Monday, April 20, 2015

History: The Year is 1560

I've uploaded year 1560 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Tulip Arrives in the Netherlands -- I thought tulips came from Holland! They do but first they had to arrive in Holland.

Inviting in the Invaders -- When you are in a war with the big boys you need big friends. Unfortunately nations don't have friendships. They have interests, so you better be sure you are willing to pay the price.

The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' is not a Disneyland Ride -- There is a fine line between piracy and government-sanctioned attacks on the logistics of one's enemies by third parties. In other words... officially piracy.

The Tulip Arrives in the Netherlands

Persians have been cultivating the tulip since the 10th century. After the conquest of Constantinople, tulips were introduced to the city and the Turks wear them in their turbans. The ambassador from the Holy Roman Emperor to Constantinople sends a few of these magnificent flowers back to Vienna. He names the flower "tulip" because he mistakes the Persian name for "turban" as the name of the flower. "Tulip" sounds good to him, and the flowers look like small turbans so the name sticks. This year the tulip arrives in Holland for the first time and will eventually reach Britain in 1578. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I use to think that tulips came from Holland. Holland came into the picture in the 1600s when certain varieties of tulips from Holland became so scarce that it created a craze called Tulip Mania. This was similar to collecting Beanie Babies or Tickle-Me Elmo dolls except that some folks would sell their house to buy a single tulip bulb. By 1637 tulip bulbs became an investment, but it was crazy... like a race car driver investing in a salad dressing company and expecting to make millions! (Actually, Paul Newman's company has made $400 million to date with "Newman's Own" on an investment of $40,000 and the motto: 'Fine Foods Since February' but like an investment in tulips... markets can be fickle.) When the market for tulip bulbs fell, people holding that bag of bulbs lost everything. Tulip Mania remains one of the most significant economic bubbles in history. [8] [9]

Inviting in the Invaders

Livonia (which is present day Estonia and Latvia) has gotten itself into a real pickle. It started a war with Ivan the Terrible and Ivan is now beating the tar out of them so they have run to Denmark for help. The new King of Denmark is not very experienced in foreign affairs so he agrees to buy a large portion of Livonia from their Catholic bishop for 30,000 thalers (rhymes with dollars) which is over $425,000 dollars. (FYI: the word "dollar" comes from the word "thaler.") The King of Denmark then appoints his Lutheran brother as the 'Catholic' bishop. (Insert favorite explicative here.) Livonia needs cash but all they are doing is drawing outsiders into this war. Ultimately, Ivan the Terrible will lose, but Livonia will be trampled by foreign aristocrats trying to salvage something from a losing investment. [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The general rule is that foreign armies that come to help, end up helping themselves. This is why protestors shouted 'No blood for oil' during Gulf War I. Given the history of war it was reasonable to assume that oil would be part of the spoils of war. It didn't happen but US forces remained in Saudi Arabia. US forces have yet to leave Afghanistan despite promises from President Obama. To be fair, he probably doesn't want all those people murdered on his watch as we leave. I understand the reason why we went into Afghanistan. I don't understand why we didn't leave once it became apparent that we hadn't found Osama bin Laden. Limited objectives turned into nation building and nation building is never ending. The USA is still in Europe. When will the Marshall Plan end? I think Europe is on its feet now.[13]

The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' is not a Disneyland Ride

Piracy in the New World is due to economic pressure and the official monopoly that Spain and Portugal exercise over this massive and rich region. The terms for that monopoly were renegotiated a few times but those chickens are coming home to roost. Smuggling is rampant and Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England is having Spanish ships waylaid for their cargoes of gold, silver, tobacco and sugar. This is a dangerous business and there is a fine line between piracy (which is private robbery) and privateering which is a war on the logistics of one's opponents by third parties. In other words... official robbery. With France at war with Spain as well, the Spaniards must watch for French Corsairs along the coasts... especially those hitting Havana right now. This is just the beginning. Piracy in the Caribbean won't get to extreme levels until the mid-1600s. [14] [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Regarding the Disneyland ride, I've never seen rape, pillage and murder seem like more fun! Hoist the Jolly Roger! The movies make the Disney story look a little more frightening, but there is still the air of frivolity about it. Yet when Somali pirates are boarding freighters and luxury yachts off the African coast, all of a sudden pirates are the vicious murderers and thieves that they really are. These freighters are not allowed weapons because of restrictions at their ports of call. This means warships must accompany them as escorts. This is expensive but how does a port distinguish between a merchant plying the seaways for trade and a warship looking for opportunities to attack coastal towns? In the 1500s, there was no way. [17] [18]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1560, Wikipedia.

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