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Crown of Aragon

The Crown of Aragon was a composite monarchy nowadays referred to as a confederation of individual polities or kingdoms ruled by one king, with a personal and dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona. At the height of its power in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Crown of Aragon was a thalassocracy controlling a large portion of present-day eastern Spain, parts of what is now southern France, a Mediterranean "empire" which included the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Malta, Southern Italy and parts of Greece; the component realms of the Crown were not united politically except at the level of the king, who ruled over each autonomous polity according to its own laws, raising funds under each tax structure, dealing separately with each Corts or Cortes. Put in contemporary terms, it has sometimes been considered that the different lands of the Crown of Aragon functioned more as a confederation than as a single kingdom. In this sense, the larger Crown of Aragon must not be confused with one of its constituent parts, the Kingdom of Aragon, from which it takes its name.

In 1469, a new dynastic familial union of the Crown of Aragon with the Crown of Castile by the Catholic Monarchs, joining what contemporaries referred to as "the Spains", led to what would become the Kingdom of Spain under King Philip II. The Crown existed until it was abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees issued by King Philip V in 1716 as a consequence of the defeat of Archduke Charles in the War of the Spanish Succession. Formally, the political center of the Crown of Aragon was Zaragoza, where kings were crowned at La Seo Cathedral. The'de facto' capital and leading cultural and economic centre of the Crown of Aragon was Barcelona, followed by Valencia. Palma was an additional important city and seaport; the Crown of Aragon included the Kingdom of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Kingdom of Naples and Kingdom of Sardinia. For brief periods the Crown of Aragon controlled Montpellier, Provence and the twin Duchy of Athens and Neopatras in Latin Greece.

The countries that are today known as Spain and Portugal spent the Middle Ages after 722 in an intermittent struggle called the Reconquista. This struggle pitted the northern Christian kingdoms against the Islamic taifa petty kingdoms of the South and against each other. In the Late Middle Ages, the expansion of the Aragonese Crown southwards met with the Castilian advance eastward in the region of Murcia. Afterward, the Aragonese Crown focused on the Mediterranean, acting as far as Greece and Barbary, whereas Portugal, which completed its Reconquista in 1249, would focus on the Atlantic Ocean. Mercenaries from the territories in the Crown, known as almogàvers participated in the creation of this Mediterranean "empire", found employment in countries all across southern Europe; the Crown of Aragon has been considered an empire which ruled in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years, with the power to set rules over the entire sea. It was indeed, at its height, one of the major powers in Europe.

However, the different territories were only connected through the person of the monarch, an aspect of empire seen as early as Achaemenid Persia. A modern historian, Juan de Contreras y Lopez de Ayala, Marqués de Lozoya described the Crown of Aragon as being more like a confederacy than a centralised kingdom, let alone an empire. Nor did official documents refer to it as an empire; the Crown of Aragon originated in 1137, when the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged by dynastic union upon the marriage of Petronilla of Aragon and Raymond Berenguer IV of Barcelona. This union respected the existing parliaments of both territories; the combined state was known as Regno, Dominio et Corona Aragonum et Catalonie, as Corona Regum Aragoniae, Corona Aragonum or Aragon. This was due to the reduction of Catalan influence, the renunciation of the family rights of the counts of Barcelona in Occitania, the extinction of the House of Barcelona in 1410; the monarchs denominated themselves de Aragon, Aragon became prominent as an Iberian kingdom linked to the House of Jiménez which ruled over Navarre, Castile and Galicia and Aragon.

Petronilla's father King Ramiro, "The Monk", raised in the Saint Pons de Thomières Monastery, Viscounty of Béziers as a Benedictine monk was the youngest of three brothers. His brothers Peter I and Alfonso I El Batallador had bravely fought against Castile for hegemony in the Iberian peninsula. After the death of Alfonso I, the Aragonese nobility that campaigned close him feared being overwhelmed by the influence of Castile, and so, Ramiro was forced to proclaim himself King of Aragon. He married Agnes, sister of the Duke of Aquitaine and betrothed his only daughter to Raymond Berengar IV of Barcelona, member of

Monroe City Mill

The Monroe City Mill was a grist mill located in Monroe City, Illinois, an unincorporated community in the historic Bluff Precinct of Monroe County, United States. The Mill was built in 1800 and ceased operation in 1899; the stone foundation, including the water wheel arch remain today on the original site. The Mill was located on the north bank of the Monroe City Creek, about one quarter mile below its source at a karst spring; the creek provided water to power the mill. The valley created by erosion from the creek is referred to as "the Monroe City Hollow." Over the years, the Mill has been referred to by a number of names reflecting ownership: Kinney's Mill from 1800 until about 1823. In 1798, Josiah Ryan built a mill in the Monroe City Hollow about 2 miles west of the Monroe City Mill site on the banks of the Monroe City Creek. In 1800, Andrew Kinney built the original Mill at the current site. According to the Combined History, "Where Monroe City now stands Andrew Kinney built a water mill, this vicinity, at an early time, became one of the important business points of the county.

From this mill flour was shipped to St. Louis and to New Orleans before the war of 1812." Kinney built a dam on the creek about 200 yards upstream. The dam was about 15' tall and collected water, channeled to the mill through a wooden trough. Remains of the dam can still be seen. John Great, an emigrant from Maryland was the stonemason. One grindstone is on display at the Rosalie Baum home across the creek from the mill. In 1814, Kinney installed a cotton gin at the Mill. Below is an advertisement that appeared in the Illinois Herald newspaper, announcing the cotton milling service. General Thomas James purchased the Mill sometime between 1823 and 1827, after he returned from his New Mexico expedition; the Mill burned and James re-built it in 1827. In 1850, Gottlieb Ziebold purchased the Mill. In 1851, he converted the Mill to steam power; the dam may have been abandoned at this time, in favor of a direct, iron pipe from the spring to the Mill. In 1882, Charles Duryea was hired to convert the rock grindstones to metal roller technology, along with a general modernization of the milling equipment.

The steam boiler required continual monitoring. One day in 1899, the operator tarried too long at one of the local taverns. While he was away, the steam pressure exploded; the resulting fire was never rebuilt. The first Mill in Monroe City was built by Josiah Ryan in 1798, it was located further west on the creek, near Golden's Blockhouse

Timeline of the Algerian Civil War

The Algerian Civil War was a conflict in Algeria, starting in 1991 and continuing to a diminished extent up to the present. November 27 - Two Islamists who had fought in Afghanistan, Aïssa Messaoudi and Abderrahmane Dahane, attack a border post at Guemmar, killing soldiers and foreshadowing the war to come. December 26 - First round of parliamentary elections. FFS wins 25 seats, while the ex-ruling party, FLN, wins just 15. January 3 - The second round of Algeria's general elections is cancelled. President Chadli Bendjedid forced to resign. January 14 - It is announced that a military-backed High Council of State is taking over. January 16 - The exiled ex-independence fighter Mohammed Boudiaf returns and is given leadership of the HCE. January 22 - Leading FIS member Abdelkader Hachani arrested. February 9 - State of emergency declared. March 4 - FIS dissolved by government decree. June 29 - Mohammed Boudiaf assassinated. July 12 - FIS leaders Abassi Madani and Ali Belhadj sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment.

August 26 - Algiers airport bombed. March 27 - Algeria cuts diplomatic relations with Sudan and Iran, accusing them of supporting terrorism in Algeria. May 26 - Anti-Islamist writer Tahar Djaout attacked by assassins. August 22 - Ex-Prime Minister Kasdi Merbah assassinated; the government accuses the GIA. December 1 - Deadline beyond which the GIA had stated that it would consider all foreigners remaining in Algeria as targets. January 30 - Liamine Zeroual given presidency of the High Council of State. March 10 - Tazoult prison escape. On the same day, the playwright Abdelkader Alloula was assassinated. August 27 - Moroccan border closed. September 29 - Rai singer Cheb Hasni assassinated. November 14 - Alleged Berrouaghia prison massacre. December 24 - GIA hijacks Air France Flight 8969. December 27 - main foreign airlines stop flights to Algeria. January 14 - Representatives of FIS, FFS, FLN sign the Sant'Egidio platform in Rome, seeing it as a blueprint for ending the conflict; the Algerian government found its provisions unacceptable, did not sign.

February 21 - Serkadji prison mutiny. November 16 - Liamine Zeroual elected president. May 21 - The seven French Trappist monks of Tibhirine are beheaded. July 16 - GIA leader Djamel Zitouni killed by the rival LIDD in an ambush. Antar Zouabri takes over. April 3 - Thalit massacre. April 22 - Haouch Khemisti massacre. April 23 - Omaria massacre in Algeria. June 5 - Parliamentary elections; the newly created pro-government RND comes first, with 156/380 seats, followed by the Islamist MSP and the former single party FLN. Zeroual remains president. June 16 - Dairat Labguer massacre. July 27 - Si Zerrouk massacre. August 3 - Oued El-Had and Mezouara massacre. August 20 - Souhane massacre. August 26 - Beni-Ali massacre. August 29 - Rais massacre. September 1 - FIS leader Abassi Madani moved from jail to house arrest; the more radical Ali Belhadj remains in jail. September 5 - Beni-Messous massacre. September 19 - Guelb El-Kebir massacre. September 21 - The AIS declares a unilateral ceasefire. September 22 - Bentalha massacre.

October 12 - Sidi Daoud massacre. November 27 - Second Souhane massacre. December 24 - Sid El-Antri massacre. December 30 - Wilaya of Relizane massacres of December 30, 1997: up to 400 people are killed in four villages in the wilaya of Relizane. January 4 - Wilaya of Relizane massacres of 4 January 1998. January 11 - Sidi-Hamed massacre. March 26 - Oued Bouaicha massacre. June 25 - Anti-religious Kabyle singer Matoub Lounes assassinated. September 14 - GSPC forms as a faction splits from GIA over its massacre policy. December 8 - Tadjena massacre. April 15 - Abdelaziz Bouteflika elected president, all other candidates having withdrawn alleging fraud. June 5 - The AIS agrees in principle to disband and starts negotiating for an amnesty for its fighters. November 22 - Senior FIS member Abdelkader Hachani assassinated. January 11 - AIS concludes its negotiations with the government for an amnesty and disbands. September 23 - George W. Bush’s Executive Order 13224 freezes assets of the GIA and GSPC as terrorist groups.

February 8 - Antar Zouabri, GIA leader, is killed in his hometown of Boufarik. July 2 - FIS leaders Abassi Madani and Ali Belhadj released, having served 12-year sentences. October 23 - GSPC leader Nabil Sahraoui announces that his group "strongly and support Osama bin Laden's jihad against the heretic America as well as we support our brothers in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Chechnya". June 20 - Government announces killing of GSPC head Nabil Sahraoui, he is succeeded by Abou Mossaab Abdelouadoud. July - GIA leader Rachid Abou Tour