Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Democratic and Republican Ideology Shift?

Did You Know?

The Democratic and Republican Parties have undergone a long transition from their founding ideological principles. It’s hard to believe these days but the Democrats started out as the conservative party and the Republicans were once the liberal party!

The Democratic Party we know today evolved from the conservative Democratic-Republican Party of the 1790s. Prior to the Cil War and during the Reconstruction, Republicans elected Abe Lincoln. and were long known as advocates for the abolitions of slavery, etc.

The 1896 Election was the first turning point when tthe country was mired in an economic depression and Democratic Party took a leap of faith to abandon their conservative orthodoxy and nominated  populist William Jennings Bryan. He was the first liberal to win the Democratic Party Presidential nomination. This represented a radical departure from the conservative roots of the Democratic Party.

In response to the nomination of “liberal” Bryan by the Democrats, the Republican Party countered by straying away from its liberal leanings and nominated the moderate-conservative Ohio Governor William McKinley.

In 1912, the Progressive former President Theodore Roosevelt challenged the more conservative incumbent President William Howard Taft for the Republican Party nomination.  Roosevelt, who won nine Republican primaries, bolted the party and formed the Progressive Party, a.k.a. the Bull Moose Party, and won 86 electoral votes in the General Election. Taft won just eight Electoral Votes. The Democratic nominee, New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson, mustered 435 Electoral votes and won the Presidential Election in a landslide victory.



Further Info

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mapped in 3D - America’s Economic Growth

Where U.S. Metro Economies Are Growing or Shrinking

3D Map

Article >

GDP growth increased 2.3% in 2014 as compared with 1.9% growth in 2013. The industry with the highest growth was professional and business services,

Additional Info on the Map >

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Arab Slave Trade

When we think of the enslavement of Africans, most of us connect it with Europeans and the well-known 18th Century triangle of trade:

However for over 900 years, Africans were enslaved by Arabic slave traders. The Arab slave trade originated before Islam and historians estimate that between 650 and the 1960s, 10 to 18 million people were enslaved by Arab slave traders. Slaves were taken from Europe, Asia and Africa across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara desert.

During the ninth century Arab and Swahili traders on the Swahili Coast captured Bantu peoples (Zanj) from the interior in present-day Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania and brought them to the coast.

Did You Know?
Slavery in the holy city of Mecca would remain until 1966 and in all other Arabic countries until 1990.

Zanj Rebellion

A series of slave uprisings known as the Zanj Rebellion took place between 869 and 883 AD near the city of Basra situated in present-day Iraq. The rebellion grew to involve over 500,000 slaves and free men who were imported from across the Muslim empire and claimed over "tens of thousands of lives in lower Iraq. The Zanj who were taken as slaves to the Middle East were often used in strenuous agricultural work.

Barbary Slave Trade

Arabs also enslaved Europeans. Between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured between the 16th and 19th centuries by Barbary corsairs, who were vassals of the Ottoman Empire, and sold as slaves. These slaves were captured mainly from seaside villages from Italy, Spain, Portugal and also from more distant places like France or England, the Netherlands, Ireland and even Iceland.

Often referred to as the Barbary slave trade, Barbary pirates raided ships and  and coastal towns and men, women, and children were captured to such a devastating extent that vast numbers of sea coast towns were abandoned. Professor Robert Davis estimates that--from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th--1 million to 1.25 million white Christian Europeans were enslaved in North Africa.

Once the New World was "discovered" and settled by white Europeans, the demographics changed. As Native Americans were wiped out and/or driven to extinction (as in the Caribbean islands), European colonists turned to Africa for slave laborers on the sugar and cotton plantations.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

1924 Rand McNally New York State Map

Awesome maps showing New York State railroads, interurbans and canal lines in 1924.
Great site - tons of material!

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

Connecticut Railroad Valuation Maps

The University of Connecticut (uConn) and the Connecticut State Data Center (CTSDC) have done a wonderful job of providing access to a large series of 1915 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Valuation Maps.

The Google-Driven interactive map to navigate through this series is truly a work of art!

I have colorized a few map selections of locations I am somewhat familiar with (and partial too :-) ). Click on any image to enlarge.

Trumbull - Along the Rail Trail

The Dam near the Tait's Mill Ruins
Ice House and Trumbull Pond 
Long Hill Station 

 Springdale, CT

There once was a station at the cemetery!

Springdale Station and Industrial Spurs


Echo Valley Road near Cavanaugh Pond
Echo Valley Road near Cavanaugh Pond

Housatonic River Railroad Bridge - Sandy Hook 
Pomperaug River Railroad Bridge - Southbury
Pomperaug River Railroad Bridge - Southbury
Pomperaug River Railroad Bridge - Southbury 

Further Info

Pequonnock River Valley (Rail Trail, etc.)

Trumbull Historical Photos

The New Canaan Branch Line