Monday, November 23, 2015

History: The Year is 1680

I've uploaded year 1680 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Slavery Soars in Virginia -- This year historians note that slavery in Virginia makes a serious uptick. I talk about modern serfdom.

Popé's Pueblo Revolt and the Promise of Paradise -- The Pueblo Indians revolt against the Spanish on the promise of Paradise. I talk about past attempts at Paradise, religious and secular and how it can't be forced.

Slavery Soars in Virginia

The current number of slaves in Virginia is approximately 3,000. In the next 20 years that number will grow to 16,000 and by the time of the 1790 U.S. Census, 300,000 slaves will be living in Virginia. That will be more than 40% of all slaves in the United States of America. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The question is... Why did the growth in the slave population take a suddenly jump in 1680? The previous Governor of Virginia had been pushing toward a more diversified economy instead of the labor-intensive (but extremely profitable) tobacco crops. When the Governor fell from power, tobacco was locked in as the cash crop for Virginia and that locked in slavery. There was also a recent labor shortage in England which drove up labor costs, making slavery more economically viable. And there was a problem for the Virginia farmer with a free and mobile workforce. The economist, Adam Smith, noted that with so much land available in North America, a mobile workforce could move to their own plot of land and work it themselves whenever they didn't like how the existing farmers were treating them. In the modern day, employers must think of ways to keep skilled workers in their area as an available resource rather than having them move away. My cousin is an unemployed autoworker. When there is work, the money is very good. When he is not working he is miserable, but he won't risk moving because the government (and local employers) make it comfortable enough for him to remain available. This is the serfdom of the modern day but none of this fully explains why Virginia farmers of the late 1680s preferred African black slaves over the one million white slaves available world-wide at the time. The reason was that white people dropped like flies when exposed to the diseases of the Americas and Africa. Only Africans stood a chance of surviving in the fields. It was their exposure to the diseases of West Africa that provided them better protection in the South than their white slave counterparts. [4] [5]

Popé's Pueblo Revolt and the Promise of Paradise

The Spaniards have been moving into the New Mexico region for decades along with Franciscan missionaries. The Pueblo Indian tribes were quickly subdued. By the late 1600s the Franciscan missionaries had converted thousands of Pueblo Indians to Christianity. Yet the Indians continued certain pagan practices including the use of hallucinogenic drugs, so the Spaniards have decided to crack down. (Oh, what pun!) Forty-seven Indian medicine men are arrested. Three are executed. The rest are freed, but this has made the Indians angry. One of those angry Indians is a man named Popé. With famine and serfdom as their lot, it isn't difficult for him to convince his fellow tribesmen, and neighboring tribes to rise up against the Spaniards. Popé promises that once the Spaniards are expelled the gods will smile upon the people and a new age of prosperity will come. All they have to lose are their chains. After 5 years of planning, the day is here. Over 2,000 Indian men armed with bows and arrows fight 170 Spanish soldiers armed with muskets. Less than 1,500 Spanish men, women and children escape to El Paso alive along with 500 Indian Christians. The Pueblo Indians return to their old ways, but the famine continues. Paradise never comes. Popé will be deposed next year and the Spaniards will return in 1692 to very little resistance. [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
What causes a man to hurl himself into the jaws of the lion in the hope that his shin bone will catch in the lion's throat? It is easy to call a Muslim terrorist a lunatic, but when the government seems out of control, how many of us have thoughts of revolution? The American Revolution worked out... mostly, but how many times has revolution failed? The Pueblo Revolt for a pagan Paradise ultimately failed, the Maccabean Revolt for a Jewish paradise ultimately failed, the Bolshevik Revolution for a worker's paradise ultimately failed and the Egyptian overthrow of Mubarak was supposed to bring about a Google paradise. How is that Google Revolt working out for you guys in Egypt? It's not just religion that does this. We have seen more deaths in nationalistic wars than all the religious wars combined including the destruction of the world during the Flood. (To be fair, whether you believe in the Flood or not, there just weren't very many people living in the world in the first place.) I am a believer in a religious Paradise, but I don't believe it can be forced. If history is a guide, any attempt to force a religious or secular Paradise is doomed to fail... eventually. But not before a lot of people die. Hopefully it will mostly be the jerks who started the war in the first place. As we have seen throughout history, this too shall pass... eventually, and the world will be better place... but not perfect... not yet.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1680, Wikipedia.

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