HistoryLite

For amateur historians and trivia collectors everywhere

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Location: Masterton, New Zealand

I survived school history despite the best efforts of the education system to bore me to death. Many years later, I discovered Treaties, dates, the movement of nations, are mere context. The fascination is in the details.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Once upon a time ...... A.G. Street (1892-1966) speculates on how the British Empire began -

"Why were the sailors from such a small nation so successful wherever they voyaged? Largely because they did not set out with any idea of conquering the world. Being islanders they perforce went to sea. In their travels they landed on strange shores, where in most cases they found a state of things that offended their ideas of what was fitting for human beings. So they stayed and put it right, not so much because they wanted the job, but rather because they had stumbled on it, and felt it was up to them to do the right thing. Thus, without deliberate design they founded a great empire overseas. But, in conformity with the illogical character of the English, they allowed each part to govern itself, being free to support the Motherland in time of war or not as its people should decide."
('England Today in Pictures', Odhams Press Ltd., 1947)

Yes, dear reader, there was a time when the people were so ignorant of the facts they believed in fairy stories.

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