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Seven The Dreadnought Naval Race

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR was fought at a time when naval warfare was on the brink of fundamental change. From the time of the first navies action had been fought on the surface of the sea, and if this war was not the first to see the employment of the mine and torpedo then this war certainly demonstrated these weapons’ formidable power of destruction. The first flight by a heavier-than-air machine took place at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on 17 December 1903, less than two months before the outbreak of this war, and quite obviously pointed to a third dimension of naval war. There were no assault landings in this war but there was the first use of the wireless and the first use of electronic counter-measures. Moreover, there were no central gunnery systems, and actions were fought at ranges that were unprecedented but within ten years had become ludicrously short. Within a service career they were to triple. Range and gunnery were the immediate issues that arose in the wake of this war. In the same year as Tsushima, 1905, the British ordered and laid down a new type of warship, the Dreadnought.1

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10. Court Cases and Political Structure

Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia Indiana University Press ePub

One consequence of the village’s increasing interaction with the urban society and the national government was a greater use by the peasants of the courts. Semyonova records a number of typical court cases she observed; she regards the more frequent use of courts by peasants as destructive of community life. Suits were deployed as weapons against persons one disliked or from whom one could expect to gain some monetary advantage. Peasants, of course, were hardly alone in using the courts in this way. The end of serfdom and the accompanying abolition of the legal authority of the serf owner meant that peasants had to find new methods for settling their disputes. The results may have been a messier, more litigious village life, but it was a school in modern institution building as well. Semyonova also remarks on punishments and the peasants’ attitudes toward corporal as opposed to monetary penalties. Here we see an example of the continuing power of patriarchal authority in the family and how it affected dependent males as well as females.

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5. The President and the Player

Thomas Goodrich Indiana University Press ePub

IT WAS A BRIGHT AND BREEZY DAY ON Charleston Harbor. The sea was stirred and choppy. Those assembled inside and along the crumbling brick walls of Fort Sumter might have seen vistas of billowing whitecaps covering the blue water of the bay had it not been for the hundreds of naval vessels.

“A brilliant gathering of boats, ships, and steamers of every sort had assembled around the battered ruin of the fort,” wrote one amazed viewer. “The whole bay seemed covered with the vast flotilla.”1

The masts alone, said another witness, “was thick as A forest of trees.”2

Inside the shattered fort itself, gusts of wind drove swirling sand and dust into the faces of those in attendance.3 Few were discomfited. Instead, a thrill of high expectation stirred in the hearts of everyone. Today, the symbolic end of the war would be recognized on the very spot where it had begun full four years before. Adding to this startling significance was the breathtaking news of the evening preceding—news that had arrived from Appomattox Court House.4 For the estimated three thousand blacks and whites now seated around the Fort Sumter stage, no timing had ever been more perfect. Thus, the wind and sand and dust were small concerns to a gathering that sat this day, April 14, 1865, in the very center of the hearts and minds of all throughout the reunited nation.5

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4 Mental Illness and Destitution in Ghana: A Social-Psychological Perspective

EMMANUEL AKYEAMPONG Indiana University Press ePub


In several parts of the town [Accra] mentally deranged people, almost all of them men, are seen semi-clothed or naked, their hair and skin caked with dirt. This points to a need for greater institutional provisions. At present, unless such people become dangerous, they are left in the town where they sleep in the open, begging or stealing food.

—Ione Acquah, Accra Survey

THE AFRICAN LITERATURE on mental illness and destitution has limited itself to “vagrant psychotics.” A typical definition of a vagrant psychotic would be the one that guided Taha Baasher and colleagues in their work in Lesotho and Egypt in the 1980s: “A person who was without permanent accommodation, employment, money or regular sources of food and who lived a socially and geographically unsettled life. He should also manifest gross abnormality of behaviour in such a way that his general conduct, emotional reactions, or cognitive functions were such that a psychotic illness could clearly be established” (1983, 35).

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Part 2. Communities

Jeff Sahadeo Indiana University Press ePub

Communal units, in the past and present, have been of critical importance across Central Asia. For pastoralist nomads and settled peoples alike, groups linked by kin, territory, religion, or a shared sense of identity have not only offered camaraderie and shared values, but also provided support vital for everyday existence. In a region endowed with a harsh climate and scarce resources, communities secure food and shelter; arrange marriages and distribute labor and supplies; and defend against unwelcome incursions from outsiders. Communities have also acted as anchors in times of transition. Group loyalties today remain multilayered, even as many residents of Central Asia identify themselves as Afghans, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Turkmen, or Uzbeks, or, in a larger sense, as Muslims. Extended joint families, tribes, clans, villages, and urban neighborhoods (mahallas) are central to individual and group identities and relations, as described in the articles written by Adrienne Edgar, Robert Canfield, and Morgan Liu. Edgar discusses kin-based communities among nineteenth-century Turkmen nomads as vital sources of political and economic solidarity in regions where police or courts were virtually nonexistent. Resource scarcities and power imbalances perpetuate village solidarity in twentieth-century Afghanistan, according to Canfield. Even in contemporary urban Kyrgyzstan, Liu finds a high degree of identification with the centuries-old mahalla, where residents share common courtyards, work, socialize, and pray together. Communal loyalties are less evident, however, in mixed, new districts constructed following the British and Russian conquests.

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