Monday, January 12, 2015

History: The Year is 1497

I've uploaded year 1497 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Amerigo's First Voyage to the New World -- Amerigo Vespucci is going to be a superstar for his reports on the exploration of the New World. He will be more popular than Columbus... so much so that they will name the continents after Amerigo.

Mardi Gras and the Bonfire of the Vanities -- The 1st Italian War had more impact on the world at this time than the discovery of the Americas and defeat brings about more change than success.

Amerigo's First Voyage to the New World

Amerigo Vespucci [ah-MAIR-ih-go vez-POO-chee] is a man from Florence who moved to Spain and took part in the financing and refitting of Columbus's ships. This experience has inspired him to make a journey of his own. Christopher Columbus has been exploring all through the Caribbean still believing (or feverishly hoping) that he is in the East Indies. Columbus has been a poor and often absent administrator, leaving the Spanish colonies to fall into lawlessness and chaos. King Ferdinand breaks his exclusivity agreement with Columbus and sends Amerigo with three ships to find out what Columbus has REALLY found. On this first voyage Amerigo will enter the Gulf of Mexico and explore the coast of what will be the United States of... America. After his third voyage in 1502 his published reports will mesmerize the public and Columbus will be sidelined. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The reports on the voyages of Amerigo are difficult for historians to credit fully. It is clear that he was a superstar after he returned from his 3rd voyage and he may have gone back a 4th time. His travelogues got wide distribution and spurred the imagination of the public. This is probably why the first cartographers named the new continents "America" after Amerigo and not "Columbia" after Columbus. Later they regretted the initial naming and wanted to use "Vespucci" for the continental names but the first name stuck so they went with it. (Really. I'm not kidding.) Later examination of the reports show that some of them were fabrications made by others. Sorting out what is true and what is not during this time period is difficult, but Amerigo's reports drove the public perception and they perceived that whatever Columbus found it sure wasn't China. [4]

Mardi Gras and the Bonfire of the Vanities

After the army of France's King Charles the Affable burned through Italy like a wildfire, the nations of Italy and Spain must reassess all that they once knew of warfare. Spain (which controls Naples) is going through a complete military reorganization. Some Italians believe that this is God's punishment for their laxness, self-indulgence and vanities. Friar Savonarola [sah-von-ah-ROW-lah] has created a new movement, burning everything that serves one's vanity. This movement culminates in Florence. Beginning on Mardi Gras, thirteen hundred children march from door-to-door, collecting objects of vanity for the bonfire. Paintings of pagan scenes, nudity and sensual books are given over to the flames. Decks of cards, cosmetics and even mirrors join them. Accounts of the event make it sound as if the crowds were massive, but paintings of the event years later show only a few people gathered around this Bonfire of the Vanities. The Friar will become much less popular after trying to depose the Pope. By next year the Friar will be tortured, tried and hung from a cross. His body will go up in his own bonfire and be reduced to the ashes. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Although the discovery of the New World looms large in our minds today, at the time it was not that big a deal to the world. To Spain? Yes. Everyone else? Not so much. The First Italian War had more impact. For many historians this war marks the beginning of the Modern Age. But even with the French "shock and awe" of their cannons, they will not maintain their technological advantage for long. Defeat brings more change than success. In this case, the defeated learn the value of handheld weapons (meaning muskets) and military discipline. [11] [12] [13]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1497, Wikipedia.

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