Stunningly good journalism here

Attack In Mali: What We Know So Far


The country is a former French colony

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a complex subject summed up so precisely.

26 thoughts on “Stunningly good journalism here”

  1. On another blog comment thread I was assured that whereas France had really been a country for only a few hundred years, the Mali Empire had lasted for several thousand years.

  2. While many claim that France is really the same as Roman Gaul, it is only since the sixteenth century that it has been established on its current borders (give or take the odd dust up with Germany over Alsace-Lorraine).

  3. The Mali empire lasted thousands of years? No, c.1200 – c.1600, IIRC.

    Still, empires are good when Black. And whitey always tries to diminish Black History.

  4. It’s only since the sixteenth century that England has incorporated all of Berwick, Cumbria, Cornwall, and Wales, but you’d still date it to 1066, surely?

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Theophrastus – “Still, empires are good when Black. And whitey always tries to diminish Black History.”

    Just in passing, Mali’s only export of note, apart from terror, is Salif Keita. Beloved by status-seeking Hipsters the world over who like to pretend they like the man’s music.[1] However he is a little bit whiter than your average Malian. That is, he is an albino. So he was rejected by his family and village. Forced into singing for a living. And he has campaigned pretty much his entire life against actual real discrimination against albinos – especially murdering them for their body parts to make traditional medicines.

    Meanwhile some Columbia student is claiming she is traumatised by having to read dead White males in her Western Civilisation course.

    [1] But not me. I have incredible Hipster cred because while I prefer Youssou N’Dour, I also name drop Angelique Kidjo.

  6. It’s only since the sixteenth century that England has incorporated all of Berwick, Cumbria, Cornwall, and Wales
    The first three, I suppose. I didn’t now about Wales, though – when did that happen?

  7. The Act of Union, 1536 joined England and Wales formally for the first time, with laws in both (English) becoming standardised.

    The King that made this happen, Henry VIII, was Welsh, and the intention was to give the Welsh equality within the wider Kingdom, and to harmonise the laws within it.

    In theory, Wales became a constituent part of the Kingdom of England from that point.

  8. Note for students of the EU:

    This union was popular with the Welsh (Welch?) chattering classes of the time, but was eventually resented by the ordinaries as it diminished local identity and customs.

    A fact paid for frequently on the rugby field.

  9. Wales was effectively brought into line with England by Henry V, in what was probably his first major act as king. He fought the Welsh in the army of his father outside Shrewsbury and took an arrow in the face for his efforts, but when he became king he made peace with them and dealt with the one or two holdouts. Wales has been aligned with England since then, and which is why a good portion of the army at Agincourt was made up of Welshmen. Long may such cooperation continue.

  10. Apparently of the 6-7,000 archers in Henry V’s army at Agincourt, recruitment records show that only 400 were Welsh. (ref. Worshipful Company of Bowyers)

  11. “Out of interest, why 1066?” Because before that “England” was a doubtful and fleeting proposition, even after then end of the separate Mercia, Wessex, Northumbria, and so on. For a spell it was two countries in one kingdom (the Danelaw and the rest), for some time part of the Danish Empire, and for some time it was, by agreement, to be permanently split into two kingdoms (Danish and German, or if you prefer it ‘Anglo-Saxon’) on the death of the then king. Only the death of the Danish heir averted that. The whole schemozzle was sorted out by William the Bastard in one afternoon in 1066 followed by a few years mopping up. That’s when a lasting centralised state was imposed, and therefore seems the obvious date from which to date the country, since a centralised state has been one of its defining features ever since.

  12. What a strange view of history, dearieme. 1066 was the end of any prospect of an independent England. It became an adjunct of France. And, no sooner had we housetrained our French overlords, they subsumed the sheepshaggers.
    And thus, even today, there’s no such thing as an independent England. Every other benighted portion of the dis-United Kingdom has a measure of independence, but.

  13. dcardno: “…really missing that preview…”

    BiCR suggested Tim just throw his web monkey a banana – sounded like a good solution to me…:)

  14. BiS,
    William was from Normandy, not France. And the Normans weren’t French.

    I see you’re point, however “England” had existed since 927. Even though successful invasions continued, it was “England” being conquered.

  15. In the sense of England as a political union or single country.

    Having driven out the last Vikings from England, Athelstan was crowned the first King of England in 927.

    Of course, there’s more than one opinion on this as there was no House of Dimbleby to confirm one way or the other.

  16. But A hadn’t driven out the last Vikings, had he? The Danelaw remained a separate jurisdiction. His control of the north (of what is now England) was always tenuous. After his death in 939 the Dublin Vikings seized back control of York and the Kingdom of Northumbria; there was still a self-conscious Kingdom of Northumbria to accede to. After lots of to-ing and fro-ing with the Dublin Vikings there was then a spell of at least nominal Anglo-Saxon control but with the Danelaw still existing. Then came a spell as part of the Danish Empire. See what I mean about ‘fleeting’? The England of lasting identity – highly centralised, one law, one set of custom duties – came with William. Nothing fleeting about that: England remained a separate Kingdom until 1707, apart from the Cromwellian episode. The argument that the Norman and Angevin kings also had property on the continent seems quite irrelevant to me: they ruled England as one centralised kingdom, distinct from their other property.

  17. Fleeting or otherwise, it was a united England that William was invading and laid claim to.

    I take your point about consolidation and so forth, however, I don’t feel there’s one definitive answer here.

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