Wednesday, February 4, 2015

History: The Year is 1513

I've uploaded year 1513 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Prince of Mass Movements -- Nicolo Machiavelli is captured and tortured after Florence is taken by the Medicis. He will decide to ingratiate himself to the new ruler by writing a book, "The Prince."

Balboa and the South Sea -- You knew it was coming. He will march 1,000 Indians across Panama and find what the Indians already know is there. He will name it the South Sea.

Florida Found... but No Fountain of Youth -- Ponce de Leon will land on the Florida shores. No fountain of youth though. That was a legend ascribed to him after his death.

The Prince of Mass Movements

Mercenary soldiers can be unreliable when the chips are down so Nicolo Machiavelli [MAH-kee-ah-VELL-ee] has developed a successful citizen militia to defend Florence. His success will be short-lived though. The Warrior Pope Julius the 2nd has attacked Florence, backed by the reorganized Spanish forces of Naples and the Medici family who have been out of power for several years and seriously want it back. Nicolo is naturally suspected of being disloyal to the Medicis so he is strung up by his arms and tortured for three weeks. He finally convinces them that he is a good and loyal servant and he is let go. Now he has resolved to ingratiate himself to his new leader by writing a book of political advice. It's going to take a while but when he presents it to the Prince, it will define the word "Machiavellian" [MAH-kee-ah-VELL-ee-an]. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The book "The Prince" is definitely one of the Great Books. It is filled with ideas that make you question what you believe. That is not always pleasant but if you want to understand how the world came to be as it is today, you must understand the thinking of the people who made it that way in the first place. Nicolo Machiavelli is one of those people. For a modern equivalent, I suggest reading "The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements" by Eric Hoffer and for teens who want to learn how fascism could get started in a "civilized country" read "The Wave" by Todd Strasser (or under his pen name: Morton Rhue). These books may upset you because they unveil a disturbing truth of human nature and you will recognize some of these forces working within your own organization, for good and for bad.[3] [4] [5]

Balboa and the South Sea

Vasco Balboa discovers the South Sea, now known as the Pacific Ocean, after marching across the isthmus of Panama. He wasn't really looking for an ocean. He was looking for gold. Christopher Columbus had taken his ships up a Panama river looking for the same thing but had to give up the search when one of his ships ran aground. Now Balboa has organized an expedition of 190 Spanish soldiers and a thousand Indians to make another search. Such expeditions are expensive and his creditors expect results. Unfortunately, finding oceans doesn't pay well so his creditors will be after him yet again. Staying one jump ahead of the chopping block has been his life. It will one day be the death of him. [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Balboa called it the South Sea because of the orientation of Panama. Panama runs generally East to West. That places the Atlantic to the North and thus the new ocean is the South Sea. Magellan will rename it the Pacific Ocean in 1520, but the name "South Seas" will continue to be used into the modern day.

Florida Found... but No Fountain of Youth

Juan Ponce de León has been looking to get rich in the New World but the ghost of Christopher Columbus continues to haunt him. The King of Spain promised lands in the New World to Columbus and his heirs so Ponce de León must go further out to find undiscovered countries. He has heard rumors of a large island to the northwest and begins an expedition to the Island of Benimy. No mention of a "fountain of youth" is made. On April 2nd he spots a large island and names it La Florida, meaning "The Flowers" after the Festival of Flowers that was being celebrated at the time. Arguments abound as to exactly where his expedition landed and it is likely he isn't the first. He is simply the first to document his landing. It will be a few years before they realize that La Florida is not an island. [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The whole "Fountain of Youth" legend came about AFTER the death of Ponce de León. There had already been legends about an island with special powers and someone decided to credit the explorer with searching for it to become young again. The place is called the Bimini which means "two islands" in the local language. These islands are located in the Bahamas, very close to Florida but there is no fountain of youth there. There was a very lucrative moonshining business located there during Prohibition. It was run by a guy named William S. McCoy who would fly whiskey into the United States. Many claim this is where the phrase "The Real McCoy" comes from... but probably not.[10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1513, Wikipedia.

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