Talk:World History Lecture Nine

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Whigs and Labour

I've never before heard it said that the Whigs were the anteedents of the Labour Party. The conventioanal argument is that Whig=Liberal and Tory=Conservative, but even that is a gross over-simplification of the changes in political allegiance during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is probably far truer to say that Whiggism led to economic and political Liberalism in the mid-19th century which in turn greatly influenced the 20th century Conservative Party with its individualist, free trade, laissez faire policies. Mrs Thatcher was nothing if not a classic nineteenth century Liberal. Also, in the late 19th century the Liberal Party split over Home Rule for Ireland and a large faction - known as Liberal Unionists - joined the Conservative Party (hence its full name, the Conservative and Unionist Party - nothing to do with Ulster Unionists). Yes, the late 19th century Liberal Party had trade union candidates, known as 'Lib Labs'; some of these joined the Labour Party when it was established (as the Labour Representation Committee) in 1900. But to say the Whigs developed into Labour is simply not the case. (unsigned)

Reply by Aschlafly 10:48, 27 June 2007 (EDT):

Of course, the lecture's statement that the (leftist) modern Labour Party is a substitute for the (leftist) Whig Party of old is a simplification of this interesting facet of English history. But it is a correct simplication, as confirmed by the Columbia Encyclopedia quoted below. Admittedly, there is a step in between that entailed the more conservative Liberal Party. But the migration from leftist to Liberal to leftist does not break the chain.

From the Columbia Encyclopedia:

The Liberal party was an outgrowth of the Whig party that, after the Reform Bill of 1832 (see Reform Acts), joined with the bulk of enfranchised industrialists and business classes to form a political alliance that, over the next few decades, came to be called the Liberal party. Much of the Liberal program was formulated by an important manufacturing middle-class element of the party known as the Radicals, who were strongly influenced by Jeremy Bentham. The Liberals distinguishing policies included free trade, low budgets, and religious liberty. Their anti-imperialism reflected confidence in Britain's economic supremacy. Most Liberals believed in the economic doctrines of laissez-faire and thought labor unions, factory acts, and substantial poor relief a threat to rapid industrialization. ...

By 1914 the Liberal government had passed substantial welfare legislation but, unwilling to adopt a full socialist program, the Liberals began to lose support to the new Labour party. The party's stubborn adherence to the doctrine of free trade, arguments between the Lloyd George and Asquith factions of the party, long years of depression, the Irish problem, growing labor radicalism, and the rise of a working-class party all account for the rapid postwar decline of the Liberals. ...

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright© 2004, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V. All rights reserved.

Apologies for omitting to sign above. I think (perhaps mistakenly) that you are drawing your argument and inferring a link from this section of the quotation:By 1914 the Liberal government had passed substantial welfare legislation but, unwilling to adopt a full socialist program, the Liberals began to lose support to the new Labour party. Certainly there was a radical interventionist wing of the party, under Lloyd George, which fostered this 'welfare' legislation; but (as with Lloyd George's post WW1 housing programme) this was to prevent socialism by improving living standards for the poor, rather than to encourage socialism. Some individual liberal politicians moved 'left', but I maintain that there is a much stronger philosophical link between nineteenth century classical economic Liberalism and modern UK Conservatism, and indeed even between mid-C19 radicalism - most of whose exponents were enthusiastic individualists and anti-Socialists - and modern Conservatism. Anyway... thanks in any case for your considered response. Pachyderm 11:01, 27 June 2007 (EDT)

Religious Persecution

In the 1600s in England, there was some of the worst religious persecution in the history of the world, as Protestants harshly persecuted each other and there was also continuous conflict between Protestants and Catholics. The conflict between Anglicans and Puritans in England was particularly severe, causing many Puritans to flee to New England.

To class the examples you give as "some of the worst religious persecution in the history of the world" is completely alien to the facts. Conflict between Anglicans and Puritans was not 'particularly severe' by world standards, or even Englsish standards: no executions were involved, by contrast with the hundreds of Catholics killed in the Elizabethan and 17th century persecutions and scores of Protestants killed in the 16th century Marian persecution). Contrast that with the Holocaust, with Tsarist antisemitic pogroms, with the butcheries of the Crusades, with the massacres perpetrated during the German Religious Wars, the French Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War; the killings of Chinese Christians during the Boxer Rising - I could go on and on. Pachyderm 12:52, 30 August 2007 (EDT)


  • You simply eliminate Edward VI and Mary I as not being 'noteworthy'. They may have had relatively short reigns but they were important nonetheless.
  • To say Elizabeth I is the most popular would need some sort of reliable survey to back it up, and to clarify whether that is from a contemporary perspective or not.
  • As it stands the wording suggest she was formally excommunicated before 1559, in fact this took place afterwards in 1570.
  • You completely omit the Gunpowder Plot, probably the defining event of James' reign, which is still commemorated to this day.
  • Charles I did accept the Petition of Right, though he never intended to abide by it.
  • You label the first civil war as purely religious. This was not the case. Yes Cromwell was a Puritan but to say all Parliamentarians were is incorrect. Although there was a split along religious lines the names used for either side, Royalists and Parliamentarians tells the story much better.
  • The 'remainder' of William Prynne's ears were not removed but were branded with SL for 'seditious libeller'.
  • You jump straight from describing the power wielded by certain Puritans to saying that this caused them to emigrate, though this makes no sense.
  • Although Cromwell was essentially a dictator it should be noted that he refused the offer of Kingship.
  • The US was not the only example of a revolution that did not lead to dictatorship. Venustiano Carranza became president of Mexico after overthrowing a dictator but did not become one himself. There are of course also many non-violent revolutions that did not lead to dictatorships, especially in recent decades.
  • Charles II did not immediately take over after Cromwell's death.
  • The Labour Party did NOT form from the Whigs. The Whigs developed into the Liberal party (even then not a straightforward matter), which has under gone many changes to become the Liberal Democrats today, the 3rd largest party. The Labour Party was not created until the early 20th century.
  • You fail to mention the Battle of the Boyne. This was a hugely significant battle between Protestant and Catholic and has ramifications to this day. It was also the last battle in which two English kings faced each other.
  • Your statement regarding the French revolution "ended up with nearly everyone being executed by the guillotine" is an overstatement to say the very least!
  • You criticise the arbitrary nature of some of the French declarations, but most such statements are arbitrary. The phrase 'pursuit of happiness' is extremely vague for instance.
  • I think you are mistaken in attributing any significant credit to Adam Smith for economic expansion as part of the industrial revolution. He was really more of an observer of it such that his ideas were significant later on.
  • The vast majority of the cotton for Britain came from its colonies, not America, with the USA being independent by pretty much the start of the industrial revolution. Britain was also engaged in hostilities with the US for some time and so significant trade of cotton was unlikely between them.
  • I think your claim that Britain tried to hide the secrets of the Industrial revolution is woefully inaccurate. This portrays it as if the revolution was a single event that was tightly controlled by single group, which of course it was not.
  • You suggest the industrial revolution was simply built on the use of iron for example, neglecting the fact that revolutions in the extraction of iron for instance were part of the revolution.
  • James Watt did not invent the steam engine (a common misconception), he simply improved it.
  • You get into a discussion on the agrarian revolution after discussing the industrial revolution, which is odd given how they occurred the other way around.
  • You characterise enclosure as simply the buying up of land. In fact much of it was simply the pre-existing owners enclosing their land. Certainly much buying and selling then occurred but this was not the defining feature of enclosure.
  • Again when referring to Spain and Austria-Hungary you put far too great an emphasis on the role of Adam Smith and simply dismiss the consensus amongst historians in favour of said mistake.
  • This sentence "If you are a businessman or investor, then you love the industrial revolution because it enables you to make money without being a farmer, and gives you access to all sorts of goods and products that might not otherwise be available, such as computers" seems to be mixed up in its temporal context.

I hope this has been of use. RobertWDP 23:12, 25 February 2009 (EST)

The Virgin Queen?

Is it worth mentioning Elizabeth I's reputation as "The Virgin Queen"? I know historians debate how true that was, but its why one of the colonies that caused Great Britain so much trouble later on is called Virginia. ArthurA 10:34, 25 March 2009 (EDT)

Revolution versus Civil War?

Might it be worth differentiating between revolutions and civil wars, since both are covered here?

My personal definition is that its a civil war until the rebels win, then the victors get to call it a revolution, but I'm little more than an amateur historian with specific interests (mostly American history, from the Late Unpleasantness Civil War on.) ArthurA 10:38, 25 March 2009 (EDT)

Prussia vs. Germany

To call Prussia the former name of Germany is like calling Maryland the former name of the USA... ClementB 09:20, 26 March 2009 (EDT)

Look up "Prussia" in the dictionary. Merriam-Webster, 10th Ed., second meaning: "former kingdom and state of Germany." Now complain to it if you still insist on your incorrect view.--Andy Schlafly 08:10, 27 March 2009 (EDT)
The same Merriam-Webster has this entry on Hesse: "state of Germany & formerly of West Germany including larger part of Hesse-Darmstadt & part of Hesse-Nassau "
Prussia was a state in Germany. Prussia was never the state of Germany. Hesse, neither. So Bavaria.
To emphasize: the kingdom of Prussia was never identical to Germany. In fact, Prussia could only become a kingdom in 1701 as it lay outside of the German Empire.
Clement ♗ 11:08, 27 March 2009 (EDT)
The lecture doesn't say Prussia was "identical to Germany." But Prussia was the leading state in the German empire, and hence is the predecessor (or former name) of Germany. Your analogy to Maryland is, frankly, beyond absurd.
Let me know when you assert your same complaint to Merriam-Webster.--Andy Schlafly 11:50, 27 March 2009 (EDT)
The lecture states Examples were Catherine the Great of Russia, Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia (the former name for Germany), and the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II of Austria. Does this make Frederick II a former king of Germany? Or a king of former Germany? It gives at least a wrong impression.
I have no problems with the Merriam-Webster, as this dictionary (not an encyclopedia, BTW) states that Prussia was a German state. That's absolutely correct, but you seem to misread it as the former kingdom of Germany, when all it implies that it is a former German kingdom.
Clement ♗ 12:12, 27 March 2009 (EDT)
As you're so adamant, I changed the entry on Germany to include this point. Clement ♗ 09:29, 29 March 2009 (EDT)
Interestingly, I wasn't allowed to introduce this insight into the article on Germany. In the discussion on my home-page, Karajou linked to the MSN encarta. As the Merriam-Webster, it starts with
Prussia (German Preussen), former kingdom and state of Germany.
But then, you find the line
Modern Prussia was successively, with geographical modifications, an independent kingdom (1701-1871); the largest constituent kingdom of the German Empire (1871-1918); a constituent state, or land, of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933); and an administrative division, comprising 13 provinces, of the centralized German Third Reich (1934-1945).
Do you see how the first sentence never implies that Prussia is the predecessor (or former name) of Germany?
Please, allow me to change the lecture accordingly, i.e., from Examples were Catherine the Great of Russia, Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia (the former name for Germany), and the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II of Austria. to something like Examples were Catherine the Great of Russia, Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia (a former kingdom in Germany), and the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II of Austria.
If you insist on your view, the line A former name of Germany is Prussia should be added to the article on Germany.
Clement ♗ 14:51, 29 March 2009 (EDT)
Clement, your suggested replacement is not an improvement on the lecture. An encyclopedia entry about something (e.g., Germany) obviously goes into more detail, with greater precision, than a lecture should. A good lecture informs with the goal of making something easy to learn and remember. This lecture has done that, just as the dictionary has, and your suggestion is not an improvement. Please move on, at least for now. If this still bothers you after you've focused on other issues, then we can always revisit this. Thanks and Godspeed.--Andy Schlafly 15:28, 29 March 2009 (EDT)
Dear Andrew Schlafly, I'm afraid that the matter still bothers me. I thought about it for quite a while and to get counsel, I've talked to the pastor of my former youth group. He took some time to read my entries - and some of yours - and we discussed the whole exchange at length.
  • He scolded me for being overly aggressive in my replies. Even if mocked, I should have been more humble and considerate. Therefore, I apologize.
  • I apologize to R. J. Jensen, too. It became obvious that he didn't want to be involved in a discussion of the statements of your lectures, but kept his contributions and these lectures separate. I should not have tried to drag him into this argument.
  • You said: A good lecture informs with the goal of making something easy to learn and remember. We seem to disagree where there is the line between an allowed (over-) simplification and the outright distortion of facts. I'd like to point out that the statement ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny was kept in biology text books around the world because it is easy to learn and remember, though there was no truth in it.
  • I'm thankful that you considered my note on the Red Cross in your next lecture. On the other hand, you ignored my question on the beginning of the industrial revolution in Germany: There are discussions whether it was as early as in the 1830s or as late as in the 1850s, but I found no one who gave 1870 as a date. But looking back, it seemed to be prideful to expect that you'd follow all of my annotations: reading the talk pages of the other lectures shows that - seemingly - good advice is often ignored.
This said, I'll follow what I see as an example set by R. J. Jensen, i.e, I won't comment on the further World History Lectures.
Yours Clement ♗ 13:05, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Clement, your conclusion is backhanded at best, and you still seem to push a double standard. I repeat: have you complained to Merriam-Webster yet? It says the same thing the lecture does, as I demonstrated. That you insist on complaining only here without complaining to Merriam-Webster suggests you have two different standards.--Andy Schlafly 13:36, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Andy, I won't complain to Merriam-Webster. Why? Because the statement: Prussia: former kingdom and state of Germany. is true. It just doesn't mean what you read into it! Merriam-Webster states that Prussia is a former kingdom. And that Prussia is a former state of Germany. It is possible to misread this very short statement as Prussia is the former state of Germany. But your background in history should prevent you from such a misinterpretation! Clement ♗ 13:57, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

Do you actually want editors to help?

Mr Schlafly, before I go any further in helping to edit your encyclopedia, please could you let me know if you actually want to use information contributed by editors. On the specific points you reverted,

  • Mohammed is not and never has been the most common boy's name in Britain. It has regularly been in the top 20 for the last 30-40 years and famously overtook John about 10 years ago. But the most common name on a long-term basis continues to be James, as it has been for centuries, while Biblical names like Joshua and Adam and Celtic or Saxon names like Liam and Kevin are currently popular.
  • There is no bar on a catholic being Prime Minister. As you surely know, the UK has no written constitution and there isn't even an official position of Prime Minister (his official title is First Lord of the Treasury). If a catholic (or muslim, hindu, sikh, jew, etc) became Prime Minister, the Queen could choose to be advised on ecclesiastical matters by the Lord Chancellor or another senior minister. Blair has never revealed why he chose to leave converting to catholicism until he left office but it wouldn't have affected his position as P.M.

So Mr Schlafly, if you'll accept input from an editor who knows what he's talking about, I'll gladly continue to contribute to Conservapedia. Otherwise, I won't waste my time. (I've read some of your talk pages and I see you're inclined to get into pointless arguments with editors who know more than you do about the subject in question. All I need to know is, do you accept input from people who know more about a subject than you do, yes or no.) JosephMac 17:46, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

If you think you're such a genius, JosephMac, let's see how well you can do on the World History Midterm Exam. Or perhaps your skill is only acting like you know it all.
The evidence is against both of your claims above. Moreover, you censored the statement about Muhammad rather than improving it.
We don't welcome falsehoods, even by people who pretend to be know-it-alls. Now let's see if you even do as well as the top homeschooled students on the exam. I bet you'll run away from that opportunity to prove your immense knowledge.--Andy Schlafly 17:53, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
  • No, the evidence isn't against either of the statements above. They're both correct, as I think you actually know.
  • As you also know, I didn't censor the statement about Mohammed; I improved it to say it's in the top 20 of boy's names.
  • I'm not pretending about anything.
  • I would do your exam if I were confident that your historical knowledge was accurate enough to mark it correctly.
  • Mind your language, please.JosephMac 17:58, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
I'm a Brit (English) and I have nary a clue as to where you got that 'Muhammad' thing from. I don't personally know anyone called Muhammad, and I've never heard of a Christian with that name (unless they converted from another religion). In support of JosephMac, I know many people called James, so many that I call them by their last name instead of their first. LeslieHoyson 18:10, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
I'd too see if either you could even score 50% on the World History Midterm Exam. Looks like both you won't dare display your real knowledge.
It only took 30 seconds to confirm that "Muhammad is now second only to Jack as the most popular name for baby boys in Britain and is likely to rise to No 1 by next year [2008], a study by The Times has found."[1]
1 c. 2 d. 3 a. 4 c. 5 c. 6 e. 7 d. 8 e. 9 c. 10 b. 11 b. 12 d. 13 b. 14 b. 15 d. 16 a. 17 d. 18 e. 19 b. 20 a. 21 e. 22 c. 23 c. 24 d. 25 d. 26 c. 27 d. 28 a. 29 b. 30 c. 31 b. 32 e. 33 d. 34 d. 35 a. 36 e. 37 a(*). 38 a. 39 b. 40 e. 41 d. 42 c. 43 d. 44 c. Extra (male) e.

(*) Your numbering is muddled. You've labelled Song as VI before Tang as V in the list. The order is Qin, Han, 3 kingdoms, Sui, Tang, Song.

JosephMac, your score is is 40, and you got some of the most challenging questions! That makes a new second place among internet submissions, and ties for second best among all submissions. Good job.
Also, thanks for catching the error about the dynasties! AddisonDM 19:13, 4 April 2009 (EDT)
I'd be happy to help set future exams to help you avoid ambiguous or erroneous answers, of which there are several in this exam.
As for Mohammed, here's a table from the Office of National Statistics, which is the definitive record for England and Wales. [2] Mohammed is no. 17. JosephMac 19:30, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
I noticed several of your edits as being incorrect (e.g., replacing "Anglican" with "Protestant") or censoring information (erasing statement about Islam in France). Accordingly, I had to revert your edits. Some revisions of value may have been lost and I'll revisit Saturday. I suggest you be more careful.
Muhammad has several different spellings, obviously. Your failure to recognize that, even after I gave you an article explaining this, suggests you're more interested in censoring the truth here than in advancing knowledge. Please move elsewhere if you continue to have that attitude.--Andy Schlafly 23:10, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

Actually, JosephMac is pretty much right in his 2 original points.

There does not appear to be any data suggesting that Muhammed is currently or has ever been the most popular boys name in the UK. In 2007 it (including 14 spelling variations, although some might argue against doing this) was ranked 2nd for newborn boys. Although some said it would overtake the top name, Jack, this does not appear to have happened as of yet.

And there is NOT any legal obstacle to a Catholic becoming Prime Minister as he also correctly stated. This is often mixed up with the laws affecting the monarchy, for which reform has recently been discussed. RobertWDP 07:24, 4 April 2009 (EDT)

Sorry but speaking as a Catholic from England I can confirm that JosephMac is quite correct there is NO legal obstacle to a Catholic becoming Prime Minister in the UK. We potentially had an atheist as Prime Minister and the main objection to him (Michael Foot) was his duffle coat! BrianNTS 07:31, 4 April 2009 (EDT)

This story from the BBC states precisely this point about Catholicism at the end. [3] The belief by some that there was some sort of legal restriction appears to have been heightened by the fact that Blair waited until he left office to convert to Catholicism. RobertWDP 07:36, 4 April 2009 (EDT)

I'm just pleased that JosephMac corrected the statement Prussia (the former name for Germany) to Prussia (the most powerful of the German states), and that A. Schlafly doesn't object any longer. Clement ♗ 07:51, 4 April 2009 (EDT)

How does "40" by JosephMac become a "new second place" among all submissions? We already have a 40 for second place, so JosephMac would tie for second place. Still a great score.

People are denying too much the ban on Catholicism for the British Prime Minister. The ban plainly does apply to the monarch and spouse of the monarch, and Tony Blair plainly did delay until after abdicating as Prime Minister before converting, and there plainly are legal restrictions that would kick in if a Prime Minister were Catholic. Why do so many Brits insist on denying the ban??? The denial is odd in itself.

ClementB's comment is misleading as I do still object to his suggested change to the Prussia/Germany statement.--Andy Schlafly 22:06, 4 April 2009 (EDT)

You're still clinging to your statement that Prussia is a former name for Germany? And your only justification for doing so is the short entry on the Merriam-Webster, stating
Prussia: former kingdom & state of Germany * Berlin
You misread this entry. This becomes clear when you have a look at the entry on Waldeck:
Waldeck: former county, principality, & state of Germany between Westphalia & Hesse-Nassau * Arolsen
Your reading of the Merriam-Webster would make Waldeck a former name of Germany, too.
Clement ♗ 07:04, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Andy, I'm afraid on the point about Catholicism and the Prime Minister you are wrong. There is NO legal restriction against a Catholic Prime Minister. The reason so many Brits 'deny' the ban? Because there isn't one. Sorry, but that fact has to be cleared up. RobertWDP 11:20, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

If this point is so important to you, then suggest more precise wording that does not censor the facts that the British Prime Minister has basic duties that could not be fulfilled if he were Catholic, that Prime Minister Tony Blair delayed converting to Catholicism until after he abdicated, and that there has never been a Catholic Prime Minister. And, by the way, the language obscuring how Brits celebrate the anniversary of the alleged "discovery" of the gunpowder plot is going to be corrected also.--Andy Schlafly 14:53, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
This was widely discussed at the time that Iain Duncan Smith (a Catholic) became leader of the Conservative Party, and the conclusion of constitutional scholars was that there is no barrier to a Catholic becoming prime minister -- the largely ceremonial role of the government in giving ecclesiastic advice to the monarch could be performed by any minister. Tony Blair has never given a public explanation for his decision to wait until he left office, although two explanations have been given by his friends: It had the potential to upset the delicate negotiations in Northern Ireland, and he did not wish for a purely personal decision to be interpreted as a political manoeuvre. Jalapeno 15:09, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
"Constitutional scholars" make all sorts of claims, including silly ones. Nothing you say refutes the three facts I cite above, and I welcome alternative wording that does not censor the facts.--Andy Schlafly 15:23, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

(unindent) Ignoring the new material above for a moment, I should like to point out that both Joseph and I defeated Mr Schlafly's challenge of gaining more than 50% on the Midterm Exam (he with a score of 40 and I with 37), and I think that in light of his insulting and unchivalrous behaviour towards we who were trying to help, we both deserve an apology so we can all move on. LeslieHoyson 15:45, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Apologies for my absence (owing to a misunderstanding about dynamic assignment of IP addresses). Mr Schlafly, this discussion exemplifies exactly what I said above about "pointless arguments with editors who know more than you do about the subject in question". You 've now had numerous British contributors telling you there's no constitutional bar on a catholic becoming Prime Minister. Ian Duncan Smith illustrates this perfectly. He's a Conservative (and conservative) politician who's highly respected across the whole political spectrum. Although he was a poor party leader, the fact that he's catholic was never once considered to prevent him becoming Prime Minister. Why Blair chose not to formally convert to catholicism until after he left office was entirely his own business, which he has never discussed. If the Queen had been concerned about it, she could have chosen any other minister to advise her as Head of the Church of England (although there's no sign she would have been concerned, as her PMs have included two Presbyterians, a Baptist and a Methodist). I must ask you to respect the knowledge of British people on this subject. I will edit Lecture 9 appropriately. JosephMac 16:49, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
If I may add my six-penn'orth, Schlafers is completely wrong on this (as he is on the Prussia/Germany question too). Some humilityy and open-mindedness, such as he demands of Liberals, wuld be welcome. ThomasF 18:06, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Godspeed to you, ThomasF. You are the classic definition of a troll. --₮K/Admin/Talk 19:07, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Religious Conflict: Ireland

I've started improving the part of the 'Religious Conflict in England' section that deals with Ireland. There's a lot of work to do so if anyone else would like to help out, that would be great (I'll be away for a few days). The Protestant/Catholic thing needs to be toned down a bit. Although that dispute is highly visible, the origins of Irish Republicanism were more political than religious - Wolfe Tone was a protestant, the original Fenians were protestant industrial workers from Belfast, etc. JosephMac 20:12, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

You should include the fact that there is some reason why there are anti-Catholic laws in GB, most importantly, the reason that a Catholic can't be monarch is becasue it would be insulting! The British monarch is the official head of the Anglican Church, having a Catholic monarch would be like having a muslim Pope!!--IScott 22:23, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Non-German 'Great' Composers

I notice you claim that "most great composers were German". Musicologists, composers, music students and fans of Boulez, Borodin, Berlioz, Bartok, Mahler, Liszt, Karajan, Holst, Haydn, Grieg,Gould, Vivaldi, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Sullivan, Stravinsky, Strauss, Sibelius, Shostakovich, Schubert, Schoenberg, Satie, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Puccini, Prokofiev, Penderecki, Mussorgsky, Paganini, Mozart, or Monteverdi would disagree with you, I suspect. KBinbota 21:25, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Good list of mostly obscure composers. Only a few of them would be considered to be in the same league as the great German composers, and even they wouldn't be considered as great as the Germans.
I know, I know. You probably think all languages are equal, all religions are equal, and ... all nationalities are equal with respect to composers. Well, we tell the truth here. I recommend Wikipedia if you prefer pushing political correctness instead.--Andy Schlafly 21:32, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
You certainly seem to have a very unusual definition of 'obscure'. KBinbota 21:41, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
What a great example of liberal corruption! Denying that Germans are the greatest composers is like denying that the Dutch are superior artists or that Americans are superior inventors!! (Yankee ingenuity anyone)
But I have to agree that Strauss was a great composer! Unfortunately for you, he's German!--IScott 22:23, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
Just out of curiosity, who do you consider the great German composers? I can only really think of Bach, Handel, Wagner, Strauss, Schumann and Brahms, and of course Beethoven, amongst the most popular composers in the world. There are certainly many composers of the same calibre from other countries.
The mention of Beethoven is problematic. "The greatest composer in the history of the world" is an opinion shared by many, though are very many others who would claim the same of Mozart (Austrian), Bach or others. The problem, however, is not that people might disagree with your assessment of Beethoven, but that a composer's greatness cannot be quantified. Things like a composer's technical skill, fame during their lifetime, posthumous reception and their influence on later composers can be approximately known. By these criteria, Beethoven was certainly among the greatest composers who ever lived. But because of the imprecise nature of this evaluation, we must be content with approximate judgments.
Next, the description of his achievements, that he "revolutionized instrumental music and took it to new heights never before thought possible" is one which was also true of many composers before and since. Perhaps you could say something specific to Beethoven, such as how his 32 piano sonatas have been referred to as "The New Testament of the Piano" (the Old Testament being Bach's 48 preludes and fugues), or that in particular he revolutionized the concept of the Symphony as an art form. Prior to him, the symphony was just a four-movement work for orchestra. Mozart wrote over 50 of them. Haydn wrote over 100. Beethoven's 9 symphonies (from the 3rd onward) expanded the scale, the seriousness, and the emotional breadth of what a symphony could be. Another quotation (I don't have sources for these, as I can't remember who said them) is that every symphonic composer since Beethoven has been writing in his shadow.
Finally, the phrase "A German like most great composers..." is most problematic of all. Beethoven was from a Flemish family, was born and raised in Cologne, which at the time was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire, and spent the majority of his life in Vienna. To say he was "German" is an oversimplification. To say that most great composers were also Germans is thus a distortion of history: Bach and Handel would not have been considered as members of the same country during their lifetimes. Second, it is simply not true that the majority of great composers were German. Even if Germany has had more great composers than other countries, the total number of great non-German composers easily dwarfs the total number of great German composers. (do you claim that the best composers were German, or that the German composers were best? The two claims are not the same) Lastly, even if your statement was true, what point are you trying to make? What conclusion do you expect your students to draw? That the German people are innately superior to non-Germans, at least as far as music is concerned? Surely the reason for great German composers is that there has been a long culture of music-making, which meant that talented children could be directed towards music (and would have the opportunity to get a better music education than their peers in France)? Such cultures, like the Rugby-playing culture in New Zealand, tend to be self-perpetuating once they get started. --Eoinc 09:01, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Your real discomfort is apparently in observing that one nationality to be better than others at something. Let me guess: you'd also insist that no language is superior to another, and that no religion is superior to another.
You're in the wrong place if you think we're going to sacrifice the truth for political correctness. We don't. Welcome the truth yourself and you'll won't regret it.--Andy Schlafly 09:16, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Regarding nationalities, it does not disturb me in the slightest to observe one nationality be better than others at something. I will take the example of German composers (because I would rather not go any further off-topic). Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that Germany has had a disproportionately large number of great composers compared to other European nations. Leave aside the problems I mentioned above. What this would indicate is that Germany has a long culture of music-making: great concert halls were built there; archbishops commissioned new music all the time; great concert halls were built; the public went to hear music being performed; the greatest teachers moved there; and that, therefore, German children with a natural talent for music would have had their talents nurtured and would have had a better musical education. Such cultures, as I said, are self-perpetuating. It is a cycle which feeds into itself. The alternative possibility, that there is something in the water in Germany, or that Germans have something in their DNA which the rest of us lack, is racist and has no supporting evidence. Or would there be an alternative explanation?
As for languages, I wouldn't insist that that all languages are equal in every respect, though I would have a hard time ranking them in any order of superiority. For ease of learning, and intuitive grammatical sense, Esperanto is superior to Japanese. For the ability to communicate with a large number of people all around the world, English is superior to Swedish. For singing in a classical style, Italian is superior to English. Is this what you're referring to?
And as for religions, I do not consider them all equal. Some religions contain beliefs which are harmful to oneself or others when acted upon, and the number of such beliefs is not the same in every religion.
I am not interested in political correctness, or in censoring the truth. I am glad that you share my opinion. My statements on Beethoven, I repeat are: first, that the title of "world's greatest composer", unlike the title of "world's tallest building", cannot be awarded with truthful objectivity. Your preference for Beethoven is an opinion, not a fact. It would be better to describe Beethoven as being "one of the greatest composers". Second, that what you say about Beethoven is rather vague and conveys little useful information, and would be better and more interesting if it were made more specific. Third, that it is historically imprecise to describe him as German, and that it is potentially misleading to draw the conclusions you did. --Eoinc 09:58, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

A Musicologist Jumps in

Andy, can a musicologist jump in here? I, for one, find nothing contentious about calling Beethoven the "greatest composer" - in fact, my dissertation is over Beethoven, so I'm completely in sympathy with this statement. (That being said, it's been my perception that just as many musicians and music lovers say that either Bach or Mozart are the greatest.) However, I feel that the other posters here bring up a fair point, in that it's problematic to call Beethoven a German, since his heritage was Dutch, and because he found his success from an early age in Vienna, where he lived for most of his life. It's the same problem with Handel, who was German, but most people think of him as an English composer, because he wrote the Messiah.

As far as "most of the great composers" being German, you can only say that if you're willing to leave out a great deal of the most beloved composers: Mozart, Haydn, Schubert (all three Austrians), Chopin (a Pole working in France) Verdi and Puccini (Italians), Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff (Russians), etc. If you polled classical music-lovers, your top ten list would surely include Germans like the "3 B's," but you'd definitely also have Mozart, most likely Chopin, as well as the aforementioned Russians and Italians.

There's nothing "politically correct" about this point. This is about accuracy. Beethoven (or Bach or Mozart) is widely considered to be the greatest composer, but right up there nearby are a pantheon of Russian, French, Italian, Polish, and Czech composers. Why is this such a contentious point? JDWpianist 11:26, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

You're most welcome to "jump in here," but it's clear from Eoinc's comment that his objection is ideological. He won't admit that some languages, or religions, are superior to others, and from that liberal point of view he resists admitting that most great composers were German. In fact, he even implies that such an observation might be racist!
I can't tell if you come from the same liberal camp. You strain mightily -- and unsuccessfully -- to find some other basis for objecting to the observation. A discussion would be more meaningful if you first rejected Eoinc's point of view and considered the issue with an open mind. The truth is not contorted by political correctness.--Andy Schlafly 17:09, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Did I not say that some languages are superior to others? Depending on what criteria you choose (my examples were: ease of learning, ability for widespread use in communication around the world, suitability for use in singing), certain languages are superior to others.
Did I not also say that I do not consider all religions to be equal? I said that some religions contain harmful beliefs. The implication (which I will now state rather than imply) is that a religion which does not contain harmful beliefs is superior to one which does.
Next, my implication of racism would only apply if one claimed that most great composers were German for reasons which had nothing to do with German culture. I don't "resist admitting" that most great composers were German: that implies that I secretly know it to be true, but pretend I don't. I simply doubt that it is the case. I am willing to be shown otherwise. There is no reason why Germany could not have a disproportionately large number of musicians in its population (or for France to have the most chefs, or Italy the most painters, or England the most poets). I allow for the possibility, provided that one does not draw the conclusion from that that German people are innately more musical than people from anywhere else. Eoinc 17:28, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
"Did I not say ...." No, you didn't admit that some languages are superior to others, and you still won't admit it. Superior not just "on what criteria you choose," but overall. You're just babbling nonsense to deny that. It would like a mathematician pretending that some numbers are not larger than others. Some are. Ditto for religion, as you won't admit that some religions are superior (and more truthful) than others. Some obviously are.
If won't admit things that are obviously true, then there's little point in trying to hold a logical discussion with you. First open your mind, please, for your sake.--Andy Schlafly 18:02, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
When talking about languages, I qualified my remarks in the way I did because I am simply not aware of any one language which is superior to every other and in every respect. It's not that I "won't admit" it.
When talking about religions, I wrote in terms of harmful beliefs, because it's easier to agree about that. It goes without saying that some religions are more truthful than others, but I didn't want to get drawn into an off-topic discussion about religion.
Now, can we please return to the topic of Beethoven? JDWPianist and I raised some concerns about the wording in the lecture. Specifically:
  • I don't think it is possible to say definitively which composer is the greatest. "One of the greatest", certainly, without a doubt.
  • Beethoven grew up in an area which is now part of Germany, but was not at the time. His family was from Holland. He spent most of his life in Vienna. To say that "Beethoven was German" is therefore not really accurate.
  • Many of the greatest composers in music history were from the area now known as Germany. But it is untrue to claim that most great composers were German, unless you ignore Vivaldi, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Verdi, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Mahler, and dozens more. --Eoinc 18:31, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
It makes no difference to me what Eoinc's point of view is, because both you and he have gone very far-afield of the subject at hand. You seem to misunderstand my objection, by attempting to read a political motivation behind it. But this is not politics or religion, this is about great music. And being a musician with a passion for the subject myself, it's simply my belief that there are embarrassing riches of great music in the repertoire, a lot of it by Germans, a lot by Austrians, and greatness as well from the French, Russians, and Italians too. To me, the relative greatness of my favorite composers is so hard to quantify as to be irrelevant. As a student of music history, I also have dealt with the issue that since musicians moved around frequently (no differently from today), speaking of a composer's nationality is less useful than organizing it by musical centers: i.e. Vienna, Paris, Leipzig, London, etc.
If I wasn't clear enough about my objection in the last post, let me re-state it here: to assert that the best composers were all German is a gross over-simplification at best, and accuracy matters. That's all.
Does anyone make the claim that the greatest painters were Flemish? Of course not, because there were various centers of artistic activity all over Europe across a 400-year period. No one tries to compare El Greco to Caravaggio, much less to Monet. Similarly, I don't know of anyone who tries to compare the greatness of Debussy to the greatness of Brahms, because they both represented the perfection of a certain aesthetic ideal, but were very different in their aims.
My point is, there are many more accurate ways you can express your point, which is indeed based on truth: that there was a golden age of music based in German-speaking countries which occurred in the 18th and 19th-centuries. I simply can't understand why you insist on such an unnuanced assertion, when there is so much evidence to the contrary. Is it such an odious compromise to qualify your statement so that other great composers fit? JDWpianist 18:47, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Neither of you above will admit that some languages are superior to others. So it's obviously pointless to discuss whether some nationalities have achieved more in composing than others. You implicitly deny that anything cultural related to nationality can be ranked. Hence this debate ends before it even begins. Your view is like that of a child who insists that no number is larger than 4. It's pointless to debate with that child whether 10 is greater than 9.
I suggest you revisit your premise of artificial equality. Just saying that different languages/religions/composers are equal doesn't make it so. At Conservapedia, we're not afraid to tell the truth. I suggest you start welcoming the truth also, and set your mind free.--Andy Schlafly 21:55, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
A composer's skill has nothing to do with national heritage. All of a nation's history and culture is not inbred in a native of that country, otherwise America would be composed of George Washington clones, Italy of Caesar clones, and on and on. According to your logic everyone in Germany should be on their 9th symphony.
Also how do you claim that one language is superior to another? Word order? Number of words? I have learned Spanish over many years and have found that many times conventions there (turning verbs into nouns, lack of helper verbs, lax use of gerunds, and very specific verb tenses) to be very useful, but othertimes illogical and useless. For example if an action is being performed for a person (i.e. "I helped Shawn") you need a small word known as the "personal a" making the sentence "Yo ayudo a Shawn". The "a" is usually used to denote "to" (as in "to a location" or "to a person"). Also in German one of my favorite words is "Schadenfreude" which has no exact word in English but has a very useful meaning (shameful joy, joy stemming from the misfortune of others).
Respectfully, --StevenB 22:23, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
So StevenB also denies that some languages are superior to others. No problem: that view seems to be the Holy Grail of the liberal ideology. I haven't yet found a liberal who admits that some languages are superior to others.--Andy Schlafly 22:41, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Weren't we talking about composers?? JimP 23:09, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

Beethoven was German: Though his father's family originate from the Flamish Mecheln, his Grandfather has lived and worked in Bonn, the residence of the elector of Cologne, and his father was born and raised there. So, he's at least a second generation German on his father's site, while the family of his mother came from the electorate of Trier.
To deny that Trier and Cologne were - and are - German, is absurd: Both were integral parts of the Holy Roman Empire (but - at the time of Beethoven's birth - not of Prussia, which was only partly in the Holy Roman Empire then).
There seems to be a mix-up with the provenience of Mozart: He was born in the sovereign Archbishopric of Salzburg, at the time of his birth an area independent of Austria, but incorporated into it in 1803. This lead to some claims that Mozart wasn't really Austrian, while there was little doubt about the nationality of Beethoven.
But what does most of the greatest composers were German really mean? Most of the greatest two? Most of the greatest three? Here, A. Schlafly could be right by including Bach and Beethoven. But if you try to compile a list of ten, I doubt it (my list of ten includes - at this moment, there is always some flux - Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Shostakovich, Verdi, Brahms, Mahler, Schubert, Schumann, Handel: at most five of those have been German)
Clement ♗ 23:12, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
BTW: A. Schlafly, which language is the most superior? (A superlative of a comparative? That hurts! better, perhaps, la langue suprême ...)Clement ♗ 23:14, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

This seems more of an inquisition, than an intellectual dialog, ClementB. --₮K/Admin/Talk 00:01, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

= No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition

I beg to differ: Granted, it is a little bit inquisitive to be asked
  • whether all nations are equal
  • whether there is a ranking of languages
  • what's the true religion
before you can change a somewhat subjective statement in an article, but I wouldn't call it inquisition. It seems to be a genuine interest in the position of the editor on A. Schlafly's side - and I'm interested in which language is the best according to A. Schlafly. He implied earlier that there exists an absolute order for the languages, so there should be a best and a worst one.
And for the sake of the debate: TK, what's your list of the best ten composers? Is it even more German-centric than mine?
Clement ♗ 07:18, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Clement, no one inquired about your three issues. What I observed was how Eoinc and JDWpianist deny that some languages, and religions, are superior to others. As long as they deny that obvious fact, truthful or productive dialog with them in this context is impossible.--Andy Schlafly 08:28, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Could you give some examples for languages which are superior [to others] not just "on what criteria you choose," but overall.? Schopenhauer thought that German was only second to Greek and Latin, the French think that their language allows for more precision than any other, Italian is the language of belcanto, and I suppose that even some Eskimo dialects are preferable to English when you are going to hunt seals.
So, I think it isn't easy to compare the quality of languages and I don't think that there is a true language, in opposite to religions.
Clement ♗ 09:44, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
An interesting topic, this, most certainly! ASchlafly, you claim that the Germans were the best composers - would you also agree that the Dutch were the best painters? FUnger 11:01, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Andy, I've said all I intend to in this debate. It's become clear that you're not going to change your mind, so I don't intend to press the point further. But just to clear my name of a few accusations:
  • I never "denied" that some languages or religions are superior to others. I tried to keep the exchange centered around music, which you weren't content to do.
  • I never said that all composers or artworks are "equal." There's of course acres of musical trash for every masterwork. My point was that there's still a wealth of musical masterworks, and to compare their relative greatness to each other is pointless.
  • I always stayed civil with you, and tried to bring my expertise into a debate over parts of your writing and suggest alternatives, all without questioning your motives. You responded by calling me a child and suspecting that I'm an ideologue.
So, now that I've said my peace, I'll go back to making productive contributions to your encyclopedia. You're welcome. JDWpianist 11:03, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
You're right: you didn't "deny" that some languages or religions are superior to others. You just won't admit it. That's not a meaningful distinction.
I didn't call you "a child." I pointed out how unproductive it is to debate this issue with someone who won't even admit that some languages or religions are superior to others. If the person won't admit that, then they'll never admit, no matter how compelling the evidence is, that most great composers were of one nationality. Honest intellectual dialog and progress grind to a halt.--Andy Schlafly 11:15, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Fine, I'll come out and say it: no language is superior to another. Each evolved in the context of its society to fit the specific needs of that society. Is German or English better than one of those tiny Amazonian languages that doesn't have words for numbers greater than two? For us, yes. But for them, it works, and that's all that matters. Is German better than English? Considering one split off from the other a mere thousand or so years ago (could be wrong on that), they're almost identical. So, no, German is not the superior language. Nor is any other.
Andy, it's unproductive to debate this issue with someone who won't even admit that languages can't be objectively quantified. If the person won't admit that, then they'll never admit, no matter how compelling the evidence is, that there are great composers of every nationality.--FredCorps 23:40, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
FredCorps, I appreciate your edits, but I respectfully disagree with your statement that "no language is superior to another." Suppose I invent a new language today that has only ten words. Is that equal to Latin? No, I don't think so. Suppose a tribal language is discovered on a Pacific Island containing less than a thousand people and no written work. Is that language likely to be equal to Greek? Of course not. Indeed, not only is it implausible for all languages to be equal, but such equality is impossible. It is as impossible as claiming that all buildings are of equal height. In fact, none are.--Andy Schlafly 10:47, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
As long as we're at it, let me try and clarify. Andy, when you say that not all languages are equal you mean "Not all languages are equally capable of expressing the same ideas in the same way." Some languages faciliate the expression of complex ideas with relative ease. Others lack even the vocabulary to express the idea, let alone in a succinct way. Not all languages are equal in vocabulary and ability to express ideas. That's an observable point that is indisputable.
However, are some languages better than others? Perhaps, but this is a different question than "are all languages equal,". Fred is right when he says that each language works for the society that uses it. So perhaps we can say that not all languages are equal in abilities, but that all languages are equal in usefulness for the societies that use them.
Similarly, we can say that one language is more primitive than another, but we're talking about linguistic characteristics. We're not necessarily saying that a functionally primitive language is inferior. AddisonDM 16:25, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
As A. Schlafly claims that some languages are superior to others that is exactly what he is saying.
Clement ♗ 16:34, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
Superior in what way, though? In usefulness, in functionality? Or in some "quality" sense, as in better? I'm not sure which meaning Andy is using. AddisonDM 17:01, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
Also, I don't think you can compare religions to languages. With religion, we're talking about truth. One religion is true, the other must be false. So the true one is really better than the false one. But language is a more pragmatic matter. It should be judged by usefulness, so I think the "better/worse" judgement that is valid for religion is misplaced regarding language. AddisonDM 17:06, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
Superior not just "on what criteria you choose," but overall. (A. Schlafly) You are voicing the same concerns as Eoinc above - or like me. But perhaps, you'll get an answer... Clement ♗ 17:17, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
Yes, superior overall. The English language of 2009 is superior overall to the English language of 1000. Really. Also, a language having a larger vocabulary, a richer history, more connection with writing and development, is going to be a superior language to one developed by just a few thousand people a few hundred years ago on an isolated island.--Andy Schlafly 17:54, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
The language developed by this people may fit their needs better than the English language. And in the English of 1000 you'll find words for things which are lost today, as we don't need them any longer. Just having a greater vocabulary doesn't make a language superior, I'd say, it could be just a sign of decadence. Clement ♗ 18:09, 8 April 2009 (EDT)

(edit conflict) I agree with Clement - you aren't making an overall judgment. It's based on criteria - albeit broad ones. Your criteria for a Good Language is for richness of vocabulary and history, with connections to literature, and which continues to grow and adapt with the times. For someone living in the year 1000, the English language of 2009 would be filled with useless words (for concepts yet to be discovered or invented) and severely lacking in vocabulary for describing their world. Similarly, of course, for someone living in 2009, Old English would be less capable of describing our world. But these judgments are based on criteria; they aren't absolute. --Eoinc 18:21, 8 April 2009 (EDT)

Top 20 Composers

  • I couldn't give a "top ten" list of old composers (as opposed to "new" ones; Gershwin, Rogers & Hart, Zappa), but I can narrow my personal preferences to 20:
  1. . Ludwig Van Beethoven
  2. . Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  3. . Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. . Richard Wagner
  5. . Joseph Haydn
  6. . Johannes Brahms
  7. . Franz Schubert (highly complex music, and loved Beethoven's music!)
  8. . Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  9. . George Frideric Handel
  10. . Igor Stravinsky
  11. . Robert Schumann
  12. . Frederic Chopin
  13. . Felix Mendelssohn
  14. . Claude Debussy
  15. . Franz Liszt
  16. . Antonin Dvorak
  17. . Giuseppe Verdi
  18. . Gustav Mahler
  19. . Hector Berlioz
  20. . Antonio Vivaldi

Some time ago I saved this comment about some of those composers, because it was apt:

Mozart wrote music in his head and then merely had to write them down. Beethoven composed while deaf. Bach consolidated one of the most important schools of harmony and on top of that, was a masterful organist and organ inspector. Chopin was the master of emotion and chromatics. Liszt was a showman that kept people riveted. Tchaikovsky composed amazingly for the ballet in a way few have rivaled and he had a brilliance for catchy melodies. Haydn could churn out music on command (over 100 symphonies!) Brahms was king of melodrama (not that its a bad thing in music). Schoenberg created a whole new school of tonality...or lack thereof.

And what of Shostakovich? Mention should also be given of Henry Purcell, an Englishman, whose music is sometimes great, but always good listening. And as the grandson of an Austrian (he came from the same small village as Arnold Schwarzenegger, albeit decades before), while they are part of the Germanic people, they take great exception to being called German! --₮K/Admin/Talk 15:16, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

Through out this whole thing two things come to mind 1) What would the ideal ("perfect") language be? How would it sound? How would it be structured? (with these properties established you could qualitatively evaluate a language) and 2) Some nations' accomplishments have far exceedede those of other nations but they all have the same potential. Who's to say that Brazil or Thailand won't produce the next generation of Bachs, William Shakespeares, or Henry Fords? Past records do not always indicate future performance. --StevenB 15:51, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
I count at most seven Germans in TK's well-thought-out list of his top twenty old composers, at most five in my list of ten. It would seem to me that the claim "most great composers were German" is a little bit to bold, and should be reworded - at least, until A. Schlafly shows us his list which may corroborate his statement. Clement ♗ 16:12, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
I think this "dispute" is typical of most liberal thought. Arguably, by most standards, "Most great composers were German" is completely correct, and I think it was reasonable that people should assume Andy included anyone "Germanic" in his thinking. Liberals editing on CP tend to try to deflect and impede progress by being overly picky and qualifying in their disputes. --₮K/Admin/Talk 19:28, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
You lost me there. When did precision become a liberal value? Especially on an encyclopedia, where you'd expect a certain sticking to the facts, and an exact language? And A. Schlafly made it clear in his first reply on this topic that he was talking about nations and nationalities. So, it's German and not Germanic - or even, having a German sounding family name.
Or do you just want to annoy your Austrians relatives?
Clement ♗ 07:56, 8 April 2009 (EDT)

A Modern Selection

I think the idea that many of the leading composers were German really only applies to the period between Bach and Brahms (18th and 19th centuries). Certainly, there were notable German composers outside that period, from Hildegard of Bingen (12th century) onwards. However, one could draw up a list of the 10 most important and influential 20th Century composers without a single German. In fact, it would almost certainly be dominated by Russians, testifying to the strength of musical education in early 20th century Russia just like the early 19th century in some German states.

For example (in purely alphabetical order):

JosephMac 12:27, 10 April 2009 (EDT)

And without too much thought, there are Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc and Olivier Messiaen from France, Sergei Rachmaninov from Russia, the Brit. Edward Elgar, the Moravian Leos Janacek, Jean Sibelius from Finland.....and so on. AlanE 20:42, 10 April 2009 (EDT)

And lets now go before the flowering of German musical creativity:It is interesting too to note the dearth of Germans in any list of important composers in the centuries leading up to 1700 – the Renaissance and early to mid Baroque. These may not be household names, but their importance is no less than those of the later fellas and I am pretty sure I have heard most, if not all of them, on the radio in the last few months.

The only contemporary Germans I can think of are von Biber, Buxtehude, Hassler, and Schutz – of which Buxtehude is the most well-known and Heinrich Schutz the most important. I may have forgotten someone – then I may have also left out someone from the top list too. AlanE 20:42, 10 April 2009 (EDT)

Exactly right. Besides the Germans you just mentioned, I only know of Michael Praetorius, who I have heard on the radio a couple of times, and of course Johann Pachelbel, who died in 1706. And it's worth mentioning that most of the above had to go to Italy to study! JDWpianist 11:45, 11 April 2009 (EDT)

English King/Anti-Catholic Laws

Mr. Schlafly, I'm glad you kept the info on the Anglican/ Episcopal Church fact! But I'm a tad curious why you reverted the bit about the English King being the head of the Anglican Church. Officially the English monarch has been the head of the Church of England since Henry VIII established it. The reasons there are laws restricitng a Catholic royal is to ensure that he can become King and fufill his duty as head of the Church. Maybe we could try a different wording? I could find refernces if you prefer! Thank you --IScott 16:16, 9 April 2009 (EDT)
Please do try again. I don't recall the specific reversion you reference. Perhaps it was unintentional, being part of a larger reversion.--Andy Schlafly 20:28, 10 April 2009 (EDT)