Friday, January 29, 2016

History: The Year is 1720

I've uploaded year 1720 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Genius of Vilnius is Born -- The modern Jewish educational system will be established by this man. He will include math and science. That will create a backlash that is still going on today.

The Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles Burst -- France and England engage in separate get rich quick schemes that are virtually the same thing. It all comes apart when investors realize what the Tulip buyers realized after Tulip Mania.

Astronomy is Going to Hell -- Maximilian Hell is an astronomer with a heck of a name.

The Genius of Vilnius is Born

One of the greatest Jewish scholars of the modern era (if not THE greatest scholar) is born this year in the city of Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. His name is Elijah, son of Solomon, but most people use his title, "The Genius of Vilnius". By 20 years old he will be recognized as a genius and many will seek his judgement on difficult points of law. The people of Vilnius will pay for his support while he sets in place Jewish education as it is known in the modern day. It includes what modern people would call "secular studies" such as math and science along with regular religious subjects. Some Jews will not like this change in the curriculum. They will call themselves "The Pious Ones." The Genius of Vilnius will oppose the Pious Ones and thus define his own movement as "The Opponents." The battle will continue into the modern day. Oh yeah. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I am an Orthodox Jew and I am one of The Opponents. I think that the study of the way the world works is the study of God's handiwork. The Pious Ones, ironically, can be found on many college campuses. Yet they still think that the Sun orbits around the Earth. 'Nuf said. I know many of them personally. They are nice guys. I will gladly pray with them, but I can't join their movement. To understand the differences, there is a popular movie for a general audience entitled "The Chosen" (1981) starring Robby Benson. (It is still good.) During World War 2, a Jewish high school organizes a baseball league to prove that Jews can be athletes. It is not a baseball movie but it begins with a game between the Pious Ones and the Opponents. It makes baseball look like a war. The movie focuses on two boys who eventually become friends after almost killing each other. [8] Trivia: Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October" opens with Captain Marko Ramius, a Soviet Union submarine captain from Lithuanian. He is mockingly called: "the Vilnius headmaster." [9]

The Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles Burst

Remember Tulip Mania? A scheme to reduce government debt has blown up in the faces of France and England. France has been swamped in debt so the Comptroller General of Finances, John Law, created the Royal Bank of France (like the Fed) and placed government revenues in the bank. He uses paper money issued by the bank to buy the Mississippi Company, and then grants it a trade monopoly in Louisiana as well as mineral rights. He authorizes the sale of stock in the company, and doubles the population of Louisiana by freeing French prisoners, chaining them to prostitutes and shipping them to Louisiana to build a New World. (Everyone is going to Louisiana!) People go wild buying shares in the Company until they begin to lose confidence in their investments. There is a run on the bank. There is not enough coinage to cover their accounts so John Law makes a run for Brussels. He will live out his final days in Italy as a professional gambler which is almost the same thing as being a fractional banker. [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
England tried something similar with the Bank of England and the South Sea Company. Government debt was repaid in shares of the new company. Unfortunately, when England went to war with Spain, the Spaniards seized assets of the South Sea Company. (Spain was also an investor.) Instead of shutting the company down, England sold even more shares. (The future King George the 2nd was director of the company. His father, the present King, was involved. Even the King's mistress had stock. Oh baby!) The stock price jumped from 100 pounds to 1,000 pounds in a year which made people nervous. Stockholders backed away and the stock price plummeted to 150 pounds. Sir Issac Newton said, "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men." His niece lost the modern equivalent of 2.4 million dollars. After an investigation, widespread fraud was discovered. (Imagine that!) The Company struggled along for years thereafter, but the damage was done. [11]

Astronomy is Going to Hell

Maximilian Hell is born this year in the Kingdom of Hungary. As well as becoming a priest he will also become director of the Observatory in Vienna and publish several papers on astronomy. He will believe in the healing power of magnets. [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I couldn't resist. He has one heck of a name. He also has a crater on the Moon named after him.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1720, Wikipedia.

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