Friday, June 26, 2015

History: The Year is 1599

I've uploaded year 1599 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The First Lodge of Freemasons and the Power of Leaderless Organizations -- I mostly talk about the privacy of private organizations and the power of leaderless organizations.

The King of Sweden is Outta Here! -- Although this might not seem significant at first. It changes the line of succession placing one of the greatest generals of all time in line to become the King of Sweden many years later.

John Alden is Born: One Third of a Love Triangle -- I talk about the  Longfellow poem, the Mayflower and the Salem Witch Trials.

The First Lodge of Freemasons and the Power of Leaderless Organizations

Mary's Chapel in Edinburgh is listed as the first Freemason lodge or at least it is listed as number one. No doubt lodges had existed prior to this time but Mary's Chapel is the first lodge that can be reasonably documented through its own minutes and accepted by the Freemasons themselves. This is also the time of the first recorded initiate being welcomed into the Freemasons but currently the Freemasons are a loose association. One cannot call it a multinational organization yet. Nothing approaching modern Freemasonry will come together until the early 1700s. Mary's Chapel exists today but the original building was demolished in the 1800s to make room for the South Edinburgh Bridge. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... let's pull out our dog-eared copies of "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. These are NOT history books. (However, James Rollins novels are TOTALLY REAL!) All kidding aside, people get suspicious of private groups that want to remain private. Christianity began as a secret organization. I am Jewish so I asked my mother-in-law if there is some secret Jewish handshake or trap door that she is going to tell me about before she dies. Apparently not. The Church of Latter-day Saints, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Vatican have elements that they keep private. As long as they are not burning people at the stake, I'm going to mind my own business. Large, multinational organizations need not be driven by a fiendish plan. In Austin, Texas there are over 425 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every single week. The central office sells books, answers the phone and prints a schedule of meetings. If a complaint comes in about a meeting, the meeting is dropped from the schedule. That's all the central control they exercise and it is a world-wide organization. They see the work that needs doing and they do it... mostly out of gratitude for a life saved or improved. No conspiracy required. [7] [8]

The King of Sweden is Outta Here!

A critical turn in the history of Sweden occurs this year even though the long-term consequences will not be felt for years. King Sigismund the 3rd Vasa is pro-Catholic and he is given the boot by his pro-Protestant uncle Duke Charles. It is difficult to pin down exactly what the former King did wrong other than to upset his subjects who didn't share his pro-Catholic sentiments and assume that his Swedish subjects would just roll over. The King agrees to honor contracts with the Mennonites but he objects to the Mennonites exercising all sorts of wild freedoms like marrying without prior notification to the state, buying and selling their land almost as if they owned it and otherwise acting like they could rule themselves without a king. (In the modern day we would call this... living a normal life.) The deposed king continues to agitate for a return to power, but Uncle Charles will not let up. In the long run this will be a good thing for Sweden. [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is this sort of religious agitation that will lead to the Thirty Years' War. What will help Sweden is for Duke Charles to become King Charles the 9th of Sweden. It's not that King Charles will turn into a super-king or anything like that. He will be rather belligerent, but the modern Swedes cut him a lot of slack because he is the father of Sweden's greatest king: Gustavus Adolphus. When his father took the regency of Sweden, that boy was all of 5 years old, but after Gustavus becomes the King of Sweden he will also become one of the greatest generals of all time. Had he lived longer Gustavus would have changed the face of Europe well into the modern day. [10]

John Alden is Born: One Third of a Love Triangle

You can't have a love triangle without one of the lovers. John Alden is born this year. Not much is known of his early life but he will become a cooper (a barrel maker). He will take passage with the Mayflower for the New World and sign the Mayflower Compact. He will marry Priscilla Mullens, the second side of this triangle. The third side is Miles Standish. The famous poem "The Courtship of Miles Standish," is claimed to be true. It describes the competition between Alden and Standish for the hand of the fair Miss Mullens. This poem is written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1858... long after everyone in question is long dead and unable to object. [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Even though I remember John Alden as the man from the Longfellow poem, most people will remember his son of the same name. Captain John Alden was one of the survivors of the Salem Witch Trials. He was accused by two young girls of witchcraft and for keeping a secret Indian wife. He was supposed to defend his integrity before the court but his friends convinced him that the better course of action was to break out of jail and wait for sanity to return to Salem. Good decision. He was cleared of the charges later. John Alden lived a long life. His gravestone is preserved today at the Old South Church in Boston. [14]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1599, Wikipedia.

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