Wednesday, August 31, 2016

History: The Year is 1861

I've uploaded year 1861 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

"Let Slip the Dogs of War!" -- The Battle of Fort Sumter.

Left Brain, Right Brain -- A French doctor discovers the speech center of the brain... and I talk about my own brain. (They did a scan and found nothing!)

The Land of the Free and the First US Income Tax -- It is a flat tax... at first. I talk about the suspension of habeus corpus... all due to logistics.

In Other News -- The unification of Italy, the Gatling gun and the Pony Express.

"Let Slip the Dogs of War!"

A line in the sand is being drawn. [1] Six more slave states secede from the Union BEFORE president-elect Abraham Lincoln can take his oath of office. The Confederacy of America is established with Jefferson Davis as its President. [2] Federal properties are seized while President Buchanan [3] does nothing. Fort Sumter in South Carolina was not seized because it's construction had not been completed due to budget cuts. Only a single Union soldier guarded it gates. Nearby Fort Moultrie was manned but it was not considered a threat since it was poorly positioned. So... late last year,[4] the Union commander at Fort Moultrie, Major Anderson, exercised his contingency orders and took possession of Fort Sumter. And here we are. South Carolina is outraged... because... well... President Buchanan PROMISED![5] (Don't get me started.) Fort Sumter holds a commanding position over Charleston Harbor, but it needs food and wood for heat! Buchanan sends the Star of the West to resupply, but it is turned away. After Lincoln takes office, he informs the governor that several small supply boats will be landed. He doesn't tell President Davis because THERE IS NO CONFEDERACY! But this is a battle for honor. General Beauregard asks respectfully for Major Anderson's surrender of the Fort. Anderson declines. After 39 hours of bombardment, General Beauregard offers to evacuate the Fort. (NOT SURRENDER.) Honor has been served. Anderson agrees on the condition that his men offer a 100 gun salute to the Union flag. In the midst of the salute, a spark catches a pile of cartridges, killing Private Daniel Hough and Private Edward Galloway, the first casualties of the war. Major Anderson carries away the flag of Fort Sumter. The War between the States has begun. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The "American Civil War" was not strictly a civil war although definitions today point to it as the prime example of one. I'm not buying it. The Confederacy was not attempting to take over the US government. It simply left the government. One might say they were provenances in rebellion. The Southern states didn't like a strong centralized government, but the idea that they left simply because of the North's interference seems weak. More likely it was Abraham Lincoln's overwhelming election under the anti-slavery Republicans. They could see their doom no matter what Lincoln said or the Party platform indicated. Slavery and the agrarian society could only survive under certain conditions and those conditions could not be applied in the North, nor the far west for that matter. Any statements from the South regarding the overwhelming superiority of whites over blacks seems like whistling past the graveyard. Soon after the Battle of Fort Sumter, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee joined the Confederacy. Missouri and Kentucky never formally joined. Several Virgina districts sided with the Union and became West Virgina. [12] [13]

Left Brain, Right Brain

A French surgeon, Paul Broca, dissects the brain of a man called Tana. He was called Tana because that was the only sound he could make. He discovers damage to the left side of the brain caused by a cyst. After investigation of people with similar symptoms... that is... an inability to articulate their speech, he sees a trend. Each has damage on the left side of the brain. He concludes that the left side handles verbalization. He also notices that damage to the left side of the brain causes some paralysis of the right side of the body. This is the first anatomical proof of the location of a brain function, and the doctor introduces the idea of a left-side/right-side brain coordination. Obviously their must be come cross-coordination of the two sides. In later years, doctors will notice a problem with the cross-coordination that causes seizures in epilepsy sufferers. Cutting the connections between the left and right brain can reduce these seizures, but it can cause a strange result. Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga noticed that when he put an object into the right hand of such a patient, the patient could name the object and describe it, but when he put the same object into the patient's left hand, he could neither name it nor describe it. Clearly, the cross connections between left and right brain are used and needed. [14] [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... during a fall, I damaged the pressure regulators and balance canals in my ears which has caused no end of problems for me. Most people experience some vertigo in their lives, some episodes can be severe. Mine is a rare case. It never goes away. This results in a lot of confusing input coming into my brain. It is somewhat like trying to recite poetry while standing in the middle of a hailstorm.... a small hailstorm. I get distracted. My ear problem also effects my sight since I must depend on what I see to orient myself. Have you ever come to a stop light and a big truck stops in the lane next to you? When the truck eases forward, do you have the sensation that you are moving instead of the truck? Welcome to my world. I get this when I move my own hands. Luckily, I've learned to adapt. No sense in going through the details, but I can give you one really good tip.... stop driving. I used to yell at knuckleheads who were obvious menaces on the road. Then I became a knucklehead, so I took my own advice and stopped driving. I'm saving lives just sitting here.

The Land of the Free and the First US Income Tax

Yep. It's a flat tax of 3 percent on income over $800 dollars. It is introduced to fund the war effort. The big problem at the beginning of the War between the States is not getting enough volunteers to fight for the Union, but getting enough money to equip the soldiers and feed them properly. Logistics, Logistics, Logistics. By next year it will be replaced by a so-called "progressive income tax" which makes no logical sense. A flax tax is progressive because the more money you make, the more money you pay. Then again, this is government and logic has very little to do with it.
"One of the greatest perplexities of the government, is to avoid receiving troops faster than it can provide for them. In a word, the people will save their government, if the government itself, will do its part"
-- Abraham Lincoln on the problem of funding an army.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Lincoln also suspended habeus corpus in Maryland... and not even all of Maryland, but the parts that had to do with the railway lines. He arrested about one third of the Maryland General Assembly because the state of Maryland had voted to remain within the Union but also voted to block the north/south rail lines in order to stop the war. Rail lines were critical for the logistics effort. Feeding and equipping the troops meant transporting supplies to them in the fastest, most economic ways. If you look carefully you will see that the most effective fighting took place within 60 miles of a rail stop. 60 miles was about the limit for effective transport of supplies for the war effort. Oh... and the grandson of Francis Scott Key was taken into custody for criticizing the government for suspending habeus corpus. "Land of the free," and all that. Yeah. When was that exactly? [17]

In Other News

  • The Kingdom of Italy begins the unification process. The northern and southern kingdoms formally declare their unity this year, but someone didn't get the memo. They aren't really unified yet, but it is a start. [18]
  • The Pony Express is replaced by the telegraph. The east-west fast mail service has existed for only 19 months, but it's legend will live on. The logo will be appropriated by Wells Fargo, and even the US Postal Service. [19]
  • The Gatling Gun is invented. With the onset of War, the ingenious mind of the American citizen turns to mechanized mayhem. The result? The multi-barrelled gun that will show people how futile war can be. (FYI, it doesn't help at all in that regard.) [20]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1861, Wikipedia.

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