Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Germany's Plan to Attack America in 1897

Kaiser Wilhelm II

     In November 1889, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy called for the rapid expansion of the United States Navy, stating that for twenty years the fleet had been neglected and become technologically obsolete.  America stood twelfth among the naval powers of the earth.  The U.S. fleet consisted of 11 armored and 31 unarmored vessels, whereas the British fleet boasted 76 armored and 291 unarmored vessels.  The German fleet had 40 armored and 105 unarmored ships.  The American fleet was outranked by even the eleventh rate navy of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire which had 12 armored and 44 unarmored ships.
In 1897 a staff officer, Lieutenant Eberhard von Mantley was ordered to draft an operational plan for a combined German naval and infantry attack on America. In the late 19th century both America and Imperial Germany were expanding in the Pacific and German military planners could envision a day when the two countries might clash. Known as Operational Plan 3, the German strategy involved a combined arms thrust against America’s strategic center of gravity, the East Coast. "Here is the core of America and it is here that the United States could be most effectively hit and most easily forced to sign a peace deal," von Mantley wrote.
Sixty German ships with troops and supplies were to make their way across the Atlantic and attack the important U.S. Naval facilities at Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia. Simultaneously, several thousand troops were to occupy Boston, while heavy cruisers bombarded Manhattan. 
The plan was scrapped in 1907, the same year that President Theodore Roosevelt sent the greatly strengthened and enlarged U.S. Navy on an around the world “goodwill” mission.  Known as the “Great White Fleet”, the mission demonstrated America’s new role as a world power.

Sun Tzu, the Master of War, once said, “Those who are skilled in producing surprises will win. In conflict, surprise will lead to victory. ” Here are four stories about the history of the world IF wars we know about happened differently or IF wars that never happened actually took place.

1.The Hostage, in which Abraham Lincoln is kidnapped by the rebels.

2.The German Invasion of America of 1889, in which Germany unexpectedly launches its might against the United States.

3.The Invasion of Canada 1933, in which the new American dictator launches a sneak attack on Canada.

4.Cherry Blossoms at Night: Japan Attacks the American Homeland (1942), in which Japan attacks the American homeland in a very surprising way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Puritans and Sex

Sex was essential to the Puritan’s notion of a healthy marriage.  Refusal to engage in sexual relations with one’s spouse could lead to a disciplinary hearing at the local church or judicial prosecution. James Mattock was excommunicated by the Boston congregation in 1640 for having, among other things, “denied conjugal fellowship unto his wife for the space of two years together.” John Williams of Plymouth Colony was summoned to court for “refusing to perform marriage duty towards (his wife) according to the law of God and man.”

The Puritans believed that both sexes should experience “delight” during sexual intercourse. According to the medical and marital advice literature of the time, procreation could not occur without female orgasm, which required that the woman become sexually aroused.  A popular marital guide of the time admonished men that,  “When the husband cometh into the wife’s chamber he must entertain her with all kind of dalliance, wanton behavior, and allurements to venery.” New England courts upheld the view that women had a right to expect “content and satisfaction” in bed; he who failed to provide it was judged “deficient in performing the duty of a husband.” Colonial Americans generally wore their shirts and shifts or more during sex. Full nudity was uncommon until much after the colonial period.

In New England, where the Puritans had defined marriage as a civil contract, secular law had provided for divorce as early as the seventeenth century.  Marriages could be ended if either party failed to meet the obligations of the contract.  Adultery, impotence, desertion, or conviction for serious crimes were all grounds for divorce.  Additionally, wives could obtain a divorce on the grounds of non-support.

Male inability to provide sexual satisfaction initially constituted grounds for divorce in New England. New Haven’s divorce statute described marital sex as “due benevolence.” It allowed a wife to divorce her husband if he proved unable “to perform or afford the same,” regardless of whether she was “fit to bear children.” A man who proved incapable of providing “that corporal communion which is reciprocally due between husband and wife” was considered nothing more than a “pretended husband.” Abstention from marital sex, wrote Edward Taylor, “denies all relief in wedlock unto human necessity” and would tempt those who lacked “the gift of continency” to engage in illicit unions. Conjugal intercourse, then, constituted a bulwark against sexual sin and chaos.

A brief look at love, sex, and marriage in colonial America and the early republic.

A brief look at love, sex, and marriage in the Civil War. The book covers courtship, marriage, birth control and pregnancy, divorce, slavery and the impact of the war on social customs.