Sunday, January 4, 2015

History: The Year is 1493

I've uploaded year 1493 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

First Spanish Fort is an Epic Fail -- The 40 men Columbus left after his 1st voyage have been killed by the Carib tribe. He moves his new colony eastward but his water barrels have leaked so he must use the local water immediately. It's contaminated.

The Croatian Nobility Is Wiped Out, Sort Of -- The Croatians stop fighting each other long enough to fight the Ottomans. It's an ambush but even though many nobles are killed, enough must have survived since the Ottomans did not press their advantage.

The King of France Wants a Crusade -- The King is sad that the Great Crusades are all in the past. He wants a real one so he makes plans to attack Italy. The Italians don't fight the same way as the French do. The French fight like they mean it.

First Spanish Fort is an Epic Fail

After running the Santa Maria aground on his 1st voyage, Christopher Columbus left 40 of his men on the shores of Hispaniola [HISS-pan-YO-lah] to build a fort and look for gold while he sailed the Niña back to Spain with trinkets and a few Indians. (The Niña is a caravel with a normal crew complement of 20 and very little room for extra people or supplies. Think of a boat a little smaller than the California Disneyland ride: "The Sailing Ship Columbia" that circumnavigates Tom Sawyer Island.) The local Indian tribe, the Taíno [TAY-no], seems peaceful and willing to help. Columbus returns with 17 ships, and over 1,200 men ready to colonize but he finds the fort abandoned. The dead litter the beach. A more aggressive tribe, the Caribs, had heard that the Spaniards were engaged in rape and murder so they visited justice upon them all (including the local tribe) and possibly eaten them too. Columbus decides to move eastward and next year establishes a colony named "La Isabella" in what is the modern day Dominican Republic. Dominicans don't celebrate Columbus Day though they take some pride in knowing that they were the location of the oldest European settlement. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Were the Caribs really cannibals? I think so but experts disagree. Certainly there were reports of the drinking of blood of one's enemies and reports of Indians inquiring of the Spanish why they didn't eat their enemies. It didn't happen everywhere but apparently it happened enough to be noticed. Regarding the colony of La Isabella, it failed after 5 years due to poor planning. Columbus hadn't checked his water barrels before leaving Spain. They leaked so the colonists were forced to drink the local water. They had no idea of what causes disease so they didn't boil the water. In later history segments I'll cover more about why La Isabella failed. The lesson here is to check your supplies to make sure that what you THINK you have is really what you have.

The Croatian Nobility Is Wiped Out, Sort Of

The Croatians have been feeling the heat from the Ottoman Turks in small raids for a long time now. However, the Croatians have been so busy fighting each other that the Ottoman's decide to begin a major raid. The Croatians quickly come together against a common enemy. The plan is to meet the Ottomans in open battle at Krbava Field. It's a mistake. An open battle against the more experienced Turks is more than they can handle. It's also an ambush. The Turks have sent a unit behind the Croatians. Many of the nobles are killed during the battle and the Ban (Governor) of Croatia and Dalmatia is captured and executed. [7] [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Were the Croatian nobles really wiped out? The historians of the time said yes but what actually happened after the battle doesn't meet the "smell test". The Ottoman Turks don't press their advantage and a peace treaty is signed. Nevertheless, the Turks continue their raids against the Croatians and many of the inhabitants convert to Islam or move away. My sense is that if the nobility had really been destroyed the Ottomans would have moved in like they did in Bosnia and appoint new nobles. So... I'm guessing that it was a devastating blow to Croatia but there was enough left to give the Ottomans pause.

The King of France Wants a Crusade

Remember that little war in Naples that Pope Innocent the 8th supported but a major cardinal opposed? The war went badly and that cardinal is now Pope Alexander the 6th (who has an illegitimate 13-year-old daughter he will marry off this year!) Naples was the first tiny rock in the coming avalanche. That avalanche will be the King of France. King Charles the Affable is sad that there are no Great Crusades any more. He wants a Crusade real bad and he's thinking about having one in Italy to bring order to the chaos there. The King is just in the planning stages now but when it gets going, it's going to be an eye-opener for the Italians. [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Italian idea of war is a set piece that is almost choreographed (at least on the home turf). It's all done by mercenaries who might be allies one month and enemies the next depending on who is paying them. Thus, it pays for the mercenary companies not to hurt each other too badly. The problem is that the King of France is not going to care about whose feelings he's going to hurt. He's going fight to win. It's going to be messy.[13][14]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1493, Wikipedia.

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