Interesting Times: A Primer for 1850

By Miriam Rozian

1850 is rife with FS possibilities if you step out of the HK cinema/Western gunfight mindset for a minute. I thought I'd pass along some history for FS GM's to play with. For UK and USA scenarios in 1850, you could have utopian or agrarian communes (e.g. the Oneida Perfectionists, run out of town for practicing group marriage, or the communitarian Fourierists). See Yale University

Perfect FS sites. This period also marks the birth of the American Conservation Movement, another fine front for the preservation and acquisition of Feng Shui sites. Conservation Chronology 1847-1871

This is also the period of Henry David Thoreau's Walden Farm (another potential FS site), Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", and a community of writers that included Nathaniel Hawthorne [a confidante and biographer of then U.S. President Franklin Pierce], Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Herman Melville [Moby Dick was published in 1851], and Thomas Carlyle. See Nathaniel Hawthorne and associated links, as well as Dates 1800-1850 a timeline from Nathaniel Hawthorne Try Old Manse, Concord, Mass as an FS site.

Financial and agricultural co-ops got their start around this time. In the UK, you've got "permanent building societies", starting in 1848, which were lending co-operatives that would terminate when all members had purchased homes. In Germany, industrial credit co-ops were starting. See Comparative Chronology of Money 1830 - 1859 annotated history timeline. This is a potential organizational manuever for Tranimals to gain property and FS sites...

Throughout Western Europe, you've got a massive labor uprising in progress. See Biographies Mass Politics & the Revolutions of 1848 for some of the key players and a few potential FS sites (newspaper offices, small businesses, etc.).

Hungary sends a mission to the United States asking for assistance and protection in its struggle for independence from the Austrian Hapsburg monarchy. Address to the People of the United States

In France, see The Class Struggles in France, 1848-50 Karl Marx' history of the suppression of French labor unions. (It's a wretched translation, loaded with contemporaneous polemical language, but it's also rich with political possibilities and "flavor text"...). It's hard to characterize this explicitly as Lotus or Guiding Hand vs. Ascended, but the possibilities are there. Karl Marx as an Ascended tool?

Then you've got Bakunin and the "bomb-throwing" anarchists, in Europe and Russia. Michael Alexandrovich Bakunin and the Non-Political Political Theory. Is Bakunin a proto-Jammer, a Dragon, a tool of the Lotus? "Property as an inheritable possession, was, for Bakunin, both illogical and wrong. Bakunin believed that the land was the common property of society but that what the land produces was the property of those who cultivated it. "The land is the common property of society. But its fruits and use shall be open only to those who cultivate it by their labor". "

At the same time, the Australia, New Zealand, California and Alaska "gold fever" migrations are reaching a peak. Why couldn't a gold-dust filled streambed be a Feng Shui site? A bunch of failed revolutionaries from France, Germany, Italy and England escaped to Australia in 1850-51 with the gold-rushers. Refugees from the Irish Potato Famine (somebody mucked with Ireland's FS sites?) wound up all over the place. The Irish Famine, 1845-50

Also in the USA, 1850, you've got well-organized abolitionist movements with underground activity, both violent and non-violent. There's some pretty rich territory here; see Chronology On The History Of Slavery And Racism 1830 To The End.1850 was the year of the Fugitive

Slave Law, with bounty hunters, forced returns of escaped slaves from "free" territory, prison terms for those helping slaves escape, and so on. An "Underground Railroad" to/through the Netherworld, perhaps? Harriet Tubman as a Dragon? Some escaped slaves and freedmen set up agricultural communities in the "free" territories, but were driven out and harassed by their neighbors or rounded up by slave-takers. More potential FS sites. In conjunction with the U.S. abolition movements, you had the birth of the American women's rights and suffrage movement, starting at Seneca Falls, NY in 1848 (a fine FS site if you've ever seen the territory), and the graduation of the first U.S. female physician, Elizabeth Blackwell, in 1849. In Britain, there was a parallel women's rights convention in Worcester in 1850.

The U.S. had completed a land-grab of about 1/2 of the former territory of Mexico, forming Texas, New Mexico, California [Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, following Mex-Am War]. In Latin America, the British tried and failed to blockade Argentina [1848-1850], Brazil had an emperor... LATIN AMERICA

In Europe and particularly Germany, "psychophysics" and a variety of studies on the nature of human perception got applied to education, architecture, astronomy, etc. A basic Western foundation for geomancy and chi perception? See Scientific American Commentary Notice the Difference

Then, in England, you've got the foundation of the Cambridge Ghost Society in 1850-51 and the Hermes Clubs --- one of which later became the Order of the Golden Dawn. The Nineteenth Century Occult Revival The Lotus sorcerors try to infiltrate the British Empire?

In China, there's the Taiping Rebellion, which could be regarded as the point at which the Lotus falls from power, and the Guiding Hand steps into the breach.Ch'ing China The Taiping Rebellion , [Editors note: Just copy and paste this into your browser, it will work - but not here for some reason}Rivendell's History Page [No, I haven't read "Blood of the Valiant, which probably covers this turf pretty well.] [Editors Note: It does, but if your interested it is probably worth checking out these links].

Thailand gained a new monarch in 1851, King Rama IV, who also opened the country to foreign trade; Britain concludes the Sikh Wars in India and annexes the Punjab. History of the World - Asia. The Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan is starting to have trouble with intrusive Westerners.

Egypt also gained a new monarch, with the succession of Abbas Pasha, who opened trade with the British and ended his grandfather's attempts to make Egypt self-sufficient. ArabNet -- Egypt, History, Dynasty of Mohammed Ali Pasha. The period also marked the withdrawal and gradual collapse of the Ottoman Empire, with most of the former imperial territory colonized by the Turks, British, and French. The British Empire is almost certainly controlled by Ascended at this point.

Additional web-based resources:

Nationalism in 1848

Marx/Engels WWW Archive

Shaolin Do--The Most Comprehensive Martial Art in the World

Internet Modern History Sourcebook

ArabNet - The Resource for the Arab World in the Middle East and North Africa

Feng Shui Main Page

Unknown Armies Aberrant Fist of the Wolf Links Comments Personal