The conquest of the Aztecs, from the perspective of the Tlaxcalans, the native allies of the Spanish. (Although really any perspective would be interesting.)
A movie about the life of Emperor Qin, the first emperor of China (biographical perspective)
A movie about the fall of Granada in 1492.
A movie about Charles V of Spain (biographical perspective)
A movie about William Walker, the American filibuster who took over Nicaragua as his own country for six months in the mid 1800s.
A movie about the founding of the American slave colony of Liberia, from the perspective of the Liberians.
A biographical movie about Brazilian president Getulio Vargas. (He was a very complex figure and extremely interesting, check him out sometime…)
A movie about Tamerlane. It would be interesting to see it from the Indian perspective (he reportedly devastated Delhi so severely that literally no one survived the attack. Traders that came upon the city reported that everything down to the songbirds in the city had been completely wiped out by the fires.), but I think that a biographical film would be more interesting as he ruled a vast empire and had many interesting adventures.
Will this honesty include slave auction blocks, whips and chains, rape of black women by whites, lynching, murder, beatings, sadism in general, a refusal to educate the slaves, a refusal to give them medical care, squalid housing etc etc etc.?:rolleyes:
No this movie will show the historical reality of the antebellum south which is something you are evidently not familiar with. You have bought into the simplistic, moralistic, history which was written by the victors. I can take you and show you the mass grave of 5,000 Irishmen who died of Yellow Fever digging the drainage ditches of New Orleans. Slaves were more valuable. Can we talk about the slave uprisings here in Louisiana in which white women were raped by black men? The whole point of having a historically realsitic movie about the antebellum south is to show that the reality is quite different from the hype. And, oh, oh, you might actually have to confront the fact that there were wealthy plantation owners here in Louisiana who were black and who owned slaves and who fought on the side of the Confederacy - reality not hype.
Andruschak, I’m sure Rolltide will agree with me although I defer to the good doctor. Few things in history are cut and dried. My reference to the Battle of Hastings comes from someone with a deep love of Anglo-Saxon history and archaeology. Few know (nor most likely care) that just two weeks prior to Hastings the fyrd (army) of the Anglo Saxons fought a pitched battle at Stamford Bridge in York and then had to march south to fight the Normans.
Most people assume that Hernan Cortes just marched into Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) with his miserable little army of conquistadores and just took over an entire empire. I know precisely what Rolltide is talking about. It wasn’t Cortes, it was Cortes and all of his Mesoamerican allies who were fed up with the Aztecs. This point gets conviently left out of revisionist history.
So your facile, politically correct responses just don’t reflect historical reality - certainly not about the Fourth Crusade nor even more so about the War of Northern Agression.
Respectfully - before you spout the hype, at least have the courtesy to explore the subject fully.
Brother Hrolf - student of history and anthropology.
First, let me comment on the conquest of Mexico, since my specialty is Latin America. Actually, the really old history does tend to overemphasize the power of the Spanish a bit, at the expense of the Indian allies. However, it also tended to support the Black Legend, so in this case, there actually was a real need for a revision. A lot of good history on this subject was written in the late 80s and early 90s, so this is one of those cases in which the “revision” of history was pretty worthwhile. Keep in mind that historical movements tend to work in about 30 year cycles. A “revisionist” theory comes out, and many people get behind it. This is usually due to some kind of new evidence that’s uncovered. Now, depending on the evidence, that can be good or bad. (For example, now is a VERY good time to study the former USSR, because we now have access to all kinds of formerly secret documents.) Then, as people realize that they may have abandoned too much of the old theory, there is a conservative shift back that lasts about another 20-30 years. By the time this is all sorted out, the facts usually get about right, but another source will pop up, and the revision starts all over again.
But yes, with regard to Mexico, there is NO WAY Cortez and 300 men would have conquered an empire of around 13 million people by themselves. The reason they were victorious was due to many factors. Having 100,000 Tlaxcalan Indian allies in your corner who hated that the Aztecs kept sacrificing all of their people helped a lot. Disease helped just as much. Native Americans had no immunity to European diseases, so even if a Native American survived smallpox, they might die of yellow fever, or the plague, or even the flu. Within two years, a staggering NINETY percent of the Aztecs had died from European diseases. The Spanish also had horses, which were unknown in the New World, and gunpowder, cannons, and guns to go along with it. The only metals known in the New World were gold and silver, and they were hardly materials for weapons. The Spanish had steel swords, pikes, and armor. Finally, the Spanish got really lucky, because Aztec legend had predicted the return of their god Quetzalcoatl in precisely the year the Spanish arrived. This god was supposed to come and destroy the Aztec civilization, and appear as a pale human with flaming hair. Given that Cortez was white, and had red hair, he fit the bill completely. The Aztecs believed the Spaniards were gods until it was too late.
At my college, I get to teach the Civil War quite a bit, although I will admit, it’s a bit of a nightmare scenario being a northern carpetbagger from Minnesota living in Alabama! Pretty much whatever you say, someone’s gonna say you’re wrong. lol
I make sure to point out lots of different viewpoints. I make it clear that although slavery was a component of the Civil War, it was the underlying economic inequality that made the South almost a colony of the North that drove them to use more slaves, and really triggered the war. I point out the issues behind “Bleeding Kansas”, and that the “free state” group in Kansas that was against slavery was against it because they were so racist, they preferred to have no blacks in Kansas whatsoever. At the same time, I point out that there were units from every southern state except South Carolina that fought for the North, and in fact, there were more Union soldiers from Tennessee than Confederate soldiers (despite being a Confederate state). There were of course many Confederates from Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and the like as well. I also point out that most whites in the South were poor or lower middle class. There were actually surprisingly few people in the South with enough slaves to be considered real planters. In fact, here are the actual census figures:
To be considered a planter, one needed to own 20 slaves. Under that definition, about 1 in 30 southern whites in 1860 were considered planters (about 4%).
11,000 owned 50 or more
2,300 owned 100 or more
11 owned 500 or more
Only 1 ever owned more than 1,000
The total number of southern slaveholders in 1860 was 383,637 out of a total white population of 8 million. Assuming each family numbered five people, then about 1 in 4 whites owned at least one slave. The VAST majority of whites, however, either had no slaves, or owned one or two that worked right along side of them in the fields. They feared the end of slavery because the newly freed blacks would compete with them for scarce jobs. Poor whites resented planters almost as much as blacks did.
I will also point out that you are correct, there were black slaveholders (although some were really mulattoes), BUT… they were very uncommon. Between 1800 and 1860, there were just 3,775 blacks or mulattoes that owned 12,760 slaves. This is the total over a sixty year period. You will also note that that averages out to about 3 slaves per free black. This also includes a LARGE number of blacks that were considered slave holders because they bought their relatives to FREE them. This figure also includes some from the post-Revolutionary period in RI, CT, IL, NJ, NY, and the border states, so this figure is for the nation as a whole, not the South. There were a few black that could be considered planters, primarily in Louisiana and South Carolina, but that tended to be less common the further one got from the Revolutionary era.
The problem with Civil War history is that our two stereotypes are Gone With the Wind and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both are extremes that contain some elements of truth, but do not truly represent the reality of the South in any historically accurate way.