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The Old Zürich War

The Cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy are having a succession fight. Count Friedrich the 7th of Toggenburg died in 1436 without an heir. Several Cantons have made a claim but since the Count's holdings are mostly within the Zurich Canton, this succession fight is called the Old Zürich War. One of the cantons have hired the out-of-work mercenaries from France since there is a truce going on between England and France right now. The forces of the Canton of Zürich are defeated as the mercenaries lay siege to the city itself. Zürich will manage to hold on until everyone gives up. Peace will reign once more when Zürich finally cuts its ties with the Hapsburgs and joins the Swiss Confederacy once more. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Using French mercenaries seemed like a good idea at the time. The French heir apparent led these mercenaries into battle mostly to get these bad boys out of France. France has been trying to build a professional military and these fellows are the worst of the worst. The mercenaries won this particular battle with Zürich , but in doing so, many of the mercenaries were killed after engaging in some really horrible atrocities (horrible even by the standards of the time). With the death of so many mercenaries, this problem is solved for France. The French heir apparent will slip away just before winter sets in... leaving the mercenaries to the tender mercies of some very angry Swiss.

The Lagos Slave Market

Because of an agricultural labor shortage, slave trading has started up again. Portuguese caravels (small coastal ships) have been bringing slaves back from Africa and putting their captives to work in the fields. Now they have an excess so 275 slaves are brought to Lagos. The Mercado de Escravos is Portugal's first slave market. The city of Lagos will make its name in the slave trade but once goods and spices become major imports in Lisbon, Lagos will shrink in importance. The slave market in Lagos still stands as a museum. [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Black Death caused a severe labor shortage that was not felt until the 1400s. With labor prices high, it made the importation of slaves from Africa economical. The caravel sailing vessel had a capacity of 20 which included the sailors so one can guess that there was very little room for slaves. The fact that these ships were used to move slaves tells you how important cheap labor (and thus cheap goods) was to them. In the modern day, this is a primary reason why businesses in the USA look the other way when hiring illegal aliens. The difference in labor cost is significant. Once the US border is secured (may I live long enough to see it) one can expect the cost of goods and services to rise sharply, along with an increase in automation in certain industries such as farms and restaurants that hired illegal aliens.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1444, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Old Zürich War - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. Zürich - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Battle of St. Jakob an der Sihl - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Lagos, Portugal - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Caravel - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Mercado de Escravos (Slave Market in Lagos, Portugal) - Wikipedia. 2014 [last update] (IMAGE)

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