Friday, November 6, 2015

History: The Year is 1674

I've uploaded year 1674 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Code of Louis: Often Humane, But Often Severe -- The King of France is busting heads and historians say it was needed. Why? Because without it, the Age of Enlightenment would have been delayed. The way we think today is very different and it is because of what happened during that time in France and under that king.

The Reality of War and the Dream of Germantown, Pennsylvania -- France has attacked Germany, and many people are displaced by war. They will dream of a new Germantown in Pennsylvania. I also talk about how Bible names were influenced by the German language.

Chicago: Land of the Skunk and the British Rock Band, Jethro Tull -- Just for laughs. It's all true, and it made me laugh.

The Code of Louis: Often Humane, But Often Severe

King Louis the 14th of France has decreed that any prostitute found with one of his soldiers within 5 miles of the Palace shall have her ears and nose cut off. The King believes that severity is best for keeping the peace. The logic goes that when a king is laying down the law, the local tyrants will not feel the need to exert so much local control so that the people will suffer less in the long run. The King uses detention without trial, secret warrants and brutal, arbitrary punishments of uncertain length to keep the peace. The Code of Louis is bringing order to France and even the nobility are toeing the line. The King requires them to live in the Palace under his supervision. (It is a really big Palace.) The nobles still hold the flashy positions in government, but the administrative duties go to those with real ability. New ranks in the army are created: Major and Lieutenant colonel. These ranks cannot be bought. They can only be earned by merit. The King is dragging France kicking and screaming into the modern age and he's breaking heads to make it happen. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
My sense is that historians admire King Louis while admitting that what he did was unfortunate... but necessary. We are looking at the beginnings of the modern era. King Louis was not part of the Enlightenment, but the Enlightenment would have had difficulty coming into being without him. What is the Enlightenment? You are living in it. It's a whole new way of thinking and each of us has been raised from birth to bask in its glow. To explain it now is like trying to explain to a fish that he is wet. It seems so natural that you may wonder why it needs explanation at all. It is simply natural thinking... natural law. Obvious. Or is it? Our brutal ancestors seem obviously wrong, but they thought they were obviously right. What were they thinking? And what are we thinking today? Our sense of right and wrong follows naturally from certain assumptions we have made on how the world works. That is what is changing with the Age of Enlightenment... a change of those first assumptions, and the American Revolution will be the result. [3]

The Reality of War and the Dream of Germantown, Pennsylvania

French troops have attacked the Palatinate (a province in modern day Germany). As French troops devastate the land in their war against the Holy Roman Emperor, many German families are displaced. Thanks to the "Peace of Westphalia" the civilians are not murdered.... much... but it's bad enough. Twenty years from now, France will do it all over again, even worse, but for now, the people pick up their belongings and try to stay ahead of the turmoil. In this same year, William Penn marries into money and purchases some land in western New Jersey. When Penn visits Germany in 1677 he will gain many converts amongst these displaced Germans and their thoughts will turn to the New World. They will sail across the Atlantic in hope of finding a better world. With Penn's help, they will establish Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1683 and they will become strong advocates in the anti-slavery movement. [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The answer is yes. George Washington slept there. Those familiar with Germantown must be shouting "Hey! Germantown is just a suburb of Philadelphia!" It is now. It was absorbed into the city in 1854. Germantown is important because some features that are now considered "American tradition" were established in Germantown and what is often called "Pennsylvanian Dutch" is actually German. Also, those familiar with the Bible, might be surprised to learn that English translations of the Bible have retained the German names of places and people of the Bible. Unfortunately, what sounds like a reasonable rendition of a Hebrew name in German, sounds really odd when pronounced in English. A good example is the city of Jerusalem. In German it sounds like yer-ROO-shall-lem. In English, the J takes on a hard-G sound, so it simply sounds strange, but there is nothing you can do about it now. It's tradition! [8] [9] [10] [11]

Chicago: Land of the Skunk and the British Rock Band, Jethro Tull

Father Jacques Marquette comes to the shores of Lake Michigan to convert the Indians. Father Marquette is not the founder of Chicago but the name comes into usage by the non-Indians around this time. Chicago means "land of the skunk." [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I should also mention that Jethro Tull was born in 1674. Really. He developed the horse-drawn seed drill and the 1970's British rock band was named after him. I'm not kidding. The only connection with Chicago is that the band played a concert there in 1973. [14] [15] [16]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1674, Wikipedia.

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