Tuesday, October 20, 2015

History: The Year is 1664

I've uploaded year 1664 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Surprise! New Amsterdam becomes New York -- The English take New Amsterdam without a fight. I also talk about the origin of insults that came out of this time such as Dutch Courage, Dutch Treat, Dago and Yankee. I sort of like Yankee, but it's an insult, nevertheless.

The English Colony Mix and Match -- I talk about how the 13 colonies are not fully formed as they will be before the American Revolution even though the names are being thrown around left and right.

Slavery for Life and Uncle Tom's Tragedy -- Maryland makes negro slaves slaves for life. I also talk about the strange reversal of the message of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Uncle Tom was a black Jesus. I also provide a link to a free audiobook of same.

Surprise! New Amsterdam becomes New York

Well... Dutch trade in New Netherland had been going well until four English frigates came over the horizon. The English want a piece of the action so they are taking New Netherland away from the Dutch. The English are surprised at how quickly the Dutch governor surrenders. They rename New Amsterdam to New York after the Duke of York, but nothing has really changed. The existing government institutions are Dutch and all correspondence and trade is in Dutch which requires a Dutch interpreter. The English and the Dutch must cooperate with each other to get things done but it is an unhappy marriage. If you ever wondered where insults such as "Dutch Courage" or "Dutch Treat" come from, it is from these times of bad feelings. And what the Dutch call the English is hilarious. In fact, the New Englanders like the insult so much they start calling themselves by the same name: Yankees. By next year the Second Anglo-Dutch War will begin, but in the New World, life will go on. The English and the Dutch are going to be living with each other for a very long time. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. Where did the term "Yankee" come from? In English, the name John is a common name, but in Dutch it is pronounced "Yan". The diminutive form of Yan is Yanke or Yankee. It's like calling someone John-boy or Johnnie. The Spaniards are also well known in the New World and have been at war in the past with England so they are prime targets for insulting names. The patron saint of Spain is Saint James, but in Spanish his name is pronounced roughly like Santiago or San Diego. If you shorten up "Diego", you get "Dago" and thus you have a derogatory reference to Spaniards and Italians. It doesn't speak well for us as human beings. Does it? We still hurl names at each other as if it matters. One day a man named his two sons, "Winner" and "Loser," but all he proved was that a name is not one's destiny. "Loser" became a detective in the NYPD and he is known as "Lou" to his friends. His brother, "Winner," went to prison. Names do not matter. It is the character within that counts. [6] [7] [8] [9]

The English Colony Mix and Match

At this point, the original 13 colonies of the American Revolution are still forming up. Many of the names of the colonies are in use and recognizable but the actual regions they describe are changing and will continue to change. For example, Maine receives its royal charter this year, but within a year Maine will be absorbed into the Massachusetts Bay colony. Currently there is a New Haven Colony, but that will be absorbed into the Connecticut Colony. There is also an East and West New Jersey. There is no North and South Carolina yet. It's just the Province of Carolina. The Province of Pennsylvania will be established in 1681 and the Georgia Colony will be established in 1733. [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
When I was researching this segment I vaguely remembered that Florida was out there as a British colony at the time of the American Revolution, but it had remained loyal to the King. It is easy to see why. It was a very late addition, so it hadn't experienced British rule for very long. It had been a Spanish colony most of the time. Quebec was in a similar situation. Having once been a French colony, it didn't have all the build up grievances against the British yet. It had plenty of grievances. Don't get me wrong, but not enough for rebellion. It was just bad timing. The other British colonies that remained loyal to the King during the American Revolution were the British West Indies, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Bermuda. [12]

Slavery for Life and Uncle Tom's Tragedy

The Maryland legislature has passed a law that makes all negro slaves within its borders slaves for life. Any slaves brought into Maryland will henceforth be declared slaves for life and their offspring shall be slaves for life. There is also a provision that punishes a white woman for marrying a slave by making her a slave for life but Lord Baltimore has that part of the law repealed when his white servant marries a slave. He does not want to lose her to the slave owner, but everything else in the law is OK with him... apparently. It's now the law and this is why I don't equate "following the law" with "doing the right thing". Sometimes the law is the wrong thing... like this time. [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is a biblical argument that always comes up regarding paganism and slavery. Many of the African slaves in the 1600s were not following Christianity so it was argued that lifetime slavery for pagans was justified. Yet the Maryland law made no mention of any biblical reasoning and there is no provision for a slave that converted to Christianity. In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe made the argument in her book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" that most slaves ARE Christian and that the slave masters were tormenting a modern messiah. She set Uncle Tom as a Jesus figure... always turning the other cheek and helping his fellow man. In other words, he was the perfect Christian. I don't want to spoil the ending of the book for anyone but Jesus died in the end to help everyone else. Right? (Spoiler alert: Uncle Tom dies in the end helping everyone else. The guy is a flippin' hero!) So... when you hear of someone being called an "Uncle Tom" think again about what is being implied. Someone is being accused of being Christ-like. Doesn't anyone read Uncle Tom's Cabin any more? I've provided a link to the audiobook that you can download and listen to FOR FREE. Please. [15]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1664, Wikipedia.

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