1683

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Pigs Finally Fly! Taxation with Representation Guaranteed *

Notices have been sent out and representatives for the first Assembly of the Province of New York are selected. New York is the last of the English colonies to create an Assembly. Nevertheless, it is the first colony to establish a constitution which includes the right of the colonists to have representation prior to taxation. All foreigners are naturalized and the New York Province is split into 12 counties (10 of which will remain as New York counties into the modern day). Towns are considered subdivisions of the county rather than separate entities. Aside from setting up the basic structure of government, the Assembly passes a law offering a bounty for wolf hides and cracks down on swine farmers and the problem of feral pigs destroying the crops and becoming a general nuisance. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In over 200 years of laws regulating swine farmers and feral pigs, the government is still trying to solve the problem. This first law was reasonable. A farmer was required to keep his pigs on his own property with adequate fencing. If the pigs escaped, it was his responsibility to either collect them or kill them. If his pig wandered onto his neighbor's property... BANG! The neighbor was allowed to shoot it. If the pigs were still loose after March of the following year, it became a public hunt with the successful hunter receiving one third of the value of the pig, the local constable receiving two thirds and the owner of the pig receiving ZERO! In the modern day, the government has become an increasing problem... along with the pigs. Large commercial farmers have pressured the government to shut down smaller farms based on this concern over pigs. The penalties are so devastating that many farmers have killed their pigs rather than take the risk. If a farmer has a bad history then throw the book at him, but the government should not treat first-time offenders like hardened criminals. [4] [5] [6] [7]

German-Dutch Colonists and the Easter Bunny Come to Pennsylvania

Years of war have pushed many Germans out of the Holy Roman Empire, along the Rhine and into the Netherlands. Now, with William Penn's encouragement, these Quakers and Mennonites have come to the New World. Germantown won't actually be incorporated until 1691, but they lay out a general plan for the town. By 1883 German-American Day will commemorate the 1683 establishment of the first significant German presence in the 13 colonies. That annual celebration will continue until World War 1 when most Germans will prefer to keep a low profile in the United States. President Reagan will restore the holiday in 1983 after a suitable period of reconciliation. [8] [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
These early Germans are often called "Pennsylvania Dutch" even though their connection with the Dutch was relatively brief. It is like calling the Plymouth Bay Pilgrims "Massachusetts Dutch". While technically correct, it is misleading. Nevertheless, many of their German descendants take on the "Pennsylvania Dutch" label today. They are mostly Menonites and I assume there are many Pennsylvanians who take pride in the connection even though their German is a little rusty. Germantown is significant beyond the value it has brought to the Germans. They brought their customs along and many of those have been incorporated into modern day American life, such as the Easter Bunny, and the legend of William Tell which is Swiss but the story comes to America through the Pennsylvania Dutch. And yes. George Washington slept in Germantown. [12] [13]

A Hard Frost *

An unusually harsh winter marks this year and into the next as one for the history books. The ground has frozen solid, three feet deep in Southwest England. With so many emerging scientists in England and France at this time, many are commenting on the weather and theorizing on the reasons for the exceptional cold. This is the Little Ice Age and while it has been an ongoing issue for well over a century, this stretch of time is going to be especially bad. [14]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Keep in mind that they still don't know what cold is. Many still think it is a natural force separate from heat. Frankly, they don't even have a good theory on heat either. That won't come about until 1871. It's not that they aren't thinking about it, but actually proving how it works is a different matter. [15]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1683, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Province of New York - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 30 November 2015. “A colonial Assembly was created in October 1683. New York was the last of the English colonies to have an assembly.”
  2. Colonial New York Under British Rule: 1674-1776. Historical Society of the New York Courts (2015). Retrieved on 29 November 2015. “During the 17th century, the colonists repeatedly petitioned for representative government and in 1683 the first elected Assembly met. By 1735, when the Governor ceased to participate in the Council, control of the Province took the familiar form of the executive (Governor), an upper chamber (Council) and a lower chamber (Assembly). Earlier, in 1691, a judicial system that included the Supreme Court of Judicature had been established.”
  3. The Colonial Laws of New York from the Year 1664 to the Revolution: Including the Charters to the Duke of York, the Commissions and Instructions to Colonial Governors, the Duke's Laws, the Laws of the Dongan and Leisler Assemblies, the Charters of Albany and New York and the Acts of the Colonial Legislatures from 1691 to 1775 Inclusive. 
  4. Government Abandons Attacks Against Michigan Family Farm Due to Public Pressure. HealthImpactNews.com (2015). Retrieved on 30 November 2015. “The Michigan DNR put many small-scale family farms out of business in 2012 by ruling that their heritage pigs were 'feral' and illegal, by adopting a new definition of 'feral.' This new definition of 'feral swine' adopted by the DNR in 2012 came directly from the commercial pork industry, which raises all commercial pork indoors in confinement. Most farms complied and killed off their herds, rather than face criminal prosecution.”
  5. No Oink About It, Feral Pig Problem Spreading. Fox News (February 7, 2011). Retrieved on 30 November 2015. “'It's estimated there are at least 4 million of them nationwide, but its impossible to count them all so there may be much more' said Carol Bannerman, a spokesman for the USDA Wildlife Services.”
  6. War Pigs - Texas's Pig Issue. Esquire.com (April 6, 2013). Retrieved on 30 November 2015. “By the estimation of the Department of Agriculture there are now 2.5 million feral pigs in Texas. Scientists at Texas A&M University have mapped their expansion across 134 million acres, or 79 percent of the state. The pig population is growing at between 18 and 21 percent per year, dwarfing Texas's nation-leading (human) population growth rate of 2.1 percent. If things continued at that pace (and they likely won't, but still), by 2027 there will be more feral pigs than people.”
  7. Feral pig control. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (OFFICIAL SITE) (2015). Retrieved on 30 November 2015. “It is illegal to operate a captive feral pig hunting facility in the state of Wisconsin. It is also illegal to stock feral pigs for hunting purposes, to release hogs into the wild or to possess live feral hogs without a permit. Should such illegal practices be discovered in your area, alert your local conservation warden immediately.”
  8. Friedrich, Gerhard (October 1941). "The Earliest History of Germantown: An Unknown Pastorius Manuscript". Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies (Penn State University Press) 8 (4): 314-316. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27766483. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  9. Pennsylvania Dutch - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 October 2015. “The first major emigration of Germans to America resulted in the founding of the Borough of Germantown in northwest Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, on October 6, 1683, by a group of settlers organized by Francis Daniel Pastorius, an agent for a land purchasing company based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and was composed largely of Quakers and Mennonites from the Rhineland.”
  10. Germantown, Philadelphia - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 29 November 2015. “Germantown has played a significant role in American history; it was the birthplace of the American antislavery movement, the site of a Revolutionary War battle, the temporary residence of George Washington, the location of the first bank of the United States, and the residence of many notable politicians, scholars, artists, and social activists.”
  11. German-American Day: A Short History (November 1999). Retrieved on 30 November 2015. “The year 1683 is significant, because it marks the establishment of the first entirely German settlement.”
  12. The Easter Bunny. Easter on the Net (2015). Retrieved on 8 October 2015. “The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar. The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s.”
  13. Pennsylvania Dutch - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 30 November 2015. “Historically they have spoken the dialect of German known as Pennsylvania German or Pennsylvania Dutch. In this context, the word 'Dutch' does not refer to the Dutch people or their descendants, but to Deutsch (German).”
  14. Snider, Alvin (Fall 2008). "Hard Frost, 1684". Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (University of Pennsylvania Press) 8 (2): 8-32. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40339598.. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  15. Heat - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 30 November 2015. “Physicist James Clerk Maxwell, in his 1871 classic Theory of Heat, was one of many who began to build on the already established idea that heat has something to do with matter in motion. This was the same idea put forth by Benjamin Thompson in 1798, who said he was only following up on the work of many others.”

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