Tuesday, July 28, 2015

History: The Year is 1614

I've uploaded year 1614 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

What Do You Have in the Basket, Judith? A Rape and a Beheading -- Artie is a great artist but she is raped by a fellow artist. She takes him to trial. After the trial she paints a magnificent depiction of Judith beheading a barbarian. Nice.

Virginia Tobacco is the New Crack... and the New Money -- Pocahontas is rich! King James is rich! Everyone is rich growing tobacco. It's like selling crack without that messy prison time.

Welcome to New Netherland -- The Dutch are moving into the New World in North America. Nothing serious yet, but soon.

What Do You Have in the Basket, Judith? A Rape and a Beheading

A great female artist completes one of her best works... Judith Slaying Holofernes. Apparently, "slaying" means beheading... in full color. The artist's name is... well... let's call her Artie. Artie will wallow in obscurity for centuries because she had the temerity to accuse an influential man of rape and bringing him to trial. The earliest estimate for completion of Artie's depiction of Judith beheading the Assyrian general is 1614... which is two years after the trial concluded... so she began working on it shortly after the trial or perhaps during the trial ... and the torture. One modern author wrote in a satirical style that thumbscrews were "the medieval idea of a lie detector". Artie wasn't lying and she might have been killed had the local Duchess not intervened on her behalf. The Duchess was promised a painting in payment... and that's the way justice worked during the Baroque period in Rome. The actual verdict in the trial is lost to history. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Yes, I know. If the justice system is not Baroque, don't fix it. Moving on. From reading the court transcript, the rapist sounds a lot like Bill Clinton....
"I am telling you that not only have I not raped the said Artemisia, but I have never had sexual relations with her."

And here is Artie in her own defense...
"'I told him that I was feeling ill and I thought I had a fever. He replied: 'I have more of a fever than you do' ... when we were in front of the bedroom door, he pushed me in and locked the door. He then threw me on to the edge of the bed ... I tried to scream..."

You get the idea. She was a famous artist in her time, but years after her death, critics smeared her reputation by calling her a temptress or attributing her work to a man. I'm not sure how one can believe such foolishness but each critic is a product of his time. In the modern day, Artie is held up as model for feminists. That works for me. She survived the rape and proved her worth in the art world. She slayed the barbarian and carried his head away in a basket just like Judith. [6] [7] [8]

Virginia Tobacco is the New Crack... and the New Money

King James the 1st has been toying with the idea of banning tobacco as a vice, but now he is convinced that tobacco is the greatest substance in the world because now he can tax the hell out of it! It seems that the English, and just about everyone else, will pay any price to get their fix. The King of Spain, fearful that the price might drop out of the market, begins funneling Spanish tobacco exclusively through the port of Seville. He is squeezing off the supply. Scarcity pushes the price sky high. Back in Jamestown, with an uneasy peace with the Indians in place, the new husband of Pocahontas, John Rolfe, is planting acres of tobacco. The Virginia product is inferior, but everyone is paying through the nose for it. If crack had existed at the time, tobacco would be the new crack and the new money. It's as good as gold. Pocahontas is rich! Now the poverty-stricken are gathering up discarded cigar butts, grinding up the tobacco and wrapping the result in small papers. Mark the date on your calendar, folks. Cigarettes are born. [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The first cigarette vending machine is created around this time as well. I only saw a brief mention of it but you dropped a coin in the kitty, opened the box and took your smokes. It seemed to work on the honor system like an office snack rack. Just a warning, now. This tobacco mania is going to touch off something really terrible, and the people won't realize they've done it until it is well and truly done. In a couple of years, during harvest time, a Dutch pirate ship will sail into a Virginia port to sell their ill-gotten goods and a few slaves. The farmers will want to get the harvest in. They need the labor and at 1000% profit on tobacco they won't think twice. They won't think once. They are going to do the unthinkable.

Welcome to New Netherland

The Dutch East India Company has surveyed the region in the eastern part of North America. Henry Hudson has also been that way and a fellow named Adriaen Block who is calling the region "New Netherland". The New Netherland Company is formed to exploit the fur trade and continue with commerce. No thoughts of colonization yet, but that's coming. The New Netherland colonies will include a place called New Amsterdam. In the modern day it will be called New York. [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
One might wonder what the Dutch East India Company was doing so far west. They had been commissioned to seek a Northwest passage to China and the East Indies. Henry Hudson had been sent there for the same reason and that is where the name "Hudson Bay" comes from. The idea was that if one could sail south and through the Straits of Magellan to reach the East Indies, why couldn't you sail north and do the same thing? Well.. it's all blocked off with a giant floating block of ice. That is why and no one has a submarine yet that can travel below the ice... at least nothing well-documented. The first reliable account of a submarine test will be conducted in 1620 by the English. It won't be until 1958 when the USS Nautilus will reach the north pole by going under the ice and 1960 when the USS Seadragon will travel the Northwest Passage under the ice. [14] [15] [16]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1614, Wikipedia.

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