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It Smells Like the New World *

A Dutch merchant writes that he can smell the New World before he can see it. This comes from all the smoke from burning fires. The Indian tribes maintain the forests by burning the undergrowth and clearing wide lanes for travel. They are so diligent in their work that many colonists will comment about the park-like lands. In fact, they will notice that there is nothing natural about the forests at all. This will be a complementary observation. [1]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Indians were keeping the underbrush down to allow game to flourish and to keep forest fires manageable. Was that natural? No. It was a human system that used nature as a tool rather than an enemy to overcome, but there was nothing natural about it in the modern sense. Some intellectuals see the American Indian as "The Noble Savage"... an idealization of primitive man... that is... man as animal in his purest state. Idealists on the left fight to keep the Eskimo in a primitive environment when the Eskimos would like are nice warm houses and some decent schools for their kids. On the right you get reality shows of hard, calloused men and women taking on the Alaskan wilderness. What is the difference? On the right, you choose your challenges. On the left, they choose your challenges for you... whether you like them or not. The Indians (and Eskimos) are protected groups but along with the benefits come some very long strings. I've danced with Indians. It is a wondrous culture, but it is one thing to keep one's culture alive because it is just flat out cool, and it is another to keep it alive to please some aging, leftist hippies who like handmade rugs. There are a lot of good things to learn from our past but if it's all the same to you, I'd like to keep running water, flush toilets and a forest that don't burst into flames every time a car backfires.

Notable Events this Year

* The Maryland charter is awarded to Lord Baltimore. (Guess what the name of the new capital will be.) The "Mary" of Maryland is Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles the 1st of England. [2]
* The English colonize Antigua and Barbuda. The islands will remain in their control (mostly) until 1981. [3]
* The Taj Mahal is commissioned to be the final resting place for the Sultan's favorite wife. Construction will be completed in 1653. Cost: over $800,000. Nice tombstone.[4]
* Galileo publishes his Two Worlds Dialogue that compares the Copernicus system with the old system. He has the permission of the Inquisition who will then forget they gave him permission. [5]

The War in Review

It's been disease, rape, murder and mayhem. Let's hit the highlights.

* Count Tilly is dead. Historians make excuses for his violence. Maybe they are right. In any case he was wounded by King Gustav's army and dies at the Battle of Rain.
* Munich is captured by Swedish forces in the 30 Years' War.
* Several cities surrender to the Prince of Orange in the 80 Year's War.
* The King of France crushes a rebellion led by his brother, Gaston. Gaston will live.
* King Gustav the 2nd of Sweden is killed in battle. By all accounts he was almost joyful in his last battle against General Wallenstein.
* Queen Christina takes the throne of Sweden at 6 years old. She is a wild one (in a good way) and sharp as a whip. Her father's old adviser will continue fighting the war while she grows up.
* The Field Marshall for the Holy Roman Emperor dies from his wounds in battle.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1632, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “Surrounding the cleared areas and the fruitful marshes was the wood, splendid with chestnut and elm, but hardly untouched. Like the fields, the forest was shaped by native fire. Every fall Indians burned the underbrush, sending ash billowing into the heavens; when ships approached during fire season, the Dutch merchant David Pieterszoon de Vries observed in 1632, 'the land is smelt before it is seen.' From the embers emerged tender new growth, attracting deer, elk, and moose.” 
  2. Henrietta Maria of France - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 25 August 2015. “The North American Province of Maryland was named in her honour, and the name was carried over into the current US state of Maryland.”
  3. Antigua and Barbuda - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 25 August 2015. “The English settled on Antigua in 1632; Sir Christopher Codrington settled on Barbuda in 1684. Slavery, established to run sugar plantations around 1684, was abolished in 1834. The British ruled from 1632 to 1981, with a brief French interlude in 1666.”
  4. Taj Mahal - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 25 August 2015. “It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–1658) to house the tomb of his favorite wife of three, Mumtaz Mahal.”
  5. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 26 August 2015. “...comparing the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system.”

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