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2022-07-27 History Part III

Empire building allows the Emperor to siphon off resources while enjoying cheap labor or slavery. The Romans primarily conquered and occupied. There was little intermixing with the indigenous peoples. They built roads, forts, monuments and castles to protect the realm. For a time they also hired mercenary strong arms to keep order. Later the church became a huge political and policing force - nothing keeps the serfs in line like a good public crucifixion. The good thing about that is that now the rules can be the same in Rome as the are in Wessex.


On a small scale the Vikings did CCC. Conquer, cleanse and colonize. Kill all the local people. The huge issue with this is the empire can only grow as fast as the population grows and relatively quickly some Vikings started converting to Christianity and intermarrying in Daneland. Of course this eventually eradicates the original culture and Gods.


Setting aside the Asians for a moment, the British, Spaniards and French largely did not want to go to war with each other (big dogs) and so (IMO) intermarriages and treaties became the fashion. It makes for colorful history as babies are wed to babies, children are hidden away for years lest they be murdered by an uncle. When you look at it as a collage it's pretty fucking crazy and stupid. But for the common man it is not something that affects my daily life. Some asshole is always gonna sit on the throne and I am gonna always be a turnip farmer.


It's kinda like the US federal government.


The second hammer was the church. You had king law and God law to keep order among the serfs and make up the kingdom's rules.


But in order to get hands off so they could focus on global expansion, most of these monarchies used nobles. Some nutbag would get ceded lands and be called noble, largely through some distant or close relation with the king or the king's wife. Nobles organized the farming, mining, gathering, manufacturing and policing, sent a butt ton of money to the king and if required had to produce an army if the king needed it.


Nobles had to abide by king law and God law but could also make Earl laws if needed. If that doesn't draw a strong parallel to the US state system I don't know what does - LOL


You now have kings, nobility and peasants. A good 3 class working system.


The Spaniards spent most of their empire period looking for places with gold and silver. When they sent Columbus sailing the ocean blue they gave him lots of power. He could make king law anywhere he went. Not only that he was empowered by the church to take any land for Spain where the locals aren't Catholic because it was God's will. He also was empowered to baptize and convert locals. So the Spanish realm grows in the Caribbean for a while its the big time when they find the Aztecs (who got da gold) and the Mexicans (who got da silver). Eventually they get over to Asia and convert a bunch of folks to Catholicism, most notably the Filipinos.


The Brits & French being Protestants by now didn't see real need to convert the locals so much but Christianity did take hold in places and pockets.


The Spaniards were really good at shipping gold back to Spain and despite folklore and movies rarely lost a shipment.


The Spaniards spent a lot of time and money fucking around with the Spanish peninsula, specifically fucking with territorial claims with Portugal. They were spending a lot of money on this and maintenance of the empire and in a sense were living paycheck to paycheck.


Sidebar - The Mafia in modern times would say, "Wars are bad for business" and of course it is true. I am watching a few shows on 1970's and 1980's gangs. Some of the guys that ran these gangs were wicked smart. When you are making $50m a year you need a pretty good command structure - They were interviewing one of the kingpins from Queens in jail and he would talk about how it was super important to keep the streets quiet - no crime on civilians. No fucking with the police - They have a much bigger gang than anyone. And don't start gang wars because they are bad for business. Of course eventually the drugs erode the neighborhoods from the inside out and shit collapses. The point is anyone running a large enterprise figures out that conflict is bad.


The other issue Spain had were uprisings from the indigenous people. If the people are not "distracted," fulfilled and satisfied civil unrest follows. The Romans knew that so they built coliseums. The Brits knew that so they had public punishments and May Fairs and shit.


Today we have Football, Tractor Pulls, MMA and C-Span - LOL.


And then Spain's world turns to shit. For some reason the Brits and the French were always fucking with each other. And Spain had this pesky treaty or 10 with France. So Spain, depleted by Portugal and empire building gets into it with the Brits - Of course they now have a Global War and the Brits and Spaniards start fucking with each other in the Caribbean giving rise to privateering and piracy.


The Brits attack places like Colombia but they too have expenses back home. Just prior to this you have a lot of poor sailors in the American colonies. The Navies had shrunk and unemployment was high. The slave trade was still going on but privateering put a lot of guys in business. Get a commission, get a boat and go steal Spanish gold and silver.


There are big events in history and popular events in history. Piracy is romantic and stuff but in reality it's just a bunch of poor guys taking a piece of the pie illegally. They are opportunistic and see an opportunity for wealth through crime. Kinda like gangs of today. I think that is largely why the majority of the unwashed cheer on certain criminal enterprise. Ned Kelly, Billy the Kid, John Dillinger, OJ Simpson, DB Cooper - the list is endless. Working class heroes for the working class sharing the common trait of all dying young at the hands of the nobles and kings.


So a crack boss makes $50m. Big deal. The US economy is in the trillions of $$$. The kings largely don't give a shit at all. Unless the middle class gets affected for the middle class is the key to it all - More on that in Part IV.


Around about this time the Spanish lose a big gold shipment. The pirates go searching (and finding most of it) in Florida and the Spaniards, living paycheck to paycheck are on their ass financially. They can't afford to fight everywhere and maintain the empire.


So young America gets involved with the Cubans in their revolution, we have a brief Spanish American war and we get a lot of Spanish territories including the Philippines. You've pushed the Spanish out of mainland America, you got Cuba (for a while) Puerto Rico, the Philippines - a strong foothold in Asia and Guam signaling and portending that the Pacific is gonna eventually belong to us.


Into the 20th century century we go with the Ascendant US empire gaining momentum.

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