rephael Vardi, The Beginning of Israeli Rule in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, (April 16, 1989).
(19) Encyclopedia American Annual 1968, p. 366.
(20) George Gruen, "The Refugees of Arab-Israeli Conflict," (NY: American Jewish Committee, March 1969), p. 5.
(21) Gruen, p. 5.
(21a) Gili Cohen, &ldquoMinutes of Last General Staff Meeting Before 1967 War: &lsquoEgypt Worried Israel Close to Nuclear Bomb,&rsquo&rdquo Haaretz, (June 24, 2017).
(22) Gruen, p. 4.
(23) Katz, p. 3.
(24) Jerusalem Post, (4/23/99).
(24a) William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, &ldquo&lsquoLast Secret&rsquo of 1967 War: Israel&rsquos Doomsday Plan for Nuclear Display,&rdquo New York Times, (June 3, 2017).
(25) Encyclopedia American Annual 1968, p. 366.
(26) Meron Medzini, 1967 | The international media and the Six-Day War, Fathom, (2017).
(27) Major General Rephael Vardi, The Beginning of Israeli Rule in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, (April 16, 1989).
(28) Don Peretz, "Israel's New Dilemma," Middle East Journal, (Winter 1968), pp. 45-46.
(29) Aaron David Miller, &ldquoThe Myths About 1967 That Just Won't Die,&rdquo The Atlantic, (June 2, 2017).
Photo of Dayan, Rabin and Narkiss, Ilan Bruner, Israeli Government National Photo Collection
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History of Major Religions
Judaism is an abrahamic belief based on the teachings of Moses. The holy book of Judaism is the Torah. It is the oldest religion of the group and starts around 4,000 years ago. A main figure from Judaism is Moses who freed the Israelites from bondage. One particular scene from Judaism is Moses with the Ten Commandments. It shows a older long bearded and long haired standing upon a big jagged grey rock. He is holding 2 stone tablets with older Roman numeral on it carved deeply in the tablet.
Jewish, Christianity and Muslim religion all have a similar doctrine. They all are monotheistic and worship the same God. The difference between Jewish and Christianity is that Jewish people do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and are still waiting for the coming of the savior. The difference between Christianity and Muslim is that the Muslim religion believe that Muhammad is the last and final prophet.
Jews and Muslims don't have the best history. During the holocaust, which was a brutal attack on Jewish people led by Adolfo Hitler, most Jewish people were forced out of their homes. They were in the cold with no where to go because their house was in unlivable conditions or the house itself was reduced to crumbles or ash or there were anti-Semitic rallies going on. Seeing this the British gave them a part of Israel that they were colonizing. A part that Muslims were already lived in. They pushed the Muslims to a small part of Israel called the West Bank. They're still not on the best terms
*Origin of Hinduism
Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal.Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Dharma is an important term in Indian religions. In Hinduism it means duty, virtue, morality, even religion and it refers to the power which upholds the universe and society. In Hindu history the highest class, the Brahmins, adhered to this varnashrama-dharma doctrine. The class system is a model or ideal of social order that first occurs in the oldest Hindu text, the Rig Veda and the present-day caste. Hinduism originated around the Indus Valley near the River Indus in modern day Pakistan. About 80% of the Indian population regard themselves as Hindu, also, most Hindus believe in a Supreme God, whose qualities and forms are represented by the multitude of deities which emanate from him.
Hindus believe that existence is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, governed by Karma.
Hindus believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived. In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, or at least elements within it stretch back many thousands of years. Yet Hinduism resists easy definition partly because of the vast array of practices and beliefs found within it. It is also closely associated conceptually and historically with the other Indian religions Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Throughout its extensive history, there have been many key figures teaching different philosophies and writing numerous holy books. For these reasons, writers often refer to Hinduism as 'a way of life' or 'a family of religions' rather than a single religion.
Origin of Confucianism
Confucianism is an archaic, Chinese philosophical tradition that originated from the revolutionary philosopher, Confucius. This out breaking axiom derived from Ancient China during a period of corruption between powerful, dominant rulers & the submissive, feeble lower-class men. With intentions of prosperity, Confucianism was able to strongly subdue the exploitation that occurred between the animosity of the classes in China.
Ancient China was in a prosperous era in which their army of fearless, supreme Zhou rulers kindle the colossal expansion of valued land of other inferior empires. They were also able to establish a beneficial system that granted infertile nobles to obtain partial land in exchange for their much needed service in war they acquiesced even for what was soon to come. Eventually, the rulers took advantage of their power and the article "Mastering the TEKS in World History"' Chinese philosopher Confucius began to put order in China's political and social life as a response to the turmoil.
Confucius theorized that of each citizen performs their divine duties, this would be the key to harmony. The respect of superiors and inferiors were critical to the strive for peace within a civilization. Similar to Buddhism, Confucianism promotes the importance of interrelationships between one to another is paramount to achieve blissful harmony.
In summation, Confucianism's impact on China was what salvage China from further abuse between the supreme leader and the regulated, subordinate citizens that had to accept the ruler's malfeasance.
Destruction of the First Temple (Judaism)
*Origin of Buddhism
Buddhism is a very interesting major religion with a very big set complex of distinguished beliefs. One of them being The Four Noble Truths, which is basically: suffering exist it has a cause it has an end and it has a cause to bring about this end which means, suffering is real, There's a reason for it and it can be ended with good karma, which brings me to Karma. There's another belief which would be called Karma. Karma is basically good or bad actions that someone makes during their lifetime. Good actions bring about happiness in the long run, while bad actions bring about unhappiness in the long run. Hinduism is also a believer in karma, but that's not all that Hindus and Buddhist have in common, Hindus also believe in The Cycle Of Rebirth just like Buddhist. The Cycle Of Rebirth is basically 6 planes into which a person or an animal can be reborn into three fortunate realms and three unfortunate realms, and this is also where Karma plays in because those with good karma are born into 1 of the 3 fortunate realms. The realms of the Demi Gods, the realms of Gods, and the realm of Men are the three fortunate realms. While the unfortunate realms are animal, ghost and hell, who are left to suffer untold suffering. Another thing that really interested me about Buddhist is that they don't have "just one" holy book like how Christianity has the Bible, Buddhist have multiple holy books. Buddhist are also 90% Korean and I also figured out that Buddhist used to study text, now they just practice meditation just like their Buddha did. As you can tell, Buddhism is a very interesting religion with lots of facts and history behind it, its a very loving and relaxing religion and I would definitely join it.
Life of Confucius (Confucianism)
Construction of Second Temple (Judaism)
Life of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddhism)
Fall of Rome (Christianity)
Buddhism Arrives in South East Asia (Buddhism)
Life of Jesus Christ (Christianity)
Christianity is a religion based on the teaching of Jesus Christ. The religion was started 2,000 years ago, when Jesus Christ was born. The religious doctrine for this religion is "The Bible." This religion is based off of the fact that we all sin but can be saved through believing that Jesus Christ died for our sons and rose again. This process is called salvation. One particular scene from Christianity is the scene of the cross where it features an old, rickety wooden cross with a man bleeding profusely and with a crown of thorns around his head. It also shows the man with black iron pegs.
Christianity has some similarities to other religions. Like Islam and Judaism it is monotheistic and their doctrines share the similar qualities. Unlike Christianity, Islam religion recognizes Muhammad as the last prophet and Judaism only uses the Torah which are the first 5 books of the bible and believes that Jesus was not the messiah and they are still waiting for the messiah.
Christianity has had a big impact on the world. A very important impact was the Crusades caused trade and exploration. The crusades were a group of soldiers organized by The Pope to take back the holy land of Jerusalem. They tried many times to take back the holy land but were unsuccessful. It was also the start of the fight between Muslims and Christians. Now some Christians blame all Muslims for terrorist attacks which isn't true. It's kind of funny how these two religions can be so similar and have such animosity for each other. Christianity is a very important religion that has impacted our world in more ways than 1.
Origin of Christianity
Christianity is the belief in the bible and the new testament, From the research I did I learned that christianity is a monotheistic religion and that christians has many beliefs like the trinity, and that Jesus is the son of god. If christianity wouldn't exist people would be part of other religions, but nowadays christianity is one of the biggest religion in the world. In the ancient times in rome christianity was a big deal because all christians believed in only one god and refused to worship the roman gods so they had to meet in secret and if they were caught they were killed. Romans and Christians had different beliefs for example christianity promised life after death in heaven and in Roman religion only gods went to heaven, another belief that christians had was equal opportunity.
Fifth War of Religion, 1575-76 - History
War Of Independence (1857)
The War of Independence is an important landmark in the history of Sub-Continent. This War was fought in 1857 by Indians against the British in order to get rid of their domination. It is also given names as Indian Rebellion, Indian Mutiny as well as Indian Revolt. The main causes of the War were political, social, economical, military and religious. It was an extreme effort made by Indians, but they failed due to certain reasons including mutual jealousies, disunity, and lack of central leadership etc.
This war was not spread throughout India but it was limited to few areas mainly Meerut, Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow etc. The main event which became the immediate cause of the war was the refusal of the Sepoys to use the grease covered cartridges (greased with fat of pig and cow) on January 23, 1857. At the same time, an Indian sepoy killed two British officers at Barrackpore, when he was forced to use greased cartridges. He was arrested and hanged to death on April 8, 1857. This news spread as fast as jungle fire.
On 6th May, 1857 A.D. 85 out of 90 Indian soldiers at Meerut refused to bite the greased cartridges with their teeth. These 85 soldiers were court-martialled and imprisoned for 10 years. They were stripped off their uniforms in the presence of the entire Indian crowd. It was too much of a disgrace and this incident sent a wave of indignation. On 10th May 1857, the Indian soldiers at Meerut broke into open revolt. They released their companions and murdered a few European officers. On the night of 10 th May the mutineers marched to Delhi and reached there on 11 th May.
The revolutionaries reached from Meerut to Delhi on 11th May, 1857 and the small British garrison at Delhi was not able to resist and consequently fell into their hands within 2 days. The Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was proclaimed Emperor of India. In order to regain Delhi, Sir John Lawrence sent a strong British force commanded by John Nicholson. After a long siege of four months, the British recovered Delhi in September 1857 A.D. The Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was captured, his two sons and a grandson were shot dead before his eyes and he was sent to Rangoon where he died in the year 1862 A. D.
At Kanpur the struggle for Independence was led by Nana Sahib Dondu Pant (The adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II). A number of British fell into his hands and he showed great kindness to them. But when he heard about inhuman attitude of Gen. O’Neil towards Indians, he became very furious and killed all the British. General Havelock captured Kanpur after defeating Nana Sahib in a hotly contested battle on June 17, 1857. Later on Nana Sahib, with the help of Tantya Topi, recaptured Kanpur in November, 1857 but not for a long time and British defeated them once again in a fierce war from December 1 to 6, 1857. Nana Sahib fled towards Nepal, where he probably died, while Tantya Tope migrated to Kalpi.
The struggle for independence at Lucknow was led by Nawab, Wajid Ali Shah. The Chief Commissioner, Sir Henry Lawrence, sought refuge with 1000 English and 700 Indian soldiers inside the Residency. The Indians did not make any concession and killed most of the Englishmen, including Sir Henry Lawrence and the notorious English General O’Neil. At last, the Commander-in-Chief General Collin Campbell, marched towards Lucknow and captured it after a fierce battle in March 1858.
The leader of the revolutionaries in Central India was Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi. General Sir Huge Rose attacked Jhansi in March 1858 but the brave Rani Laxmi Bai kept the British General unnerved for quite some time. She with the help of Tantya Tope created problems for the British troops. Both fought many successful battles against the British. A fierce battle was fought between the British and the revolutionaries under Rani Laxmi Bai and Tantya Tope from June 11 to June 1 8, 1 858 A. D. But the personal velour of Rani and Tantya Tope could not match the resources at the command of the British. Tantya Tope was betrayed by the Gwalior Chief Man Singh and fell into the hands of the British. He was subsequently hanged on April 18, 1859.
In Bihar, the Revolt was led by Kunwar Singh, a zamindar of Jagdishpur. Though he was eighty years old, he played a prominent part in the revolt. He fought the British in Bihar and then joined Nana Sahib’s forces and took part in various encounters with the English in Oudh and Central India. He died on April 27, 1858, leaving behind a glorious record of valour and bravery.
Most of the European historians have pointed out that it was a revolt of Indian soldiers who were offended at the use of greased cartridges. In their opinion, the discontented sepoys were incited by the landlords and the deposed native princes and the people of India were not directly involved in this rebellion. They further assert that it was not a national war of independence, in as much as the revolt was confined to a particular region and not to the whole of India large areas like the Punjab, Sind and Rajputana remained unaffected. It was admittedly a great and courageous effort by patriotic Indians to get rid of the foreign domination. It was a glorious landmark in our history in as much as Hindus and Muslims fought shoulder to shoulder to win back their lost independence. One cannot but admire the patriotic spirit of boatmen of Lucknow who refused to carry British soldiers across the river. The sepoys and the people fought gallantly up to the very end. Though the revolt was unsuccessful, the spirit of the people remained unshaken. The revolt left an impression on the minds of the Indian people and thus paved the way for the rise of a strong national movement.