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Taxes: Mad King Charles

For many years King Charles the Wise of France has known he might drop dead at any moment. "Any moment" has become "now". King Charles is 42 and as he stares into the face of the Grim Reaper he revokes the hearth tax and passes away. No doubt variations of "OH, MERDE!" (Oh, Crap!) can be heard throughout France... most with joy and a few with fear. As the nobility attempt to impose more taxes, riots follow, old scores are settled and some decide to cancel their debts to the Jewish bankers by cancelling the Jews. The hearth tax is essentially a property tax and it has been funding the government beyond the basics for things like ...well... like the current war, for example. At 11 years old the new King Charles the Beloved, will be sidelined in a scramble for power between his 4 uncles. King Charles the Beloved will become King Charles the Mad around 1392 when he suddenly cracks and kills four of his own knights. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Imagine what would happen if your property taxes were zeroed out... LEGALLY! There would be dancing in the streets. Then imagine what would happen when the government inevitably comes back and says, "Oops! Sorry. We voted for a new tax." Even if one thinks a new tax is needed, the news won't go over very well.

The Russians Become The Russians

Mamak Khan of the White Horde has descended upon the forces of Dmitri Donskoi, the Grand Duke of Moscow, because Dmitri has defied the Khan and refused to pay homage. After the original Mongol invasion, Kiev-Rus had disintegrated into local princedoms paying tribute to the Mongols but Moscow has been getting more and more powerful. Now, in opposition to the Mongols, the Russians are becoming Russians... a unified people with the beginnings of a modern identity. The Battle of Snipes' Field ends in humiliation for Mamak Khan. Mamak will escape but then be attacked by Toktamish Khan of the Blue Horde (an associate of Tamerlane). Then the Blue Horde will return to crush Moscow... probably through trickery and betrayal, but crushed just the same. In the coming years Toktamish will encroach upon the holdings of Tamerlane causing Tamerlane to chase him from the throne and replace him with a puppet khan. [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Just as the Persian tribes joined together against a common enemy and eventually became the modern nation of Iran, the Mongols have forced the tribes around Kiev-Rus and Moscow into a unified fighting force with the beginnings of a Russian national identity. This seems to be a natural part of human existence, to believe that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The origins of this proverb go back to an ancient Sanskrit text from the 4th century BCE but no doubt it is as old as the first human beings who ever thought to group together into tribes to protect themselves from other tribes. [9]

FYI: I have been told that Ukrainians don't like to be called Russians but in my reading it seems that Kiev, Ukraine was the original capital of the Kingdom of Rus. Moscow, when it was the Soviet Union, stole many historical items from Kiev in an attempt to establish Moscow as the real inheritors of Rus. Any input from present day Ukrainians on this issue would be helpful.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1380, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Cantor, Norman F. Inventing the Middle Ages: The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century. Harper Perennial. February 26, 1993. p. 518. (BOOK) quote="In England there were intense struggles for control of the royal government while in France the minority of Charles VI allowed full play to baronial politics."
  2. 1380, from Jewish History. quote="1380 November 15, CHARLES VI ASCENDS THE THRONE (France) -- He told a mob that he would relieve some of the taxes but not expel the Jews. Instigated by the nobles, they plundered and murdered in the Jewish quarter for four days. The nobles hoped that this way they would relieve themselves of some of the debts owed to Jewish money lenders. Some Jews took refuge in the royal prison. Hughes Abriot, the Provost, obtained an order for restitution of all property and the return of all infants forcibly baptized. Because of this, he was accused of converting to Judaism and sent to jail for a year in penance."
  3. Charles VI of France (Charles the Mad) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Charles V of France (Charles the Wise) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Mongol History and Chronology from Ancient Times by Per Inge Oestmoen, 2001-Feb-24. quote="1380: The Russians, led by the famous Dmitrii Donskoi, win over the Mongol army (now predominantly composed of Turkish warriors) led by Mamay, at Kulikovo Pole (Snipes' field) at Don."
  6. Saunders, John Joseph. (J.J. Saunders, bio). The History of the Mongol Conquests. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. pp. 165-167. (BOOK) quote="Mamak was caught at a disadvantage; encouraged by the disintegration of the khanate, the Russian princes refused in 1371 to make the customary journey to Sarai to pay tribute and do homage, and when Mamak attempted to punish this insolence, he was crushed by the forces of Dmitri Donskoi, the Grand Duke of Moscow, at Kulikovo Pole, 'the field of curlews', in the Don valley in 1380, the first major victory the Russians had gained over their Mongol tyrants."
  7. Kulikovo Field (Snipes' Field) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. Battle of Kulikovo - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. The enemy of my enemy is my friend - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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