Thursday, May 19, 2016

History: The Year is 1790

I've uploaded year 1790 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Key to Liberty is More than Revolution -- The Key to the Bastille represent liberty so Lafayette gifts it to George Washington in appreciation. I talk about what went wrong with the French Revolution.

Say Good-Bye to Benjamin Franklin -- His belief is God is simple and like most things from Benjamin Franklin, profound.

In Other News -- UFOs, American patent law, and Washington DC!

The Key to Liberty is More than Revolution

One year after the storming of the Bastille in Paris, most people believe that the French Revolution is over. Even King Louis the 16th has declared himself "at the head of the Revolution." (Yes. His head will figure prominently in this Revolution, but not this year.) Work on the French Constitution is going slowly, but optimism reigns. Lafayette is commander-in-chief of the newly organized French National Guard. Last year he was presented with the Key to the Bastille, now a symbol of French liberty. It weighs more than a pound, so it is not the kind of key one carries around in one's pocket. He sends the key to his mentor, George Washington, as a gift in appreciation as if to say, "You are the one who made this happen." On July 14th, the French celebrate the new Federation of France. It will later be known as Bastille Day. In France, Lafayette is attempting to duplicate what George Washington did in America, but like riding a tiger, he can't control where it goes and he can't jump off without a plan for the tiger's teeth. (In two years he will evade a French arrest order and escape to the Austrian Netherlands where he will cool his heels in prison for 5 years.) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... it was a big love-fest in France. What went wrong? First, let's remember that we are a modern society looking back at a transition to what we would call a modern government, but to THEM it was a system that hadn't been seen since the ancient days of Athens and Rome. The only example they had was the USA and its new Constitution which was already being changed through the Bill of Rights. Under such circumstances, normal people would wait and see before adopting it for themselves. But a weak monarchy, food riots and near financial collapse were driving the French to make a radical change before they were prepared for it. The King was beheaded in 1793 but he was doing something critical that he needed to continue doing during that transition. (In this case he could have lent legitimacy to the process by giving it final approval.) In a modern context, it might seem that the boss is kicking back while you do all the work making widgets, but he is doing something. He may not be doing it well, but he is doing it. If he suddenly drops dead, the whole business can come apart unless there are people already in place to keep things going. I am thinking of an executive secretary or a floor manager or his buddy Bill who has been feeding him business all these years. Otherwise, once you finish making that last widget, you are going to be wondering, "What do I do next?" [7]

Say Good-Bye to Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin has been sick for a while. During the Constitutional Convention in 1787 he had to be carried to the Hall in a special chair so that he could attend. Two years ago when he was too sick to attend the July 4th celebrations, they arranged for the parade to pass by his window. He noted that "the clergy of different Christian denominations, with the rabbi of the Jews, walked arm in arm." And a month before he passes, he writes to Reverand Stiles, the President of Yale, "I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children." Working to the last, he completes a letter to Thomas Jefferson regarding a question on diplomacy. His fever has worsened and he is having trouble breathing. His daughter, Sally, tells him that she is praying for his recovery. He replies, "I hope not." Then an abscess bursts in his lungs. There are no last words... only holding hands until he passes. His tombstone is simple. It reads, "Benjamin and Deborah Franklin." He was 84 years old. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
And in case anyone was wondering, 20,000 people showed up for his funeral. I was going to write a list of Benjamin Franklin's accomplishments but I can't do it justice in a few words, so I'll repeat the quote that Walter Isaacson used in his biography of Benjamin Franklin. It is something that Franklin wrote in his early years as a printer... an epitaph.
The body of
B. Franklin, Printer;
(Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents worn out,
and stripped of its lettering and gilding)
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost:
For it will, (as he believed) appear once more,
In a new and more elegant edition,
Revised and corrected
By the Author. [13]

In Other News

  • A UFO touches down in France. French peasants actually touch the glowing globe of fire. What is it really? No idea. [14]
  • The First USA Patent Law is passed. You must prove that your device is useful? Back to the drawing board. [15]
  • Washington, D.C., founded. Hooray...? George Washington is authorized to select the exact site. [12] [16]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1790, Wikipedia.

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