Wednesday, October 14, 2015

History: The Year is 1661

I've uploaded year 1661 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Why the Bakers Bake No Bread -- The bankers of NEW Amsterdam are on strike, because they don't like the government regulation of the price of bread. They want BETTER regulation. God help us all.

'Our Lord of the Attic': Hiding Religion in Plain Sight -- Catholic worship is forbidden in Amsterdam but Jan Hartman renovates his 3-story residence to hold a magnificent church in his attic. I also talk about religious tolerance and Spinoza who is a Jewish philosopher living in Amsterdam at the time.

Why the Bakers Bake No Bread

New Amsterdam bakers have gone on strike. The Governor has set the price of bread and the quality for the price. It is difficult to understand exactly why the bakers are baking no bread, but it must be one of two reasons: 1) There is not enough profit in making bread at the prices the Governor has set, or 2) the Bakers are asserting their right under the Bakers Guild to negotiate a better formula for setting those prices. The strike goes on for two weeks until the Governor raises the price by 10%. Free market baking will not take precedence until 1801 when New York bakers will strike for the right to charge whatever the market will bear. [1]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... this issue is more complicated than it seems. In the Dutch Old World system, bread was an essential, and bakers felt a duty to produce it for the community just as producing water and electricity for the community is an essential in the modern day. In fulfilling their duty as bakers they felt that the government owed them some commercial protection, locking out competitors and providing a reasonable profit. But the variable cost of grain and the unreliable money supply (essentially beaver pelts) made New World regulation nearly impossible so the bakers went on strike. They seemed to be striking for better regulation... not for free market prices. Oh no! Not that! In the modern day, I bake my own bread from scratch once a week. I'm not the best baker in the world, but no baker's strike (or trucker's strike or grocer's strike) would stop me from making what I need. I have developed skills over the years and I practice those skills just in case. And frankly, I like fresh baked bread.

'Our Lord of the Attic': Hiding Religion in Plain Sight

Jan Hartman has purchased a three-story residence in the city of Amsterdam and sets about to renovate the building. It was erected in 1629 and maintains the normal style of the Dutch residential architecture. It is not that old. One wonders what might need renovating, but what is happening inside this unremarkable building is a miracle in hiding the forbidden in plain sight. In the attic of this residence is being built a beautiful church named "Our Lord of the Attic". In Calvinist Amsterdam, Catholic worship is forbidden. Signs are everywhere warning residents to comply with the law, but it is an open secret that Catholics reside in Amsterdam and that they find ways to worship such as this small church tucked in the attic. More than 20 of these hidden churches will be built in Amsterdam and more in surrounding cities. [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It seems to me that these hidden churches could not have existed without the tacit approval of the local authorities. Certainly Jewish communities existed in Amsterdam, including a very important philosopher named Benedito de Espinosa, otherwise known as Spinoza. The German philosopher, Hegel, said, "You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all." In 1661, Spinoza was almost 30 years old, giving philosophy lessons and supporting himself by grinding lenses. He was expelled from the Jewish community for heretical ideas but expelled might be too harsh a term. No one was talking to him. I've read some of his work. I found it tedious, but perhaps I don't have enough background to understand it. In any case, many people such as the Jews and Catholics were allowed in the Netherlands as long as they didn't make a spectral of themselves. Amsterdam was considered tolerant. What a world. [3] [4]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1661, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment