Friday, May 20, 2016

History: The Year is 1791

I've uploaded year 1791 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Rights of Man and Two Old Ladies -- Thomas Paine publishes The Rights of Man in defense of the French Revolution and is embarrassed as the violence escalates. The King's two aunts are waylaid as they travel to Rome to attend Easter services there instead of in France.

The Indians' Victory and St. Clair's Defeat -- The Indians score a victory over General St. Clair. George Washington asserts executive privilege.

In Other News -- The ATF begins, Virginia is a state and the Brandenburg Gate is completed.

The Rights of Man and Two Old Ladies

As Easter approaches, the stuff is about to hit the fan. By law, the clergy MUST take an oath supporting the French Constitution or they are forbidden to say mass. This law also nationalizes much of Catholic property in France. ("Nationalize" means "confiscate".) Only a few bishops and about half the priests recite the oath. Non-oath-takers are threatened with violence. The King's two elderly aunts are traditional Catholics and decide to travel to Rome to attend Easter services, but the people are out of control, so the two aunts require an escort of mounted infantry to travel. Nevertheless, they are waylaid and held for ten days as their legal defense explains that the new Constitution guarantees the freedom of travel. The National Assembly actually debates the issue of whether "two old ladies" can travel to Rome to attend church services! They arrive in Rome and decide to take a world tour. They have escaped. In June, the King and Queen make a run for it too, dressed in plain clothes and traveling as commoners. They are caught and imprisoned. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
First, the justification used for arresting the King's aunts was the enforcement of the separation of church and state. Apparently forcing people to attend a state-approved church was required for a better democracy. If you think that a democracy cannot possibly interfere with your right to practice your religion, think again. I'm Jewish (Alex Shrugged) and I KNOW the state is trying to interfere with my religious practice, and it is NOT due to crazy Christians nor wild-eyed Muslims, but SECULAR people who think my religious practices are primitive and cruel. All I have to say to them is... F. U. (Forget You) Secondly, the French nobility was fleeing France because of the building threat. Thomas Paine had just published his famous "Rights of Man" in response to criticism of the violence of the French Revolution. Technically speaking, it was a brilliant piece of logic, but reality interfered. (Thomas Jefferson was similarly embarrassed.) [9]

The Indians' Victory and St. Clair's Defeat

Along the Wabash River in the Northwest Territory, General St. Clair and his 1,000 men set up camp. President George Washington has sent him to quell Indian violence. Treaties have been signed with the Indians, but immigrants continue to pour into the area, running roughshod over any territorial promises. The US government is not directing these new immigrants to harass the Indians, but they are hoping that the Indians will eventually leave. Instead, the Indians have decided to fight. The Indians have been shadowing the General's troops and they have noticed that as the watch changes at breakfast time, the troops set down their weapons. That is when they strike. They hit hard. St. Clair pulls back to reorder his troops. They need a break out, so they fix bayonets and charge. They are beaten back so they charge again. The dead and wounded are piling up. Finally, another bayonet charge clears the way for a few to escape, including General St. Clair. He will answer to Congress for the deaths of over 600 of his men and he will be found not guilty. President George Washington will claim Executive Privilege when Congress demands information on the expedition. The battle between the President and Congress has begun. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. I know what you are thinking. How could the General possibly be found not guilty? Well, as Donald Rumsfeld once said, (paraphrasing) you don't go to war with the forces you would like, but with the forces you have. General St. Clair's troops were near the end of their short enlistment, poorly equipped and unprepared for the mission. In the modern day they would have NEVER been sent out that way, but this was the early days of organizing an army. Washington asked the General to resign, and he did. A couple of years later a well-prepared force was sent and it was no contest. I take no joy is saying that. The general plan, as Washington saw it, was to sign treaties and allow weaker forces to occupy the land (such as the Indians or the Spanish near the Mississippi) and then let new immigrants overwhelm them as they moved west. He knew he couldn't stop the immigrants anyway, so he used them in his policy for the expansion of the USA. [15]

In Other News

  • Here comes the ATF! (The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) Congress imposes a tax on distilled spirits. The Whiskey Rebellion is a few years away. [16]
  • Vermont is admitted as the 14th state. It separated itself from New York 14 years ago thanks to Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. [17]
  • The United States Bill of Rights is ratified. 12 Articles are voted upon. 10 are accepted, becoming the Bill of Rights. [18] [19]
  • The Brandenburg Gate is completed as a symbol of peace. In modern times it will serve as a checkpoint between West and East Germany and as a symbol for the Berlin Wall. [20]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1791, Wikipedia.

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