Black Plague III

Lead: Faced with the enormous loss of perhaps as much as a third of its population, Europe began to pick up the pieces in the wake of the Black Death.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts

Content: With friends and family dying right and left Europeans in the fourteenth century were faced with grave social problems and a spiritual crisis as a result of the bubonic plague. They did not know what was consuming them. This ignorance provoked great acts of courage and compassion particularly among the clergy, but also near barbaric brutality. Many people fell back on that tired but convenient medieval explanation for the unknown: they blamed the Jews specifically for poisoning the drinking water. In the face of such a profound threat to life, Christian civility went out the window and thousands of Jews were murdered. According to one source, 16,000 killed in Strasbourg alone in 1649.

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Spanish Inquisition I

Lead: The Political Unity in Spain was forged in part by a religious policy known as the Spanish Inquisition.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts

Content: By the Early Middle Ages, the on rushing tide of evangelical Islam had swept North Africa, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and moved irresistibly north into Spain. Moslem forces were halted only by vigorous military action at the Pyrenees Mountains. Seven centuries of near constant conflict followed. Christian and Moslems struggled over the control of Spain but in many ways the warfare masked social, ethnic, and political upheaval as well as religious dispute.

 

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Ericsson’s Folly

Lead: Most people thought would sink, but John Ericsson's odd little craft certainly did the job.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Gideon Welles was Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy. In May, 1861 he began to pick up rumors that the new Confederacy was constructing a ship layered with iron that might possibly be able to break the blockade by which he was attempting to throttle the South. His advisors were not sure about the prospects of such a craft but Welles, to be on the safe side, began the search for a design that might counteract the threat. 

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Spanish Inquisition II

Lead: Beset by plague, war, and religious conflict Spain in the 1400s forced the mass conversion of thousands of Jews and Moslems and enforced this policy with the Spanish Inquisition.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Despite hundreds of years of warfare between Moslem and Christian kingdoms in Spain, both groups were reasonably tolerant of their Jewish citizens. This began to change in the middle of the 1300s with the coming of the Black Death. The Bubonic Plague reduced the population of some areas of Europe by a third and the cities of Spain were not spared. This was inflicted on a peninsula engaged in almost continual warfare as Christian rulers attempted throw the Moslems out of areas they had taken hundreds of years before. To make matters worse Europe's great unifying institution, the Roman Catholic Church could not help people deal with all of these troubles. It was distracted and divided. From 1378 to 1415 the Great Schism divided the church. Two popes one in Avignon in France and the other in Rome demanded the loyalty of the nations of Europe.

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Iowa’s Farm and Banking Crisis of 1933

Lead: Faced with a growing number of foreclosures and bank failures depression plagued Iowa farmers began taking matters into their own hands.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the effects of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 spread outward from the financial markets farmers and small businessmen far from the centers of power began to suffer. The passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930 wounded an already struggling economy. With a serious depression in the prices of agricultural products and the tariff making it harder to sell what surplus there was farmers could not pay their mortgages and banks all over the country began to foreclose on farmers and throw them off their farms.

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The Hundred Years’ War IV: Joan of Arc

Lead: All seemed lost. The English and their French allies, the Burgundians, had taken Paris and huge chunks of France. Then a young girl intervened.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Joan of Arc was born of prosperous peasant stock in 1412. As a teenager she said she began to hear voices, to have religious encounters with certain saints. In 1428 Joan received word that God wished the English expelled from France and that the Dauphin, term which refers to the uncrowned heir to the French throne, that Charles the Dauphin should become King. 

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Black Plague I

Lead: In fourteenth century Europe one of the most popular books of the Bible was The Book of Revelation.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts

Content: The last book of the Bible deals with the end of the world: disease, war, famine and death. It is not surprising that people all over Europe thought they were at the end of the time. Between 1300 and 1450 Europeans were subjected to a horrifying series of jolts. Economic and social eruptions and war pounded at the people but the most terrifying curse was the Black Death. Scholars are divided as to the origin of this pestilence but somehow in the early fourteenth century it had spread to the southern districts of Russia and was awaiting a means of transmission. Ironically technological progress improved the way the disease. By 1300 refinements in nautical equipment had made possible year-round shipping throughout the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic seaboard. In early October 1347 a ship left the city of Caffa in the south of Russia bound for the Sicilian port of Messina near the foot of the Italian peninsula. Along with its cargo it played host to its usual compliment of migratory black rats. They in turn were infested with tiny fleas bearing the deadly bacillus, identified in the last century as Pasteurella pestis. It was the cause of the bubonic plague which later came to be called the Black Death.  

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The Hundred Years’ War III: Death of Chivalry

Lead: During the Hundred Years' War England employed new ways of fighting which were not very chivalrous.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Hundred Year's War began in 1337 when Philip King of France seized Aquitaine a large area in southwestern France traditionally held by English kings. Edward I of England, in turn, claimed the French throne and the English spent over a century attempting to take it. 

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