In Anders Haraldsen’s youth, a whole post worth of history transpired. Anders is (probably) Harald’s (prior post) oldest son, born in 1598. While on contemporary history topics, I thought more of the events around Harald’s 89 year lifespan worth the retelling. The beginning of the colonial period in the Americas was occurring while the Renaissance was in full swing in Europe. Arts, religion, commerce and government were undergoing turbulent and often violent changes catalyzed from within and without.
1607: The Plymouth Company attempted to establish a colony in Maine, but after one winter, the colonists became discouraged and returned to England. The Plymouth Company then folded. The Virginia Company of London sent an expedition of three ships with 104 men to establish a colony. It named the James River and the Jamestown settlement after King James I of England.
1608: John Smith kept the Jamestown settlement running with stern rule. Meanwhile, New France was established as a base for the fur trade to supply Europe’s appetite for beaver hats. Samuel de Champlain established a trade between France and Quebec with the St. Lawrence river as France’s “North American Highway”.
1609: The Wisselbank was established in Amsterdam with the first modern-day bills of exchange (checks) as paper money. “The Relation” was published weekly in Strassburg, Germany as the first modern newspaper with four pages of national news and local trivia – a pattern that persists today. Englishman Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River and sowed seeds for the establishment of New Amsterdam in the present-day New York City.
1610: Galileo improved his telescope to the point that he was able to see the moons of Jupiter and form his theory that Earth and Jupiter revolve around the Sun. This was very controversial at the time. New Mexico was settled and Jamestown was unsettled. The Dutch East India Company brought tea to Europe displacing beer soup as the breakfast of choice.
1613: The Dutch erected a permanent trading post on Manhattan Island.
1614: Virginia settlers were granted 3 acre plots to farm tobacco Indian style. It sold for six times the price of wheat.
1618: Virginia banned secular activities on Sundays including dancing, card playing, hunting and fishing. A thirty-year war began in Europe between Protestant groups and the Holy Roman Empire. Bohemian protestants were very active in the early uprisings.
1619: 90 “young maids to make wives” and the first black slaves (indentured servants in the beginning) arrived in Virginia.
1620: The Pilgrims, a group of separatists opposing the state church of England, boarded the Mayflower on September 16th bound for Virginia. Having been blown off course and landing at Cape Cod, they created the “Mayflower Compact” establishing an orderly government based on the consent of the governed.
1621: King James I of England granted Acadia to Sir William Alexander who renamed it New Scotland (Nova Scotia).
While all this was happening in the Western Hemisphere, the Ming dynasty was beginning to wane in Eastern China, as long wars with the Mongols and Japanese invasions into Korea whittled away their influence, making them ripe for the Manchu invasion that marked the beginning of the Qing dynasty in 1644. Japan was beginning its peaceful and prosperous, though isolationist, Tokugawa Era with the feudal bakufu government in Edo (modern-day Tokyo). Further south, Ayutthaya or Siam was rapidly becoming one of the largest and most prosperous places in Asia.
Due to the commercial and colonial ventures of the British, French, Portuguese and Dutch, there was a fair amount of commerce along the sea ports, especially in south Asia. But the historical record of Asia was not widely available to the Europeans, so my Bohemian, French, Irish and English ancestors would have paid little attention to, and been not at all affected by the tumultuous events on the far side of the world.
The protestant reformation, tobacco and a thousand other influences shaped the world that Anders Haraldsen’s children and grandchildren would inherit. That’s why we feel it is time to build a single app that combines family history with world history and geography to give you fresh perspectives on what came before.
Here are some more interesting years and personalities in Astronomy/Cosmology:
- 1676: Ole Rømer
- 1687: Isaac Newton
- 1781: William Herschel
- 1838: Friedrich Bessel
- 1861: William and Margaret Huggins
- 1912: Henrietta Leavitt
- 1917 Einstein
- 1920: Harlow Shapley
- 1929 Edwin Hubble
- 1948: Ralph Alpher
- 1949: Fred Hoyle
- 1963: Maarten Schmidt
- 1964: Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson
- 1978: Vera Rubin and Kent Ford
- 1989: Margaret Geller and John Huchra
- 1992: John Mather and George Smoot
- 1995: Robert Williams
- 1998: Saul Perlmutter and Brian Schmidt
- 2010: Wendy Freedman