History Keeps Repeating and Repeating and Repeating…..

| July 1, 2020

Riots and protests are nothing new in human history. The purpose of our most recent encounter with civil unrest was distorted into destruction, looting and pillaging, and no peaceful behavior at all. Some of the businesses that were destroyed may never return to those neighborhoods. It isn’t anything new. The June riots and destruction were appalling, and there was no message in it, other than ‘grab it and shag it outa here’.  The real message was lost in destruction. Protests and revolts go as far back into history as humans have been on this planet. There were three marches from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, and at the last one, law enforcement officers literally attacked the marchers to turn them back. Some months later, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by LBJ.

If you’re going to address riots and protests, we can go to the start of the Reformation period in England, because the blame for the whole Reformation business belongs to Henry VIII, who confiscated all Catholic properties (e.g., monasteries and their lands) and revenues so that the Catholic Church could no longer claim those assets for itself. He remained a Catholic, as was his older daughter Mary, but his younger daughter Elizabeth was not. He also imprisoned Thomas Cromwell and later had him executed. Thomas Cromwell was the 1st Earl of Essex, KG, PC (c. 1485 – 28 July 1540) was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540, when he was beheaded on orders of the King. He was the great-great-grand uncle of Oliver Cromwell.

And much later, after Elizabeth I (Henry’s longest-lived offspring) had passed and the Catholic Church was again popular in England, Oliver Cromwell took over the government.  As a Puritan, he objected to the Roman church’s religious holidays and tried to get rid of Christmas.


From the article:

In January 1645 the final nail was hammered into Christmas’s coffin, when parliament issued its new Directory for the Public Worship of God, a radical alternative to the established Book of Common Prayer, which made no reference to Christmas at all. Thus the way was paved for the ‘anti-Christmas’ of 1645 – a day upon which, in Taylor’s words, a man might pass right through the parliamentary quarters, and “perceive no sign or token of any holy day”.

The Parliamentarians had abolished the high point of the English ritual year, and the cancellation of Christmas aroused huge popular resentment – not just in the royalist camp, but in the districts controlled by parliament, too. As early as December 1643, the apprentice boys of London rose up in violent protest against the shop-keepers who had opened on Christmas Day, and, in the words of a delighted royalist, “forced these money-changers to shut up their shops again”.

There were further dark mutterings the next year. On 24 December 1644, the editor of a pro-parliamentarian news-pamphlet expressed his support for the MPs’ decision to favour the monthly fast over the traditional feast, but admitted that “the parliament is cried out on” by the common people as a result, with incredulous shouts of “What, not keep Christmas? Here’s a Reformation indeed!”

But it wasn’t over just yet: there were the Pro-Christmas Riots during Oliver Cromwell’s time.

Worse was to follow in 1647 – despite the fact that, on 10 June that year, parliament has passed an ordinance which declared the celebration of Christmas to be a punishable offence. On 25 December 1647, there was further trouble at Bury, while pro-Christmas riots also took place at Norwich and Ipswich. During the course of the Ipswich riot, a protestor named ‘Christmas’ was reported to have been slain – a fatality which could be regarded as richly symbolic, of course, of the way that parliament had ‘killed’ Christmas itself.

In London, a crowd of apprentices assembled at Cornhill on Christmas Day, and there “in despite of authority, they set up Holly and Ivy” on the pinnacles of the public water conduit. When the lord mayor despatched some officers “to pull down these gawds,” the apprentices resisted them, forcing the mayor to rush to the scene with a party of soldiers and to break up the demonstration by force.

The worst disturbances of all took place at Canterbury, where a crowd of protestors first smashed up the shops which had been opened on Christmas Day and then went on to seize control of the entire city. This riot helped to pave the way for a major insurrection in Kent in 1648 that itself formed part of the ‘Second Civil War’ – a scattered series of risings against the parliament and in favour of the king, which Fairfax and Cromwell only managed to suppress with great difficulty.  – article

And lest you forget, not so very long ago, London was literally set on fire in 2011 during race riots, as well as other British cities. The London burning 2011 video is below. Looting, pillaging, destruction of property, street confrontations…. all that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  I’ve never thought anything like this was necessary, but there are always wankers in the crowd who want to destroy “whatever” and steal stuff.


Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", America, Historical

Comments (7)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    Will march for beer! Christmas is alway a riot for me.

    Your right to protest and riot ends just before the destruction of my property begins. As old and decrepit as I’ve gotten, a life prison sentence is no real deterrent!

    Another real cool place to visit. DAAAAAMMN IIT!


  2. Comm Center Rat says:

    Oh, Ex how you’ve stirred this Anglophile’s heart mentioning the Virgin Queen (AKA Gloriana and Good Queen Bess). The Elizabethan Age brought stability to the kingdom and forged a sense of national identity.

    While the defeat of the Spanish Armada was still unknown, English militias mustered to defend the country under the Earl of Leicester’s command. He invited Elizabeth to inspect her troops at Tilbury in Essex on 8 August 1588. Wearing a silver breastplate over a white velvet dress, she addressed them in one of her most famous speeches:

    “My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourself to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people … I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm.”

    ~ Elizabeth I (Reigned 1558-1603)

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      The v2 Elizabeth has some well, too.

      Elizabeth saved the economy of her realm by slagging down the highly debased coinage of her predecessor and re-minting good money, free of the dross added in a foolish cheating of the public.

      It is hardly mentioned today, but -that- made a great many outer things possible.

  3. Penguinman000 says:

    History is exactly why I’m not concerned about the current state of affairs long term. We are far more wealthy, we’ll fed, and free from serious threat than we have ever been.

    We survived the war of independence, 1812, WWII, civil war and the civil rights movement. After each period of turmoil our country became more egalitarian, richer, and productive. Johnny Cash’s recitation of “That ragged old flag” pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject.

    We’ve been through the fire before and I believe we can take a whole lot more.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    I’m thinking maybe we should bring back the draft. Any takers on that idea?