The Crusades II

Lead: At the end of the 11th Century, the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, struggling to check the expansion of the Seljuk Turks, asked the Pope in Rome for help.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

The Seljuks were a nomadic tribe from Turkistan in central Asia. They were named after their first leader. When they moved west they became converts to Islam and conquered the Byzantine provinces of Asia Minor and the Holy Land which for four hundred years had been controlled by Arab Muslims. Fearing a Turkish advance into Constantinople, Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus asked the western Pope for help in defending the remaining Christian areas of the old Roman Empire.

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The Crusades I

Lead: By 1095 Islam was on the march, the once powerful Byzantine Empire was threatened and Western Europe felt imperiled. In part to help in this crisis, Pope Urban II declared a Crusade.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the collapse of the Roman Empire in West, the eastern provinces, centered around Constantinople, continued to exist and to prosper. The Christian Byzantine Empire was a formidable power during the Middle Ages encompassing southeastern Europe, northern Africa and Asia Minor.

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Gas Warfare in WWII- Part II

Lead: Outlawed by international convention in the 1920s, carefully banned by the warring powers from combat operations during World War II, gas warfare found a grizzly application in the final solution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: There was considerable debate in the highest allied circles during World War II about the feasibility of using gas weapons. This dispute arose after the tenacious Japanese defenses of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were seen to be a mere dress-rehearsal for Japan’s threatened last-ditch defense of the home islands. Nevertheless, President Roosevelt steadfastly refused to authorize the use of gas, fearing retaliation by the axis powers and the moral implications of the use of such a terrifying and condemned class of weapons.

 

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Gas Warfare in WWII- Part I

Lead: Poison gas was used widely for the first time during World War I. So horrific was this experience that most countries drew back from its use, but that was not exactly the way it turned out.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1925 the major powers outlawed the use of gas warfare in the Geneva Protocols. The United States Senate never ratified this treaty, but Presidents Harding, Hoover and Roosevelt accepted the principal that the use of gas in warfare was immoral and committed the United States to abiding by the treaty. The vivid images and bitter memories of the use of gas on the battlefields of France were enough to compel public and official opinion into a firm determination that America would not be the first to use such a debilitating and morale destroying agent of destruction. Even so, the United States did not draw back from manufacturing or stock-piling these weapons, just in case.

 

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Descartes

Lead: Considered by many to be the seminal modern thinker, René Descartes remains an integral part of the philosophical canon.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in 1596, the year of the Declaration of Nantes with which French King Henry IV laid the foundation of religious toleration in Europe, Descartes’ work came to symbolize a philosophical break with the way in which people fundamentally organized intelligence and considered the universe.

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Napoleon at Waterloo IV

Lead: From 1793 Napoleon increasingly dominated the affairs of France and Europe and, though defeated and banished in 1815, Napoleon’s legend grew during his life and showed no signs of going away after his death.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821 at his place of exile on the British island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Almost immediately authors and historians began to examine his life for clues as to Napoleon’s legacy. He had detractors and defenders as befit any colossal personality. His enemies sought to diminish his accomplishments, his allies, and particularly ambitious family members such as future Emperor Louis Napoleon, wished to enhance the luster of his name for their own benefit.

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Napoleon at Waterloo III

Lead: In March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte, deposed Emperor of the French, banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba, escaped, landed in southern France and attempted to reclaim his greatness. His daring quest ended at Waterloo.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The 100 days of Napoleon’s last campaign sent shivers of panic throughout a Europe which had thought itself rid of Le Petit Caporal. He landed at Cannes with his guard, won over the regiment sent to capture him, and was in Paris by March 20th. While the French people were weary of Napoleon and had acquiesced in his exile after his abdication in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, they were committed to the essential elements of the Revolution and resented the attempt by restored King Louis XVIII to set back the clock. Napoleon’s welcome was at best tentative as he also wished to turn back the clock to the Empire, something many of his former Republican allies were loathe to do. Also, he faced a daunting array of allied armies converging on France to stamp out permanently the menace he represented. Once again, he would have to fight for his place in the sun.

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Napoleon at Waterloo II

Lead: Napoleon Bonaparte, humiliated and banished, attempted to win back his losses in a dynamic campaign that began with his dramatic escape from the island of Elba.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: It must have been very discouraging, living there on that tiny island just off the coast of west Italy. The Emperor of the French, whose power at its height, like a colossus stretched from Portugal to the Urals, from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, this larger-than-life personality, reduced to 86 square miles of rock. He said, upon his arrival, that he wished to live as a justice of the peace, but such resignation was hardly possible for a man of such restless vigor who had led millions in battle since he burst on the scene in 1793.

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