Monday, May 18, 2015

History: The Year is 1577

I've uploaded year 1577 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Sir Francis Drake's World Tour and Privateering -- Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and most people think of him as a hero but compared to the standards of today... not so much.

The Plague Churches of Venice -- So much tragedy has hit Venice that it starts a flurry of church building. I also talk about whether I should expect God to protect me from getting run over by a bus.

Sir Francis Drake's World Tour and Privateering

Francis Drake is a privateer selected (along with two other men) to co-lead an English expedition to attack the Spanish along the Pacific coast of the New World. Along the way he suspects one of his co-captains of mutiny and has the man beheaded. The other captain returns to England after a storm scatters the little fleet. Drake continues on, plundering Spanish coastal towns and claiming California for Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England. He then strikes out across the Pacific Ocean, circumnavigating the globe. When he returns to England he will be knighted by the Queen, elected to the House of Commons and his ship, the Golden Hind (rhymes with "pinned"), will be placed on display for 100 years. A replica of the Golden Hind remains on display today. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Drake had been imprisoned by the Spanish for selling slaves in the New World without permission. After he escaped, he had no problem with becoming a privateer for jolly old England against Spain. A privateer is a brigand or pirate, sanctioned by the government to interdict shipping (usually at sea) who then sells those goods for profit. A privateer carries a "Letter of Marque" (pronounced, "mark") which is a get-out-of-jail-free card. The advantage is that governments don't have to pay privateers, so it is a way to build an army or navy on the cheap. Privateering is an ugly business which is why governments react badly whenever a vessel is boarded at sea for "inspection." [4] [5] Additional Information (optional): Several prayers are attributed to Sir Francis Drake. They are fakes crafted by well-meaning pastors from letters he wrote. The pastors totally missed Drake's point, but the pastors' prayers are inspiring. [6] [7]

The Plague Churches of Venice

Venice can't seem to get a break. In 1571, Venice joined the Christian Coalition and won the Battle of Lepanto but the win had its cost in lives and treasure. In 1574, a fire broke out at the Doge's Palace, destroying some of the greatest artwork of the century. Then the Black Death stuck down over 46,000 Venetians which was almost a third of the population. Now the Doge of Venice, Alvice the 1st, sets the first foundation stone of a church of thanksgiving for the end of the plague and then drops dead. By unanimous vote, the hero of the Battle of Lepanto, Sebastiano Venier, is elected as the new Doge, but another fire in the palace has destroyed more works of art. It is said that the new Doge died of a broken heart, shortly thereafter, but he was 81 so who knows? [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Two Doges (or Dukes), two fires and the plague. With so many tragedies (and the tragedies were not over yet) the Venetians engaged in a flurry of church building. These are called the plague churches. Although we haven't talked about it for some time, the Black Death has not gone away. The plague will be used as an excuse to shutdown unsavory businesses such as gambling houses, animal-baiting arenas (cockfighting pits), brothels and (shudder) theaters. While limiting public exposure to plague makes sense, gathering at churches does not. The idea that God could protect me from disease comes from the Bible, but its like standing in front of a bus and holding up a Bible to save myself. I believe in the Bible in the sense that it is God's communication but I also believe in staying out of the way of buses.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1577, Wikipedia.

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