Tuesday, August 4, 2015

History: The Year is 1617

I've uploaded year 1617 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

King Louis the 13th and the Hero Generation -- The King of France turns 17 and takes the throne from his mother. France looks like it's falling apart, so the King must fix it. He is part of the hero generation... so is Vincent de Paul. Our present day hero generation is the Millennials.

Sir Francis Bacon and the Injustice of Accepting Gifts -- Sir Francis Bacon is an ethical man for his time, but most modern day people would call him a crook. I also talk about lobbyists of the modern day who can offer sex to influence government officials but not a $10 coffee cup.

King Louis the 13th and the Hero Generation

A few years ago, King Henry the 4th of France died, leaving his drooling 8 year old son, King Louis the 13th, on the throne, and his overwrought mother, Queen Marie, as regent. Chaos has reigned France ever since. Queen Marie thinks her son is mentally deficient and she feels overwhelmed so she has been drawing on the experience of her Italian friends who seem to care more about enriching themselves than ruling France. Queen Marie rules France so poorly that it looks like it will soon break up into feudal provinces again. King Louis is now 17 years old and even though he is in poor physical shape there is nothing wrong with his mind. He sees no easy path from his mother's regency to his own rule because of his mother's favorite advisor, Concino Concini. With a word from the young King, Concino is soon taking the long dirt nap. Queen Marie protests, so she is exiled. The new King is taking control. He will try to fix the failure of the state by using absolute power. They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely, but at this point, things couldn't get any worse. Could they? Actually, they can and will get worse, but there is hope. The Catholic Church in France is in the midst of a reform and the future Cardinal Richelieu (pronounced, RISH-el-loo) is rising through the ranks. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In 1617, Vincent de Paul (the man who will one day become a Saint Vincent de Paul) returned to France and organized the women of Paris into the Ladies of Charity in order to fund hospitals and free Christians who had been sold into slavery. Vincent, himself, had just been freed from a Muslim slave master. Vincent also reorganized the priesthood into centralized groups. Vincent de Paul wanted the people to trust the priesthood and that required stricter standards so he began educating the priesthood. Vincent de Paul and King Louis were part of a generation of heroes. That sounds like a good thing but if you've ever had to deal with heroes, they are a double-edged sword. During World War 2, the Greatest Generation went to war and saved us all. They were a hero generation. So were the Nazis. A hero generation can do wondrous things and incredibly destructive things depending on its leadership. A new hero generation is on deck right now. The Millennials are in their 20s and they have been looking for a leader. Let's hope they don't pick Bernie Sanders. [6]

Sir Francis Bacon and the Injustice of Accepting Gifts

This year Sir Francis Bacon is appointed Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. Essentially, he will use his power to maintain business monopolies for the favorites of King James the 1st of England. He is what is called in the modern day... a "Company Man"... in polite company, that is. He will eventually fall out of favor and retire to his estate to write lengthy books on the scientific method. He will also discover himself in many ways and repent what he is doing right now, but that is for later years. For now, he is dispensing the best justice that money can buy. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Sir Francis Bacon is considered an ethical man for his times. This is a somewhat backhanded compliment. Government officials didn't make a lot of money so it became a custom for them to accept gifts. These gifts were not necessarily bribes but one can see where it might lead. Modern justice requires not only that justice be done but that justice appear to be done. That is often a difficult task, made all the more difficult when a judge accepts a gift or the promise of a cushy job after retirement. Nevertheless, it seems ridiculous to require people to make a report when one is given a coffee mug in appreciation because it exceeds a certain monetary value, but one need not report accepting sexual favors from a lobbyist. The North Carolina Ethics Committee recently ruled that a lobbyist can offer sexual favors to government officials because it is impossible to place a monetary value on sex. If that is true, then prostitutes have been doing something impossible for centuries now. (I'm exaggerating a little here but not by much. You can read the article cited below.) [10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1617, Wikipedia.

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