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Saturday, 13 January 2018

World History: The Wars of Religion

A depiction of the Thirty Years' War
The last time we looked at World History we focused on the Reformation, here, but we only very briefly touched upon the Wars of Religion caused by the Reformation. These wars ravaged Europe and set Protestant against Catholic. However, the Wars of Religion are far more complex than just being about religion and they helped shape the European world today. Following the Wars of Religion Europe's wars started to be much less about religion and more about other factors, such as politics. Before we start we first have to define what exactly a War of Religion is.

Defining the Wars of Religion
There has been debate among historians about how the wars between Christians differ from other wars about religion, such as the Crusades. German historian Konrad Repgen has distinguished a War of Religion from a Crusade as he argues that Crusades are called for by popes, whereas Wars of Religion are not. However, he does argue that there is much overlap with them both being religious wars. This raises a new question: how is a War of Religion different to other religious wars? Repgen argued that a War of Religion was justified as being necessary to prevent the 'true religion' from being threatened or exterminated; to extend specific rights of religious practice; or to eliminate a 'dangerous heresy.' When the war was called by the pope for these reasons it becomes a Crusade. Of course Repgen's model only fits the Euro-Christian world, but for our purpose it fits well. Now let's look at the wars themselves.

The German Peasants' War
The Peasants' War broke out in 1524 following the Knights' Revolt of 1522. During the revolt free imperial knights had revolted against larger territorial princes using Lutheran ideas to justify their movement. All the Knights' Revolt succeeded in doing was make some princes wary of Lutheran and Protestant ideas. The Peasants' War started over grievances rising taxation levels, serfdom, laws limiting hunting and fishing rights, and imposition of labor obligations. In 1524 in Stuhlingen, just south of the Black Forest, it is believed that the uprising started over the limitations on fishing in a forbidden stream. Quickly a gathering of 1,200 peasants gathered listing their grievances which spread rapidly across southern Germany in what would become the largest peasant uprising in European history until the French Revolution. Regional revolutionary committees and military alliances were formed, and in March 1525 a union of them released the Twelve Articles of Memmingen. These twelve articles were heavily inspired by Lutheran theology calling for the abolishment of serfdom; hunting and fishing rights; and a reduction in taxes and labor services arguing that there was no precedent for these in the Bible. Furthermore, the articles called for the community to elect and dismiss pastors to ensure the 'pure gospel' would be preached. The War got many supporters, including Thomas Muntzer, and despite being clearly inspired by Lutheran ideas Martin Luther condemned the rebellion. Luther wrote Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants in 1525 writing that rulers 'as God's sword on earth to knock down, strangle, and stab the insurgents as one would a mad dog.' Huldrych Zwingli reaffirmed this idea in his 1526 publication Whoever Causes Insurrection arguing that spiritual reasons did not give individuals the right to oppose political authority. In 1525 the rebellion was put down causing the Reformation to lose much of its appeal in Germany. The merging of social and religious aspects of the Peasants' War shows the diverse background of the Wars of Religion. Friedrich Engels in The Peasant War in Germany wrote that the Peasants' War highlighted the issues concerning early German capitalism and served as a precursor to the 1848 Revolutions.

Wars of Kappel
Two brief conflicts erupted in the Swiss Cantons in 1529 and 1531 where economics, politics, and religion came together. In the sixteenth century Switzerland was made up of a loose confederation of thirteen autonomous cantons in the larger Holy Roman Empire. The cantons were deeply hostile to one another which the Holy Roman emperors, French kings, and popes exploited where they hired Swiss soldiers as mercenaries. Zwingli was very much against this saying that it was 'trading blood for gold' and he blamed Catholics for this. As the leader of the Zurich city council he started making treaties with other Protestant cantons which made the Catholic cantons formed an alliance under Ferdinand, the Habsburg ruler of Austria, to counter them. Open war was avoided until 1531 with the Second War of Kappel which resulted in Zwingli's death. With the exception of a few key areas after the Protestant defeat forced conversion to Catholicism did not happen. Reformed parishes and communities in Catholic cantons could remain Reformed, and cantons were free to be either Reformed or Catholic. Thus, Switzerland became one of the only places in Europe to offer recognition of Catholicism and a Protestant denomination. This highlights one key aspect of the Wars of Religion: limited religious tolerance. A key aspect of present European states, and many states across the world, is secularism. One view of the Wars is that it put Europe on the path to secular politics. For Switzerland itself to avoid fracturing between the Reformed and Catholic cantons it opted to largely remain neutral which has become a staple of Swiss international politics.

The Schmalkaldic War
Like the Wars of Kappel the Schmalkaldic War was a conflict between Catholics and Protestants. In 1530 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V called an Imperial Diet in Augsburg hoping to end religious divisions in the empire. An associate of Luther, Philip Melanchthon, made the Confessio Augustana (Augsburg Confession) criticizing Catholic principles which Protestant princes presented to Charles. Charles ignored the Confession, told Protestant princes to convert back to Catholicism, and ordered the return of confiscated Catholic lands. This backfired with the Protestant rulers forming the Schmalkaldic League with the Confession as its statement of belief. Several Lutheran colleges in the USA, such as Augustana, are in fact named after this Confession. Luther changed his beliefs about resistance saying that those with political authority were allowed to oppose those above them; one could argue that he only favored resistance when his own neck was on the line. Meanwhile, Charles could not respond to the Schmalkaldic League due to wars against France in Italy and southern France, and the besieging of Hungary and Vienna by the Ottoman Empire. With religion dividing the Empire and threats from outside Charles was spread thin. He did fight the League in 1546 and successfully captured several Protestant princes and cities which strangely worried the pope. Here politics comes into play. The pope feared that Charles' victories would strengthen the emperor and edge Papal authority out. An Imperial Diet was called bringing a temporary peace which the League used to regroup and even allied with France. Political power trumped religious identity.
Charles V sitting on the throne of the defeated Schmalkaldic League
In 1552 war broke out again with Henry II of France intervening on the side of the Schmalkaldic League. This war lasted until another diet at Augsburg in 1555. The papacy and emperor were not present at this diet so the Peace of Augsburg reflected the concerns of the princes. To bring 'eternal, unconditional peace' a principle was put forward: cuius regio, eius religio (Whose realm, his religion). For areas of the Holy Roman Empire this brought limited secularization. The Peace of Augsburg only gave religious tolerance to Lutherans and Catholics - other Christian branches and non-Christians were denied recognition. This issue would become very apparent in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Meanwhile, Charles abdicated in 1556 granting his imperial possessions to his brother Ferdinand, whereas the Spanish empire and the Netherlands were given to his son, Philip.

French Wars of Religion
Shortly after the Peace of Augsburg religious wars broke out in France. Francis I of France made a treaty with the papacy in the Concordat of Bologna where he would recognize papal supremacy over church councils in return for the right to appoint all French bishops and abbots. This gave the monarchy huge control over the French Church, and therefore, huge amounts of power. John Calvin was French and nobles turned to Calvinism to protest the monarchy's power. These French Calvinists were called Huguenots and deeply inspired by Calvinistic iconoclasm they started smashing windows in churches; burning paintings; and using religious images as cooking fuel, latrines or toys. Through fiery sermons and print literature Calvinism spread through the masses who eagerly partook in sermons and violent actions which caused Catholic retaliation. Things became worse in 1559 when Henry II died and his son, (who was aged fifteen), Francis only was on throne a year before dying of possibly meningitis, and his brother, Charles, came to power. If only for his mother, Catherine d'Medici, acting as regent, whose iron will beat back opponents, did the royal family survive. Catherine had to face court nobles using the religious conflicts and regency to try exercise their own power. Throughout the 1560s bloody conflict ravaged France where the monarchy tried to adopt conciliatory policies. In 1572 it appeared that Catherine wanted a truce so the Huguenot and Catholic leaders were invited to Paris to see the marriage of the Protestant Henry of Navarre to the king's sister. On St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24, the Protestant guests were assassinated which spread across the Parisian crowds and further encompassing France. It is believed that 2,000 Huguenots were killed in what has been called the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. This Massacre would make Protestant rulers fearful of Catholic plots for generations after. For another fifteen years wars would drag on until Henry III (Charles died young) was assassinated in 1589 by a Catholic fanatic named Jacques Clement. Clement hated Henry for trying to implement a policy of tolerance but by assassinating Henry this allowed Henry of Navarre to become king. 
A painting of the massacre by Louis Dubois
Henry knew that the current wars would ravage France and that applying Protestantism to an overwhelmingly Catholic state would be disastrous. He was pragmatic and subscribed to a position called 'politique.' Catholicism was declared the official religion of France and eventually converted to Catholicism horrifying radicals on both sides. Catholic propaganda doubted his sincerity accusing him of saying 'Paris is worth a mass.' Eventually fighting subsided so much that in 1598 Henry IV passed the Edict of Nantes which confirmed Catholicism as the state's religion, gave Huguenots freedom of worship, and gave them the right to maintain 150 fortified towns.

Dutch Revolt
Also known as the Dutch War of Independence and the Eighty Years' War economics and religion spilled over in the Spanish ruled Dutch provinces. Calvinism had spread rapidly across the Dutch provinces and Philip of Spain's regent, Margaret of Parma (who was his half-sister), began to repress Calvinism. As the cities of Bruges, Ghent, Amsterdam and Antwerp were also extremely wealthy taxes were also raised. These two factors enraged the Dutch who began a wave of iconoclastic riots in 1566. The Duke of Alva was sent to put down the revolts and he executed hundreds in a special court nicknamed the 'Council of Blood.' What was a series of small revolts became a full scale war. The Spanish reclaimed the southern ten provinces and prohibited Calvinism - which would become present day Belgium - while the seven northern provinces in 1579 formed a union later known as the United Provinces of the Netherlands. When the leader of the Dutch, William of Nassau a.k.a William the Silent, was assassinated by a French assassin loyal to Philip in 1584 the United Provinces looked abroad for support. In particular they looked for support from Elizabeth I of England who reluctantly sent money. Dutch independence would not be solidified until 1648 when it became entangled in another religious war.

Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was a destructive war which included most of Europe. Below is a timeline of when states got involved in the war:
It was a very confusing war 
I could write an entire post on the Thirty Years' War so I'll only give an overview here. It was the most destructive war to hit Europe until the First World War costing 8 million lives through war, famine, disease, and persecution. As a matter of perspective around five and a half million people died during the First World War. There are four stages of the war and it is curious as the first two stages are religious in nature whereas the last two are political. These phases are the: Bohemian/German, the Danish, the Swedish, and the French.
Bohemian/German phase. The Peace of Augsburg had left Calvinism unrecognized and it was largely limited to German lands. This left out Bohemia - parts of modern Czechia. In 1609 the Letter of Majesty granted some religious freedom to Protestants in Bohemia. In 1618 Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia Matthias was heirless so he had the fiercely Catholic Ferdinand of Styria elected to the thrones of Bohemia and Hungary. Ferdinand sent two councilors to Prague who were thrown out of a window on May 23 1618 in what has since been called 'the Second Defenestration of Prague.' They survived and Catholic propaganda portrayed them as being guided to safety by angels while Protestant propaganda had them land in manure. When Matthias died in 1619 Protestant rebels became emboldened and invited the Calvinist elector of the Palatinate, Frederick V, to be king. Ferdinand II asked the Spanish for assistance while Frederick called all the Protestant powers for assistance. However, none answered for several reasons - James VI and I of England and Scotland wanting to save money opted out of a costly war for example - but none wanted to act alone. By 1623 the Protestant armies had been defeated - until the Danish intervened.

Danish Phase. Denmark-Norway was a Lutheran state and king Christian IV was also the ruler of a duchy called Holstein in the Empire. Christian's involvement in the war was religiously and politically motivated. Catholic victory made him fearful that Catholics would threaten his Protestant state while the strengthening of the Empire under Ferdinand would threaten his new influence in northern Germany. In 1625 Christian sent his forces to aid the Lutheran state of Lower Saxony. This phase did garner some Protestant support internationally - Charles I was Christian's nephew - and even France. The Bourbon dynasty which took over France continued the old Valois hostility towards the Habsburgs - a powerful Protestant state was more favorable to the Catholic Habsburgs in Germany and Spain. However, despite English/Scottish aid and French money Christian's army was obliterated so he signed the Treaty of Lubcek in 1629. He could retain his lands in return for not intervening in the German states.
Gustavus Adolphus
Swedish Phase. Here politics started to override religion. King Gustavus Aldolphus of Sweden intervened in 1630. Although a Lutheran power Gustavus wanted to secure economic dominance in the Baltics, as well as push back Catholic influence. The Swedish war effort was heavily subsidized by the French which Gustavus used to hire mercenaries and use artillery to reduce pressure on the Swedish military. Gustavus has been called 'the father of modern warfare' for him merging infantry with artillery. The Swedish repeatedly won battles until the Battle of Lutzen in 1632; although the Swedish won Gustavus was killed. In 1635 the Peace of Prague largely took Sweden out of the war with some of its aims - Lutheran states in northern Germany would be secured. Then the final phase was ultimately politics driven.

French Phase. France viewed the Habsburgs as being too powerful so physically entered the war themselves in 1635. Although Sweden continued fighting they largely took a backstage to the French. Sweden would fund France this time around. The Portuguese also rose up against Spanish rule in 1640 which France sent money to support. Throughout the entire conflict the Spanish war against the Dutch was continuing further draining the Spanish coffers - something made far worse by rising inflation caused by the influx of silver and gold from the Americas. Then in 1643 Denmark-Norway intervened again in the war, fighting the Swedish instead. In 1648 all sides were exhausted.
A 17th C. depiction of the mass executions of religious opponents during the War
Treaty of Westphalia. After thirty years of conflict the German lands were ravaged, up to 40% of the German population had been killed. A wave of witch-hunts of swept Europe again, diseases like typhus and cholera had ravaged the population, while raiding armies had destroyed crops leading to mass famines. In 1648 the Treaty of Westphalia brought an end to both the Thirty Years' War but also the Dutch Revolt. Politically the Dutch and Swiss gained their independence, the borders between the combatants were formalized, and the member states of the Holy Roman Empire were granted increased autonomy. Meanwhile, in religious terms cuius regio, eius religio was applied across the Empire with recognition being expanded to Lutherans now. The Thirty Years' War can be seen as the last Medieval war and the first modern war. Civilians were affected like few other wars in Europe, religious toleration was partially implemented, and the idea of the sovereign state started to be implemented. Now we have one last conflict to discuss.

Wars of the Three Kingdoms
This refers to three conflicts: the Irish Rebellion, Scottish Bishops War, and English Civil War. Here religion, autonomy and sovereignty coalesced into a series of conflicts which ravaged the British Isles. For most of his reign Charles I had ignored parliament and ruled in his own right, but he had largely focused solely on England - despite becoming king in 1625 he waited until 1633 to be crowned in Scotland. The Three Kingdoms each also had their own religion - England was largely Anglican, Scotland was largely Calvinist, and Ireland was mostly Catholic (although some areas were largely Calvinist, like Ulster). After 1633 Charles had been implementing Anglican rites in Scotland angering many Scots which came to ahead in 1639. Many Scots resented English intrusion and there was friction as the stricter Presbyterian church saw the Anglican church as being too Catholic influenced. When the Anglican Book of Common Prayer was read out in St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh a riot broke out which escalated into a full conflict called the Bishops' War. Charles wanted to raise an army to fight the Scots so asked parliament who basically refused as they disliked the idea of the king using an army against his own subjects, especially as a third of parliament was similarly religiously inclined as the Presbyterian Scots. Parliament had resented Charles ruling with the Divine Right of Kings - that kings ruled with God's blessing - and the reforms of Archbishop Laud who seemed to Catholicize the Anglican church. Parliament gave Charles a series of grievances and declared that it will now forever be in session. Meanwhile, in Ireland Charles' Lord Deputy Thomas Wentworth promised Catholic Irish rights if they would form an army to help fight the Scots. This angered the ruling Protestant class and the British who feared a Catholic conspiracy. In 1641 Irish Catholics rose up and in 1642 a Civil War erupted in England.
An anti-Irish engraving to demonize Catholics during the Irish Rebellion
From 1639 to 1651 several wars between royalists, English parliamentarians, Scottish covenanters, Irish Protestants, and Irish confederates broke out. These include the two Scottish Bishops' Wars, the three English Civil Wars, the Irish Rebellion, and Oliver Cromwell's genocidal invasion of Ireland. In 1649 Charles I was executed and his sons were sent into exile forming the British republic. Religion was a deep issue in this. Irish Catholics were deeply dehumanized during since 1641, so much so that when Cromwell invaded Ireland a genocide took place. In England Cromwell offered religious tolerance to all non-Catholic Christians and let Jews back into England (after they had been expelled by Elizabeth I) in order to pave the way for the return of Jesus. Doing so would increase the power of parliament and ingrain the idea of parliament's sovereignty in Britain - Charles II when restored would remain fearful of parliament repeating what it did to his father, and his brother, James VII and II, was deposed at the behest of the English parliament by William of Orange (although the Scottish weren't consulted and William had plans to oust James anyway). Again religion was partially behind the 'Glorious Revolution' as James was Catholic - James had been exercising power over parliament to improve the rights of Catholics not long after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes. Although religious tolerance for Catholics was not to be achieved until 1823 (for Jews and atheists it would take much longer) the British parliament would remain one of the most powerful in Europe until the nineteenth century. Marxist historian Christopher Hill and John Morrill, who was partially inspired by Hill's ideas, use the term the English Revolution to highlight the societal shifts behind the Civil War with Hill in particular describing it as a bourgeois revolt - or a revolt allowing a bourgeois revolt.

The Wars of Religion show the wide origins for wars. Wars never have just one singular origin and despite being called Wars of Religion economics, ethics, sovereignty and politics were deeply entrenched in the wars. Following the wars religion started to be less and less of a determining factor in the origins of European wars while economics and politics became more and more important. Meanwhile, the wars helped shape the countries that they ravaged. The destructive wars led to limited religious tolerance for the religions which fought, and the political landscape was drastically changed - Britain, for example, seeing the strengthening of parliament's power which would shape Britain's future. Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan was written in 1651 to oppose the new power of parliament in favor of the Divine Right of Kings. Despite the destruction the wars helped shape Europe.

The next World History post will focus on Russia during this time period and how it slowly became a complex, multi-ethnic empire. For other World History posts please see here. The sources that I have used for this post are as follows: 
-Myron Gutmann, 'The Origins of the Thirty Years' War,' The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 1988, 18:4, 749-770
-Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789, (Cambridge, 2006)
-Geoffrey Parker, The Thirty Years' War, (London, 1984)
-Geoffrey Parker, Europe in Crisis, 1598-1648, (London, 1990)
-Thomas Munck, Seventeenth Century Europe, 1598-1700, (Hampshire, 1990)
-Mark Kishlansky, Monarchy Transformed, Britain 1603-1714, (London, 1996)
-Philip Benedict, Early Modern Europe: From Crisis to Stability, (Newark, 2005)
-Christopher Hill, The English Revolution, 1640, (London, 1940)

Thank you for reading. For future blog updates please see our Facebook or catch me on Twitter @LewisTwiby.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

The Animals of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World

Jurassic Park
Throughout the Jurassic Park franchise we've been introduced to a wide variety of dinosaurs and other extinct life cloned by InGen. Through comic books, video games, and apps the number of animals present in the franchise has steadily grown. Today I thought it would be interesting to make a non-definitive list of the animals present in Jurassic Park and World. However, I am only taking definitive canon animals - so only animals from the books and movies - and, of course, I will likely through accident omit some. If I have forgotten any animals please feel free to tell me in the comments. So this list will feature three parks: the book Jurassic Park, the movie Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World. 

Book Jurassic Park
For animals in the version of Jurassic Park we're going to animals present in the two books written by Michael Crichton - Jurassic Park and The Lost World. If an animal is present on Isla Sorna we can easily assume that they were intended to sometime be transported to Isla Nublar, and then appear in Jurassic Park. From the first book it is easy to find the animals which were intended to be on display just before the Park opened as we get a population table detailing all the animals. This table reads: Tyrannosaurs, Maiasaurs, Stegosaurs, Triceratops, Procompsognathids, Othnielia, Velociraptors, Apatosaurs, Hadrosaurs, Dilophosaurs, Pterosaurs, Hypsilophodontids, Euoplocephalids, and Micrceratops. Through dialogue we find out that the Hypsilophodons are actually Dryosaurus and the Pterosaurs are Cearadactylus. In the lab scene Dr. Wu comments that they are preparing to breed a Coelurus. Finally the characters find a large dragonfly and Alan Grant comments that it is likely a cloned prehistoric dragonfly. There could be various possibilities to which species it is and two are the most likeliest: Meganeura and Meganeuropsis. Both these dragonflies lived millions of years before the dinosaurs evolved and could grow to the size of gulls. As more well-preserved Meganeura fossils have been found we can assume that this means that the dragonfly is Meganeura. Some editions of Jurassic Park change Apatosaurus to Camarasaurus and Microceratops (now called Microceratus) to Callovosaurus, however, most editions keep it to Apatosaurus and Microceratops so our count will only include these names. 
Hadrosaurus, Maiasaurus, and Edmontosaurus looked something like this
The Lost World includes several more species which we can assume would eventually make their way into Jurassic Park if the events of the novel had transpired differently. In some editions of the novel there is a map of Isla Sorna with images of the dinosaurs which make an appearance. These dinosaurs are: Pachycephalosaurus, Parasaurolophus, and Carnotaurus. Some extra dinosaurs make an appearance which aren't mentioned on the map. A body washes onto the coast early in the story which Richard Levine identifies as an Ornitholestes. When he first arrives on Isla Sorna he spots a small herbivorous dinosaur which he identifies as Mussaurus. The final dinosaur is only mentioned but not seen. An InGen document makes reference to Gallimimus (possibly due to the dinosaur's appearance in the first movie).
Now we can make a solid judgement about what animals were to be displayed in the book version of Jurassic Park: Tyrannosaurus, Maiasaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Procompsognathus, Othnielia (which is now called by scientists Othnieliasaurus), Velociraptor, Apatosaurus, Hadrosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Cearadactylus, Dryosaurus, Euoplocephalus, Microceratus, Coelurus, Meganura, Pachycephalosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Carnotaurus, Ornitholestes, Gallimimus, and Mussaurus. 

Film Jurassic Park
Looking at the movies is far trickier than the books as you have background references as well. First let's look at the dinosaurs directly seen in the first movie. We have: Velociraptor, Brachiosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, and Gallimimus. There are many referenced dinosaurs though. You can at times spot a map of Jurassic Park and the map contains a few extra dinosaurs: Segisaurus, Proceratosaurus, Metriacanthosaurus, Herrerasaurus, and Baryonyx. When Nedry steals the embryos we spot another dinosaur: Stegosaurus. A little side note; Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus are both misspelled in this scene but strangely Metriacanthosaurus is not. I am one of many fans who do not consider Telltale's Jurassic Park: The Game canon so we won't be involving those extinct animals. 
The Park Map
As is the case with the books we can assume that animals present on Isla Sorna would eventually be on display in Jurassic Park. The ones which we do know the identity are in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (but did not appear in the first movie): Mamenchisaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Pteranodon, and Edmontosaurus (albeit as a skull in the Rex nest). The small green carnivore is either a Procomsognathus or Compsognathus. Fans are divided over which it is: the character who identifies it as Procomsognathus is unreliable, but the novel uses Procomsognathus instead of Compsognathus. For the purpose of this post we'll go for what the Jurassic Park Wiki says, and they go for Compsognathus. Through Tembo's guide and the trailer screen a pterosaur called Geosternbergia is seen. Finally, in a deleted scene Ankylosaurus is mentioned but they later appear in Jurassic Park 3 anyway.

Jurassic Park 3 features a few extra dinosaurs not previously seen in the two prior movies. As mentioned earlier Ankylosaurus is one of these dinosaurs. Corythosaurus also appears and originally it was meant to appear in The Lost World as well. We also have a Ceratosaurus appearing in the movie. Now we come to the Spinosaurus. If you got to one of the two promotional websites for Jurassic Worldthe Masrani Global one, and type in 'Indominus' at the terminal button you get access to a whole bunch of Easter eggs. One of which leads you to this screen saying this:
DATE: 02/20/2003 1410 CST
---END LOG---
This confirms two fan theories. The first is why the dinosaurs don't have feathers; splicing dinosaur DNA with that of amphibians led to the allele which produces feathers to not work. The second confirms why the Spinosaurus in JP3 was so different to the real life version. Wu specifically uses the wording 'my research into gene splicing will unearth this problem, it certainly proved its limitless capabilities with that accident we left on Sorna.' A fan theory was that the Spinosaurus was a hybrid similar to that of the later Indominus Rex. As a result the Spinosaurus seems to be a mistake and not intended for Jurassic Park. Dialogue in JP3 mentions that Spinosaurus 'wasn't on InGen's list' indicating that Spinosaurus did not seem to be intended at all for Jurassic Park prior to the events of the first movie.

For the extinct animals in the film Jurassic Park we can guess that they are: Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Dilophosaurus, Pteranodon, Geosternbergia, Edmontosaurus, Gallimimus, Segisaurus, Proceratosaurus, Metriacanthosaurus, Herrerasaurus, Baryonyx, Stegosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Corythosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Mamenchisaurus, and Compsognathus.

Jurassic World
Luckily for us finding most of the extinct animals in Jurassic World is a somewhat easy task. The promotional website, here, tracks quite a few of them. They are: Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Edmontosaurus, Apatosaurus, Baryonyx, Pteranodon, Dimorphodon, Metriacanthosaurus, Suchomimus, Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus, Microceratus, Gallimimus and Mosasaurus. A Dilophosaurus appears as a Hologram and Claire mentions Archaeornithomimus. As Archaeornithomimus is such an obscure dinosaur in the context she says it in I am certain this must be one of the dinosaurs in Jurassic World. In that same scene a call from a Brachiosaurus can be heard, and Brachiosaurus was meant to appear but it was cut very last minute. In the trailer for Fallen Kingdom Brachiosaurus does appear so we have physical confirmation that Jurassic World had Brachiosaurus. An eagle eyed fan pointed out another Easter egg to the rest of the community which brought to the attention of everyone several other dinosaurs in Jurassic World. It was this promotional image:
the Holoscreen
This is the screen which creates holograms of Jurassic World's creatures so it would make sense to only have the animals present in the park on the screen. You can see: Allosaurus, Spinosaurus, Deinonychus, Elaphrosaurus, Hoplitosaurus, Lesothosaurus, Nipponosaurus, and Plesiosaurus. Jurassic World also has a somewhat accurate Spinosaurus skeleton as decoration which can further suggest that the JP3 Spinosaurus was a mistake; although I would like to think that the Sorna Spino inspired Masrani to have an actual Spino in Jurassic World. Finally we have the Indominus; although we later find out why it is bred there seemed genuine plans in the movie to put it on display.

Finally we have the Fallen Kingdom trailers. The behind the scenes trailer had a Stygimoloch skull but there is an issue with this. Recently quite a bit of the palaeontological community views Stygimoloch as a young Pachycephalosaurus. We don't know at the moment if they are treating it as a separate species or a juvenile.

I've attached the new trailer so we can run through it together to tick off dinosaurs not already mentioned. At 0.42 we have a Procompsognathus/Compsognathus but I would guess it's the same species as the one from the previous movies making it Compsognathus in our list. 1.28 we have the Carnotaurus which fans have long been eagerly awaiting to appear. 1.51 we have a theropod which many people have been debating on what it is. Based on the head shape, and the fact that it was mentioned as being a hologram, I would guess this is Allosaurus. At 2.07 we have a ceratopsid in the water and based on the skull I would guess this is Styracosaurus. 

As Fallen Kingdom is not out yet I would advise to take this list with a pinch of salt. So these animals are: Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Edmontosaurus, Apatosaurus, Baryonyx, Pteranodon, Dimorphodon, Metriacanthosaurus, Suchomimus, Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus, Microceratus, Gallimimus, Mosasaurus, Dilophosaurus, Archaornithomimus, Brachiosaurus, Indominus, Allosaurus, Spinosaurus, Deinonychus, Elaphrosaurus, Hoplitosaurus, Lesothosaurus, Nipponosaurus, Plesiosaurus, Compsognathus, Carnotaurus, Stygimoloch, and Styracosaurus.

Thank you for reading and I hope you found this list informative. The Jurassic Park series has so many animals I have bound to have missed one or two so if you spotted any not mentioned please leave a comment. For future updates please see our Facebook or get me on Twitter @LewisTwiby. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you again.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

2017 and History

Another year has passed, 2017 has come to a close, and we wait to see what 2018 holds. 2017, however, has seen the anniversaries of several important historical events, and many other events which can be explained through history. For 2017's final blog post I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at historical anniversaries and some of 2017's headlines to see how they fit in world history. Due to the amount of things which have happened over the last year I cannot talk about everything and I'll only talk of events which I feel that I can (somewhat) accurately explain. As my specialty are the nineteenth and twentieth centuries most of what I'll discuss will be from these two centuries.

The Reformation 500 Years On
Luther and the Reformation
The first event which we're going to look at is the Reformation. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther supposedly nailed his criticisms of the practices of the Catholic Church - his 95 theses - on the door of the Wittenberg Church - although it is far likelier that he sent them to prominent bishops and theologians. This started the split between the Western Christian church between Catholics and Protestants. A detailed look at the Reformation can be found in one of my recent blog posts here. Luther was not the only critic of the Church to emerge. In Switzerland Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin emerged, in England Henry VIII formed his own movement when the pope refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and across Europe people sided with either the pope or the reformers. Despite how long ago the Reformation was it still greatly shapes the world we live in. For example, several historians have argued that the Wars of Religion helped lay the groundwork for secularization. The many wars, (such as the Thirty Years War, 1618-48, and the French Wars of Religion, 1562-98), forced a compromise between the warring factions. Limited religious tolerance was offered in the peace treaties which ended the wars; although of course it was only tolerance for the religious sects which fought one another, some of the worst persecution of Jews until the Second World War in Western and Central Europe occurred during the Wars of Religion. In Britain the wars resulted in the strengthening of the parliament, first with Cromwell's rule and later with the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688/9. In many areas of Europe, and the world, the Catholic/Protestant divide is still very prevalent and shapes thought. For example, Northern Irish politics is extremely divided on sectarian lines with the DUP - who are currently in coalition with the Conservative party - running on a very strict Protestant platform. 

India's Two Anniversaries
India witnessed two traumatic anniversaries this year which greatly influenced the forming of today's India. The first was the 1857 Indian Rebellion - although you may also see it referred to as the First War of Indian Independence, Indian Mutiny, the Indian Uprising, or Great Rebellion. For years resentment towards British, and the East India Company which was ruling India. 1857 the resentment spilled over. The East India Company (and Britain) had been using Indians in the army and had introduced a new rifle, the Enfield, which required the user to bite a greased cartridge. A rumor abounded that beef and pork fat were being used which led to many Indian soldiers to refuse to use the rifle. As a result on May 9 the commanding officer of the Third Bengal Light Cavalry in Meerut sentenced 85 troopers to ten years' hard labor and publicly humiliated them. This caused a widespread rebellion from Indian soldiers in Northern India which spread to the Indian masses. Some soldiers around Delhi declared the aged Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah, emperor of all of India. Indian soldiers massacred British citizens when they took towns, cities, and barricades which enraged British troops who committed bloody atrocities against Indians in revenge. By November 1, 1858 the rebellion had been put down costing the lives of up to 806,000 through massacres, battles, disease and famine. Despite early victories the rebellion was defeated for several reasons. The East India Company had three armies - the Bombay, Madras and Bengal - and only the Bengal army mutinied. In fact, some parts of the Bombay and Madras armies were used to fight the rebels. As the Bengal army had helped conquer a Sikh princely state Sikhs were widely used to put down the rebellion in the Punjab. The 1857 Rebellion was only confined to northern India, but if it had happened across India there was a strong possibility that British rule could have ended in India. The rebels were also very divided. When soldiers declared that Bahadur Shah's power had been restored this deterred Hindus, Christians and Sikhs from supporting the rebellion, (the Mughals were a Muslim power). With a divided rebellion it prevented it from being a success. Following the Uprising Indian-British relations were changed. The brutal crushing of the rebellion greatly soured relations and it remained prevalent in imperial (and indigenous) records for the following century. The East India Company was dissolved, Victoria made Empress, the three armies were merged into one, and Indians were declared subjects. Declaring Indians subjects also raised questions for many Indians. Many asked, if we are subjects why do we lack the same rights as the British? Indian nationalism would grow exponentially after 1857.
Refugees after Partition
This brings us to the second anniversary: the Partition of India. Britain continued with the East India Company's policy of divide-and-rule which set different ethnicities, religions and castes against one another instead of creating a united force against the British. More can be found about on my post on Partition here so I shall try and give a brief summary. Thanks to divide-and-rule policies different religions formed their own nationalist, or reform, movements. Two which emerged were the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. Mohandas Gandhi became involved with Congress and turned it into a mass movement attracting millions of supporters. Slowly the movements managed to obtain limited constitutional reforms from the British. However, due to Hindu domination of Congress (something accidentally caused by Gandhi) many Muslims feared Hindu domination in a post-independence India, including Muhammad Ali Jinnah of the Muslim League. In 1933 nationalist Choudhry Rahmat Ali coined the name Pakistan and Muslim activists championed this idea. Until recently it had been believed that Jinnah drove a wedge between Muslims and Hindus leading to Partition, but recent historiography, such as by Ayesha Jalal, has argued that it was a desperate attempt to get compensation out of Congress. Following the Second World War British rule in India collapsed so Britain opted to haphazardly divide India using out of date maps and censuses in August 1947. This left millions of people trapped on the wrong side of the border. A refugee crises emerged as massacres and rapes took place in an attempt to ensure areas were part of India or Pakistan. Around 2% of India's population remained refugees in 1951. This division has drastically shaped the Indian subcontinent since 1947.

On December 6 Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something which has been vetoed by the UN, causing another wave of protests across Palestine and the world. This came a month after the centenary of the Balfour Declaration which was signed by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour. This can largely be seen as the event which set the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into motion. During the late-nineteenth century nationalism was widespread across Europe and the Middle East. Discrimination of Jews was prevalent across Europe so Jewish intellectuals, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, thought of an idea called Zionism. If Jews were to stop being persecution they needed their own homeland, and that they had a homeland before but had been expelled by the Romans. They wanted to reform Israel (as a republic not a kingdom) in Palestine. They also assumed that the Arabs would accept them being a fellow Semitic people, and that they would want 'civilizing' by Europeans (Social Darwinism was very prevalent in the 1800s). Especially thanks to the intense antisemitism of the Dreyfus Affair - where a blatantly innocent French Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of being a German spy - support for Zionism grew. At this early stage the proposed Israel was meant to be a state for Jews - the Balfour Declaration even uses the phrase 'national homeland for the Jews' - not a Jewish state. In 1917 Arthur Balfour declared that Britain would help form a Zionist state despite opposition from Palestinians, non-Zionist Jews, and the fact that Britain had already promised Palestine to Hussein bin Ali to be part of the pan-Arab state. Palestine was declared a British mandate and Britain implemented divide-and-rule policies in the region. Eventually, in 1948 two states were meant to be formed: Israel and Palestine. In the first Arab-Israeli War - sometimes called the Israeli War of Independence or the Nakba - saw Palestine divided between its neighbors. Following the 1967 Six Day War Israel annexed the West Bank and Jerusalem. For political reasons it was largely agreed to recognize Tel Aviv as Israel's capital and Ramallah as Palestine's, or West Jerusalem as Israel's and East Jerusalem as Palestine's, to respect both Israel and Palestine. By recognizing Jerusalem as being Israel's capital this ignores Palestine's claims.

You may be hearing on the news about talks of a Third Intifada. There were two intifadas - the first 1987 to 1991 and the second 2000-5 - which were periods of intense Palestinian uprisings against Israel. Some have argued that Trump's relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem and the IDF's brutal crackdown on Palestinian protesters may cause a Third Intifada.

Climate Change
This summer saw some of the most intense climate events in recent years which included Hurricane Harvey; Irma; floods in Niger, India, and Nepal; intense wildfires in California; and cold winters across the northern hemisphere. These intense bouts of intense weather have been attributed to climate change caused by global warming. Not too long ago I wrote about the Little Ice Age which brought intense climate change caused by a drop in global temperatures. Among these were hailstorms which wiped out crops, frozen lakes in June, and even the Thames freezing over. Understanding the Little Ice Age helps us understand how we can face climate change. Geoffrey Parker in particular has written about how adverse weather and climate affected societies worldwide in the 'Crisis of the Seventeenth Century.' In China the Ming were bloodily overthrown; religious wars ravaged Europe; succession wars hit the Mughals, Ottomans and the Kongo; and famines, floods, and droughts plagued all the world. Although bad weather did not cause these conflicts it made these conflicts worse. As humans continue contributing to climate change by looking at the Little Ice Age we can understand how to cope with global warming.

Centenary of Russian Revolutions
Lenin and the Masses
In 1917 Russia saw two revolutions: the February and the October. These two revolutions shook both Russia and the world. For over a century Russia had been trying to slowly reform itself. In 1905 a revolution caused by frustration over defeat in the Russo-Japanese War caused the creation of a parliament, the Duma, although it was extremely weak and gave the tsar large amounts of power. The First World War brought issues to a head. On International Women's Day Social Revolutionaries handed pamphlets to women in Petrograd (St Petersburg) waiting in line for bread. This escalated into a protest and strike, and eventually into a revolution which caused the overthrowing of the tsar. The new Russian republic began many widespread reforms - including emancipating Jews and women - but it soon became unpopular. Many in Russia, especially the peasantry, wanted a clean break with tsarist Russia, different nationalities wanted increased autonomy, and many wanted an end to the war. Then the Bolsheviks rose to prominence. Under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin the Bolsheviks were originally a faction of the Social Revolutionaries deeply inspired by Marxist theory. The Bolsheviks and Lenin promising peace, bread, land and autonomy struck a chord with soldiers, urban workers, peasants and some minorities. Following the crushing of the Bolsheviks during the July Offensive and the arrest of certain leaders, including Leon Trotsky, sympathy for the Bolsheviks rose. Eventually by November (October in Russia which was still using the Julian calendar), the Bolsheviks under Lenin rose up and seized the Winter Palace in Petrograd. Lenin, walking into the Duma, declared 'We shall now proceed to construct the socialist order.' Thus the most influential revolution of the twentieth century took place inspiring millions around the world to do the same from Mexico to China. Many people today are influenced by Marxist theory - including myself, although I am more influenced by Rosa Luxemburg and Antonio Gramsci than Lenin and Trotsky - and the October Revolution helped contribute to this. Although clearly bias I would highly recommend Trotsky's own account, called The History of the Russian Revolution, which is a gripping read detailing the events of both revolutions.

In November long-term president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, was forced to resign after being in power since 1980. Earlier I wrote about Mugabe if you are interested so I'll do a brief summary here. The prime reason why Mugabe was forced to resign by the military was his replacement of Emmerson Mnangwa with his wife, Grace Mugabe. However, Mugabe remains popular in Zimbabwe, and the opposition leaders and military have stated that because of his legacy they chose to go through legal procedures to oust him. Mugabe was one of the key figures in the War of Independence against the minority, white-rule government with his party, ZANU-PF, being incredibly popular with many Zimbabweans. The first few years of Mugabe's premiership were very well received and if he had resigned in the mid-1980s he may even have been popular in the West; after all he was even knighted by the Queen. It is quite telling with the North Atlantic viewpoint that Mugabe was only criticized for his treatment of white farmers in Europe and the USA, and not his period of ethnic violence called the Gukurahundi. One thing to note about the recent resignation is something which has been prevalent in Zimbabwean politics since 1980: the treatment of veterans. Many critics of Mugabe have noted his abandonment of veterans of the independence war leaving many with no job prospects. Mnangwa is also a veteran so his replacement by Grace Mugabe was seen as an even greater affront.

Japan and Korea
Throughout 2017 North Korea has been in the news for testing nuclear missiles. Although this has partially been thanks to Trump's bellicose rhetoric, including this tweet which I thought was satire by The Onion when he was in Vietnam. You may have noticed that Pyongyang has been firing missiles over Hokkaido. We all know by now why Korea is divided so I thought it would be more interesting to look at why there is hostility between North Korea and Japan. When Japan started to get involved in international politics after 1868 they felt threatened by European and American imperialism so began a course of imperialism themselves. They soon turned on the small Kingdom of Korea to the north; first they muscled China out of the way and began influencing Korean politics to prevent Russian interference. Japanese thinkers believed that Asia had to unite, but only the Japanese were capable of uniting Asians. In 1910 they annexed Korea and began a process of 'Japanizing' Koreans. From 1910 to 1945 Japanese politicians started implementing policies to 'Japanify' Korea including banning Korean in Japan; banning Korean dress; attempting to replace Korean names with Japanese ones; and having Japanese landowners buy land in Korea. I would highly recommend watching the Korean romantic thriller The Handmaiden to see this in effect. During the Second World War Koreans were forcibly conscripted into the Japanese army, forced to work in factories producing arms, and Korean women were forced to be 'comfort women' for Japanese soldiers. Korea was split after 1945 between the communist DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) under Kim Il Sung, and the capitalist ROK (Republic of Korea) under Syngman Rhee. The legacies of Japanese rule, and a lack of apology for said rule, has meant that animosity continues to pervade not only DPRK-Japanese relations but also ROK-Japanese ones. 
Shinzo Abe
This year Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election, and unlike the UK's snap election which caused Theresa May to lose her majority, Abe's Liberal Democratic party swept the board. The DPRK helped with this victory. After Japan's defeat in the Second World War the Allied powers wanted to make sure that Japan could not threaten them again. On May 3, 1947 (another anniversary) Japan had a new constitution implemented where Article 9 dissolved the Japanese military and forbade Japan from declaring war. Instead Japan would have a Self-Defense Force in case a country declared war on it. This was largely accepted by everyone in Japan: the left as it made pacifism in the constitution itself while the right liked it as it let them focus on getting foreign investment to fuel capitalist growth. Abe ran on a platform of reversing Article 9 where in the light of North Korean missile tests made Japanese voters sympathetic to. Whether it will be passed we'll find out in 2018.

Something in the USA
Much has happened in the USA this year. We could compare Trump's travel bans to the Chinese Exclusion Act and anti-immigration acts; how the Confederate statues link to the South's dark past where millions were enslaved; or how Trump's banning of transgendered soldiers and talks at prominent homophobic events links to the LGBTQ+ community's struggle for rights. We could also compare the Democrats emphasis on Russian interference in the election and anti-Russian hysteria to that of Cold War hysteria (I've seen a few people suggest that Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein being Russian stooges), or how the USA has also interfered in elections (including the 1996 Russian election). However, I want to focus on this one giant mess which Trump caused.
Again, I thought this initially was a joke
In November at an event honoring the Navajo Code Breakers Trump made a Pocahontas joke about Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren in front of a painting of Andrew Jackson. I must admit part of me died hearing that, and there's lots to unpack here. First off Pocahontas. Pocahontas has been deeply involved with America's cultural heritage, but she has become a figure of myth. Pocahontas was the daughter of Wahunsenacawh (called Powhatan by Europeans), the paramount chief of Tsenacommacah. English settlers had arrived in Virginia and by 1607 conflicts over land had caused tension between the settlers and Powhatan. In American lore Pocahontas stopped her father from executing explorer John Smith by jumping over his body before the killing blow. Historians believe this to be fabricated, especially as in his diaries this happens several times. Pocahontas was captured by the settlers in 1613 where she converted to Christianity, we are not entirely sure though if she was forced to or not. In order to create peace Pocahontas, at the age of 17, was married off to tobacco planter John Rolfe in 1614. Rolfe seemed to genuinely love Pocahontas (who went by the name Rebecca) and her accounts seem to suggest that she respected but did not love him. Pocahontas was eventually taken to Britain where she was paraded around as a 'civilized savage' (a precursor to what would happen during later European empires in the nineteenth century). She would never again see Virginia; aged either 20 or 21 she would pass away to be buried at Gravesend.

We have to go to the nineteenth century to understand why it is vastly inappropriate to have a painting of Andrew Jackson when honoring the Navajo Code Breakers. Jackson was president from 1829 to 1837 and was very much like Trump: brash and racist. Other than supporting slavery Jackson loathed Native Americans; while fighting the British during the War of 1812 forced the Creek to give up 23 million acres of land to the United States. In 1816 he would also lead a campaign against the Seminole. Years later he brought his racial hatred with him to the White House. Throughout his presidency he had around 70 treaties made which forced Native Americans off of their land. Perhaps the most famous was the 1830 Indian Removal Land which allowed the president the ability to create treaties with the Five Civilized Tribes in the Southern US. This began the Trial of Tears where thousands of Native Americans were forced from their land to go to Oklahoma, mostly on foot. It is difficult to estimate but almost 20,000 died through famine, disease or exhaustion during the Trial of Tears. Just over 16,500 Cherokee were evicted from their land where between 2,000 and 6,000 died along the way. 

Star Wars
Star Wars fans in 1977
To finish this post I thought it would be best to talk about something on a lighter note. Recently The Last Jedi was released, the same year as the fortieth anniversary of Star Wars. This franchise perhaps the most influential film franchise of all time. Using groundbreaking effects mixing Westerns with samurai movies George Lucas brought us an epic which revolutionized sci-fi and the movie industry. Other than movies Star Wars has spawned toys, comics, TV shows, video games, and even a Christmas special. Star Wars is just as popular in 2017 as it was in 1977.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post. For future blog posts please check out our Facebook or catch me on Twitter @LewisTwiby. If you want to discuss any other of 2017's events please feel free to leave a comment. Have a Happy New Year!

Friday, 22 December 2017

How I would bring the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool into the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel back together?
One of the big topics to be on the minds of every comic book fan recently is Disney purchasing a lot of Fox's movie and TV rights. Currently, we do not have a clear image how much Disney has bought but we do know that the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool have all been at least partially acquired by Disney. CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, has released a statement declaring that the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool will be worked into the MCU. Iger has also stated that R-rated Marvel films are not out of the question. Many comic book fans have been debating how they would bring these characters in, and I would highly recommend watching this YouTube video by Rob from ComicsExplained and Benny from Comicstorian on how they would do it. Rob on his own channel has also done several videos on how he would do the MCU X-Men/Fantastic Four. Today I thought I would do personally bring these characters into the MCU.

Fantastic Four
Also Fantastic Four not Fan4stic
The Fantastic Four must be treated with respect. Although I am not a big fan of the Fantastic Four comics they are incredibly influential and important in making Marvel what it is today. Marvel started out as Timely Comics and evolved into Atlas Comics during the 1950s, (which you can read about here), when the superhero trend started to dip after the Second World War. When DC made it big with the Justice League this brought superheroes back. Atlas was re-branded as Marvel and they made their own superhero team with the Fantastic Four. Unlike the Justice League, the Fantastic Four were a family and had family squabbles, and readers loved this. They had interstellar battles while going through family drama grounding the characters in reality. Up until the end of the 1970s the Fantastic Four was Marvel's biggest sellers, and when they wanted another team/character to explode in popularity they would team up with the Fantastic Four for an issue or two. Galactus, Silver Surfer, Black Panther and Dr Doom all made their debut in the pages of Fantastic Four. The MCU can do the Fantastic Four right compared to the previous three abysmal movies done by Fox.

I have not watched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D but to my knowledge they have teased S.W.O.R.D. In the comics SWORD (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) is a branch of S.H.I.E.L.D designed to deal with intelligent alien life. We can imagine that following the events of The Avengers, Guardians Vol. 2 and Thor: The Dark World S.H.I.E.L.D decided that it needed its own division to combat alien threats if the Avengers were unavailable. I would have the Fantastic Four be part of S.W.O.R.D. A big issue then comes up: Reed Richards, (Mr Fantastic). In the comics Richards is the world's smartest person, possibly second only to Dr Doom or his daughter. Audiences would be wondering if he's so smart why hasn't Tony Stark or Bruce Banner mentioned him yet? The easy answer could simply be that we don't bring up Stephen Hawking in everyday conversation, but that is an easy way out. Richards could be a part-time lecturer at somewhere like MIT who has been secretly working for S.H.I.E.L.D, alongside Susan Storm, but the information was classified. They could have designed the Helicarriers etc. but Nick Fury has had their involvement classified so S.H.I.E.L.D's secrets could not get out. Then we get to Infinity War. When Thanos is invading we can have a simple comment from someone like Black Widow saying that S.W.O.R.D's best two scientists have gone up with two expert pilots to fortify the ISS or S.W.O.R.D's orbital base. Another comment would be made that solar rays released by Thanos' usage of the Infinity Stones has caused them to go silent. At the end of the movie, or in a post-credit scene, the ship arrives back on Earth and it turns out those who went up have powers thanks to the space rays. Thus we have the Fantastic Four in the MCU.

For the first Fantastic Four movie do not have Doctor Doom as the primary antagonist. Mention Doom but do not feature him. Tim Burton's Batman and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man could have the Joker and Green Goblin as the key antagonists because of how varied Batman's and Spider-Man's Rogues Galleries are. The Fantastic Four's Earth-based enemies are largely limited to Doom. However, most of Marvel's celestial universe originated with the Fantastic Four. Disney had to do a deal with Fox in order to get Ego in Guardians Vol. 2. The first Fantastic Four movie would work well if they went to space and we can link it back to S.W.O.R.D. Like how Iron Man was in The Amazing Spider-Man we can have Black Panther serve a similar role. There is so much to work with; we can introduce the Skrulls, the Shi'ar, the Titans. Maybe Annihilus could be the primary antagonist so we can bring in the Negative Zone and expand on the Multiverse as set out in Doctor Strange. After this first film we can have the Fantastic Four cameo, or star in, other MCU movies until they get sequels. 

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom is one of my favorite Marvel villains and has yet to be done justice. We hit a problem though. Latveria is the joint most advanced country in Marvel's version of Earth - tying with Wakanda - and Dr Doom's quest for dominance knows no bounds. Wakanda so far in the movies has been quite effectively explained - it is an isolated advanced country hiding behind a facade of a poor, rural country. There is a simple way to explain why Doom and Latveria has yet to appear: Latveria until Infinity War was a regular Balkan country. I would have Doom take control of Latveria during the events of Infinity War. Someone could even make a passing comment. I can imagine Black Panther looking at a screen commenting where Thanos is invading and he makes a comment like 'The Latverian government has fallen to someone with advanced technology but I do not believe that this is related to Thanos' army.' That is Doom's introduction to the MCU. Then when we have our first Fantastic Four movie we have a Doom movie. In the Fantastic Four movie we have Mr Fantastic commenting to Black Panther in a brief conversation that he knows Doom, and that his heart is in the right place despite a massive ego. In the Marvel movies until we have the Fantastic Four v. Doom we show that despite an intense egomania Doom has toppled an apartheid state, brought equality, improved the rights of women, increased the standard of living for all Latverians, and has ended crime with his Doombots. Meanwhile, the Doom movie is basically an origin story for Doom. It sets up Latveria as a state virulently oppressing the Roma population, it establishes that Doom's mother is a witch who teaches him magic, and that he had been using technology mixed with magic to help his family. Maybe we can even bring in Mephisto who was influential in Doom's origins. Doom goes to the USA where he meets Richards and then Nepal where he trains with the Ancient One. We can even have a Doctor Strange cameo where Doom leaves, bumps into Strange, and then goes on his way. He returns to Latveria building up a resistance movement and then during the events of Infinity War he takes power. The movie closes with the first Doombot executing the other leaders of the resistance who oppose Doom's increased authoritarianism. Then in future movies he becomes a full blown antagonist.

The X-Men has a huge roster which could appear in the MCU
The X-Men is far trickier than the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom. Do we keep the old X-Men cast or do we get a new one? I cannot imagine Wolverine, Magneto and Professor X as anyone other than Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, but it would be confusing if we kept them and not everyone else. However, due to their age I doubt they all would be able to continue playing characters for several more movies for about ten more years. For Fox's Marvel TV series keep them in continuity when possible (I have yet to see them) but recast the main movies. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D introduced the Inhumans as the MCU's version of the mutants; we can keep that but use 'mutant' as a slur. Rob at ComicsExplained did an excellent video about how he would bring in the X-Men (please see here) but my idea is a mix between his and a user on Reddit u/TheUglyBuck back when the trailer for Infinity War was released. To summarize Rob's idea mutants and the X-Men have always been in existence but Professor X used Cerebro to wipe them from history, but after Infinity War everyone remembers. u/TheUglyBuck mentioned a reverse of 'No More Mutants.' In the comics Scarlet Witch and Vision couldn't have kids so using her reality warping powers she created twins. When they were wiped out of existence by Mephisto (whose soul she used to create them) she lost her mind, and Magneto manipulated her into making mutants the majority and humans the minority. Called The House of M it resulted in Scarlet Witch saying 'No More Mutants' and depowering over 90% of Earth's mutants. 

My plan sort of mixes the two. Throughout humanity mutants have existed but in very small numbers; maybe one hundred existing at once max at any point in time. Apocalypse, Wolverine, Sabretooth, Mystique, Professor X, Magneto, Storm and Jean Grey are just some mutants who had powers at birth. Over the last few years more and more have been appearing which are shown in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, Earth's mutant population still remains tinny, maybe 150 in total. Then Infinity War happens, Vision is killed, and Scarlet Witch loses control and suddenly turns hundreds of thousands of people into mutants. Suddenly fear of superpowered beings turn from a rather niche fear to a full blown, worldwide panic. The word 'inhuman' is replaced by 'mutant.' Then we have our first five MCU X-Men movies: a Professor X movie, a Magneto movie, a Wolverine movie, a Storm movie, and the X-Men movie. The Professor X movie is like how Rob explains in his video which is slower paced, more character driven, and goes into the history of mutants in the MCU. The Storm movie is similar where she encounters Black Panther as a child setting up their future relationship. The Magneto movie acts like Spike Lee's adaptation of Malcolm X's autobiography where he sees the persecution of mutants as the same as the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust, and becomes involved in radical mutant activism. The Wolverine movie is basically X-Men Origins: Wolverine done right. Finally the X-Men movie adapts the first issue of the comics where Professor X brings together Jean Grey, Cyclops, Iceman, Beast and Angel to prevent Magneto from using stolen nuclear weapons to wipe out cities. Then we get a second Wolverine movie (featuring his time in Japan and possibly introducing Daken), a Jean Grey movie, a Mystique movie, a Gambit movie and then the second X-Men movie. This second movie blends Giant Size X-Men #1 and God Loves, Man Kills where the first X-Men are kidnapped so Professor X recruits Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Polaris, Nightcrawler, Sunspot and Havok to rescue them. Meanwhile, they face the repercussions of the last movie with hate preacher William Stryker denouncing mutants, and we later find out that it is connected.

Do not do Avengers vs. X-Men immediately. We all know how the DCEU fared when it jumped straight to Batman v. Superman. One thing I want to mention is bringing the MCU together. A criticism of the MCU movies is why don't other characters appear in other movies? Where was Thor, Hulk and Iron Man in Captain America: Winter Soldier? Why didn't Iron Man get hold of Captain America in Iron Man 3? Earlier I mentioned Fantastic Four was Marvel's biggest seller until the 1970s, the reason why this stopped being the case was because of the X-Men. Everyone would be wondering why the Avengers aren't mentioned in the X-Men movies. A simple comment/cameo could fix all this. Like in the first X-Men Iron Man could offer his assistance but Professor X rejects this saying that mutants have to stop Magneto. It can even be smaller references like Magneto seeing a Captain America movie in his own movie. Of course the Wolverine movie specifically has to mention Captain America seen as the Weapon X program, which gave Wolverine adamantium covered bones, was an attempt to replicate the Super Solider serum. We can build the relationship up so the X-Men appear in an Avengers movie, the Avengers fully appear in a X-Men movie, and finally we get Avengers vs. X-Men.

Ryan Reynolds tweeted this saying 'Apparently you can't blow the Matterhorn.'
Deadpool is simple. Keep Ryan Reynolds and just have him acknowledge that he's in a new continuity. Deadpool should appear in the Avengers and X-Men movies where he wants to do his usual stuff but 'the Mouse won't allow it.' The entire movie he tries to say the f-word but can't, and PG-13 movies are allowed one f-bomb so he tries to save it for the end, but then Wolverine uses it. Deadpool could also make jokes that Chris Evans once played the Human Torch and says 'Aren't you supposed to be on fire or something?' We could even have a Spider-man/Deadpool movie. The comics are hilarious, it worked in the cartoons, and would work perfectly with Ryan Reynolds and Tom Holland together. The Deadpool solo movies would remain just as they are and the first one should open with a joke about Disney. For example, Deadpool could be thrown out of Disneyland for destroying the animatronics on the It's a Small World Ride, and when he gets kicked out he could yell 'Does that mean that I can't be in Kingdom Hearts 3 then?' Deadpool in the MCU would be great, and we could get an adaptation of Deadpool Vol. 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Final Thoughts
The Family back Together?
Although I am very much against Disney slowly monopolizing the US entertainment industry, seen as it is a company which has rewritten copyright law to stop Mickey Mouse appearing in the public domain, I am excited for Marvel to have its characters back. Soon hopefully Namor and the rest of the Spider-Man roster can be back in Marvel's hands. Did you like my plans to bring the Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and X-Men into the MCU? How would you bring them in?

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