Friday, May 13, 2016

History: The Year is 1786

I've uploaded year 1786 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

One Language to Rule Them All -- The theory of a common and ancient European language is proposed.

Shays' Rebellion and a New Constitution -- It's not much of a rebellion but the newspapers turn it into the Apocalypse, and because of that fear, the Convention at Philadelphia produces the Constitution.

Fredrick the Great is Gone -- He dies of pneumonia and George Washington will die under similar circumstances, much later.

One Language to Rule Them All

While living in India, William Jones has noticed that certain phases in English, appear in Sanskrit. He begins a comparison of Sanskrit with German, Latin and Greek. The words and the grammar are too similar to be a coincidence. His findings suggest a common root, a common language, an ancient tongue. He then theorizes a possible invasion of an Aryan race which influenced local languages. Jones has no evidence to back up such a claim, and in later years the invasion theory will lose credibility, but the idea of a Proto-Indo-European language will live on. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The idea of an original Proto-Indo-European language is an educated guess. I think it is a good guess, but there is no written evidence of it ever existing. Scholars estimate that the original language was spoken around 3500 BCE (Before the Common Era). That is also an educated guess, somewhat similar to a reasonable weather forecast. (Take your umbrella anyway.) I have noticed similarities between Norse, German, and Hebrew. My religious teachers tell me that Hebrew was the original language, but my college professors say, "No way." (I am nodding politely to my religious teachers and siding with my professors on this one.) I'm not sure who did what first, but it sure is interesting. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Shays' Rebellion and a New Constitution

Now that the war is over, economic conditions are improving. (Just about anything would be an improvement.) In order to pay off its war debt, Massachusetts has raised property taxes, but frankly, there is no money to pay for anything! I mean creditors are demanding gold and silver for payment of debt, but there is none available. It's a barter-economy now and farmers are barely feeding their own families. Daniel Shays is a veteran of Bunker Hill. He joins 2,000 farmers in protest, but the legislature refuses to entertain this insult to their dignity. (I'm not kidding. They actually think that... including Samuel Adams.) Since judges authorize foreclosures, the protestors march on the courts instead. By early next year, Daniel Shays will lead an attack on the Springfield armory but they will be repelled and eventually scattered. In the end, Shays will receive a pardon, but the Boston papers will cast him as a super criminal leading an army of 20,000 or more! He will eventually move to New York to escape his infamous notoriety. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... there are two issues here, one economic and one political. First, the economics: Existing loans were being delayed or discounted by some states which is what Massachusetts and Rhode Island eventually did. People who are not sure they will be paid back, will not loan money. It's silver or gold or get out. Second, Shay's Rebellion wasn't as big a problem as the newspapers made it out to be. Nevertheless, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton used the fear of a rebellion as a hammer to beat the politicians into modifying the Articles of Confederation. Madison and Hamilton wanted a stronger central government to handle these crazed rebels, consolidate the war debt... and tax the states. Shays Rebellion is one reason why the Convention in Philadelphia replaced the Articles of Confederation with... "a more perfect union," the Constitution of the United States of America.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Fredrick the Great is Gone

"The Old Fritz" Fredrick the Great has died of pneumonia. This is the last in a long series of illnesses he has been suffering ever since he was out in the rain and cold inspecting his troops. He was 6 hours on his horse and by the time it was over, he was shaken and spent. He was never right again. He suffered from gout and dropsy. The normal "cure-all" was bleeding, but it didn't help. He ordered that upon his death he should be buried next to his horse, but they disobeyed that order and entombed him. Years later, when the French invade Prussia, Napoleon will visit Fredrick the Great's tomb and remark to his generals...[11]
"If he were alive we should not be here." -- Napoleon Bonaparte.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I mention this event because George Washington admired Fredrick the Great. Washington died under similar circumstances although much more quickly than Fredrick the Great did. Washington was already sick, but he insisted on riding out to do the normal inspection of his plantation. It was freezing cold and snowing. When he returned he refused to change out of his wet clothes and it all went downhill from there. They called the doctors. They bled him because that was the cure-all. (Balancing the humors.) And then he died. That was in 1799. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1786, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment