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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Andropov4 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:47 am

My guess is that, between 1807 and 1861, the value of a dollar wasn't constant. I think it's entirely possible that $225 in 1807 was the equivalent of $12,000 today and that $800 in 1861 was the equivalent of $176,000 today.
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Askias » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:10 am

Andropov4 wrote:My guess is that, between 1807 and 1861, the value of a dollar wasn't constant. I think it's entirely possible that $225 in 1807 was the equivalent of $12,000 today and that $800 in 1861 was the equivalent of $176,000 today.


To be honest, this seems all over the map. It's not simple inflation, as the site you linked told me the annual inflation rate between 1807 and 1861 was actually negative (-0.5%/year).

A tool on their site allows you to set a number of dollars in a past year, then give a value in a more current year. Asking for $225 in 1807 to be translated to 2012 yielded this:

In 2012, the relative value of $225.00 from 1807 ranges from $4,050.00 to $6,180,000.00

As in: between four-thousand dollars and six million.

I'll just leave history to historians...
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Andropov4 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:15 am

I'm not an early Americanist or an economic historian, so this is a bit (or a lot) outside my purview. I'm basically just trusting the experts here.
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Askias » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:27 am

Andropov4 wrote:I'm not an early Americanist or an economic historian, so this is a bit (or a lot) outside my purview. I'm basically just trusting the experts here.


As will I. The tool is actually pretty facinating. If you take the 225 dollars in 1807 and use the Historic Standard of Living to determine how much vital stuff you can buy and how much money that would cost you in 2012, you get a value of 4600 dollar (rough). Measure the 'economic power', which holds the number against the total output of the economy (which has obviously grown a lot more), and you get the six million dollar number. There are 9 different values given. I'll bookmark this one.
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby DamianaRaven » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:27 am

Andropov4 wrote:I'm not an early Americanist or an economic historian, so this is a bit (or a lot) outside my purview.


I fucking love it when you talk nerdy!
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Matt the Czar » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:05 am

What would it be like if Bavaria became the founder of Germany?
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Andropov4 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:29 am

ToixStory wrote:Something I've wondered for a while, but were conditions around the time of the French Revolution in Europe suitable for a revolution in any other place besides France? As in, could there have been an Austrian Revolution, a Spanish Revolution, etc.? I know Russia had their own thing a few decades later, but I mean around the time of 1783-1800.

Also, any good texts on post American Revolutionary War Europe before the French Revolution? Everything I find skips right over that period (brief as it was) and into the French Revolution. Basically, anything on Europe from 1783-1800. And by texts, yes, I mean dense, thick academic texts. They're my bread and butter, being enough of a fan of history that I take university courses on it for fun.


Sorry, I missed this a while back. Hopefully, you'll see this and not think I'm just ignoring you.

As for texts on the period, I know of many books that cover the period, but I can't think of any that cover just this period. For instance, there's Peter McPhee's Social History of France, but that runs from 1780-1914. But there are also books that only cover portions of the period. I would recommend After the Imperial Turn. It covers some of the territory you want, and a lot that you don't, as it is mostly concerned with colonialism/imperialism, but perhaps more importantly the bibliographies and works cited will give you a lot of different avenues to explore whatever strikes your fancy regarding the time period.

Regarding revolutions, I suppose that if you tweaked a factor or two in any country, suddenly revolution becomes much more feasible. But I don't think any other country had quite the same confluence of events, ideas, and people that made the revolution what it was. The English Civil War was more than a century old, and tensions in Russia hadn't quite started to boil over. But in just about another half-century, in large part due to Napoleon's conquests accidentally spreading a lot of the ideas that led to the French Revolution, there were a huge number of attempted revolutions. So it would be difficult to say that the rest of Europe was far removed from revolutionary action, but it doesn't seem to me that any other state had quite the right brew at the time.

EDIT: Oh, right. I came here to answer Matt's question.

Anywho, this is of course purely speculative, but I suspect that had Bavaria become the preeminent German state and the driver of unification, it would have had a substantial impact on both German and world history. Bavaria was somewhat less militaristic than Prussia, as well as being much friendlier towards France. The Kingdom of Bavaria was also a much more liberal state than Prussia, being early adopters of representative governance and constitutional monarchy. Furthermore, Bavaria had a rather antagonistic relationship with Austria. The system of alliances that helped create WWI would have been profoundly affected by these differences betwixt Bavaria and Prussia.

Ultimately, it's very hard to know what would have happened. Perhaps we wouldn't have had two world wars. Or maybe we'd be in the midst of WWIV. Guessing how history would proceed were one to make such a large change is virtually impossible.
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby LaChaise » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:38 am

Now I'm picturing the alternate SS in their infamous uniform feared the world over: the dark Lederhosen.
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Matt the Czar » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:57 am

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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Andropov4 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:58 pm

Matt the Czar wrote:http://thecommentsection.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6603&start=60#p144378

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6603&start=60#p144398

How would you make this alternate history come about?


I'm, like, 95% certain it's impossible. Maybe doable if everyone discovered nuclear weapons at roughly the same time near the turn of the century, forcing a sort of multi-sided Cold War. But the tensions caused by an increasingly agitated lower class in Russia, generations of bad blood and warfare betwixt Prussia and France, and rising nationalism in the Balkans makes this scenario extremely difficult to envision. It's possible that, with a handful of changes, you could make something similar happen in an alternate timeline, though.

Let's say, for some reason, Prussia didn't become the unifying force in Germany. Instead of the German Empire, you ended up with a republic dominated by Wurttemberg and Bavaria (maybe Hanover as well, though they didn't have quite the same liberal leanings as their German cousins). Austria decides that the Balkans aren't worth it and works out a deal with the Ottomans to create several Balkan states, plus an independent Hungary. With the major powers on either side supporting peace, growth, and stability, the new Balkan states bring some semblance of peace to that region. In Russia, the revolt goes on unchanged, but instead of disposing of the Czar, he is made into a figurehead similarly to the monarchy in the UK, and power is shared between a Lenin-less Communist party (dominated by Trotsky instead) and the various political groups making up the former White army. It would likely be tense and constantly teetering, but a placid Balkans and diplomatic involvement by the other powers leaves Russia settling into a new stability. In the aftermath, Russia is given significant incentives to ceded some portions of its eastern reaches to the Japanese in order to avoid war. Of course, all of this relies on events falling absolutely perfectly and everyone involved preferring to sacrifice a little and compromise rather than go to war. Considering how devoted a lot of these groups were and how entrenched the old systems had become...it's crazily unlikely. And I'm sure that there's at least something I'm missing here (and not just one of the several dozen relatively minor inflection points that it would be tedious to go over). So, yeah. It's one of the more ludicrous alternate histories out there, in that it requires a number of low-percentage scenarios instead of just one big twist.
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Matt the Czar » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:19 am

That seems likely. Two clarifications however: I apoligize for the oddly colored Austria-Hungary. I had released Austria from it to test the different colors. My idea for the USAH is that Franz Jospeh dies a decade earlier, meaning the Franz Ferdinand prevents the Bosnian Crisis that eventually led to his death by pulling out of Bosnia, and reforms the Empire into a parliamentary state. Germany's capital is Frankfurt, as it was founded in 1849 (crown from the gutter and all), and went to war with Bavaria to claim it. It is a strong power, but there is a perpetual tension between the Kaiser's imperialist dreams, and the duties of the Parliment. Also, I'm majorly reworking Russia as of now. The Tsar IRL wanted to modernize Tsarism and put it on the same level as the other philosophies of government. Instead of being the first Communist government, it will be the first Nationalist government (this timeline's rough equivelent of Fascism.)
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby DamianaRaven » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:49 pm

What do you do if your ass (or worse) suddenly starts itching in the middle of a lecture? Also, how grammatically correct is it to say "ask an historian"?
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Andropov4 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:04 am

DamianaRaven wrote:What do you do if your ass (or worse) suddenly starts itching in the middle of a lecture? Also, how grammatically correct is it to say "ask an historian"?


A or an historian seems to be a matter or preference; it originally developed because people didn't pronounce the "H" in historian, but most modern folks do, so using an is a sort of archaic linguistic artifact. I still think an historian sounds better, though.

As far as itchy asses, that's what grad students are for.
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby DamianaRaven » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:38 am

Do you have a favorite student?
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Re: Ask a Historian

Postby Andropov4 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:50 am

DamianaRaven wrote:Do you have a favorite student?


Of course I don't. Just like parents don't have favourite children.

Image

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Honestly, one does try not to play favourites, but it's basically impossible. When you have students who are not just smart enough to keep up, but smart enough to question and be critical of what they're learning, you find yourself liking them more. And I don't just mean the ones who are blindly critical of whatever disagrees with the thoughts and beliefs they brought into the classroom with them; I mean the ones who are really analyzing the text and thinking about what's being said in deep ways. The students who can discover a new perspective or angle, even in a relatively minor reading, are my favourites. The ones who can occasionally change the way you teach something and open up new discussions and possibilities. Those students are the best.
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