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The Royal Virginia Colony and the Limits of Cooperation *

Despite recent efforts to produce high profits from tobacco crops, it is too little, too late for the Virginia Company. Out of the more than 6,000 colonists sent to Jamestown and surrounding areas over the years, only 1,200 remain alive and more are walking off the boats to die a few weeks later of malaria. (They probably picked it up in an English port before they left but let's not nit pick.) King James the 1st of England has revoked the Company's charter for their incompetence. Virginia is now a direct royal colony. The King attempts to disband the Virginia legislative body called the House of Burgesses, but after 4 years that effort will fail. The Burgesses have become entirely too powerful. The King knows that labor is the limiting factor in producing crops. New colonists are being encouraged to immigrate to the New World, "...for the glorie of God in the propagation of the Gospell..." but with the Indian raids and disease killing off the colonists, it's going to be a tall order to make this Virginia colony a success. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, a Burgess was a representative of the plantation owner. Two were sent from each plantation to form the first legislative body in North America. The colony was administered by the Governor and his Council. When the King authorized the Burgesses to sit as a legislative body once more, they met separately from the Council. The Council was granted veto power over the laws that the Burgesses passed, but that power was not absolute. The Council and Governor were appointed by the Burgesses. This separation of powers forced them to work carefully with each other. In the modern day, the United States legislature hands over power to the President in order "to get things done!" But even so, it is rarely enough for the Administration. When Secretary of State John Kerry was asked why he hadn't submitted the latest "Iran Deal" to the US Senate as a formal treaty, he replied that it was too difficult to get a treaty passed. Indeed, Mr. Kerry is correct. It is VERY difficult to get a treaty passed. The Founding Fathers knew that any government powerful enough to give you everything you wanted was also powerful enough to take everything you had, so they made sure that government was very inefficient. Thus, only with great need did the legislature cooperate "to get things done!" Right or wrong, if an Administration cannot demonstrate a great need for cooperation, then how much do we really need it as a country? [3] [4] [5]

A Catholic Cardinal for France and for the Protestants

King Louis the 13th of France has appointed Cardinal Richelieu as his chief minister. The King is quite young but he is disciplined and he has learned to depend upon his advisors. The Cardinal will hold a pivotal role during the 30 Years' War, as he attempts to balance his religious obligations to Catholicism with his loyalty to France as a nation. In these turbulent times religious interests and national interests are not always the same thing. The Cardinal is considered a "moderate" in comparison to the fanatics pushing for France to join in a counter-Reformation with the Holy Roman Emperor to destroy the Protestants. No doubt the Cardinal would like Catholicism to triumph, but too often the perfect is the enemy of the good. The Cardinal realizes that if France gets involved in a straight up war, the Emperor will probably win, but France will lose itself in the aftermath. Thus in some sense he must help the Protestants, so that the Emperor does not win too much. If this sounds really, really twisted, now you know how Cardinal Richelieu became a favorite villain in historical fiction well into the modern day. [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Look... I admit that I enjoy a good adventure novel every once in a while but I'm not kidding about Cardinal Richelieu. He had a spy network all across Europe. He had his fingers into everything. He paid BIG MONEY for the King of Sweden to invade Germany. If that isn't the plot for a great story, I don't know what is, and the beauty of it all is that it really happened. And King Gustav the 2nd Adolf of Sweden was not just any king. He was a master military tactician. Napoleon admired and studied his tactics. They love King Gustav the 2nd in Sweden today. The Cardinal kept any number of major personalities balanced off against each other including the Holy Roman Emperor. All of this implies that the Cardinal had an extremely compelling personality. If the Cardinal had never existed, it is difficult to imagine France existing today, at least in its present form. [8]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1624, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Essential and Interesting Information About Jamestown. about.com (2015). Retrieved on 27 July 2015. “Jamestown had an extremely high mortality rate. This was due to disease, gross mismanagement, and later Native American raids. In fact, King James I revoked the London Company's charter for Jamestown in 1624 when only 1,200 settlers out of the total of 6,000 that had arrived from England since 1607 had survived. At that point, Virginia became a royal colony. The King attempted to dissolve the legislative House of Burgesses to no avail.”
  2. Kate Langley Bosher (5 April 1907). "First House of Burgesses, The". North American Review (University of Northern Iowa) 184 (612): 733-739. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25105836. Retrieved 6 August 2015. "Whereas in the beginninge of Sir Thomas Smith's twelve years' government it was published in printe throughout the Kingdom of Englande that a Plantation should be settled in Virginia for the glorie of God in the propogation of the Gospell of Christ, the conversion of the Savages, to the honour of his Majesty by the enlargeinge of his territories and future enrichinge of his kingdom, for which respects many noble and well-minded persons were induced to adventure great sums of money to the advancement of soe pious and noble a work...". 
  3. N. Walthoe (July 1910). "Council and the Burgesses, The". William and Mary Quarterly (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture) 19 (1): 1-9. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1921414. Retrieved 6 August 2015. "When, in 1628, the King gave legal recognition to the General Assembly by authorizing Deputy Governor Francis West to call it together, the Council and Burgesses, in a short time, began the practice of sitting apart. Under the charter they imitated the practice of the London Company, which at its General Courts in London convened all its officers and members in one room, but the General Assembly which met under the King,'s authority would naturally look to Parliament and find an example of divided authority.". 
  4. Kerry: Iran Deal Not a Treaty 'Because You Can’t Pass a Treaty Anymore’. CNSNews.com (July 29, 2015). Retrieved on 13 August 2015. “'Because you can't pass a treaty anymore,' he continued. 'And it's become impossible to, you know, schedule, it's become impossible to pass. And I sat there leading the charge on the Disabilities Treaty which fell to, basically, ideology and politics. So I think that's the reason why.'”
  5. Government big enough to give you everything you want...(Quotation mistakenly attributed to Jefferson). Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (2015). Retrieved on 13 August 2015. “'A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.' [...] Neither this quotation nor any of its variant forms has been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. Its first known appearance in print was in 1953, although it is most likely older.”
  6. Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy. Random House. “The successes of Gustavus Adolphus, like those of the Catholics in the previous decade, would have been impossible without heavy financial backing, and this came from what might have been thought a most unlikely source: Cardinal Richelieu, since 1624 the chief minister of King Louis XIII of France.” 
  7. Wedgwood, C. V.. Richelieu and the French Monarchy. Collier Books. “Had France lacked, at this crucial moment in the national development, a statesman with a clear eye and a resolute will the history of Europe would have been different. A central European consolidation, either under Habsburg, or even under Swedish, dominion might have taken place. France, as a nation, might have broken down, as Germany broke down, on the fatal separation of classes or provinces. France, as a monarchy, might have decayed inwardly as Spain decayed through the rigidity and corruption of the monarchic government.” 
  8. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 13 August 2015.

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