Wednesday, May 18, 2016

History: The Year is 1789

I've uploaded year 1789 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

God is in His Heaven and a New Government is in America -- Elections are held. Washington wins. A new government is created. I talk about how people go overboard when protecting the dignity of the President.

Storming the Bastille -- The French commoners want weapons to defend themselves from an out of control government so they storm the Bastille looking for weapons. There are none.

In Other News -- Jefferson is named SecState and he doesn't know it.

God is in His Heaven and a New Government is in America

"We are in a wilderness without a single footstep to guide us." --James Madison, June 1789
The Constitution of the United States is now law in 11 states. North Carolina and Rhode Island are still debating. Elections are held and it is George Washington vs. 14 other candidates. (Guess who wins?) According to the Constitution, the loser with the most electoral votes becomes Vice-President. That is John Adams. Believe it or not, the old Continental Congress cannot get a quorum to dissolve itself so two members meet in a tavern, adjourn and fade away. The 1st Congress of the United States meets in the recently renovated Federal Hall in New York. Church bells ring. There are no political parties but some representatives self-identify as "Federalists". Although George Washington is sympathetic with the Federalists, he avoids any Party affiliation. The Anti-federalists want a Bill of Rights and James Madison made a campaign promise to propose changes to the Constitution. Few people want to touch the founding document so Madison's proposal is sent to committee and after much wrangling, a final draft of 10 Amendments, a Bill of Rights, is approved and sent to the states for ratification. No one was punched in the nose. (That was a real possibility.) [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
With fear and trembling I point out that the Continental Congress never formally dissolved itself. Therefore, it is possible (but unlikely) that it could reconvene for a special session in the future. While the new Congress was at work on the Bill of Rights, the new Senate was deciding on how to address the President. John Adams pushed for "His Highness." Others suggested "His Excellency" which was the title Washington used during the War. They settled on "Mr. President." Lest anyone think that the debate was frivolous, the next time you visit the US Capital Building Rotunda, look up. God is in His Heaven, and so is George Washington! The fresco is entitled "The Apotheosis of Washington," (ah-pah-thee-OH-sis) meaning the deification of Washington. It was completed in 1863. I recall a controversial painting portraying President Obama as Jesus on the Cross. This is nothing new. It is just new to this generation. We will survive. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Storming the Bastille (bass-STEEL)

There are riots in the streets of Paris. No one knows it yet, but it is the beginning of a revolution. Encouraged by the successful transition of the United States from a monarchy to a republic, Lafayette has introduced his own version of the Declaration of Independence to the Assembly. King Louis the 16th has called for a meeting of the Three Estates where they will hash out France's financial crisis. The Third Estate (the commoners) want to meet with the King, but the King's son, the heir apparent, has died of tuberculosis. The King dithers as he always does. The Queen can no longer assert herself in politics. It is believed that she has sent all of France's money to her brother, the Holy Roman Emperor. (In fact, a great deal of France's money supported the American Revolution in the hope of opening new trade markets. That idea didn't pan out.) Then the Third Estate declares itself to be a National Assembly and it is writing out a Constitution! The King tells them to leave but they refuse. Then the bayonets come out and it gets real ugly. The next day the people believe that they need weapons to defend themselves (true enough) and they believe (erroneously) that they can find those weapons in the Bastille. When the dust settles, 100 lay dead and 70 wounded. The gates of the Bastille are open. 7 prisoners walk out. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. The confusion about the Bastille was caused by press propaganda. As Mark Twain once remarked, "Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel." The Bastille was a prison for high-class offenders. You could even bring a servant along. The King had been locking up satirists and journalists for bad-mouthing the Queen, so they wrote essays on the abuses they suffered and the many prisoners the King had locked up. (Remember. There were 7.) Frankly, the King was depressed and just going through the motions. Coupled with the financial crisis and crop failures, the people no longer felt secure in their lives or their property. When the government is no longer able to handle a crisis, the people will do anything to make the crisis go away, even if it is the WRONG thing, and most often, it is the wrong thing if they haven't thought it through. [17]

In Other News

  • Thomas Jefferson is named Secretary of State. He is in France right now and doesn't realize that he is now part of the Washington Administration. [18]
  • Mad King George the 3rd recovers from his mental illness. By 1810 he will become ill again and suffer from dementia. [18] [19]
  • Mutiny on HMS Bounty: Mr. Christian and the mutineers settle on the Pitcairn Islands. Captain Bligh is set adrift in a boat. He will make it back to England. [18] [20]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1789, Wikipedia.

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