Monday, October 12, 2015

History: The Year is 1658

I've uploaded year 1658 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Swedish Army Walks on Water -- The Swedish Army walks across the ice when the Baltic Sea freezes and attacks Copenhagen. I talk about how a cash-strapped country like Sweden could run a military adventure like that and I talk about Russian oil prices and their military adventures.

The First Roosevelt is Born in America -- They began as Dutch Calvinist colonists of New Amsterdam. I talk about the Progressive Era and how it began with the best of intentions.

The Swedish Army Walks on Water

The Baltic Sea has frozen over so that the Swedish Army can walk across the ice from Holstein, northern Germany all the way to Denmark. The Danes are totally surprised and had the Swedes pressed the attack, they could have taken Copenhagen immediately. Copenhagen has fortifications but the city has grown dramatically over recent years so the fortifications are not fully in place. Fortunately for the Danes, the Swedes decide on a formal siege with everyone in their proper place. When the Swedes finally attack, the Danish fortifications are ready so the losses for the Swedes are enormous. Copenhagen will manage to hold out because it is next to the strait with the busiest traffic between the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic so they are getting plenty of supplies. Eventually, the Swedes will win some concessions over disputed lands. Sweden is at its peak of power this year. It's all downhill from here, but it is going to be a gentle slope. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is actually amazing that Sweden had as much power as it did at the time. It's population was relatively small and one wonders how it could maintain an army beyond its own borders. Taxes were paid "in kind" meaning that you could provide the equivalent value in chickens, cattle and grain. (You can feed a soldier with a chicken but it is difficult to pay a soldier with a chicken, especially on the road.) Also, becoming a nobleman in Sweden was fairly easy if you had the money or a needed talent. If you'll recall, in 1280 the Swedish nobility was created when the King offered a noble title and life-time tax exemption for any subject who provided a son as a knight for the army. (Bring your own armor, and horse, of course) The main exports for Sweden were lumber and copper. After Spain began using copper coins, Sweden's copper mines provided most of the money for Sweden's military ambitions. In the modern day, oil exports provide that boast for otherwise cash-poor countries. In case no one has noticed, oil prices have gone up since Russia has stepped up their military involvement. Russia is a net exporter of oil so higher oil prices means more money for its military ambitions. [5] [6] [7]

The First Roosevelt is Born in America

Nicholas Van Rosenvelt (changed to Nicholas Roosevelt) is born this year in New Amsterdam (which is modern day New York). He is the 4th great grandfather of Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Nicholas will also be the first Roosevelt to hold public office. He will become an alderman. According to Theodore Roosevelt's autobiography, the Roosevelts came to America in the "steerage" of a sailing ship. "Steerage" usually means that like a sack sand, your body is there to provide weight so that it is easier for the pilot to steer the ship. They are Dutch Calvinists and will remain on Manhattan Island for the next 7 generations. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Teddy Roosevelt is where we get the "Teddy Bear" which is named after him. He described his family on the Calvinist side as being very "stark". (I suppose his ancestors weren't a lot of laughs.) He tells the story of his great grandfather who, after attending church services as a boy, hopped on a wild pig. Wild pigs wandered New York at the time. The pig was quite unhappy having a boy riding him and went hog-wild through the congregation. His great grandfather received a very stern lecture for his disruptive behavior. Of course the Roosevelts have been quite disruptive in American politics. Teddy ushered in the Progressive Era, which promoted such horrors as eugenics, massive government regulation and our progressive school system. FDR gave us the social security pyramid scheme, and 9 members of the Supreme Court instead of 7. (He packed the court with his cronies by increasing the number of court Justices.) Of course it was all done with the best of intentions. The Progressive Movement began as an anti-government corruption movement and direct democracy. [11] [12]
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
-- Dutch proverb. [13]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1658, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment