Monday, April 18, 2016

History: The Year is 1768

I've uploaded year 1768 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Captain Cook's Journey to the Undiscovered Country -- He has secret orders to map Australia and New Zealand.

'No Liberty! No King!' -- It's not the Boston massacre. This massacre is in London.

Notable Events -- Dolley Madison, Slater the Traitor and Encyclopedia Britannica.

Captain Cook's Journey to the Undiscovered Country

Australia has already been discovered by various Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish sailors, but apparently it doesn't count until the English discover it. Captain Cook is sent to Tahiti under secret orders to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun. The next opportunity won't take place for another 100 years. Other nations are suspicious of the British Empire sending ships across the world, so once Captain Cook reaches Tahiti, he opens his SECOND set of secret orders. They read in part... [1] [2] [3]
"Whereas there is reason to imagine that a Continent or Land of great extent, may be found to... the Southward of the Track of any former Navigators ... you are to proceed to the southward in order to make discovery of the Continent above mentioned... You are also, with the consent of the natives, to take possession of convenient situations in the country in the name of the King of Great Britain; or, if you find the country uninhabited, take possession for His Majesty by setting up proper marks and inscriptions as first discoverers and possessors." [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Cook's journey was the first major circumnavigation of the globe since Magellan. Advances in navigation such as the marine chronometer and an early sextant meant that the area was worth a second look just for the new mapping opportunities. Cook's ship, the Endeavour, stopped in Botany Bay to make repairs. Botany Bay became a favorite place for the British to dump criminals and undesirables after the American colonies declared independence. Cook proved that sauerkraut keeps scurvy away. He also returned with a delightful understanding of the "free love" practices of the Tahitians. (The natives also believed in "free stuff" so he had to watch out for natives walking off with his equipment.) Reports of the journey amazed England and everyone who returned from that expedition was considered a hero, including the scientists who managed to return alive. [5]

'No Liberty! No King!'

It's a massacre as British troops fire into the crowd. 6 are dead. 15 are wounded. It's not Boston. IT'S LONDON! The roots of this riot began in 1763 when John Wilkes published an article that was critical of King George the 3rd. (The actual offense was sedition. It was implied, but obvious enough.) The King issued a general warrant and people were swept up including Wilkes. Wilkes was a member of Parliament so he argued successfully that he retained his free speech rights. He went right on publishing. Parliament then moved to expel Wilkes from the Commons so he fled the country. He was forced to return this year after he ran out of money. He is now in prison, but his supporters have been gathering in protest shouting "No Liberty! No King!". They are read the Riot Act and ordered to disperse. They refuse. Out come the muskets and you know the rest. [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
John Wilkes ran a campaign from his London prison for a Bill of Rights. Essentially, he wanted to outlaw bribery in Parliament. (Outrageous!) He supported the American "No taxation without representation" campaign and he called for "full and equal representation of the people." The basics. After he was released he was appointed sheriff in London. When researching what a "general warrant" was, I found that it was a 1767 law allowing customs officials to demand assistance from local sheriffs in smuggling investigations. That included rounding up "the usual suspects" and rummaging through people's stuff, looking for contraband. Thank goodness that doesn't happen any more. Oh. Wait. Can you say "New York stop-and-frisk?" [7] [8] [9] [10]

Notable Events

  • Encyclopedia Britannica publishes part 1. 100 parts are planned. They will be bound into three volumes, so the parts are short. [11]
  • Dolley Madison is born. She will become First Lady, and during the War of 1812, she will make sure that famous portrait of George Washington is saved before the British come rolling through. [12]
  • Samuel Slater "The Traitor" is born in England. He will bring the Industrial Revolution to the USA! In Great Britain he will be known as "Slater the Traitor!" [13]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1768, Wikipedia.

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