“Riots are the voices of the unheard.”Martin Luther King Jr.

ignoring history

we choose to do this
as a society
as a race
we clamber for bread
and circuses like Romans
already corrupted
lounging in our spas
barking orders
throwing undesirables
to the lions because
we don’t really know why
but we do it anyway
we live for it somehow
it comforts us
to wield this power
like crafty would be gods
creating chance
and circumstances
handing out candy
lording over life and death

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Ostend Manifesto

October 1854

The Ostend Manifesto, also known as the Ostend Circular, was a document written in the shadow of the Monroe Doctrine by future President James Buchanan, then U.S. minister to Britain, John Young Mason, U.S. minister to France, and Pierre Soulé, U.S. minister to Spain. While smugly rationalizing the purchase of Cuba from Spain by the United States in the name of national security, the manifesto implied that the U.S. should also declare war and de-facto seize Cuba if Spain refused.

Cuba’s tobacco and sugarcane industries had long been coveted by Southern pro-slavery expansionists eager to acquire Cuba as a slave territory for the United States. Fears of Cuban slave revolts with massacres of the kind seen during the brutal Haitian Revolution and the hastening collapse of the Spanish Empire also helped drive discourse on the Cuba question.

The Bolshevik Government readily agreed to the now spectacularly harsh terms of the treaty posthaste, in doing, surrendering any territorial claims to Finland, the Baltic states, Kars Oblast, Ukraine, and most of Belarus. Russia also lost a third of its population, the bulk of its heavy industry, and the entire oilfields of the Caucuses.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

March 1918

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, also known as the Brest Peace in Russia, was a peace treaty signed between the new Bolshevik Government of Russia and the Central Powers of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire, bringing an end to Russia’s comprehensive thrashing in World War I. Protracted negotiations conducted, and abruptly ended, by Leon Trotsky resulted in swift repercussions by the German military via the Russian railway line to Moscow.

Sykes-Picot Agreement

May 1916

The Sykes-Picot Agreement, also known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was secretly negotiated during World War 1 between Colonel Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes of Great Britain and Lawyer & Historian Francois Georges-Picot of France, with the assent of the Russian Empire and Italy, calling for the complete dismemberment of the disintegrating Ottoman Empire once the war was won.

As intended, the end of World War 1 eventually led to the formal divvying up of the Levant between Britain and France. Adding to the Protectorate of Egypt, formerly known as the Veiled Protectorate, were the new British Mandates of Palestine, Trans-Jordan and Iraq. The French were awarded with the new Mandates of Lebanon and Syria.

Focal Points

American History
  • Revolutionary War
  • Civil War
  • Indian Wars
  • Spanish War
  • Great Depression
  • Civil Rights
  • Vietnam
  • Cold War
  • Post-9/11
European History
  • Industrial Rev
  • British Empire
  • Russian Empire
  • French Revolution
  • German Empires
  • Rise of Communism
  • Rise of Fascism
  • Rise of Nazism
  • Iron Curtain
World History
  • Roman Empire
  • The Crusades
  • World in 1812
  • World War 1
  • Versailles Treaty
  • Middle East
  • World War 2
  • Cold War
  • Post-9/11
Social Influences
  • Religions
  • Renaissance
  • Enlightenment
  • Philosophers
  • Colonialism
  • Slavery
  • Communism
  • Nationalism
  • Globalism

“Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people.”

Heinrich Heine

Famous Miscalculations

Adolf Hitler

You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.”

George Armstrong Custer

“Custer’s luck! The biggest Indian Village on the Continent!”

Piet Retief

We solemnly declare that we leave this colony with a desire to enjoy a quieter life than we have hitherto had.

All commentary copyrighted 2020
by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers, armchair [history] freak, Cherry Publications.

ignoring history copyrighted 2009
by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers.

Armchair photos copyrighted 2019 by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers.

All other photos acquired through creative commons resources.