(Roughly) Daily

“I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me”*…

 

In 1878, W.S. Halsey, Commissioner of Inland Customs, reported on the state of British India’s giant hedge. The hedge had grown to more than 1,100 miles long, he wrote, long enough to stretch from Berlin to Moscow. More than half of the barrier, Halsey reported, was made up of “perfect and good green hedge” or “combined green and dry hedge.” In parts, it was 12 feet tall and 14 feet across.

The British Empire had been working on this giant hedge for at least 30 years. It had, at long last, reached “its greatest extent and perfection,” wrote Roy Moxham in The Great Hedge of IndiaIt was an impressive monument to British power and doggedness. One British official wrote that it “could be compared to nothing else in the world except the Great Wall of China.”

As he reported on the extent and health of the hedge, though, Halsey knew its time was coming to an end. That same year, the empire stopped all funding for the mad project, and it was not long before the hedge had disappeared entirely. When Moxham, an English writer, went looking for it in 1996, he couldn’t find a trace…

The strange, sad tale of a quixotic colonial barrier meant to enforce taxes: “The British Once Built a 1,100-Mile Hedge Through the Middle of India.”

* Donald J. Trump

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As we agree with Mark Twain that, while history never repeats itself, it often rhymes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1639 that the Connecticut General Court adopted The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut— considered by many scholars to be the first written constitution that created a government.

 source

 

Written by LW

January 14, 2018 at 1:01 am

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