Tuesday, December 8, 2015

History: The Year is 1689

I've uploaded year 1689 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The Townspeople are Philistines! -- After a sermon about Sampson and Delilah the university students begin calling the townspeople "the Philistines". The label sticks.

Husqvarna... for all your Gun and Garden Needs -- Known for their chainsaws, they began by making muskets. I talk about Gaston Glock and how he started by making curtain rods.

The Bill of Rights -- In the midst of charging King James the 2nd of a violation of rights and liberties, someone figures that they ought to define what rights and liberties the people have in the first place.

Fair is Fair -- A list of notable events this year.

The Townspeople are Philistines!

The University of Jena (in present day Germany) is a source of prestige for the town. Aristocrats send their sons for a good education and along with their sons comes their money. But like young men everywhere, they have more on their minds than their studies. After classes, they come into town to drink, laugh and pinch the girls. This produces a lot of resentment amongst the townspeople and when someone throws a punch, it all comes apart. The next Sunday, the local preacher gives a sermon drawn from the Hebrew Scriptures: the story of Sampson and Delia. Sampson is a mighty Jewish warrior. Delilah is a temptress who betrays Sampson to the Philistines. The lesson is that a man should not let his base desires get him into trouble, but the students walk away with a different lesson. All the "Delilahs" are living in town so the students start referring to the townspeople as the "Philistines." This trend spreads to other universities and it soon becomes popular to refer to anyone who is uneducated or vulgar as a "Philistine." [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
College towns always take on a character different from their surroundings. Austin, Texas is a college town so if you wear Birkenstock shoes, love beads, and like to vote for expensive bike lanes that only 20 people use, while forcing automobile traffic into narrow and confusing lanes that increase accidents and if you love a commuter train that doesn't actually go to anywhere people wish to commute, then Austin is the place for you. On the other hand, if you want government to generally leave you alone, you live just outside of Austin, in Bastrop, Williamson or Hayes counties. While it is true that these counties lack the lavish amenities that you can find in Austin, Texas, it is also true that the local government isn't haranguing you about obscure building code violations or arresting you for eating a hamburger in a high crime area. [5] [6]

Husqvarna... for all your Gun and Garden Needs

Sweden's main arsenal has a problem supplying muskets for their troops. The metal-works that is located near the arsenal uses water-powered machinery, so when the local stream is low or is clogged with ice the production of muskets grinds to a halt. The King of Sweden has moved the metal-works to the town of Husqvarna where the water supply is more reliable and now musket production has jumped 800%. Husqvarna Weapons Factory Limited has begun as a government manufacturer of military weapons, but by 1757, the foundry will be privatized. The weapons business will drop off in the 1870s. Since the machinery used to make rifles can be used to create other metal products, Husqvarna will start making sewing machines, and then cast iron ovens, bicycles, lawnmowers and in 1959 they will enter the chainsaw business. By the late 1960s their gun business will be sold off to the Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors Carl Gustaf. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Husqvarna had to adapt their existing machinery to other tasks as their weapons market dwindled. I am reminded of the history of the Glock which followed an entirely opposite path. Wikipedia lists Gaston Glock as an Austrian engineer, but he had been using his engineering skills to make curtain rods and knives with a small metal press in his garage! While he was trying to sell knives to the Austrian military he got a tip that they were looking for a new pistol. Steyr was the obvious choice as an Austrian gun manufacturer, but their pistol had a complex mechanism, and it tended to malfunction when dropped. Glock had never built a gun in his life and he didn't have the machines to do it, but without preconceptions, he could plan it out based on the most efficient manufacturing methods for the product. The result was a pistol that a soldier could use without forgetting to release the safety. It also had a simple mechanism so that if it needed small repairs you didn't need a machine shop. Glock submitted his prototypes in 1982 and they bought it. Sometimes not being burdened with a long history of manufacturing can be an advantage. [10] [11] [12]

The Bill of Rights

The English Parliamentary Convention has decided to charge King James the 2nd (just a few weeks escaped to France) with violations of the rights and liberties of the people of Great Britain. But someone has pointed out that one cannot charge the missing King with a violation of rights and liberties until the Parliament has defined what rights and liberties the people have in the first place. They create a Bill of Rights based largely on the writings of John Locke. This is more than a simple listing of rights. They are establishing a constitutional monarchy and the new King and Queen, William and Mary, must swear a new oath to enforce and follow the laws of Parliament and to follow the Anglican Church. [13] [14] [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
What they produced is specific to the time, but what is implied are the rights and liberties of the people. In summary they are...
* The King must enforce and follow the laws of Parliament.
* The King cannot repeal a law without consent of the Parliament.
* The King cannot establish a Catholic Church or its institutions.
* The King cannot tax without consent of the Parliament.
* The King cannot raise an army in peacetime without consent of the Parliament.
* The right of the King's subjects to bear arms
* The right of free elections of the Parliament.
* The right of freedom of speech within Parliament.
* The right to be free of abusive fines and cruel or unusual punishment.
* The right to redress of grievances.
These and other rights are listed. One can see the beginnings of the Bill of Rights of the United States.

Fair is Fair

* The first trade fair is held in Holland. With a Dutch prince and princess on the throne of England, English and Dutch businesses are going to get a lot closer to each other. [17]
* Boston revolts! The Dominion is history. A mob grabs the unloved Governor of the New England Dominion. He will live and William and Mary will restore the original colony charters. [18]
* The English hearth tax is repealed! This was something like a property tax except that it counted chimneys and stoves. It was resented, and frankly, England did not have a long history of this type of tax, so bye-bye. [19]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1689, Wikipedia.

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