Wednesday, April 13, 2016

History: The Year is 1765

I've uploaded year 1765 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Intolerable Acts and the Sons of Liberty -- As Parliament heaps more taxes on the American colonies, the colonists start to organize resistance and it is not as pretty as it is in those cheery movies with all that singing.

A Legal Expert Declares That Magic Exists! -- It is a logical argument of "If you believe in A then B must follow. Otherwise you don't really believe A".

Little Goody Two-Shoes and the Gods of the Copybook Headings -- Pedagogy in the past and today.

The Intolerable Acts and the Sons of Liberty

The intelligent are not always wise. The British Parliament wants to offset expenses defending the American colonies but the American colonists are wondering what the British are defending them from. The Sugar Act is partly paying for garrisoning British troops. The Quartering Act is forcing the colonists to feed and house the troops. (This is called billeting since a civilian household is served with a bill of demand, but the word "billet" means "a lodging assignment" in the modern day.) The Stamp Act requires that all printed materials carry a revenue stamp certifying that the proper tax has been paid on each item. This is the modern equivalent of a tax stamp applied to every pack of cigarettes. These and other Acts of Parliament do not go over well in the colonies. That is why they are called the Intolerable Acts. The colonists shout, "No taxation without representation!" But realistically.... what can they do about it? [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Committees of Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty are what they could do about it. They worked through intimidation. loyalty oaths and mob violence so anyone with romantic notions of heroes donning three-cornered hats and running to the sound of the guns can turn away now. This is not pretty. The Committees of Correspondence were the organizers, and communicators, notifying people of the abuses of the British. As the British squeezed harder against the American colonists, a shadow government was formed called the Committees of Safety that nudged British loyalists out of leadership roles... often with a hard shove. This avoided a general bloodbath. By 1775, the Committees became the local governments. According to historian T. H. Breen, "For ordinary people, they were community forums where personal loyalties were revealed, tested, and occasionally punished. ... Serving on committees of safety ... was certainly not an activity for the faint of heart." Resistance groups such as the Sons of Liberty were also members of these committees. They used hot pine tar and feathers to convince British loyalists of the error of their ways. (Hot pine tar is about 130 degrees, the temperature of hot water from the faucet.) Some notable members were Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry and Paul Revere. The Disney film about Johnny Tremain and the Sons of Liberty is a figment of the imagination. Nice songs though. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

A Legal Expert Declares That Magic Exists!

Sir William Blackstone is the preeminent legal expert in British law. He has arranged the study of law into something comprehensible, systematic and logical... and he can actually write! This year he publishes his famous Commentaries on the Laws of England. This is a best seller in legal circles. And it will be used by future United States Supreme Court justices to figure out what British law meant at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. Language changes. Knowing what an expert in British law thought those words meant at the time is invaluable. [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In Commentaries, Blackstone argues that magic exists in the world. He writes, "To deny the possibility, nay, actual existence, of witchcraft and sorcery is flatly to contradict the revealed word of God;" The crime of witchcraft was repealed in Great Britain in 1736, so he was not arguing that witches should be arrested. He was coming at the subject logically... if you believe A then you must also believe B. If one believes that the Bible is true, then one is compelled to believe that witchcraft exists since the Bible treats magic as if it was real. I look at magic in this way... I've never seen magic in my life, but if I ever saw magic, I would categorize it the same way that Arthur C. Clarke did, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Thus I would wonder what technology made that crazy thing I saw happen. [13] [14]

Little Goody Two-Shoes and the Gods of the Copybook Headings

Little Goody Two-Shoes is a children's story published this year by an anonymous author. It is the story of a little rich girls named Margery who is orphaned along with her brother. With the farm lost all the money gone, she must walk barefoot until the local parson finds a donor who is willing to buy Margery some new clothes and a new pair of shoes. She is so excited that she shouts to the neighbors "Two Shoes! Two Shoes" and so she is called "Goody Two Shoes" forever more. Her adventures will become very popular as they teach children virtuous behavior. The word "Goody" is an honorific like Miss or Mistress except that it denotes someone of lower rank. The term "Goody" will become more of a criticism by the early 20th century as in "goody goody". [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Teaching children the values that adults think are important is a window into the souls of the people creating the material. With Goody Two-Shoes, we see worries about debt, death and the duty of the rich to help the poor. Fine lessons. In modern society we have different lessons to teach and we push them just as hard. One day I noticed by granddaughter working on an essay for school. It was a lesson on research, finding facts and organizing them into an essay. The subject didn't matter, but when I looked at the list of subjects I noticed a pattern. The secondary lesson was a liberal one as you might imagine. I am reminded of the famous poem by Rudyard Kipling entitled: "The Gods of the Copybook Headings." Copybooks are used to teach penmanship. At the top is a sentence that the student is required to copy over and over again. What is written at the top is the secondary lesson. It enters the mind, and he remembers. I suggest reading the poem. (see below). It may be too long to read now. Just so you remember the warning. Pithy sentences that seem to offer the wisdom of the ages, often mislead a generation. Through the ages we have been offered this wisdom and here we are again, older but no wiser. Beware.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings

    AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return! 

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1765, Wikipedia.

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