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Times / Places To Avoid (in History)

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posted on Feb, 15 2022 @ 01:27 PM
some places / times I would not want to have been in

China 1960s ('Great Leap Forward')
Mao Tse Zung decided to upgrade China's agriculture and rural industry.

Mao decreed that efforts to multiply grain yields and bring industry to the countryside should be increased. Local officials were fearful of Anti-Rightist Campaigns and they competed to fulfill or over-fulfill quotas which were based on Mao's exaggerated claims, collecting non-existent "surpluses" and leaving farmers to starve. Higher officials did not dare to report the economic disaster which was being caused by these policies, and national officials, blaming bad weather for the decline in food output, took little or no action. Millions of people died in China during the Great Leap, with estimates ranging from 15 to 55 million, making the Great Chinese Famine the largest or second-largest famine in human history.

the food situation, already iffy, got worse.

Mao followed this up with a 'Cultural Revolution'

The Cultural Revolution was characterized by violence and chaos. Death toll estimates vary widely, with roughly 250,000 to 20 million people perishing during the Revolution, a number comparable to various disasters in China by death toll. Beginning with the Red August of Beijing, massacres took place nationwide, including the Guangxi Massacre; the Inner Mongolia incident; the Guangdong Massacre; the Yunnan Massacres; and the Hunan Massacres. Red Guards destroyed historical relics and artifacts, as well as ransacking cultural and religious sites. The 1975 Banqiao Dam failure, one of the world's greatest technological catastrophes, also occurred during the Cultural Revolution. Meanwhile, tens of millions of people were persecuted: senior officials, most notably Chinese president Liu Shaoqi, along with Deng Xiaoping, Peng Dehuai, and He Long, were purged or exiled; millions were accused of being members of the Five Black Categories, suffering public humiliation, imprisonment, torture, hard labor, seizure of property, and sometimes execution or harassment into suicide; intellectuals were considered the "Stinking Old Ninth" and were widely persecuted—notable scholars and scientists such as Lao She, Fu Lei, Yao Tongbin, and Zhao Jiuzhang were killed or committed suicide. Schools and universities were closed with the college entrance exams cancelled. Over 10 million urban intellectual youths were sent to the countryside in the Down to the Countryside Movement.

horrible time. perfectly innocent and cooperative people were harrassed or even killed.

dictatorships are bad enough. incompetent dictatorships are real nightmarish.
I don't think losing a war would have damaged China as much as their own policies of that era. they were a laughable third-world clown show for years.

edit on 01032020 by ElGoobero because: add sources

posted on Feb, 15 2022 @ 02:12 PM
Bengal Province, India, WWII

War, then as now, disrupted the food supply.
the governments in India, national and provincial, decreed that each state would be self-sufficient in food. this proved to be disastrous for highly populated Bengal.
those with food held it waiting for higher prices. other areas refused to share.
Bengal particularly depended on rice from Burma, now not available.

London was not helpful. Food for India was low on the shipping priority list; Churchill supposedly grumbled "If India is having a famine why hasn't Gandhi starved to death?"
General Sir Archibald Wavell finally forced London's hand by pointing out that this hunger would seriously impact the morale of the thousands of Indians serving in His Majesty's Army.

an estimated one and a half million people starved in 1942-1943; Bengal ultimately suffered about three million deaths from famine and resulting malnutrition and disease.
edit on 01032020 by ElGoobero because: add content

edit on 01032020 by ElGoobero because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 15 2022 @ 02:31 PM
Southeastern part of what is now the USA
during the Colonial era.

Europe's underclass was land-hungry, and the settling of North America promised new and better lives.

a fair amount of the impoverished went to the Americas under the Indenture system; the peasant would get transport to the Americas, work for seven years for a plantation owner (or other enterprise), and receive land and materials for his own farm.

In fact, life in Europe did not prepare one for the Americas. Incredible long hot humid disease-filled summers weakened and killed many. the backbreaking labor of clearing land and working labor-intensive crops like tobacco made these indentures even less appealing. a great many ran off.
in fact, the soil was good, and tobacco and similar crops were profitable.
Some attempted to enslave Native Americans, but they too died or ran off. ultimately African slaves were imported, many of whom themselves died or ran off. eventually the labor situation stabilized and the Southeast enjoyed some prosperity, but at a cost.

even today, living in the region is miserable without air conditioning, and malaria and fevers are not unknown.

posted on Feb, 15 2022 @ 03:03 PM
Ancient Mesopotamia

Many of us are familiar with 'Mesopotamia' from High School (Land Between the Rivers, Fertile Crescent, Cradle of Empires).
The region produced various political entities and City-States (Babylon, Ur, Sumer, Akkadia). limited room for growth and lack of natural borders made the region a giant octagon with no rules. it was Conquer or Be Conquered, and the Assyrians ended up with the best army.

And the cruelest. captured soldiers were pierced with hooks, hung in nets, had eyes put out, and, if they were lucky, lived to be slave laborers.,the%20eyes%20of% 20their%20prisoners.

eventually the rest of the region got fed up and followed Babylon in a coalition to destroy the Assyrians.

posted on Feb, 15 2022 @ 03:15 PM
a reply to: ElGoobero
It would be very difficult to beat the first example.
I can think of many bad times in history (Viking raids, bubonic and cholera epidemics), but most of them were local and intermittent in comparison. Only the era of the "little red book" affected quite so many people over such a large area so continuously.
That won't stop me from trying to find a worse case, but I can't think of any at the moment.

posted on Feb, 15 2022 @ 10:08 PM
Pol Pot's Cambodia was another horrible time to be Cambodian. A decent film was "First they Killed my father" which shows some of the stuff that went on. Go to a museum in Phnom Penh and look at the skulls and descriptions of how many died and how they were treated. Something as simple as wearing glasses or being educated could and would get you killed.

posted on Feb, 20 2022 @ 08:29 AM
Some of the worst times are the times when a community is getting hit by two or more unrelated problems which happen to coincide. Think Hurricane Katrina postponed until 2020.

I was thinking of London in 1666 as a possible example. Some people were already expecting the year to be bad, or the end of the world, because of the number.

Looking at it more closely, it doesn’t quite fit the extreme example I’ve just suggested. The central point is obviously the Great Fire. Yes, the Great Plague had hit the country in 1665, but the incidence was already declining at the beginning of the new year. So it was more like Katrina in 2022. At the same time, another war with the Dutch was in progress, which was a massive financial headache for the country, but the big disaster in that war (the Dutch attack on the shipyard at Chatham) would not occur until 1667. The three issues were not quite simultaneous but coming in succession, with some overlap over a three-year period.

So let us focus on the Great Fire itself. I’ll take my information direct from Pepys.

Sept 2nd 1666. “Jane called us up about three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City… [about 7 a.m.] Jane hears that above three hundred houses have been burned tonight by the fire we saw, and that it is now burning down all Fish Street near London Bridge… So I walked to the Tower and there I did see the houses at that end of the bridge all on fire and an infinite great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge.”

He got into a boat to go upriver for a closer look. He saw that people were staying in their houses as long as possible, until the fire touched them, because they were attempting to rescue their goods. They were taking their property to the river to get it into boats, or throwing it into the water to be picked up by boats presently. Then he went further upriver to Whitehall, where the royal court was.

“So I was called for, and did tell the King and the Duke of York what I saw, and that unless his Majesty did command houses to be pulled down nothing could stop the fire.” They were much troubled. The King commissioned Pepys to go direct to the Lord Mayor as his personal emissary “and command him to spare no houses, but to pull down before the fire every way.” The Duke of York added the additional message that the Mayor might have as many soldiers as he needed to enforce this command.

When he got back to St Paul’s he found chaos. Everyone was carrying away goods in carts or on backs, and sick people were being carried on their beds. The Lord Mayor was found in Canning Street, already exhausted, “with a handkercher around his neck. To the King’s message he cried, like a fainting woman ‘Lord! What can I do? I am spent, people will not obey me. I have been pulling down houses, but the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it.’” He had been up all night and was now going home for some refreshment. Pepys continued on his tours and noticed that the cargo of almost one in three of the goods-carrying boats included a set of Virginalls (a primitive piano). By the time night came, the spread of the fire was still growing, “in a bow up the hill for an arch of above a mile long.”

3rd Sept The better-off people who live in the suburbs have more time and space to protect valuable things. “My Lady Batten” sent Pepys a cart so that he could send off his money and plate and best things. The next day he and some of his Navy Board colleagues, all living close to their office in the vicinity of the Tower, were burying less movable goods, like bottles of wine, in the garden. Pepys was also burying his “Parmazan cheese” and office papers.

At the same time, he was taking [successful] steps to protect the office itself from the advance of the fire, an important consideration in the middle of a naval war. These included getting royal consent to blowing up the houses in Tower Street to create a fire break.

7th Sept By this time the fire was dying down, and there were beginning to be new anxieties about “publique distractions”, especially because there were conspiracy theories abroad about Dutch or French arsonists. The Dutch fleet had come out, but apparently without any serious intentions. They were just pleasing their own public.

10th Sept. Another alarm. The money Pepys had sent to Sir W. Rider needed to be removed, because the latter “says the towne is full of the report of the wealth that is at his house, and would be glad that his friends would provide for the safety of their goods there.” So Pepys sent a cart and took his own stuff away again, and managed to get most of it loaded onto a ship moored at Deptford.

20th Sept. Once the fire had died down, Pepys was able to take his wife out in a coach and show her “the ruines”, a word which would be applicable for several months. Whenever his curiosity took Pepys through them, he found it easy to lose his way. Indeed the fires apparently continued to burn in some of the cellars, at least for the rest of the year.

First estimates appear of the value of losses. The total rental value of the houses destroyed in the fire is understood to be £600,000.
Pepys hears of the great loss of books in St. Paul’s churchyard, where the booksellers used to gather, valued at about £150,000, so that some of the booksellers were “wholly undone.”

November 20th There is a day of public thanksgiving for the end of the plague. “The towne do say that it is hastened before the plague is quite over, there dying some people still, but only to get ground for plays to be publiquely acted, which the Bishops would not suffer till the plague was over.”

17th January (in the calendar used at the time, the year is not over yet) “This day I observe still, in many places, the smoking remains of the late fire; the ways mighty bad and dirty.”

14th February “Thence parted with him and home through the dark over the ruins by coach, with my sword drawn.” Evidently he fears that the population in the ruins may be a little feral.
History accounts tend to go straight from the Fire to the rebuilding and Wren. Nothing much is said about the interval.

posted on Feb, 20 2022 @ 01:29 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI
thanks for the post.

would be interesting to compare London in the Great Fire, with Pompeii. a major city, most of its inhabitants presumably living the good life, then, boom.
the volcano probly gave some warning but too many decided to stay put.

being up a slope is the worst place in case of fire. it will climb on up quick.

posted on Feb, 20 2022 @ 03:33 PM
Europe 536 A.D, supposedly a piece of Hallees Comet broke off an hit N. Europe, causing a huge stir up of dust, blocking out the sun leading to one thing an other.
edit on 20-2-2022 by Proto88 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 20 2022 @ 04:04 PM
1994 Rwanda.

posted on Feb, 20 2022 @ 05:10 PM

originally posted by: wdkirk
1994 Rwanda.

sadly, if it doesn't affect NY / London / DC etc. it doesn't get noticed much.
the West has pretty much walked away from Africa.

posted on Feb, 20 2022 @ 05:18 PM

originally posted by: Proto88
Europe 536 A.D, supposedly a piece of Hallees Comet broke off an hit N. Europe, causing a huge stir up of dust, blocking out the sun leading to one thing an other.,for%20well%20over%20a%20year.

In 2018, medieval scholar Michael McCormick nominated 536 as "the worst year to be alive" because of the extreme weather events probably caused by a volcanic eruption early in the year, causing average temperatures in Europe and China to decline and resulting in crop failures and famine for well over a year... Extreme weather events of 535–536, thought to have been caused by an extensive veil of dust in the atmosphere, begin in the Northern Hemisphere. They continue until the following year, causing unseasonal weather and crop failure worldwide. It is possible this is caused by the eruption of a volcano: Ilopango in El Salvador (Central America); in North America; or in Iceland.

comet or volcano, bad news. thanks for posting Proto

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