Wednesday, April 15, 2015

History: The Year is 1558

I've uploaded year 1558 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Virgin Queen Takes the Reins of England -- Queen Mary dies of the flu and Queen Elizabeth takes her place. It is the beginning of a golden age for England.

The Livonian War and Ivan the Terrible -- Ivan is just being terrible but with a good reason. It seems a lot like World War I though.

The University of Jena is Established -- I may be silly here but I mention this because of a favorite book of mine by Eric Flint entitled "1632". The University of Jena figures in it prominently.

The Virgin Queen Takes the Reins of England

The Elizabethan Era begins as Queen "Bloody Mary" of England drops dead during an influenza epidemic at the age of 42. Her half sister, Queen Elizabeth the 1st takes the throne at age 25. Mary's husband, Philip the 2nd, King of Spain, will attempt to marry Elizabeth but she will rebuff him. Her reign will last for 45 years... long enough for Philip to send the entire Spanish Armada after her, but that is in the future. For now she will use her marriageable status as a political tool, which is how it is meant to be used at this time. Though she is crowned by a Catholic bishop, one of her first acts as Queen is to firmly establish the Protestant church in England which will eventually be called the Church of England. However, it's going to take a long time for England as we imagine it today to firm up. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Marriage for love was considered foolish at every level in that society from the average tailor to the Queen of England. The exception was in 1361 when Edward the Black Prince married Countess Joan. That was obviously love since she did nothing for him politically. From the historian's perspective, the Elizabethan Era was the beginning of real stability in England... a golden age. King Edward the 6th was not that stability and certainly Queen Mary the 1st was not. I imagine it took some time before Queen Elizabeth was called "Good Queen Bess" but it did happen. [5]

The Livonian War and Ivan the Terrible

Ivan the Terrible is the 1st Czar of Russia and he is prone to severe bouts of mental illness. There is nothing unusual about his actions now, though. Several years before, he had warned Livonia (which is present day Estonia and Latvia) not to enter into any military agreements with Poland-Lithuania, but they did so anyway. They broke the truce with Ivan the Terrible and "terrible" is what is coming at them now. The Livonian War will last until 1583... shortly before Ivan dies of a stroke. The Russians are going to lose this one but not before a lot of fighting gets done.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Ivan the Terrible's motivations could have been many but he was probably just angry that the Livonians broke the truce. He was making them pay for that. He lost the war because of the many armies arrayed against him. Aside from Poland-Lithuania, there was Sweden, Denmark-Norway, and even Transylvania jumped in later. The Livonians lost because these other countries tromped all over them while trying to "save" them. These other countries wanted to take advantage of the trade opportunities there which is what some historians believed was Ivan's motivation. Frankly, Ivan the Terrible didn't have many motivations. He was just terrible. This also reminds me of how World War I got started. Several countries saw some economic advantage in starting a war and everyone jumped in to grab a piece of the action. They soon found that they had grabbed a fistful of trouble. [6] [7] [8]

The University of Jena is Established

Jena is located in Germany in the province of Thuringia. The University will become one of the ten oldest in modern day Germany. Jena is a small town dying from the declining wine industry in the midst of the Little Ice Age. The University is a welcome opportunity for alternative income for the town. Jena will become a center for printing books on behalf of the University as well as other enterprises centered on the support of the University. During the 30 Years' War, the area will fall into chaos but for now all is well. [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The reason I am mentioning the establishment of the University is because of its prominent place in a popular science fiction novel by Eric Flint entitled "1632." An entire West Virginia coal mining town is uprooted and sent into the past and deposited in the year 1632 in Thuringia. The United Mine Workers of America become the core of a United States of Europe. It is a fun book and the start of a series of books, many of which I have read. Curse you, Eric Flint! There is also a strong historical theme throughout and Jewish characters reasonably portrayed. I'm recommending it. [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1558, Wikipedia.

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