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The Little Dutch Boy Loses His Fight with the Dike

With the rise of the sea level in the North Sea and a massive storm surge, the waters have breached the dikes of the Netherlands drowning 50,000-80,000 souls, swamping the low lands, submerging islands and expanding what was once an inland sea into a shallow bay. St. Lucia's Flood is the 6th largest flood in world history coming one day after St. Lucia Day. "Zuyder Zee" means "South Sea" and its expansion will cause Baltic commercial trade to move its operations to Amsterdam which, until this point, was not much more than a fishing village.

Under similar circumstances, the North Sea Flood of 1953 will cause extensive property damage but will kill fewer people: 1,836 in the Netherlands and over 300 throughout England, Scotland and Belgium. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is important to mention the North Sea Flood of 1953 since it covered a similar area but this time they were better prepared. No doubt, there are practical studies on the subject available. And such storm surges are well known in the United States, the most recent was due to Hurricane Sandy, the second most costly hurricane in US history.

A King's Ransom

King Edward I of England needs fast cash to ransom back his cousin, Charles of Salerno, otherwise known as King Charles II of Naples. At this time England controls large portions of France including the Duchy of Gascony. Since King Edward is in France at this time, he orders the Jews expelled from Gascony and confiscates their property, but he is finding it more and more difficult to produce ready cash in this manner. The final expulsion of the Jews from England is coming but the net proceeds from that expulsion will be disappointing for the King. The richest Jew in England has a net worth of about 300 pounds at this time. In current dollars, that is $245,000 using the retail price index.

With the death of Pope Honorius IV, negotiations for Charles' release will not be completed until next year under Pope Nicholas IV who will void all agreements for the payment of ransom. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I mention this event to illustrate the attitudes of the nobility toward the peasantry at the time. It was rare when the nobility treated the peasantry as anything other than a commodity to be traded, used and abused. In some ways, the nobility's motto is a lot like "We are on a mission from God," and if the peasants must suffer then it must be God's will. If you ever wondered where class envy and resentment for the rich came from, it came from incidents like this. Over and over again.

See Also


  1. North Sea Flood (1953) by Phillip Harwood, 2013
  2. Severe flooding "could put lives at risk" by Emma Henry, 2007
  3. Watersnoodramp 1953 (in Dutch) (VIDEO)
  4. St. Lucia's flood, Wikipedia
  5. Zuider Zee, Wikipedia
  6. Hurricane Sandy, Wikipedia
  7. A History of the Jews, Paul Johnson, Harper and Row Press, 1987, p. 213
  8. Charles of Salerno/King Charles II, Wikipedia
  9. Year 1287, Wikipedia
  10. Pope Honorius IV, Wikipedia
  11. Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1245 to Present, Measuring Worth (CURRENCY CALULATOR)
  12. 1287 May 4, ENGLANDfrom Jewish History 1280-1289

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