Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
For any young man politically minded and also a collector of quotes Thomas Paine is an inescapable presence whose quotes even this day have not lost their shine. In this age where all major religions are suffering from the virus of fundamentalism it is merely a caution well taken. Did he not say “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead?” His sane voice urging the man on the street that ‘he should not petition for his rights but take them,’ made the American revolution a necessity. His ‘Common Sense(1776)* was so influential for John Adams to observe, “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”
A corset maker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination his footprints in England, America and France left in their wake great many who were his allies and admirers turn on him in the end as fiercely as they had warmed up to his clarion call.2.
Born in Thetford England in the county of Norfolk, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 and it was Benjamin Franklin who advised him to go to America and he just did, arriving in time to participate in the American Revolution.
Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791), in part a defence of the French Revolution against its critics. His attacks on British writer Edmund Burke led to a trial and conviction in absentia in 1792. In 1792, despite not being able to speak French, he was elected to the French National Convention. The Girondists regarded him as an ally. Consequently, the Montgnards especially Robespierre regarded him as an enemy. He narrowly missed guillotine and Thomas Jefferson as the Third President of the new Republic invited him to settle down in the new nation. His later years were plagued by ill health, neglect and when he died only six people attended his funeral. Quakers refused him burial and he was finally buried in a part of the grounds attached to his home.
Paine used “common sense” as a weapon to delegitimize the monarchy and overturn prevailing conventional wisdom. He used two ideas from Scottish Common Sense Realism and from Philosophes. The idea is that ordinary people can indeed make sound judgments on major political issues, and that there exists a body of popular wisdom that is readily apparent to anyone. The Continental Enlightenment spread out influencing people as to how they thought. It empowered people in France to think for themselves. They held that common sense could refute the claims of traditional institutions. According to Sophia Rosenfeld the phenomenal appeal of his pamphlet resulted from his synthesis of popular and elite elements in the independence movement.
Paine decided that President George Washington had conspired with Robespierre to imprison him. Embittered by this perceived betrayal, Paine tried to ruin Washington’s reputation by calling him a treacherous man unworthy of his fame as a military and political hero. Paine described Washington as an incompetent commander and a vain and ungrateful person. In a scathing open letter to President Washington in 1796, he wrote: “the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any.
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Posted in animals, art, tagged 90s, animals, Benny Thomas, cats, charcoal, drawing, Persian cat, pets, sketch, unfinished on April 17, 2014 |
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Posted in art, personalities, tagged 1902, Benny Thomas, charcoal, Dutch, light, Nobel Prize, pen portraits, Zeeman effect on September 13, 2013 |
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PIETER ZEEMAN (Dutch) (1865 – 1943)
Zeeman was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1902 for his discovery that the lines produced by passing the light from a flame through a diffraction grating – the spectral lines – were multiplied by a powerful magnetic field.
Each line was replaced by a triplet the additional lines having slighty lower and higher frequencies than the original one.
This effect – the Zeeman effect – showed exactly what light was – a form of energy produced by the movement of electrons. Careful study of the effect enabled Zeeman to calculate the magnetic moments of the nucleir of atoms: others observed that the light emitted near sun spots showed a marked Zeeman effect and realized that sun spots were associated with powerful magnetic fields. Since then Zeeman effect has been used to study magnetic field of other stars. Zeeman was eventually the first person to demonstrate a link between magnetism and light and thus to show that light was part of a spectrum that also included radio waves and x-rays.
No scientist works in a vacuum. God said,’Let there be light’ and there was light. Of course I am dealing with human knowledge that lifts little by little upon the shoulders of fellow men and covers more ground than before. Here we see Zeeman’s work bridging two great physicists Lorenz and Einstein.
from http://www.Answers.com: In 1875 Hendrik Antoon Lorenz refined James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetic radiation so that it explained the reflection and refraction of light. Aiming to devise a single theory to explain the relationship of electricity, magnetism, and light, he later suggested that atoms might consist of charged particles that oscillate and produce light. In 1896 his student Pieter Zeeman demonstrated this phenomenon ( Zeeman effect), and in 1902 the two men were awarded the second Nobel Prize for Physics. In 1904 Lorentz developed the Lorentz transformations mathematical formulas that relate space and time measurements of one observer to those of a second observer moving relative to the first. These formed the basis of Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity.
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Posted in personalities, tagged Benny Thomas, caricature, charcoal, Clement Attlee, dockworkers union, Herbert Morrison, Nye Bevan, pen portrait, Popular Front, TUC, Winston Churchill on July 7, 2013 |
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Ernest Bevin(1881-1951) was a self made man who rose from humble circumstances to be a force to reckon with in the British politics. For example as a foreign minister when NATO was formed the US may have been the senior partner but he was the engine that got Britain on board. The son of poor parents, and an orphan at six he was schooled in adversity. Yet he could hold is own with the best brains and with greatest in the realm. When King George VI asked him where he had gained so much knowledge he replied,’Your Majesty, I plucked it from ‘edgerows of experience.’
Bevin joined the Dockers’ Union and rising through the ranks by the age of 30 he was elected general secretary, a post he was to hold for the next nineteen years.
He was a member of the Labour Party. In 1936 the Conservative government feared the spread of communism and was fairly sympathetic to the military uprising in Spain against the left-wing popular Front.
Bevin was a strong supporter of the PF government in Spain and in August 1936 made a speech where he praised “the heroic struggle being carried on by the workers of Spain to save their democratic regime.” Nevertheless he was against working with the Communist Party of Great Britain.
In May 1940 he was inducted by Churchill into his coalition government as Minister of Labour. Bevin successfully achieved mobilization of Britain’s workforce and became one of the most significant members of Churchill’s war cabinet. In 1945 Labor came into power Attlee appointed Bevin as his Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Bevin, who held strong anti-communist views, played an important role in the acceptance of the Marshall Plan, the creation of NATO and Britain’s decision to develop nuclear weapons.
His defects revealed themselves in a scepticism towards the new Israel and to a wider European Community.
According Harold Wilson Clement Attlee relied heavily on Bevin during his six years in power. Bevin’s main rival in the cabinet was Herbert Morrison whom he disliked. A fellow minister, Harold Wilson explained: “Ernie Bevin could not stand Herbert Morrison, who had been a City boss when Bevin had been head of one of the biggest unions and the two had clashed…’ A fellow MP, Robert Boothby tells the story of how the two men loathed each other. When a MP said to Bevin that “Morrison was his own worst enemy”, he replied, “Not while I’m alive he ain’t.” In very poor health, Bevin resigned from Attlee’s government in March 1951. Ernest Bevin died the following month on 14th April, 1951.(Ack: www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk
Please refer-Their Shining Moment-bevin
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