Saturday, February 14, 2004

Bad Bicentennials

I have impression that July 4th 1976 was the bleakest Independence Day in American history. Oil crisis, Vietnam, Watergate, poor economy, general disillusionment and Cold War that seemed to go Soviet way – all that gave impression of USA not having much of a future.

That future proved to be much brighter than expected, but historians would have few reasons to believe that bleakness of American Bicentennial was nothing more than accidental set of circumstances.

Some more recent examples show that 200 years is the most traumatic and dangerous period age for independent nation.

Haiti is just celebrating 200th anniversary of independence by emerging civil war which is not likely to be ended either by outside force or Haitians themselves.

Serbia is also celebrating 200th anniversary of independence. That requires a lot of creative interpretations of 19th Century history – it took 74 years between February1804 uprising against few local Ottoman warlords and Serbia being recognised as independent state – but Croatia's eastern neighbour also fits the pattern. Serbia is in the middle of political crisis that could sink that country even deeper than Milošević (Milosevic) did. In the same its democratic forces and government (or what goes for government) make Weimar Germany look stable and competent in comparison.

I can only imagine what horrors await Latin America and Belgium in few decades. What could become of Croatia in 2191 I dare not to contemplate.


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