Friday, April 15, 2016

History: the Year is 1767

I've uploaded year 1767 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The War of the Regulation -- A vigilante group called the Regulators is keeping the backwoods safe for decent folk but when the brigands murder a Regulator it is war. The Regulators may have fired the first shots of the Revolution when they confront the Governor of North Carolina.

Charles Townshend and the Art of Misgovernment -- The British have slapped an import tariff on the American colonies along with other things too long (and horrible) to mention.

The First Solar Oven -- A geologist experiments with layered glass and a box and creates the first solar oven.

The War of the Regulation

A vigilante group called the Regulators is bringing justice to brigands in the woods of North and South Carolina, but it soon turns ugly. Here is how it starts. Indian attacks have left people homeless. They take up hunting to feed themselves, but they are leaving carcasses around and the rotting meat is attracting predators. They hunt at night, setting fires to frighten the deer. But now livestock are missing. (Hey! A cow looks like a deer in the dark. Right?) They have taken up robbery, torturing homeowners to reveal their hiding places for valuables. One farmer has his toes burned off. By any definition, these people are brigands. Corruption is rampant in the Carolinas so asking for help from the local sheriff is out of the question. The sheriff is the guy who collects your taxes... and often "loses" the payment record and returns to collect your taxes AGAIN! So who do you call? The Regulators. They are a mixed bag of good and bad. Many of them will become Justices of the Peace in later years but for now they are dispensing justice... usually beatings... really severe beatings and occasional house-burnings. So the brigands organize to fight the Regulators. It's getting real. They drag James Mayson (a Regulator) from his home. His body is found 80 miles away. Now, it's war. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Backwoods justice is not new. Why mention this? Well.. you have a group of men, organized like an armed police force and willing to do violence when they see injustice. There is government corruption that is so bad that they look at the sheriff as if he is one of the brigands. And to top it off, the few judges they have are working in collusion with the sheriffs. So... when the British Governor goes overboard and taxes the colonists (using the same corrupt system of sheriffs and judges) what do you think a group of organized, armed men are going to do? [4] In 1771, the Battle of Alamance may well have been the first shots taken in anger against the British. It was just going to be a show of force to frighten the British governor. He was frightened all right. Bang, bang, bang. The locals still call it the first shots of the American Revolution and a plaque marks the spot where 6 Regulators were hanged by the British for their insolence. It reads in part...
"Our blood will be as good seed in good ground, that will soon produce one hundred fold." -- James Pugh, under the gallows at Hillsboro, N.C., June 19th, 1771. [5]

Charles Townshend and the Art of Misgovernment

When you crunch the numbers, Great Britain really is drowning in debt and after the repeal of the Stamp Act the resentment between Parliament and the American colonies can be felt. Charles Townshend is the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. He thinks that the objection to the Stamp Act was to taxation within the colonies, so slapping an external tax like a tariff on glass, paint and tea should be fine. Right? He makes tea tax-free in England, but tea exported to the colonies still gets the normal duty of two shillings and six plus the 3 pence Townsend tax per pound of tea. The total tax is a little over $22.50 per pound in modern dollars, not counting the cost of the tea itself. (No wonder Americans drink coffee.) He uses the tariff revenues to pay British colonial governors and judges. This removes the "power of the purse" from the colonial legislatures. Boston reacts quickly and resolves to stop buying British. Tea smuggling increases. Next year, John Hancock's sloop, The Liberty, will be seized by customs officials. Riots will ensue. [6] [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
So... when was the Boston Tea Party? That was in 1773 after the Parliament passed the Tea Act which actually lowered the cost of British Tea by allowing direct imports to North America rather than passing through Great Britain's ports. That saved on British port duties, but by that time they could have offered the tea for free and it still would have ended up in the harbor. Look. It's not about the size of the tax. The colonists were reacting to the idea that Great Britain could impose ANY tax without representation. Eventually, Britain will give in, but with warships in the harbor, the offer of reconciliation will ring hollow. I think it was an honest offer, but it was in the sense of a parent giving in to a petulant child. "Yes. Perhaps Daddy yelled too much. I'm sorry. Now... take out the trash, Johnny." At some point everyone crossed a line and there was no going back. [10] [11]

The First Solar Oven

Horace is a Swiss geologist who loves to hike the Alps. He is considered the first mountaineering enthusiast. (You mean you actually climb mountains for fun?) But on this occasion he is looking into the causes of heat and cold. He notices that a room with a window facing the sun-side of the house is measurably warmer. He wonders if it is something about the sunlight. Is sunlight really a form of fire? IMPOSSIBLE! But he thinks it has to do with the glass, so he builds a box with three spaced layers of glass over top and exposes it to the Sun. He places fruit inside and the fruit starts to cook! He takes the box up and down the mountains and finds that he can still reach high temperatures, though he finds that the "hot box" as he calls it, works better when he insulates the sides. He publishes his findings along with his conclusions on what might be happening, but he has just created the first solar oven. [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Wow! And he didn't even use aluminum foil!

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1767, Wikipedia.

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