Insight History

Incense, Opium and Imperial Games: A Brief History of Hong Kong - With protests erupting in Hong Kong recently, it is important to understand the fascinating history of this special administrative region of China. From being under British control for over 100 years (starting with the First Opium War), to being occupied by Japan during the Second World War, Hong Kong has been at the center of global affairs for much of its history. Hong Kong is also a region of great symbolic significance to China, as the loss of Hong Kong Island after defeat in the First Opium War marked the start of the century of humiliation, a key event in the psychological history of China. This is the story of Hong Kong…

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Sources:

Basic Law Text - https://bit.ly/2FzoHzL
BBC News (2019) Hong Kong Profile - https://bbc.in/2MK2eW1
Blakemore, E. (2019) How Hong Kong’s complex history explains its current crisis with China National Geographic - https://on.natgeo.com/2kQkWOr
Callahan, W. (2004) National Insecurities: Humiliation, Salvation, and Chinese Nationalism, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 29:2, 199-218.
Gelber, H. (2019) China as "Victim"? The Opium War That Wasn't, Center for European Studies Harvard - Working Paper Series #136.
Kwok-kin, A., A. (1989) ‘The History of Hong Kong: From a Village to a City,’ Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 29, 391-394.
Ng, J. (2017) Beijing says Sino-British treaty on Hong Kong handover still binding but does not allow UK to interfere, South China Morning Post - https://bit.ly/2m0v5Zi
Ng, J. (2017) Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong ‘no longer has any realistic meaning’, Chinese Foreign Ministry says, South China Morning Post - https://bit.ly/2HHr58s
Pletcher, K. (2019) Opium Wars, Encyclopaedia Britannica - https://bit.ly/2hSHBFs
Treaty of Nanjing, US-China Institute - https://bit.ly/2lVZjwm
UK Parliament Briefing (2019) Hong Kong: Joint Declaration - https://bit.ly/2YjgucH
Note: the sources consulted to construct this narrative do not necessarily endorse the narrative constructed.

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The Times of India https://bit.ly/2kyY5H8
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Historical and Commercial Atlas of China, Harvard University Press 1935 https://bit.ly/2mvdgBN
Edward Duncan https://bit.ly/2z4mqbB
Johannes Vingboons https://bit.ly/2kZ5Upw
Michael Angelo Hayes (artist), James Henry Lynch (lithographer) Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection https://bit.ly/2m8kX0g
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“Illustration of Chinese Generals from Pyongyang Captured Alive” by Migita Toshihide, October 1894. Collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston https://bit.ly/2kzfi3e
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Booklet of "The Battle of Hong Kong- Hong Kong under the camera of the Japanese Army" Exhibition, Hong Kong Museum of History, 2002 - Mainichi Newpaper, Japan https://bit.ly/2kZX5vR
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Newspeak: George Orwell Predicted Brexit in his Book 1984...

Unless you have been living on Pluto for the past couple of years, you are probably sick to death of hearing about Brexit, irrespective of your political views on the matter. Despite the mass media endlessly covering many aspects of Brexit, the history of the word “Brexit” itself has had less coverage. This is the story of the word Brexit and how it pertains to George Orwell’s masterpiece, 1984. As it turns out, Brexit is directly from the pages of Orwell’s most famous book, as Brexit is literally newspeak!

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Sources:

Allen, K. (2012) Greek impasse raise fears of 'Grexit' – The Guardian, 7 Feb.
BBC News. (2016) Brexit added to Oxford English Dictionary - 15 Dec.
Buiter, W. Expert Bio – Council on Foreign Relations.
Courtine, J, J., and Willett, L. (1986) ‘A Brave New Language: Orwell's Invention of "Newspeak" in 1984’ SubStance, 15:2, 69-74.
Dowd, V. (2017) Why George Orwell is returning to the BBC – BBC News, 7 Nov.
Flood, A. (2016) Brexit named word of the year, ahead of Trumpism and hygge – The Guardian, 3 Nov.
Orwell, G. (2008) Nineteen Eighty-Four (London: Penguin Books).
Ro, C. (2019) How Brexit Changed the English Language – BBC News, 14 Mar.
Scott, J., and Gordon, T. (2009) Ogden, Charles Kay – Oxford Dictionary of National Bibliography.
Wilding, P. (2012) Stumbling towards the Brexit – BlogActiv, 15 May.

Note: the sources consulted to construct this narrative do not necessarily endorse the narrative constructed.

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PSYOP Master: Genghis Khan’s Use of Psychological Warfare to Expand the Mongol Empire - This is the story of how one of the greatest conquerors in human history, Genghis Khan, managed to found and expand perhaps the most epic empire to have ever existed: the Mongol Empire. At its zenith, the Mongol Empire stretched from India to Hungary, with Mongol warriors ripping through much of Eurasia.

One of the key ways Genghis Khan managed to expand his Empire so dramatically was through the effective use of psychological warfare. Genghis Khan’s use of psychological warfare essentially entailed using deception and propaganda to reduce the desire of a target population to fight what may have seemed to be a superhuman Mongol army. One of the psychological operations (or PSYOPS) used by Genghis Khan was to order his Mongol warriors to attach tree branches to the tails of their horses so that more dust and sand would flick-up into the air when riding, meaning that enemies observing a Mongol army from a distance would think that the army was far larger than it actually was in reality. Please watch the video to get the full story…

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Sources:

Kelly, J. (2008) The secret world of 'psy-ops' BBC News - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7464430...
Kerchner, P., Deckro, R., & Kloeber, J. (2001) Valuing Psychological Operations. Military Operations Research, 6(2), 45-65.
Narula, Sunil (2004) 'Psychological operations (PSYOPs): A conceptual overview', Strategic Analysis, 28:1, 177-192.
Padover, S. (1951) Psychological Warfare and Foreign Policy The American Scholar, 20(2), 151-161.
Weatherford, J. (2004) Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (New York, Broadway Books).
Tzu, S. (2009) The Art of War (New York: Classic Books International).

Note: the sources consulted to construct this narrative do not necessarily endorse the narrative constructed.

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Was Democracy Really Born in Ancient Athens? Why is the relationship between democracy and ancient Athens far more nuanced in reality than the way it is often portrayed? This is the story of the genesis of democracy and how it relates to ancient Athens in classical Greece. From the early reforms of Solon to the more comprehensive reforms of Cleisthenes, ancient Athens flourished as a democracy for well over a century, although this ancient form of democracy had notable limitations by present-day standards. The adoption of a form of this radical idea by the ancient Athenian civilisation did not go unchallenged however, as the Spartans invaded in a failed bid to reverse the move towards a more democratic constitution by the political leaders of classical Athens.

This video will also highlight the views of some of the most famous and arguably some of the wisest and greatest philosophers in the ancient world – namely, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle – whose views on democracy as a governing constitution may surprise you, considering how well and how highly people think of democracy today. Interestingly, Socrates and Plato had deep suspicions of democracy at best, and hated democracy at worst, although Aristotle had a more nuanced view of the form of governing constitution that is widely perceived today to be the pinnacle political system any nation-state can adopt.

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Sources:

Aristotle (Translation – Sinclair, T., and Saunders, T.) (1981) The Politics (London: Penguin Group).
Berg-Schlosser, D. (2019) “Long Waves and Conjunctures of Democratization,” in Haerpfer, C., Bernhagan, P., Welzel, C. and Inglehart, R. (eds.) Democratization, 2nd edn. (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 67-81.
Braund, D. (1994) ‘The Luxuries of Athenian Democracy David Braund,’ Greece and Rome, 41:1, 41-48.
Fox, R. L. (2006) The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome (London: Penguin Group).
McWhorter, R. L. (1951) ‘The Athenian Democracy,’ The Georgia Review, 5:3, 290-299.
Plato (Translation Lee, D.) (2007) The Republic (London: Penguin Group).

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This is the story of how subsidized grain and violent gladiatorial games were part of a Machiavellian political strategy by the Roman elite to keep the masses under control.

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Sources Consulted:

Beard, M. (2015) SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (London: Profile Books).
Brantlinger, P. (1983) Bread and Circuses: Theories of Mass Culture as Social Decay (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).
Fox, R.L. (2006) The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome (London: Penguin Books).
Killeen, F. (1953/54) ‘Bread and Circuses,’ Journal of Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, 25:3/4, 67-77.
Machiavelli, N. (Translation Constantine, P.) (2009) The Prince (London: Vintage Books) quote p.69.
Potter, D. (2013) The Emperors of Rome: The Story of Imperial Rome from Julius Caesar to the Last Emperor (London: Quercus Editions Ltd).

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Created 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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This channel is dedicated to exploring the fascinating stories from history that often go untold.

Although I have a particular interest in ancient civilizations, this channel will highlight stories from a variety of time periods and geographical areas - if there is a story to be told, nothing else matters.

I have a first-class honours degree in Politics and International Relations from Strathclyde University. As part of my degree, I took classes in history, journalism, creative writing and statistics, giving me a broad understanding of global affairs, both past and present.

Please subscribe to this channel and help support it by sharing, liking and donating to it. If you have any questions, sponsorship offers, copyright enquiries or if you need to get in touch for any other reason, please contact me via: [email protected]