Wednesday, January 21, 2015

History: The Year is 1505

I've uploaded year 1505 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Vow of Martin Luther -- On his way to becoming a lawyer, Martin Luther undergoes a spiritual transformation. He becomes a monk. I talk about his significance for those unfamiliar with his influence on history.

Poland's Golden Liberty and Silver Serfdom -- Democracy and legal equality is established in Poland. Religious freedom will follow. The bad news is that it only applies to the nobility and there is a second serfdom in the future for the peasants.

Bermúdez Discovers Bermuda -- As he is on a supply run, Juan de Bermúdez spots the island that will one day bear his name.

The Vow of Martin Luther

This is the year when everything changes for Martin Luther. He has graduated from the University of Erfurt with a master's degree and has entered immediately into law school. His father has picked his path and as he returns home for celebration, his father speaks of arranging a marriage. Seeing his future before him with every day looking much like the next, he flees from his family to a monastery. Along the way a thunder storm rises up and a lightening bolt strikes. He is so frightened he shouts, "Help, dear Saint Anna! I will become a monk!" He knows that if he doesn't act soon he will lose his resolve so he sells his law books, gives a farewell dinner for his friends and enters the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt. He is 21 years old. By the time he is 34 he will change the Western World. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
For those unfamiliar with the significance of Martin Luther, initially he will lead Church reform called "The Reformation." By tradition he will nail his list of demands on a Wittenberg church door. It's inspiring, but that was only one account. Other accounts were more sedate. Unfortunately, the Church will disagree with Martin Luther, excommunicate him and the Protestant Movement will come into being. You might find this difficult to believe but despite all the commotion and bad feelings this is going to create, Christianity is going to become a whole lot better overall because of Martin Luther and the many who will follow. Hang in there. Eyes on the prize.

Poland's Golden Liberty and Silver Serfdom

The King of Poland agrees to a limited democracy for every Polish noble. The Act of Nihil Novi requires the king to be elected like a president and the commonwealth will be made up of all the nobles, each granted equal legal status. A parliament will be held every 2 years. A bill of rights that has already been negotiated with the king is now in force. Religious freedom will be granted in the future. It's not exactly the Constitution of the United States but it is considered the beginnings of a modern democracy. [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Now for the bad news. Only 10% of the population will have these freedoms with no path for the peasants to ever find those democratic freedoms for themselves. This will lead to a "second serfdom" imposed on the peasants by the nobles. Thus, even though we can take heart that certain critical ideas are being introduced here, there is still a long way to go. In the 20th century, some people will look back on this Golden Liberty and call it the "Jewish Liberty" as if the Jews were somehow part of these special privileges. This is a modern invention and possibly antisemitic. Jews held a special status in the Middle Ages but don't mistake "special" for "better". In the military your sergeant might assign "special duty" for you but that usually doesn't translate into anything good for you.

Bermúdez Discovers Bermuda

Juan de Bermúdez is on a supply run on his ship, the Garza. On his way to Hispaniola he spots an island which will eventually carry his name... Bermuda. He will return a few years later and drop off some pigs so that they can breed on the island. Ever the supply officer, his intent is to provide an easy food source for passing sailors. [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Basic logistics can be dangerous work but Bermúdez is not exactly the great explorer of the western world either. Nevertheless, there are a lot of features to find out there and supply ships making runs from A to B are finding their fair share. Three years ago a Portuguese supply ship found Guanabara Bay, a massive bay which they mistook as the mouth of a great river. They called it Rio de Janeiro. [7]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1505, Wikipedia.

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