|Fig.1: William III of England was |
only known as William II in
Scotland, just to low-ball him a
Friday, August 30, 2013
In the 17th century, colonialism was the cool thing to do. Everybody in Europe was getting in on it: the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, the English, and even those crafty Swedes! It was like Pokémon Cards or Beanie Babies, only more bloody and with an extra dose of religious fanaticism. If you didn't have a colony to exploit and call your own, you were a loserface. And that's what Scotland was during this time: nothing but a pimple-skinned, four-eyed, mouth-breathing, booger-picking loserface. Sure they tried to get their foot in the New World ground with lame-brain attempts like Nova Scotia in Canada (translated from "New Scotland" in Latin) and Perth Amboy, New Jersey (translated from "The Toxic Runoff from Staten Island Settles Here" in Algonquian), but neither of those remained in Scottish hands for longer than a decade. The men of the highlands needed to get a little ambitious in order to stop the bullying and constant wedgies from the other European nations, and hatched a plan (or scheme, if you will) to become masters of two oceans by taking a crucial point in Central America called the Darien.
Scotland's urge to become better economically was really based on its relationship with England. While still two separate countries, Scotland and England shared the same monarch, so they were en route to becoming the cluster that is the United Kingdom. The king in the 1690s, William III (fig.1) didn't much care for the Scottish part of his realm, and only allowed England's overseas exploits to prosper and be adapted into adventure novels. Like a good redheaded Celtic stepchild, Scotland still tried to win their monarch's affection, and presented a plan to build a colony in the Darien (present-day Panama). It would be the perfect spot for a trading post in the Caribbean, especially if some sort of canal was eventually constructed in this Panama region that linked the Atlantic and Pacific. I'd call it a long shot of that ever happening, but that's just me.
Friday, August 23, 2013
|Fig.1: You know you're great when your emblem includes multiple lions.|
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Think back to the American Revolution. What got the Brits in trouble in the first place? No, besides the gaudy red color of their uniforms. That's right, it was taxes on everything imaginable, from sugar, to tea, to playing cards, to newspapers, to sugary tea-flavored playing cards with news articles on them. The American colonists didn't appreciate being taxed without any representation in Parliament, or at least that was their excuse to get drunk and dump a bunch of tea into the harbor (soon followed by cow-tipping out in Farmer Wittenton's fields). Long story short, the Americans rebelled, and shook off British rule. You'd think they would have learned their lesson, but Britain nearly goofed again in another colony almost a century later: Australia. Yet another instance of "taxation without representation" caused a rebellion that changed the fabric of a quickly-developing nation. Yeah, the rebellion pretty much laid an egg, but details details...
In 1851, a man with an unfortunate name, Thomas Hiscock, became very fortunate by discovering gold in Victoria, the southeastern-most colony on the Australian mainland. Sure enough, folks from all over the world migrated to the island or continent or whatever it is to claim a piece of that action, with most settlers camping out in tents throughout Victoria (fig.1). The British government didn't miss a beat either, and created a law
that not only made the profits from discovered gold taxable, but also
forced people to purchase a £1 monthly permit in order to even be
allowed to look for gold. At first this was circumvented by miners pretending to be searching for their lost lucky penny or dog that wandered away from home, but the local magistrates cracked down on this and became rigorous in inspecting everyone's permits. This upset many Australians, old and new, and many banded together into unions in order to protest against this grave injustice...or practice their boomerang skills. One of the two.
|Fig.1: A "Canvas Town" south of Melbourne, where you |
could find all the amenties of the big city, like a butcher,
a doctor, and at least 57 liquor stores.
Friday, August 9, 2013
|Fig.1: Andrew Jackson failed to check his text messages to see if the war was over.|
Friday, August 2, 2013
|Fig.1: Yes, Charlemagne was so awesome, |
it was believed he was made out of gold.