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At what point did people start calling it "The General
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Rich Stokes
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Joined: 22 Jul 2009
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Location: Southampton, England

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: At what point did people start calling it "The General Reply with quote

Something came up in a recent RPG game session: at what point did people start calling the General War by that name? I'm assuming it wasn't entirely obvious quite how big it was going to get right from the start.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, initially, prior to the Klingon invasion of the Federation, it was just called the Second Four Powers War. (It was, in effect, just a resumption of that war.) Once the Federation was invaded, the nature of the war changed. So, I would assume that is the demarcation of the name change.

I suppose the name change could have waited until the Romulan and Gorn involvement, but I figure, from the Federation's perspective, once they were involved, it became the "General War". At the least, the Federation's involvement stopped it from being the Second Four Powers War. Since we don't know of intermediary name between those two name, that point is as good as any to identify as the time the name of the war changed.

Or, ...

On second thought, maybe there was an unspoken name change. Perhaps when the Federation entered the war (unwillingly) it was temporarily known as the Five Powers War, but that was lost because the Romulans (and Gorns) joined so soon afterwards. At that point, it became the General War, and the intermediary name was simply forgotten.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The names of wars are always a strange thing (there is no official body that selects the name of a war), and many of the common names are technically incorrect. Wars are named by historians, who pick a name and keep using it until other historians switch to using that name, or until they switch to using some other historians name.

The American Revolution is technically wrong and should be the American War for Independence. (A revolution would mean changing the original British government.) The French & Indian War was not between the French and Indians, but between the French and British-Americans with Indians on both sides. Queen Anne's War was just the North American version of the War of the Spanish Sucession.

The American Civil War is technically wrong, since a civil war is two groups each trying to control the whole thing. One might correctly call it the Southern Rebellion, the War Between the States, or the War of Secession or even the American War to end Slavery. During the Civil War a lot of people (maybe a majority) in the North called it The War for the Union. Southerns called it the War for Southern Independence or even the Second War for Independence.

The World War (so called because there was simultaneous fighting in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Japanese scooped up some German islands in the Pacific) did not become World War I until World War II got going. Because there had been "the World War" just two decades earlier, World War II got its name almost immediately. Except in Russia, where World War II never happened and they fought The Great Patriotic War instead.

But World War I was in fact World War III as the Napoleonic Wars (II) and the previous conflicts (around the time of American independence, World Conflict I) qualified every bit as much as "world wide wars" as did the World War. Only World War II really qualifies as a "global conflict".

The War of 1812 (which lasted until 1815) was actually just a small part of the Napoleonic Wars, which were really the second half of the Wars of the French Revolution and most casual speakers roll the whole Wars of the French Revolution into the Napoleonic Wars, which is technically inaccurate. During the War of 1812, Americans called it the Second War for Independence.

Nobody even remembers the War With the Barbary Pirates which was one of the most important wars in American history, and which, legally, wasn't a war at all.

[Mod: Apparently post WWII wars are just too touchy. People cannot see a reference without being compelled to state their political beliefs on it. So, they are removed.]
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rexbinary
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks SVC, that was really interesting reading.
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leathernsteel
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Joined: 07 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read SVC's post on this thread with the thought that, "oh, I know everything about these things.", After actually reading it, I must ask myself, "what the hell do I know?" LOL. Another illustration of why the SFU is sooo good!
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Sneaky Scot
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The American Revolution is technically wrong and should be the American War for Independence.


Certainly your formal colonial oppressors call it the American War of Independence.

Hasn't worked out too bad for everyone, so I guess we'll call it quits! Smile
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Jean
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until well into WWII, WWI was called the European War by the Library of Congress. Back in the days of real card catalogs, that made a lot of work for my department one summer as I hit that and had them pull the cards and change them to the current heading.

In some ways, computers did make life easier for libraries. Smile
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys,

This is enough. We are not going to use this topic or forum to discuss modern wars. The point is the General War. Let's hypothesize about it (or not), but no more modern real-world war discussion, no matter how neutral or "unbiased".

Any new messages after this that is not about the General War will be deleted. In fact, some of the prior messages will be deleted, too. However, I will have to do that when I am not so distracted. (Otherwise I will just blow away the whole topic.) BTW, that includes Jean's and Steve's posts, too, if that is what is needed to make the topic actually stay on topic.

EDIT: OK, I have gone and cleaned up the thread. That includes deleting posts after this one that did what I said not to do. Please keep to the topic at hand, which deals with events in the SFU, not on events from the real world. Real world events can always be used as examples or context, but arguing about those real world events isn't going to happen here.
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Rich Stokes
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The characters in my game have just been referring to it as "this **** war". I figured that people would start calling it "the general war" once it'd been going on for a while, but actually, what SVC says rings very true and makes me think that the term "General War" would be something people looking back on it would use.

(As an aside, it's interesting the way all the books refer to everything in the SFU in the past tense, even though they're events which are set in the far future. I figure that it's a stylistic decision which everyone sticks to for consistency and it makes sense from that point of view. The SFU is nothing if not consistent.)

Thanks for the interesting input everyone, really helpful.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The source tapes were/will be transmitted through a time warp from (IIRC) Y225 / 2625 AD, and from the POV of the tapes' origins the General War is in the past.
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Jean
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich, coming from a cultural/social history background, I bet your players have the right of it. Usually it is only after a war is fought and the historians start publishing papers and books that a term is found and "sticks." In the library world, we make cross references from the "wrong" name to the "right name" and so indoctrinate all the students who use our library. Very Happy

In 2558, there is the Four Powers War -- a warm-up for the General War.

Now, looking at the timeline in GURPS PD, it says that in 2568 war erupted and the war was originally called the Fifth Lyran-Kzinti War. I bet the LoFC (Library of the Federation Council) has a cross-reference to the Kzinti-Lyran War.

The Klingons join in during 2569. In 2571 they declare war on the Federation. In 2573 the Romulans join in. In 2574. the Gorns pop in.

I bet the Klingon trivideos refer to the War against the Alliance and the Federation has references to the War against the Coalition. You'd have references to the War on the Klingon Front/Border (and sub in any of the other empires for Klingon).

By 2585 when the Organians returned, I'd bet that someone used the term "General War" and it caught on. Only after the war are the historians going to be able to start broad histories (since they know the outcome) and they have to call the mess something so they can write about the ISC doing its thing as a result of the XXXX. War of the Grand Alliance and Coalition is just too cumbersome and it might not translate well into all the languages. General War probably did and was short, too.

That's just my thoughts. Smile
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder what the Andromedan War was called before they figured out where the Andromedans came from? From reading the history, it's obvious that the Galactic Powers didn't really understand that they were AT war for some time...
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
I wonder what the Andromedan War was called before they figured out where the Andromedans came from? From reading the history, it's obvious that the Galactic Powers didn't really understand that they were AT war for some time...

Well, the "Andromedan War" is only used to describe the time of outright war (where there was no ambiguity). From the Andromedan's point of view, they were probably at war from Y165. (Well, really, even before that. From their perspective, the "Milky Way War" probably started with the invasion of the LMC.)

As for knowing they were "Andromedans", I don't know if it has ever been established as to when the Galactics figured out their origin. Or if they ever truly did. It is hard to keep things like that straight since we, as omniscient readers, have always know they were "Andromedan". But the in-universe people never really get definitive proof of the origins of the invaders.
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