Thursday, January 1, 2015

History: The Year is 1492

I've uploaded year 1492 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Christopher Columbus Discovers the New World -- Queen Isabella chases after Columbus and agrees to fund his voyage after he threatens to go to France. It takes 5 weeks and he grounds his ship in Hispaniola.

Sherry and the Lackeys of Granada -- Muslim Granada surrenders to Spain. This is where we get the words "lackey" and "sherry".

The Jews Are Expelled from Spain -- The Jews are dumped into Portugal. Portugal won't put up with this for long.

Christopher Columbus Discovers the New World

Christopher Columbus heads to France to convince the King to finance his voyage across the Atlantic but Queen Isabella of Spain brings Columbus back. She funds him but only at the bare minimum. She presses three ships into service against the will of the owners: two 50 foot caravels (the Niña, and the Pinta) and a 68 foot carrack (the Santa Maria) which Columbus captains. They stop at the Canary Islands and on September 6th they begin. The Trade Winds carry them across in 5 weeks. On October 12th Columbus spots land but so does the lookout on the Pinta. Exactly which island it is will be lost to history. They continue to San Salvadore, Cuba and then Hispanola (Haiti and Dominican Republic) where the Santa Maria will run aground. The two caravels don't have enough room to take them all back so Columbus leaves a number of his men on shore to begin a colony. Columbus turns north and makes a classic clockwise use of the Atlantic's winds. He returns with parrots and samples of the wares and presents these to the King and Queen. Isabella is delighted. In a few months she will send him back with a much larger and better financed expedition. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
All the experts said he couldn't sail all the way to China... AND THEY WERE RIGHT, but no one knows it yet. This first voyage is fairly straight forward. It gets worse next year when Columbus returns, and all he will find of those men he left behind will be a few pieces of cloth. He didn't totally abandon them. The local tribe was reasonably tolerant of these strangers on their land. The problem was that the OTHER tribe was not very friendly. It was called the Cariba tribe which is why we call that region "the Caribbean." Christopher Columbus gave a different name to the tribe: Canibalis. This is also where we get the English word... "cannibals".[11] [12]

Sherry and the Lackeys of Granada

On January 2nd, the last Moorish/Muslim stronghold in Spain surrenders to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. A silver cross is placed on the Alhambra palace of the last Sultan of Granada. The Sultan goes into exile but the rest of the captive Muslims are used as servants. The Spanish call their new servants "alacayos" [ah-lah-KYE-yos] which jokingly suggests a "chief." In English the same word is distorted into "lackey," meaning a footman, servant or "toady".
Also, the nearby town of Xeres [SHEH-rish] begins exporting their wine to England, but the name, "sherries," sounds plural, so they drop the 's' and call it "Sherry". It is fortified with distilled grape alcohol. In the modern day the alcohol content is 15.5% by volume. That translates into 31.0 proof using the USA formula or 27.125 proof using the UK formula. [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
"Sherry" is much better than the original name, "sack," which means "extraction" from the Spanish "saca". In the modern day (at least in Europe) the name "Sherry" refers to wine originating from the "Sherry Triangle," a region in southern in Spain. A similar restriction applies to Roquefort dressing (a blue cheese salad dressing) beginning in 1961. The same rule applies to Champagne, the sparkling wine, although the monk, Dom Pérignon, was still trying to get rid of the bubbles from his wine in 1718 when his wine-making methods were published. [20] [21] [22]

The Jews Are Expelled from Spain

The Spanish Inquisition has made life in Castile and Aragon extremely oppressive for anyone not toeing the full Christian line. The previous Pope was pressured by Queen Isabella to establish an Inquisition to find insincere Jews who had falsely converted to Christianity. Pope Innocent the 8th (who will die this year) wrote the Inquisition a blank check to find these bad converts, heretics and witches. Before this time the Jews would move to Muslim Granada where they could depend on a more tolerant treatment but Granada has surrendered to Spain this year. Now any Jews left in Spain who have not converted are to be expelled. Most will move to Portugal and the smartest will move on to North Africa immediately. Portugal won't tolerate Jews much longer and where can a Jew go from Portugal? [23]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Firstly, some Jews were bad converts here, keeping a few Jewish practices even into the modern day. They are called crypto-Jews. Secondly, there may be a reason for the Inquisition suddenly to give the Jews the boot. I've always wondered what the Spanish Inquisition thought when they uncovered the Jewish kabbalists. Those Jewish mystics must have looked like the Christian heretics called the Gnostics. (Think of "The Da Vinci Codes.") The Inquisition must have freaked! Finally, I am mentioning this expulsion NOT to beat up on Christians but because the expulsion of 1492 is a well remembered event in Jewish history. If I didn't say something I'd look like an ass because I would be one.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1492, Wikipedia.

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