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Topic: American History (Read 54204 times)
Reply #100 on:
April 19, 2012, 06:17:19 PM »
THE PATRIOT POST
Alexander's Essay -- April 19, 2012
On the Web:
Patriots' Day: Sons of Liberty Then and Now
'Tis the Season for a Patriot Spring
"Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme
Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble
Actions -- The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us. ... Let us therefore
animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman
contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on
earth." --George Washington, 1776
Today, April 19th, is the 237th anniversary of Patriots' Day, marking the opening
salvo of the American Revolution and the beginning of the greatest experiment in
A quick search of the Obama White House website reveals not a single reference to
this most notable date in the history of our Republic -- not that I expected to find
any acknowledgment of such. I am certain that the current statist regime occupying
the Executive Branch would not want to promote this formative event distinguished by
a call to arms (
turn back a growing tide of tyranny.
Try though Barack Hussein Obama might to ignore it that is precisely what occurred
on this day in 1775, when a small band of citizen Patriots challenged the authority
of the most powerful government in the history of man. Take a moment to revisit the
events of that day, and share with contemporary citizens who may never have had an
introductory lesson in civics, the story of how a small group of American Patriots
irrevocably altered the course of history toward a new bearing of Liberty.
In December of 1773, the Sons of Liberty, a group of Boston "radicals" acting under
the leadership of Samuel Adams
), galvanized a rebellion against authoritarian colonial rulers, through the simple
act of dumping tea into Boston Harbor -- a protest of a small three pence tax levied
by the British. That event was immortalized as the "Boston Tea Party," and was the
inspiration for the rising rebellion in this era called the Tea Party Movement
Sixteen months after the Boston Tea Party, the first Patriots' Day began with the
horseback gallop of Paul Revere and William Dawes, just after midnight, en route to
Concord, Massachusetts. Their mission was to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that
British troops were coming to arrest them and seize their weapons. The British
understood that to render neutral any resistance to tyranny, they must first disarm
the people and remove from them the palladium of the liberties
Revere was captured but Dawes and Samuel Prescott, who had joined them along the
way, escaped and continued toward Concord. Dawes later fell from his horse, but
Prescott, who knew the area well enough to navigate rapidly at night, made it to
Concord in time to warn the Sons of Liberty.
At dawn, farmers and laborers, landowners and statesmen alike, gathered to confront
the British, pledging through action what Thomas Jefferson would later frame in
words as "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor." Thus began the great
campaign to reject the predictable albeit tyrannical order of the state and to
embrace the difficult toils of securing individual Liberty. It was this as-yet
unwritten pledge by militiamen in the Battles of Lexington and Concord
) that would
delineate the distinction between Liberty and tyranny in Colonial America.
Why would the first generation of American Patriots forgo, in the inimitable words
of Samuel Adams, "the tranquility of servitude" for "the animating contest of
The answer to that question defined the spirit of American Patriotism at the dawn of
the American Revolution, and to this day and for eternity, that spirit will serve as
the first line of defense against tyranny.
In the first months of the American Revolution, English author and lexicographer
Samuel Johnson, a Tory loyalist, wrote that American Patriots' quest for liberty was
nothing more than "the delirious dream of republican fanaticism" which would "put
the axe to the roots of all government." Johnson concluded famously, "Patriotism is
the last refuge of a scoundrel."
In the same year Johnson founded the now-popular pastime of denigrating American
Patriotism, Founder Alexander Hamilton was aptly defining its Foundation: "To grant
that there is a supreme intelligence who rules the world and has established laws to
regulate the actions of his creatures; and still to assert that man, in a state of
nature, may be considered as perfectly free from all restraints of law and
government, appears to a common understanding altogether irreconcilable. Good and
wise men, in all ages, have embraced a very dissimilar theory. They have supposed
that the deity, from the relations we stand in to himself and to each other, has
constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is indispensably obligatory upon all
mankind, prior to any human institution whatever. This is what is called the law of
Hamilton continued: "Upon this law depends the natural rights of mankind: the
Supreme Being gave existence to man, together with the means of preserving and
beatifying that existence. He endowed him with rational faculties, by the help of
which, to discern and pursue such things, as were consistent with his duty and
interest, and invested him with an inviolable right to personal Liberty, and
personal safety. The Sacred Rights of Mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old
parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole
volume of human nature, by the Hand of the Divinity itself; and can never be erased
or obscured by mortal power."
Our Founders declared "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable Rights," and they constituted this
affirmation in order to "secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our
Unlike King George's partisans and generations of authoritarians since, American
Patriots were and remain unwaveringly loyal to something much larger than a mere man
or geo-political institution. They pledged their sacred honor
), as do we, in support of Essential Liberty
) as "endowed
by our Creator (
)" and enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and its subordinate guidance,
It is this resolute devotion to the natural rights of man, the higher order of
Liberty as endowed by God, not government, which defines the spirit of American
Patriots, and has obliged the animating contest of freedom from Lexington Green to
Since the dawn of Patriots' Day in 1775, and loudly again in the present era, the
essence of Johnson's denigration of patriotism has been repeated by statists, who
augment their disdain for Patriots with words like "fascist," "nationalist" and
These statists, Democratic Socialists
) in the current
vernacular, would have us believe that they are the "true patriots," and only they
deserve to be the arbiters of Liberty. But, caveat emptor: As George Washington
implored in his Farewell Address, "Guard against the impostures of pretended
Liberty, as affirmed through natural law, is an abject affront to Socialists, who
can claim dominion over others only if they supplant Rule of Law with their own
rule. For such statists, the notion of serving a higher purpose than oneself is
enigmatic; consequently, there is a raging ideological battle between Democratic
Socialists and Patriots across our nation today.
Our steadfast support for Liberty and limited government is diametrically opposed to
the Socialist manifesto of the once-noble Democrat Party
reframed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
) in 1933,
and renewed by every Democrat president since.
Regardless of how statists choose to promote Democratic Socialism, like National
Socialism it is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged. Ultimately, it
likewise seeks a centrally planned economy directed by a dominant-party state that
controls economic production by way of taxation, regulation and income
So, will this Patriots' Day pass without our renewed commitment to keep and carry
forward the endowment which inspired those who fired the "shot heard 'round the
Of those content to be subjects rather than citizens, Samuel Adams' stirring words
ring true today: "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of
servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not
your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands, which feed you. May your
chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"
Of course, the ranks of American Patriots
however thin, are much like those of previous generations. We remain singularly
devoted to the defense of Liberty over tyranny
In 1775, John Adams wrote, "A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom,
can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
In 1776, George Washington, in General Orders, wrote, "The time is now near at hand
which must determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are
to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to
be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from
which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now
depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and
unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject
submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die."
Once again, the time is at hand when our Patriot ranks must determine whether
Americans are to be freemen or slaves -- and this election year will determine in
large measure the fate of our nation.
Fellow Patriots, today is the last of the 2012 Patriots' Day Campaign
). Please support our mission to sustain our legacy
of Liberty through The Patriot Post, a touchstone for countless American Patriots
across our nation.
More important, help us promote Liberty through the distribution of millions of
Essential Liberty Project pocket guides to young people in educational institutions
nationwide. This guide is a proven and effective tool to educate those of all ages
who are uninformed about Liberty and tyranny, and ambivalent about how to stand for
freedom. We can enlist them into our Patriot ranks with your support
Deus et Constitutione â€” Libertas aut Mortis!
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Publisher, The Patriot Post (
The Battle of Athens
Reply #101 on:
May 03, 2012, 12:04:22 PM »
Alexander's Essay – May 3, 2012
The Battle of Athens (Tennessee)
A Case Study in Grassroots Restoration of the Rule of Law
"The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of." -- James Madison (1788)
Vets firing on McMinn Jail
As a direct descendent of Tennessee Patriots who were veterans of every major conflict in defense of American Liberty from the American Revolution forward, I stand in awe of my home state's distinguished list of Patriot sons and daughters. From 19th-century notables like Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Nathan Bedford Forrest and Sam Davis, to a long list of 20th-century Patriots headed by Alvin York, warriors from the "Volunteer State" have distinguished themselves in battle with honor and courage. Even our state's nickname was earned in recognition of the valiant service of volunteer soldiers during the War of 1812, most notably during the Battle of New Orleans.
There was a group of lesser-known Tennessee Patriots, however, whose efforts to defend Liberty at home in 1946 were no less noble. This group of World War II veterans took up arms to restore Rule of Law in the quaint east Tennessee town of Athens (McMinn County), between Chattanooga and Knoxville. That fight became known as the Battle of Athens.
Given the rigorous efforts by the current regime of Socialist Democrats occupying the Executive and Legislative branches of our federal government, revisiting the Battle of Athens provides a timely lesson in Patriot devotion to Liberty. Democrats today have nationalized the corruption of the electoral process by both overt efforts (blocking measures such as Voter ID, and endorsing voter intimidation at polls) and much more insidious covert measures (increasing the rolls of voting village idiots who are dependent on wealth redistribution for their livelihood -- those who vote for their living rather than work for it).
In 1945, more than 3,000 battle-hardened vets returned home to McMinn County and found it brimming with political corruption. The GIs, who had fought for Liberty in the European and Pacific theaters, were not going to surrender it to corrupt politicians on their own soil. A spokesman for these Patriots proclaimed, "The principles that we fought for in this past war do not exist in McMinn County."
Despite numerous complaints about the corruption since 1940, the U.S. Department of Justice, under the control of Franklin Roosevelt, ignored citizens' charges of election fraud and did not respond.
I first read the history of this incident almost 30 years ago, but I did not know until I was researching the Battle of Athens for this essay that a distinguished Republican lady, whom I have known for more than three decades, was an eyewitness to this battle.
Lill Coker is the daughter of Dr. Horace Thomas, one of the veterans who gathered with others to restore Liberty in Athens that night. She recalls the events well.
Her father had given Lill permission to go up to the roof of their home and watch the events unfold at a distance. She listened to accounts being broadcast live by the local radio station, WLAR, which was located across the street from the jail, and recollected that the radio announcer was broadcasting from under his desk to avoid bullets whizzing through his studio.
The Battle of Athens pitted Lill's father and other seasoned GIs against a large contingent of sheriff's deputies. The "law enforcement" officials were agents of Sheriff Pat Mansfield and his predecessor, wealthy state Sen. Paul Cantrell -- both benefactors of a corrupt statewide Democrat political machine controlled by E.H. "Boss" Crump from Memphis. In order to ensure the election and re-election of politicians running that machine, Mansfield and Cantrell had sheriff's deputies rigging the ballot boxes in Athens -- thus undermining the integrity of elections, the most basic expression of Liberty and the will of the people in our constitutional republic.
By 1946, some veterans were determined to challenge the Cantrell/Mansfield corruption machine, and they qualified for several posts on the upcoming election ballot. One of these men was Knox Henry, the GI candidate for sheriff of McMinn County. Endeavoring to ensure honest elections, a month ahead of the primaries they petitioned the FBI to send election monitors. As with previous requests for help to restore Rule of Law, their requests were ignored.
On Election Day, 1 August 1946, Mansfield imported some 200 strong-armed "deputies" to ensure the election would go his way. Mansfield's men ejected the veterans from polling sites, and in one instance a deputy pointed his gun at them as they attempted to re-enter a poll and shouted, "If you sons of bitches cross this street I'll kill you!" Mansfield arrested one GI poll watcher, Walter Ellis, who insisted on monitoring polling in the courthouse. One black voter, Tom Gillespie, was shot after a confrontation with a Mansfield deputy who denied him the right to vote.
After a long day of disputes at the polls, Mansfield and about 50 of his men gathered up all the ballot boxes and took them to the county jail "for protection."
The veterans weren't about to let the 1946 election cycle fall to the same corruption that had undermined the previous three elections. In the early evening, a group of vets who had been ejected as poll watchers mustered up some fellow vets. Being short of arms and ammunition sufficient to challenge Mansfield's crew and retrieve the ballot boxes, these men "borrowed" keys to the local National and State Guard armories and requisitioned three M-1 rifles, five Colt .45 pistols and 24 British Enfield rifles.
The vets then went to the jail, where they offered the deputies safe exit if they would turn over the ballot boxes. The deputies declined and shot two of the vets. The GIs returned fire in a pitched gunfight that would continue into the early morning hours of 2 August, when a number of vets from neighboring Meigs County improvised explosive devices (baled dynamite sticks) onto the jail's porch in order to soften up the resolve of the occupants. Shortly thereafter, the deputies did surrender and the GIs secured the building and ballots. (Cantrell and Mansfield, cowards that they were, had abandoned their deputies and fled into the dark early in the battle.)
Post Your Opinion: Were the GIs right to take matters into their own hands?
The non-partisan veterans delivered this message to the radio announcer at WLAR: "The GI election officials went to the polls unarmed to have a fair election, as Pat Mansfield promised. They were met with blackjacks and pistols. Several GI officials were beaten and the ballot boxes were moved to the jail. The GI supporters went to the jail to get these ballot boxes and were met by gunfire. The GI candidates had promised that the votes would be counted as cast. They had no choice but to meet fire with fire. In the precincts where the GI candidates were allowed watchers they led by three to one majorities."
The following morning, the armory weapons were cleaned and returned, and the ballot boxes were turned over for a legitimate count.
Knox Henry Elected Sheriff
In the final count the GI candidate, Knox Henry, was elected sheriff of McMinn County, and three other vets filled key county positions. In order to thwart future corruption, the town of Athens formed a new police force. In addition, elected county officials agreed to a $5,000 pay limit. In the decade that followed, the McMinn County reforms were adopted in many other counties across the state.
Summarizing her recollection of events, Lill Coker told me, "I was so proud of all the veterans and my father for taking a stand and doing what had to be done to make sure Rule of Law was restored. They had to go against those who were supposed to be upholding law and order. The vets had gone to fight for our country in World War II and came home to find that a political machine had robbed their fellow citizens of their rights. We must be eternally vigilant against corruption of our electoral process. I am very proud of our Tennessee legislators for passing the voter ID law. We can lose our freedom just as the people of Athens did during the war years when no one stood up to the sheriff's bullies at the polling places."
The Battle of Athens was much more than an extended gunfight between small-town political factions. Historian Dan Daley wrote, "It was a violent but decisive clash of two social and political cultures, between the past and the future of rural, state, and ultimately the federal government, and a reconfirmation of the deeply ingrained ideal that Americans can assert themselves against tyranny, even when it was taking place in their own backyard."
Indeed, the corruption in the small town of Athens is but a minuscule example of constitutional abrogation that has now been nationalized by the Democrat Party. Indeed, the corrupt Chicago politics that herded a local charlatan "community organizer" into the presidency represents fraud on a grand scale.
Among the lessons learned from the 1946 events in McMinn County are these two:
First and foremost, this incident, like so many before and since, affirms why our Founders codified in the Second Amendment the unalienable right of the people to "keep and bear arms." As Justice Joseph Story (appointed to the Supreme Court by our Constitution's author, James Madison) wrote, "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." History records the appalling 20th-century consequences of disarming the people.
The second lesson is that those of us who have pledged by sacred oath to "support and defend" the Liberty enshrined in our Constitution against "enemies foreign," must be equally devoted to the defense of Liberty against insult by "enemies domestic."
Post Your Opinion: Would honoring your oath inspire you to take up arms against tyranny, even on our own soil?
One certainly hopes we can defeat the socialist corruption undermining our Constitution nationally, with ballots, not bullets, but one way or the other, the next American Revolution is just over the horizon.
(For a full accounting of this case study in grassroots restoration of Rule of Law, we have photos, a chronology and media reports at The Patriot's Battle of Athens resource page.)
Footnote: Link to Reader Comments for a note about another wealthy and powerful Athens family attempting, this time, to dupe the entire Third Congressional District by fronting an ideological Democrat under the pretense he is a Republican.
Deus et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mortis!
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Publisher, The Patriot Post
WSJ: FDR's good example
Reply #102 on:
May 10, 2012, 01:46:16 PM »
By ARTHUR HERMAN
If President Obama still wants to turn our economy around, it's time for him to act more like Franklin Roosevelt—but not in the way he might think. It takes a special kind of courage for a president to abandon a failed approach to economic policy and then embrace its opposite. Yet, faced in May 1940 with America's greatest foreign policy crisis since the nation's founding, that's exactly what Franklin D. Roosevelt did. FDR—architect of the New Deal and outspoken opponent of Big Business—was forced by the collapse of Europe's democracies under Hitler's blitzkrieg to turn to the corporate sector to prepare America for war.
Roosevelt had almost no choice. In 1940, the United States had the 18th-largest army in the world, right behind tiny Holland. While not so small, its Navy was totally unprepared to face a determined invader. Gen. George Marshall, Army chief of staff, warned Roosevelt that if Hitler landed five divisions on American soil, there was nothing he could do to stop them.
Neither the War nor Navy Departments had a clue how to mobilize a $100-billion civilian economy for war. Their joint "plan" ran to fewer than 20 typed pages. America's defense industry had been dismantled after World War I—"the war to end all wars."
So, reluctantly, on May 28, 1940, Roosevelt picked up the phone and called his archnemesis, General Motors President William Knudsen.
Knudsen was a Motor City legend. The Danish immigrant had worked his way up from the shop floor to become president of Chevrolet and then GM. He was a mass-production wizard.
He was also a Republican, and one who remembered Roosevelt's fierce denunciation of businessmen as "economic royalists who hide behind the flag and the Constitution." He also knew what historians have since learned: that FDR's vaunted New Deal, with its massive new government programs and antibusiness regulations, had done nothing to end the Great Depression. After six years of FDR, unemployment in 1939 still stood above 17%.
With a friendly smile and hearty handshake, President Franklin D. Roosevelt greeted William S. Knudsen, president of General Motors Corps., when the latter arrived at the White House for the first meeting of the new National Defense Commission in Washington on May 30, 1940. Knudsen was named in charge of industrial production for the president?s defense program. (AP Photo/George R. Skadding)
.Yet Knudsen's answer to the appeal from FDR was immediate. He quit GM and moved to Washington to mobilize his friends in the private sector to get America ready for war. He joined with U.S. Steel's Edward Stettinius, Sears, Roebuck's Don Nelson and other corporate executives and engineers who left their jobs to accept a federal salary of $1 a year. Together, they made Roosevelt a promise.
If the president gave them 18 months, they would persuade enough of American industry to convert their plants to making planes, tanks, ships and munitions without throwing the rest of the economy into a tail spin. The result, they pledged, would be the most massive outpouring of weaponry the world had ever seen.
Roosevelt was under intense pressure from his own administration—and from his wife Eleanor—not to agree. They believed it was impossible to convert to a wartime footing without a comprehensive, centrally directed plan for total mobilization and a single commanding figure in charge—in short, a war-production czar. "Democracy must wage total war," his aide Harry Hopkins wrote in a secret memo. "It must exceed the Nazi in fury, ruthlessness, and efficiency."
Knudsen disagreed. "If we get into war," he told the administration, "the winning of it will be purely a question of material and production"—and the best way to do that was to harness the forces and energies of private industry.
His advice was to clear away antiquated antibusiness tax laws and regulations and give the military's orders for materiel to the most productive sectors of the economy—the automotive, steel, chemical and electronics industries. Federal dollars would follow the trail of productivity and innovation, not the other way around.
Knudsen also insisted on keeping the process voluntary and decentralized, so that companies would be free to decide on their own which war materiel they were best suited to bid on, and how to produce it. The point was to reduce Washington's interference in the production process to a minimum.
This proposal was in effect Roosevelt's first introduction to supply-side economics. To arm the nation for war, Roosevelt not only had to agree to set aside his own ideological misgivings but almost a decade of his own failed economic policies. "Dr. New Deal," Roosevelt told the press, was going to have to make way for "Dr. Win the War."
The results, as Knudsen had promised, were staggering. Barely a year later—by the time Japanese bombs fell on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941—the scale of American war production was fast approaching that of Nazi Germany.
America truly became the "arsenal of democracy" (the phrase Knudsen invented). By the end of 1942 we were producing more tanks, ships, planes and guns than the entire Axis; by the end of 1943 more than Germany, the Soviet Union and Britain combined. American companies and farmers were equipping and feeding our allies as well—in the Soviet Union's case, Americans were providing almost a fifth of gross national product. Ford Motor Co. alone produced more munitions during the war than fascist Italy's entire economy.
Contrary to myth, the war didn't end the Depression or make Americans prosperous. Even with rising wages, they had to put up with rationing and very limited choice in consumer goods. National wealth, in terms of assets as measured by the Commerce Department, had barely changed. But unleashed to help win the war, American business enterprise had been brought back to life, and in 1945 it was ready to convert from making machine guns to washing machines and tractors again.
Many feared that with the end of government wartime spending—almost $300 billion worth, or $3 trillion in today's dollars—unemployment would boomerang, wages (which wartime work had driven up by an average of 70%) would fall and hopes for prosperity would be extinguished. Instead, private investment came roaring back, triggering steady economic growth that pushed the U.S. into a new era, as the most prosperous society in history.
"You are the great American," Undersecretary of War Robert Patterson told Knudsen at the war's end. And certainly, Bill Knudsen deserves credit for turning American business loose to build the greatest military in the world. But it was Franklin Roosevelt who had the courage to make a call in May of 1940 that sharply changed the direction of his own administration—and with that the future of the country.
Mr. Herman is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His newest book, "Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II," was published this week by Random House.
THIS IS WAR movie
Reply #103 on:
May 16, 2012, 02:52:44 AM »
I just watched this film about the invasion of Iraq and fall of Baghdad, and decided to put it here as American history, because it is history now, and the Iraq war has been chewed over in the political sphere quite well, and I think it's time we changed the emphasis somewhat. The film is more than American military history of course, it's more personal than that because in encompasses the experience and viewpoint of one Marine as he documents his foray into combat. It is a stark, harsh look at war and the reality of what men in combat do and the mind set they have to have to accomplish the mission and endure the physical and psychological assault that is brought to bear down on a simple, normal human being. It's well worth watching, I warn you it is very graphic in a number of horrific ways but I think people should watch it. On one hand it shows how careful we need to be in deploying our troops to do battle and on the other it shows how once we do commit them we cannot expect them to do it with kid gloves and a kind heart. This was a 2009 release but it's back out as both regular DVD and now Blueray.
The movie is titled, 'This Is War' or 'Severe Clear' depending on the version and I rented mine from Redbox.
Re: American History
Reply #104 on:
May 16, 2012, 04:57:01 PM »
"FDR—architect of the New Deal and outspoken opponent of Big Business—was forced by the collapse of Europe's democracies under Hitler's blitzkrieg to turn to the corporate sector to prepare America for war."
I was just thinking of the parallels of then and now:
The US in the great depression then and an almost depression now staved off only by the tarps yet still in the economic "pits".
How Europe's political, economic , and war time upheaval of the 30's and 40's resulted in the US coming out the powerhouse.
With their closest rival being the Soviet Union.
Now we have Europe again in political economic upheaval and in economic dire straits. If Europe implodes the US again could in a way come out stronger albeit with China not Russia the rival.
We cannot expect nor do I even want Brockman to reverse course. Simply he needs to be replaced and Mitt take us the other way. To a better and more prosperous future.
I hope the movei gets onto cable. Sounds like a lesson that those of us who have not served cannot fully understand and therefore should not carelessly judge the actions of those who have [served] in combat.
Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 04:59:04 PM by ccp
How the Wild West REALLY looked
Reply #105 on:
June 04, 2012, 05:00:45 PM »
These remarkable 19th century sepia-tinted pictures show the American West as you have never seen it before - as it was charted for the first time.
The photos, by Timothy O'Sullivan, are the first ever taken of the rocky and barren landscape.
At the time federal government officials were travelling across Arizona, Nevada, Utah and the rest of the west as they sought to uncover the land's untapped natural resources.
Re: American History
Reply #106 on:
June 04, 2012, 05:14:12 PM »
WSJ: Declaration of the War of 1812
Reply #107 on:
June 15, 2012, 01:40:25 PM »
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By WALTER R. BORNEMAN
Two hundred years ago, on June 17, 1812, after considerable debate and a close vote, the United States Congress made its first use of powers granted it by Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution and declared war on Great Britain. It would come to be called the War of 1812.
There was plenty of provocation: Locked in the Napoleonic Wars, both Britain and France routinely seized neutral American ships that dared to trade with either belligerent. Worse, the British navy made it a normal practice to stop American ships and comb stateside docks for able-bodied seamen to impress into His Majesty's service. And farther west, the British were stifling efforts at settlement beyond the Ohio River by encouraging a host of Native American nations to attack.
These provocations aside, the odds did not look good. Seven million Americans were scattered across 18 states. The population of the British Isles was almost double that. Britain's army was among the best trained and most disciplined in the world. In January 1812, the effective strength of the American regular army numbered 4,000 officers and men.
James Madison as painted by Gilbert Stuart
.The American navy wasn't any better. The fleet consisted of five frigates, three sloops, seven brigs, and an assorted collection of 62 coastal gunboats. Britain floated some 175 capital, or heavy firepower, ships. Little wonder that upon hearing what Congress had done, President James Madison was said by Augustus John Foster, Britain's ambassador, to be "white as a sheet."
If remembered at all, the War of 1812 is often thought of as a sideshow of military ineptitude squeezed between the earlier glories of the American Revolution and the later traumas of the Civil War. But the war boasts what was by far the most contested declaration of war in U.S. history, and it recalls a time when the war power was firmly entrenched in the legislative branch of American government.
On June 1, 1812, Madison's war message was submitted to both houses of Congress. Given the custom of the day, it was read by clerks who droned on without inflection for about half an hour. In the House, many congressmen had recently returned from spring visits home, where they found no groundswell of support for war. After vigorous debate, the House passed the declaration of war on June 4 by a less-than-resounding vote of 79 to 49. "I think," bemoaned New Hampshire's Josiah Bartlett, "the business was too hasty."
Over in the Senate, things moved more slowly but also more contentiously. During the next two weeks, the Senate narrowly voted down a variety of amendments—one of which would have stopped short of full-scale war but authorized letters of marque and reprisal, which licensed private shipowners to take action against British shipping. Showing the young nation's audacity, another amendment would have issued such letters against both British and French ships.
Finally, on June 17, 1812, the Senate voted 19 to 13 for Madison's original declaration of war. Madison signed the declaration the following day. Two centuries later, this remains the closest war vote. Why since 1812 has Congress either overwhelmingly supported a president's request for a declaration of war or given him a bye when faced with his unilateral military action? The political fallout from the War of 1812 provides at least part of the answer.
While the war issue in 1812 was not rigidly defined along party lines, Federalists generally opposed the war while Jeffersonian Republicans (forerunners of Andrew Jackson's Democrats) favored it. Two years later, the most antiwar of the Federalists went so far as to convene at Hartford, Conn., and debate constitutional amendments designed to weaken the central government. Some insist that they debated outright secession.
As they debated, things looked pretty bleak for James Madison—his capital was in ruins, the British fleet had a stranglehold on American commerce, and a good third of the country was still ambivalent, if not outright hostile, to what they called Mr. Madison's War. Within a few months, however, Madison's peace commissioners had managed to win a draw at the negotiating table and, even more amazingly, Jackson had dealt British regulars a smashing defeat at New Orleans.
It hadn't been pretty, but the American union had survived. Madison donned the cloak of victor and two years later handpicked his successor, James Monroe. Those who had opposed the war, particularly the Federalists who had gathered in Hartford, were relegated to history's footnotes. In fact, the Federalist Party sputtered its last gasps and soon ceased to exist.
Militarily, the War of 1812 was filled with American defeats, but politically, it coalesced 18 loosely confederated states into a truly national union and marked the beginnings of a national psyche that would carry the country across the continent. The War of 1812 was also the apex of one of the most rudimentary of the constitutional checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches—the power to declare war. After the War of 1812, never again would Congress debate so vigorously and vote so narrowly to declare war. The political risks of doing so and ending up on the losing side had proven too high.
Mr. Borneman's books include "1812: The War That Forged a Nation" (HarperCollins, 2004) and "The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King," just published by Little, Brown.
WSJ: The Gamble that failed
Reply #108 on:
June 20, 2012, 09:23:00 AM »
The Gamble That Failed
"September Hope" tells the story of Operation Market-Garden, one of the most decisive battles of World War II
By JONATHAN W. JORDAN
'I always felt we tried to go a bridge too far." The signature line of the epic 1977 World War II film was delivered in a distinctly British accent, and the story of Operation Market-Garden, the failed Allied lunge over Holland's Lower Rhine River in September 1944, has been told most famously from the British perspective. But the accents of most of the assault's 38,000 paratroopers were distinctly American, and John C. McManus's new study of the operation, "September Hope," speaks passionately for the Yanks who fought and died in the land of tulips, canals and windmills.
In September 1944, the Allied high command believed the German army was on the brink of collapse. Dwight Eisenhower and Bernard Montgomery, the senior Allied commanders in Europe, thought that seizing a bridgehead over the Rhine at Arnhem would throw open the door to the north German plains and allow a rapid armored thrust toward Berlin. They saw Market-Garden as a high-risk, high-reward gamble that, with luck, might end the war by Christmas.
The struggle for a Lower Rhine crossing was actually two large, complex operations. In the first phase (Operation Market), the Allies planned to drop lightly armed parachute and glider troops behind German lines, to capture and hold a highway and a string of bridges over the Dommel, Aa, Waal, Maas and Lower Rhine Rivers. In the second phase (Operation Garden), the British XXX Corps would ride to the rescue. Led by the Guards Armoured Division, the XXX Corps would dash over the captured bridges, relieving the 101st Airborne Division at Eindhoven on the first day, the 82nd Airborne at Nijmegen on the second day, and the British 1st Airborne Division and the Polish 1st Parachute Brigade, furthest away at Arnhem, on the fourth day.
The operations were poorly conceived from the beginning. Unlike the paratroop drops in Sicily and Normandy, Market would take place in broad daylight and in full view of the German defenders. The road the paratroopers were to hold—soon dubbed "Hell's Highway"—was difficult for armor to traverse. To make matters worse, the operation would be run on a shoestring budget for gasoline, ammunition and aircraft, because Allied supplies could not be moved quickly enough from Normandy ports to the advancing front.
By John McManus
(NAL Caliber, 502 pages, $27.95)
.Risks piled upon risks, and warnings of formidable panzer divisions stationed in Holland went unheeded. Distracted by fuel shortages, complex command relationships between the national armies and an unrealistic hope of German collapse, Allied commanders were blind to compelling arguments against the mission. As Mr. McManus writes: "No one was willing to do what must be done—kill Market-Garden in its cradle."
After leaving the planning tables of Versailles and Brussels, "September Hope" climbs into the Dutch skies and drops the reader into the intense firefights raging around Holland's winding rivers. Mr. McManus's account is almost surrealistically violent: Battles are fought with rifle, grenade and knife; prisoners are executed without ceremony or reflection; dying men beg for morphine. "Screams have no nationality," as one sergeant remarked. Employing a rich mixture of first-person accounts and perceptive tactical analysis, Mr. McManus gives the reader a glimpse into the shrapnel and lead flying among desperate soldiers, and his pacing is impeccable.
Once the paratroopers landed, they were beset by crack German panzer and infantry divisions. Hell's Highway proved too constricted an artery to carry the XXX Corps to Arnhem, and breakdowns in the timetable condemned paratroopers to battles of attrition unsuited to their special talents. By the time the airborne divisions were withdrawn two months later, the Americans had suffered some 7,000 casualties (out of 28,000 soldiers committed), while the British 1st Airborne lost 8,000 men (out of 10,000). Market-Garden was a fiasco of the first magnitude.
Mr. McManus ably chronicles both American divisions, but it is the 82nd Division's leader, Brig. Gen. James Gavin, who commands the brightest spotlight. From the flames of Nijmegen, Gavin emerges as a larger-than-life figure—and the only hero in this story who wears general's stars. His iron will, devotion to his men and reassuring presence among the front lines inspired his troopers to attempt the impossible.
In one of the book's most awe-inspiring episodes, Gavin reluctantly sends a battalion across the forbidding Waal River into withering German fire. Paddling flimsy canvas boats with rifle butts and bare hands, the men "prepared in our own way to meet our maker," as one lieutenant recalled. "It did not seem militarily or humanly possible to accomplish such a mission." Yet accomplish it they did. "By the time midafternoon shadows began dancing along the ruined blocks of downtown Nijmegen," Mr. McManus writes, "the houses overlooking the bridges were under Anglo-American control." Yet it was all for naught.
With the failure to relieve the paratroopers at Arnhem, the Allied mirage of an easy path to Berlin faded. The American airborne divisions, reinforced by heavy infantry, settled into a stalemate around Nijmegen for six bitter weeks of fighting. In late November, the Allied command threw in the towel and pulled the weary paratroopers out of the line. Arnhem remained in German hands, and the northern door to Germany was bolted shut. "September hope had turned into November despair," Mr. McManus aptly concludes. Allied victory would have to await developments along the heavily fortified Siegfried Line to the south.
Operation Market-Garden remains one of the enduring tragedies of the Allied war in Europe, and "September Hope" describes the slow, unfolding train wreck in gripping detail. It is a testament to men assigned the impossible who, through sheer willpower, almost pulled it off.
Mr. Jordan is the author of "Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnership That Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe."
Rothstein: The War of 1812
Reply #109 on:
June 26, 2012, 08:11:15 PM »
A Legacy Far Beyond the National Anthem
‘1812: A Nation Emerges,’ at National Portrait Gallery
By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN
Published: June 25, 2012
WASHINGTON — Noah Webster’s American Dictionary. The Erie Canal. Uncle Sam. Andrew Jackson’s presidency. “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The beginning of the end for American Indians. “Don’t give up the ship!”
What episode, rarely referred to outside of high school history classes, lay behind those disparate phenomena? And not just those. Here are others:
¶Three more presidencies (John Quincy Adams, James Monroe and William Henry Harrison).
¶John Jacob Astor’s fortune.
¶The westward expansion of the United States.
¶The growth of New England manufacturing.
¶“We have met the enemy and they are ours.”
As we learn from a major new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery here, all this (and “Tippecanoe and Tyler too”) grew out of the War of 1812. It was, you recall, a war between the generation-old United States and its onetime master, Britain. It was fraught with posturing and missed cues, brilliant strategy and clumsy planning. Its beginning was overshadowed by Napoleon, who controlled much of continental Europe, had begun an invasion of Russia and had his eyes set on the conquest of Britain. The war’s ending left neither nation a victor and seemed to resolve no aspect of the conflict.
Yet on the occasion of the war’s bicentennial, this exhibition asserts that it had an even more profound impact than this list might suggest: It shaped a sense of American identity. The Revolutionary War established independence, but the War of 1812 forged a nation.
The exhibition, “1812: A Nation Emerges,” combines more than 100 artifacts and paintings, including loans from Canada and Britain. It displays some of the finest examples of early American portraiture, paintings of nautical battles (some of which yielded colorful proclamations), uniforms, a model ship, videos from the History channel, maps and drawings, early American flags and a few historical documents. Nothing here is in itself highly dramatic or revelatory. Yet the show’s curators, Sidney Hart, the senior historian of the Portrait Gallery, and Rachael L. Penman, an assistant curator, have harnessed this material to tell a compelling and vivid story (which can also be followed in the show’s catalog).
We learn first just how far from a world power the United States of 1800 was. Its new capital on the banks of the Potomac River was mostly a swampy wasteland. With Thomas Jefferson as president, and James Madison as his secretary of state (Gilbert Stuart’s famous portraits of each man are here), the nation’s approach to international conflicts — including the confrontations between Napoleon and the British — was to avoid them. Jefferson’s Embargo Act (of 1807) was actually a weird, self-imposed embargo, ending United States international trade altogether, imprisoning America’s ships in harbors rather than letting them maneuver around opposing French and British demands.
We learn, too, how the British regularly infringed on American sovereignty by stopping ships and “impressing” British “deserters” on board into service in the British Navy. The problem was partly that the British considered any British-born sailor a deserter if he came to the United States after 1783. It is estimated that 6,000 men were abducted from American ships.
But a bust of Napoleon here, once owned by Jefferson, is a reminder that Napoleon was the ghostly presence at this war, without whom it might never have happened. He had closed European ports to British trade, thus increasing international pressure. He later left the British so distracted that they never fully focused on the American war.
Debates raged in Congress over how much should be tolerated from the British, an issue made more urgent because of a strengthening alliance between the British and American Indian tribes. The final tallies in Congress voting for war: 79 to 49 in the House and 19 to 13 in the Senate. The bill was signed on June 18, beginning the War of 1812 (which was really the War of 1812-15).
The split in Congress reflected a division in the population, which is why the war’s earliest casualties were not from foreign attacks but from native strife. Henry Lee, a Revolutionary War hero, father of Robert E., and an opponent of the war (shown here in a Stuart portrait), was trapped in a Baltimore house with a newspaper editor who shared his views. Outside, riots raged. For their own protection, they were jailed. But angry citizens broke in. Lee never fully recovered from his wounds.
As for the war itself, the British Navy had 500 ships in service, the Americans only 17. So American ports were easily blockaded. American naval victories tended to be on inland waterways and lakes. The fighting seesawed back and forth inconclusively.
There is a marble statue here of a dying Indian warrior, Tecumseh, who had led his fighters into an alliance with the British and played an instrumental role in several early battles. But his death, and the course of the war itself, meant that never again would there be a similar military alliance of Indian tribes.
The high-water mark for the British came in the burning of Washington in 1814 (partly avenging the 1813 American torching of York — now Toronto). We see here a remarkable British cartoon of the time mocking the Americans, with President Madison (“Maddy”) fleeing the flames, running, we are told, “to his bosom friend,” Napoleon.
In real life, Madison’s wife, Dolley, apparently had the presence of mind to rescue the famous Stuart portrait of Washington as the president’s house was evacuated. She was also said to have fled with the red velvet drapes; one hypothesis is that a dress shown here, which she kept throughout her life, was made from that fabric.
The low-water mark for the British actually came after the Treaty of Ghent was signed in 1814. The treaty ended the war by simply restoring earlier conditions, but not having heard the news, Jackson defeated the British in a dramatic battle in New Orleans.
So how, out of this assemblage of seemingly isolated battles with mixed results, did the war have such a profound impact?
It was, first, an emphatic demonstration that the United States’s autonomy was not something to be assumed, but had to be constantly affirmed. Out of the possibility of imminent failure, patriotic nationalism developed.
That was also what led Francis Scott Key to express his relief that the American flag “was still there” at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, despite a night of British bombardment. The wonder was not at victory but at survival. The exhibition here is content with reproductions both of his manuscript of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and of a Congreve rocket like those the British were firing.
And despite the war’s inconclusive end, it united many political opponents on at least one point: War preparation was a necessity; it was a way of ensuring peace. With the disintegration of the Indian military alliance, the path was also left open for the country’s westward expansion — and for the government’s continuing wars against the Indians.
In a final gallery results accumulate (though some were amplified by the war rather than fully caused by it). Because of the war’s nationalist spirit, a Troy, N.Y., supplier for meat to the Army, Samuel Wilson, who stamped his barrels “U.S.,” evolved into the figure “Uncle Sam.” Because of the boycott of British goods, manufacturing expanded in New England. Because battles extended over the entire country, it became clear how poor the roads were and how important it was that new modes of transportation be developed (including the Erie Canal). Because of the new national identity, Webster conceived of a standard-setting dictionary that might eliminate regionalism and affirm Americanized versions of British spellings.
And Astor’s fortune? It was partly from the fur trade before the war, but we learn that he also lobbied for an 1814 law that allowed only United States citizens to trap on American soil. Astor’s American Fur Company boomed. He bought Manhattan real estate and became the young nation’s most famous example of Old Money.
This exhibition is not revolutionary in its interpretation of the war, which is understood by many scholars in similar terms. But the show reveals how remarkable that war really was: When else has something affected so many with so much, when it so often seems so slight?
“1812: A Nation Emerges” is on view through Jan. 27 at the National Portrait Gallery, 800 F Street NW, Washington; npg.si.edu.
Normandy then and now
Reply #110 on:
July 15, 2012, 04:33:03 PM »
Morris: How the Reps lost the black vote
Reply #111 on:
July 21, 2012, 11:05:30 AM »
How can Repubs get minority votes?
Reply #112 on:
July 21, 2012, 06:39:07 PM »
Without pandering? Without trying to outspend Democrats on taxpayer funded benefits (entitlements)?
Fascinating discussion by Dick. I wondered how in the world the Blacks shifted from republican to democrat.
I was disappointed he doesn't offer any way to bring them back. Are they lost forever?
How can we get Blacks back to the Repub party? Without pandering? Without government (taxpayer) handouts?
One thought I have had and expressed previously is to emphasize in no uncertain terms that the Democrats are giving away all US citizens freedoms - including those of color, latino, and everyone else here legally. Just now when Blacks have been able to succeed in US society they risk losing their freedoms too.
Herman Cain basically said this when he said "he got off the Democrat Party plantation long ago".
Unfortunately Blacks either do not think they can make it on their own without big daddy government redistributing wealth or perhaps it is more simply a reparations or get even thing. I don't know.
I really think Romney failed to address how the Repub party means freedom for all and the Dem party means Blacks will not share in the fredeom because they are voting for a party that is eager to give it away to buy votes. Look at the long term. Not just the next government paycheck.
And so how do we court Latinos? Simply say we are all for pardons of illegals? Hey guys come on over? They aren't all going to start voting Republican for some ideology.
They want the government to pay them entitlements same as the rest of the Demcocrats, white , chinese, blacks etc. Except for Cubans in Florida (not NYC) they didn't all start voting Repub just because of Reagan's pardon.
Re: American History
Reply #113 on:
July 21, 2012, 10:53:29 PM »
Lets take this over to the Race thread.
Re: American History
Reply #114 on:
July 22, 2012, 07:13:20 AM »
Since I often lambast Morris, I have to say that he gets this one mostly right.
Morris: History of the Vice-Presidency
Reply #115 on:
July 28, 2012, 10:17:40 AM »
Civil War in Missouri
Reply #116 on:
July 28, 2012, 07:08:11 PM »
Re: Morris: History of the Vice-Presidency
Reply #117 on:
July 28, 2012, 07:25:43 PM »
This was interesting. One thing I would add is that the vice presidency has been vacant for roughly a third (that is a quick estimate) of the nation's history. It is difficult to build any institutional legitimacy when that is the case. It is not an accident that the VP was taken more seriously after there was a constitutional amendment meaning that there would always be a veep.
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on July 28, 2012, 10:17:40 AM
Morris: New theory on start of the civil war
Reply #118 on:
September 22, 2012, 11:11:57 AM »
Morris: How Communist Henry Wallace almost became president
Reply #119 on:
September 30, 2012, 06:19:02 AM »
The scariest moment in history was even scarier than we thought
Reply #120 on:
October 11, 2012, 06:32:06 AM »
, the pretty decent magazine which is aptly named, is covering the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which technically is still about a month away. Below is a sample of the coverage.
Re: American History
Reply #121 on:
October 11, 2012, 09:24:04 AM »
I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was in fourth grade at the time. Interesting info in your post there-- many things I did not know.
Cuban missile crisis: Really touch-and-go?
Reply #122 on:
October 15, 2012, 09:50:21 PM »
Ed Rothstein: Prohibition
Reply #123 on:
October 21, 2012, 08:24:18 AM »
A Look at Prohibition, Hardly Dry
‘American Spirits’ at the National Constitution Center
American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia includes an illustration of per capita hard-liquor consumption in 1830. More
By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN
Published: October 18, 2012
PHILADELPHIA — It has been a long time since anybody said: “You know, the 18th Amendment was a pretty good idea. Too bad it was overturned by the 21st.” And perhaps only the most prescriptively devout among us is likely to advocate banning the sale of alcohol again in the United States.
WHEN AND WHERE Friday through April 28. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia. The show then travels to other cities.
INFORMATION (215) 409-6600, constitutioncenter.org.
WHERE TO DRINK Tip a few at one of these Philadelphia speakeasies: the Farmers’ Cabinet, 1113 Walnut Street, (215) 923-1113, thefarmerscabinet.com; Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company, 112 South 18th Street, (267) 467-3277, thefranklinbar.com; Hop Sing Laundromat, 1029 Race Street (which has a dress code: no flip-flops, no sandals, no sneakers, no shorts and no hats), hopsinglaundromat.com.
But that is what makes the history of Prohibition such a challenge to understand. We have to imagine what kind of passions created it, but we risk distorting them because they are so alien.
Yet that movement altered the Constitution in a radical fashion, extending its reach to matters once considered personal and restricting freedoms rather than expanding them. In effect from 1920 to 1933, Prohibition drastically altered the legal system of every state, and overturned ordinary citizens’ behaviors and expectations. While claiming high virtue and utopian prospects, it inspired spectacular violations and grotesque criminal violence.
We tend to think of Prohibition now as some kind of crazed moral paroxysm, reflecting the worst in the American character. Or it inspires facile parallels with contemporary political movements while producing some fine folk tales about Eliot Ness, Al Capone, pious preachers, flappers, bootleggers, the Charleston and the speakeasy.
And those elements are all on display at the new exhibition at the National Constitution Center here, “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.” But the show also asks, “How did we get here?” And with its 120 artifacts, gallery stage sets, videos, games and diversions, it doesn’t just round up the usual suspects.
Along the way we see alliances between progressives and nativists, suffragists and ministers. There are explanations for the development of a federal income tax to compensate for lost liquor-tax revenue; a suggestion that anti-Germany hysteria during World War I helped spur animosity toward the big brewers, who were “overwhelmingly of German ancestry”; and an examination of the patchwork of strange liquor laws that began after the repeal of Prohibition and persist to this day. In Oklahoma, no one under 21, not even a baby in its mother’s arms, can be in a liquor store; in Indiana, convenience stores can sell beer only at room temperature.
The show’s curator is Daniel Okrent, who (aside from having been the first public editor of The New York Times) wrote an excellent, nuanced history of Prohibition, “Last Call,” a book whose details also informed Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 2011 documentary, “Prohibition.”
The exhibition, like the book, touches on important themes in its narrative, but there is almost nothing dry about it, except that in the mock speakeasy at its center, the bottles are empty and nothing is served. In that gallery, you are served up Prohibition as a form of unlicensed and licentious play. A giant video screen shows film footage of the Charleston, while on a dance floor, foot markers teach visitors the moves.
On small tables like those at which “zozzled” (drunk) flappers and “jelly beans” (their boyfriends) once illegally imbibed “foot juice” (cheap wine) or “jag juice” (hard liquor), you can read explanations of speakeasy slang. You also learn that the best way for a customer to behave in a raid was to sit quietly, because while selling liquor was illegal, drinking it wasn’t. The dry bar’s counter offers a miniature history of cocktails, which flourished in Prohibition, partly because the taste of moonshine needed things like maraschino cherries to be palatable.
But this speakeasy exuberance was part of an elaborately hypocritical setup. H. L. Mencken, we learn, wrote that it wasn’t true that anyone could get a drink in any Baltimore speakeasy. “You would have to be introduced,” Mencken explained, “by a judge, a policeman or some other reputable person.”
The show’s playfulness makes a point. Legal ambiguities and loopholes were widely exploited. Malt sales boomed, allowing home fermentation; physicians prescribed alcohol to patients (one doctor’s ledger is on display). We see flasks hidden inside walking sticks and cigar boxes. And criminal gangs took over distribution and smuggling.
So how did this happen? The imaginative highlight of the exhibition is a 20-foot-long, wall-sized “contraption” designed by the Brooklyn firm Moey, a display that chronicles the ways the temperance movements of the 19th century used the political process. Levers rock, gears turn, trains weave, typewriters click away. A lawyer named Wayne Wheeler, we read, was the master strategist for the Anti-Saloon League, described as “the most effective political pressure group in American history” and here is the machinery he set in motion.
He began by controlling blocs of voters who could swing local elections. He united diverse groups who agreed on one issue. And he left language vague so moderates might be lured into the fold. Through manipulation, sleight of hand and incentives, the goal was achieved. This is history as farce, accompanied by calliopes and ragtime; the passage of the 18th Amendment is finally marked by the ringing of a strongman’s bell, as at a carnival.
The contraption is entrancing to watch but there is a heavy dose of irony in its merriment. It is almost too seductive. We are meant to see a method whose threat goes far beyond the bounds of its subject. Perhaps the parallel is to the narrow interest groups now dominant in our political parties? Or to the possibility of extremists harnessing the technique of electoral success? We don’t really learn what proportion of Americans supported Prohibition because the amendment was never subject to a popular vote.
But the show makes it clear that this mechanism is only a small part of the story. We tend to think of Prohibition as something that grew out of religious fervor. True, in part, but only in part.
As the exhibition points out, the temperance movement was inspired by a real problem: in 1830, Americans over age 15 were drinking the equivalent of seven gallons of pure alcohol each year — about four shots a day and three times current levels. From 1850 to 1890, we also learn, America’s annual beer consumption grew to 855 million gallons, from 36 million. And from 1870 to 1900, the number of saloons nationwide rose to 300,000 from 100,000.
Women were at the forefront of the movement against alcohol, partly because their households suffered under its burden. And their protests were both radical and religious. In 1873, Eliza Thompson of Hillsboro, Ohio, led a group of women to kneel in the snow before each saloon and pray. Soon 9 of Hillsboro’s 13 drinking places had closed their doors in shame. The tactic spread.
The stakes were raised by Carry A. Nation, described as “six feet tall, with the biceps of a stevedore, the face of a prison warden and the persistence of a toothache.” She became famous for striding into saloons with a hatchet and smashing everything in sight.
Another activist, Frances Willard, president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, joined opposition to alcohol with advocacy for prison and school reform and women’s rights. An 1876 letter to Willard displayed here, from Susan B. Anthony, cheers the linkage of women’s suffrage to the temperance movement.
“Now you are to go forward,” Anthony writes, “now the Red Sea opens to pass you through — now you shall put the ten thousands to flight — I wish I could see you and make you feel my gladness, not only for your sake, personally, but for the cause sake — for temperance and virtue’s sake — for woman’s sake.”
At least one reason for demanding suffrage was to pass laws prohibiting alcohol. And the activists found alliances with socially conservative Protestant congregations. In one gallery meant to evoke a church, you can listen to fiery anti-alcohol sermons.
But here is what is so intriguing. In the church gallery, there are interactive video screens that ask questions about your background. Then a guess is made about whether you might have been a “wet” or a “dry” at the end of the 19th century. We learn, for example, that women, urban dwellers and supporters of a federal income tax, social reforms,
women’s suffrage or a strong federal government were more likely to be dry than their opposites (men, rural dwellers, etc.).
This means that many of the passions associated with Prohibition were not just those of a religious right (to use contemporary vocabulary) but a political left. These seemingly opposed forces aligned, which was a reason the movement gathered such power. A promised land was in sight. Prohibition became a prescriptive vision of virtue uniting varying ideologies, some elaborately utopian.
In some ways, this strange political alliance still comes into play: strict prescriptions on speech and attitude have been associated with both ends of the political spectrum. But Prohibition’s vision backfired; its utopianism turned tyrannical; drinking became fashionable. Is that finally the lesson that Prohibition teaches us about utopian policies? Be careful what you wish for, especially if you wish for too much. You may get the opposite.
Morris: The election of Lincoln
Reply #124 on:
November 03, 2012, 06:52:07 PM »
Reply #125 on:
November 22, 2012, 09:11:19 AM »
George Washington's proclamation was not without controversy..
By MELANIE KIRKPATRICK
It is hard to imagine America's favorite holiday as a source of political controversy. But that was the case in 1789, the year of our first Thanksgiving as a nation.
The controversy began on Sept. 25 in New York City, then the seat of government. The inaugural session of the first Congress was about to recess when Rep. Elias Boudinot of New Jersey rose to introduce a resolution. He asked the House to create a joint committee with the Senate to "wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God."
The congressman made special reference to the Constitution, which had been ratified by the requisite two-thirds of the states in 1788. A day of public thanksgiving, he believed, would allow Americans to express gratitude to God for the "opportunity peaceably to establish a Constitution of government for their safety and happiness."
Boudinot's resolution sparked a vigorous debate. Rep. Aedanus Burke of South Carolina objected on the grounds that a Thanksgiving was too European. He "did not like this mimicking of European customs, where they made a mere mockery of thanksgivings."
Rep. Thomas Tudor Tucker, also of South Carolina, raised two further objections. "Why should the President direct the people to do what, perhaps, they have no mind to do?" he asked. "If a day of thanksgiving must take place," he said, "let it be done by the authority of the several States."
Tucker's second reservation had to do with separation of church and state. Proclaiming a day of Thanksgiving "is a religious matter," he said, "and, as such, proscribed to us." The Bill of Rights would not be ratified until 1791—but Congress had just approved the wording of First Amendment, and that debate was fresh in everyone's mind.
It fell to a New Englander to stand up in support of Thanksgiving. Connecticut's Roger Sherman praised Boudinot's resolution as "a laudable one in itself." It also was "warranted by a number of precedents" in the Bible, he said, "for instance the solemn thanksgivings and rejoicings which took place in the time of Solomon, after the building of the temple."
In the end, the Thanksgiving resolution passed—the precise vote is not recorded—and the House appointed a committee. The resolution moved to the Senate, which passed it and added its own members to the committee.
The committee took the resolution to the president, and on Oct. 3 George Washington issued his now-famous Thanksgiving Proclamation. In it, he designated Thursday, Nov. 26, 1789 as "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer." He asked Americans to render their "sincere and humble thanks" to God for "his kind care and protection of the People of this Country."
It was his first presidential proclamation, and it was well heeded. According to the "Papers of George Washington," compiled by the University of Virginia, Thanksgiving Day was "widely celebrated throughout the nation." Newspapers around the country published the proclamation and announced plans for public functions in honor of the day. Religious services were held, and churches solicited donations for the poor. Washington himself sent $25 to a pastor in New York City, requesting that the funds be "applied towards relieving the poor of the Presbyterian Churches," in the words of his secretary.
Thanksgiving feasts in New England at the time of the nation's founding were similar to those today, says Charles Lyle, director of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, Conn. The museum recently hosted an 18th-century-style Thanksgiving dinner using recipes supplied by a local food historian, Paul Courchaine. Turkey and pumpkin pie were on the menu, along with venison pie, roast goose, roast pork, butternut squash, creamed onions, pottage of cabbage, onions and leeks, and Indian pudding, made from cornmeal and spices.
In a bow to contemporary tastes, several wines were served at the museum but not the one Americans were likely to have drunk in the 18th century—Madeira, a high-alcohol-content wine fortified with brandy. Before the Revolution, Madeira, which came from the Portuguese-owned Madeira Islands, was considered a patriotic beverage, since it was not subject to British taxation. It was Washington's favorite drink.
Washington was keenly aware of his role as a model for future presidents. He once remarked that "There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not be hereafter drawn into precedent." That included his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789, which set the standard for Thanksgiving Proclamations by future presidents, a list that included James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and then every president up to the present day.
The tradition begun by George Washington has survived without further controversy. Since the original debate in the House in September 1789, no member of Congress has complained that Thanksgiving proclamations are too European, a violation of the separation of church and state or, most especially, not what the American people want.
Ms. Kirkpatrick, a former deputy editor of the Journal's editorial page, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. She is the author of "Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad" (Encounter Books, 2012).
The War of 1812
Reply #126 on:
December 21, 2012, 10:28:59 AM »
America's Second War of Independence
The War of 1812 led to a professional military and aided Western expansion..
By MACKUBIN THOMAS OWENS
Today, Korea is often called "the forgotten war." A better candidate is the War of 1812, whose bicentennial is this year.
There are two main reasons. First, the war seems to have changed nothing. The end of the conflict seemed simply to return the parties to the status quo ante bellum. Second, the American armed forces did not acquit themselves well. Only the performance by Army regulars under Brevet Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott at Chippewa and Lundy's Lane, Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson's victory at New Orleans, and the repulse of the British attack on Fort McHenry at the Battle of Baltimore (which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner") and some successes at sea provided rare bright spots in what was an otherwise dismal military performance.
Yet the outcome of this conflict made a great difference.
First, the war validated American independence. The new republic had been buffeted between the two great powers of the age. Great Britain had accepted the fact of American independence only grudgingly, using superior naval power to restrict U.S. trade with Europe and impressing American sailors into the Royal Navy. Nor was revolutionary (and subsequently Napoleonic) France inclined to recognize America's rights as a nation, and like the British it subjected American merchant vessels to arbitrary treatment.
President James Madison's war message to Congress, with its echoes of the Declaration of Independence's "long train of abuses," made it clear that the United States was willing to vindicate its rights as a state in the international system. Thus historians have sometimes called the War of 1812 the second war of American independence.
Second, it called into question the utopian approach to international relations. As president, Thomas Jefferson had rejected Federalist Party calls for a robust military establishment. He argued that the U.S. could achieve its goals by strictly peaceful means, and that if those failed, he could force the European powers to respect American rights by withholding U.S. trade.
Jefferson's second term demonstrated the serious shortcomings of his thinking. His attempts to employ economic pressure against England and France destroyed U.S. commerce, antagonized the New England states, and ultimately failed to prevent a war for which the country was woefully unprepared. As a result of the War of 1812, American statesmen realized that to survive in a hostile world, the U.S. would have to adopt measures, including the use of military power and traditional diplomacy, that doctrinaire republicanism abhorred.
Third, the conduct of the war exploded the republican myth of the civilian militia's superiority to a professional military. Thus, during the three decades after the War of 1812, the Army would adopt generally recognized standards of training, discipline and doctrine. It would create branch schools, e.g., schools of infantry, cavalry and artillery.
In addition, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point began to provide highly motivated professional officers, many of whom were trained engineers, to lead the Army. The U.S. created the position of Commanding General of the Army, a uniformed officer in the chain of command between the president and secretary of war on the one hand and field commanders on the other. The lack of such a position had been sorely missed during the War of 1812.
Many of these military reforms were the work of John C. Calhoun, who proved to be one of the most innovative and effective secretaries of war (which was the title of the cabinet officer before 1947, when it was changed to secretary of defense).
Finally, although the war only re-established the status quo ante bellum, there were far less favorable possible outcomes. For instance, at the beginning of peace talks in 1814, the British demanded an Indian barrier state in the Old Northwest (including present-day Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota) and a ban on American naval forces on the Great Lakes. It was only the American victory at Plattsburgh in 1814 that caused the British to drop these demands. Had the war not ended as it did, such an Indian barrier state could well have foreclosed or at least complicated American westward expansion.
This was no minor problem. American Indians today are portrayed as mere victims. But the Indian nations of the Old Northwest constituted a formidable threat to the U.S., especially in alliance with the British.
Likewise, much is often made of the fact that the American victory at New Orleans occurred on Jan. 8, 1815, after the signing of the peace treaty at Ghent. That treaty notwithstanding, it is extremely unlikely that, had they prevailed, the British would have given up what at that time was the most important port in North America without substantial American concessions, including territorial ones.
In short, the outcome of the War of 1812 mattered for the future of the United States. Americans should give this war its due.
Mr. Owens is professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College and author of "US Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain" (Continuum, 2011).
Morris: GW's 1st term , 2nd term; Adams stops a possible coup detat by Hamilton
Reply #127 on:
December 26, 2012, 10:43:09 AM »
Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 07:13:43 PM by Crafty_Dog
Morris: John Adams and the Alien & Sedition Act
Reply #128 on:
December 27, 2012, 10:51:44 AM »
Re: American History
Reply #129 on:
December 27, 2012, 05:18:14 PM »
Various drafts of the Declaration of Independence contrasted:
Morris: Jefferson wins the election of 1800 , , , sort of
Reply #130 on:
December 28, 2012, 04:12:37 PM »
Morris: Jefferson's first term of office
Reply #131 on:
December 29, 2012, 10:00:58 AM »
Morris: Naval Victory in 1812
Reply #132 on:
January 01, 2013, 01:05:41 PM »
Morris: When New England almost seceded
Reply #133 on:
January 06, 2013, 10:44:26 AM »
Re: American History
Reply #134 on:
January 27, 2013, 01:53:52 PM »
From "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America, Now Met in Congress at Philadelphia, Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms," 1775:
Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. — We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverence, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves.
Lest this declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellow-subjects in any part of the empire, we assure them that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored. — Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure, or induced us to excite any other nation to war against them. — We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great-Britain, and establishing independent states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offence. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.
Cong. Brady: a Lincolnian Econ Primer
Reply #135 on:
February 13, 2013, 11:20:01 AM »
A Lincolnian Economic Primer for Obama
Abe's approach was to provide rules of the road for the private sector and let entrepreneurs compete..
By KEVIN BRADY And LEWIS E. LEHRMAN
President Obama chose to deliver his State of the Union address this year on the 204th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. It was a good selection of a significant date. As Steven Spielberg makes clear in his epic film "Lincoln," Americans of all backgrounds and political persuasions can learn much from the character and presidency of the 16th president.
With regard to human rights and economic liberty, Lincoln adhered to two fundamental principles. First, that every person was entitled to the fruits of his or her labors, and no one had an unrequited claim (i.e., slavery) to the fruits of the labors of others. What so troubled Lincoln about slavery was that it was theft—pure and simple. Lincoln ran for president on a platform to stop slavery's spread. As president and commander in chief, he struck against slavery in the rebellious states through the Emancipation Proclamation. Then he pressed for slavery's permanent abolition by constitutional amendment—in both rebellious and loyal border states—because no man may steal the fruits of the labor of others.
The second principle that guided the Republican president was that every person, regardless of the circumstances of his birth, should be able to climb as far up the economic ladder as his talents may take him. Historian Richard Hofstadter called Lincoln the "greatest dramatist" for upward mobility the nation ever produced, and for good reason.
Under Lincoln's watchful eye and skillful leadership, the 37th Congress enacted more economically significant legislation than had any of its predecessors. The underlying theme of Lincoln's economic initiatives was that by providing ordinary people with incentives to use their own skills and labor, the entire nation would prosper. Very little of what Lincoln signed into law could be declared, in the present-day idiom, "entitlements" or "redistribution."
Lincoln pressed Congress to enact the Homestead Act. Instead of selling land in the West in large tracts to wealthy investors, as many Democrats in his day had advocated, Lincoln preferred to grant title to 160 acres to anyone who would settle on it and farm it for five years. Thus Lincoln helped Americans who, like him, started on the bottom rung of life but were willing to work hard. It was the opportunity to reach prosperity but not the guarantee of it.
Lincoln signed the Agricultural Act that established the Department of Agriculture to provide extension services to help farmers use the latest scientific knowledge to increase their productivity. He also was determined to establish a uniform national currency. After the federal charter for the Second Bank of the United States lapsed in 1836, America lacked a uniform national currency. Instead, state-chartered banks issued their own notes. Because of their varying quality, state bank notes traded at daily fluctuating prices. The additional cost associated with internally floating exchange rates inhibited the development of interstate commerce.
After Congress passed the National Bank Act during the Civil War, national banks could issue up to $300 million in national bank notes that were secured by Treasury bonds and accepted at face value throughout the U.S. By eliminating the uncertainty of internally floating exchange rates, Lincoln facilitated the development of a single national economy, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs—such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford—who arose from humble beginnings to build the industry of the modern world.
Lincoln saw the government's job to provide the private sector with rules of the road and public works through which entrepreneurs could both compete with one another and expand jobs. Unlike President Obama, President Lincoln saw creators of wealth not as "robber barons" to be maligned by the federal government but as job generators that should be encouraged.
Despite the war, Lincoln was determined to unify our country not only North and South, but also East and West. Lincoln pressed Congress to pass the Pacific Railway Act authorizing incentives for the Union Pacific and Central Pacific to build the transcontinental railroad. In contrast to President Obama's stimulus, which was directed to a few chosen special interests, under Lincoln's rules companies competed openly for federal land they intended to develop. Entire towns sprang up around the rails.
Lincoln signed the 1862 Morrill Land Grant College Act, which granted each state 30,000 acres per senator and representative it had in 1860. Proceeds from these land sales would be used to establish "agricultural and mechanical" colleges. Most of these colleges grew into great state universities that have supported scientific research and awarded degrees to millions of Americans. Lincoln sold federally owned assets to pay for his investment in higher education. In contrast, Mr. Obama has aggressively blocked energy production on large tracts of federal lands, the revenues from which could be used to pay for critical investment, and to reduce the federal deficit and spur well-paying jobs.
Those parsing President Obama's speech on Lincoln's birthday may not find much of Abraham Lincoln in it, beyond the symbolism. Let us hope that Mr. Obama uses the remainder of his term to get his policies right by Lincoln rather than misconstrue history in an effort to align the 16th president's policies with his own. If Mr. Obama truly seeks to emulate Lincoln, he will find members of Congress on both sides of the aisle willing to work with him.
Mr. Brady, a Republican congressman from Texas, is the incoming chairman of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. Mr. Lehrman is chairman of the Lehrman Institute and author of "Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point" (Stackpole Books, 2008).
From Abraham Lincoln's Second Annual Message, Dec. 1, 1862:
The receipts into the treasury from all sources, including loans and balance from the preceding year, for the fiscal year ending on the 30th June, 1862, were $583,885,247.06, of which sum $49,056,397.62 were derived from customs; $1,795,331.73 from the direct tax; from public lands, $152,203.77; from miscellaneous sources, $931,787.64; from loans in all forms, $529,692,460.50. The remainder, $2,257,065.80, was the balance from last year.
The disbursements during the same period were: For Congressional, executive, and judicial purposes, $5,939.009.29; for foreign intercourse, $1,339,710.35; for miscellaneous expenses, including the mints, loans, Post-Office deficiencies, collection of revenue, and other like charges, $14,129,771.50; for expenses under the Interior Department, $985.52; under the War Department, $394,368,407.36; under the Navy Department, $42,674,569.69; for interest on public debt, $13,190,324.45; and for payment of public debt, including reimbursement of temporary loan and redemptions, $96,096,922.09; making an aggregate of $570,841,700.25, and leaving a balance in the Treasury on the 1st day of July, 1862, of $13,043,546.81.
It should be observed that the sum of $96,096,922.09, expended for reimbursements and redemption of public debt, being included also in the loans made, may be properly deducted both from receipts and expenditures, leaving the actual receipts for the year $487,788,324.97, and the expenditures $474,744,778.16.
Other information on the subject of the finances will be found in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, to whose statements and views I invite your most candid and considerate attention.
The Truth about Lincoln & Slavery
Reply #136 on:
February 21, 2013, 10:17:40 AM »
The Truth about Abraham Lincoln & Slavery
Posted By Walter Williams On February 21, 2013 -
Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” has been a box-office hit and nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrayed our 16th president. I haven’t seen the movie; therefore, this column is not about the movie but about a man deified by many. My colleague Thomas DiLorenzo, economics professor at Loyola University Maryland, exposed some of the Lincoln myth in his 2006 book, “Lincoln Unmasked.” Now comes Joseph Fallon, cultural intelligence analyst and former U.S. Army Intelligence Center instructor, with his new e-book, “Lincoln Uncensored.” Fallon’s book examines 10 volumes of collected writings and speeches of Lincoln’s, which include passages on slavery, secession, equality of blacks and emancipation. We don’t have to rely upon anyone’s interpretation. Just read his words to see what you make of them.
In an 1858 letter, Lincoln said, “I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists.” In a Springfield, Ill., speech, he explained, “My declarations upon this subject of negro slavery may be misrepresented, but can not be misunderstood. I have said that I do not understand the Declaration (of Independence) to mean that all men were created equal in all respects.” Debating with Sen. Stephen Douglas, Lincoln said, “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of … making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”
You say, “His Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves! That proves he was against slavery.” Lincoln’s words: “I view the matter (Emancipation Proclamation) as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion.” He also wrote: “I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition.” At the time Lincoln wrote the proclamation, war was going badly for the Union.
London and Paris were considering recognizing the Confederacy and considering assisting it in its war effort.
The Emancipation Proclamation was not a universal declaration. It detailed where slaves were freed, only in those states “in rebellion against the United States.” Slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion — such as Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware. The hypocrisy of the Emancipation Proclamation came in for heavy criticism. Lincoln’s own secretary of state, William Seward, said, “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.”
Lincoln did articulate a view of secession that would have been welcomed in 1776: “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. … Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.” But that was Lincoln’s 1848 speech in the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the war with Mexico and the secession of Texas.
Why didn’t Lincoln feel the same about Southern secession? Following the money might help with an answer. Throughout most of our history, the only sources of federal revenue were excise taxes and tariffs. During the 1850s, tariffs amounted to 90 percent of federal revenue. Southern ports paid 75 percent of tariffs in 1859. What “responsible” politician would let that much revenue go?
Re: American History
Reply #137 on:
February 21, 2013, 10:33:52 AM »
Does this mean that Republicans will drop the "party of Lincoln" claim?
Re: American History
Reply #138 on:
February 21, 2013, 01:36:07 PM »
Based upon the last 148 years, I'd say not likely.
INteresting take on Calvin Coolidge
Reply #139 on:
February 28, 2013, 04:25:05 AM »
Very politically incorrect. Liberals would be pissed. This guy was more Reagan than Reagan:
Morris: How Lincoln kept the border slave states in the Union
Reply #140 on:
April 08, 2013, 07:56:39 AM »
Reply #141 on:
May 01, 2013, 11:32:11 AM »
And betrayel..... a subject I have become expert in:
In Churchill's footsteps
Reply #142 on:
May 20, 2013, 09:42:43 PM »
From the article:
But nothing could prepare me for the wonderful surprise I received in Fulton, where I had been invited by the National Churchill Museum to give a talk. The museum commemorates Winston Churchill and the important and prescient “Iron Curtain” speech he gave at Westminster College in March 1946—one short year after victory in Europe
—warning that Stalin was on the move across Eastern Europe and that communism was an ongoing threat to the West. Harry Truman had approved the draft speech; but when the Soviets strongly objected, Truman backed off his support for Churchill’s warning.
memorial day history
Reply #143 on:
May 25, 2013, 11:19:57 AM »
Memorial Day Home Page
Spanish Translation (by Bablefish) French Translation (by Bablefish) Hungarian Translation (by Veronika Nagy)
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
General John A. Logan
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)]
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.
In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.
There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.
To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."
The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.
But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."
On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senate which proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of "the last Monday in May". On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform.
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To date, there has been no further developments on the bill. Please write your Representative and your Senators, urging them to support these bills. You can also contact Mr. Inouye to let him know of your support.
Visit our Help Restore the Traditional Day of Observance page for more information on this issue, and for more ways you can help.
To see what day Memorial Day falls on for the next 10 years, visit the Memorial Day Calendar page.
Sources and related links:
•Boalsburg, Pa., Birthplace of Memorial Day
•DC City Pages: History of Memorial Day
•General Logan Biography
•General Logan's General Order 11
•Help Restore the Traditional Day of Observance of Memorial Day
•Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 from Duke University)
•How to Observe Memorial Day
•Memorial Day Events - Dept of Veterans Affairs
"The Office of Public Affairs provides this page of items that may be of special interest to veterans and customers."
•The Origins of Memorial Day
•Roy, Nuhn. Portfolio: To Honor The Memory of the Departed. American History Illustrated 1982 17: 20-25.
•S 189 and H.R. 1474, bills to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day.
•"S. Con. Res. 100", resolution for a National Moment of Remembrance.
•Statement on Signing the National Moment of Remembrance Act
•Today in History: May 30
American Memory project, The Library of Congress
•VFW's "Buddy" Poppy program
•Waterloo, Official Birthplace of Memorial Day
© 1994 - 2009 SUVCW & David Merchant
Updated 4 April 2009
real 54th regimen hero
Reply #144 on:
May 25, 2013, 10:03:33 PM »
July 18th 1863 - Fort Wagner - planting the colors on the fort:
medal of honor recipients - WWII
Reply #145 on:
May 26, 2013, 10:09:42 AM »
medal of honor recipients - Korea
Reply #146 on:
May 26, 2013, 10:11:00 AM »
medal of honor recipients - Vietnam
Reply #147 on:
May 26, 2013, 10:12:26 AM »
medal of honor recipients - all wars
Reply #148 on:
May 26, 2013, 10:14:07 AM »
American History - Movie: Lincoln, Spielberg, 2012
Reply #149 on:
June 10, 2013, 10:50:47 AM »
I am not a movie buff and I am almost a year late on this; I just saw it yesterday. Good movie. Portrays Lincoln as sharp and persuasive, but makes the implication he has the ethical principles of an ordinary, scoundrel politician. The movie picked a very narrow timeframe and focused only on one issue, House passage of the 13th amendment to abolish slavery. I am surprised Hollywood showed so many people that it was Republicans who were hellbent on ending slavery. Do any black voters today know that? Lousy ending. (Assassination)
My parting thought from the movie "Lincoln" is that some up and coming, conservative filmmaker (oxymoron?) had better step up with great acting, writing, cinematography and financing and do the definitive "Reagan" movie before someone like Spielberg gets to it.
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