Searching for Similar Times to Now: 1630s England? Part 1

in #history5 years ago

Didn't finish this article, but it's still worth reading as is (gotta clear it from my cache to write more important timely material)

The English Empire's "first" (historians words not ours) Civil War began in 1642 according to the history books. Like ANY war, the starting date is usually wrong, so we shall of course assume fighting broke out years ahead of that. Perhaps the EXACT start date is irrelevant tho, bc for our purposes we'll simply be searching for the cause of the war-- the REAL seeds, not what historians tell you. What causes EVERY war is economic unfairness. For instance, the cause of the American Civil War was in fact the unfairness of cheaper slave labor in the south causing Kansas+Nebraska northern farmers headaches bc they weren't using "free" slave labor (aka the South grew their own labor whereas this was forbidden and sometimes considered morally wrong by Northerners). Had the freedom or enslavement of the slaves not caused disparity between neighboring farmers in the frontier states, its POSSIBLE the slave issue would've resolved peacefully (or perhaps better said: without war) like in South Africa? Impossible to say, but it would make sense. Back to our program, the ENGLISH Civil War...

Reading from wikipedia, the reasons for war are listed as:
A. Royalists not tolerating the Puritan movement
B. Militarism, as represented by soldier nobility perfectly embodied in Prince Rupert
C. Something about pure cavalier spirit, courtier-era Charles II, and fuedal indiscipline. You can't make this stuff up!
D. deap-seated loytalty from 2 centuries of effective royal protection

These "motivations" are pretty awful. There's always a shred of reality in the formal reasons listed for wars, but relatively speaking this is a pretty awful list. At least with the American Revolution Wikipedia lists some "Acts" which symbolize the problems of the colonies & mother-England-- at least, if you understand what those Acts were telling you.
So we're going to go to "old reliable" and look up any economic and business information we can find in the decade or decades prior to war breaking out circa 1642. Obviously we turn immediately to searching for what was going on in the 1630s in England. Since we're not historians, we'll suspend are conclusions for later, maybe even a 2nd article, and just expose some of our research process below:

List of important business/economic events of the 1630s:


Puritan migration (1620-1640) in full swing, the Winthrop Fleet with 300 aboard who ultimately land at Salem Mass and found Boston the city. 140 short years later, Boston would be the hot seat of the American Revolution. Obviously, bad economics has already happened, and we'll probably need to go back further to the 1620s for the good times which always precede the bad ones.

Presbyterian Leighton is brought to a Catholic kangaroo court for writing pamplets against the religious leaders. Remember, during these times, Catholic leaders were the noble upper class, owned a ton of land, and collected lots of money from its congregations which led to plenty of bad behavior. Again, if pamphlets are causing trouble by 1630, the bad times have already begun. Compare to Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin in American colonial times (especially Paine who's "Common Sense" was practically the basis for the Revolution).


Poor harvest, 2nd year in a row! Causes overall social unrest (remember, agrarian economy). This should remind you all of the "Dust Bowl" of the middle to late 1930s-- Of Mice and Men kinda stuff. The metaphor being improper farming techniques (dumb Lennie Small) wreaking havoc on innocent defenseless animals (nature) for nonsensical reasons.
Oh Steinbeck, you genius you. Obviously the George (which way did he go George?) Milton character represents the government or those making money off agrarianism-- fully understanding the problem but attempting to hide it from everyone else (until disaster ensues).



Battle of Lizard Point, 80 Years War: Spanish fleet wreaking havoc on Dutch & English trade. Keep in mind, "New York" was a Dutch colony named New Amsterdam and was founded in 1626. Thus the Dutch and English were even colonizing American together back then-- great friends! (until 1664 that is)

Fun Facts along the way

#1 New York State was basically formed on the basis of the Hudson River which ran northwards from Manhattan. Those who settled it's fruit-bearing banks were New Yorkers, and this explains why Manhattan barely seems like it should be part of New York state, but is in fact similar to New York the colony-state as New Orleans was to Louisianna state / territory. In the formation of America, rivers dominated everything.
#2 Pennsylvania, by same token as New York above, was formed initially on the basis of the banks of the Delaware River, for which Philadelphia forms the effluent city. It was only later the state/colony of New Jersey laid claim to the eastern bank of that river.
#3 Literally everything else to the north of Manhattan, was called "New England" and is where that phrase originates. North of what we call Maine (back then north-eastern New England) was "New Scotland" (Novia Scotia)

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