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The War for Naples Ends and Modern Warfare Begins

Last year in Italy the Spaniards spanked the French forces with their quicker cavalry and better use of small arms. With that defeat, France has surrendered the ancient city of Gaeta. Years of fighting between France and Spain is over. The Treaty of Lyons seals the deal. King Louis the 12th of France will retain control of northern Italy and Spain will control Naples in the south, including Sicily under King Ferdinand the 2nd of Aragon (the husband of Queen Isabella of Castile). Gaeta was strategically significant. The whole reason for this war was to give King Charles the Affable of France a base of operations to begin his Crusade. King Louis had lesser goals. In the modern day NATO will maintain a base at Gaeta. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The significance of this war is that it forced a complete reorganization of the Spanish military in terms of hierarchy, discipline and military tactics. Gone is the chivalry of the old order. This will have significance for the New World as Spain makes in roads into Mexico and confronts the Aztecs. Spain's growing military dominance will push other European countries to improve their tactics. The West has begun its evolution into modern warfare.[3]

Mad Queen Joanna and Modern Spain

Queen Isabella the 1st of Castile has been in declining health and has died at the age of 53. The Crown of Castile goes to her daughter, Joanna. Mad Queen Joanna is already married to Philip the Handsome who is 28 at this time, a year older than she. He will be crowned king in 1506 and drop dead the same year. Historians believe he died of typhoid fever but Mad Queen Joanna will believe he was poisoned. For a time she will refuse to bury him and she will be deemed too insane to reign in Castile. Apparently she won't be too insane to reign in Aragon and Naples. The point is that because she was the daughter of both the ruler of Castile and the ruler of Aragon, Mad Queen Joanna will be queen of the largest portion of what is modern day Spain once her father passes away.[4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Was Queen Joanna really mad? Maybe. Her husband was driving her crazy! Philip the Handsome had an ugly soul. He cheated on her, which was not unusual, but he also tormented her, locked her up and I suspect he spread rumors of her unstable mental state. Considering how he was treating her, perhaps she had cracked, but she seemed a little unstable anyway. The evidence is that she held back burying her worthless husband. We can all speculate on why. Insanity does not disqualify one from ruling... at least not all the time. During bouts of insanity, a ruler could appoint a regent to run things. Mad King Charles of France ruled France with a regent and King Henry the 6th of England had a regent as well.

Christopher Columbus Brings Back the Sun! *

Last year a storm stranded Christopher Columbus at St. Ann's Bay on Jamaica. He and his crew must make repairs using whatever resources they can find and they will need the native Taino [TAY-no] tribe to help. Unfortunately, they know Columbus too well but Columbus knows that an eclipse of the sun is coming. He uses this knowledge to convince the Taino [TAY-no] to help him. In 1540, Jamaica will be given over to the estate of the Columbus family but they will neglect it. [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Imagine what it was like in those days when your ship is torn to pieces and you have only yourself to depend upon and a few raw resources. How can you effect repairs under such primitive circumstances? First of all... remember that these ships are not very big. They are about the size of the Columbia ride around Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland. That ride is a full-scale replica of the American ship Columbia that circumnavigated the world. No kidding. So... if you have lost a mast during a storm, you are going to need block and tackle which they have aboard any ship, lots of rope, a suitably straight tree and a many men with strong backs. For a reasonably short but detailed description of this very process, read the Horatio Hornblower novel, "Beat to Quarters" by C. S. Forester. You will also learn more about naval tactics in the age of the mast than you can imagine. It's a great read.[9] [10] [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1504, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Italian War of 1499--1504 - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 28 December 2014.
  2. Ferdinand II of Aragon - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 January 2015.
  3. Boot, Max. War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History. Gotham. ISBN 9781592402229. 
  4. Typhoid fever - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 January 2015.
  5. Joanna of Castile - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 January 2015.
  6. Isabella I of Castile - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 January 2015.
  7. JAMAICAN HISTORY I. DiscoverJamaica.com (2005). Retrieved on 20 January 2015. “The island was given to the Columbus family as a personal estate in 1540, but they did nothing to develop it. The Spanish colony in Jamaica was never a very large or a very flourishing one.”
  8. Saint Ann's Bay, Jamaica - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 January 2015.
  9. affect - definition of affect. The Free Dictionary (2015). Retrieved on 20 January 2015. “The verb effect means 'to bring about or execute': medical treatment designed to effect a cure. Its corresponding noun means 'a result.' Thus if someone affects something, there is likely to be an effect of some kind, and from this may arise some of the confusion. People who stop smoking will see beneficial health effects, but not beneficial health affects.”
  10. Sailing Ship Columbia - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 January 2015.
  11. Alex Shrugged notes: "Beat to quarters" means "Battle stations!" or "General quarters!"

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