Sunday, February 28, 2010


Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom
National Archives (NARA) building, Washington, D.C.
Here displayed are the Declaration of Independence
the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution
Source Photo taken by Kelvin Kay
From Wikipedia

Throughout the 1760s and 1770s, relations between Great Britain and her American colonies had become increasingly strained. Fighting broke out in 1775 at Lexington and Concord marking the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Although there was little initial sentiment for outright independence, the pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine was able to promote the belief that total independence was the only possible route for the colonies.
(, Inc.)

Common Sense
From, Inc.

Common Sense (above) was a pamphlet first published on January 10, 1776 during the American Revolutionary War by Thomas Paine. Its pages contained a denouncement of British rule.
Arguments against British rule in Common Sense:
It was ridiculous for an island to rule a continent.
America is not a "British nation"; it is composed of influences from all of Europe.
Even if Britain was the "mother country" of America, that makes her actions all the more horrendous, for no mother would harm her children so brutally.
Being a part of Britain would drag America into unessecary European wars, and keep it from the international commerce at which America excelled.
(, Inc.)
In 1761, fifteen years before the United States of America burst onto the world stage with the Declaration of Independence, the American colonists were loyal British subjects who celebrated the coronation of their new King, George III. The colonies that stretched from present-day Maine to Georgia were distinctly English in character although they had been settled by Scots, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, Swedes, Finns, Africans, French, Germans, and Swiss, as well as English.
As English men and women, the American colonists were heirs to the thirteenth-century English document, the Magna Carta, which established the principles that no one is above the law (not even the King), and that no one can take away certain rights. So in 1763, when the King began to assert his authority over the colonies to make them share the cost of the Seven Years' War England had just fought and won, the English colonists protested by invoking their rights as free men and loyal subjects. It was only after a decade of repeated efforts on the part of the colonists to defend their rights that they resorted to armed conflict and, eventually, to the unthinkable–separation from the motherland.

King George encroaches on the independence of the colonies through taxation without representation.
Increased tension between the British and the Colonies leads to violence, governmental action and revolutionary prose.
The beginning of the War of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation are introduced while major battles are fought in the war.
The ratification of the Articles of Confederation and the conclusion of the war.
The first few years as a new nation.
The meeting of the Constitutional Conventional and the ratification process.(Founders' Library)

National Archives
Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses
and the Constitutional Convention

By the spring of 1775, peaceful protest gave way to armed conflict at Lexington and Concord. Ignoring one last, futile plea for peace in a message known as the Olive Branch Petition, the King proclaimed in this document that the colonies stood in open rebellion to his authority and were subject to severe penalty, as was any British subject who failed to report the knowledge of rebellion or conspiracy. This document literally transformed loyal subjects into traitorous rebels.

This document bears the signatures of eighty-seven delegates
National Archives, Records of the Continental
and Confederation Congresses
and the Constitutional Convention

Three months after the King declared every rebel a traitor, and with a reward posted for the capture of certain prominent rebel leaders, the delegates to Congress adopted strict rules of secrecy (signed above) to protect the cause of American liberty and their own lives.
The sole governing authority presiding over the tumultuous events of the American Revolution between 1774 and 1789 was a body known as Congress. With no power to regulate commerce or lay taxes, and with little ability to enforce any of its decisions, this group, representing the thirteen colonies, declared independence, conducted a war that defeated one of the greatest military powers of its day, and invented a new political entity that became a sovereign independent nation. Its members pondered everything from the rightness of independence to the number of flints needed by the armies–sometimes with the enemy not far from their doorstep. Asserting their rights, they found themselves labeled as traitors.
The fifty-four men who composed the First Continental Congress represented different interests, religions, and regions; they held conflicting opinions as to how best restore their rights. Most did not know each other; some did not like each other. With no history of successful cooperation, they struggled to overcome their differences and, without any way of knowing if the future held success or nooses for them all, they started down a long and perilous road toward independence.
The Declaration announced to the world the separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain and the establishment of the United States of America. It explained the causes of this radical move with a long list of charges against the King. In justifying the Revolution, it asserted a universal truth about human rights in words that have inspired downtrodden people through the ages and throughout the world to rise up against their oppressors.
On July 4, 1776, in the old State House in Philadelphia, a group of patriotic men were gathered for the solemn purpose of proclaiming the liberty of the American colonies. From the letters of Thomas Jefferson, which are preserved in the Library of Congress, considerable data concerning this portentous session were gathered. In reconstructing the scene, it is well to remember that if the Revolutionary War failed, every man who had signed the parchment then lying on the table would be subject to the penalty of death for high treason.
It should also be remembered that the delegates representing the various colonies were not entirely of one mind as to the policies, which should dominate the new nation. There were several speeches. In the balcony patriotic citizens crowded all available space and listened attentively to the proceedings. Jefferson expressed himself with great vigor; and John Adams, of Boston, spoke and with great strength. The Philadelphia printer, Dr. Benjamin Franklin quiet and calm as usual, spoke his mind with well chosen words.
The delegates hovered between sympathy and uncertainty as the long hours of the summer day crept by, for life is sweet when there is danger of losing it.
The lower doors were locked and a guard was posted to prevent interruption.
(Excerpted from, The Secret Destiny of America by Manly P. Hall)
Throwing off the British monarchy on July 4, 1776, left the United States with no central government. It had to design and install a new government–and quickly. As early as May 1776, Congress advised each of the colonies to draw up plans for state governments; by 1780, all thirteen states had adopted written constitutions. In June 1776, the Continental Congress began to work on a plan for a central government. It took five years for it to be approved, first by members of Congress and then by the states. The first attempt at a constitution for the United States was called the Articles of Confederation.

By John Trumbull
Oil on canvas, 12' x 18'
Commissioned 1817; purchased 1819
placed 1826 in the Rotunda
From Independence Hall Association

The first painting (above) that Trumbull completed for the Rotunda shows the presentation of the Declaration of Independence in what is now called Independence Hall, Philadelphia. The painting features the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence — John Adams, Roger Sherman, Thomas Jefferson (presenting the document), and Benjamin Franklin — standing before John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress. The painting includes portraits of 42 of the 56 signers and 5 other patriots. The artist sketched the individuals and the room from life.
(Independence Hall Association)

Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of the United States
By Charles Willson Peale, Philadelphia, 1791
Source Jefferson-peale
Author Charles Willson Peale
From Wikipedia

Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale in 1800
From Wikipedia

Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale in 1805
Source New York Historical Society
From Wikipedia

Jefferson sketched out a working draft, followed by a month's worth of approval cycles with Congress. The result was a precisely worded communique designed to achieve several critical public opinion goals:
-- To generate support for the rebellion by the many Americans who were still ambivalent about the idea. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported the Declaration first on July 6. Public readings followed throughout the colonies, galvanizing the population toward a visionary common cause.
-- To give meaning to a demoralized colonial Army that had already been fighting the British for more than a year. General Washington had his personal copy of the Declaration read to tired, sick and undersupplied soldiers in New York on July 9, as hundreds of British warships and troop carriers entered the harbor in preparation for battle.
-- To frame the issue so foreign governments might help the colonies. Since most of the potential allies were themselves monarchies -- and many with colonies -- the Declaration made a point of articulating the problem to be King George, not kings and queens.
-- To force the issue with every member of Congress. Signing the Declaration made things very black and white. Either they must win the revolution or face death as traitors to the crown.
What could be called the first official announcement from these United States also didn't hesitate to spin the facts for effect. Historians point out that many of the Declaration's complaints about the King and Parliament were selective, out of context and greatly exaggerated.

Print of the Declaration of Independence made in 1976
200th anniversary
National Archives, Unaccessioned Record

John Hancock
Oil on canvas, c. 1770-1772
Current location Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston Source Massachusetts Historical Society
From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia
This print (above) suggests what the original parchment looked like when it was presented to Congress for the delegates to sign on August 2, 1776.
John Hancock, the President of Congress, was the first to sign; his signature is larger than any other on the page and directly centered below the text. The signatures of the other delegates are arranged from right to left, according to the geographic locations of their states, beginning with New Hampshire, the northernmost, on the right, and ending with Georgia, the southernmost, on the left. Eventually, fifty-six delegates signed, although not all of them were present on August 2; some who were present for the vote on July 4 never signed.

Declaration of Independence
Now exhibited in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom
Washington, DC
The document measures 29-3/4 inches by 24-1/2 inches

The original signed Declaration (above) shows signs of fading, handling, and aging. As a symbol of the Revolution’s highest ideals, it has been lovingly handled and proudly displayed over many years. Its present condition is evidence, not of indifference or neglect—but of extreme devotion. To preserve it for future generations, today it is on display, sealed in the most scientifically advanced housing that preservation technology can provide.

Preserving the United States Declaration of Independence
National Bureau of Standards,1951
Department of Commerce Photographic Services
Author Original uploader was Flyhighplato at Wikipedia

Richard Henry Lee
1st United States Secretary for Foreign Affairs
October 20, 1781 – June 4, 1783
From Wikipedia

President John Adams (1735-1826)
2nd president of the United States
by Asher B. Durand, 1767-1845
Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C
From Wikipedia

Benjamin Franklin
by Joseph Siffred Duplessis
Oil on canvas, 1778
Current location National Portrait Gallery London
Source National Portrait Gallery, London
From Wikipedia

Roger Sherman
by Ralph Earl
Oil on canvas ca. 1775
Current location Yale University Art Gallery
New Haven, Connecticut
From Wikipedia

Additional references to the Declaration of Independence can be found in the Journals of the Continental Congress on the following dates in 1776:
June 7 - Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution urging Congress to declare independence from Great Britain.
June 11 - Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence.
June 28 - A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence was read in Congress.
July 1-4 - Congress debated and revised the Declaration of Independence.
July 2 - Congress declared independence by adopting the Lee Resolution.
July 4 - Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
July 4 - Congress ordered that the Declaration of Independence be printed (Dunlap Broadsides).
July 19 - Congress ordered the Declaration of Independence engrossed (officially inscribed) and signed by members.
August 2 - The engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence was signed by most of the delegates. Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean, and Matthew Thornton all signed on a later date
(The Library of Congress)

The following paragraphs are the better known section from the start of the Declaration:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. -- Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr, Thomas Lynch, Jr, Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
(, Inc.)

Samuel Huntington
1st President of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to July 6, 1781

Thomas McKean of Pennsylvania
2nd President of the United States in Congress Assembled
July 10, 1781 to November 5, 1781
by Charles Willson Peale, ca. 1797
Courtesy of Independence National Historical Park
Author Charles Willson Peale
From Wikipedia

Thomas Mifflin
5th President of the United States in Congress Assembled
November 3, 1783 to June 3, 1784

Henry Laurens
One of the Signer of the Declaration of Independence

John Jay
One of the Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Francis Hopkinson
One of the Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Have you ever wondered what happened to the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence? This is the price they paid:
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the revolutionary army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships resulting from the Revolutionary War.
These men signed, and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor!
What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers and large plantation owners. All were men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty could be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers or both, looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
Perhaps one of the most inspiring examples of "undaunted resolution" was at the Battle of Yorktown. Thomas Nelson, Jr. was returning from Philadelphia to become Governor of Virginia and joined General Washington just outside of Yorktown. He then noted that British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters, but that the patriot's were directing their artillery fire all over the town except for the vicinity of his own beautiful home. Nelson asked why they were not firing in that direction, and the soldiers replied, "Out of respect to you, Sir." Nelson quietly urged General Washington to open fire, and stepping forward to the nearest cannon, aimed at his own house and fired. The other guns joined in, and the Nelson home was destroyed. Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis's Long Island home was looted and gutted, his home and properties destroyed. His wife was thrown into a damp dark prison cell without a bed. Health ruined, Mrs. Lewis soon died from the effects of the confinement. The Lewis's son would later die in British captivity, also.
"Honest John" Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she lay dying, when British and Hessian troops invaded New Jersey just months after he signed the Declaration. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and his grist mill were laid to waste. All winter, and for more than a year, Hart lived in forests and caves, finally returning home to find his wife dead, his children vanished and his farm destroyed. Rebuilding proved too be too great a task. A few weeks later, by the spring of 1779, John Hart was dead from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
New Jersey's Richard Stockton, after rescuing his wife and children from advancing British troops, was betrayed by a loyalist, imprisoned, beaten and nearly starved. He returned an invalid to find his home gutted, and his library and papers burned. He, too, never recovered, dying in 1781 a broken man.
William Ellery of Rhode Island, who marveled that he had seen only "undaunted resolution" in the faces of his co-signers, also had his home burned.
Only days after Lewis Morris of New York signed the Declaration, British troops ravaged his 2,000-acre estate, butchered his cattle and drove his family off the land. Three of Morris' sons fought the British.
When the British seized the New York houses of the wealthy Philip Livingston, he sold off everything else, and gave the money to the Revolution. He died in 1778.
Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge and Thomas Heyward Jr. went home to South Carolin tight. In the British invasion of the South, Heyward was wounded and all three were captured. As he rotted on a prison ship in St. Augustine, Heyward's plantation was raided, buildings burned, and his wife, who witnessed it all, died. Other Southern signers suffered the same general fate.
Among the first to sign had been John Hancock, who wrote in big, bold script so George III "could read my name without spectacles and could now double his reward for 500 pounds for my head." If the cause of the revolution commands it, roared Hancock, "Burn Boston and make John Hancock a beggar!"
Here were men who believed in a cause far beyond themselves.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the America revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
Koko Smith said at
"I strongly believe that the Declaration of Independence is an excellent example of good public relations. As claimed by The Public Relations Society of America in 1988; “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” With this definition, I can correctly state that the Declaration was an effective Public Relations document.
First of all, was Jefferson not trying to convince colonists who did not want a rebellion to rebel? He deliberately pointed out each flaw of King George. Any colonist reading or hearing the Declaration would start to think about what it says and what the king was doing. Is it true, that what Jefferson wrote would make you doubt King George even for a few minutes? Is it not also true, that everything Jefferson wrote in the grievances was perfectly accurate? Finally, was it true, that in every word of this document, Jefferson was attempting to provoke the colonists against the king so they would rebel?
The Declaration was also written to raise the moral of the colonial army, who had been fighting the British for over a year already. This document gave the army a new hope so they kept fighting for freedom. I think that if we had not sent out the Declaration of Independence, we would have given up and surrendered to the British. If we had surrendered to the British, who knows how long it would have taken for another revolution, or if we would ever have a chance to try again? If we had surrendered, the British would have made sure we could not make any weapons.
The Declaration was not just to raise moral and provoke colonists, though. It was also aimed at other countries, so they might try to help the colonies. It also helped that since most of the countries they wanted help from were monarchies, that they aimed the blame at King George himself, and not kings and queens in general. If they had aimed it at kings and queens, they probably would have gotten no help and had to surrender.
With a passion, I still protect that the Declaration of Independence is an example of good public relations. With its trying to provoke the colonists into a revolution, raise moral, and grab the attention of other colonies, how could you disagree? The Declaration is, and always will be, a document of forceful public relations."

Thursday, February 25, 2010



Brazil's coolest footballer Socrates
From Nairaland

The daddy of bearded footballers was the legendary Socrates. He had that Che Guevara-thing going on and was the coolest dude ever. Second to him was Sergio Batista, who looked like he’d just stepped out of his cave, and what about the Motherland’s Bee Gees, Paul Breitner? But that was the great thing about beards in football back then — they were the real deal and not some fashion statement like they are now.

Socrates and Zico
Image from

The mesmeric 1982 Brazilian World Cup team are still regarded as one of the greatest national sides in history despite their failure to progress beyond the second group round. Memories of the majestic Socrates and Zico have not been tarnished simply because they did not lift the Jules Rimet trophy.
(Aimee Lewis at BBC)

Socrates full name is too big for brackets : Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira. He was a qualified medical Doctor, held a doctorate in philosophy and smoked and drank heavily. While also being Captain of the best football team on earth and one of the best midfielders in the world. On the pitch, he tottered about like some Sunday morning park footballer, but his reading of the game was unerring, and his touch was always graceful, his decsion-making seldom wrong. He was particularly famed for his regular back-heels, which were always casual and yet always precise. He also cropped up occasionally with a crucial goal.

Botafogo 1974/1975

Back-heel pass
Corinthians, Sao Paulo

Socrates playing for his beloved Corinthians
From The Grand Inquisitor

As one of the best midfielders in football history, Sócrates played for, and captained Brazil in the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups. He began playing football professionally in 1974 for Botafogo in his hometown of Riberão Preto, but spent the majority of his career (1978 to 1984) with Corinthians in Sao Paulo, where he became famous for using football to challenge the existing military dictatorship. He was capped sixty times for Brazil between May 1979 and June 1986. Sócrates also played for the Italian club Fiorentina and the Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Santos towards the end of his career. In 2004, more than a decade after retiring, Sócrates agreed a one month player-coaching deal with ICFDS owned club Garforth Town Football Club. His brother Rai won the World Cup in 1994 and played for São Paulo and for Paris St. Germain.
(International Confederation of Futebol de Salão)

He was never a teenage star and didn’t make his debut in the Brazilian national team until he was 25. He was blessed with wonderful skills, vision and seemed to have so many options when he was on the ball. He was able to play the ball wherever and whenever he wanted. His heel-kicks became famous world wide. These rare skills combined with the fact that he was a medical student more than justified him being nicknamed “the doctor”.
Socrates was not an ordinary athlete, infact he didn’t look at himself as an athlete. He smoked a pack of sigarettes every day, and that was one of the reasons to why he never settled in Italy when he arrived there in 1984 to play for Fiorentina. The lifestyle didn’t suit him and he went back to Brazil a year later.
(Planet World Cup)
Socrates played with an elegance that could have been groomed nowhere other than Brazil. Pele said he played better backwards than most players could going forward. And in 1982 Socrates was the leader of the last Selecao team to try and win the World Cup according to the philosophy of Pele's bonito jogo. Brazil failed, but in doing so Socrates and his teammates became romantic figures in the history of the tournament, committed to a pure ideal of how the game should be played that was seemingly lost forever.
Socrates made two memorable contributions to the campaign. In Brazil's opening group match against the Soviet Union, he ghosted past two defenders to fire in a long-range effort that set his side on course for a come-from-behind 2-1 win. And against Italy in the second round, he grabbed his second goal of the tournament, drifting through to the goal line before beating Dino Zoff from a seemingly impossible angle.
But the game against Italy was to mark the final victory for European pragmatism over South American flair. Despite the panache of Socrates and his teammates, resilient defending kept them to two goals. Meanwhile Paolo Rossi was exploiting Brazil's defensive limitations, scoring all the goals Italy's 3-2 win.
By 1986, Brazil was in transition toward the more conservative style that would finally earn it another world title in 1994. But Socrates was still the same player, and he raised his game to help Brazil reach the quarterfinals, scoring against Spain and Poland.
Yet the classic showdown with France ended miserably for Brazil's most talented player. Socrates missed an open goal in the dying seconds of extra time and then failed from the spot as Brazil lost on penalties.

Socrates and team mates Wladimir and Walter Casagrande formed Corinthians Democracy, a players movement within the club that rebelled against the suffocating paternalistic culture prevalent in Brazilian soccer which dictated not only how they played but how they lived their lives. A phenomenon Alex Bellos calls concentrecao or loosely translated "bring together the troops", a microcosm of the authoritarian nature of the military regimes that subjugated the citizenry. The movement was a democratic exercise where players voted on simple daily tasks that affected them like when to take lunch or what time to turn in. 'We decided everything by consensus,' says Sócrates.
But it was not just simple decisions that made Corinthians Democracy a byword in Brazilian soccer history, it was its political role in actively bringing down the military dictatorship. Players voted to wear shirts with 'Vote on the Fifteenth' written on them and bringing huge "Democracia" banners to the pitch. As a sports icon Socrates was very aware that players like him could play a seminal role in arousing the masses to direct action. A very well read man (he was also a medical doctor), Socrates used anarcho-syndicalistic principles which first organized workers rights in the latter part of the nineteenth century. He says thus:
"The process that we went through (Corinthians Democracy) was extremely rich. We were working in a really popular environment ... and we managed to develop a form of action that generated a series of polemics ... in relation to the structure of employers and employees.
In 1982 and 1983, Corinthians won the Paulista championship beating Sao Paulo. During those years, the last military dictator Jose Figueirado, declared that he was committed to opening up Brazil to democracy but government hardliners responded with a series of bombings. Figueirado's failure to bring the guilty to justice coupled with rising inflation, stagnating wages, and increasing debt led to the public's determination to see the end of military rule. In 1984 in an impressive display, millions of Brazilians took to the streets in all the major cities demanding a direct vote (diretas já! ) in the choice of the next president. In 1985, military rule finally ended with Jose Sarney, a civilian and a former ally of Figueirado coming to power. During those tumultuous last years, Lula, as one of the leaders of the Workers Party was at the forefront of the diretas ja! movement, imprisoned for organizing massive workers strikes protesting the pitiful wages.
So when in 2002 Lula finally became the president, millions of working class Brazilians rejoiced to see one of their own elected. The former shoeshine boy was one of them. In addition, he was a Corinthians supporter, who liked nothing better than relaxing with his friends and colleagues playing the beautiful game. Ironically, in soccer mad Brazil, Lula is an exception, a leader, the first in three decades with a genuine love for the game. So it was befitting that his first Presidential act was to take on the cartolas, the corrupt club establishments.
Bellos explains:
"The sport is run by a network of unaccountable, largely corrupt figures known as cartolas, or "top hats", who have become obscenely wealthy while the domestic football scene is broke and demoralised. The public plundering of football is a constant and very visible reminder of the country's failings." Joao Havelange, the former CBF and FIFA president is one of the major beneficiaries of this system.
In 1998, following the embarrassing defeat of the Brazilian team to France in the World Cup final, a series of investigations into the dealings of the cartolas was launched. A temporary law was passed which demanded greater financial accountability. With Lula in power the fire and brimstone Law of Moralisation in Sport became permanent. In place too was a bill of rights for soccer fans. The bill contained an important statute which mandated that the CBF (the Brazilian FA) would hold at least one national competition in which "teams know before it begins how many games they will play and who their opponents will be." As banal as it appears to be, this statute addressed the hitherto arbitrary nature of the Brazilian domestic league. The cartolas in cahoots with the military dictators used the league to serve their narrow economic and political ends by changing relegation rules every season to keep favoured teams on top.
Lula was quick to realize that all through Brazil's democratization, the cartolas themselves had not reformed, and with these populist measures, used the public dissatisfaction with these cartolas to cement his place in the heart of the ordinary soccer fan. In Brazil where soccer is life itself, Garrastazu Medici, the military dictator, used the euphoria surrounding the 1970s World Cup win, to push the most repressive of measures.
Of course, the CBF and their acolytes, the cartolas fought back immediately announcing a suspension of the league. But Corinthians, on whose board Lula sits as a lifetime director, supported his reform measures. With Corinthians and Lula standing firm, the threat collapsed within 48 hours and the league resumed its matches. The cartolas were defeated and their pernicious influence on the game shaken. The last authoritarian structure in Brazil was given notice by Lula and the Corinthians.

Socrates with Simon Clifford (right)


When it was announced that the legendary, 50 year old Brazilian, Socrates, was about to sign for Garforth Town in 2004, the words 'elaborate' and 'hoax' were on most people's lips. How could this classic Brazilian playmaker, captain of the great Brazilian side from the 1982 World Cup, wash up in West Yorkshire playing football at the 10th rung of the competitive ladder in England? A man whose club experience included Flamengo, Botafogo and Fiorentina, and the owner of 63 Brazil caps. The answer was through Garforth's owner, Simon Clifford. Clifford oversees an empire of football schools based on Brazilian coaching techniques. Through his business interests they became friends, hence the invitation. Socrates made his debut for Garforth against Tadcaster United in November 2004. A crowd of 1,300 turned up, Garforth's biggest for 40 years. He'd warmed up for his non-league debut in the traditional manner, a personal appearance at Sheffield's Meadowhall Shopping Centre, before wrapping himself against the elements on the bench. He played 12 minutes as a substitute and clearly enjoyed himself commenting "It was far too cold. The second I got out I had this incredible headache, I'm just not used to it". Still, a great day was had by all and Socrates left the ground to chants of "We love you Socrates, we do". Which is something you probably don't hear every day in Yorkshire mining villages.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Repin Self-portrait 1878
From InfoUkes Inc.

Ilya Yefimovich Repin
Self-portrait, 1878
Oil on canvas, 69.5 × 49.6 cm
State Russian Museum St. Petersburg
From Wikipedia

Elias (Illya) Repin was born in the Ukrainian town of Chuhuyev, Kharkiv region on August 4, 1844. His father Yukhim, was a military colonist who farmed but was liable at all times for military duty. At the time of Elias's birth, the family fortunes had dropped and as a result in his early years the future painter suffered from abject poverty. As a young boy in north eastern Ukraine he earned money by painting portraits and icons. It was during his youth in Ukraine that his gift for art was nurtured through an elementary art education.
At the age of 20 Repin managed to enter the St. Petersburg Academy of Art in the Russian capital. In the same year, 1864 he enrolled at the School of Drawing. Because of his desperate financial situation the young artist had to work at odd jobs in these early years to finance his art studies.
Repin's first important paintings, in accordance with the requirements of the Academy of Art, were based on classical themes. His progress in portrait painting was exceptional. By the time he was 25 his reputation as a portrait painter was established. He painted portraits, with a profound psychological character, of the most notable men of the Russian Empire of his day, totalling over 300 in all.
(Andrew Gregorovich at

Anton Grigorievich Rubinstein
Pianist, conductor, and composer
Oil on canvas, 1881
The Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Courtesy of the Visipix: 500,000+ hi-res image

Unexpected Visitors or Unexpected return, 1884-1888
The homecoming of a soldier from the war
Oil on canvas Date Source
From Wikimedia

Portrait of the Surgeon Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov
Oil on canvas, 64.5 × 53.4 cm.
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
From Wikimedia

Vladimir Vasilievich Stasov, 1883
Russian art historian and music critic
Oil on canvas, 74 × 60 cm.
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
From Wikipedia

Author Maxim Gorky, literary critic Vladimir Stasov
and artist Ilya Repin at Repin's Kuokkala home (ca. 1904)

Portrait of the Composer Mikhail Glinka
Oil on canvas, 1887
The Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Courtesy of the Olga's Gallery

Composer Alexander Glazunov
Oil on canvas, 1887
Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Courtesy of the Olga's Gallery

Composer Nikolay Rymsky-Korsakov
Oil on canvas, 1893
Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Courtesy of the Olga's Gallery

Portrait of Nicholas II, 1896
Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich
The Last Russian Emperor
Lived 1868-1918, ruled 1894-1917
killed by the Bolsheviks together with his family
17 July 1918 at Yekaterinburg

Portrait of Vera Repina, the artist's daughter
Oil on canvas, 111 × 84,4 cm.
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
From Wikimedia


Repin paintings in Russian Museum, 2004
Saint Petersburg, Russia

Among his portraits of Ukrainians, his Shevchenko is an interesting study. In his portrait of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko the artist gave him an admonishing look which penetrates through the viewer.
(Andrew Gregorovich at
For six years Repin lived in Moscow (1876-1882). Then he moved to St. Petersburg. He also made several trips to Europe - in 1883, 1889, 1894, and 1900. He taught at St. Petersburg's Academy (1894-1907) and was an influential member of the Wanderers. In 1900, during his trip to Paris, Repin met Natalia Nordman, "the love of his life" (Repin was separated from his wife), and moved to her home Penaty (Penates), in Kuokkala (Finland), located about an hour train ride from St. Petersburg. Together they organized the famous Wednesdays at the Penaty which attracted the creative elite of Russia. When Nordman died in 1914, she left the estate to the Academy, but Repin occupied it for the next sixteen years.

The Volga Boatmen
(Barge Haulers on the Volga), 1873
Probably the most famous work by Repin

The Barge Haulers was created by Repin over a period of three years, from 1870-1873. This work brought him instant recognition and established his fame. This was the first painting done by Repin after leaving the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersbug. The inspiration for the piece came to him when visiting the Volga region where he spent 3 months with his brother Vasily and friends. He took a boat trip down the Volga. Familiarising himself with the lives of the barge haulers. He observed them, sketched them and completed preliminary studies for the piece. The final version was completed in 1873 which was then exhibited at the Imperial Academy with a bang. The painting made Repin famous overnight. This canvas is also known as "The Bargemen on the Volga", "Volga Boatmen","Barge Haulers" and "The Volga Barge-Haulers."
Life wasn’t easy for “The Barge Haulers” either. Its painter, Ilya Repin, was a member of The Wanderers, a group of artists dedicated to using their art as a tool for social commentary and reform. With “The Volga Boatmen,” also called “Barge Haulers on the Volga,” we can feel the oppression and the disregard for human life. The haulers were comprised of mostly liberated serfs. Yet their opportunities for work remained limited. Serfs continued to represent the largest part of Russia’s population (painted 1870 – 73). Socialist realism was the politically correct form of art in the Soviet Union around the time Joseph Stalin became General Secretary of the Communist party. These paintings glorified farm collectives, athletes and revolutionary political figures. The Guggenheim labeled this period the art of ideology.
In 1878, Repin joined the free-thinking "Association of Peredvizhniki Artists", generally called "the Wanderers" or "The Itinerants" in English, who, at about the time of Repin's arrival in the capital, rebelled against the academic formalism of the official Academy. His fame was established by his painting of the "Volga Barge Haulers", a work which portrayed the hard lot of these poor folk but which was not without hope for the youth of Russia. From 1882 he lived in Saint Petersburg but did visit his Ukrainian homeland and on occasion made tours abroad.

Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine
Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan, 1880-91
State Russian Museum

Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine
Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan
From Virtual Tourist

His greatest oil painting may be Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan, (above), painted 1878-91 after extensive research and many travels through Ukraine and the Zaporozhian area. The painting has a heroic quality capturing the independent spirit of the Ukrainian Cossacks and people. It is also imbued with considerable humour showing the cheering Cossacks composing an insulting letter to the mighty Sultan of the Turkish Empire. The painting is in the St. Petersburg Art Gallery in Russia but there is a variant version in the Kharkiv Art Gallery in Ukraine.
Into the superb canvas of Zaporozhians, his greatest masterpiece, Repin poured 13 years of his life. He sought to achieve historical accuracy through meticulous research with historian Dmytro Yavornytsky.
Other works on Ukrainian themes are Hetman, Vechomytsi, Ukrainmian Cottage and Procession in the Government of Kiev, which, according to Encyclopedia Britannica is one of "his chief pictures." The same source says Repin's paintings are powerfully drawn with not a little imagination and with strong dramatic force and characterization. Encyclopedia Americana says "He also won fame as a portrait painter, sculptor and etcher,"
Unexpected, a painting which depicts the homecoming of an exile from Siberia, is interesting because the models used were the artist's own family. His own home served as the background, and very clearly on the living room wall there is a portrait of Taras Shevchenko. Apparently Repin honored his countryman.
(Andrew Gregorovich at

Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581
Oil on canvas, 1885
The Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, Russian Federation)

In 1885, Repin completes one of the most famous paintings "Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan." The wife of the great chemist Mendeleev recalls: "I will never forget, just suddenly Ilya Efimovich invited us to the studio. Shedding light on a closed now, he drew back the curtain. Before us was a "terrible" murder of his son. " How long they all stood in silence, then began to speak, rushed to congratulate Ilya Yefimovich, shook hands and embraced.
The force impact of the paintings vividly conveyed Kramskoy: "First of all, I was overcome by a feeling of complete satisfaction for Repin. Here is the thing in the level of talent! .. Expressed and convex unveiled at the forefront - unexpectedness murder! This is the most phenomenal feature, it is extremely difficult and a decision only the two figures. The father hit his son with a rod in his head! Minute, and his father cried out in horror, ran to his son, grabbed him, sat down on the floor, lifted him to his knees and clutched tightly, tightly wound with one hand on the temple (and the blood spurts and gaps between the fingers), while another across the waist, cuddle and hard, hard kisses the head of his poor (extremely cute) son, and he yells (positively screaming) from the horror, in a helpless position. Throwing, catching, and his head, the father stain half (upper) face in the blood. A detail of Shakespeare′s comedy ... "Ivan the Terrible" - the phenomenon in Russian painting extraordinary. "
Conservative as part of Russian society, sharply condemned the picture. This view was expressed Attorney Pobedonostsev of the Holy Synod, which report to Tsar Alexander III said that this painting, "insulting to many government feeling."
The picture was bought PM Tretyakov, but on the orders of Alexander III was forced to keep it in closed storage. Only in 1913, viewers saw a masterpiece.

Aleksandr III
Tsar Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (Ivan Kramskoi, 1886)
Father of Tsar St Nikolai
Lived 1845-1894 and reigned 1881-94

Art critics have noticed a clear distinction and contrast between Repin's Ukrainian and Russian themes. The Ukrainian themes are positive and merry compared to his Russian paintings. For example compare the Russian Volga Boatmen and Ivan the Terrible Killing his Son with the Ukrainian Hopak or Zaporozhian Cossacks. Snowyd says "Ukraine in his paintings is all beauty, joy, happiness, a grand and even reckless struggle against powerful enemies. Russia is wallowing in uglliness and cruelty."
Repin's genius created in the Zaporozhians an immortal image of the heroic era of Ukrainian Cossack history. He refused to live in Soviet Russia after the Revolution and lived in Finland instead. In his last years he painted such Ukrainian works as Hopak and Black Sea Freemen. He died in Kuokkale, Finland at the age of eighty-six leaving a rich and magnificent artistic legacy.
(Andrew Gregorovich at
During his maturity, Repin painted many of his most celebrated compatriots, including the novelist Leo Tolstoy, the scientist Dmitri Mendeleev, the imperial official Pobedonostsev, the composer Mussorgsky, the philanthropist Pavel Tretyakov, and the Ukrainian poet and painter, Taras Shevchenko.

Portrait of Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev
wearing the Edinburgh University professor robe
Watercolour on paper, 57.5 × 46 cm
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
From Wikipedia

Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907), above, is a famous Russian chemist who arranged the 63 known elements into a periodic table based on atomic mass, which he published in Principles of Chemistry in 1869. According to Mendeleev it took him 20 years to invent this system. During the time when the system was being invented atomic weights of many elements had been defined wrongly, forms of their compounds were imperfect, many elements had not been studied yet and as the result of all this there was a serious confusion in correlation between atomic weights and elements characteristics. Actually this invented periodical system was just one of many systems built basing on atomic weight.
From his remarkable table Mendeleev predicted the properties of elements then unknown; three of these (gallium, scandium, and germanium) were later discovered. He studied also the nature of solutions and the expansion of liquids. An outstanding teacher, he was professor at the Univ. of St. Petersburg (1868–90). He directed the bureau of weights and measures from 1893 and served as government adviser on the development of the petroleum industry. His Principles of Chemistry (2 vol., 1868–71; tr. 1905) was long a standard text.

Portrait of the Composer Modest Mussorgsky, 1881

Portrait of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, 1887
Oil on canvas, 124 × 88 cm.
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
From Wikipedia

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy shoeless, 1901
Oil on canvas. 207 × 73 cm.
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy resting in the forest
Oil on canvas, 60 × 50 cm.
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
From Wikimedia

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Konstantin Pobedonostsev
From Wikipedia

Pobedonostsev (above)was known for his gaunt figure and pale, corpse-like countenance, as one may judge from this portrait by Ilya Repin.

Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov
founder of the Gallery
Oil on canvas. 98 × 75.8 cm.
Source Unit Art Studio CD-ROM about Ilya Repin
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
From Wikipedia

In 1903, Repin was commissioned by the Russian government to paint his most grandiose design, a 400x877 cm canvas representing a ceremonial session of the State Council of Imperial Russia.

The centenary session of the State Council
The Marie Palace on May 5, 1901
now exhibited in the Russian Museum
From Wikipedia

Ilya Repin painting in Russian Museum, 2005
Saint Petersburg, Russia

State Council was the upper house of the parliament, while the State Duma of the Russian Empire was the lower house. Compared to the contemporary British House of Lords and Prussian Herrenhaus, the Russian upper chamber was more democratically constituted, as half of its members were democratically elected from different sections of society, while the House of Lords and Herrenhaus consisted of hereditary peers.

Dr Pavlov in the Operating Theatre, 1888

The prominent Russian scholar and physiologist Ivan Pavlov (above) was born on 26 September 1848 into the family of a village priest. Pavlov attended theological seminary, and planned to assume his father’s role. However, a book on cerebrum reflexes that he read quite by chance radically changed his life. Ivan Pavlov abandoned his religious career and enrolled in the physics and mathematics faculty of St Petersburg University. He became a brilliant physiologist and devoted his life to science.
As he carried out research on the physiology of digestion, he conducted experiments on dogs that led him to conclude that the nervous system governs the digestive system. Experiments in the field brought Pavlov world acclaim and the Nobel Prize. At the height of his success, all of a sudden, Pavlov made a sharp turn from the research on digestion to studies of the psychic activity of animals. He had long been wondering, why dogs secrete saliva as soon as they hear their food bowl clink, and what organ is responsible. Based on his experiments, Pavlov differentiated between the existence of conditioned, or acquired, and unconditioned, innate, reflexes.
In further experiments, he discovered that the cortex of the great hemispheres is the receptacle of conditioned reflexes and the sub-cortex area of unconditioned ones. Similarly, human beings harbour two sources that can be either in harmony or in conflict. The upper part of the cerebrum, the home of our life experience, hinders the activity of the lower part, a source of hereditary properties. Temporary ties dominate the inborn ones. It does happen sometimes that we have to exert so much effort to stifle excessive discretion or unrestrained passion that it can lead to a tragic ending. The discovery of reflexes had a great importance for studies of the higher nervous activity of animals and human beings, and this theory was used widely in psychiatry, biology, psychology, and pedagogy.
Pavlov was an indefatigable researcher. His mind was occupied with work all the time. When Newton was asked how he discovered the laws governing the movement of heavenly bodies, the scientist replied that it was all very simple; he just never stopped thinking about them. Neither did Pavlov. All his conversation boiled down to scientific ideas. He was also an outstandingly talented lecturer. One of his foreign colleagues said he might have made an excellent actor. Indeed, his speech and manners were highly emotional and saturated with humour. Speaking at congresses in Europe and America Pavlov voiced strikingly daring ideas, which he insisted upon, and he compelled the scientific community to accept them.
Pavlov often received criticism for slaughtering hundreds of dogs in the course of his experiments. To this, he replied that when he started an experiment that will end with the death of the animal, he felt sorry about that, being a slaughterer cutting short a life in its prime. However, he had to step over it, he said, in the interests of truth and for the good of mankind. Pavlov liked his laboratory dogs, and he granted a “pension” to the most distinguished ones, as he put it, feeding them until they died. In appreciation for the contribution the dogs made to science, Pavlov built a memorial in front of his clinic.
In 1901 Repin left Zdravnevo to live in his estate which he bought in Kuokkala in the Grand Duchy of Finland. He named it Penaty. After the 1917 October revolution Penaty was now in Finland. Finland having received its independence from the Russian Empire in 1918. Repin decided to stay on in Kuokkala despite being asked by various Soviet Institutions to return to his homeland. He refused the invitations saying he was too old to make the move. He never returned to Russia. His life at Penaty saw his later years, years as a mature artist who was still bestowed national and international accolades. He received the Legion of Honor from France in 1901, elected member of the Academy of Sciences, literature and fine arts in Prague in 1902. 1904 saw him elected as honorary member of the Moscow Literary and Artistic Society. During this time he was still teaching at the Academy in St Petersburg (he resigned briefly in 1905). In 1907 Repin left the Academy as a teacher (this time for good) he was now 63 years old.
Finding he had more time on his hands which he continued painting with, he also began writing. He wrote various articles (one commemorating the 100th anniversary of the writer Nikolai Gogol and two which were highly critical of modern art). In 1916 he published his memoir's "Far & Near".

I. E. Repin painting a portrait of Feodor Chaliapin, 1915
From Wikimedia

Artistically he was still very active, he painted until the end of his life. He was unfortunately, in these later years, handicapped by the atrophy of his right hand. Repin could not produce works of the same quality as those that brought him fame. Although he trained himself to paint with his left hand, he lived his last years under a constant financial strain.
His last painting was rendered in 1927, a big vibrant, joyful canvas based on an Ukrainian Cossack theme: "The dance of the Gopacks". Repin passed away on the 29th September 1930. He is buried in Penates. In 1939, the Soviet Army reacquired Kuokalla and as a result named the village "Repino".