Thursday, October 1, 2009

The prevention of wars: 1812

The question of why violence seems to have decreased over the last few centuries was brought up again recently. Here's an example from the past which might be of help:
Allow me to recommend the following means of obviating Scarcity of Corn [wheat] in future, and rendering ourselves truly independent, and no more obliged to bend contemptibly to the Americans, as we have now done; instead of declaring War against them a twelvemonth ago, as our honour imperiously called upon us to do.
The British would have declared war on America, but they were dependent on wheat imports from and couldn't bring themselves to it, even though their honor was at stake.

The proponents of free trade have claim that it would decreases wars by removing the need to fight over resources and increasing interdependence. Here's an example.

Oh, and how badly did the British need wheat? Here are some policies the well-to-do were asked to follow to help keep prices down:
1. They make a distinction between the Bread consumed by the Family and the Servants: that for the Family being baked in tins; as the Servants cannot then lay their own profusion on the Parlour.

2. They never suffer a loaf to be cut until after the second or third day of baking; for, when eaten new, the consumption is greater, and much waste is occasioned.

3. No toast is permitted; for the same portion cut into bread-and-butter goes one-third farther.

4. No rolls, French bread, or muffins; as all these are needless incentives to appetite.

5. No more cut for dinner than absolutely requisite; for which one piece, half an inch thick, of a round cut in four, will be found sufficient for each. By this means all broken pieces are prevented.

6. No flour used in pies and puddings; for which rice, variously prepared, will prove an excellent substitute.
Look at number 2! What is the point of making bread if you can't eat it fresh?

--From The Gentleman's magazine--

1 comment:

Trooper York said...

The War of 1812 is one of my favorite Wars!

Right below the War of Jenkins Ear.