1820

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Liberia Means Liberty

The newly renamed ship, Mayflower of Liberia, sets off with 86 former slaves in order to establish a new nation in Africa. The word "Liberia" means "Land of Freedom". For several years now a group of abolitionists and slave-owners have joined together to solve the problem of the free negro. He is free from slavery but not really part of society. Slave-owners, such as Congressman Henry Clay, worry that the free negro will become a source of disruption and will encourage slaves to run away. That is why the American Colonization Society was established to find a place for the free negro settle, and make a life for himself... far, far away from American slaves. A plot of land was leased last year, south of the British colony of Sierra Leone, in West Africa. They call it Liberia. It's capital will be called Monrovia, named after President James Monroe, the current President of the United States of America who has won reelection in a landslide. (He ran unopposed, but one elector voted for John Quincy Adams anyway.) By next year the Afro-American settlers will buy Liberia from the natives. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Liberia sounds like a good idea, but it was not practical. We are talking about 150 free Negros or more a year settling in Liberia. They could not make a dent in the slave population compared to the number of Negro children born into slavery each year. So Liberia was more like a feel-good, symbolic action for slave-owners like Henry Clay. Somehow he didn't see slavery as a major ordeal. In his home state of Kentucky, slaves mostly worked side-by-side with their masters. Clay's notion that slavery would gradually fade away and any Negros leftover would be sent to Liberia seems naive in retrospect. Thomas Jefferson once vigorously pursued Virginia's transition to a free economy, but he gave up on that idea once he became President. Why? It is clear that he could not manage such a transition on his own plantation. I am guessing that he realized that any rate of transition large enough to overcome the slave birth rate would never be accepted by the slave-owners at that time. He left the problem to be solved by the next generation.

FYI, I really don't know what to call African-Americans any more. I call them black or Negro because in my generation those were the acceptable terms. The term "colored" was falling out of fashion. My grandchild is black and she is so sick of the whole mess, she is calling herself white from now on. If some white woman from the NAACP can call herself black then my granddaughter can call herself white. Certainly, she is Jewish. [3]

The Missouri Compromise Means Slavery

After the Louisiana Purchase, Congress has been debating whether future states should be admitted as free or slave. The debate has come down to politics and economics. If both Maine and Missouri are accepted as free, the Northern industrial states will have a clear majority, and use their power to set excise taxes that will kill the South's agrarian economy. The Congress is in deadlock, so they agree to a compromise. Maine will be accepted into the Union as a free state this year and next year, Missouri will be accepted as a slave state. The Congress has kicked the can down the road, but this road leads to the American Civil War. It didn't start out as a civil war, but it became one fairly quickly. It started just like Britain voting to exit the European Union in June 2016. The British Exit vote or Brexit (BRECKS-it) could be called many things but not a civil war. Nevertheless, the European Union is debating whether to punish the UK or not. I doubt there will be a war, but there will be a lot of finger-pointing and name-calling in the future. [4] [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. Why couldn't the Southern states transition to a wage-based economy? Slavery was so big that they did not have enough money to maintain a slave and paid-worker economy side-by-side as they transitioned. It meant financial ruin for a lot of slave owners and lot of elderly slaves who were counting on Social Security... oops!... I mean they were counting on their slave masters. Indeed, Social Security must fail at some point because there are not enough young people paying taxes to finance the retirement of their parents. The honest solution is to STOP collecting the taxes from their paychecks and tell them that the government is out of the retirement business. Yet, those near retirement do not have enough money to provide for an alternate solution. Like the old South's slave economy, we cannot afford to pay current Social Security recipients while NOT taxing younger workers. The solution seems simple. The government controls a lot of land. Give the elderly 40 acres and a mule, so to speak. They can live on the land or sell it and go on vacation. Whatever. Free the slaves before it is too late. [8] [9]

Joseph Smith's First Vision

Joseph Smith has seen angels. Smith is a 14-year-old farm boy, living near Manchester, New York. After recovering from a crippling bone disease, the young Smith has become interested in religion. The Second Great Awakening movement has been gaining momentum. It is a movement that emphasizes an emotional connection to the supernatural.. which is an academic way of saying that mysticism and folk magic are becoming popular again. Just note that Smith is delving into serious stuff and if he is not careful, he is going to get in over his head. He enters a grove of trees to ask God for guidance. (This is classic.) He sees a light and two angels appear before him. (He later identifies them as God and Jesus.) The Lord tells young Smith that the churches of the day have drifted away from God's original path over the centuries. The Lord then forgives Smith for his sins. Joseph Smith tells others about his experience, but no one believes him. This First Vision is considered the beginning of Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The first church won't be organized until 1830. [10] [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I was going to skip Joseph Smith's vision because it is a difficult subject, but I changed my mind because so many preppers are members of the LDS Church. So... did the First Vision really happen? I assume so. I study mysticism and I have experienced visions, including messages from God. The messages are usually in response to a question I have. The responses usually boil down to: (1) "Alex, the answer is in the Bible," or (2) "Alex, you already know the answer." OK. Not too earth-shattering. Joseph Smith's observation was that most people were not entirely following what was written in the Bible. Anyone who studies the Bible closely notices that it is often difficult to figure out exactly what one is supposed to do. Honest disagreements are not only possible, but inevitable. My answer is that we should decide for ourselves what is best to do, and muddle along until the Messiah shows up or some super-authority tells us how this is all supposed to go... officially. I am comfortable believing that God has different revelations for different groups. Your mileage may vary.

In Other News

  • The US Land Act lowers the minimum price for public land. This encourages the settlement of the Northwest Territory. [4] [13]
  • Antarctica is discovered.... sort of. Several explorers claim to have spotted it. [14]
  • The statue Venus de Milo is discovered. It was buried in the ruins of the ancient city of Milos. [15] [4]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1820, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. History of Liberia - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 June 2016. “The first ship, Mayflower of Liberia (formerly Elizabeth), departed New York on February 6, 1820, for West Africa carrying 86 settlers.”
  2. Coleman, J. Winston, Jr. (October 1947). "Henry Clay, Kentucky and Liberia". The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society (Kentucky Historical Society) 45 (153): 309-322. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23372632. Retrieved 04 July 2016. "By February, 1819, sufficient money had been raised to send out agents to locate a suitable site for a colony. After several months of investigation a tract of land was selected for this purpose on the western coast of Africa which was significantly named Liberia, "Land of freedom," and its capital called Monrovia, in honor of President James Monroe.". 
  3. Rachel Dolezal, ex-NAACP leader: 'I identify as black'. cnn.com (June 17, 2015). Retrieved on 4 July 2016. “Rachel Dolezal -- fresh off of stepping down as head of the Spokane NAACP chapter over criticism that she's portrayed herself as black, even though she was born white -- stood by that self-assessment Tuesday, insisting, 'I identify as black.'”
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 386-387. 
  5. FRANKLY SPEAKING - Brexit is no longer about the EU-it’s a British civil war. Friends of Europe (2016). Retrieved on 3 July 2016. “Whatever the outcome of the Brexit referendum, the likelihood is that EU issues will become a neverendum. The civil wars now being fought out may well mean the end of the country’s two dominant political parties, paving the way for a very different system in which coalition governments become the norm.”
  6. Britain has voted to leave the EU – what happens next? - Politics -. The Guardian (25 June 2016). Retrieved on 3 July 2016. “The UK’s historic decision to end its 43-year love-hate relationship with the European Union represents a turning point in British history to rank alongside the two world wars of the 20th century.”
  7. EU referendum: Poland slams Angela Merkel and says punishing Britain will destroy Brussels. Daily Express (July 3, 2016). Retrieved on 3 July 2016. “EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Mrs Merkel are locked in a bitter power struggle over the way forward after the chief Brussels bureaucrat banned any of his officials from speaking to London before Article 50 is invoked.”
  8. American Civil War - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 3 July 2016. “After Lincoln won without carrying a single Southern state, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option, because they thought that they were losing representation, which would hamper their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies.”
  9. Catton, Bruce. American Heritage Short History of the Civil War, The. Dell Pub. Co.. “Always aware that the North was the faster-growing section, the South foresaw the day when the North would control the government. Then, Southerners believed, there would be legislation--a stiff high-tariff law, for instance--that would ruin the South. More and more, they developed the theory of states' rights as a matter of self-protection.” 
  10. What is the First Vision? - Mormon.org. mormon.org (2016). Retrieved on 5 July 2016. “In the spring of 1820, Joseph went to a grove of trees near his home and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him. Joseph wrote: 'When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!' Joseph was told to join none of the churches that existed at that time as the priesthood authority and Church as Jesus Christ had organized it when He was on the earth had been lost over the centuries.”
  11. First Vision Accounts. lds.org (2016). Retrieved on 5 July 2016. “In the account, Joseph Smith described his consciousness of his own sins and his frustration at being unable to find a church that matched the one he had read about in the New Testament and that would lead him to redemption. He emphasized Jesus Christ’s Atonement and the personal redemption it offered. He wrote that 'the Lord' appeared and forgave him of his sins. As a result of the vision, Joseph experienced joy and love, though, as he noted, he could find no one who believed his account.”
  12. Latter Day Saint movement - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 5 July 2016. “The first Latter Day Saint church was formed on April 6, 1830, consisting of a community of believers in the western New York towns of Fayette, Manchester, and Colesville. The church was formally organized under the name of the 'Church of Christ.'”
  13. Land Act of 1820 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 1 July 2016. “The Land Act of 1820 (ch. 51, 3 Stat. 566), enacted April 24, 1820, is the United States federal law that ended the ability to purchase the United States' public domain lands on a credit or installment system over four years, as previously established. The new law became effective July 1, 1820 and required full payment at the time of purchase and registration. But to encourage more sales and make them more affordable, Congress also reduced both the minimum price (from $2.00 to $1.25 per acre ($495 to $309/km²)) and the minimum size of a standard tract (from 160 to 80 acres (647,000 to 324,000 m²)). The minimum full payment now amounted to $100, rather than $320.[1] At the time, these lands were located on the frontier within the Congress Lands of Ohio and elsewhere in the Northwest Territory and Missouri Territory, in what was then 'The West'.”
  14. History of Antarctica - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 July 2016. “In 1820, several expeditions claimed to have been the first to have sighted the ice shelf or the continent. A Russian expedition was led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev, a British expedition was captained by Edward Bransfield and an American sealer Nathaniel Palmer participated. The first landing was probably just over a year later when American Captain John Davis, a sealer, set foot on the ice.”
  15. Venus de Milo - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 July 2016. “The Aphrodite of Milos was discovered on 8 April 1820 by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas, inside a buried niche within the ancient city ruins of Milos, the current village of Tripiti, on the island of Milos (also Melos, or Milo) in the Aegean, which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire.”

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