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The global influence of the year without summer



The year 1816 was the first since the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars, when the Western world was at peace. In Europe, the nightmare of the Napoleonic Wars began to fade. In North America, Washington DC began rebuilding after being burned by the British Army in the 1812 war. Global trade was expected to flourish unhindered by raids on ships of nations that were in the event of death. Farmers were expecting strong markets for their harvest, shippers were looking forward to record profits and manufacturers hoped that the return of peace would boost demand for their produce. But then a funny thing happened. It was not a summer. As late as August of this year, the harsh frost periods in the Upper New York and New England farmlands were destroying the small crops that had been planted during a spring of uninterrupted snow and icy weather.

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816, the year was without summer, not only in North America, but across the northern hemisphere. Record cold, icy rainfall, floods and frosts occurred in the months in which appropriate warming could be expected, as centuries had more or less elapsed as planned. Without global communication, it was hard to understand why the foundations of civilization – agriculture and trade – have suffered around the world. The year without summer is the result of a series of geological events that covered the sun with volcanic dust. For those affected, however, it was an inexplicable disaster. The economic impact was felt for years as financial markets were hit by the unexpected disruption of trade and investment. For those who are not concerned with climate change, it remains a blatant, if completely ignored, warning of the power of nature. Here are just a few of its effects.

10th The debt of Thomas Jefferson increased by drastic crop failures.

In 1815, former President Thomas Jefferson, who retired at his Monticello estate, offered his personal library to replace the losses the Library of Congress suffered when the British burned down the American capital. The sale was a gesture that brought Jefferson temporary praise, but above all an infusion of much-needed money. The former president was bankrupt, and the $ 23,950 (now nearly $ 400,000) he received partly eased his debt, but by no means completely. Jefferson relied on a strong crop from his Virginia farms in 1816 to further reduce his debt. In his Farm Book for 1816 Jefferson noted the unusual cold already in May; "Repeated frosts have killed the early fruits and the crops of tobacco and wheat will be bad," he wrote.

Jefferson fought bizarre weather during the summer months and recorded the temperature and precipitation data still used by scientists studying the phenomenon, but he was unaware of its cause. He lamented his effect. Jefferson's grain and wheat were reduced by two-thirds, his tobacco all the more, and the former president fell even deeper into debt, as were most of the peasants of the states of Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and New York and New England. The failure of tobacco crops was particularly devastating, ships that would normally have brought the healed leaves to Europe stood still, and British tobacco traders went to plantations in Africa as the source of weeds, which was in high demand in Europe. During the summer, Jefferson reported frost in the higher altitudes of Virginia and every state north of his farms every month of the year.

. 9 Grain prices rose during the summer and remained high for almost three years.

In Virginia, oats were a harvest considered vital to the economy. Oats were consumed by humans in the form of porridge and in the form of oat bread and pies, but the cereal was also an integral part of the diet of horses. Horses were, of course, at the beginning of the 19th century as a driving force for plows and means of transport of crucial importance. The lack of oats meant that the farmers who produced it responded to the insatiable demand for cereals by raising their prices for the little they could reap. In 1815, according to Jefferson and other Virginia farmers, oats cost about 12 cents a bushel, a price that had already arisen from the demand for grain in the recently ended 1812 war, when armies needed horses for cavalry and draft animals.

] By mid-summer 1816 oats had risen to nearly $ 1 a bushel an increase most could not pay. The lack of grain (as well as other feed) meant that the available horses were often undernourished. The European markets were unable to make up for the shortage, as Europe was hit by low temperatures and excessive rainfall. In Europe, the cost of keeping horses increased dramatically, and the use of horses for individual travel became the privilege of the few rich. A German inventor and inventor named Karl Drais began to experiment with a device that consisted of a piece of wood with a seat on which a person sat while moving his legs as if walking. As Velocipede, running machine and Draisine called, it was the forerunner of today's bicycle.

. 8 Temperatures throughout the northern hemisphere were unusually cold, especially in New England.

The New England states were particularly affected by unusually low temperatures in the summer of 1816. In the New England states, which were still largely agricultural at the time, there was at least one hard frost every month, destroying crops in the fields and fruit trees that bloomed during the long and wet spring. On June 6, a watchmaker from Plymouth, Connecticut, noted in his journal that six inches of snow had fallen overnight and was forced to wear heavy gloves and his coat while going to his store as usual. Sheep were a product of many New England farms that are well-suited for grazing the pastures on pastures that are too small to accommodate cattle herds. As usual, shorn in late winter, many died in the unexpected cold, and the price of lamb and mutton reached record highs.

By the end of June, temperatures in New England had started a rollercoaster ride that would keep them for the rest of the summer further damaging crops and livestock. At the end of June, west of Massachusetts, temperatures plunged to 101 degrees and sank in fourth July until the 1930s. Men went about their hayfields, reaping their scant returns in coats. Beans – long a staple crop of New England – froze in the fields. From the puritan pulpits in the region, the weather was attributed to a just judgment of God. In Vermont there was measurable snowfall in August, and although the winter wheat crops yielded some crops, the cost of marketing the grain was often prohibitive. New Englanders, especially in rural areas, began to search the land in the manner of their ancestors to survive what wild and wild plants they could find in the forests.

. 7 The Missing Summer Provided One of the Most Notorious Figures in Literature

Most people had no idea what the scientific reasons for the bizarre weather in the summer months of 1816 were. Many of the rich, so to speak, were better able to weather the storm, despite adverse weather conditions. In Europe, a group of young English writers and their guests gathered on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The group consisted of Lord Byron and an English poet named Percy Shelley, who brought with him his wife, the former Mary Wollstonecraft. Due to the continued bad weather (Mary later wrote that it was a small summer), the group was forced to find ways to entertain themselves. Bored by board games, one of the members, probably Lord Byron, suggested that each member of the group write a story modeled on a ghost story to entertain others.

Mrs. Shelley initially resisted the idea and could only work out a plan in mid-July. She then confided to her diary that she had come up with the idea in the group's nocturnal discussions, "Maybe a corpse could be revived." She began writing a short story, which became a full-length gothic novel developed, " Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. " Her husband was later accused of supporting Mary at work, although the scope of his contributions to scholars' classic horror story remains controversial. Mary Shelley later owed her inspiration to a daydream that filled her with one of her long walks through the woods around Geneva, plunging into the darkness of the strange weather of the summer. Shelley wrote that while her husband Percy, who had committed suicide in 1822, helped her with technical aspects of writing, the story came entirely from her.

. 6 The year without summer coincided with the end of the Little Ice Age

The summerless summer is usually attributed to the summer months of 1816, although its effects were felt for three years, part of the last months of the so-called Ice Age Little Ice Age . The crop failures were acute in the first crop season of the period and continued for at least two more years. Wet and cold weather prevented crops in the spring and crops in the fall, and the size of the crops from North America to China was not enough to support the population. In many areas, including Europe and China, hunger has become a famine. Inhabitants of rural communities moved to urban areas in search of food by begging, and population density increased the diseases that increased among starving populations such as cholera and typhoid fever. The medicine of that time was not enough to treat both.

The result was – at least in the northern hemisphere – a global calamity that included hunger, disease and popular unrest for three years. Hundreds of thousands of former soldiers, veterans of the Napoleonic wars, roamed Europe to feed themselves and their families. In England, sailors who had manned His Majesty's Navy were unemployed when warships were shut down, and the absence of crops reduced the amount of goods available for international trade. Ships rotted at their jetties. Until the summer of 1817, organized groups of former soldiers rallied across Europe, convinced that the government camps kept grain from starving people. In the United States, especially in the still largely agricultural New England, failed harvests led to farmers pulling the piles and flying into the promised areas west of the Ohio.

. 5 The Swiss catastrophe of 1816-1817 was one of the worst of the global disaster

In a period of 153 days between April and September 1816, in Geneva, Switzerland, 130 rainy days were registered. The temperature was too cold for the snow in the Alps to melt, which prevented a far worse catastrophe. The streets and especially the sewers of Geneva were flooded, and Lake Geneva was too rainy to catch the drain. In the meantime, the local crops were drowned by the incessant cold rains, and the harvest of 1816 was a complete failure, leading to the last proven famine on the European continent. The lack of food led to the death of hundreds of thousands of draft animals and cattle and oxen that died in the waters in the fields and along the Swiss roads. Hundreds of thousands of Swiss became homeless and lived in the streets and fields that could not feed themselves when the brutal cold of an alpine winter settled on them.

From the beginning of 1817, the mortality rate in Switzerland was already well above the normal value for hunger and illness, increased by more than 50%. Oxen, horses and cattle that had died from starvation and rotting in the fields became food sources for the desperate population. There was no help from European neighbors, as the crops on the continent and in England were similarly sparse. France had just survived its revolution and the ravages of the Napoleonic era, it lacked sufficient manpower, and its newly restored monarchy was no match for the challenges of the catastrophe. As the seemingly endless winter extended, Europeans soon realized that those with wealth and privilege could cope better, and that the urban and rural poor bore the burden of suffering.

4 The year without summer was well documented by the educated and wealthy, including Thomas Jefferson.

In the United States, former President Thomas Jefferson left a record of meteorological events that was so detailed that it is still being used by scientists and scientists involved in the issue of global catastrophe two centuries later. In modern times, it is compared to scientific data obtained with means that were not understood in Jefferson's time. For example, studies of tree rings cut from trees that survived the Vermont disaster show little or no growth for the 1816 period which corresponds to notes left by Jefferson From his farm book and other diaries, he recorded observations that made him hundreds of miles to the south. The observations left by Jefferson include records of rainfall that were devastating in some areas, including Jefferson's Virginia.

Jefferson wrote to Albert Gallatin towards the end of the summer of 1816, describing the lack of rainfall was as prevalent during the end of the growing season as it was in the unusually cold temperatures. Jefferson, who used the records he had made every year since the occupation of his "little mountain", told Gallatin that average normal rainfall for the month of August was 9 and 1/6 inches. The rainfall in August 1816 had been less than an inch; "We only had 8/10 inches, and it goes on". He also noted the continuing cold weather conditions, including the frosts north of Virginia, which he had learned through his extensive correspondence. Neither Jefferson nor any other science student or the weather of that time suggests that the global disaster was due to a natural event that took place thousands of miles away.

. 3 In England, the army was called to quell the urban uprisings of the hungry.

England, which had contributed significantly to the formation of coalitions that had defeated Napoleon, was particularly affected by the lack of growing seasons. Unable to feed itself on the best crops, England found that its own harvests were devastated by adverse weather and its trading partners were unable to provide enough food to feed them to make the largest part of its population affordable. England had already experienced years of bottlenecks when the nation threw its power behind the wars with Napoleon, and the people had had enough by 1816. Already in the spring of 1816 there were food and grain riots in the western districts. In the city of Ely, armed mobs locked up the local magistrates and fought against the militia who were gathering to rescue them.

In the following spring mobs in the urban centers of the Midlands were not uncommon. Tens of thousands of armed and angry riots broke out in Manchester this March. In the summer of 1817, the British Army called for suppressing riots and other uprisings in England, Scotland and Wales and transports to the newly established penal colonies were stepped up. Local landowners and judges often ignored the requests of the authorities in London and founded their own mini-fiefs by promising bread and cereals. In England as well as on the European continent, demands of the richer classes led to an increase of authoritarian governments and the subsequent loss of civil liberties – as they were then – in response to international demand for food. On the other hand, the suspicion that governments hoard food and grain at the expense of the poor led to radical considerations, especially in France and the German principalities.

2. The Great Migration from New England to the West Began 1816

Most history books lead the movement of the American rural population westward after the war of 1812 to the end of the threat of the Indian tribes formerly supported by their British allies back . The end of British influence was undoubtedly part of the mass migration, but it takes more than the potential of new land to uproot families of farms that have owned their ancestors for generations. The catastrophic crop failures that began in 1816 were a large part of the motivation for the Westward movement, as indicated by the massive depopulation of the New England states, which began during the year without summer. Particularly affected were Vermont and New Hampshire, as the residents moved to the West. For many of them, it was a journey away from divine punishment, a new exodus into a promised land, a viewpoint that was promoted from the pulpits west to the lands that are now in the State of New York (Indian Territory) before the American victory during the war of 1812. The move coincided with a religious revival across America known as the Second Great Awakening, a return to the fundamentalism that had protected Americans from the ravages of an angry God, according to many. The family that settled in New York for a while were the Smiths of Sharon, Vermont. In their new home, one of them, a son named Joseph, experienced the visions that eventually led to his discovery of the Book of Mormon. Without a rational explanation for the seemingly apocalyptic weather, divine explanations were not only sufficient for the Smith family, but thousands of families fled from what they could not understand in search of explanation and liberation.

. 1 During the global cooling, the Arctic experienced warming and melting ice.

With nearly all of the northern hemisphere in the human-populated areas having reduced temperatures and abnormal rain patterns, the Arctic, including the ice cap, experienced a sharp rise in temperature, causing ice to melt at the top of the world. The receding ice cap enabled researchers, particularly from the US and the UK, to travel deeper into the polar region than ever before, using waterways that were previously undesirable ice rinks. From the days of Henry Hudson and the earliest English exploration of North America, the search for the fabled Northwest Passage had been exploring and exploring, and the opportunity presented by changing weather conditions was too good to miss. 1818 was the first year in a new series of English polar expeditions that lasted most of the 19th century .

Among them was an expedition led by the Englishman John Ross which also included a counter clockwise navigation around Baffin Bay which had the salutary effect of opening the waters for the exploitation of whaling vessels. Although the Northwest Passage, like so many others in history, had missed it, the blessing for the whaling industry was immediate, and whalers from Britain and the United States soon supplied the fine oil for lighting in ports around the world. By 1820, the year's impact had gone down without a summer, a part of the family history in which Elders described to the children the weather events of the past as far more serious than those of today. Unknown, the true effects have persisted for decades and continue in some ways to this day.

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