Tuesday, April 12, 2016

History: The Year is 1764

I've uploaded year 1764 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The Beast of Gevaudan -- Well... it's a werewolf, I suppose... NOT!

The American Sugar Act -- Taxing Americans to cover the cost of British troops.

Notable Facts -- Potatoes, Steam Engines and numbering houses.

The Beast of Gevaudan (JAY-voo-don)

A little girl is crossing a French pasture when a wolf-like beast the size of a cow comes leaping across the field with deadly intent, but the cows in the pasture fend off the beast with their horns. The little girl runs to report the incident. Shortly thereafter several adults and children are found dead and torn apart. Hunters with muskets manage to shoot it, but the beast continues its reign of terror for several years. Finally, hundreds of hunters are hired to sweep the forest. One hunter corners the beast and puts a silver bullet into it. It falls dead and when they open it up, they find human bones in the stomach. Estimates of the dead are in the hundreds, but historians are reasonably sure that at least 60 were killed by something. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Really? A wolf as big as a cow? The reports made at the time varied so wildly that it is difficult to credit any of it. The newspaper reporters seemed to delight in shocking their readers with the gory details, thus increasing the sales of newspapers! It is theorized that it was a mutant wolf, but no one really believes it. Nevertheless, the beast is now part of popular culture, becoming the subject of popular TV shows such as MTV's Teen Wolf and the History Channel. I suggest taking it all with a LARGE grain of salt. [4]

The American Sugar Act

In order to defray the costs of defending the British colonies of North America, Parliament has imposed a tax on American sugar, wine, coffee and other imports to the colonies. The idea is to let the people who benefit from the Empire's protection also pay for that protection. After all, garrisoning 10,000 British troops is expensive. The British national debt has nearly doubled due to the French and Indian War (and wars that Great Britain fought across the globe). The Empire is NOT trying to retire the debt on the backs of the colonials. They want the colonists to pay 40% of the cost of maintaining the troops. The colonies are dropping into a recession at this time, so the Sugar Tax is perceived as the cause of the economic downturn. (Probably not the cause, but it didn't help.) The Molasses Tax had been easily circumvented, but the Sugar Act grants new enforcement powers to customs inspectors. Now they can take their cases to the Admiralty courts instead of local courts that were more tolerant of smuggling. Boston merchant (and smuggler) John Hancock is not pleased. [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Just as a reminder, the term "American" was a derisive term used by British Nationals to refer to the colonials of North America. (See rube, bumpkin, local yokel, etc.) The colonials did not call themselves Americans and did not think of themselves as a unified whole except as subjects of the King. This attitude had SERIOUS implications when declaring independence. Most of the colonists were willing to fight for their independence to pass their own laws and tax themselves, but that was not the same as revolting against the King. This allowed a minority of radicals such as John Adams to push the Continental Congress into a war of Independence while knowing full well that the King would see it as a revolt against him, personally. Finally, smuggling was considered normal in the colonies as was piracy to some extent. Laws must seem reasonable to people or they won't obey them. That lack of respect for unreasonable laws will eventually extend to the reasonable ones and the system will deteriorate. [7] [8]

Notable Facts

  • Potatoes are Feeding Great Britain. Potatoes are producing 18 times more per acre than the normal crops of the day. [9]
  • James Watt invents the condenser to improve his steam engine. He is on his way to building an efficient steam engine. [10]
  • England starts numbering its houses. Can GPS be far behind? Well... yes it can. [10]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1764, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment