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Recapping the 14th Century

The historian, Barbara Tuchman, called this "The Calamitous 14th Century," and it certainly was that. Famine, plague and murder mark the age as the Middle Ages winds down. Half the Chinese population is gone. A fourth to a third of the Europeans are dead and the peasantry has become reluctant to replace that missing population. The Little Ice Age is progressing which means severe winters and shorter growing seasons. English has become the official language of England instead of Latin or French. Although it is heresy to possess a Bible in English, copies are being made. The 100 Years' War is on hiatus but it will start up soon. The Ottomans have taken Bulgaria and threatening Constantinople. Tamerlane has murdered millions. His name will signify ultimate evil until Hitler makes people forget him. Everything has changed. Everything, and there is more change to come.

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Plague not only killed people... it killed the best people. People who saw their job as helping the poor, the sick and the downtrodden threw themselves into the fray and were eaten alive. As Viktor Frankl once wrote about the Holocaust, "The best of us did not survive." People have lost trust in the leadership. When they question religion they not only let go of the bad, they let go of good discipline. They are not yet trained to be critical thinkers and in the end, that is the most difficult skill to teach... and to measure. How does one measure the ability to think critically? How do we know how much of it we possess? How far must we go until we have enough of it to be useful?

War of the Roses: It's Origins

Most people have heard of the War of the Roses but don't know exactly how it began. It begins with King Richard the 2nd's attempt to banish Henry the 4th, the Duke of Lancaster. Henry fights back, and holds the King hostage. Parliament crowns Henry as King. The rationale for doing this is a little thin but no less thin than Richard's claim. Several knights try to rescue Richard, but they are caught. The knights will be hung, disemboweled and their intestines burned while they watch. Sir Thomas Blount will ask to see Heaven so for the knight's soft speech and kindness to the executioner, he is beheaded forthwith. The former King Richard will die shortly thereafter which causes a deep resentment amongst the loyalists. Thus... in 1455... THAT IS FIFTY-FIVE FREAKIN' YEARS LATER... after Henry the 4th's grandson, Henry the 6th, has already taken the throne, that the old resentment will surface and it's going to be a war for the throne of England. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
According to Sir Walter Scott, it will be called the War of the Roses because the knights will be asked to choose which side they are on by selecting either a white rose or red rose. It probably never happened. And the death of King Richard the 2nd is not the real reason they are fighting. In a war there are the stated reasons and hidden reasons. How much resentment could they really have? The man that will contend for the throne in 1455 was 4 years old when King Richard died. The real reason for the War of the Roses was that King Henry the 6th was flat out mentally incompetent. With no heir apparent in sight, people became deeply worried. The War of the Roses was a power play for the throne with the question of succession being used as a convenient excuse to save what was left of the kingdom.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1400, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. 1400: Sir Thomas Blount, "bowels burning before him", ExecutedToday.com, 2013-Jan-12.
  2. 1400: John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon, ExecutedToday.com, 2011-Jan-16.

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