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Gawdzillers
10-20-2006, 05:47 PM
Back in the summer of '05, my parents and I went to South Dakota on vacation.
Quite exciting as it was my first time on a plane/seeing buffalo/in the mountains.

We were lounging around in the hotel after a busy day of sightseeing at the Crazy Horse Monument, and my mother sent me down to the front desk to buy some stamps to mail letters to her mom.

Having passed American History in the 7th grade only months prior, what happened next amused me. The lady wasn't rude, or annoying, but she might have had a temporary brain malfunction.

M: Me
L: Lady at the front desk getting the stamps.
CW: Lady's co-worker sitting next to her.

M: Hi, can I get some $(however much the stamps were, can't remember) stamps?
L: Sure. *Takes my money, gets stamps*
(To CW) How much is tax on stamps?
CW: *blank stare* There is no tax on stamps.
L: *turning red, realizing what she had just done*:doh: Oh, right...
M: *trying not to snicker* Thanks.

When I got in the elevator, I cracked up.

PuckishOne
10-20-2006, 06:33 PM
(To CW) How much is tax on stamps?
CW: *blank stare* There is no tax on stamps.
L: *turning red, realizing what she had just done*:doh: Oh, right...
Wonder how bad she'd have felt trying to get a cup of Darjeeling in Boston? ;)

Great laugh, and great first post!! :)

Lackwit
10-20-2006, 07:01 PM
Wonder how bad she'd have felt trying to get a cup of Darjeeling in Boston? ;)


*Local pointing out the harbor*: "Go get it yourself!":D

Rapscallion
10-20-2006, 07:09 PM
I have to ask - was she British? Being a Limey with only a sketchy interest in the US hisotry, I have to ask what the relevance is. I know about Boston, and it was a waste of fine tea, but tax and stamps?

Rapscallion

Spiffy McMoron
10-20-2006, 07:56 PM
I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about history, but if I'm wrong, feel free to tell me so:

During the 1760's and early 1770's, the British raised taxes/created new taxes on many items that the Americian colonists needed-tea, refined cotton, (Most raw cotton was shipped to England to be processed) spices, manufactured goods, etc. One new tax that the British created was one on stamps-but not the type of stamps that we know of today. (the US didn't have a postal service at the time.) They were the type of stamps that were dipped in ink and used to put a mark on a peice of paper. They were mostly used by businessmen, who tended to be wealthy, who tended to have a bit of power-and when you and have power and a complaint; you get your message out. This led to even more unrest amongst the general population.

FUN FACT TIME!!

Despite what you may have seen in The Patriot, most historians know that it wasn't a majority of the people that wanted change. As is the case with most revolutions, it started by a group of well-educated and well-organized men. In general, about one third of the people supported the war, one third supported the English, and one third didn't have one preference over the other.

MadMike
10-20-2006, 07:59 PM
I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about history, but if I'm wrong, feel free to tell me so:


For being "historically inaccurate", you seem to know a lot about history. ;)

Dips
10-20-2006, 08:04 PM
The Stamp Acts of 1965 and the Townshend Acts of 1767 (?) enacted a tax system so that the American colonists could help pay back cost of the troops who had fought and died for them during the French and Indian War (aka the 30 Years War).

Due to huge pressure and non-compliance, Parliament revoked all of them except the duty on tea, which was reduced to a pittance. Parliament did this as face-saving measure hoping that the colonists would comply (it's only a tiny little tax and nobody is going to give up their tea for just a tiny little tax) and, by their compliance, acknowledge that Parliament had a right to tax the colonists.

To put it bluntly, it backfired. In most cities tea cargos were simply blocked from unloading and the ships sailed back with their cargo. Since the tea didn't go through customs, no duties could be paid on it.

In Boston in December 1773, the royal governor took it a bit further. He made it quite plain that anyone interfering with the unloading of the cargo would run afoul of the law and would not let the ships leave without unloading.

It was a stalemate. A special public meeting was held to decide what to do and the rest is history. This meeting was mostly for show. The Sons of Liberty had pretty much decided that the tea was going into the harbor beforehand.

ETA: It looks like Spiffy beat me to posting. He is 100% right about the popularity of the revolution. Most folks would have glady paid the tiny little tax and had their tea. They didn't because they were legitimately afraid of running afoul of the mobs.

Gawdzillers
10-20-2006, 08:34 PM
Wonder how bad she'd have felt trying to get a cup of Darjeeling in Boston? ;)

Great laugh, and great first post!! :)

Why, thank you.

Gawdzillers
10-20-2006, 08:40 PM
I have to ask - was she British? Being a Limey with only a sketchy interest in the US hisotry, I have to ask what the relevance is. I know about Boston, and it was a waste of fine tea, but tax and stamps?

Rapscallion
No, she wasn't British.
She also looked like she had just gotten out of/was in college.

Gurndigarn
10-21-2006, 05:20 AM
I have to ask - was she British? Being a Limey with only a sketchy interest in the US hisotry, I have to ask what the relevance is. I know about Boston, and it was a waste of fine tea, but tax and stamps?

Rapscallion

Despite the fine history lessons, the basic thing with tax and stamps is that the US postal service is a US government entity. States aren't allowed to tax most federal things, and sales taxes in the states all come from the individual states and their counties.

Lace Neil Singer
10-21-2006, 03:16 PM
I wouldn't know that, as I know a lot of British history, but hardly any American history. Is the opposite true in America?

Drakstern
10-21-2006, 05:19 PM
There's British history?

Wait, when did that start?

It's been around for a while? Oh come on! What next? Canadian history?

...you mean there's that too?

:p

Kidding, kidding...

Gurndigarn
10-21-2006, 05:50 PM
I wouldn't know that, as I know a lot of British history, but hardly any American history. Is the opposite true in America?

Roughly. We get a bare-bones version in some World History (ie, European history, with a smattering of early Mediterranean history. Asia? Africa? The Americas before Columbus? They have histories?)


For what it's worth though, American History taught in America usually runs as follows:

Brief chapter covering 1600-1770, mostly badmouthing things people fought for and believed in deeply at the time

American revolution

Articles of Confederation to the Constitution

Brief bit covering 1800-1859, mostly badmouthing things people fought for and believed in deeply at the time

American Civil War

Complaining about reconstruction, the robber and rail baron age, and assorted scandals, 1865-1900

Insulting and denigrating the early US industrial era, 1900-1929. Brief footnote about the War to End All Wars and US involvement in it.

Serious ose about the Great Depression, 1929-1941. Not very much detail about its causes (cheap credit, overspending, and rampant materialism followed by an upswing in the cost of core necessity prices.) At least, based on US consumer habits, not enough to sink in.

Brief chapter on World War II, which started on December 7, 1941. Well, it's not a brief chapter in the book, but the teacher runs far enough behind that's as far as any American History class ever gets. But it does tell how America won the war-- with some help from Britain. And a few of the books even grudgingly admit that French resistance helped a bit, and even allow that it was probably good that the USSR provided a bit of distraction, too. I think Canada is assumed to still be part of Britain in most of these histories, by the way. Austrailia wasn't really part of the war in any of them. But the Phillipeans were, because MacArthur promised to return there.

Rapscallion
10-21-2006, 05:58 PM
Oooh! Question!

Do any of the history books mention that the Canadians burned the White House in 1812?

Most of ours don't mention that the Dutch navy sailed up the Thames many moons back, cannoned the hell out of anywhere that took their fancy, and sailed out again without a loss, before anyone asks...

Lovely description of history teaching, by the way.

Raspcallion

Lackwit
10-21-2006, 06:33 PM
Oooh! Question!

Do any of the history books mention that the Canadians burned the White House in 1812?


Most of my primary school history books only made glancing mention of the incident: mostly First Lady Dolly Madison rescuing artwork (especially a famous portrait of George Washington) from the burning presidential domicile.

Gawdzillers
10-21-2006, 08:08 PM
Oooh! Question!

Do any of the history books mention that the Canadians burned the White House in 1812?

Damn those sneaky Canadians.
And their maple-syrup-covered ham.

Gurndigarn
10-21-2006, 10:41 PM
Oooh! Question!

Do any of the history books mention that the Canadians burned the White House in 1812?

Oh, yes. But they call them English, for some reason.

Things you learn about from US history books about the War of 1812:
It was pointless
Andrew "Twenty Buck" Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans a month after peace was declared.

If you pay close attenion, you also pick up:
The war started because British ships had this habit of kidnapping US sailors. (Technically, they could only reimpress British sailors. But think for a minute. Sucky manager-- employee shortage-- law that allowed them to forcibly remove British sailors from non-British ships-- guess what happened...)
The law authorizing this was repealed about the time war was declared, and the news of its repeal was on the way to the states at the same time the declaration of war from the states was on the way to Britian.
It's kind of stupid too declare war on someone if you don't have an easy way to drop soldiers off on their land.

And if you have a Canadian wife, you also pick up all sorts of tidbits about the stupidity of the US forces, too...

Becks
10-22-2006, 02:39 AM
Gurndigarn, I must say, good outline of history class.

You know, since I enjoy reading AND history, I'd read ahead in my textbooks. Imagine my shock to find out that America apparently had troops in 'Nam AND Korea. :eek:

Gurndigarn
10-22-2006, 03:19 AM
Gurndigarn, I must say, good outline of history class.

Thank you. I was a history minor. One who kept his ears open and tried to figure out the whys of history. Unlike, sadly, some of the people teaching me, especially in high school.

You know, since I enjoy reading AND history, I'd read ahead in my textbooks. Imagine my shock to find out that America apparently had troops in 'Nam AND Korea. :eek:

Yup. I figure both of those wars will be looked on a lot more favorably after the people involved in them are dead. Well, actually, I figure it'll be more like the Spanish-American war: about three paragraphs each, maybe even a full page if the editor's feeling generous. But they'll be looked at (to historians, at least) more like battles in the Cold War rather than individual wars.

werewolffan98
10-22-2006, 07:12 AM
Roughly. We get a bare-bones version in some World History (ie, European history, with a smattering of early Mediterranean history. Asia? Africa? The Americas before Columbus? They have histories?)


:ot:

Well it seems that the Middle Ages also get insulted,because Gregorian Chant and Beowulf came from the Middle Ages.

************************************************** *****************
MYTHS ABOUT THE MIDDLE AGES

Source Link: http://web.maths.unsw.edu.au/~jim/medmyths.html

There are so many myths about the Middle Ages, it has to be suspected that the general level of "knowledge" about things medieval is actually negative.
Here are some of the more famous ones.

In the Middle Ages it was believed the earth was flat.
There's a whole book devoted to refuting this one: J.B. Russell's Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians (New York, 1991) (review; also `The myth of the flat earth'.)
The facts are that the Greeks knew the earth was spherical from about 500 BC, and all but a tiny number of educated persons have known it in all times since. Thomas Aquinas gives the roundness of the earth as a standard example of a scientific truth, in Summa theologiae bk. I q. 1 art. 1.


The scholastic philosophers of the Middle Ages debated how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.
This has not been found in any scholastic, nor has the allegation been found earlier than in a Protestant writer of 1638. See `Heads of pins'; further; discussion.
Aquinas does discuss "whether several angels can be in the same place at the same time" (Summa theologiae bk. I q. 52 art. 3), but that does not quite have the farcical ring of the original.





Some medieval Pope (unnamed, of course) instituted fasting from meat on Fridays to help the fishing industry of the Papal States.
Mediev-l archives `Fish on Fridays' thread.


The alleged fragments of the True Cross would have added up to a whole forest.
In a truly obsessive piece of scholarship, Charles Rohault de Fleury's Memoire sur les instruments de la passion de N.-S. J.-C. (Paris, 1870) counted all the alleged fragments and showed they only added up to considerably less than one cross ... more


Vikings wore helmets with horns
How would you know Hagar the Horrible was a Viking if he didn't have horns? ... the facts



An early medieval church council declared (or almost declared) that women have no souls.
History of the error.


The medieval burning of witches.
Medieval canon law officially did not believe in witches. There were very occasional individual witch trials in the Middle Ages, but the persecution of witches only became a mass phenomenon from around 1500. The height of persecution was in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries ... article; resources.


The feudal system.
Depending on how strictly it is defined, the feudal system, in the sense of a hierarchical system of property-based legal obligations between lords and vassals, is a later invention. This is argued in S. Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals (reviews). However, it is true that there was a manorial system or generalised protection racket, something like the "feudal system" of popular imagination.

jnd4rusty
10-22-2006, 08:07 AM
Well..I hope you had an awesome visit to our beautiful state of South Dakota and the ever so wonderful Black Hills!! Lots of interesting things to see.

trunks2k
10-23-2006, 03:04 PM
During the 1760's and early 1770's, the British raised taxes/created new taxes on many items that the Americian colonists needed-tea, refined cotton, (Most raw cotton was shipped to England to be processed) spices, manufactured goods, etc. One new tax that the British created was one on stamps-but not the type of stamps that we know of today. (the US didn't have a postal service at the time.) They were the type of stamps that were dipped in ink and used to put a mark on a peice of paper. ![/I]


Just to be clear, the tax wasn't on the stamp, rather the stamp signified that the document in or item question had been taxed. The stamps were put on a large variety of paper items, mostly legal documents, but even playing cards as well.

trunks2k
10-23-2006, 03:15 PM
Due to huge pressure and non-compliance, Parliament revoked all of them except the duty on tea, which was reduced to a pittance. Parliament did this as face-saving measure hoping that the colonists would comply (it's only a tiny little tax and nobody is going to give up their tea for just a tiny little tax) and, by their compliance, acknowledge that Parliament had a right to tax the colonists.


With the tea wasn't so much the tax, rather that the British gov't gave the East India Tea Company a total monopoly on tea. People were more complacent when the tax on tea was high because that meant smugglers could make a pretty penny by sneaking in tea and selling it a cheaper price. The tea act let the East India Tea Company sell tea directly to the colonies sans tax. It drove the price of tea so low that the colonists couldn't make any money off of it anymore which got them angry. Yes, we got angry that tea was too cheap to bother smuggling in anymore.

sportsmom
10-23-2006, 03:51 PM
Roughly. We get a bare-bones version in some World History (ie, European history, with a smattering of early Mediterranean history. Asia? Africa? The Americas before Columbus? They have histories?)


I think it depends on which area of the country you were raised in as to which version of history and how thorough your lessons are.

Growing up in the south, we were taught a fair bit about the Native Americans, particularly the Algonquins, and that Pocahontas most likely was not saving John Smith's life, but that it was part of a ceremony and he misunderstood what was going on, or even made up the whole thing.

We also learned about Jamestown and Williamsburg and the Lost Colony and other things that are glossed over. As well as the fact that the Native American people were doing just fine with out our help, thank you very much, and all we managed to do was kill them with our foreign diseases, beg for food, and steal their lands.

Another thing that I have found is different is that, in the South, most schools teach that the North instigated the war not because they were so concerned about the slaves, but they wanted the natural resources found in the South, and decided that after we seceded, war was the only way to get them. In the North kids are taught that it was all about the slaves and that the evil Southerners were keeping slaves and they had to go to war to free them. They also leave out that there were many people of color, both freeborn and former slaves, fighting for the South, as well as the fact that there were Union states that allowed slavery.



"The problem with history is that it is written by the victors." I can't remember who said it, but it certainly is true.


**I also want to point out that while I was born in the south, I in no way believe that slavery is a good thing, however, I think that the people at that time did what they had to do and what was socially acceptabe in their culture at that time.

trunks2k
10-23-2006, 04:50 PM
In the North kids are taught that it was all about the slaves and that the evil Southerners were keeping slaves and they had to go to war to free them. They also leave out that there were many people of color, both freeborn and former slaves, fighting for the South, as well as the fact that there were Union states that allowed slavery.


Well, it depends on the grade. Elementary school kids, are taught the whole "the civil war was fought to free the slaves" bit, but as they get into middle school and highschool, they're taught that it was to preseve the union and that freeing the slaves was a political move that came late in the war.

Drakstern
10-23-2006, 05:20 PM
My Am Hist teacher(bless her heart) tried to tell it from both sides. She held that the north caused the war, and that it was primarily fought for economic reasons, with slavery being a distant second concern. She also said that while the North may've caused the war, neither side was blameless and that, like all wars, there were instigators on each side.

She also had interesting things to say about the Rev War and 'Nam, but I won't go into that as I can't remember them properly.

sportsmom
10-23-2006, 06:45 PM
Well, it depends on the grade. Elementary school kids, are taught the whole "the civil war was fought to free the slaves" bit, but as they get into middle school and highschool, they're taught that it was to preseve the union and that freeing the slaves was a political move that came late in the war.

I do apologize for using such a general statement. I know that not all people teach from that perspective, but it has been my experience that more people here have that take on it than those I grew up around.


I try to consider myself at least intelligent enough to know that there were rabble rousers and instigators on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. :)

werewolffan98
10-23-2006, 08:13 PM
we're going to have to give a little lesson on medieval history and why it's so hard to do. We think we can summarize the problems in a few brief points:

1.It's really damn old. Stuff got destroyed or lost. Literacy was not common in the thirteenth century either, so accounts are rare.

2. People were gullible. Recall that these folks were still four hundred years from Isaac Newton and three quarters of a millenium from antibiotics.

3. Paucity of material can be mighty tempting to speculate about and, well, it's easy to make stuff up to embellish a scarce account.

4. The accounts were copied frequently. This means it was easy to "modify" them.

Textbooks disseminate misinformation all the time. School texts still tell us that you taste different things on different parts of your tongue, a myth based on a mistranslation of a 17th century german scientic study.

Just because it is in a textbook doesn't make it factual.

Ryu
10-23-2006, 09:06 PM
yup tons of stuff in textbooks isnt true and hasnt been believed in a long time

Tria
10-23-2006, 09:46 PM
. As well as the fact that the Native American people were doing just fine with out our help, thank you very much, and all we managed to do was kill them with our foreign diseases, beg for food, and steal their lands.


Yeah, we gave them smallpox, but syphillis came from them.... Well, the southern areas Columbus found.... Still think they got the worse end of the deal.

AFpheonix
10-25-2006, 06:05 PM
Mmmm....mercury penis syringes......


In our neck of the woods, we tend to have a large chapter on Lewis and Clark, too.