Monday, May 18, 2015

History: The Year is 1576

I've uploaded year 1576 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Sack of Antwerp and Sutton's Law -- Spain has not paid its troops again so the troops take their pay out of the citizens of Antwerp who have generally supported Spain to this point but this isn't about support. It's about the money.

The Autobiography: The Love of Self and a Promotional Tool -- Autobiographies have been used for self-aggrandizement, but they have also been used as a promotional tool for a good cause... and bad ones.

The Shakespearean Era Begins with the First PBS -- The first Shakespearean playhouse is built, but Shakespeare is still a boy. The playhouse will begin with educational plays.

The Sack of Antwerp and Sutton's Law

Antwerp is the financial capital of Europe. At least it was until now. Don Juan, the half brother of the King of Spain, has been made governor of the Netherlands after his victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. FYI, he saved all of Western Europe from Ottoman rule in a single day. I would have made him King of Candyland if that's what he wanted. What he got was another challenge. Unfortunately the King of Spain went through yet another currency collapse last year. With no credible money to pay the troops, the Spanish troops decide to take their money out of the hide of the locals... in this case, Antwerp. Why? That's where the money is. This isn't about religion. This is about the money. Thousands will die as the city burns. In it's place Amsterdam and London will fill the vacuum as financial centers. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Willie Sutton was on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list for his bank robbing expertise. It is an urban myth that when asked why he robbed banks he replied, "Because that's where the money is," but the myth was turned into a principle called "Sutton's Law" which is: "First, check for the obvious." That applies to history. Although the people of the 1500s are struggling with a few unique problems, there are general principles that apply: You must not only watch out for your enemies, but you must also watch out for your friends.... or "Watch the watchers". And remember the Latin proverb: "Cui bono"... who benefits? In other words... follow the money. [6] [7] [8] More Information (optional): When Wille Sutton was released from prison, he went straight... straight to the bank. He made a commercial for their new credit card. The tag line was... "They call it the 'face card.' Now when I say I'm Willie Sutton, people believe me."

The Autobiography: The Love of Self and a Promotional Tool

Technically speaking, the first autobiography is written this year by Thomas Whitehorn. Unfortunately, it won't be published so it will have no influence at all, but in 1609, Sir Thomas Bodley will write his autobiography with the catchy title: "The Life of Sir Thomas Bodley, Written by Himself." Sir Thomas will legitimize and greatly influence the genre of the autobiography for one very good reason. He is the man who will save the great library at Oxford now called the Bodleian Library (named for himself) after it had been nearly destroyed by religious factionalism. Sir Thomas's autobiography reads very much like a promotional for the library. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Autobiographies will become popular as a sort of self-promotion or an apology (meaning a defense or justification) for a person's life. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but remember whose purposes are being served. Booker T. Washington wrote, "Up From Slavery: An Autobiography". I recommend it highly. The book is inspirational, character building but he is also promoting the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). Frankly, he was raising money for a vocational school that would eventually became an academic university. Most would agree that his self-promotion was for a good cause, certainly I do, and he was being reasonably straightforward without saying "Donate to Tuskegee!" [16]

The Shakespearean Era Begins with the First PBS

The 1st Shakespearean playhouse is built this year, although Shakespeare is still a boy. It is called, simply, "The Theater." It is an open roof stadium design similar to a cockfighting pit with a covered gallery for the rich that overlooks a paved area and a stage. The poor pay a penny to watch the plays at ground-level and thus are called "the groundlings". "The Theater" has been located outside the London city limits near the brothels. This is due to the increasingly prohibitive regulations and censorship in London. Also the new vagabond laws make the occupation of "actor" the equivalent of a beggar so the acting companies beg local lords to be listed under their service but unpaid. Thus acting companies are named: "The Admiral's Men" or the "The Earl of Leicester's Men" after their sponsors. The Theater begins with plays of an educational variety. It's the first PBS (Public Broadcasting System) of the age. Today, nothing remains of the original Theater except a plaque marking the spot were it once stood. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
As a boy, William Shakespeare lived nearby and was inspired to begin a writing and acting career at The Theater. In 1599 a dispute with the landlord caused the builder of "The Theater" to dismantle every piece of wood, carry it across the Thames and build the Globe Theater. William Shakespeare moved with it. One thing I didn't mention was that Queen Elizabeth the 1st managed to "federalize" the law regarding censorship, thus taking away the right of local jurisdictions to censor the lines of a play. Thus, you could have a play, "Banned in Boston!" but you could not have a play, "Edited for family content in Boston" unless the playwright wanted it that way. Alex Shrugged notes: Some of the ideas presented here come from my son who is studying "The Theater" in college. He actually changes his accent when he says "The Theater". It is all in jest. He got an internship at the Santa Fe Opera this summer and his father is proud.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1576, Wikipedia.

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