Battle of the Idle, 616Battle at a crossing of the River Idle in South Yorkshire between Raedwald, overlord of the southern English and Aethelfrith, king of Northumberland, who was killed in the battle. Raedwald installed Edwin of Deira as the first Christian king of Northumberland.
Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.
Heptarchy, word used to designate the period between the establishment of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England toward the end of the 5th century ce and the destruction of most of them by the Danes in the second half of the 9th century. It is derived from the Greek words for "seven" and "rule." The seven kingdoms were Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex, and Wessex.
Battle of the Idle, 616 - History
I meant after the 5.07.1 update
So second ever battle
Are they just running routinely now? Are they officially live?
I saw that message a few times as well. What's the criteria for it to start?
Though I think the messages were from Splat in GC . is he a WZI Battle proctor or something?
I saw that message a few times as well. What's the criteria for it to start?
Though I think the messages were from Splat in GC . is he a WZI Battle proctor or something?
Fizzer, yesterday at 23:14 CET on Discord
I just tried to join a WZI Battle, but it got stuck at 5/15 and got deleted. I think the limit isn't working. The first ever battle had 8 players, the 2nd battle had 7 players, so it is possible to run with less than 10 players (but only if Fizzer manually starts it). The 10 player limit is too much, the battles just never start. I have not seen a single battle with 10 players yet, but maye one happened while I was away.
With the new update being slowly being rolled out to the mobile devices, we might see an increase in Battle players soon, but I doubt it will increase at all. That is due to the fact that you need to leave your current idle level (why would anyone do that?), to then navigate from your levels menu to the battle menu. As a result of that, you will only find the Battle menu if you are looking for it. And even if you found it, there is a 5/6 chance that there currently is not a battle ongoing, so players will just leave again if they find the menu at all.
The only way to fix this right now, is to lower the limit to less players, otherwise those battles will never starts, and the bugs will never be found.
As someone else suggest in the Discord, make Battles more findable, by adding a Battle icon to the level you are currently playing (same kind as the coin wheel or the ad for +20% income). The Battle icon should pop up when there is a battle waiting for players.
Another concern I had is that I had to go into an active Idle level, set my Artifacts to what I want to use in the battle, then exit, then join the Battle.
Pls make it so you can set your Artifacts as part of the Battle independently of the WZI level currently being played.
Yep, thats one of the things that would make it a lot less tedious to play a battle.
The Battles coming to the app will also help a lot for cutting down time, especially since I currently need to:
1: open up idle on my phone
2: wait for the level to load
3: change artifacts
4: sync the level
5: close idle on my phone
6: open idle on my pc
7: wait again for the level to load
8: click back button, waiting for the level to autosave
9: go to battle menu
10: see battle got deleted again
Paul Jameson, of the Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society, on the bid to tell the story of England’s first Christian king and early Pagan rituals
“The England of 632AD was one where regional kings jostled for power. It was a time of shifting, uneasy alliances ,convenient marriages and treachery amongst distant or even close relatives. It was a world embarking upon a division into those following a more enlightened Christian doctrine versus the still dominant force of Paganism.
Some, such as King Edwin’s supposed foster brother, King Cadwallon of Gwynedd - one of his two foes, with Prince Penda of Mercia at the Battle of Hatfield - would profess to being Christian but were in practice more brutal than most adherents to Paganism. Penda was an avowed Pagan.
While all kings required special qualities, these could range from the use of brutality as a compelling force to a more enlightened approach. This would, however, be tempered by an implied threat of retribution to those perceived to be challenging that arbitrary authority.
The practicalities of maintaining any regional Kingship meant that other regions would constantly need to be invaded so that the spoils of war could be used to pay for an army’s upkeep and hence ironically also the defence of the realm.
Although “just wars” were fought, the majority were necessary economically driven invasions of other territories, where “just” sometimes merely referred to the way the vanquished were treated by the victors. Edwin was also party to such behaviours, annexing kingdoms Elmet and Lindsey and also laying siege to Cadwallon, off Anglesey, which may help explain his later motivation.
“Laws” were regional decrees initiated and implemented by Kings and were not necessarily applied fairly.
Life meant either the struggle of the strong against the weak or of superficially respectful alliances based upon the fear of mutual harm.
In such fluid circumstances, Edwin ascended to the throne in Northumbria in 616 AD via the patronage of his protector , King Raedwald of East Anglia after defeating the previous King, Aethelfrith at the Battle of the River Idle.
Born in 586 AD, Edwin was the son of King Aelle of Deira. It is unclear if Edwin was first in line to the throne, but Aethelric assumed the kingship and it may be that he handed this to Aethelfrith - possibly his son - by 604 AD. By then, both provinces had been united as Northumbria.
For reasons unexplained, Aethelfrith was intent on murdering Edwin, who was exiled immediately possibly firstly in Gwynedd, under Cadwallon’s father, and also in Mercia under King Cearl. Finally, by the early 610s AD, he was sheltered by the powerful King Raedwald in East Anglia.
The Bede of Jarrow reported a series of mystical events associated with Edwin which laid the base for his posthumous sainthood , allied to Edwin as King having a reputation for Law and Order and general civic improvements.
Firstly, Aethelfrith bribed and then threatened Radewald into giving up Edwin to him, but due to divine prompting, Raedwald’s wife gained the conviction to persuade him that it was not honourable.
Raedwald immediately raised a great army and slew Aethelfrith at the Battle of the River Idle in 616 AD. As Raedwald’s son , Raegenhere also died, Edwin became a surrogate son and succeeded immediately to the Northumbrian throne, initially under Raedwald’s patronage.
A further practical inducement towards his adoption of Christianity was that his intended bride, Ethelberga of Kent, was a Christian and that her father only accepted on the condition that she could continue to practice Christianity without interference. Edwin also promised to consider adopting their faith.
In about 626 AD an assassin called Eumer was sent from King Cuichelm of Wessex in the guise of a messenger.
While delivering his speech, he suddenly drew a poisoned knife, but one of Edwin’s bodyguards, Lilla, threw himself in the way, dying in the process. Eumer managed to kill another protector and wounded Edwin before being dispatched.
That same evening, Edwin’s wife gave safe birth to their daughter, Eanfled. Upon recovery from the attack, Edwin gathered his army and defeated and killed Cuichelm.
Then as an intermediate step to possible conversion, Edwin also asked for and received, “a full course of instruction in the faith from the venerable Paulus” (Bede).
All of these events probably softened Edwin’s stance towards Christianity, but it was a pragmatic rather than a Damascene conversion which took place the next year (627 AD).
However, the conversion did not happen without Edwin holding a council of his chief advisors including his Pagan High Priest, Coifi, whose opinion was that he thought Paganism was,”valueless and pointless”.
Hence Edwin measuredly accepted the faith and was baptised in the same year on the 12th April (Easter Day) at York.
Somewhat ironically, Edwin soon developed a fervour for Christianity that saw all the nobility and a large number of, “humbler folk” (Bede) accept the faith. Edwin also persuaded King Earpwald (son of his protector, Raedwald) of East Anglia to accept the faith.
All of this evidence paints a picture of Edwin as thoughtful, practical, fair and dedicated to stability via the rigour of law.
In sharp contrast, his opponents at the Battle of Hatfield comprised the Pagan Prince Penda of Mercia and the nominally Christian but utterly barbarous Cadwallon of Gwynedd who would jointly go on to ransack Northumbria with the latter “not sparing women and children, putting them all to horrible deaths with ruthless savagery”, according to the Bede.
Frustratingly little is known about the Battle of Hatfield. The first writings about the battle were by Bede in around 731AD – 99 years and possibly at least two generations later in those times.
It probably took place on October 12 632AD at a place called, “Haethfelth”, which merely means heath field, also referred to as Hatfield. There are still many of these in the country including Hatfield Chase near Doncaster and High Hatfield near Cuckney, Nottinghamshire.
In an age of dense forestation (that lasted right up to the early 19th Century), the open land afforded by heath would represent an ideal clearing for a large conflict.
The Hatfield near Cuckney is the only one supported by hard evidence, as more than 200 bodies were discovered under St Mary’s Church in Cuckney in 1951.
The issue of who chose the battle site is unclear, but in an age of poor communication it would seem probable that one of the sides would issue a challenge to the other and that Cuckney represented good neutral ground.
In his 1975 article, “King Edwin and The Battle of Heathfield”, Stanley Revill surmises that the lack of road choices would have meant that Derby was a natural meeting point of roads from North Wales and southern Mercia. Thereafter a rapid joint advance would have been possible via Ryknield Street to Chesterfield.
Edwin’s lookouts may have been fooled by the clever practice of both Cadwallon and Penda’s forces following in a single line of approach.
If the weight of unexpected numbers caused Edwin’s forces to relinquish the high ground , then equidistant between Cuckney Hill, at its A60 bisection point and High Hatfield is a direct, obvious , downwards route to where Cuckney Church is today.
In addition, the road and the bridge that links Norton to Cuckney today would not have existed, meaning that the River Poulter would have stopped any escape in that direction as well as to the north.
As Edwin’s troops were fleeing from the south this would have left only a small possible escape route, meaning that it would be easy to block.
This would have left Edwin’s routed forces mainly encircled by the River Poulter, in the marshy land represented today by the meadow below the Church perimeter.
Since this may have put Edwin’s remnants in a weak position, then the composition of the 800 bodies are likely to have included more of Edwin’s men.
It is also worth considering that the bodies might represent only those fighting and dying in that tight enclave.
The burial site may merely have represented the first land that was suitable after the marshy area, as it would not be practical to transport larger numbers of dead, heavy bodies very far.
Legend has it that Edwin’s body was transported by some escaping elements of his forces eastwards - probably the only direction left away from the line of the battle - for a few miles to what became known as Edwinstowe. His head was then taken and buried in the church of St Peter at York.
Yet it may not have been possible to rescue Edwin’s body if he had been trapped in the area around what now contains the church. When the same Penda killed King Oswald of Northumbria at the Battle of Maserfield, nine years later, in 641 AD, his captured body was dismembered, his head and limbs being placed on stakes.
One of the tasks of the Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society will be to carry out research on Pagan rituals in respect of their treatment of the bodies - especially the spoiling of the heads - of their foes.
The Society represents the best chance of providing answers since 1951 and probably for a long time hence. So with the purest of motives we hope to solve the mystery and a portion of English history from the Dark Ages.”
King Rædwald and the Battle of the River Idle with Dr Sam Newton (Independent Scholar) at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 14 th January, 2017.
The Battle of the River Idle (617) is mentioned by the Northumbrian monk and scholar Bede in his Historia Ecclesiastica, completed in 731. It forms part of his story of how Edwin came to be king of Northumbria, through whom Roman Christianity came to the kingdom where Bede later wrote his Historia. Bede writes so well that it is easy to forget that he is giving us a very selective, Roman Christian and Northumbrian English view of history. If, however, we unravel his narrative and place the events to which he refers in chronological order, it becomes evident that he has very much minimised the significance of the battle and the part played by King Rædwald of the Eastern Angles.
Bede tells how Rædwald, then overlord of Southern Britain, provided refuge for the exile Edwin and then defeated and killed the latter’s dynastic enemy Æthelfrith, then overlord of Northern Britain, in battle by the River Idle. Rædwald had acted honourably, at great risk to himself, and with grievous cost to his own family. Edwin owed everything to the East Anglian king, but Bede does not acknowledge this explicitly. Rather, after his brief mention of the battle, he subjects Rædwald to his rhetorical weapon of withering silence. Despite this, it is clear that, following his victory at the River Idle, Rædwald was now undisputed overlord of both Northern and Southern Britain. He should thus be recognised as the first king of England.
Rædwald’s triumph at the Battle of the River Idle in 617 is also the first recorded instance of a baptised English king obtaining victory on the field of battle. It may therefore have been a significant factor in the re-establishment of Roman Christianity among the English-speaking peoples after the Crisis of Canterbury following the death of King Æthelbert of Kent in 616.
We shall thus see that Rædwald was a very great king indeed, which in turn strengthens the possibility that he was the East Anglian king who lay in state aboard the magnificently laden Sutton Hoo ship-burial.
09.50 – 10.15: Coffee on arrival
10.15 – 11.15: Rædwald in the Historical Record
11.40 – 12.40: Rædwald and the Temple of Two Altars
14.00 – 14.50: Rædwald and the Battle of the River Idle
15.10 – 16.00: Rædwald the Great
About Dr Sam Newton
Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D in 1991, published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia in 1993, and his second, The Reckoning of King Rædwald: the Story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial in 2003. He has lectured widely around the country and has contributed to many radio and television programmes over the years, especially Time Team. He is a tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education, an accredited NADFAS lecturer, and a Director of the Wuffing Education Study-Day Partnership at Sutton Hoo.
The Battle of Salamis (2006): Barry Strauss
Just before dawn on 25 September 480 BC, a Persian armada sailed out of the harbour at Phaleron, just along the coast from Athens. The ships took up position at the entrance to some narrow straits between the Greek mainland and an island called Salamis, where the Greeks had taken refuge. Their fragile alliance, so the Persians had been told, was on the brink of collapse. All they needed was to provoke panic: the Greeks would crumble. And… well, it didn’t quite happen as planned. What unfolded over the next twelve hours was one of the greatest sea-battles of antiquity, and Barry Strauss’s book brings it to pulsing, vivid life. This isn’t a story of nautical jargon and dry-as-dust tactics: it’s swashbuckling of the first order, set against a mighty clash of civilisations, and populated by a cast of characters so colourful that it’s easy to forget it all actually happened.
Strauss uses a lot of imagination in his history, but it comes off well. It took me a while to get into it, but then I began to enjoy the way he opens each chapter by homing in on a particular figure: sometimes a major player in the battle, sometimes someone relatively minor, each of them offering a key to the next stage of the story. This helps him to emphasise the ethnic diversity of the Persian fleet (which included just as many Greeks as the Greek fleet did), but it also has a more immediate narrative impact. We’re plunged straight into the thick of the battle: standing alongside Aminias of Pallene as he rams a Phoenician trireme watching the cunning Themistocles forging unity from discord sitting with the poet Aeschylus at the oars of a Greek ship or watching the formidable Artemisia of Halicarnassus direct her fleet from her quarterdeck.
Like a film director, Strauss alternates close-up shots with broad panoramas across the straits (supplemented with helpful maps showing the different stages of the battle). This isn’t a bird’s eye view, but a king’s eye view, because the Persians were fighting under the eye of the Great King himself. Xerxes was watching from a nearby hillside (seated on a golden throne, of course) as the unthinkable happened and his fleet – lighter, faster, much more numerous – was thrashed by the ships of these upstart Attic barbarians.
Back in the day, when I was seventeen or eighteen, I’d have been urging on the Greeks without a second thought. Nowadays, things are more complicated, as I’ve started reading about the Achaemenids and my loyalties are – I suppose – split. For this reason, I was exceedingly narked by the subtitle. ‘Saved Western Civilization’ indeed! It feels brash and overdone – a publisher’s ‘look at me!’ ploy – and I couldn’t help feeling there were unpleasant jingoistic undertones, along the lines of ‘Western Civilization’ being a thing that could only be preserved by fighting against people from the Middle East. Saying that it saved Greece would’ve been enough. But even that might not be true. In defence of the Persians, they ruled with a very light touch and they did appreciate ‘Western’ (aka ‘Eastern Mediterranean’) art. Strauss himself reflects considerably more nuance than his subtitle: while he certainly shows us the Persians marching through the conquered streets of Athens, throwing down statues and smashing vases, he also shows us Xerxes letting the Greek ex-pats in his army go up to the Acropolis to worship their gods, and carting off the best of the Greek bronzes for his museum at Persepolis.
Initially, I suppose I thought that Strauss was actually being rather old-fashioned about the way he reported the battle. At the beginning, it felt very much: ‘Greeks = good Persians = bad’. But I gradually realised that lots of this is due to his use of Herodotus and other Greek writers – Aeschylus, Plutarch – thanks to the fact that nothing remains from the Persian point of view. He actually does a lot to bring both sides to life and, to my pleasure, he makes an effort to take us inside the Persian camp as well. Yes, we have the standard evil, conniving eunuch in the form of Hermotimus (not entirely unwarranted), but his characterisation of the others is a bit more balanced. In particular, I thought he was rather fair towards Xerxes, who comes across not as some berserk lunatic, but as an autocrat who simply couldn’t believe his massive force could be broken. I was glad to see my old friend Mardonius, offering belligerent advice as usual, and I looked out for some other familiar faces too, but – as they were with the army – they were probably halfway to the Corinthian Isthmus while all this was going on.
While the battle is reported in immense (and gripping) detail, it’s set within the much broader context of the war and the other battles that surrounded it. We get a glimpse of what life was like in Athens, and how a wily, clever man like Themistocles managed to get a famously obstinate city to do things his way. He comes out of this book like a new Odysseus, endlessly resourceful and fascinating. Nor does Strauss omit the most ironic part of Themistocles’ story when, as an old man, exiled from Athens, he turns up on the doorstep of Xerxes’ son in Susa, asking for sanctuary. And, in a clever twist of perspective, Strauss asks us to imagine how the Greek campaign was viewed, not by braggart Greeks, but by the new Persian king Artaxerxes:
The Great King’s expedition to the land of the Greek barbarians truly represented one of the greatest achievements in history … With the help of heaven, the King of Kings bridged the Hellespont. He gathered so many troops and ships that they darkened the horizon. After forcing every city in his path to offer him its hospitality, His Majesty crushed the Spartan army at Thermopylae and killed the evil king Leonidas. Then he took Athens, burned to the ground the temples of the false and lying gods, devastated the land and sold into slavery all the inhabitants who had not fled. Having subjected to his will every land from Thrace to the Isthmus of Corinth, His Majesty imposed tribute and returned in the finest of form to Anatolia … Artaxerxes had heard something about a skirmish of ships near some island called Salamis … but after making a show of force, the Persian army had withdrawn beyond secure borders.
Strauss even has the playful cheek to imagine Mardonius’ ‘unfortunate’ demise at Plataea on his return from a ‘pacification’ campaign. I enjoyed this because it didn’t just give me a chance to think myself into the Persian mindset (which is always interesting), but also because Strauss makes a wider and more important point about history and even journalism. It’s often said that the dominant version of events is written by the victors. But sometimes in history, and increasingly in the modern day, it isn’t at all clear who the victors are. Usually we just end up listening to the people who shout the loudest.
This turned out to be so much better than I’d expected. It’s thoughtful, intelligent and full of panache. It may not satisfy hardcore archaeologists, and Strauss imagines the feelings and motivations of his protagonists in a way that tends towards the novelistic… but it works. Funnily enough, it’s done more to make me feel what Salamis would have been like than any of the historical novels I’ve read set in Ancient Greece. We need more history books like this, offering the pace and drama that you usually only find in a big-budget blockbuster. If you fancy a bit of rather violent escapism, for heaven’s sake, don’t watch 300: Rise of an Empire just read this instead and marvel at what really happened.
The highest recommendation I can give to this is to say that I’ll be reading it again, and soon. I certainly never thought I’d be saying that about a book on (essentially) naval history…
In the interests of fairness, here is a Greek ship being rammed by a Persian ship
Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.
Raedwald, also spelled Redwald, (died 616/627), king of the East Angles in England from the late 6th or early 7th century, son of Tytili.
Raedwald became a Christian during a stay in Kent, but on his return to East Anglia he sanctioned the worship of both the Christian and the traditional Anglo-Saxon religions. For a time he recognized the overlordship of Aethelberht, king of Kent, but he seems to have shaken off the Kentish yoke and to have gained some superiority over the land south of the Humber with the exception of Kent. Raedwald protected the fugitive Edwin, afterward king of Northumbria, and in his interests he fought a sanguinary battle with the reigning Northumbrian king, Aethelfrith, on the River Idle near Doncaster, where Aethelfrith was defeated and killed, probably in 616. Raedwald might be the king entombed in the ship burial at Sutton Hoo (near Woodbridge, Suffolk, England).
Richard Fisk (Earth-616)
Richard Fisk's parents, Wilson and Vanessa Fisk, sent him away to Switzerland. While there, he attended a school, where he studied hard to make his parents proud. At the same time, he developed his body with regular exercise and told his peers about how rich and successful his father, the Kingpin, was. Then one day he read a newspaper which said his father was the Kingpin of crime and decided to ride a ski lift into the wilderness, never to be seen again. Once the world had believed that Richard Fisk had perished he created the secret identity of the Schemer. As the Schemer the first thing he wanted to do was dethrone the Kingpin and take a piece of the action that he controlled. Α]
Richard successfully drove his father to a breakdown which resulted in his lapsing into a comatose state. Richard had a change of heart and, seeking a way to cure his father, joined Hydra, rising to the rank of Supreme Hydra of the Nevada faction. Richard cured his father using Hydra's resources, and Wilson Fisk apparently took control of Hydra, but the Fisks eventually discovered that they were being used by the Red Skull and were forced to team up with Captain America to defeat him. Β] Richard was critically injured and placed in suspended animation by his father, who later cured him by siphoning some of Spider-Man's life force into him. Father and son were finally reconciled, though this peace would not last. Γ]
Later, Richard adopted another secret identity in the form of the Rose. After living the life of the idle rich away from his father's criminal empire, Richard was lured back into the criminal world by a reporter, Ned Leeds, who at the time was brainwashed into thinking he was the Hobgoblin. Ned proposed a complicated scheme where he and Richard would take down the Kingpin in false identities, giving Richard the chance to topple his father and Ned an exclusive crime story for the Daily Bugle. Ned had already assumed the role of the Hobgoblin, and convinced Richard to become the Rose, acting as a mid-level crime boss in Kingpin's territory. Δ] Unknown to Richard, he was actually being manipulated by the real Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley, who used Leeds as a brainwashed body double to lure Richard into his own plans for takeover of the New York underworld. Ε]
As the Rose he employed two henchmen, Mr. Varley and Mr. Johnston to help fix the results of football games. Spider-Man helped expose this and Bugle sports writer Wendy Thorton was able to get an exclusive on these illegal match fixings. Ζ]
When Ned was killed and the Hobgoblin seemingly died with him, Richard Fisk was forced to admit his schemes to his father and go back into the Kingpin's service without succeeding in his plans. Η] Later still, Richard assumed the identity of the Blood Rose. This was part of a complicated scenario where his friend Alfredo had plastic surgery to pose as Richard in his father's organization, but went too far and got lost in the role. Richard was forced to become the Rose again, and then Blood Rose, in order to stop "Richard Fisk". ⎖] ⎗]
Emotionally drained and morally devastated by this point, Richard collapsed into alcohol. He remained a nominal part of his father's organization, but was otherwise beaten and washed up. At one stage he formed an alliance with an old friend Sammy Silke and they tried an assassination attempt on his father Wilson, which failed. Upset at what he had tried to do, his mother Vanessa arrived from Switzerland and promptly killed him. ⎘] Wracked with guilt over her son's death, Vanessa retreated back to Switzerland where she wasted away and eventually died. ⎙]
Some time later, the Jackal brought Fisk back to life in a new cloned body back as The Rose, Fisk decided to stay with the Jackal, serving him at New U Technologies with other resurrected Spider-Man's villains. ⎚] Spider-Man told Wilson Fisk that he saw Richard at New U. ⎛] Richard was presumably among the majority of the people cloned back to life by the Jackal that died once again after Doctor Octopus triggered their decay. ⎜]
Following this second death, Rose went to Hell, where he received a high ranking position. When Johnny Blaze asked Rose for help in usurping Mephisto's throne, Rose refused, fearing how Mephisto would punish him if he helped Johnny and he failed, but he did give Johnny a map to the throne room. ⎝]
In a desperate attempt to resurrect Vanessa, the Kingpin embarked on a quest to secure both the Tablets of both Life and Destiny and Death and Entropy, which would grant him the power for a one-time resurrection. Despite his initial desire to reunite with his wife, Fisk ultimately came to the realization that Vanessa might not be pleased with her resurrection. Acknowledging that he had to move on from her, Fisk decided instead fo revive Richard as an act of redemption for himself and Vanessa. ⎞]
Bryan’s Cross of Gold and the Partisan Battle over Economic Policy
The election of 1896 was just as much a partisan battle over the future of American economic policy as the 2012 election. On this day in 1896, William Jennings Bryan delivered his rousing speech as a delegate to the Democratic convention declaring that mankind would not be “crucified on a cross of gold.” In the speech, Bryan, who was from the western farming state of Nebraska, advocated the inclusion of a silver standard for U.S. currency, which rallied the populist base of the Democratic Party and helped Bryan win the nomination for the presidency.
To take a step back in history, the source of the issue began with the Gold Rush in 1849, which altered the bi-metallism status quo. For decades, both gold and silver backed U.S. currency and both silver and gold specie could be turned into a Sub-Treasury Mint for dollars. The government valued silver at a ratio of 16:1 to gold in ounces. With the flood of gold to the market following the Gold Rush, people could sell their silver privately and to foreign markets at a lower ratio, thus making more money. However, when silver was discovered in Nevada in the 1860s, the ratio of silver to gold sold privately or abroad increased, but the government continued to offer the 16:1 ratio. In short, the government policy increased currency circulation, benefitting westerners, rural farmers, and the poor who could more easily pay off debts or make purchases. Meanwhile, Wall Street and banks in the East mobilized against the government’s policy because they would not receive as much profit on loans to farmers and the poor.
However, by 1873, the flood of silver into government coffers created an economic crisis. Congress responded by passing the Coinage Act of 1873, which effectively ended bi-metallism by eliminating the silver dollar and by making gold the only metallic standard (though the U.S. did not accept the Gold Standard de jure until 1900). Western miners and farmers termed it the “Crime of 1873.” Their “Free Silver” movement became a core constituency of the Democratic Party, represented by William Jennings Bryan.
A clear partisan divide in the elections of 1896 and 1900 centered on the bi-metallism debate. Republican candidate William McKinley blamed the Democrats and their platform of bi-metallism for the Panic of 1893, while Republicans and Eastern banking interests called the gold standard “sound money” policy. One article of campaign propaganda is illustrative: McKinley’s campaign issued fake dollar bills that read “In God We Trust…for the Other 53 Cents” to argue that the dollar backed by silver would only be worth 47 cents. Another campaign poster linked the Republican Party’s gold coin as “sound money” policy to the beneficial aspects of the party’s protectionist policy compared to the detrimental impact of the Democratic Party’s free trade policy.
In the “Cross of Gold” speech, Bryan argued that the Democratic Party’s focus on bi-metallism in its platform was justified because a gold standard alone could not solve the country’s problems at the time, including debt, small business failure, and monopolies. According to Bryan, if silver was restored, “all other necessary reforms will be possible.” He compared the situation to fights over the national bank, arguing that “What we need is an Andrew Jackson to stand, as Jackson stood, against the encroachments of organized wealth.” In the speech, Bryan also connects the Democratic Party’s tradition since Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson against moneyed interests in favor of the little guy. Bryan favored a regulatory role for government in issuing money and called for banks to “go out of the governing business.”
The excerpt from the “Cross of Gold” speech below resounds with populist rhetoric, though the speech itself took the wind out of the Populist Party’s sails, rallying supporters to the Democratic Party. The excerpt also links the issue to the Democratic Party’s position on international trade.
Mr. Carlisle said in 1878 that this was a struggle between "the idle holders of idle capital" and "the struggling masses, who produce the wealth and pay the taxes of the country" and, my friends, the question we are to decide is: Upon which side will the Democratic party fight upon the side of "the idle holders of idle capital" or upon the side of "the struggling masses"? That is the question which the party must answer first, and then it must be answered by each individual hereafter. The sympathies of the Democratic party, as shown by the platform, are on the side of the struggling masses who have ever been the foundation of the Democratic party. There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.
No, my friends, that will never be the verdict of our people. Therefore, we care not upon what lines the battle is fought. If they say bimetallism is good, but that we cannot have it until other nations help us, we reply that, instead of having a gold standard because England has, we will restore bimetallism, and then let England have bimetallism because the United States has it. If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost. Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
Bryan of course lost the 1896 and 1900 elections on this platform to McKinley, and he lost on the platform in the 1908 election to William Howard Taft. However, as one of the most liberal members of his party, he continued to influence and promote Progressive Era ideas and reforms that advocated a positive role of government in protecting the little guy. Fast forward a century and we can observe similar partisan alignments and divisions over the government's role in economic policy, with taxes, deficits and debt replacing bi-metallism as the “cross of gold” in this election.
Powers and Abilities
Makkari is one of the Eternals of Earth, descended from the original Eternals genetically engineered from early man by the Celestials, and later empowered by Kronos and his cosmic life experiments.
Earth-Eternal Physiology: Like all Eternals, his lifeforce is augmented by cosmic energy and he has total mental control over his physical form and bodily processes even when he is asleep or unconscious. As a result, Makkari is unable to die by aging and is resistant to diseases and toxins to an unknown degree. His cosmically-reinforced body is virtually indestructible as well. Only a cosmic force more powerful than his own or total molecular disintegration can truly injure Makkari. An Eternal can only die through an injury that disperses a significant portion of his body molecules, or if he is injured after his mental control over his body is somehow broken.
- Superhuman Strength: Makkari possesses superhuman strength able to lift at least 30 tons under normal conditions.
- Superhuman Speed: Makkari has devoted the majority of his Eternal energies to the improvement of his personal speed. He can create cyclones by running in circles, and can run up walls and across water. At one point in his life, Makkari trained with the Eternal guru Elo to boost his speed to unprecedented levels. He was successful in becoming faster than ever before (his body apparently generated tachyons as a side effect of his extreme velocity) but at the cost of many of his other Eternal abilities, such as flight, matter manipulation, and energy projection. ⎾] After Sprite's treachery, Makkari regained his other traditional Eternal powers, and is not limited to speed alone. ⏄]
- Superhuman Stamina: Cosmic energy bolsters Makkari's metabolism so that he does not tire from any physical exertion.
- Flight: Makkari can levitate himself by mentally manipulating gravitons (subatomic particles carrying the force of gravitational attraction between atoms) around himself. He can also levitate other persons and objects, even while simultaneously levitating himself.
- Psionics: Makkari can mentally create illusions to disguise himself, and psionically manipulate atoms and molecules so as to transform an object's shape. His talents in these areas are relatively limited, however. Makkari mostly uses his psionic powers to mentally operate the vehicles he races, or channels his power through larger machines to assemble the vehicles as he designs them.
- Cosmic Energy Manipulation: Makkari can project cosmic energy in the form of optic blasts or beams and flashes from his hands. This cosmic energy, stored in specialized enclaves of cells in his body, can be used as force, heat, light, and possibly other forms of electromagnetic energy.
- Teleportation: Makkari can teleport himself psionically, but prefers not to do so, since, like other Eternals, he finds the self-teleportation process physically unpleasant. He can also teleport other people along with himself.
In the Golden Age (then known as Hurricane) he was able to make people and vehicles grow wings, but they vanish after a period of time.
Makkari is a genius in creating, designing, and operating vehicles and other modes of transport.
Makkari is able to lift roughly 30 tons without using levitation.
As mentioned above, Makkari once gave up nearly all other superhuman powers in order to improve his super-speed. This no longer appears to be the case.
Freedmen’s Bureau’s Demise
In the summer of 1872, Congress, responding in part to pressure from white Southerners, dismantled the Freedmen’s Bureau.
Since that time, historians have debated the agency’s effectiveness. A lack of funding, coupled with the politics of race and Reconstruction, meant that the bureau was not able to carry out all of its initiatives, and it failed to provide long-term protection for blacks or ensure any real measure of racial equality.
However, the bureau’s efforts did signal the introduction of the federal government into issues of social welfare and labor relations. As noted in The Freedmen’s Bureau and Reconstruction, “The Bureau helped awaken Americans to the promise of freedom, and for a time, the Bureau’s physical presence in the South made palpable to many citizens the abstract principles of equal access to the law and free labor.”