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The Best of All Possible Worlds

The word "optimism" is used for the first time this year. It is a new idea. Except for that one outbreak in Marseilles back in 1720, the Black Death has disappeared from Western Europe and will soon disappear from the Middle East. The Plague has not really gone, but the sudden reduction of the disease corresponds to the introduction of cake soap. Plague cannot be sustained in a world of personal cleanliness. The man who co-developed calculus believed that we are living in the best of all possible worlds. His philosophy is a declaration that living beings are constantly improving themselves through reason and invention. His name is Leibniz and he has already passed away, but his papers and letters continue to be published posthumously. He was a deist and he could not believe in a world without God, but that meant to him that God has created a world that is logical and can be understood. We are at the threshold of the Industrial Revolution, and with science and reason on the upswing, it seems as if anything is possible. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The history segments have mentioned the births of several critical figures of the American Revolution. They were growing up in the midst of that burst of hope. Disease had not gone away, but a tremendous pressure had let up. Inoculations were not only fighting disease, but they were also lending credibility to science. The American Revolution was more than the overthrow of British rule. It was an experiment in social change. The people who long for a government that will take care of them like a father takes care of his children, are longing for the world as it used to be: a world created by King George, King Obama, Queen Hillary. When we talk about returning to the Principles of the Founding Fathers, we are making an optimistic statement, a radical statement. We are expressing a belief that we need no king to create a world for us. We can do it ourselves. It is a radical idea and we are the radicals. [5] [6]

Walking All Over the Delaware Nation

The Indian tribe called the Delaware Nation is in a land dispute with the sons of William Penn. John and Thomas Penn have been selling land to colonists, but the Indians say it is their land. To solve the dispute the Indians agree to give the Penn brothers some land: along a northerly line easily walkable and going east to the Delaware River. The Penn brothers hire fast walkers who actually run the path and claim an area that amounts to over a million acres. The Delaware Nation appeals to the Iroquois nation for help but they decline, probably due to political considerations. The Delaware Nation is evicted. The land dispute will return in 2004, in the case of Delaware Nation vs. Pennsylvania, but the court case will be dismissed. It is simply impossible to adjudicate the case now. The Supreme Court refused to rule on the case. [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The court referred the Indians to the King of England. If someone is going to make a claim that far back, it makes sense to refer to the royal charter granted by the King of England. It looks like the Penn brothers defrauded the Indians, but the State of Pennsylvania is not going to give land to the Delaware Nation. It's like trying to get Manhattan back. If I do wrong I can be brought to court and made to pay, but my debts do not transfer to my children when I die no matter what I did. Anyone who had a claim on me, should have collected when I was alive. It might not be fair, but it is also not fair to punish my children for my misdeeds. [9]

Major Events

* Benjamin Franklin is made Postmaster of Philadelphia. The position of postmaster is a major political position at this time since you meet everyone and you hear everything that is going on.
* John Hancock is born. He will become a smuggler and merchant. He will sign the Declaration of Independence with a large signature so that King George the 3rd will be able to read it without his glasses.
* Thomas Paine is born. He will be the author of "Common Sense". He will also become a notable engineer.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1737, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. "Mankind's Better Moments", Practicing History: Selected Essays (BOOK), Random House Inc. ISBN 9780345303639. “The theory that because this world exists it is the best of all possible worlds spread outward from Leibniz; the word 'optimism' was used for the first time in 1737.” 
  2. Optimism - definition of optimism (2016). Retrieved on 22 February 2016. “The doctrine, asserted by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds.”
  3. Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World's Most Dangerous Disease. Free Press. ISBN 9780743236850. “It was the last flare of an old nemesis. With the close of the Marseilles epidemic, widespread plague disappeared forever from Western Europe. Except for a few sporadic rat-borne cases brought by ship in the early twentieth century, it has never returned.” 
  4. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 23 February 2016. “In philosophy, Leibniz is most noted for his optimism, i.e. his conclusion that our Universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could have created, an idea that was often lampooned by others such as Voltaire. Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17th-century advocates of rationalism.”
  5. Alex Shrugged notes: I credit Dennis Prager for his radio show on KABC those many years ago when he suggested reading "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle" by Barrow and Tipler. I not only read it. I bought it.
  6. Anthropic Cosmological Principle, The. Oxford University Press. 0198519494. ISBN 0198519494. 
  7. Walking Purchase - United States history. Britannica.com (2016). Retrieved on 23 February 2016. “Walking Purchase, (Aug. 25, 1737), land swindle perpetrated by Pennsylvania authorities on the Delaware Indians, who had been the tribe most friendly to William Penn when he founded the colony in the previous century. Colonial authorities claimed to have found a lost treaty, of 1686, ceding a tract of Delaware tribal land between the fork of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers that extended as far as a man could walk in 1 1/2 days—about 40 miles.”
  8. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book - The Walking Purchase. pabook2.libraries.psu.edu (Fall 2009). Retrieved on 23 February 2016. “Thomas scrambled to find some other means of convincing the shrewd Lenape to part with the land cheaply, and finally discovered that there had been additional negotiations in 1686 between his father’s representatives and the Lenape for land north of the previously made 1682 purchase that granted land as far north as Wrightstown. Harper wrote of the negotiations, 'The best documentation they could find was 'an unconsummated draft’ of the 1686 transaction… this 1686 purchase was aborted.' It was absolutely nothing legally, but altered sufficiently and presented to an audience that could not read, it would be the key to the Lenape lands.”
  9. Province of Pennsylvania - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 23 February 2016. “The Province of Pennsylvania,[citation needed] also known as the Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in English North America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II.”

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