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The Swedish Army Walks on Water

The Baltic Sea has frozen over so that the Swedish Army can walk across the ice from Holstein, northern Germany all the way to Denmark. The Danes are totally surprised and had the Swedes pressed the attack, they could have taken Copenhagen immediately. Copenhagen has fortifications but the city has grown dramatically over recent years so the fortifications are not fully in place. Fortunately for the Danes, the Swedes decide on a formal siege with everyone in their proper place. When the Swedes finally attack, the Danish fortifications are ready so the losses for the Swedes are enormous. Copenhagen will manage to hold out because it is next to the strait with the busiest traffic between the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic so they are getting plenty of supplies. Eventually, the Swedes will win some concessions over disputed lands. Sweden is at its peak of power this year. It's all downhill from here, but it is going to be a gentle slope. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is actually amazing that Sweden had as much power as it did at the time. It's population was relatively small and one wonders how it could maintain an army beyond its own borders. Taxes were paid "in kind" meaning that you could provide the equivalent value in chickens, cattle and grain. (You can feed a soldier with a chicken but it is difficult to pay a soldier with a chicken, especially on the road.) Also, becoming a nobleman in Sweden was fairly easy if you had the money or a needed talent. If you'll recall, in 1280 the Swedish nobility was created when the King offered a noble title and life-time tax exemption for any subject who provided a son as a knight for the army. (Bring your own armor, and horse, of course) The main exports for Sweden were lumber and copper. After Spain began using copper coins, Sweden's copper mines provided most of the money for Sweden's military ambitions. In the modern day, oil exports provide that boast for otherwise cash-poor countries. In case no one has noticed, oil prices have gone up since Russia has stepped up their military involvement. Russia is a net exporter of oil so higher oil prices means more money for its military ambitions. [5] [6] [7]

The First Roosevelt is Born in America *

Nicholas Van Rosenvelt (changed to Nicholas Roosevelt) is born this year in New Amsterdam (which is modern day New York). He is the 4th great grandfather of Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Nicholas will also be the first Roosevelt to hold public office. He will become an alderman. According to Theodore Roosevelt's autobiography, the Roosevelts came to America in the "steerage" of a sailing ship. "Steerage" usually means that like a sack sand, your body is there to provide weight so that it is easier for the pilot to steer the ship. They are Dutch Calvinists and will remain on Manhattan Island for the next 7 generations. [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Teddy Roosevelt is where we get the "Teddy Bear" which is named after him. He described his family on the Calvinist side as being very "stark". (I suppose his ancestors weren't a lot of laughs.) He tells the story of his great grandfather who, after attending church services as a boy, hopped on a wild pig. Wild pigs wandered New York at the time. The pig was quite unhappy having a boy riding him and went hog-wild through the congregation. His great grandfather received a very stern lecture for his disruptive behavior. Of course the Roosevelts have been quite disruptive in American politics. Teddy ushered in the Progressive Era, which promoted such horrors as eugenics, massive government regulation and our progressive school system. FDR gave us the social security pyramid scheme, and 9 members of the Supreme Court instead of 7. (He packed the court with his cronies by increasing the number of court Justices.) Of course it was all done with the best of intentions. The Progressive Movement began as an anti-government corruption movement and direct democracy. [11] [12]
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
-- Dutch proverb. [13]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1658, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Brems, Hans (June 1970). "Sweden: From Great Power to Welfare State". Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economics) 4 (2, 3): 1-16. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4224039. Retrieved 11 October 2015. "A swift and brilliantly conceived march from Holstein across the frozen Danish waters on Copenhagen by Karl X Gustav in 1658 finally wrested Bohuslin, Sk'ane, and Blekinge from Denmark. Denmark no longer controlled both sides of Oresund, and Swedish power was at its peak.". 
  2. Historical Map of Schleswig-Holstein 1730. hoeckmann.de (2015). Retrieved on 11 October 2015.
  3. Københavns historie efter Reformationen (Copenhagen's history after the Reformation). Denstoredanske.dk (2015). Retrieved on 11 October 2015. “Til trods for, at der var brugt mange penge på Københavns Befæstning, var volde og grave ikke i færdig stand, da en stor svensk hær under Karl 10. Gustav fra Valby Bakke så ind over byen 10.8.1658. Et stormangreb på dette tidspunkt ville utvivlsomt have bragt byen til fald, men svenskerne brugte en måned til at skaffe svært artilleri fra Kronborg frem foran byen og indlede et systematisk bombardement. Denne tid brugte forsvarerne til at udbedre de værste mangler ved voldene, og en hollandsk hjælpeflåde bragte efter at have besejret svenskerne i Øresund 29. oktober store forsyninger til byen samt 2200 veludrustede infanterister. (Google Translate: Despite the fact that there was a great deal of money on fortifications around Copenhagen, was ramparts and moats not ready condition when a large Swedish army under Karl 10. Gustav from Valby away over the town 08.10.1658. A charge made at this time would undoubtedly have brought the city to fall, but the Swedes spent a month to provide heavy artillery from Kronborg in front of the city and initiate a systematic bombardment. This time spent defenders to remedy the worst deficiencies of the ramparts, and a Dutch auxiliary fleet brought after defeating the Swedes in the Øresund October 29 large supplies to the city and 2,200 well-armed infantry.)”
  4. Oresund - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 October 2015. “Oresund, ... more commonly known in English as the Sound and locally in both countries simply Sundet, is the strait that separates the Danish island Zealand from the southern Swedish province of Scania. Its width is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) at the narrowest point between Kronborg Castle at Helsingør in Denmark, and the northern harbour of Helsingborg in Scania.”
  5. Brems, Hans (June 1970). "Sweden: From Great Power to Welfare State". Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economics) 4 (2, 3): 1-16. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4224039. Retrieved 11 October 2015. "In the sixteenth century new copper ores had been discovered, and at the turn of the century Spain adopted the copper standard. The price of copper rose, and Sweden's terms of trade improved. Throughout the seventeenth century Sweden had an indisputable monopoly of copper in the European market providing what Heckscher calls "the solid core of Swedish war finance in the Age of Empire".". 
  6. History of the Swedish nobility. RouteYou.com (2015). Retrieved on 12 October 2015. “The establishment of the Swedish nobility is estimated to be 1280. At this time the Decree of Alsno was issued, which regulated the so-called noble tax privileges for the first time. Medieval noblemen were those who provided armoured service to the King and were therefore free from paying taxes. This is the foundation for what was later known as the nobility.”
  7. Alex Shrugged notes: My comments about Russian oil prices comes from watching "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo" (Sunday, October 4, 2015, 10 AM Eastern Time) on FOX News Channel. I can't be more specific than that.
  8. Roosevelt family - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 11 October 2015. “Claes' son Nicholas was the first to use the spelling Roosevelt and the first to hold political office, as an alderman. His children Johannes and Jacobus were, respectively, the progenitors of the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches of the family that emerged in the 18th century. By the late 19th century, the Hyde Park Roosevelts were generally associated with the Democratic Party and the Oyster Bay Roosevelts with the Republican Party.”
  9. Nicholas Roosevelt (1658–1742) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 October 2015. “Nicholas Roosevelt (born Nicholas Van Rosenvelt) (bap. October 2, 1658 – died July 30, 1742) was an early member of the Roosevelt family and a prominent Dutch-American citizen of New Amsterdam (later New York City), and was the 4th great-grand father to Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945). He was the first Roosevelt to hold an elected office in North America, as an alderman.”
  10. Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt. The Macmillan company. “About 1644 his ancestor Klaes Martensen van Roosevelt came to New Amsterdam as a "settler" -- the euphemistic name for an immigrant who came over in the steerage of a sailing ship in the seventeenth century instead of the steerage of a steamer in the nineteenth century. From that time for the next seven generations from father to son every one of us was born on Manhattan Island.” 
  11. A Point of View: The grown-ups with teddy bears. BBC News (1 February 2013). Retrieved on 12 October 2015. “In 1902, which was only a generation before Robert Clark was born, Roosevelt went on a bear-hunting trip in the state of Mississippi, at the invitation of the governor. One day, after a long, exhausting chase, some of Roosevelt's friends cornered an American black bear, which they tied to a willow tree, and they called upon the President to shoot it. But Roosevelt deemed such a request unsporting, and this episode was later immortalized in a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman published in the Washington Post. Quite by chance, Berryman's cartoon was noticed by a Russian Jewish immigrant to America named Morris Michtom, who by day sold candy in his store in Brooklyn, while by night making stuffed animals with his wife Rose. Thus inspired, Michtom duly created a stuffed bear cub, and he put it in his shop window, accompanied by a sign that read 'Teddy's bear', having already sent an earlier version to Roosevelt, who promptly gave him permission to use his name.”
  12. Progressive Era - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 October 2015. “The main objective of the Progressive movement was eliminating corruption in government. The movement primarily targeted political machines and their bosses. By taking down these corrupt representatives in office a further means of direct democracy would be established. They also sought regulation of monopolies (Trust Busting) and corporations through antitrust laws. These antitrust laws were seen as a way to promote equal competition for the advantage of consumers.”
  13. Dutch proverbs - Wikiquote. en.wikiquote.org (2015). Retrieved on 12 October 2015. “De weg naar de hel is geplaveid met goede voornemens. (The road to hell is paved with good intentions.) Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 257. ISBN 0415160502.”

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