“Baptism to Christenings”

 

Baptism of Christ. Jesus is baptized in the Jo...

Baptism of Christ. Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHistoryNews says “Baptism” goes back to the time of Christ being immersed into water, when John the Baptist was in charge of the ceremony. Though the word and meaning of to be baptised goes back even further and the word Baptism comes (from the Greek noun βάπτισμα baptismasee below) is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into theChristian Church generally and also a particular church tradition. The canonical Gospels report that Jesus was Baptised a historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Baptism has been called a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ. In some traditions, baptism is also called christening, but for others the word “Christening” is reserved for the baptism of infants.

The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians was for the candidate to be immersed, either totally (submerged completely under the water) or partly (standing or kneeling in water while water was poured on him or her). While John the Baptist‘s use of a deep river for his baptism suggests immersion, pictorial and archaeological evidence of Christian baptism from the 3rd century onward indicates that a normal form was to have the candidate stand in water while water was poured over the upper body. Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead; a method called affusion.

Baptism_-_Saint_CalixteMartyrdom was identified early in Church history as “baptism by blood”, enabling martyrs who had not been “Baptised” by water to be saved. Later, the Catholic Church identified a baptism of desire, by which those preparing for baptism who die before actually receiving the sacrament are considered saved.As evidenced also in the common Christian practice of infant baptism, baptism was universally seen by Christians as in some sense necessary for salvation, until Huldrych Zwingli in the 16th century denied its necessity.

Today, some Christians, particularly Christian ScientistsQuakers, the Salvation Army, and Unitarians, do not see baptism as necessary, and do not practice the rite. Among those that do, differences can be found in the manner and mode of “Baptising” and in the understanding of the significance of the rite. Most Christians Baptise in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (following the Great Commission), but some “Baptise” in Jesus’ name only. Most Christians baptize infants; many others hold that only believer’s baptism is true baptism. Some insist on submersion or at least partial immersion of the person who is baptized, others consider that any form of washing by water, as long as the water flows on the head, is sufficient. The term “baptism” has also been used to refer to any ceremony, trial, or experience by which a person is initiated, purified, or given a name.

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“True Meaning of Epiphany”

#AceHistoryNews says on the 6th January as many other countries and people’s will be celebrating their “Christmas Day” it will be the Day of Epiphany” also, but the real roots of this day was a lot deeper than l first realise.

A Brief History
"Snowy Five Points"The Church of the Epiphany had its beginnings around 1894, in the informal gatherings of like-spirited Atlantans in the city’s first planned suburb, Inman Park. By 1898, the group’s lay services and Sunday school classes had grown sufficiently to warrant mission status. Bishop C. K. Nelson suggested the name Epiphany because it had been the name of his first parish, and because the new mission’s locale was the easternmost suburb of Atlanta—the Magi having come from the East. (Epiphany’s logo, a five-pointed star, serves as an apt, though unintentional, reminder of the parish’s first neighborhood, Little Five Points.) The chapel’s cornerstone of Stone Mountain granite was laid in March of 1898, and the first service was held in the building in May.Ten years later, in December 1908, the Church of the Epiphany was admitted to the year-old Diocese of Atlanta as a parish and called its first rector, the Reverend Russell K. Smith. In 1922, having outgrown its first building, the parish sold the Little Five Points property and moved to nearby Seminole Avenue. Epiphany flourished in this location, growing to 667 communicants in the next seventeen years.

The city’s outward expansion and social dislocations following World War II brought demographic transition to Inman Park, however; by 1953 the number of communicants at Epiphany had dwindled to 165. That same year, The Reverend Dr. Norman Gore was called as Epiphany’s sixth rector. Under his leadership, the congregation moved to its third location, having purchased the current property on Ponce de Leon Avenue from nearby Emory University in 1956. The first services were held in the new chapel in October 1957. An expansion of the church in 1961 increased the length of the nave, and in 1963 a new wing was built to include a parish hall and offices.

1978 The last half-century has witnessed further demographic transition brought on by gentrification in the neighbourhoods surrounding the church. Throughout this period the parish has experienced continual growth and renewal. Membership grew steadily under the leadership of the Reverend Stanley McGraw (1971-79) and the Reverend Benjamin Turnage (1980-84). During this time, women began serving in leadership positions. (Betty Walton, the first woman elected to Vestry, in 1971, became the first female senior warden in 1973). By 1984, about 130 different households, including some 300 adults and children, were associated with the Church of the Epiphany.

In the Spring of 1985, at a time when women were only slowly gaining acceptance in the Episcopal priesthood, the Reverend E. Claiborne Jones accepted the call to Epiphany, the first woman to become rector of an Episcopal church in Georgia. Under her leadership, the parish undertook two major renovations. First, in 1988-89, the nave and narthex were completely renovated and expanded and a memorial garden was dedicated on the east side of the building.

seminoleTen years later, in the wake of burgeoning membership and increased activity, the clergy and leadership recognized the need for room to grow. The resulting 2003-04 construction expanded the Parish Hall, added classrooms and provided room for the dynamic community life of the parish. The first services were held in the new building on Palm Sunday 2004. Membership at that time was 718. At about the same time, adjoining residential property became available, and the parish prayerfully determined to raise funds and take advantage of this rare opportunity to plan for future growth.

The ministries of the Church of the Epiphany have expanded along with, or even ahead of, the parish’s space. The full-time staff has grown to include an organist and choirmaster, an associate rector, and a parish administrator, as well as a facilities manager. In February 2006, Epiphany called The Reverend Benno D. Pattison to be its tenth rector. Benno has an infectious and exuberant enthusiasm for the work God calls. We believe that his leadership and our shared vision will galvanize Epiphany to strive to live out the Gospel’s radical values with gladness of heart. As of December 2012, membership was 1101, representing 469 households.

 #History2Research

http://www.epiphany.org/about/history.html

http://www.epiphany.org/about/history.html

Courtesy of EP

 

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” People’s Republic of China”

"China Map"

#AceHistoryNews says on October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China was formally established, with its national capital at Beijing. “The Chinese people have stood up!” declared Mao as he announced the creation of a “people’s democratic dictatorship.” The people were defined as a coalition of four social classes: the workers, the peasants, the petite bourgeoisie, and the national-capitalists. The four classes were to be led by the CCP, as the vanguard of the working class. At that time the CCP claimed a membership of 4.5 million, of which members of peasant origin accounted for nearly 90 percent. The party was under Mao’s chairmanship, and the government was headed by Zhou Enlai ( 1898-1976) as premier of the State Administrative Council (the predecessor of the State Council).

The Soviet Union recognized the People’s Republic on October 2, 1949. Earlier in the year, Mao had proclaimed his policy of “leaning to one side” as a commitment to the socialist bloc. In February 1950, after months of hard bargaining, China and the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance, valid until 1980. The pact also was intended to counter Japan or any power’s joining Japan for the purpose of aggression.

For the first time in decades a Chinese government was met with peace, instead of massive military opposition, within its territory. The new leadership was highly disciplined and, having a decade of wartime administrative experience to draw on, was able to embark on a program of national integration and reform. In the first year of Communist administration, moderate social and economic policies were implemented with skill and effectiveness. The leadership realized that the overwhelming and multitudinous task of economic reconstruction and achievement of political and social stability required the goodwill and cooperation of all classes of people. Results were impressive by any standard, and popular support was widespread.

Chinese Peoples VolunteersBy 1950 international recognition of the Communist government had increased considerably, but it was slowed by China’s involvement in the Korean War. In October 1950, sensing a threat to the industrial heartland in northeast China from the advancing United Nations (UN) forces in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), units of the PLA–calling themselves the Chinese People’s Volunteers–crossed the YaluJiang () River into North Korea in response to a North Korean request for aid. Almost simultaneously the PLA forces also marched into Xizang to reassert Chinese sovereignty over a region that had been in effect independent of Chinese rule since the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911. In 1951 the UN declared China to be an aggressor in Korea and sanctioned a global embargo on the shipment of arms and war material to China. This step foreclosed for the time being any possibility that the People’s Republic might replace Nationalist China (on Taiwan) as a member of the UN and as a veto-holding member of the UN Security Council.

Korean WarAfter China entered the Korean War, the initial moderation in Chinese domestic policies gave way to a massive campaign against the “enemies of the state,” actual and potential. These enemies consisted of “war criminals, traitors, bureaucratic capitalists, and counterrevolutionaries.” The campaign was combined with party-sponsored trials attended by huge numbers of people. The major targets in this drive were foreigners and Christian missionaries who were branded as United States agents at these mass trials. The 1951-52 drive against political enemies was accompanied by land reform, which had actually begun under the Agrarian Reform Law of June 28, 1950. The redistribution of land was accelerated, and a class struggle landlords and wealthy peasants was launched. An ideological reform campaign requiring self-criticisms and public confessions by university faculty members, scientists, and other professional workers was given wide publicity. Artists and writers were soon the objects of similar treatment for failing to heed Mao’s dictum that culture and literature must reflect the class interest of the working people, led by the CCP. These campaigns were accompanied in 1951 and 1952 by the san fan ( or “three anti”) and wu fan ( or “five anti”) movements. The former was directed ostensibly against the evils of “corruption, waste, and bureaucratism”; its real aim was to eliminate incompetent and politically unreliable public officials and to bring about an efficient, disciplined, and responsive bureaucratic system. The wu fan movement aimed at eliminating recalcitrant and corrupt businessmen and industrialists, who were in effect the targets of the CCP’s condemnation of “tax evasion, bribery, cheating in government contracts, thefts of economic intelligence, and stealing of state assets.” In the course of this campaign the party claimed to have uncovered a well-organized attempt by businessmen and industrialists to corrupt party and government officials. This charge was enlarged into an assault on the bourgeoisie . The number of people affected by the various punitive or reform campaigns was estimated in the millions.

The Transition to Socialism, 1953-57

Communism and CapitalismThe period of officially designated “transition to socialism” corresponded to China’s First Five-Year Plan (1953-57). The period was characterized by efforts to achieve industrialization, collectivization of agriculture, and political centralization.

The First Five-Year Plan stressed the development of heavy industry on the Soviet model. Soviet economic and technical assistance was expected to play a significant part in the implementation of the plan, and technical agreements were signed with the Soviets in 1953 and 1954. For the purpose of economic planning, the first modern census was taken in 1953; the population of mainland China was shown to be 583 million, a figure far greater than had been anticipated.

Among China’s most pressing needs in the early 1950s were food for its burgeoning population, domestic capital for investment, and purchase of Soviet-supplied technology, capital equipment, and military hardware. To satisfy these needs, the government began to collectivize agriculture. Despite internal disagreement about the speed of collectivization, which at least for the time being was resolved in Mao’s favor, preliminary collectivization was 90 percent completed by the end of 1956. In addition, the government nationalized banking, industry, and trade. Private enterprise in mainland China was virtually abolished.

Major political developments included the centralization of party and government administration. Elections were held in 1953 for delegates to the First National People’s Congress, China’s national legislature, which met in 1954. The congress promulgated the state constitution of 1954 and formally elected Mao chairman (or president) of the People’s Republic; it elected Liu Shaoqi ( 1898-1969) chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress; and named Zhou Enlai premier of the new State Council.

In the midst of these major governmental changes, and helping to precipitate them, was a power struggle within the CCP leading to the 1954 purge of Political Bureau member Gao Gang () and Party Organization Department head Rao Shushi (), who were accused of illicitly trying to seize control of the party.

The process of national integration also was characterized by improvements in party organization under the administrative direction of the secretary-general of the party Deng Xiaoping ( who served concurrently as vice premier of the State Council). There was a marked emphasis on recruiting intellectuals, who by 1956 constituted nearly 12 percent of the party’s 10.8 million members. Peasant membership had decreased to 69 percent, while there was an increasing number of “experts” , who were needed for the party and governmental infrastructures, in the party ranks.

As part of the effort to encourage the participation of intellectuals in the new regime, in mid-1956 there began an official effort to liberalize the political climate. Cultural and intellectual figures were encouraged to speak their minds on the state of CCP rule and programs. Mao personally took the lead in the movement, which was launched under the classical slogan “Let a hundred flowers bloom, let the hundred schools of thought contend” (). At first the party’s repeated invitation to air constructive views freely and openly was met with caution. By mid-1957, however, the movement unexpectedly mounted, bringing denunciation and criticism against the party in general and the excesses of its cadres in particular. Startled and embarrassed, leaders turned on the critics as “bourgeois rightist” () and launched the Anti-Rightist Campaign. The Hundred Flowers Campaign , sometimes called the Double Hundred Campaign (), apparently had a sobering effect on the CCP leadership.

Historical Timeline:

Dates Dynasty
ca. 2000-1500 B.C. Xia
1700-1027 B.C. Shang
1027-771 B.C. Western Zhou  
770-221 B.C. Eastern Zhou  
770-476 B.C. — Spring and Autumn period  
475-221 B.C. — Warring States period  
221-207 B.C. Qin
206 B.C.-A.D. 9 Western Han  
A.D. 9-24 Xin (Wang Mang interregnum)
A.D. 25-220 Eastern Han  
A.D. 220-280 Three Kingdoms
220-265 — Wei
221-263 — Shu
229-280 — Wu
A.D. 265-316 Western Jin  
A.D. 317-420 Eastern Jin  
A.D. 420-588 Southern and Northern Dynasties   
420-588 Southern Dynasties  
420-478 — Song
479-501 — Qi
502-556 — Liang
557-588 — Chen
386-588 Northern Dynasties  
386-533 — Northern Wei  
534-549 — Eastern Wei  
535-557 — Western Wei  
550-577 — Northern Qi  
557-588 — Northern Zhou  
A.D. 581-617 Sui
A.D. 618-907 Tang
A.D. 907-960 Five Dynasties
907-923 — Later Liang  
923-936 — Later Tang  
936-946 — Later Jin  
947-950 — Later Han  
951-960 — Later Zhou  
A.D. 907-979 Ten Kingdoms
A.D. 960-1279 Song
960-1127 — Northern Song  
1127-1279 — Southern Song  
A.D. 916-1125 Liao
A.D. 1038-1227 Western Xia  
A.D. 1115-1234 Jin
A.D. 1279-1368 Yuan
A.D. 1368-1644 Ming
A.D. 1644-1911 Qing
A.D. 1911-1949 Republic of China (in mainland China)
A.D. 1949- Republic of China (in Taiwan)
A.D. 1949- People’s Republic of China

#History2Research

Chinese history is a vast field of intellectual inquiry. Advances in archaeology and documentary research constantly produce new results and numerous new publications. An excellent and concise survey of the entire course of Chinese history up to the 1970s is China: Tradition and Transformation by John K. Fairbank and Edwin O. Reischauer. For a more in-depth review of modern Chinese history (beginning of the Qing dynasty to the early 1980s), Immanuel C.Y. Hsu’s The Rise of Modern China should be consulted. Hsu’s book is particularly useful for its chapter-by-chapter bibliography. Maurice Meisner’s Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic presents a comprehensive historical analysis of post-1949 China and provides a selected bibliography.

There are a number of excellent serial publications covering Chinese history topics. These include China QuarterlyChinese Studies in History, and Journal of Asian Studies. The Association for Asian Studies’ annual Bibliography of Asian Studies provides the most comprehensive list of monographs, collections of documents, and articles on Chinese history.

Another good source of bibliographic information can be found at Chinese Cultural Studies: Bibliographical Guide.

A more detailed bibliography is given below


Bibliography

Barnett, A. Doak. Uncertain Pasage: China’s Transition to the Post- Mao Era. Washington: Brookings Institution, 1974

Baum, Richard. Prelude to Revolution: Mao, the Party and the Pea- ant Question. New York: Columbia University Press, 1975.

Bedeski, Robert E. “The Evolution of the Modern State in China: Na- tionalist and Communist Continuities,” World Politics, XVII, No. 4, July 1975, 541-68.

Bianco, Lucien. “People’s China: 25 Years. ‘Fu-chiang’ and Red Fer- vor,” Problems of Communism, XIII, September-October 1974, 2-9.

Bridgham, Philip. “The Fall of Lin Piao,” China Quarterly [London], No. 55, July-September 1973, 427-49.

Butterfield, Fox. “The Pendulum in Peking Swings Far–Both Ways,” New York Times, December 3, 1978, sect- 4, 1-

Chang, Chun-Shu. The Making of China: Main Themes in Premodern Chinese History. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1975.

Chang, Parris H. Power and Policy in China. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1975.

Chesneaux, Jean. China: The People’s Republic, 1949-1976. (Tr., Paul Auster and Lydia Davis.) New York: Pantheon, 1979.

Clubb, O. Edmund, et al. “The People’s Republic of China, 1976,” Current History, 71, No. 419, September I976, 49ff.

Coye, Molly Joel, and Jon Livingston (eds.). China Yesterday and Today. (2d ed.) New York: Bantam Books, 1979.

Cranmer-Byng, John. “The Chinese View of Their Place in the World: An Historical Perspctive,” China Quarterly [London], No. 53, January-March 1973, 67-79.

Dittmer, Lowell. “Bases of Power in Chinese Politics: A Theory and an Analysis of the Fall of the ‘Gang of Four’,” World Politics, XX, No. 4, October 1978, 26-60.

——. Liu Shao-ch’i and the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Politics of Mass Criticism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974.

Domes, Jurgen. The Internal Politics of China, 1 949-1972. London:

C. Hurst, 1973.

——. “People’s China: 25 Years. The Pattern of Politics,” Problems of Communism, XIII, September-October 1974, 20-25.

Domes, Jurgen (ed.). China after the Cultural Revolution: Politics between Two Party Congresses. (With a contribution by MarieLuise Nath.) Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977.

Dreyer, June Teufel. “China’s Quest for a Socialist Solution,” Problems of Communism, XIV, September-October 1975, 49-62.

Eberhard, Wolfram. A History of China. (4th ed.) Berkeley: Univer- sity of California Press, 1977.

Egashira, K. “Chinese-Style Socialism: Some Aspects of its Origin and Structure,” Asian Survey, 15, No. 11, November 1975, 981-95.

Elvin; Mark. The Pattern of the Chinese Pat. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1973.

Fairbank, John K., Edwin O. Reischauer, and Albert Craig. East Asia: The Modern Transformation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.

——. A History of East Asia Civilization. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973.

Gayn, Mark. “People’s China: 25 Years. A View from the Village,” Problems of Communism, XIII, September-October 1974, 10-15.

——. “Who after Mao?” Foreign Affairs, 51, No. 2, January 1973, 300-309.

Gittings, John. “New Light on Mao: His View of the World,” China Quarterly, [London], No. 60, October-December 1974, 750-66.

——. Peking Exacts Price for Company Hanoi Keeps, Manchester Guardian WeeIdy [Manchester, England], February 25, 1979, 7 –

——. The World and China, 1922-1972. New York: Harper and Row, 1974.

Goodman, David S. G. “China after Chou,” World Today [London], 32, No. 6, June 1976, 203-13.

——. “China: The Politics of Succession,” World Today [London], 33, No, 4. April 1977, 131-40.

Han, Suyin. The Mornng Deluge: Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Revolution, 1893-1953. London: Jonathan Cape, 1972.

——. Wind in the Tower: Mao Tsctung and the Chinese Revolution 1949-1975. Boston: Little, Brown, 1976.

Harding, Harry, Jr. “Asian Communism in Flux: China after Mao,” Problems of Communism, XVI, March-April 1977, 1-18.

——. “China: The lst Year Without Mao,” Contemporary China, No. 2, Spring 1978, 81-98.

——. China: The Uncertain Future. (Headline Series, No. 223.) New York: Foreign Policy Association, December 1974.

Hearn, Maxwell K. “An Ancient Chinese Army Rises from Underground Sentinel Duty,” Smithsonian, 10, No. 8, November 1979, 38-51.

Hinton, Harold C. (ed.). The People’s Republic of China: A Handbook. Boulder: Westview Press, 1979.

Hsiung, James C. Ideology and Practice: The Evolution of Chinese Communism. New York: Praeger, 1970.

Hsu, Cho-yun. “Early Chinese History: The State of the Field,” Jourmal of Asian Studies, XXVIII, No. 3, May 1979, 453-75-

Hsu, Immanuel C. Y. The Rise of Modern China. (2d ed.) New York: Oxford University Press, 1975.

Hucker, Charles O. China to 1850: A Short History. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1978.

Johnson, Chalmers (ed.). Ideology and Politics in Contemporary China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1973.

Kim, Ilpyong J. The Politics of Chinese Communism: Kiangsi under the Soviets. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974.

La Dany, L. “People’s China: 25 Years. Shrinking Political Life,” Problems of Communism, XXIII, September-October 1974, 25-28.

“Letter from a Chinese College,” New York Review, September 25, 1980, 3.

Levenson, Joseph R., and Framz Schurmann. China: An Interpretative History from the Beginnings to the Fall of Han. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969.

Li, Dun J. The Ageless Chinese: A History. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.

Lieberthal, Kenncth. “China in 1975: The Internal Political Scene,” Problems of Communism, XIV, May-June 1975, 1-1 1 –

Lindsay, Michael. “Analysis of the Pcople’s Republic of China,” Asia Quarterly [Brussels], 2, 1975, 153-74.

——. “The Chinese Communist Party: History and Doctrines.” Pages 123-96 in Yuan-li Wu (ed.), China: A Handbook. New York: Praeger, 1973.

Liu, James T. C. Political Institutions in Traditional China: Major Issucs. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1974.

Locwe, Michael. Imperial China: The Historical Background to the Modern Age. New York: Praeger, 1966.

Louis, Victor. The Coming Decline of the Chinese Empire. New York: Times Books, 1979.

MacFarquhar, Roderick. “China after the l0th Congress,” World Today [London], 29, No. 12, December 1973, 514-26.

Maitan, Livio. Party, Army, and Masses in China: A Marxist interpretation of the Cultural Revolution and Its Aftermath. London: New Left Books, 1976.

Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China: A History of the People’s Republic, III. (Transformation of Modern China Series.) New York: Free Press, 1977.

Michael, Franz. “China after the Cultural Revolution: The Unresolved Succession Crisis,” Orbis, XVII, No. 2, Summer 1973, 315-33.

Mullin, Chris. “Undermining the Great Wall of China,” Guardian [Manchester, England], June 10, 1979, 8.

Oksenberg, Michel. “Mao’s Policy Commitments, 1921-1976,”  Problems of Communism, XV, November-December 1979, 1-26.

Oksenberg, Michel, and Steven Goldstein. “The Chinese Political Spectrum,” Problems of Communism, XIII, March-April 1974, 1-13.

Onate, Andres D. Chairman Mao and the Chinese Communist Party. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1979-

Pye, Lucian W. “Mao Tse-tung’s Leadership Style,” Political Science Quarterly, 91, No. 2, Summer 1976, 219-36.

Qi, Wen. China: A General Survey. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1979.

Reischauer, Edwin O. “The Sinic World in Perspective,” Foreign Af- fairs, 52, No. 2, January 1974, 341-48.

Reischauer, Edwin O., and John K. Fairbank. The Great Tradition, I: A History of Eat Asian Civilization. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960.

Rice, Edward E. Mao’s Way. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972.

——- Peoples’ China: 25 Years. A Radical Break with the Past,” Problems of Communism, XIII, September-October 1974, 16-20.

Scalapino, Robert A. “The Struggle for Mao and the Future,” Orbis, 21, No. 1, Spring 1977, 29-44.

Service, John S. “Edgar Snow: Some Personal Reminiscences,” China Quarterly [London], No. 50, April-June 1972, 209-19.

Solomon, Richard H. Mao’s Revolution and the Chinese Political Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971.

Starr, John Bryan. “Chinese Politics 1973-76: From the l0th Party Congress to the Premiership of Hua Kuo-feng: The Significance of the Colour of the Cat,” China Quarterly [London], No. 67, September 1976, 457-88.

Teiwes, Frederick C. “Reports from China: Before and After the Cultural Revolution,” China Quarterly [London], No. 58, April May 1974, 332-48.

Terrill, Ross. “China in the 1980s,” Foreign Affairs, 58, No. 4, Spring 1980, 920-35.

——. 800,000,000: The Real China. Boston: Little, Brown, 1972.

Terrill, Ross (ed.). The China Difference. New York: Harper and Row, 1979.

Thaxton, Ralph. “On Peasant Revolution and National Resistance: Toward a Theory of Peasant Mobilization and Revolutionary War with Special Reference to Modern China,” World Politics, 30, No. 1, October 1977, 24-57.

Tung, Chi-ming (comp.). An Outline History of China. (Originally published in Peoples’ Republic of China by Foreign Languages Press in 1958 and 1959.) Hong Kong: Joint Publishing, 1979.

Uhalley, Stephen, Jr. Mao Tse-tung: A Critical Biography. New York: New Viewpoints, 1975.

Walder, Andrew G. “Methodological Note: Press Accounts and the Study of Chinese Society,” China Quarterly (London], No. 79, September 1979, 568-92.

Wang, Ting. “The Succession Problem,” Problems of Communism, 22, No. 3, May-June 1973, 13-24.

Whiting, Allen S. “New Light on Mao: Quemoy 1958: Mao’s Miscalculations,” China Quarterly [London], No. 62, Junc 1975, 263-70.

Whitson, William W. Chinese Military and Political Leaders and the Distribution of Power in China, 1956-1971 . (R-1091-DOS/ARPA June 1973. A report prepared for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Department of State.) Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, June 1973.

Wich, Richard. “The Tenth Party Congress: The Power Structure and the Succession Question,” China Quarterly (London], No. 58, April-May 1974, 231-48.

Wilson, Dick (ed.). Mao Tse-tung in the Scales of History. (A preliminary assessment organized by China Quarterly.) London: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Wu, Yuan-li (ed.). China: A Handbook. New York: Praeger, 1973. Zhongguo Shouce. Hong Kong: Ta Kung Pao, 1979.

(Various issues of the following periodicals were also used in the preparation of this chapter: Beijing Review [Beijing], March 10, 1978-June 2, 1980; Far Eastern Economic Review [Hong Kong], August 3, 1979-March 17, 1980; Financial Times [London], January 1978-September 1980; Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report: People’s Republic of China [Washington], September 1978-August 1980; joint Publications Research Service: China Report, Political, Sociological and Military Affairs [Washington], January 1979-June 1980; and Washington Post, September ( August 1977 – 1980).

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“After 2,000 Years Ancient Blue Dye Has Been Found That Was Used By The Children of Israel”

#AceHistoryNews says a recent amazing discovery has been made according to an Israeli Researcher about a blue dye that was used on garments at the command of God through Moses, after 2,000 years.

The mysterious source of an ancient blue dye used by the children of Israel on garments, at the command of God through Moses, has been found after 2,000 years.

An Israeli researcher says she has identified fabric that may contain a mysterious blue dye described in the Bible, one of the few remnants of the ancient color ever found.

Naama Sukenik of Israel’s Antiquities Authority said Tuesday that recent examination of a small woolen textile discovered in the 1950s found that the textile was colored with a dye from the Murex trunculus, a snail researchers believe was the source of the biblical blue or purple.

Researchers and rabbis have long searched for the enigmatic color, called tekhelet in Hebrew. The Bible commands Jews to wear a blue fringe on their garments, but the dye was lost after the dispersion of the Jews from the land in the first century.

Sukenik examined the textile for a doctorate at Bar-Ilan University and published the finding at a Jerusalem conference Monday.

The nearly 2,000-year old textile that appears to contain the biblical blue dye (Photo: AP/Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority, HOPD

The biblical reference to the dye appears in Numbers 15:38-39: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them ; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring.”

When Israel was scattered by Rome in the first century, the dyeing process used for millennia by the Hebrew people was lost along with the Jewish nation.

Now, 66 years after the rebirth of the Jewish state, researchers are closing in on what they believe to be the source – a mollusk that was over-harvested by Roman royalty, which adopted the color as its own. It became a crime for Jews to wear garments dyed with the color or made in Luz, the ancient Israeli city identified with the manufacture of the fabric.

The Talmud mentions two Jews captured by the Romans for the crime of having “items made in Luz,” the Israeli city identified with the manufacture of tekhelet. There were other rulings against the plebeian population wearing colors deemed royal, including bans by Roman rulers such as Julius Caesar.

The newly recovered biblical process of extracting the purplish blue dye from a Mediterranean mollusk is changing the way the commandment to wear tzitzit – the ritual fringes worn on the four-cornered prayer shawls – is being observed by some Modern Orthodox Jews.

Now, after 2,000 years, it is once again possible to include a blue (tekhelet) thread among one’s fringes, in accordance with God’s instructions to Moses.

Is God’s hand miraculously upholding Israel to this day? Watch “Against All Odds” on DVD!

Tekhelet was one of the few permanent dyes of the biblical era, made from a glandular secretion of the Murex snail called dibromoindirubin, which, after five to 10 minutes of exposure to air and sunlight, turns what’s called “biblical blue,” say Jewish scholars.

Despite rabbinical efforts to maintain use of tekhelet, by the end of the first millennium it was considered lost. Since then, observant Jews have worn white tzitzit.

The dye’s revival is due in part to the initiative of several young Orthodox professionals now living in Israel, mostly graduates of Yeshiva University’s science departments.

The blue used in the biblical garments also inspired the blue used in the modern Israeli flag.

Courtesy and with Agreement of: WND 

#History2Research

 

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“Tradition of New Years Eve and New Years Day”

#AceHistoryNews says the olde traditions seem to keep us healthy and happy every “Christmas and New  Year” and these simply word’s spoken by hundreds and thousands in a few hours time will say just a simple ” Happy and Prosperous New Year” but how did it all come about.

History of New Year’s Eve

New Years Eve ClockNew Year’s Eve is December 31 of every year.  It is celebrated in countries that use the Gregorian calendar with the United States, Australia, British Isles, North & South America, Europe, Scandinavia and (the former) Soviet Union as the main regions in the world who welcome in a new year.

It is exactly at the stroke of midnight on December 31 of the current year that marks the transition to the New Year ahead.  Celebrations may be wild parties or solemn times of prayer.  Some participants will dress up in silly outfits and wear comical hats, drink champagne (or other liquors of their choice) and use traditional items called “noisemakers” to express their joy and hope for the new year ahead.  Unfortunately, with some people this celebratory behavior gets taken a bit too far.  Some people have been known to make improper advances to co-workers at parties, throw their arms around total strangers on the streets or in crowds and well perhaps to other things that would be considered totally unacceptable any other day of the year.

And yet, there are others who attend midnight masses at their church or synagogue; or, get together in large crowds such as New York City’s Time Square to watch the “ball drop.”  In London crowds gather in Trafalgar Square to count down the closing of the old year and welcome in the new. In Atlanta, Georgia (USA) a giant Peach is dropped.  This began as a competition with New York’s Apple.  However, today New York now drops a laser and hand-cut crystal ball.

Some historians feel that our New Year’s Eve celebrations can be traced back to an ancient Roman observance around the time of the Winter Solstice in December called “Saturnalia.”  This pagan holiday was known for totally letting go all discipline and rules for behavior and was known to get out of hand (just like some New Year’s Eve celebrations today).

In the 18th century, New Year’s Eve revelry in cities like Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore often ended with street demonstrations, violence, and vandalism.  Groups of men and boys were known to toot tin horns, shout, scream,  yell, set off firecrackers, knock down barricades such as fences and gates, break windows and (in a few cases) burglarize the homes of some wealthy citizens in the area.

To help curb the problem of over-zealous celebrators  on December 31, and to protect those who want to bring in the New Year quietly, many cities in the United States started a popular trend called “The First Night” celebrations. The first “First Night” was held in Boston in 1976 to replace the boisterous partying with cultural events, performances,  and  non-alcoholic  beverages with food in an outdoor setting.  

For those who prefer to have a very quiet New Year, many stay home and watch the “dropping ball” or fireworks offered on television stations both locally and/or nationally or worldwide simultaneously.

 Auld Lang Syne is our midi.  The custom of singing this song on New Years Eve goes back to the British Isles from the 18th century when guests ended a party standing in a circle and singing this song.  The custom first was rooted in Scotland, because the lyrics were written in 1788 by Robert Burns, their favorite folk poet of the time.  (Later on another version of this song was used in 1783 in the opera “Rosina” by William Shield.) But most musicologists feel that Auld Lang Syne came from a traditional Scottish folk melody.

What does this song mean?  In the Scottish dialect, auld lang syne  is “old long since” — aka “the good old days.”   The traditional lyrics begin with, “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind…”  And the entire song’s message merely means to just forget about the past and look ahead to the new year with hope.  Even the rowdies of parties has often ended with quiet drunks singing this song as a tribute to the past year.  But many of us sing it without really now what we are saying, we just sing it to be part of the auld lang gang of the night! 🙂

Using noise to welcome in a new year goes back to ancient times when it was felt that noise scared off evil spirits.  Imagine what our ancestors would have thought about all the high-tech speakers, amplifiers and such today? To them, the world would be pretty pure with all this noise! 🙂   But very few of us link New Years with evil spirits ( spirits that you drink perhaps but not any other kind), they still feel noisemakers are a must for New Year’s parties.  In Denmark, they “smash in the new year” by banging on the doors of their friends’ homes and throwing pieces of broken pottery against the sides of the houses.  Now if everyone is out doing this, then well…hey is anyone home to even notice?  In Japan,  dancers go from house to house at Oshogatsu making strange noises and rattling and pounding bamboo sticks and banging on drums.  In many parts of the US, firecrackers are set off at midnight to mark the new year.  This is also the main celebration in Viet Nam, Hawaii and South America.

Symbols 

Basically,  an old man or even Father Time is the symbol of  the year that is coming to a close.  And, a baby then becomes the symbol for the new year ahead. 

 

These serve as metaphors for death of one calendar year and the birth of a new one.

History of New Years Day

Happy New Year 2104January 1 st  is considered New Years Day in today’s society.  But this is a new concept because up until the time of Julius Caesar, the Romans celebrated the New Year in March because it was the first month in the Roman calendar.  However,  January 1 marked the time when the Romans changed their governmental figures and new consuls were inducted into office.  And, they had games and feasting to help celebrate the new officials.  But, they still used March 1 as their official mark of the new year and had a festival to their god, Mars (God of War).  

It was Caesar who changed the Roman New Year’s Day to January 1 in honour of Janus,  (God of all beginnings and gate-keeper of heaven and earth).  Janus was always depicted with two faces: One looking back to the old year (past) and one looking ahead to the new year (future).   One of the customs in the festival honoring Janus was to exchange gifts and then make resolutions to be friendly and good to one another.

When Constantine ruled the Romans and accepted Christianity as their new faith, they kept the Festival of Janus as the New Years Day ( Not March as before) and turned it into a day of prayer and fasting and not parties etc.  It was a day for all good Christians to turn over a new leaf.   However,  the Romans may have accepted January 1 and Janus as the New Year, but many did not accept the turning over a new leaf, prayer and fasting part of it.

However, even in 1582, Great Britain and the English colonies in America still kept  March for the beginning of the year.  (Spring as a beginning?)   It wasn’t until 1752 that Britain (and it’s colonies) adopted the new Gregorian calendar and January 1 as the beginning of the year.  But many Puritans in New England felt Janus was an offensive pagan god and chose to simply ignore January 1 as a New Years Day.  Instead they just made the entire month of January as “The First  Month”  of the months.

And, today no one really considers January 1 a fasting day.  Ironically, for many it is a major day of feasting on junk food and watching football games on television.

How did New Year’s Resolutions all begin?

Once again, we go back to the wild and crazy parties of the ancient Romans. 🙂  They indulged themselves in alcoholic and sexual excess as a way of acting out all the chaos that they hoped a new year would get rid of.  So, the New Year’s festival was a way to start over.  By purging yourself of all this so-called excess energy and confessing your sins,  there was a hope that  you would be much better in the next year ahead.

Now, the Puritans never did approve of all this New Year’s hoopla.  So of course they went for this religious renewal of cleanse, purge, fast,  confess idea.  So they encouraged young people not to waste the new year on foolish things but to use it as an opportunity to make a good change in their lives for the good.  So, like some Christians, they made New Year’s vows or pledges focused on overcoming their own weaknesses, to enhance their god-given talents and to make them better citizens to others.

The custom of making New Year’s Resolutions came into vogue in the 20th century.  But most of it was done with jest and an understanding that they would not be kept (for long anyway) since humans were naturally backsliders by nature to their naughty habits and ways.

The  resolutions today are simply a secular version of the religious vows made in the past toward spiritual perfection.  They are often made with good intentions and broken with a sense of humor and renewed annually.

#HappyNewYear2014

 

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“The Trilateral Commission by Jose G James”

#AceGuestPost says this post was provided through our #IloveHistoryandResearch Group on Facebook and shared with the persons agreement.

#AceGuestViews are his own and shared with his full agreement, to be read in its entirety and not to alter the major content. Thank you Editor.

666 Tri-lat-comTHE TRILATERAL COMMISSION

Mr. David Rockefeller formed the Trilateral Commission (TC) in 1973 along with Henry Kissinger and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezezinski. This organization’s membership consists of about 300 to 350 private citizens of Europe, Pacific Asia, and North America, whose announced aim is to form closer cooperation between these three areas of the world. Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Dick Cheney, and Senator Dianne Feinstein are among the current and past membership of the TC, and are associated with the CFR as well. The TC meets annually in Europe, North America, or Asia; and its members, similar to those in the CFR aren’t permitted to say anything about proceedings to the public. Like CFR, the TC publishes a magazine, release annual reports, and denies that it’s a secret society.

Formed by David Rockefellar in 1973

Formed by David Rockefellar in 1973

While most conspiracy theorists believe that the CFR and TC largely consists of individuals with good intent, they point out that the inner circle is indeed obsessed with the agenda of getting a New World Order in place with one global government.
Our research indicates that most of those who join the TC and the CFR are upright people. But it seems as if the higher echelon in these groups isn’t telling all of their members exactly what’s going on behind the scenes, and they are using their input to further their own agenda. We don’t suggest that those in control are evil, because they may believe that what they’re doing is for the betterment of the world. It is a matter of opinion as to the dangers of a New World Order; certainly most Americans would not want that to occur in our view. However, if that is the case, then we must be watchful and follow the actions of both the CFR and TC closely. Obviously, the more we know, the better prepared we’ll be to either support or resist something…

"Ideas Above His Station"

“Ideas Above His Station”

Perhaps a good example of the power and influence of the TC and CFR is the election of Jimmy Carter as the President of the United States. Several months prior to the 1976 Democratic National convention, a Gallup poll found that Mr. Carter had less than 4 percent of the Democratic Party’s support for the nomination. After the TC took Governor Carter under their wing, they mobilized their political power and money of Wall Street bankers, the academic community and the media controllers who were members of the CFR and TC to try to get the governor of Georgia nominated. Almost overnight, Carter was nominated and later became president. This example clearly demonstrates how strong the group’s power is. Accordingly, former senator Barry Goldwater said, “The TC is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the politics and government of the United States.” These strong words from former Senator Goldwater, points to the fact that he was one of the staunch opponents of the CFR and TC.

Bildeberg ElitismThe New World Oder essentially applies to the formation of a global ruling organization that would supersede all individual national governments for the betterment of humankind. In other words, all countries would be run by one system that would control the world’s economy, be a peacekeeping entity with its own armed force, and distribute wealth from rich nations to poor ones so that all on earth could have a piece of the proverbial pie. In effect, religions might not continue as separate entities, and perhaps a new worldwide faith would likely come into being. New energy and environmental laws would be enacted; transportation, education, and communication could be controlled by the one government; travel would most likely be restricted; free enterprise and small business might be eliminated, and all taxes would support everyone in the world by redistributing wealth to poorer nations. Global social services, health care, retirement benefits, and birth and population control would be regulated by the ruling entity. Instead of individual governments running their own countries, you’d have on entity ruling the entire world…

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Snapshot of History: “Joseph Desha US Representative and War Hawk of 1812”

English: Kentucky Governor Joseph Desha

English: Kentucky Governor Joseph Desha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHistoryNews says Joseph Desha (1768–1842) was a U.S. Representative and the ninth Governor of Kentucky. After serving in the Northwest Indian War, he moved to Mason County, Kentucky and parlayed his military record into several terms in the state legislature. In 1807, he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the first of six consecutive terms in the U.S. House. He was a war hawk, supporting the War of 1812, and commanded a division at the Battle of the Thames. Leaving the House in 1818, he lost to John Adair in the 1820 gubernatorial election. In 1824, he made a second campaign for governor based on promises of relief for the state’s debtor class. He was elected by a large majority, and debt relief partisans captured both houses of the General Assembly. When the Kentucky Court of Appeals struck down debt relief legislation he favoured, he lobbied the legislature to replace it with a new court. His reputation was damaged when he issued a pardon for his son, who was accused of murder. He also hastened the resignation of Transylvania University resident Horace Holley, whom he considered too liberal.

Desha retired from public life in 1828.

Read More:#History2Research

 

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Snapshot of History: “Codex of Justinian”

English: Tauresium, an ancient town and the bi...

English: Tauresium, an ancient town and the birthplace of Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian I, located today in the Republic of Macedonia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHistoryNews says The law school of Beirut was a centre for the study of Roman law in classical antiquity located in Beirut. It flourished under the patronage of the Roman emperors and functioned as the Roman Empire‘s preeminent center of jurisprudence until its destruction in 551 CE. The earliest written mention of the school dates to 239 CE, when its reputation had already been established. The school attracted young, affluent Roman citizens, and its professors made major contributions to the Codex of Justinian. The school achieved such wide recognition throughout the Empire that Beirut was known as the “Mother of Laws”. Beirut was one of the few schools allowed to continue teaching jurisprudence when Byzantine emperor Justinian I  shut down other provincial law schools. The school’s facilities were destroyed in the aftermath of a massive earthquake that hit the Phoenician coastline. It was moved to Sidon but did not survive the Arab conquest of 635 CE. Ancient texts attest that the school was located next to the ancient Anastasis church, vestiges of which lie beneath the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Beirut’s historic centre.

Read more: #History2Research

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Snapshot of History: “Robert Howe 1732 – 1786 Continental Army General”

English: Robert Howe (1732-1786)

English: Robert Howe (1732-1786) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHistoryNews says Robert Howe (1732–86) was a Continental Army general from North Carolina during the American Revolutionary War. He was one of only five
general officers, and the only major-general, in the Continental Army from that state. At the outset of the war, he was appointed a brigadier general in the Continental Army, and eventually became commander of the Southern Department. His early military career was contentious and consumed by conflict with political and military leaders in Georgia and South Carolina. These confrontations, including a 1778 duel with Christopher Gadsden, and Howe’s reputation as a womanizer eventually led to his removal from command over the Southern Department. Prior to the formal turnover of his command, Howe commanded the Continental Army and Patriot militia forces in defeat in the First Battle of Savannah. He later sat as a senior officer on the court-martial board that sentenced British officer John André, a co-conspirator of Benedict Arnold, to death. Howe himself was accused of attempting to defect to the British, but the accusations were cast aside at the time as a British stratagem.

He died in December 1786 after being elected to the North Carolina House of Commons

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#Christmas Tree’s and Their Past History

English: Candle on a German Christmas tree Deu...

English: Candle on a German Christmas tree Deutsch: brennende Kerze am Weihnachtsbaum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHistoryNews says ” The first retail Christmas tree lots began popping up in various German cities in the 1530’s, a few decades after the practice of decorating Christmas trees began in Riga, Latvia. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the first Christmas tree was decorated by a merchants guild to enliven the local marketplace. In 2010, The Christmas Tree Growers Council of Europe gathered in Hamburg Germany to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the industry”

Though the history of how this all came about, and is a lot more involved and a lot stranger, as the past of growing and cultivating the humble “Christmas Tree” has evolved and it starts with ……

St. Boniface Story

Why do we have a decorated Christmas Tree? In the 7th century a monk from Crediton, Devonshire, went to Germany to teach the Word of God. He did many good works there, and spent much time in Thuringia, an area which was to become the cradle of the Christmas Decoration Industry.

Legend has it that he used the triangular shape of the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The converted people began to revere the Fir tree as God’s Tree, as they had previously revered the Oak. By the 12th century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.

The first decorated tree was at Riga in Latvia, in 1510. In the early 16th century, Martin Luther is said to have decorated a small Christmas Tree with candles, to show his children how the stars twinkled through the dark night.

Luther's tree

Christmas Markets

In the mid 16th century, Christmas markets were set up in German towns, to provide everything from Christmas presents, food and more practical things such as a knife grinder to sharpen the knife to carve the Christmas Goose! At these fairs, bakers made shaped gingerbread and wax ornaments for people to buy as souvenirs of the fair, and take home to hang on their Christmas Trees.

The best record we have is that of a visitor to Strasbourg in 1601. He records a tree decorated with “wafers and golden sugar-twists (Barleysugar) and paper flowers of all colours”. The early trees were biblically symbolic of the Paradise Tree in the Garden of Eden. The many food items were symbols of Plenty, the flowers, originally only red (for Knowledge) and White (for Innocence).

Tinsel

Tinsel was invented in Germany around 1610. At that time real silver was used, and machines were invented which pulled the silver out into the wafer thin strips for tinsel. Silver was durable, but tarnished quickly, especially with candlelight. Attempts were made to use a mixture of lead and tin, but this was heavy and tended to break under its own weight so was not so practical. So silver was used for tinsel up to the mid-20th century.

The First English Trees

The Christmas Tree first came to England with the Georgian Kings who came from Germany. At this time also, German Merchants living in England decorated their homes with a Christmas Tree. The British public were not fond of the German Monarchy, so did not copy the fashions at Court, which is why the Christmas Tree did not establish in Britain at that time. A few families did have Christmas trees however, probably more from the influence of their German neighbours than from the Royal Court.

Decorating a Victorian household

The decorations were  Tinsels, silver wire ornaments, candles and small beads. All these had been manufactured in Germany and East Europe since the 17th century. The custom was to have several small trees on tables, one for each member of the family, with that persons gifts stacked on the table under the tree.

The Victorian and Albert Tree

Victoria and Albert tree

In 1846, the popular Royals, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were illustrated in the Illustrated London News. They were standing with their children around a Christmas Tree. Unlike the previous Royal family, Victoria was very popular with her subjects, and what was done at Court immediately became fashionable – not only in Britain, but with fashion-conscious East Coast American Society. The English Christmas Tree had arrived!

Decorations were still of a ‘home-made’ variety. Young Ladies spent hours at Christmas Crafts, quilling snowflakes and stars, sewing little pouches for secret gifts and paper baskets with sugared almonds in them. Small bead decorations, fine-drawn out silver tinsel came from Germany together with beautiful Angels to sit at the top of the tree. Candles were often placed into wooden hoops for safety.

Mid-Victorian Tree

In 1850’s Lauscha began to produce fancy shaped glass bead garlands for the trees, and short garlands made from necklace ‘bugles’ and beads. These were readily available in Germany but not produced in sufficient quantities to export to Britain. The Rauschgoldengel was a common sight. Literally, ‘Tingled-angel’, bought from the Thuringian Christmas markets, and dressed in pure gilded tin.

The 1860’s English Tree had become more innovative than the delicate trees of earlier decades. Small toys were popularly hung on the branches, but still most gifts were  placed on the table under the tree.

Around this time, the Christmas tree was spreading into other parts of Europe. The Mediterranean countries were not too interested in the tree, preferring to display only a Creche scene. Italy had a wooden triangle platform tree called as ‘CEPPO’. This had a Creche scene as well as decoration’s.

The German tree was beginning to suffer from mass destruction! It had become the fashion to lop off the tip-off a large tree to use as a Christmas Tree, which prevented the tree from growing further. Statutes were made to prevent people having more than one tree.

Just as the first trees introduced into Britain did not immediately take off, the early trees introduced into America by the Hessian soldiers were not recorded in  any particular quantity. The Pennsylvanian German settlements had community trees as early as 1747.

America being so large, tended to have ‘pockets’ of customs relating to the immigrants who had settled in a particular area, and it was not until the communications really got going in the 19th century, that such customs began to spread. Thus references to decorated trees in America before about the middle of the 19th century are very rare.

By the 1870’s, Glass ornaments were being imported into Britain from Lauscha, in Thuringia. It became a status symbol to have glass ornaments on  the tree, the more one had, the better ones status! Still many home-made things were seen. The Empire was growing, and the popular tree topper was the Nation’s Flag, sometimes there were flags of the Empire and flags of the allied countries. Trees got very patriotic.

They were imported into America around 1880, where they were sold through stores such as FW Woolworth. They were quickly followed by American patents for electric lights (1882), and metal hooks for safer hanging of decorations onto the trees (1892)

High Victorian Trees

The 1880’s saw a rise of the Aesthetic Movement. At this time Christmas Trees became a glorious hotchpotch of everything one could cram on; or by complete contrast the aesthetic trees which were delicately balanced trees, with delicate colours, shapes and style. they also grew to floor standing trees. The limited availability of decorations in earlier decades had kept trees by necessity to, usually table trees. Now with decorations as well as crafts more popular than ever, there was no excuse. Still a status symbol, the larger the tree – the more affluent the family which sported it.

The High Victorian of the 1890’s was a child’s joy to behold! As tall as the room, and crammed with glitter and tinsel and toys galore. Even the ‘middle classes’ managed to over-decorate their trees. It was a case of ‘anything goes’. Everything that could possibly go on a tree went onto it.

By 1900 themed trees were popular. A colour theme set in ribbons or balls, a topical idea such as an Oriental Tree, or an Egyptian Tree. They were to be the last of the great Christmas Trees for some time. With the death of Victoria in 1903, the Nation went into mourning and fine trees were not really in evidence until the nostalgia of the Dickensian fashion of the 1930’s.

The American Tree

In America,Christmas Trees were introduced into several pockets – the German Hessian Soldiers took their tree customs in the 18th century. In Texas, Cattle Barons from Britain took their customs in the 19th century, and the East Coast Society copied the English Court tree customs.

Settlers from all over Europe took their customs also in the 19th century. Decorations were not easy to find in the shanty towns of the West, and people began to make their own decorations. Tin was pierced to create lights and lanterns to hold candles which could shine through the holes. Decorations of all kinds were cutout, stitched and glued. The General Stores were hunting grounds for old magazines with pictures, rolls of Cotton Batting (Cotton Wool), and tinsel, which was occasionally sent from Germany or brought in from the Eastern States. The Paper ‘Putz’ or Christmas Crib was a popular feature under the tree, especially in the Moravian Dutch communities which settled in Pennsylvania.

The British tree in the 20th century

After Queen Victoria died, the country went into mourning, and the tree somehow died with her for a while in many homes. While some families and community groups still had large tinsel strewn trees, many opted for the more convenient table top tree. These were available in a variety of sizes, and the artificial tree, particularly the Goose Feather Tree, became popular. These were originally invented in the 1880’s in Germany, to combat some of the damage being done to Fir trees in the name of Christmas.

In America, the Addis Brush Company created the first brush trees, using the same machinery which made their toilet brushes! These had an advantage over the feather tree in that they would take heavier decorations.

After 1918, because of licensing and export problems, Germany was not able to export its decorations easily. The market was quickly taken up by Japan and America, especially in Christmas Tree lights.

Britain’s Tom Smith Cracker Company which has exported Christmas goods for over three decades, began to manufacture trees themselves for a short while.

In the 1930’s There was a revival of Dickensian nostalgia, particularly in Britain. Christmas cards all sported Crinoline ladies with muffs and bonnets popular in the 1840’s. Christmas Trees became large, and real again, and were decorated with many bells, balls and tinsel, and with a beautiful golden-haired angel at the top. But wartime England put a stop to many of these trees. It was forbidden to cut trees down for decoration, and with so many raids, many people preferred to keep their most precious heirloom Christmas tree decorations carefully stored away in metal boxes, and decorated only a small tabletop tree with home-made decorations, which could be taken down into the shelters for a little Christmas cheer, when the air-raid sirens went.

Large trees were erected however in public places to give morale to the people at this time.

Postwar Britain saw a revival of the nostalgic again. people needed the security of Christmas, which is so unchanging in a changing world, as one of the symbols to set them back on their feet. Trees were as large as people could afford. Many poorer families still used the tabletop Goosefeather trees, Americas Addis Brush Trees were being imported into Britain, and these became immensely popular for a time. But the favourites were still real trees. The popular decorations were all produced by a British manufacturer, Swanbrand. and sold by FW Woolworth in Britain. Translucent plastic lock together shapes, Honeycomb paper Angels, ‘glow-in the -dark icicles; also Polish glass balls and birds In South Wales, where real trees were often difficult to find in the rural areas, Holly Bushes were decorated.

The mid-1960’s saw another  change. A new world was on the horizon, and modernist ideas were everywhere. Silver aluminium trees were imported from America. The ‘Silver Pine’ tree, patented in the 1950’s, was designed to have a revolving light source under it, with coloured gelatine ‘window’s, which allowed the light to shine in different shades as it revolved under the tree. No decorations were needed for this tree.

Decorations became sparse. Glass balls and lametta created an ‘elegant’ modern tree. Of course, many families ignored fashion and carried on putting their own well-loved decorations on their trees!

America made a return to Victorian nostalgia in the 1970’s, and it was a good decade later that Britain followed the fashion. By the at first this was a refreshing look, and manufacturers realising the potential created more and more fantastic decorations. Some American companies specialised in antique replicas, actually finding the original makers in Europe to recreate wonderful glass ornaments, real silver tinsels and pressed foil ‘Dresdens’.

Real Christmas Trees were popular, but many housewives preferred the convenience of the authentic looking artificial trees which were being manufactured. If your room was big enough, you could have a 14 foot artificial Spruce right there in your living room, without a single dropped needle – and so good that it fooled everyone. There are even pine scented sprays to put on the tree for that ‘real tree smell’!

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