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"Follow the flagship, and ask no questions!" The Magellan World Tour *

It's time to "stick it" to the King of Portugal and write "PAID" to a debt of honor. Having heard of Balboa's discovery of another ocean, Ferdinand Magellan has been planning to circumnavigate the globe under the flag of Portugal but at the last minute, because of a longtime grudge, the King refuses to back the voyage. Magellan is a 37-year-old man with his hair on fire to make this voyage so he gets backing from the King of Spain [1] and launches his fleet from Seville! His ships cross the Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro to take on supplies and stay to observe the festival of Christmas which lasts for several days. By early next year his ships will take a short-cut through the strait that will one day bear his name (the Strait of Magellan) and enter the Pacific Ocean. [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Historians would love to know what grudge the King of Portugal had with Magellan. They must have buried the hatchet to remain in each others company for so long but they must have remembered where it was buried. Magellan had been a page for the Queen though he was only 14 at the time, so historians can only guess what it was about. Magellan was a fast talker because the King of Spain jumped all over this project. Unfortunately, Magellan is not going to make it home from this voyage. In the Philippines he will get into the middle of a minor fight between native tribes and get stabbed to death in a melee. [4]

Cortés Scuttles His Ships and Jump-starts His Career

Hernando Cortés is the son of a lesser noble. His chances of fame and glory in Spain are remote so he has spent the last 15 years at lower-level jobs in the New World until he uses a legal slight-of-hand to jump-start his career. He was supposed to land troops on the Mexican coast and colonize the interior, but his orders were revoked at the last minute. Instead of returning, he scuttles his ships, explaining that they are no longer seaworthy. Hernando wins election as the magistrate of a local colony, organizes a new expedition into Mexico and asks the King of Spain to co-sign this load of hooey (and includes a shipload of treasure to help the King decide). Cortés will massacre thousands at Cholula, so that by the time he reaches Tenochtitlan in November, Moctezuma the 2nd simply lets the Spaniards into the city, but the Aztecs are not conquered yet. [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
600 conquistadors cannot conquer an empire, yet that is what happened. How could they see it as anything but God's own disapproval of pagan sacrifice and approval of themselves as Crusaders? Darwinists use similar logic, substituting "survival of the fittest" in place of God's approval but it's the same thing. "If I can beat you up and take all your stuff, it's because I was MEANT to beat you up and take all your stuff." North American settlers did the same thing with Manifest Destiny. Whether it is God's will, survival of the fittest, or "It's just meant to be!" it's all the same to the poor sap getting the tar beaten out him. [9]

The Need for Gun Safety Lessons Has Just Become Apparent

Peter Frenchman is demonstrating his gun prowess when a woman walks in front of him just as he is firing. Apparently situational awareness was at a minimum in the 1500s. This is the first recorded accidental death by gunfire. [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It sounds odd, but a matchlock musket can blind you when the powder from the flash pan ignites. (That is... literally blind you for life.) Most folks tend to hold the gun up higher and close their eyes before they pull the trigger. Just a tip for the matchlock owners out there... both of you. I've provided a link to a video demonstration on "How to Fire a Matchlock". Note carefully the scars on the man's right hand. [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1519, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 February 2015. “Charles V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I as Holy Roman Emperor and his son Philip II as King of Spain in 1556.”
  2. Ferdinand Magellan's Voyage Round the World, 1519-1522 CE. Internet History Sourcebooks (2015). “HE [Magellan] sailed from Seville on the 10th day of August of the said year [1519], [...] to make the Rio de Janeiro, which is in the same latitude as Cabo-frio, and they entered the said Rio on the day of St. Lucy, which was the 13th December, in which place they took in wood, and they remained there until the first octave of Christmas, which was the 26th of December of the same year.” | accessdate = 12 February 2015 }}
  3. Arthur Sturges Hildebrand. Magellan: A General Account of the Life and Times and Remarkable Adventures by Land and by Sea, of the Most Eminent and Renowned Navigator. Harcourt, Brace and Company, 93-94. “Magellan had spent more than five years in perfecting his project, in organizing his first vague ideas into a definite program. Now the plan was ready, and he took action. In 1517, the thirty-seventh year of his age, he renounced his Portuguese citizenship and went to Spain.” 
  4. melee - definition of melee. The Free Dictionary (2015). Retrieved on 12 February 2015. “a confused hand-to-hand fight or struggle among several people”
  5. Tenochtitlán. Tenochtitlán Facts (2014). Retrieved on 12 February 2015. “By 1519, the year the Spaniards arrived, Tenochtitlán - Tlatelolco had a population of more than 200,000. It was laid out on a grid plan and covered more than 12 km2 (4.6 mi2), much of this consisting of reclaimed swampland that formed a zone of fertile garden plots around the edge of the city.”
  6. Hernán Cortés - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 February 2015. “Arriving on the continent, Cortés executed a successful strategy of allying with some indigenous people against others. He also used a native woman, Doña Marina, as an interpreter; she would later bear Cortés a son. When the Governor of Cuba sent emissaries to arrest Cortés, he fought them and won, using the extra troops as reinforcements.”
  7. Tenochtitlan. Aztec-History.net (2015). Retrieved on 12 February 2015. “The Aztec empire fell probably because all the neighboring tribes sided with the Spaniards (the 'conquista de Tenochtitlan'). If the Aztecs were “friendlier” to those people and didn't took [sic] those people as sacrificial lambs to be given to their gods and goddesses, then the Aztec empire would probably be able to ward off the conquerors.”
  8. Fall of Tenochtitlan - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 February 2015.
  9. Alex Shrugged notes: I have a vague recollection of the cartoon character, Daria, making a similar argument about Manifest Destiny. Thanks Daria! :-)
  10. BBC News - 10 strange ways Tudors died. bbc.com (2015). Retrieved on 13 February 2015. “The first time a coroners' court came up against the new-fangled problem of a fatal shooting accident was 1519, when a woman in Welton near Hull was accidentally killed by a handgun.”
  11. How to fire a Matchlock musket - English Heritage Event. YouTube (2015). Retrieved on 13 February 2015.

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