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Saint Peter's Flood and the Problem of Global Cooling

A series of storms in the North Sea have produced storm surges that are collectively called Saint Peter's Flood. The Island of Juist off the coast of Germany is split in half when its sand dunes are washed away. Bodies are washed up all the way to Fulkum Warf and then buried in the backwash. 15,000 souls are lost. Dikes collapse and Amsterdam is flooded. The dual Islands of Juist will be rejoined into a single island in 1932 but the connecting dunes will remain vulnerable to North Sea flooding so additional barriers will be erected to protect them from erosion. These artificial barriers will create their own unique ecosystem that will be studied in the modern day. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've said this before but there is nothing new about storm surges flooding islands, drowning the population and otherwise causing chaos. This is the consequence of Global Cooling or the Little Ice Age. Storms become more violent. If these same natural processes of Global Cooling occurred today, politicians and panic-stricken soccer moms would be screaming about "proof" of Global Warming and the melting of the polar ice caps! I don't doubt that Global Warming is happening. The Great Lakes were once filled with frozen glaciers, but they warmed up. I'm fairly sure that the warming process of the Great Lakes had nothing to do with automobile exhaust or factory chimneys. I'm not even sure Global Warming is a problem, but if it is a problem, I'm fairly sure the so-called solutions will only solve two problems: the problem of getting the next politician elected and the problem of putting money in the pockets of someone's brother-in-law.

The Deluge in Ukraine and the Problem of Winning a War

This is not a flood of water. It is a flood of troops and cavalry as the single largest military engagement of the century kicks off with over 280,000 men near the town of Berestechko. With 80,000 Polish mercenaries on one side and 200,000 Ukrainian peasants, Cossacks and Crimean Tatars on the other, it should be a slaughter and it is. The Cossacks and Ukrainians are killing off the local nobles so the Polish Prince Jeremi leads an army of mercenaries to find the Cossacks. The Prince meets with initial success by killing the Crimean cavalry leader the 1st day. The 2nd day in a miracle that is difficult to believe (but something like it must have happened) the Prince leads a charge into the teeth of the Cossack defenses using nothing but his horse, a saber and a few thousand mercenaries. This should have been impossible, but it helped that the Tatar leadership was killed by Polish artillery and a severe storm later produces so much mud and confusion that the Cossacks are trapped next to the river and destroyed. In the end, 700 Polish troops are killed compared to 20,000 to 30,000 Cossacks and Crimeans. [6] [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The rule of thumb is... the loser of a war learns more than the winner. That is because the winner won't fix what is wrong if it is working well enough to win. Meanwhile the losers have every motivation to build something better from the ground up. Ukraine and the Cossacks were later absorbed by Moscow creating a more efficient fighting force. Most of the Polish nobles disbanded their forces. You had all those costly horses and bullets and stuff. The stand down of forces set up Poland for an invasion by the Swedes that destroyed the Polish/Lithuania Commonwealth and allowed Moscow to move in as well. Thus, "saving money" cost Poland more than one can count in silver and lives. In the modern day, this "Peace Dividend" argument almost destroyed the US military after the Vietnam War. The USA would have cancelled critical combat systems like the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the Abrams Tank and Stealth Bomber had the "Peace Dividend" advocates won their argument. Regardless of what one may think of the conflicts in which those combat systems were used, the conflicts would have happened anyway. Without the Abrams, Bradley, and Stealth bomber, US troops would have died in larger numbers. [10]

The English Navigation Act and the American Revolution *

Virginia grows a lot of tobacco but British shipping doesn't have the capacity (or efficiency) to handle the production so Virginia tobacco farmers have been turning more and more to Dutch shippers. After all, Dutch slaver ships are coming in regularly to provide a labor force for tobacco farmers so they already have a working relationship with the Dutch. (Those b@stards! Oh. I'm sorry. I meant to say, "Those businessmen!" Business can be as much a force for bad as a force for good.) The Puritans are the killjoys of the 17th century and they are running the English Parliament, so they pass the English Navigation Act. This is the first of a series of laws that will limit Virginia's and New England's shipping options to only one. English shipping now has a monopoly by rule of law. All hail Britannia. The Navigation Act will produce short-term gains for English shipping and long-term consequences for the world. The most strange consequence is that it will create a national identity for Norwegians as well as for Englishmen living in North America. [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I was shocked when I realized how overreaching and intrusive this Navigation Act was. It put a lot of pressure, not only on Virginia shipping but shipping everywhere. Norway never really had much of an identity. It shared a crown with Iceland, Sweden and Denmark for a while and then just Denmark, but after Great Britain forced them to face the issue of shipping, Norway realized that they were being royally screwed by the King of Denmark! The King of Denmark's policies benefited Denmark a lot more often than Norway. In the same way, Englishmen in America resented this sort of legalized corruption (also known as a monopoly) and the Navigation Act set up the conditions for the American Revolution. (Can you say "The Boston Tea Party?" I knew that you could.) Monopolies don't last long without support of the government. When they occur in the modern day it is usually in the form of safety regulations, standards set by the government or intrusive paperwork that produces so much overhead that only an established business could absorb the costs while a small business running on a shoestring budget is overwhelmed by the up-front costs of starting their business. [13] [14] [15]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1651, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. East Frisian Islands - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “The East Frisian Islands (German: Ostfriesische Inseln, Frisian: Eastfryske eilannen) are a chain of islands in the North Sea, off the coast of East Frisia in Lower Saxony, Germany.”
  2. St. Peter's Flood - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “St. Peter's Flood (Dutch: Sint-Pietersvloed, German: Petriflut) refers to two separate storm tides that struck the coasts of Netherlands and Northern Germany in 1651. During the first storm tide, on 22 February, the East Frisian island of Juist was split in two. During the second disaster, on 4–5 March, the city of Amsterdam was flooded.”
  3. ZeeInZicht - Vleet. web.archive.org (2011). Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “De stormvloed van 1651 geldt voor Nederland en Oostfriesland als de zwaarste in 80 jaar. De hele kust heeft te lijden, maar vooral de oostkant van de Zuiderzee met de omgeving van Amsterdam. Delen van Juist en Langeoog worden weggeslagen. Rond deze tijd valt Juist in twee delen uiteen. (Google translate: The flood of 1651 applies to the Netherlands and East Friesland as the heaviest in 80 years. The whole coast is suffering, but especially the eastern side of the Zuiderzee near Amsterdam. Parts of Juist and Langeoog be swept away. Around this time falls precisely into two parts.)”
  4. Nordseeinsel Juist. Nordsee-net (German) (2010). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “Hier wurde die Insel Juist 1651 bei schwerer Sturmflut zweigeteilt. Erst 1932 konnten ein Dünendeich die getrennten Teile von Juist verbinden. Da jedoch immer die Gefahr des Dünendeichbruches bestand, wurde die neue Bucht auch zur Nordseeseite abgeriegelt. (Google translate: Here the island Juist 1651 was divided into two parts in severe storm surge. Until 1932 could a dune dike connecting the separate parts of Juist. However, since there was always the danger of dunes dike failure, the new bay was cordoned off and the North Sea side.)”
  5. Holtgaster Geschichtsbuch - 1600 bis 1700. holtgast-urlaub.de (German) (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “1651 Schwere Sturmflut - Bei der Petriflut vom 22.2. Wurden Dünenketten der Inseln Juist und Langeoog durchbrochen und die Inseln geteilt. Dornumer- und Accumersiel wurde ebenfalls zerstört und der Deich ist mehrfach gebrochen. Das Wasser erreichte die Kirchwarf von Fulkum. Mit dem Wasser wurden zahlreiche Leichen angetrieben die dort anschließend bestattet wurden. (Google translate: 1651 Severe storm surge - In the Petri flood from 22.2. Dune chains of islands of Juist and Langeoog were broken and divided the islands. Dornumer - and Accumersiel was also destroyed and the dike is broken in several places. The water reached the parish of Fulkum Warf. With the numerous water bodies were driven there that were subsequently buried.)”
  6. Beresteczko 1651. kismeta.com (2011). Retrieved on 24 September 2015. “On to the field remained only the walled tabor camp of the Cossacks, which was protected from being immediately overrun that day and the next when storms brought unusually heavy rain. They defended themselves to 7 July, then, after an explosion caused panic in camp, the Cossacks attempted to flee. Trapped by the river and its mud, thousands were cut down.”
  7. Battle of Berestechko - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “Fought over three days from 28 to 30 June 1651, the battle took place in the province of Volhynia, on the hilly plain south of the Styr River. The Polish camp was on the river opposite Berestechko and faced south, towards the Cossack army about two kilometers away, whose right flank was against the River Pliashivka (Pliashova) and the Tartar army on their left flank. It was probably the largest European land battle of the 17th century.”
  8. Deluge (history) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “In a wider sense it applies to the period between the Khmelnytsky (Chmielnicki) Uprising of 1648 and the Truce of Andrusovo in 1667, thus comprising the Polish theatres of the Russo-Polish and Second Northern Wars. In a stricter sense, the term refers to the Swedish invasion and occupation of the Commonwealth as a theatre of the Second Northern War only (1655–1660); In Poland and Lithuania this period is called the Swedish Deluge (Polish: Potop szwedzki), and the term deluge (or potop in Polish) was popularized by Henryk Sienkiewicz, in his 1886 book The Deluge.”
  9. Polish Renaissance Warfare - Summary of Conflicts - Part Five. jasinski.co.uk (2013). Retrieved on 24 September 2015. “Again the noble levy cavalry showed their poor discipline with the infantry saving the day and then ensuring a decisive defeat was inflicted on the enemy. After the battle the noble levy, deciding their duty was completed, dispersed while the remaining forces moved towards the Ukraine and joined up with the equally victorious Lithuanian army.”
  10. Alex Shrugged notes: What were disbanded were departments handling military government operations during occupation. Why would we ever need that? To be frank, I probably would have reduced those programs but not let them go entirely. That loss of experience cost us a lot during the Iraq Wars.
  11. Navigation Acts - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “On the whole, the Acts of Trade and Navigation were obeyed, except for the Molasses Act of 1733, which led to extensive smuggling because no effective means of enforcement was provided until the 1750s. Irritation because of stricter enforcement under the Sugar Act of 1764 became one source of resentment by merchants in the American colonies against Great Britain. This in turn helped push the colonies to start the American Revolution.”
  12. New England - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 24 September 2015. “New England is a region which comprises six states of the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by New York to the west, Long Island Sound to the south, the Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian province of New Brunswick to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north.”
  13. Andreas Elviken (September 1931). "The Genesis of Norwegian Nationalism". The Journal of Modern History (The University of Chicago Press) 3 (3): 365-391. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1874955. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  14. Joyce D. Goodfriend (October 2009). "Foreigners in a Dutch Colonial City". New York History (New York State Historical Association) 90 (4): 241-269. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23185128. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  15. Gerhard Schmidt (July 1947). "Mediterranean Elements in the British Navigation Act". Speculum (Medieval Academy of America) 22 (3): 342-357. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2856868. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 

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