Gregori Potemkin – II

Lead: In 1787 Russian Field Marshall Grigori Potemkin, organized a tour of southern Russia for his former lover Catherine the Great. It was among the most lavish royal tours in Russian history.               

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: Girgori Potemkin was a young ambitious military officer when he took part in the palace coup that deposed Peter III, the estranged husband of Catherine the Great. As a reward for his skill and loyalty, Catherine made Potemkin a member of her court. He became infatuated with her. In 1768, when the first war with Turkey broke out, Potemkin returned to the military and served in the cavalry, rising to the rank of major general. For his distinguished service at the end of the war, Catherine made Potemkin a count and the two began a two-year affair. She said of him, “He is one of the greatest, most bizarre, and most entertaining eccentrics of this iron age." Even after their romantic liaison ended, Potemkin remained one of Catherine's most powerful, capable and influential advisors. When Catherine annexed the Crimea thus expanding  Russia's borders on the Black Sea, Potemkin served as governor of the new province and developed its infrastructure. Anxious to demonstrate his expertise, Potemkin organized a visit by the Empress to the Crimea in 1787.

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Gregori Potemkin – Part I

Lead: In 1762, Grigori Potemkin, and ambitious young officer, secured his political and affectional future leading the coup that overthrew unpopular Czar Peter III in favor of his wife. She became Catherine the Great Grigory became her lover.               

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: Grigori was born in 1739, studied at the University of Moscow and entered the military as quartermaster of horse guards. Catherine, ten years his senior was the daughter of a minor German prince married at age sixteen to Peter, heir to the Russian throne. Catherine on the other hand was ambitious, determined and bright and had acquired a brilliant education as young woman. By the time her husband ascended to the throne as Peter III in early 1762, Catherine disliked her husband intensely. He may have borne the name of his grandfather Peter the Great, but that is where the comparison ended. He was regarded as weak and incompetent and much of the court shared Czarina’s disdain for her husband. A mere six months after the coronation he was deposed in a palace coup d’etat and a short time later the Czar “died in an accident.” Actually he was murdered while in the custody of one of the conspirators. Power was handed to Catherine who ascended the throne with the support of her lover and chief schemer, Grigori Orlov.

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Martin Luther Debates Johann Eck – II

Lead: In early years of the Protestant Reformation, public disputations or debates allowed religious leaders explain to their views. In Leipzig in 1519 Martin Luther debated the Catholic champion Johann Eck

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: His original name was Johann Maier but early on changed it to the name of his home village, Egg or Eck.  He received a superb education at the University’s of Heidelberg, Cologne, Freiburg and Tubingen, was ordained, and became lifelong professor of theology at the University of Ingolstadt a small Bavarian town just north of Munich. He developed the reputation as a careful scholar, but one talented in public debate. As contemporaries, Luther and Eck were acquaintances and apparently were on friendly terms, at least until the appearance of Luther's Ninety-five Theses on the question of indulgences.

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Martin Luther Debates Johann Eck – I

Lead: The rhetoric and opinions of Martin Luther helped bring an end to the comfortable religious and political unity of western Europe. His incendiary critique of Roman Catholicism tossed up champions of the Church. One of those was Johann Eck.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When Luther advanced his 95 theses in fall 1517 his desire was to provoke a debate about the role and power of the Roman Catholic Pope, but even further how the believer secures salvation. He had come to believe that no Church ritual, no righteousness on the part of the believer, indeed, no human agent, including priests and popes, could facilitate or mediate that salvation. To Luther, only God by Grace through faith in Christ could save anyone.

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Jean Baptiste Colbert – II

Lead: Schooled in the intricate politics of the royal administration of France’s King Louis XIV, Jean Baptiste Colbert had ambitious plans for France’s economy. His hopes were crushed by King’s rush to war.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Colbert served in many capacities over the years, adapting quickly to the King’s desire to build a civil administration based not on connections, wealth or aristocracy, but rather on talent. Colbert gathered many jobs under his wing over the years but his most important was Superintendent of Finance. In that capacity, he revised the tax system, removing many of the exemptions that the nobility enjoyed from paying the taille, a land tax, the principal source of national revenue. He created a new civil office, the intendent, royal agents sent into the provinces to collect taxes and keep the King informed about local public opinion. He helped build Paris into a more modern capital but was frustrated in this by the King’s diversion of enormous sums into the construction of Versailles the magnificent royal lodge in the Paris suburbs.

Jean-Baptiste Colbert I

Lead: Jean-Baptiste Colbert, royal finance minister, was French King Louis XIV closest cabinet advisor. Louis’ war with the Dutch, shot down Colbert’s dreams of making France an economic superpower.

  Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: When his father, Louis XIII, died, the future King was five years old. During the years before he reached maturity, France was wracked by popular unrest and governmental chaos. Once he took the reigns of power, Louis determined that he would not depend on the services of a chief minister as had his father who elevated Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin to unprecedented power. Louis decided to rule France himself and that rule would be iron-fisted, competent and absolute. The closest that one of his servants came to having the chance to wield independent power was Jean-Baptiste Colbert and he had big plans for France.

 

Narvik – II

Lead:  In the Spring of 1940 the town of Narvik on the northwest coast of Norway was the scene of one of the first naval battles of World War II.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The combination of geography and strategic importance conspired to prevent Norway from maintaining its neutrality in the early months of World War II. Germany needed the Swedish iron ore that was shipped through Narvik during the winter months. When it became apparent that Britain was going to intervene, Hitler ordered the invasion of Norway.

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Narvik – Part I

Lead:  High on the shoulders of the Scandinavian land mass is the small sub-arctic town of Narvik, Norway. In the early days of World War II, Narvik was a strategic target of the British and the Germans.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until the spring of 1940, Norway had hoped to preserve its neutrality, but it was soon apparent that geography would bring that dream to grief. The coast of Norway was too important for the Germans to let it fall into allied hands. Much of German iron ore came from mines in northern Sweden. During most of the year the ore was shipped through the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea, but in winter the Gulf froze and the ore was sent overland to the port of Narvik on the Atlantic coast of Norway and from there through the Leads, a narrow waterway between the mainland and a series of barrier island just off the coast.

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