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The World's Superpower Just Ran Out of Money *

King Philip the 2nd of Spain has been left a "house of cards" from his father. The truce with France has fallen apart so the new King needs money to finance yet another war. With gold and silver arriving from the New World by the boatload, inflation is making everything more expensive including the most important expense... troop pay. If they had checking accounts in the 1500s, paychecks would be bouncing like rubber. The greatest nation in the world has just run out of money. The banks of Italy, Germany and the Netherlands are in a panic. There will be a major restructuring of the debt. Spain will run out of money again in 1560, 1569, 1575, and 1596. Spain is spending money like there is no tomorrow... but there really is a tomorrow. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Constitution of the United States was written with the assumption that all governments overspend and placed impediments to overspending, but they had no illusion that they could eliminate it. When Hitler is coming over the horizon, you overspend, but the day of economic reckoning does come. Responsible government pays down the debt to reasonable levels as soon as possible, but if our government is in constant emergency mode then our government is picking the pockets of our children and the pockets of our children yet unborn... if they manage to get born. Contraception and abortion blocks the birth of future taxpayers. Illegal immigration solves the economic problem that requires SOMEONE ELSE to be holding the bag when it all comes apart. The Spanish troops got caught holding the bag in 1557 and pillaged the villages around them. The Black Legend of Spain began during this period as the Middle Ages reared its ugly head once again.

FYI... Alex Shrugged is a real Hispanic straight from East LA who has no trouble speaking of himself in the third person. He is also an Orthodox Jew but he's been an Hispanic much longer than he's been religious.

The Geneva Bible is Published

Queen "Bloody Mary" of England has been lopping off the heads of Protestants so Protestant scholars have been making their way across the English Channel and on to Geneva, Switzerland. These Bible scholars (including Bishop Miles Coverdale of "Coverdale Bible" fame) have produced a new English translation of the Bible. The New Testament portion is published this year and the entire Bible will be published by 1560. It will be known as the Geneva Bible and it is unique due to the commentary and maps included. It is the first of the "study Bibles". [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Although I've not read the Geneva Bible myself, I approve of Bibles that come with commentary and cross references. As a teenager I decided to read the Bible straight through. I had a Bible without commentary and thus without guidance. The Bible left me unmoved. As an adult I returned to the Bible, but this time it included commentary. As I read along, I noticed that a commentator would answer some critical question. As a teen it hadn't occurred to me that there was a question to answer. I don't need to be a scholar today because scholars have been pouring over these words for hundreds and hundreds of years and they offer their valuable insights alongside the Bible verses. I don't have to agree with them but I am grateful to them and think for myself.

The Chinese Give the Portuguese the Business

The Portuguese have worked out a deal with the Chinese to develop a trading colony at Macau. The colonists are paying a tribute of 41.6 pound of silver a year which is over $10,000 at the current $16.15 per ounce. A deal is a deal and this deal will hold together until 1999 when the Portuguese will return the colony to China. It will become a Special Administrative Region (That is, an SAR). Hong Kong will become an SAR in 1997. [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Even though a deal was made, the Chinese treated the Portuguese terribly, but according to the Portuguese, the Portuguese deserved every bit of it. Many of these Portuguese merchants were full of themselves and very rude. To humble them the Chinese required them to "kowtow" (cow-tauw)... which means they had to drop to their knees, and hit their forehead to the ground in an humiliating fashion. By all reports, the Portuguese didn't like doing it at all but they did it because they knew the alternative was death. This Chinese word has made its way into the English language. It means to act in a subservient and scraping fashion before another... usually a superior who gives you money. [12]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1557, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Christon I. Archer. World History of Warfare (Tactics & Strategies). University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803244238. “In 1557, the Spanish crown declared bankruptcy for the first time, later defaulting on several other occasions before the century ended. Each crisis caused by ballooning military expenditures also provoked mutiny among distant unpaid army garrisons. When this occurred, major bankers in Italy, Germany, and elsewhere faced the prospect of ruin.” 
  2. Black Legend - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 13 April 2015. “In the following centuries anti-Spanish stereotypes circulated widely, especially in English, Dutch and German-speaking parts of Europe. This propaganda would depict exaggerated versions of the evils of Spanish colonial practices and the Spanish Inquisition.”
  3. Philip II of Spain - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 14 April 2015. “During Philip's reign there were separate state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1569, 1575, and 1596. This was partly the cause for the declaration of independence which created the Dutch Republic in 1581. A devout Catholic, Philip is also known for organising a huge naval expedition against Protestant England in 1588, known usually as the Spanish Armada, which was unsuccessful, mostly due to storms and grave logistical problems.”
  4. Sovereign default - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 14 April 2015. “A failure of a nation to meet bond repayments has been seen on many occasions. Philip II of Spain defaulted on debt four times - in 1557, 1560, 1575 and 1596 - becoming the first nation in history to declare sovereign default due to rising military costs and the declining value of gold, as it had become increasingly dependent on the revenues flowing in from its mercantile empire in the Americas. This sovereign default threw the German banking houses into chaos and ended the reign of the Fuggers as Spanish financiers. Genoese bankers provided the unwieldy Habsburg system with fluid credit and a dependably regular income. In return the less dependable shipments of American silver were rapidly transferred from Seville to Genoa, to provide capital for further ventures.”
  5. United States Joint Forces Command Warns that Huge U.S. Debt Might Lead to Military Impotence, Default or Revolution Washington's Blog. washingtonsblog.com (2015). Retrieved on 14 April 2015. “Spain was the first global Superpower. With Spain as its political base, and gold and silver flowing in from its American colonies, the Hapsburg dynasty became the dominant power in Europe. It controlled rich parts of Italy through Naples and Milan, and Central Europe from the Netherlands through the Holy Roman Empire to Austria. In the 16th century it added the far distant Philippine islands to its empire.”
  6. Geneva Bible - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 14 April 2015. “During the reign of Queen Mary I of England (1553-58), a number of Protestant scholars fled from England to Geneva, Switzerland, which was then ruled as a republic in which John Calvin and, later, Theodore Beza provided the primary spiritual and theological leadership. Among these scholars was William Whittingham, who supervised the translation now known as the Geneva Bible, in collaboration with Myles Coverdale, Christopher Goodman, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and William Cole; several of this group later became prominent figures in the Vestments controversy. Whittingham was directly responsible for the New Testament, which was complete and published in 1557, while Gilby oversaw the Old Testament.”
  7. What is the Geneva Bible?. GotQuestions.org (2015). Retrieved on 14 April 2015. “In 1553 Mary Tudor became Queen of England. As Queen she was committed to eliminating Protestant influences in England and restoring Roman Catholicism as the official religion. Under her rule there was a time of intense persecution of Protestants known as the Marian Persecutions, which earned her the nickname &lquot;Bloody Mary.&rquot;”
  8. The Reformed Reader introduction to the Geneva bible for the historic Baptist faith.. ReformedReader.org (1988). Retrieved on 14 April 2015. “The Bible in use by those groups until it went out of print in 1644, was the Geneva Bible.”
  9. Words from History (PDF), Books on Words, Houghton Mifflin. “Europeans, too, had to 'kowtow,' and this was a source of great friction for they were filled with their own notions of superiority and hated to do so.” 
  10. Macau - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 24 February 2015. “A former Portuguese colony, Macau was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until late 1999, when it was the last remaining European colony in Asia.”
  11. Gold and Silver Price Calculator. GoldPrice.org (2015). Retrieved on 14 April 2015.
  12. kowtow - definition of kowtow. The Free Dictionary (2015). Retrieved on 14 April 2015. “To kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission, as formerly done in China.”

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