Tuesday, March 29, 2016

History: The Year is 1755

I've uploaded year 1755 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Shaking One's Faith -- The Great Lisbon Earthquake shakes the faith of Europe in the idea of Divine Providence.

Stop the Language! I Want to Get Off! -- Samuel Johnson publishes the Dictionary of the English Language which will be the Standard until the early 20th century.

The Expulsion of the Acadians -- Nova Scotia is their home but they refuse to swear allegiance to the British crown so they are dispersed. This action kicks off the Seven Years' War.

Shaking One's Faith

It is 9:40 in the morning, after All Hallows Eve (Halloween). Suddenly the earth opens up. Cracks 15 feet wide swallow up anyone and anything. A 9.0 earthquake hits over 100 miles off the coast of Lisbon. Buildings collapse. Fires start, and 40 minutes later, a wall of water pushes up the river and travels inland for over 100 miles. Lisbon is in ruins. Thousands upon thousands are dead. How many? No one really knows. 10,000? At least. 100,000? Could be. The shaking can be felt all the way to Germany where it frightens a 6-year-old girl, Caroline Herschel (HER-shell), and her older brother, William. They will dedicate themselves to science because it is clear they cannot depend upon Divine Providence. And the French philosopher, Voltaire, will feel compelled to write his critical novel, Candide, on the "best of all worlds" philosophy called optimism. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Just to be clear, after the Great Lisbon earthquake, Europeans still believed in God, but they were no longer expecting God to protect them. Even today, people will credit God whenever they survive a disaster. That is fine, but one must use caution with that type of thinking. Remember the old joke of the man of faith turning away offers of help from his neighbors as the flood waters rise. He exclaims, "Don't worry! God will save me!" And as he waits, he drowns. When he goes to Heaven, he reminds God that he has perfect faith and asks why God never saved him. God answers, "I sent your neighbors." Faith in God is not protective magic. Nevertheless, faith can be extremely helpful. In the midst of suffering, knowing that God is by one's side can be of immense value.

Stop the Language! I Want to Get Off!

At one time Samuel Johnson thought to standardize the English language so that it might stay the same, with proper rules of grammar and spelling that did not change. But looking at the history of language, he can find no example of a successful effort. It is like "lashing the wind" or "tying down the breeze" since modern English hardly uses the word "lash" to mean "secure or tie down" any more. It now means "to whip or to strike". This year Samuel Johnson publishes his Dictionary of the English Language. For many years to come, his work will define proper English, but the hopes of future English teachers will be dashed... as he predicted. Language changes. [5] [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The novelist Tom Clancy told a story of his visit to a classroom to speak to the students about writing. He explained how important it was to know the elements of language and to use them properly. The teacher stood in the back of the classroom nodding sagely. Then Clancy told the students to ask their teacher about Samuel Johnson and his accomplishments. He looked into the teachers face and realized that she had absolutely no idea whatsoever who Samuel Johnson was. As he told that story, I realized that I didn't know who Samuel Johnson was either. I'd heard the name, but couldn't recall who he was. So I looked him up. He was the most important source on the English language until the Oxford English Dictionary was published in all 10 volumes in 1928. Thank You, Tom Clancy. I'm listening to a Tom Clancy audiobook right now. (Executive Orders). [9] [10]

The Expulsion of the Acadians

This is not Canada. This is not Quebec. This is Nova Scotia which is the land of the French Acadians. The British gained control of the region in the early 1700s, but the Acadians refuse to swear allegiance to the King of England. With the French and Indian War in its infancy, the British decide to expel the Acadians from their lands and move them to other British colonies such as Massachusetts or to Great Britain or France. The expulsion happens in two waves, and thousands of Acadians die either of disease or due to the hazards of travel. Longfellow will write an epic poem of the Expulsion of the Acadians by focusing on one Acadian, the fair (and fictional) Evangeline. [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Yes. Like the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, most people know of the Expulsion of the Acadians because of Longfellow's poem, Evangeline, published in 1847. I read the beginning of it but I'm not a poetry fan, so I gave up on it. Apparently the Acadians had been giving the British trouble for decades so the British wanted to break up any unified resistance. By separating the Acadians, they actually destroyed the economic base of the region. This expulsion, more than anything else, kicked off the Seven Years' War or as it was called in the British-American colonies, the French and Indian War.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1755, Wikipedia.

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