Friday, November 20, 2015

History: The Year is 1679

I've uploaded year 1679 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Niagara Falls Is Discovered... Again -- A man builds a ship to explore the Great Lakes and to look for a Northwest Passage to China. The ship sinks but it does find Niagara Falls.

Go to the Head of the Class: France Requires Merchant Exams -- The French Finance Minister requires that merchants demonstrate competency in bookkeeping and knowledge of commercial law. I talk about the problem of forgetting to pay your taxes.

The Armenia Earthquake -- 7.0. Lots of shaking.

Niagara Falls Is Discovered... Again

At this point several people can lay claim to being the first European to discover Niagara Falls. The French have sent explorers galore out this way and missionaries have come along to convert the Iroquois Indians. This time, Robert de La Salle has built a small sailing ship that he names Le Griffon to explore the Great Lakes and to find the Northwest passage to China. Why? Because a fast route to China means spices and other exotic products that can be bought cheaply and sold for a king's ransom in Europe. In the meantime he is settling for furs. They sail and tow the ship along the Niagara River until they discover the falls. They also make their way to Lake Huron and after a severe storm La Salle makes a stop at Green Bay. Le Griffen sets out for further exploration without him. Reportedly the ship runs into another severe storm and they never return. [1]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Traditionally Niagara Falls has been a favorite destination for honeymooners. There are boat tours and some people have tried to go over the falls in a barrel. Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to try it in 1901. She survived. When she was pulled out of the barrel, bruised and bleeding she said, "No one ought ever do that again." It is currently illegal to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel or anything else. Oddly enough, in the 1800s several attempts to find a new homeland for the Jews considered Grand Island near Niagara Falls as a site. Uganda was also on the list. Regarding the ship that was lost, two divers recently claimed to have found the wreck of Le Griffon somewhere at the bottom of Lake Michigan, but the report seems like a promotional stunt by two treasure hunters. Only time will tell. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Go to the Head of the Class: France Requires Merchant Exams

Back in 1673, several changes in French commercial law have brought merchants under strict control. Contracts must be in writing and signatures verified by a notary public. Partnerships must be registered, and investors are liable for its debts, but only up to the amount of their investment. It is usually easier to pass a law to reform commerce than it is to actually make the reform happen, but the Finance Minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, is going to make it happen. He requires that all merchants be examined for competency in bookkeeping and commercial law. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... gone are the good old days when you could just put up a sign and start selling something. Eh? Yeah. It's been a VERY long time since you could do that... at least officially. But according to the book Freakonomics even drug dealers have to know bookkeeping to be successful. If you are not tracking what is coming in and what is going out, you don't really know what you have left to take home to Mama. This is why you hear so many ads on the radio offering to help you with your tax problems. People take in money from a sale, foolishly believing that the money belongs to them, but Uncle Sam thinks that you owe part of that money to him and he will send federal agents to knock on your door to remind you. But a lot of people still forget and when tax time comes around they don't have the cash to pay the tax man. So now you know why the French were forcing merchants to take exams on bookkeeping. They'd rather have the money in government coffers than send disorganized merchants to prison for not paying their taxes. [10] [11]

The Armenia Earthquake

A 7.0 earthquake hits Armenia this year. Not much is known about the quake except that it knocked down a lot of churches and Fort Erivan was completely destroyed. The Shah conscripted the people from several local villages to rebuild the fort. [12]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1679, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment