Monday, July 20, 2015

History: The Year is 1608

I've uploaded year 1608 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Old Bushmills Irish Whiskey and the Sins of Our Fathers -- A whiskey distillery opens. I talk about who and why it opens, and who and why others are not opening it. Can you say, "The Beginning of the Troubles?"

The Only 'Nada' they Found was in the word 'Canada' -- Quebec is founded. I also talk about the Louisiana Purchase.

The Check is in the Mail... and in the Netherlands -- The beginning of the modern checking system and my thoughts on creating money using 3rd party checks.

Old Bushmills Irish Whiskey and the Sins of Our Fathers

King James the 1st of Great Britain has granted a license to distill and bottle Irish whiskey to Sir Thomas Phillips. Sir Thomas will use the waters from a tributary of the Bush River and thus the name Bushmills Distillery will become the name although no record of the name appears at this time. Any number of such licenses were granted to various members of the English and Scot-Irish community during these years in order promote competent people into critical industries for efficiency and quality purposes, but there are other purposes, unsaid but obvious: Out with the old bosses and in with the new bosses... the King's bosses, that is. The Old Bushmills Distillery will remain in operation into the modern day. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The modern label on the whiskey bottle boasts: "Original Grant to Distil 1608" and that is true enough. I'm not sure how many bottles were distilled though. Sir Thomas Phillips had some problems negotiating his land rights, fishing rights and tithes. It was clear how tenuous his hold was over his lands. Although it was not said, it looked like he was being used by the King as a moving target to flush out anyone resentful over the recent confiscation of Irish tribal lands ... uh... I mean... the efficient redistribution of the productive resources of Great Britain. This was the Ulster Plantation coming into being around 1606 and resentments between Irish Catholics and Ulster-Scot Protestants are often dated from this time. However, please don't blame the Bushmills Distillery of today for what happened back then. Our present generation has enough answer for without having to answer for what our fathers did yesterday or 400 years of yesterdays... for good or for bad. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

The Only 'Nada' they Found was in the word 'Canada'

Quebec City is founded this year by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain. He was encouraged by the trappers and local French land holders to establish a trading post along the Saint Lawrence River. The site he selects will become Quebec City. (The word 'quebec' is an Indian word meaning "where the river narrows".) Samuel has ambitious plans and will establish Fort Saint-Louis at what will one day be called the Upper Town. Despite the fort, the trading post will be poorly defended against a concerted assault. They will manage to defend the city, but lose control to British forces. Many people in Quebec will retain their allegiance to France when Canada becomes a British dominion (meaning an independently controlled part of the British Empire.) Quebec will remain a formidable political and cultural center within Canada into the modern day. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Samuel de Champlain used the name 'le Canada' to refer to the region. Very likely the name Canada comes from kanata, the Indian word meaning settlement or land. So what is this "soupa de merdia de toro" about the Spanish word 'nada' in name 'Canada'? There is a theory that the Spaniards marked their survey maps of the area with the words "acá nada" which translates as "here nothing" but actually means, "No gold found here." This theory sounds suspiciously like a put down so I'm discounting it. New France extended from Québec, Canada down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. President Thomas Jefferson used taxpayer money to buy much of that land from France for a little over a quarter million in today's dollars. That was called "The Louisiana Purchase," and while it was probably unconstitutional for Jefferson to do it, it must have looked like a good deal for both sides. (It was.) The 13 states of the United States needed room to expand. French territories were in the way of that expansion which meant an eventual war. Since Napoleon needed cash and he couldn't hold the territory, it made more sense to sell it outright rather than wait for the USA to just take it. [14]

The Check is in the Mail... and in the Netherlands

The Dutch Republic uses the first recognizable checks this year called "drawn notes". The actual term "check" won't be used until 1706. The idea of using a financial instrument to facilitate international transactions has been around since the 1st century, but because of the ongoing war in the Netherlands, people with a ton of money (meaning a lot of heavy coins) are trying to protect that money. They have deposited their coins with "cashiers" who protect those deposits for a reasonable fee. The fee is a percentage of the money being held so there is competition to attract biggest depositors by offering better services. Some cashiers are allowing clients to write a note to draw cash from a client's account. The client writes a note directing the cashier to pay a certain amount to the payee listed on the note. These drawn notes are used locally instead of internationally, and are the beginning of a modern checking system. [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
A check need not be a piece of paper. I saw a man write out a "check" on the back of a closet door. Naturally, his bank charged an extra processing fee but they honored the "door" check. You can create your own money using third-party checks. Banks discourage this practice but if I write out a check to you to pay my debt, you can sign that check over to a 3rd party to pay your own debt. If you do so, you are using my check like money. As long as each 3rd party accepts my check as reliable payment, my check can be passed back-and-forth all around town like real money. I'd like to say that banks don't want you to do this because they don't like the competition but in fact, they trying to reduce fraud. Some banks still allow 3rd party checks, though. My bank allowed me to do it last week! [16]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1608, Wikipedia.

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