"The Most Important Battle You've Probably Never Heard Of"

Well, the headline was written for the general public, not denizens of the Hall! The date was eight hundred years ago today, and the battle was Bouvines:
"Without Bouvines there is no Magna Carta, and all the British and American law that stems from that. It's a muddy field, the armies are small, but everything depends on the struggle. It's one of the climactic moments of European history."


MikeD said...

I found this quote telling:

The trouble with Bouvines is that "it does not fit into the modern European narrative", says John France. "Nowadays the EU has a huge budget for academic studies, but they have to comply with the theme of Europe as a big happy family. That is why Bouvines tends to get neglected."

Seriously? "they have to comply"? This is what passes for intellectual freedom in Europe? Toe the party line or receive no funding? Wow... yeah, for all our warts, it's yet another reminder of why I much prefer living in America.

E Hines said...

Who gets the funding in our colleges and universities, Mike? Who gets the funding for energy development, for climate research?

Eric Hines

Grim said...

It's worth asking if the EU doesn't have it the right way around. Consider how much money we spend on various ethnic and gender studies, the whole point of which is to tear the nation's social fabric apart. If you're going to fund an ideological agenda in your academy, at least it could be a helpful one.

Matt said...

Is pushing the theme of Europe as one big happy family itself a helpful ideological agenda, though? There has to be some happy medium between "dwell upon our differences so that divisions between groups become public rifts, and then explode" and "cover up our differences so that divisions between groups fester in private, and then explode."

Grim said...

Fair point. I was in favor of the Scottish secession, and the Greek secession, and of secession in general. I think it's good for nations to organize around communities of shared values.

MikeD said...

As far as I am aware, government funding for education does not come with a requirement for viewpoint discrimination. In fact, the government is specifically bound NOT to discriminate against viewpoints. And this is something I support. I think when you get into ideological tests tied to funding, you're opening the American people up to even greater transgressions than what we've seen with the IRS abuses.

Eric Blair said...

Meh. There are a bunch of obscure battles that nobody has ever heard of that had all sorts of important consequences:

Mursa, AD 351
Stamford bridge, AD 1066 (I'm sure Grim knows that one at least)
Tannenberg, 1410
Grandson, AD 1476
al-Qasr al-Kabir, 1578
Nieuport, 1600
Zenta, 1696

The list goes on and on.