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A Marriage of Inconvenience and Blaming the Victim

The Prince of Wales, the future King, has a BIG gambling problem. Parliament provides him a generous allowance, but he has squandered that and more. His debt now stands at 650,000 pounds sterling (or about 88 million dollars in today's money). His father, King George the 3rd, refuses to help unless the Prince marries and produces an heir. He is already married to a commoner, but the King did not approve the marriage in advance so it doesn't count. A suitable bride is arranged, his 1st cousin, Caroline of Brunswick, a woman he has never met. On paper she looks good. She is the daughter of a German king, and no one says that she is ugly, but she has issues. She is utterly lacking in tact, patience, good manners and she smells. Other than that, she is shallow and flirtatious, which, in 1795, translates to "slutty". The couple meet a few days before they are married. He embraces her, then pleads illness and walks out, calling for his brandy. He spends his honeymoon passed out in front of the fireplace or carousing with the drunken louts he calls friends. The unhappy couple will produce 1 child, a girl, and then separate. The rumors of Caroline's many lovers will become an embarrassment to the Prince and an even greater embarrassment when he becomes King. Eventually, she will be paid to go away. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Caroline's personal issues before the marriage were not a secret, but the Prince went ahead with the marriage anyway. That suggests his economic problems were worse than anyone suspected. The British economy was in trouble. People were starving. (To Caroline's credit, she adopted several poor orphans.) England introduced the Dole to supplement the income of poor farmers. The result of the Dole was to suppress agricultural innovation. When the government gave the farmer money, he stopped looking for efficient ways to farm. A guaranteed livable wage smothered initiative and kept people in poverty. In the 1960s, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (Democrat) commissioned a study on the Dole. Group 1 was given information on existing job training and education programs. Group 2 was given the same information and money to push their income over the poverty line. The results were devastating for those advocating the Dole. In general, if poor people took the Dole, they remained just above the poverty line and did no better. If poor people were informed but given no money, they usually worked their way out of poverty and kept on improving because frankly, poverty sucks and they didn't want to go through that again. Naturally, the Senator was criticized for the study, and that was how the phrase, "blaming the victim" entered the national lexicon. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

A Treaty Between Friends: America, Spain and Great Britain

Two separate treaties this year are monumentally important to the economic well-being and expansion of the United States. The Treaty of Friendship with Spain is signed this year. It defines the borders of Spanish West Florida, and it establishes a trade relationship between Spain and the United States. Cargo will be allowed to travel along the Mississippi through New Orleans without paying huge fees. This sudden friendship is prompted by the Jay Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation. It was negotiated with the British by John Jay who ignored his official instructions and thus exceeded his authority to negotiate the treaty in the first place. Nevertheless, when he returns with a signed document, all that stuff about legality is swept aside because, frankly, it is a good deal. Alexander Hamilton and George Washington want it. It defines the border of Canada, shuts down British forts in the Northwest Territory... this time for real... and establishes trade limits with the British colonies. The legal limit was zero before now. Higher than zero is better, and Captain Nelson won't be forced to sink American shipping. It's a win-win. War is averted... for now. [12] [8] [13] [14]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Something else was going on. Spain controlled the Mississippi River. President George Washington realized that the United States expansion would eventually reach the Mississippi, so the most honest and straight forward thing to do would have been to negotiate a treaty to move Spain out and let America expand, but Washington didn't want to do that. He figured that Spain was weakening. In the following decades they couldn't possibly hold on to their territories in North America. They weren't sending any colonists to West Florida. They were only maintaining garrisons which were a drain on Spain's economy... not an asset. Washington also knew that American colonists would push west regardless of any treaties the United States might negotiate. Those territories would be overrun, but not right away. Washington was content to let Spain hold those territories until Americans were ready to occupy them. By then Spain would be more inclined to release them. FYI, in those days West Florida was defined as the region called the Florida pan handle and extending all the way to the Mississippi River. That would include the bottom half of the State of Mississippi and Alabama. Yes. Mobile, Alabama was once part of Florida. [15]

In Other News

  • Jacob Beam sells his first barrel of corn whiskey. They call it "Old Jake Beam". The name will change to 'Jim Beam' after Prohibition and eventually be sold to a Japanese holding company. I don't care if the Japanese own the label. It is what is inside that counts. [16] [17] [18]
  • Seditious meetings are now illegal in England. The Reign of Terror in France has spooked the British and protestors throw stones at King George the 3rd, so unapproved gatherings are now limited to 50 people and anyone speaking treason against the King will be arrested. [19] [20] [21]
  • The Father of Canning begins his experiments with preserving food. Nicolas Appert is a Paris chef who uses jars, corks and sealing wax. He over boils them to preserve the food inside. By 1810 a British inventor will introduce the tin can. [22] [8] [23]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1795, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Caroline of Brunswick - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 10 May 2016. “Caroline and George were married on 8 April 1795 at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, in London. At the ceremony, George was drunk. He regarded Caroline as unattractive and unhygienic, and told Malmesbury that he suspected that she was not a virgin when they married.”
  2. Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings. Quirk Books. “George, Prince of Wales, met his intended bride, Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, for the first time two days before their marriage. Etiquette demanded that he embrace her, which he did--then recoiled and fled the room, crying to his servant, 'I am not well; pray get me a glass of brandy.' He stayed drunk for the next three days. The relationship went downhill from there.” 
  3. George IV of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “The Prince of Wales's debts continued to climb, and his father refused to aid him unless he married his cousin Princess Caroline of Brunswick.”
  4. Measuring Worth. “In 2014, the relative value of £650,000 0s 0d from 1795 ranges from £59,980,000.00 to £4,399,000,000.00.”
  5. Convert Pounds Sterling (GBP) and United States Dollars (USD): Currency Exchange Rate Conversion Calculator. coinmill.com (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “59980000 to 87943080.25”
  6. Maria Fitzherbert - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “Maria Anne Fitzherbert (26 July 1756 – 27 March 1837) was a longtime companion of the future King George IV of the United Kingdom with whom she secretly contracted a marriage that was invalid under English civil law before his accession to the throne. Though Fitzherbert had been disinherited by her first husband, her nephew (Cardinal Weld) persuaded Pope Pius VII to declare the marriage sacramentally valid.”
  7. Speenhamland system - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 25 May 2016. “The authorities at Speenhamland approved a means-tested sliding-scale of wage supplements in order to mitigate the worst effects of rural poverty. Families were paid extra to top up wages to a set level according to a table. This level varied according to the number of children and the price of bread.”
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 370-371. 
  9. Daniel Patrick Moynihan - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “Moynihan issued his research under the title The Negro Family: The Case For National Action, now commonly known as The Moynihan Report. Moynihan's report fueled a debate over the proper course for government to take with regard to the economic underclass, especially blacks. Critics on the left attacked it as 'blaming the victim', a slogan coined by psychologist William Ryan.”
  10. War on Poverty - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent.”
  11. Murray, Charles A.. Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980. Basic Books. 0465042317. ISBN 0465042317. 
  12. Pinckney's Treaty (Friendship Treaty) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 25 May 2016. “Pinckney's Treaty, known as the Treaty of San Lorenzo or the Treaty of Madrid, was signed in San Lorenzo de El Escorial on October 27, 1795 and established intentions of friendship between the United States and Spain. It also defined the boundaries of the United States with the Spanish colonies and guaranteed the United States navigation rights on the Mississippi River.”
  13. Jay Treaty - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 25 May 2016. “The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, commonly known as the Jay Treaty, and also as Jay's Treaty, the British Treaty, and the Treaty of London of 1794, was a 1795 treaty between the United States and Great Britain that is credited with averting war, resolving issues remaining since the Treaty of Paris of 1783 (which ended the American Revolutionary War), and facilitating ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain in the midst of the French Revolutionary Wars, which began in 1792.”
  14. John Jay - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “John Jay (December 23, 1745 (December 12, 1745 OS) – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, Patriot, diplomat, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, signer of the Treaty of Paris, and first Chief Justice of the United States (1789–95).”
  15. West Florida Controversy - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “By terms of the treaty following the Seven Years' War 'in 1763, what was then known as Louisiana was divided between Great Britain and Spain. France lost by this treaty all her possessions in North America. In addition to Canada, she ceded to Great Britain the river and port of Mobile and all her possessions on the left side of the Mississippi, except New Orleans and the island on which it was situated. The residue of Louisiana was ceded to Spain in a separate and secret treaty. The cession of Florida to Great Britain was the price paid for the restoration of Cuba to Spain. Great Britain divided the territory into East and West Florida.'”
  16. Jim Beam - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 28 August 2015. “Johannes 'Reginald' Beam (1770–1834) was a farmer who began producing whiskey in the style that became known as bourbon. Jacob Beam sold his first barrels of corn whiskey around 1795. The whiskey was first called Old Jake Beam, and the distillery was known as Old Tub.”
  17. Jim Beam - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “Jim Beam is a brand of bourbon whiskey produced in Clermont, Kentucky by Beam Suntory. It is one of the best selling brands of bourbon in the world.[1] Since 1795 (interrupted by Prohibition), seven generations of the Beam family have been involved in whiskey production for the company that produces the brand, which was given the name 'Jim Beam' in 1933 in honor of James B. Beam, who rebuilt the business after Prohibition ended. The Jim Beam Bourbon brand is now owned and produced by Beam Suntory, which is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan.”
  18. Alex Shrugged notes: I don't drink any more but when I did I would drink Jack Daniels or Jim Beam. They are quite different in taste, but reasonably good.
  19. Luddite - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “The Luddites were 19th-century English textile workers (or self-employed weavers who feared the end of their trade) who protested against newly developed labour-economizing technologies, primarily between 1811 and 1816. The stocking frames, spinning frames and power looms introduced during the Industrial Revolution threatened to replace them with less-skilled, low-wage labourers, leaving them without work. The Luddite movement culminated in a region-wide rebellion in Northwestern England that required a massive deployment of military force to suppress.”
  20. The Luddites and the Combination Acts. Marxists.org (4 November 1795). Retrieved on 22 January 2015.
  21. The Luddites and the Combination Acts. marxists.org (18 December 1795). Retrieved on 22 January 2015.
  22. Nicolas Appert - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 25 May 2016. “In 1795, he began experimenting with ways to preserve foodstuffs, succeeding with soups, vegetables, juices, dairy products, jellies, jams, and syrups. He placed the food in glass jars, sealed them with cork and sealing wax and placed them in boiling water. In 1795 the French military offered a cash prize of 12,000 francs for a new method to preserve food. After some 14 or 15 years of experiment, Appert submitted his invention and won the prize in January 1810 on condition that he make the method public; the same year, Appert published L'Art de conserver les substances animales et végétales (or The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances). This was the first cookbook of its kind on modern food preservation methods.”
  23. Peter Durand - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “Peter Durand was a British merchant who is widely credited with receiving the first patent for the idea of preserving food using tin cans.”

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