Wednesday, September 2, 2015

History: The Year is 1637

I've uploaded year 1637 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

China's Worst 5 Years of Drought and Rain in 500 Years -- Volcanoes, drought and floods! Oh my!

The Irrational Exuberance of Tulip Mania -- The economic bubble has burst.

Women's Lib, Freedom of Religion and Gun Control -- A Massachusetts colonist fights for her religious rights, and those who follow her must turn in their weapons or be fined.

And Another Thing... -- A list of interesting things that happened this year.

China's Worst 5 Years of Drought and Rain in 500 Years

The Little Ice Age has hit China hard with drought and rain out of season. The drought of a few years ago sparked a rebellion amongst farmers against the Ming Dynasty, [1] but this year a "veil of dust" from unusual volcanic activity will cause the 5 worst weather years in Chinese history as measured between 1470 and 1969. Six eruptions will occur in the Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea in the next few years and cause global temperatures to drop. Russia and Ukraine will suffer from drought and subsequent famine. Japan will be hit by a similar series of droughts next year and Virginia will suffer its driest year in 1638. And you know I have to say it... millions will die. [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... let's accentuate the positive. Obviously there is nothing a modern day farmer can do about volcanic eruptions, but modern farmers are in a better position to roll with the punches than 17th century farmers in the midst of the Little Ice Age. Today our growing seasons are longer and our temperatures are slightly higher (and therefore we can handle a drop in temps.) Rains out of season are more difficult to handle but with modern irrigation systems even the desert can produce crops. (I'm looking at YOU, Southern California.) We also have better food storage so that we can spread a good harvest across a longer span of time until we can get the next crop in. [4] [5]

The Irrational Exuberance of Tulip Mania

The Thirty Years' War has produced some strange fluctuations in the economy. Initially the Holy Roman Emperor tried to pay for the war by debasing the money supply. (That means he minted coins with less precious metal in them.) As the devalued coins bought less and less, commodities were traded like money. Oddly enough, tulips became extremely valuable. People traded in tulips, instead of gold. Like the modern day Beanie-Baby craze, the values attributed to simple flowers expanded to insane proportions... beyond any inflationary policy of the Emperor. This year the economic house of flowers has fallen. Those who traded entire fortunes for a few tulips bulbs are now holding simple flowers. They are financially ruined. The Netherlands has hit a major speed bump in the world economy and this is just the beginning of the downturn. [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... we've seen fads and crazes before. Tulip Mania was different. This was a real economic bubble and when it burst, it hurt bad. Remember the Dot Com Bubble. It was preceded by a warning from the Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, about "irrational exuberance," yet the Dot Com Bubble proceeded with vigor until it finally burst. People remembered Greenspan's warning... and then THEY DID IT ALL AGAIN with the Subprime Mortgage Crisis! We bailed out banks and companies "too big to fail." If a company is too big to fail, then it is too big to exist but as an individual, what can I do about it? I feel an impulse to convert everything I own into gold or silver or XYZ. Investing a small portion of my laughable "fortune" in a valuable commodity seems reasonable, but I must resist an "irrational exuberance." [8] [9]

Women's Lib, Freedom of Religion and Gun Control

Anne Hutchinson seems utterly oblivious to the opinions of others, believing instead that her sense of righteousness is guide enough. She has been holding meetings amongst women (shudder!) to discuss the preacher's latest sermon and even men have been attending. (Gasp!) Her meetings are now banned and she is on trial for the 'slandering of ministers'. (Apparently she commented unfavorably upon the preacher's sermon.) Luckily, she never made these statements in a public forum. (Private meetings are considered private.) She is utterly fearless and in the end her inspired pronouncements made in the midst of the trial "prove" to the court that she has gone beyond community religious standards. Since she has influenced a great many people, 75 men are ordered to turn in their weapons lest their spirits be inspired to use the guns on others... such as the judges. Failure to comply carries a 10 pound fine, a considerable sum. Anne is eventually banished to Providence, Rhode Island. [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... most modern people would find Anne's religious arguments interesting but not particularly controversial. For example, she felt that she had a personal relationship with God, and she exhibited all the charismatic personality of your average TV preacher. In those days "charisma" was not considered a virtue and it was not even considered an English word until right around 1635. It was not to be encouraged. In any case, Anne Hutchinson believed in God. She wanted to worship Him in her own way, but was mindful of her place within the community. Nevertheless, she did not see a difference when a man followed his religious conscience and a woman followed hers. The court did see a difference and that's all she wrote. [13]

And Another Thing...

* Elizabeth Poole founds Taunton, Massachusetts. It is the first time for a woman in the New World. [14]
* The first opera house opens in Venice. [15]
* King Charles the 1st of England calls a halt to emigration to the New World! [16]
* René Descartes introduces the Cartesian coordinate system. It links math with geometry! High school math students cry in anguish. [17]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1637, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment