Wednesday, April 20, 2016

History: The Year is 1770

I've uploaded year 1770 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Boston Massacre -- A private mistake turns into a major propaganda tool for the Americans.

The Ferguson Rifle, a Radical New Method for Mayhem -- A breech loading rifle that can fire 6 times a minute is too good to believe so the British delay and delay in adopting it.

I Know! Let's Call It Rubber! -- Rubber gets its name.

The Boston Massacre

British troops came to Boston to guard against violence. Boston reacted with a boycott of British goods so the British moved all shipping to Salem. This resulted in an economic downturn and less tax money available TO PAY THE TROOPS. To make ends meet, British soldiers are taking odd jobs in town. This has led to a close intermingling of the guards with the Boston citizens, especially in taverns. Fights break out regularly and those incidents are scandalized in the newspapers. Recently, an 11-year-old-boy was killed by a customs official, so Boston is in an uproar when a young apprentice named Edward Garrick tries to collect an overdue bill at the customs office. After an exchange of insults, Private Hugh White leaves his guard post and strikes Edward on the head for his insolence. Henry Knox, a bookseller and future General of the Revolution, reminds White that if he kills the boy it means a murder charge. A mob forms so Captain Preston reinforces White with armed troops. The Captain has no intention of ordering his men to fire, but someone hits Private Montgomery with a rock, causing him to drop his musket. He picks it up, shouts at the mob and fires. Someone swings a club at Captain Preston. In a few quick seconds, four protestors lie dead in the street. Many others are wounded and some will die later. Captain Preston and his men are arrested for murder and Boston is crying for their blood! [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The newspapers really stirred up the crowd, urged on by Samuel Adams and his buddy, John Hancock. Samuel's 2nd cousin, John Adams, was a lawyer and a good one. (He later became President of the United States.) John defended the British troops at trial. Captain Preston was acquitted since he never gave the order to fire and he had been standing IN FRONT OF THE MUSKETS at the time of the incident. Two of his men were convicted of manslaughter. The jury felt that the soldiers were sufficiently threatened that it wasn't murder. (For the modern equivalent, see the Kent State Massacre of 1970 where the National Guard fired 67 shots into a crowd of unarmed college students. Afterward the criminal charges against the Guard were dropped.) While Captain Preston's trial was on the up-and-up, the Boston Massacre became a rallying cry for the abuses of British rule and misgovernment. As with all propaganda, the first casualty is the truth. Samuel Adams and others made the Boston Massacre sound like genocide. [4]

The Ferguson Rifle, a Radical New Method for Mayhem

A rifle took ten minutes to load... until now. Major Patrick Ferguson has reworked an earlier design so that his new BREECH LOADING rifle can load and fire 6 times a minute! It is faster than a smooth-bore musket which can fire 2 times a minute and it is more accurate due to the rifling of the bore. One can also load it from a semi-prone position. Ferguson won't be issued a patent until 1776 when the British Army will order 100 rifles in order to put down the American Revolution. (FYI... it was just an experiment. It didn't help.) [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
So... why didn't the British adopt this new super-weapon immediately? There were three reason why not. First, the military didn't like radical leaps forward. They liked incremental improvements. Secondly, the rifle required careful machine work so the maximum number of rifles that Great Britain could have produced at the time was 1,000 per year, maximum. And third... Major Ferguson died before the rifle gained acceptance. He was the first and best advocate for the rifle that bears his name. When he died, the rifle died with him... and that was probably a good thing for the American Revolution. [7]

I Know! Let's Call It Rubber!

"Rubber" gets its name when the scientist, Joseph Priestley, realizes that the bouncy material can "rub off" pencil marks. Scientists have been looking for ways to use rubber other than as a ball. (How about as a HOSE!) Rubber has been a novelty item since the Middle Ages when it was introduced to Europe by the Aztecs. Joseph Priestley is the same guy who discovered oxygen, and he made his name when he invented carbonated beverages. [8] [9] [10]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1770, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment