Monday, April 11, 2016

History: The Year is 1763

I've uploaded year 1763 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Pontiac's Rebellion and the Seeds of the American Revolution -- The French and Indian War is over and Chief Pontiac doesn't like British encroachment so he fights back. In the back and forth two critical people get angry about the British actions, Ben Franklin and George Washington... especially Washington.

The Mason-Dixon Survey Begins -- If they don't get this right, the capital of Pennsylvania will be in Maryland. That is what is at stake.

Devil's Island... The 'Dry Guillotine' -- France just acquired Devil's Island as part of the peace treaty, but it won't become a punishment island until the French Revolution so relax.

Pontiac's Rebellion and the Seeds of the American Revolution

The French and Indian War is over. The British are consolidating their win by bringing in Scotch-Irish colonists to farm the land. Chief Pontiac is angry with this encroachment and starts skirmishing along the Pennsylvania frontier. The "Fighting Parson" of Paxton Church is worked up about the Indian attacks. As his rifle leans against the pulpit, he delivers a fiery sermon. His vigilante group, the Paxton Boys, have murdered several unarmed Indians who they believe were providing information to the enemy. Then on December 27th, they grab several Indian children and hack them to death. The "Fighting Parson" is sure this was a one time lapse in judgement and it all could have been avoided if only the Governor had listened to their protests. Now the Paxton Boys are marching on Philadelphia. The Quakers abandon their pledges of non-violence and arm themselves to defend the Indians. Benjamin Franklin manages to diffuse the situation by agreeing to read their protest pamphlets. The Paxton Boys disperse, but Pontiac's Rebellion continues. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The seeds of the American Revolution may have been planted here. Benjamin Franklin had just returned from a demeaning negotiation session with officials in London. (It was official. They hated his guts.) They made it crystal clear that Americans were second-class citizens and that the colonial legislatures had only an advice-and-consent role when it came to the British Parliament. That turned Franklin from an enthusiastic royalist into a true blue American. Secondly, the Royal Proclamation of (October) 1763 limited British expansion, giving a lot of the disputed land back to Chief Pontiac. This created resentment amongst the American colonists who had already been granted plots of land in the region and particularly George Washington, who had been issued land grants for his service in the French and Indian War. Further treaties got Washington's lands back, but the casual dismissal of his prerogatives must have angered him. Washington had a heck of a temper which he mostly kept in check, but that didn't stop him from feeling it. [4] [5] [6]

The Mason-Dixon Survey Begins

The original royal charters for Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia were a little vague, and since the colonies are well-established they'd like their borders well established too. The problem is that if they actually follow the charters as written, the capital of Pennsylvania is currently in Maryland. This situation is considered suboptimal and we are talking about a heck of a lot of land under dispute. There are many surveyors in the colonies but for this project they want super precision. The Royal Society recommends Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. They are the ones who successfully tracked Venus as it transited the face of the Sun in 1761. They are commissioned and begin the survey which will be completed in 1766, but they will stay for two years to take measurements on behalf of the Royal Society. Then they will head out to measure Venus on its second transit. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Mason and Dixon came under a cloud after the first Venus transit because they didn't take their measurement in Sumatra which was their original destination, but they did get a measurement unlike many other scientists. The Mason-Dixon Survey helped them burnish their reputation and now they are best known for this work. Today the Mason-Dixon line is used to mark the cultural separation of the Northern and Southern states of the United States. Some suggest that the term "Dixieland" (meaning the Southern states) is derived from the Mason-Dixon line. Others suggest that the name came from the money used in the South called "Dixies". Whatever the case, the name stuck once the song "I Wish I Was in Dixie" became popular in 1859. The song was composed by Daniel Emmett... a resident of Ohio which is NOT in Dixie. FYI, the line dividing Slave States from non-Slave states was about 3 degrees south of the Mason-Dixon line with Missouri being the exception. [10] [11]

Devil's Island... The 'Dry Guillotine'

No worries. Devil's Island is not a place of punishment... yet. But France just acquired it along with French Guiana in South America as part of the treaty ending the Seven Year's War (also known as the French and Indian War). France will try to colonize French Guiana but the effort will be a dismal failure. During the French Revolution, tens of thousands of French prisoners will be sent to Devil's Island. The survival rate will be about 10%. It will be called France's "Dry Guillotine". [12] [13]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1763, Wikipedia.

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