noviembre 5, 2012

The meeting of the Estates General May 5, 1789

Posted in General, IN ENGLISH, TEXTOS tagged a 5:17 pm por geotempus

The meeting of the Estates General May 5, 1789

When the Estates General met, each estate solemnly marched into the hall at Versailles. The third estate, dressed all in black,   the nobility dressed in all their finery and finally the clergy dressed in full regalia.  

The delegates of the third estate insisted that the three orders meet together and that the vote be taken by head, rather than by order. (Since there were far more delegates from the third estate, this plan would give them a majority). The King refused to grant their request. The third estate refused to budge.



El plan de este escrito es muy simple. Nos planteamos tres preguntas: ¿Qué es el Estado llano? Todo. ¿Qué ha sido hasta el presente en el orden político? Nada. Qué pide? Llegar a ser algo. ¿Quién osaría decir que el Estado llano no contiene en sí todo lo necesario para formar una nación completa? Es un hombre fuerte y robusto que tiene aún un brazo encadenado. Si se hiciera desaparecer el orden privilegiado, la nación no sería menos sino más. Y ¿qué es el Estado llano? Todo, pero un todo trabado y oprimido. ¿Y qué sería sin el orden privilegiado? Todo, pero un todo libre y floreciente. Nada puede funcionar sin él, todo andaría infinitamente mejor sin los demás. No basta haber mostrado que los privilegiados, lejos de ser útiles a la nación, no pueden sino debilitarla y dañarla. Es menester probar aún que el orden noble no entra en la organización social; que puede ciertamente ser una carga para la nación, pero que no sabría formar una parte de ella… ¿Qué es una nación? Un cuerpo de asociados que viven bajo una ley común y representados por la misma legislatura. ¿No es evidente que la nobleza tiene privilegios, dispensas, incluso derechos separados de los del gran cuerpo de ciudadanos? Por esto mismo sale de la ley común, y por ello sus derechos civiles lo constituyen en pueblo aparte dentro de la gran nación. Verdaderamente es un imperium sin imperio. Respecto a sus derechos políticos, también los ejerce separadamente. Tiene sus representantes que no están encargados en absoluto por procuración de los pueblos. El cuerpo de sus diputados se reúne aparte. Pero aun cuando se reuniera en una misma sala con los diputados de los simples ciudadanos, no es menos verdad que su representación es distinta por esencia y separada. Es ajena a la nación por principio, puesto que su misión no emana del pueblo, y por su objeto, puesto que consiste en defender no el interés general, sino el particular. El Estado llano abarca todo lo que pertenece a la nación y todo lo que no es el Estado llano no puede contemplarse como representante de la nación. ¿Qué es el Estado llano? Todo. 

E. J. Sièyes: ¿Qué es el Estado llano? . 1789.


octubre 19, 2012

Declaration of Independence

Posted in IN ENGLISH, VÍDEOS a 9:30 pm por geotempus

octubre 10, 2012

London’s Burning: The Great Fire

Posted in IN ENGLISH a 3:47 pm por geotempus


Late summer, 1666: London was an emotional and physical tinderbox. Following decades of political and religious upheaval, the restoration in 1660 of the Protestant Charles II ensured that suspicion lingered around republicans and Catholics alike. With the country also at war with the French and Dutch, paranoid xenophobia – a familiar English trait of the period – was rife.

…for years there had been warnings of London’s total destruction by fire…

Fires in London were common, even inevitable, given the capital’s largely timber construction. Yet for years there had been warnings of London’s total destruction by fire: in 1559 Daniel Baker had predicted London’s destruction by ‘a consuming fire’. In April 1665, Charles had warned the Lord Mayor of London of the danger caused by the narrow streets and overhanging timber houses. Furthermore, a long, hot summer had left London dry and drought had depleted water reserves.

Yet the greatest fear among Londoners was not fire. Plague had killed over 68,000 people in the previous two years. Although Charles II had returned to Whitehall in February 1666, London remained unsafe, with death carts still commonplace. What worried inhabitants most was the strong east wind. This, combined with the dry, dusty air, was known to be particularly effective in carrying plague. It would prove as equally efficient as fire in taking lives.

London’s burning

Black and white illustration showing the North side of Long Lane, SmithfieldLong Lane, Smithfield. Drawing of a house made from combustible materials, built before the Great Fire  ©


Thus by September 1666, all that was required was a spark. This was provided at the house of Thomas Farynor, the king’s baker in Pudding Lane, near London Bridge. At 2.00am on Sunday 2nd September his workman smelled smoke and woke the household. The family fled across the nearby roofs, leaving only a maid, too scared to run, who soon became the first of the four listed casualties of the fire.

With only narrow streets dividing wooden buildings, the fire took hold rapidly, and within an hour the Mayor, Sir Thomas Bloodworth, had been woken with the news. He was unimpressed, declaring that ‘A woman might piss it out’. Yet by dawn London Bridge was burning: an open space on the bridge, separating two groups of buildings, had acted as a firebreak in 1632. It did so again: only a third of the bridge was burned, saving Southwark from destruction and confining the fire to the City of London, on the north bank.

…the smoke could be seen from Oxford, and Londoners had begun to flee to the open spaces of Moorfields and Finsbury Hill.

Samuel Pepys lived nearby and on Sunday morning walked to the Tower of London. There he saw the fire heading west, fanned by the wind, and described ‘pigeons… hovering about the windows and balconies till they burned their wings and fell down’. With Bloodworth dithering, Pepys went to Whitehall, informing the King and his brother James, Duke of York, of the situation. Although Charles II immediately ordered Bloodworth to destroy as many houses as necessary to contain the fire, early efforts to create firebreaks were overcome by the strength of the wind, which enabled the fire to jump gaps of even twenty houses. By the end of Sunday the fire had begun to travel against the wind, towards the Tower, and Pepys had begun to pack.

By the following dawn, the fire was raging north and west, and panic reigned. The Duke of York took control of efforts to stop the fire, with militias summoned from neighbouring counties to help the fight, and stop looting. But the flames continued relentlessly, devouring Gracechurch Street, Lombard Street, the Royal Exchange, and heading towards the wealthy area of Cheapside. By mid afternoon the smoke could be seen from Oxford, and Londoners had begun to flee to the open spaces of Moorfields and Finsbury Hill.


Posted in IN ENGLISH, VÍDEOS a 3:33 pm por geotempus