Somehow during my busy work day I had the opportunity to actually read for pleasure (translates to: some aspect of history). I thank my colleague Jeff for that one! It was an informative/entertaining article–well at least to my dorky self. I understand sometimes my pleasure reading isn’t like most of my peers, as I find anything having to do with European history utterly enchanting. There is the occasional period when I find a VOGUE or PEOPLE magazine to be what my overworked brain needs–time away from critical thinking and graduate school words ( some of which I had no clue existed). Perspicacity, alacrity, swarthy….yeah grab a dictionary, unless you’re a *word* kind of person. My IPhone Scrabble friends will like those. I must add…this may be the only time I use them.
So in that glorious 5 minutes of spare time I came across the article 1848 vs. 2011 by Kurt Anderson. Most Americans may not even realize what happened in 1848 and how it relates to 2011. But then again, why would they? That’s 163 years ago! Since I’m at the end of a degree in European History it registered immediately–we’re living during a time when history is actually repeating itself! How could I be so blind?
For those who are world history challenged–this is the short version of 1848–basically with *alacrity* revolutions began taking place all over Europe. The end result–monarchies tumbled. France, again the instigator of revolutions, started it by disposing King Louis-Philippe and replaced him with my dear Napoleon’s *perspicuous* nephew, Louis Napoleon III.
So here we are in 2011…and instead of France igniting the revolutionary fire (thank you baby Jesus) it’s the Middle Eastern swarthy monarchs and authoritarians that are taking the plunge into exile (some with a fight others not so much).
There are many parallels to each of these periods in time. The underlying tenet is that human history will invariable repeat if we don’t heed the messages that history so desperately tries to impart on mankind. As Americans let’s hope the messages left by our predecessors have been heard.
So if you are interested in reading about 1848 vs. 2011 you will find the article here: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2058092,00.html
Even for those who aren’t into history there’s a nice graphic to look at!
History repeats itself – so true! It seems we can’t learn the lessons of the past. Not to get too geeky, but if only we had the borg hive-mind like on Star Trek Next Generation. If all experience could go into one collective consciousness, then maybe we wouldn’t make the same mistakes over and over.
I did a minor in history in college but I always just thought of it as stories – that the past didn’t have much relevance to the present. I never knew how true the phrase “history will repeat itself” was until I got older!
Great blog post. Glad to find another history and Paris lover!