Wednesday, December 17, 2014

History: The Year is 1487

I've uploaded year 1487 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Witch-hunters' Manual and the Patriot Act -- The Pope has written a letter of authorization to the Inquisition and with this book, what more does a witch-hunter need? I make a comparison to the Patriot Act.

Seizing the Silver Mines of Venice -- The Duke of Austria invaded northern Italy and takes some silver mines, yet he needs a loan and uses the mines as collateral. He needs liquidity.

Witch-hunters' Manual and the Patriot Act

A book for witch-hunters comes out this year. "Der Hexenhammer" or "Hammer of the Witches" is published in Speyer, Germany. Heinrich Kramer has been having trouble convincing his fellows that witches and magic exist so he has written down his thoughts in a book and how best to detect witches and their evil spells. It helps that Pope Innocent the 8th has issued a papal bull giving the Inquisition wide ranging authority to seek out heretics. Although the Pope is not endorsing the book, he did call Heinrich Kramer a "dear son". With the book and the papal letter in hand, what more does your local witch-hunter need? Witch hunting in Germany will reach a peak in 1562 when a severe hailstorm will cause so much damage that several women are put on trial for sorcery. Eventually 67 women will be convicted and put to the flames. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
If you read the papal bull it becomes clear that it is a blank check almost as bad as the US Patriot Act. Agents of the Inquisition are given permission to write their own warrants. At least when a king wrote out a bill of attainder he STILL had to put a name on the document and have it approved by Parliament, but apparently the Pope's authority is more wide-ranging. [4] [5] [6] Here is a quote from Pope Innocent's letter granting authority to the Inquisition...
Moreover, for greater surety We extend these letters deputing this authority to cover all the aforesaid provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, persons, and crimes newly rehearsed, and We grant permission to the aforesaid Inquisitors, [...] to proceed, according to the regulations of the Inquisition, against any persons of whatsoever rank and high estate, correcting, mulcting [that is... fining and confiscating], imprisoning, punishing, as their crimes merit, those whom they have found guilty, the penalty being adapted to the offence.

Seizing the Silver Mines of Venice

The Archduke of Austria can always use silver. Despite that, it probably wasn't the best idea to attack the Republic of Venice in order to take their silver mines in northern Italy. Yet... the valley where the silver mines are located are close to Austria so he moves his Tyrolean forces into the area. The Duke will also waylay Venice merchants traveling through the area and take all their goods. Naturally Venice will fight back and the war will bump along until 1490 when the Duke will give up his holdings to Maximilian the 1st, the Holy Roman Emperor. It is not clear why he made the transfer but they still speak German in isolated regions of northern Italy until this day. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Duke of Austria also took out a loan for 23,000 florins (a little over 6 million dollars) backed by those silver mines he stole from the Venetians. Who put up the money? The Fuggers! If you recall, in 1396 Hans Fugger made a good living as a German weaver. His children married well and invested their money in precious metals. Now they make super loans to the aristocracy. This is their first loan to the Hapsburgs and it's just the start. They will make an even larger loan to him next year. I'm not sure why the Duke needed a loan but remember that it takes time for a silver mine to produce income as the metal is dug out and processed. Troops need to eat right now. That means cash on the barrel head. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1487, Wikipedia.

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