Thursday, November 19, 2015

History: The Year is 1678

I've uploaded year 1678 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Divine Right of Kings and the Start of Political Parties -- James is the heir apparent to the throne of England and a Catholic. It is illegal for Catholics to hold a public office so Parliament tries to exclude James from the succession to the throne. A debate over the divine right of kings ensues, causing a division that creates modern political parties.

Lost in a Dream: Pilgrim's Progress and the Martian -- John Bunyan is thrown in prison for preaching, and he writes a novel that will become a best seller for centuries to come. Pilgrim's Progress is a simple narrative carrying a larger, inspiring message. In the secular sense, The Martian by Andy Weir is also a simple story carrying a larger inspiring message.

Many Firsts -- Odds and ends of firsts.

The Divine Right of Kings and the Start of Political Parties

Who picks the king? Is it God or do the faithful have a say? A few years ago the English Parliament passed a religious Test to ensure that only Anglicans hold public office, and the King's brother, James, is a Catholic so he is naturally denied a position in the Admiralty. However, James is also the heir apparent to the throne of England, so Parliament tries to exclude James from the succession. Some argue that the throne is the divine right of kings... that is... it is God who selects the king and the Parliament cannot refuse a king based on his religion. These people are the Tories which is an Irish word meaning "a rebel" who supported the King during the English civil war. In the modern day those who support the Monarchy are still called the Tories. Those opposed to the Tories are called the 'Country Party' or Whigs. When it seems as if James will be excluded from the throne, King Charles the 2nd dissolves Parliament. The debate will continue in later Parliaments and the stuff will really hit the fan when King Charles himself converts to Catholicism but that is another story. This division creates the first political parties. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The philosopher John Locke was a Whig. I've read his argument against the divine right of kings and it goes like this: we are all children of Adam and Eve. We are all one family. There is no hereditary line from Adam designated by God as the kingly line. Therefore all of us, any of us, could be designated as king. This equality allows us to place limits on the designated king's power. In the Bible, David was anointed King by the Prophet Samuel, and yet David's power was not absolute. He maintained certain privileges but he was subject to the law like any other man. Thus the claim of absolute rights for kings is absolute bunk. In the modern day we still want a king. We want someone to lead us, to fight our battles, to do what is right so that we don't have to think about it. #I_AM_2_DAMNED_LAZY. It is such a temptation to change the icon on our Facebook page and call it a day, but as difficult as it is, we must take responsibility for ourselves. Certainly we must organize into a government, but for practical reasons those organizations with the most power over individual choice must be as local as possible because no organization, no matter how benevolent, can know the needs of an individual if it is a thousand miles away... even if we all "friend" the President of the United States on Facebook®. It's time to wake up.

Lost in a Dream: Pilgrim's Progress and the Martian

"As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place [...] and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream." [6]
The place John Bunyan found to lay his head was a Bedford prison and the dream he dreamt became a book... Pilgrim's Progress. John is a tinker by trade. (A tinker is a tinsmith who repairs household utensils.) He had become a Baptist preacher giving sermons in the village square but after public religious demonstrations are made illegal (except for Anglican preaching) John is arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison. In his suffering, the beginnings of a book have come together: a man called CHRISTIAN reads his fate in the Book of Life and he is afraid, but EVANGELIST points to a guiding light. CHRISTIAN must follow the light to a wicker gate and knock. CHRISTIAN has fallen into a mystical dreamworld, and as he sets out on his journey a series of characters attempt to turn him away from his path. The story is allegory, and a thinly veiled sermon on the problem of indifference, the despair of the lost, and the promise of Heaven. Part One of Pilgrim's Progress is published this year and it is an instant success. Over the next 250 years, thousands of editions will go into print. Then it will lose its impact, only later to be restored to popularity. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the modern day most people have heard of Pilgrim's Progress and assume it has something to do with Thanksgiving. Well... giving thanks is certainly part of it, but it has nothing to do with turkey and sweet potatoes. It is a book of Christian instruction and a pretty good read even for a non-Christian such as myself. It is written simply, and that is the charm of the book. You know it is a story but the narrative doesn't interfere with the imagination of the reader. It reminds me of the Og Mandino books such as The Greatest Salesman in the World and The Greatest Secret in the World. These are perfect books for the ethical instruction of businessmen and I recommend them highly. For a secular example of a simple narrative carrying a larger, inspiring story, read "The Martian" by Andy Weir. The movie reflects the simplicity of the book. You know that its not real but you don't care. It's simply inspiring. [10] [11] [12] [13]

Many Firsts

* The first fire engine is introduced in Philadelphia. It is a wagon mounted with a "see-saw" water pump. The design is attributed to Richard Mason. [14]
* The first medical pamphlet is published in America entitled, "A Brief Rule in Small Pocks or Measles." [15]
* The first chrysanthemums arrive in Europe. [16]
* The first woman doctor. It is a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Padua. Her name is Elena Cornaro Piscopia. [17]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1678, Wikipedia.

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