Wednesday, August 19, 2015

History: The Year is 1628

I've uploaded year 1628 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Vasa is Sinking: This X-Project has Failed -- King Gustav has ordered his new flag ship to sail but it sinks in the first cross breeze. I talk about the reasons for a new ship design and how this massive government failure went unpunished.

Salem: The City of Peace and Escape -- The town of Salem is established. I talk about the loophole in the charter and the study of the Bible.

The Rise of the Sweet Potato -- Sweet potatoes originated in the New World, and has been in the Old World for a long time, but I thought I'd mention that the sweet potato is saving Asian.

Vasa is Sinking: This X-Project has Failed

Ship design in this century is in flux. There are the galleons, of course, and the massive armed cargo ships of the Dutch East Indies Company, but no one really knows which ship design is going to win the war at sea. The English Channel has become virtually impassible so several experimental ship designs have been offered. The Spanish are trying out the frigate. These smaller, more lightly armored ships hunt in packs. The King of Sweden, Gustav the 2nd Vasa, has decided on a massive 1,200 ton ship with two gun decks and a shallow hold. He names the ship "Vasa" after his royal dynasty. By all reports (that have reached the King) construction has been going well. Unfortunately, the reports of the actual shipbuilders have not reached King Gustav. The King orders the ship to sea, so it weighs anchor and moves into the shipping lane a little less than a mile from shore. It then heels over and sinks. This experiment in ship building is over. Two years later an attempt to raise the ship from the bottom will fail. Several unsuccessful attempts will be made over the centuries, and then the ship will be forgotten until a modern project to raise the ship will succeed. The ship will be pulled out of the water in 1961. It will remain on display at the Vasa Museum into the modern day. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... what went wrong with this project? Frankly, the ship was top-heavy with a shallow hold. The heavy bronze cannons were not as heavy as cast iron, but the 2nd gun deck was located so high that it raised the center of gravity and the high sides of the ship caught the wind. The lower gun deck was close to the water line so that when the ship heeled over, the gun ports were exposed to the sea. So... the ship sank in the first cross breeze. This was an experiment. Experiments go wrong, but how was it that King Gustav was so ill-informed that he didn't have a clue that it's design was so unstable? Well... no one was brave enough to tell him so. That is no joke. King Gustav was admired and feared by his friends as much as by his enemies. This was a time for heroes and several had appeared on the scene, especially King Gustav. After a government investigation, no one could be found to blame for this terrible and expensive disaster, thus... surprise... no one was punished. [3] [4]

Salem: The City of Peace and Escape

John Endicott leads a group of investors to establish a colony in New England. He marches off the boat with 60 other colonists and joins with a few fishermen already at the site. This is the founding of Salem. Currently a land grant is issued by the old Plymouth Company. By next year, King Charles the 1st will certify the charter, creating the Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England. Something critical will be left out of the charter, though. Unlike the Virginia charter, the Massachusetts Bay legislature will not be required to check back with England for final approval of their laws. This little omission will create a massive loophole that will allow English Puritans to escape persecution from King Charles and William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury and create their own laws in Massachusetts. [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The word "salem" is the English version of the Hebrew word "shalom" which means peace or completion. There was a tendency on the part of Puritans and the more radical Separatists (also known as Pilgrims) to use the Old Testament texts to inform their actions. They would study Jewish texts and the Pilgrims carried small Hebrew-English word lists in order to check their understanding of the original texts. I recommend that modern Bible study include something like a Strong's Concordance to check critical words to make sure you know what you think you know about a particular Bible verse. I'm not saying that the translators are wrong, but Hebrew doesn't work like English so translators are limited in what they can do when translating from Hebrew into English. [8] [9]

The Rise of the Sweet Potato

Christopher Columbus introduced the sweet potato to Europe in 1492, but in the last few decades it has become a major crop, especially in Asia. The reason is simple. It grows in hot, tropical climates in generally poor soils but adequate rain. That makes them a critical food source when other crops can fail due to heavy rains. In the modern day, China produces 80% of the world's crop of sweet potatoes. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the United States yams are rare. Most of the so-called 'yams' in the store are really sweet potatoes. They look almost the same so that is where the confusion comes from, but commercially speaking, the USA doesn't grow yams in any significant numbers. Secondly, sweet potatoes are not potatoes. Potatoes are tubers from the nightshade family of plants. Sweet potatoes are roots that look like tubers. They are a cultivated plant and while they can be found in the wild, they are not a wild plant. They were developed thousands of years ago in Central and Southern America. I have never tried to grow sweet potatoes but I am told that they grow into strange shapes in clay soil. Since I have clay soil, it looks like I'd have to grow them in raised beds. [15] [16]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1628, Wikipedia.

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