Archive for January, 2007

Reminder- Quiz 29-32 on Friday, Feb. 2

So study– it will be worth a double grade, so it could really help some of you!

Chapter 30 Outlines- due Monday, Feb. 5

30 Outline
“The Great War”

Make sure that you use your own words and that you explain WHY and how events occurred, as well as any significance to other events.

I. The War at Home
—–A. The Role of Idealism—what is Wilson’s dream?
—–B. The Fourteen Points overview
———-1. What are the three main points of the 14 Points? (Look them all up)
—–C. The role of advertising and propaganda
—–D. Free Speech in Wartime
—–E. How do we put the economy on a war footing?
———-1. Council of National Defense
———-2. Shipbuilding, especially
———-3. National War Labor Board
—————a. Effect of “Work or fight”
———-4. Response of unions to the war effort
———-5. Why were there strikes?
—–F. Effect of the war effort on minority employment and population distribution
———- 1. Backlash
—–G. Effect of war effort on women
—–H. Herbert Hoover and the Food Administration
—–I. How do we pay for it all?
—–J. Racial and ethnic tensions

II. The Military History of the War
—– A. How It All Began—and whose fault was it?
—– B. Instituting the draft
—–C. Training
—–D. Major Battles in which American troops participate
—–E. Effect of Russian withdrawal
—–F. Pershing and Sergeant York
—–G. German surrender

III. Winning the Peace
—–A. Wilson goes to Paris
—–B. Paris Conference
—–C. League of Nations—why?
———-1. Article X—what was it and why the controversy?
—–D. Details of the Treaty of Versailles
—–E. Henry Cabot Lodge- what role does he play and why?
———-1. Lodge Reservations
—–F. Wilson’s collapse
—– G. What happens to the Treaty in the US—and why is this ironic?
—–H. Effects of the Treaty of Versailles
———-1. in Europe
———-2. in US politics
———-3. in international relations

Practice MC questions from Week 4

Practice MC questions– January 16, 2007
1. Settlers who established the British colony in Virginia during the seventeenth century were primarily seeking to
A. recreate an Old World feudalistic society in the New World
B. create a perfect religious commonwealth as an example to the rest of the world
C. create a refuge for political dissidents
D. profit economically
E. increase the glory of Great Britain

2. Which of the following provisions of the Compromise of 1850 provoked the most controversy in the 1850s?

A. the admission of California as a free state
B. the establishment of the principle of popular sovereignty in the Mexican cession
C. the ban on the slave trade in the District of Columbia
D. the continued protection of slavery in the District of Columbia
E. the strengthened Fugitive Slave Law

3. The Missouri Compromise did which of the following?

A. prohibited slavery in all the territory of the Louisiana Purchase
B. provided for admission to the Union of all future states in pairs of one free, one slave
C. allowed Maine to enter the Union as a free state
D. finally settled the question of congressional power over slavery in the territories
E. provided for the annexation of Texas

4. In 1861 the North went to war with the South primarily to
A. liberate the slaves
B. prevent European powers from meddling in American affairs
C. preserve the Union
D. avenge political defeats and insults inflicted by the South
E. forestall a Southern invasion of the North

5. Which of the following best describes the situation of freedmen in the decade following the Civil War?
A. The majority entered sharecropping arrangements with former masters or other nearby planters.
B. All were immediately granted political equality by the Emancipation Proclamation.
C. Each was given 40 acres and a mule by the US government.
D. They were required to pass a literacy test before being granted United States citizenship.
E. They supported passage of Black Codes to ensure their economic and political rights.
In counting there is strength
6. The cartoon above is a commentary on late-nineteenth-century
A. municipal corruption
B. imperialism
C. labor unrest
D. business monopolies
E. civil-rights campaigns

7. Which of the following is true of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890?
A. It had little immediate impact on the regulation of large corporations.
B. It quickly limited the number of mergers taking place.
C. It led to federal control of railroads.
D. It forced businesses to adopt pooling agreements.
E. It ended effective cooperation between business and the federal government.

8. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, American agriculture was characterized by
A. a decline in the number of tenant farmers
B. a decline in the foreclosures of midwestern farms
C. a decline in the number of farm cooperatives
D. an increase in wholesale prices for farm products
E. an increase in acres under cultivation

9. The Republican party originated in the mid-1850s as a sectional party committed to which of the following?
A. opposition to the further extension of slavery to the territories
B. immediate emancipation of the slaves
C. repeal of Whig economic policies
D. restriction of immigration
E. acknowledgement of popular sovereignty as the basis for organizing federal territories

10. The Republican Congress in the early 1890s was dominated by the powerful political leadership of
A. Henry Clay.
B. James G. Blaine.
C. Thomas Reed.
D. William McKinley.
E. Tom Watson.

words of the day for the week of January 22-26

These were the words to which we were introduced during this week. If I have forgotten any, please put them in the comments and I will add them.

New words:
Anti-imperialists criticized imperialism as the antithesis of American values.
The US believed it had a divine imperative for expansion.
Spreading democracy was criticized as a rationalization for imperialism.
The US attempted to pacify the Philippines through a policy known as “benevolent assimilation.”
Most people demonstrate great zeal in defending their country.
It is presumptuous to assume that some struggling nations want the help of a foreign power in dealing with their problems.
prima facie
A prima facie argument is one that, at first sight, seems true.
Football is a game that is often analogous to warfare.
The Hay-Pauncefote treaty abrogated the Clayton-Bulwer treaty.
The Monroe Doctrine repudiated the idea of European intervention in Latin American affairs.
Protestant missionaries from America began to proselytize the people of Hawai’i beginning in the mid-19th century.
In my quest to meet my budget I have cut all superfluous expenses.
mite (definition 2; see also this link.)
In the letter from the unknown Philadelphia woman, she claimed that she had given her mite for the cause of the Revolution.

Greek and Latin roots:
bene- good, well, favorable
vol- to wish (to do because you wish to)
anti- against
prima, primo- first
facie- appearance, face
super- excess
flu- flow

Pull out a dollar bill and be amazed….

Go to This link. The things you can learn….


Some of you have asked me about this, so here you go!

Remember the terms check over chapter 31 tomorrow– and bring your DBQ stuff with you.

FDR’s Court-packing scheme

MY FRIENDS, last Thursday I described in detail certain economic problems which everyone admits now face the nation. For the many messages which have come to me after that speech, and which it is physically impossible to answer individually, I take this means of saying thank you. Tonight, sitting at my desk in the White House, I make my first radio report to the people in my second term of office.

I am reminded of that evening in March, four years ago, when I made my first radio report to you. We were then in the midst of the great banking crisis.

Soon after, with the authority of the Congress, we asked the nation to turn over all of its privately held gold, dollar for dollar, to the government of the United States.

Today’s recovery proves how right that policy was.

But when, almost two years later, it came before the Supreme Court its constitutionality was upheld only by a five-to-four vote. The change of one vote would have thrown all the affairs of this great nation back into hopeless chaos. In effect, four justices ruled that the right under a private contract to exact a pound of flesh was more sacred than the main objectives of the Constitution to establish an enduring nation.

In 1933 you and I knew that we must never let our economic system get completely out of joint again-that we could not afford to take the risk of another Great Depression.

We also became convinced that the only way to avoid a repetition of those dark days was to have a government with power to prevent and to cure the abuses and the inequalities which had thrown that system out of joint.

We then began a program of remedying those abuses and inequalities-to give balance and stability to our economic system, to make it bomb-proof against the causes of 1929.

Today we are only part-way through that program- and recovery is speeding up to a point where the dangers of 1929 are again becoming possible, not this week or month perhaps, but within a year or two.

National laws are needed to complete that program. Individual or local or state effort alone cannot protect us in 1937 any better than ten years ago.

It will take time – and plenty of time – to work out our remedies administratively even after legislation is passed. To complete our program of protection in time, therefore, we cannot delay one moment in making certain that our national government has power to carry through.

Four years ago action did not come until the eleventh hour. It was almost too late. If we learned anything from the depression, we will not allow our selves to run around in new circles of futile discussion and debates, always postponing the day of decision.

The American people have learned from the depression. For in the last three national elections an overwhelming majority of them voted a mandate that the Congress and the president begin the task of providing that protection – not after long years of debate, but now.

The courts, however, have cast doubts on the ability of the elected Congress to protect us against catastrophe by meeting squarely our modern social and economic conditions.

We are at a crisis, a crisis in our ability to proceed with that protection. It is a quiet crisis. There are no lines of depositors outside closed banks. But to the farsighted it is far-reaching in its possibilities of injury to America.

I want to talk with you very simply tonight about the need for present action in this crisis – the need to meet the unanswered challenge of one-third of a nation ill-nourished, ill-clad, ill-housed.

Last Thursday I described the American form of government as a three-horse team provided by the Constitution to the American people so that their field might be plowed. The three horses are, of course, the three branches of government – the Congress, the executive, and the courts. Two of the horses, the Congress and the executive, are pulling in unison today; the third is not. Those who have intimated that the president of the United States is trying to drive that team, overlook the simple fact that the presidents, as chief executive, is himself one of the three horses.

It is the American people themselves who are in the driver s seat. It is the American people themselves who want the furrow plowed. It is the American people themselves who expect the third horse to fall in unison with the other two.

I hope that you have re-read the Constitution of the United States in these past few weeks. Like the Bible, it ought to be read again and again.

It is an easy document to understand when you remember that it was called into being because the Articles of Confederation under which the original thirteen states tried to operate after the Revolution showed the need of a national government with power enough to handle national problems. In its Preamble, the Constitution states that it was intended to form a more perfect union and promote the general welfare; and the powers given to the Congress to carry out those purposes can best be described by saying that they were all the powers needed to meet each and every problem which then had a national character and which could not be met by merely local action.

But the framers of the Constitution went further. Having in mind that in succeeding generations many other problems then undreamed of would become national problems, they gave to the Congress the ample broad powers “to levy taxes . . . and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.”

That, my friends, is what I honestly believe to have been the clear and underlying purpose of the patriots who wrote a federal Constitution to create a national government with national power, intended as they said, “to form a more perfect union . . . for ourselves and our posterity.”

For nearly twenty years there was no conflict between the Congress and the Court. Then in 1803 Congress passed a statute which the Court said violated an express provision of the Constitution. The Court claimed the power to declare it unconstitutional and did so declare it. But a little later the Court itself admitted that it was an extraordinary power to exercise and through Mr. Justice Washington laid down this limitation upon it: he said, “It is but a decent respect due to the wisdom, the integrity and the patriotism of the legislative body, by which any law is passed, to presume in favor of its validity until its violation of the Constitution is proved beyond all reasonable doubt.”

But since the rise of the modern movement for social and economic progress through legislation, the Court has more and more often and more and more boldly asserted a power to veto laws passed by the Congress and by state legislatures in complete disregard of this original limitation which I have just read.

In the last four years the sound rule of giving statutes the benefit of all reasonable doubt has been cast aside. The Court has been acting not as a judicial body, but as a policymaking body.

When the Congress has sought to stabilize national agriculture, to improve the conditions of labor, to safeguard business against unfair competition, to protect our national resources, and in many other ways, to serve our clearly national needs, the majority of the Court has been assuming the power to pass on the wisdom of these acts of the Congress – and to approve or disapprove the public policy written into these laws.

That is not only my accusation. It is the accusation of most distinguished justices of the present Supreme Court. I have not the time to quote to you all the language used by dissenting justices in many of these cases. But in the case holding the Railroad Retirement Act unconstitutional, for instance, Chief Justice Hughes said in a dissenting opinion that the majority opinion was “a departure from sound principles,” and placed “an unwarranted limitation upon the commerce clause.” And three other justices agreed with him.

In the case of holding the AAA unconstitutional, Justice Stone said of the majority opinion that it was a “tortured construction of the Constitution.” And two other justices agreed with him.

In the case holding the New York minimum wage law unconstitutional, Justice Stone said that the majority were actually reading into the Constitution their own “personal economic predilections,” and that if the legislative power is not left free to choose the methods of solving the problems of poverty, subsistence, and health of large numbers in the community, then “government is to be rendered impotent.” And two other justices agreed with him.

In the face of these dissenting opinions, there is no basis for the claim made by some members of the Court that something in the Constitution has compelled them regretfully to thwart the will of the people.

In the face of such dissenting opinions, it is perfectly clear that, as Chief Justice Hughes has said, “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.”

The Court in addition to the proper use of its judicial functions has improperly set itself up as a third house of the Congress – a super-legislature, as one of the justices has called it – reading into the Constitution words and implications which are not there, and which were never intended to be there.

We have, therefore, reached the point as a nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself. We must find a way to take an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Constitution itself. We want a Supreme Court which will do justice under the Constitution and not over it. In our courts we want a government of laws and not of men.

I want – as all Americans want – an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution. That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written, that will refuse to amend the Constitution by the arbitrary exercise of judicial power – in other words by judicial say-so. It does not mean a judiciary so independent that it can deny the existence of facts which are universally recognized.

How then could we proceed to perform the mandate given us? It was said in last year’s Democratic platform, and here are the words, “if these problems cannot be effectively solved within the Constitution, we shall seek such clarifying amendments as will assure the power to enact those laws, adequately to regulate commerce, protect public health and safety, and safeguard economic security.” In their words, we said we would seek an amendment only if every other possible means by legislation were to fail.

When I commenced to review the situation with the problem squarely before me, I came by a process of elimination to the conclusion that, short of amendments, the only method which was clearly constitutional, and would at the same time carry out other much needed reforms, was to infuse new blood into all our courts. We must have men worthy and equipped to carry out impartial justice. But, at the same time, we must have judges who will bring to the courts a present-day sense of the Constitution – judges who will retain in the courts the judicial functions of a court, and reject the legislative powers which the courts have today assumed.

It is well for us to remember that in forty-five out of the forty-eight states of the Union, judges are chosen not for life but for a period of years. In many states judges must retire at the age of seventy. Congress has provided financial security by offering life pensions at full pay for federal judges on all courts who are willing to retire at seventy. In the case of Supreme Court justices, that pension is $20,000 a year. But all federal judges, once appointed, can, if they choose, hold office for life, no matter how old they may get to be.

What is my proposal? It is simply this: whenever a judge or justice of any federal court has reached the age of seventy and does not avail himself of the opportunity to retire on a pension, a new member shall be appointed by the president then in office, with the approval, as required by the Constitution, of the Senate of the United States.

That plan has two chief purposes. By bringing into the judicial system a steady and continuing stream of new and younger blood, I hope, first, to make the administration of all federal justice, from the bottom to the top, speedier and, therefore, less costly; secondly, to bring to the decision of social and economic problems younger men who have had personal experience and contact with modern facts and circumstances under which average men have to live and work. This plan will save our national Constitution from hardening of the judicial arteries.

The number of judges to be appointed would depend wholly on the decision of present judges now over seventy, or those who would subsequently reach the age of seventy.

If, for instance, any one of the six justices of the Supreme Court now over the age of seventy should retire as provided under the plan, no additional place would be created. Consequently, although there never can be more than fifteen, there may be only fourteen, or thirteen, or twelve. And there may be only nine.

There is nothing novel or radical about this idea. It seeks to maintain the federal bench in full vigor. It has been discussed and approved by many persons of high authority ever since a similar proposal passed the House of Representatives in 1869.

Why was the age fixed at seventy? Because the laws of many states, and the practice of the civil service, the regulations of the Army and Navy, and the rules of many of our universities and of almost every great private business enterprise, commonly fix the retirement age at seventy years or less.

The statute would apply to all the courts in the federal system. There is general approval so far as the lower federal courts are concerned. The plan has met opposition only so far as the Supreme Court of the United States itself is concerned. But, my friends, if such a plan is good for the lower courts, it certainly ought to be equally good for the highest Court, from which there is no appeal.

Those opposing this plan have sought to arouse prejudice and fear by crying that I am seeking to “pack” the Supreme Court and that a baneful precedent will be established.

What do they mean by the words “packing the Supreme Court?” Let me answer this question with a bluntness that will end all honest misunderstanding of my purposes.

If by that phrase “packing the Court” it is charged that I wish to place on the bench spineless puppets who would disregard the law and would decide specific cases as I wished them to be decided, I make this answer: that no president fit for his office would appoint, and no Senate of honorable men fit for their office would confirm, that kind of appointees to the Supreme Court.

But if by that phrase the charge is made that I would appoint and the Senate would confirm justices worthy to sit beside present members of the Court, who understand modern conditions, that I will appoint justices who will not undertake to override the judgment of the Congress on legislative policy, that I will appoint justices who will act as justices and not as legislators – if the appointment of such justices can be called “packing the Courts,” then I say that I and with me the vast majority of the American people favor doing just that thing – now.

Is it a dangerous precedent for the Congress to change the number of the justices? The Congress has always had, and will have, that power. The number of justices has been changed several times before, in the administrations of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson – both of them signers of the Declaration of Independence – in the administrations of Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant.

I suggest only the addition of justices to the bench in accordance with a clearly defined principle relating to a clearly defined age limit. Fundamentally, if in the future, America cannot trust the Congress it elects to refrain from abuse of our constitutional usages, democracy will have failed far beyond the importance to democracy ofany kind of precedent concerning the judiciary.

We think it so much in the public interest to maintain a vigorous judiciary that we encourage the retirement of elderly judges by offering them a life pension at full salary. Why then should we leave the fulfillment of this public policy to chance or make it dependent upon the desire or prejudice of any individual justice?

It is the clear intention of our public policy to provide for a constant flow of new and younger blood into the judiciary. Normally every president appoints a large number of district and circuit judges and a few members of the Supreme Court. Until my first term practically every president of the United States in our history had appointed at least one member of the Supreme Court. President Taft appointed five members and named a chief justice; President Wilson, three; President Harding, four, including a chief justice; President Coolidge, one; President Hoover, three including a chief justice.

Such a succession of appointments should have provided a Court well balanced as to age. But chance and the disinclination of individuals to leave the Supreme bench have now given us a Court in which five justices will be over seventy-five years of age before next June and one over seventy. Thus a sound public policy has been defeated.

So I now propose that we establish by law an assurance against any such ill-balanced Court in the future. I propose that hereafter, when a judge reaches the age of seventy, a new and younger judge shall be added to the Court automatically. In this way I propose to enforce a sound public policy by law instead of leaving the composition of our federal courts, including the highest, to be determined by chance or the personal decision of individuals.

If such a law as I propose is regarded as establishing a new precedent, is it not a most desirable precedent?

Like all lawyers, like all Americans, I regret the necessity of this controversy. But the welfare of the United States, and indeed of the Constitution itself, is what we all must think about first. Our difficulty with the Court today rises not from the Court as an institution but from human beings within it. But we cannot yield our constitutional destiny to the personal judgment of a few men who, being fearful of the future, would deny us the necessary means of dealing with the present.

This plan of mine is no attack on the Court; it seeks to restore the Court to its rightful and historic place in our system of constitutional government and to have it resume its high task of building anew on the Constitution “a system of living law.” The Court itself can best undo what the Court has done.

I have thus explained to you the reasons that lie behind our efforts to secure results by legislation within the Constitution. I hope that thereby the difficult process of constitutional amendment may be rendered unnecessary. But let us examine that process.

There are many types of amendment proposed. Each one is radically different from the other. But there is no substantial group within the Congress or outside the Congress who are agreed on any single amendment.

I believe that it would take months or years to get substantial agreement upon the type and language of an amendment. It would take months and years thereafter to get a two-thirds majority in favor of that amendment in both houses of the Congress.

Then would come the long course of ratification by three-quarters of all the states. No amendment which any powerful economic interests or the leaders of any powerful political party have had reason to oppose has ever been ratified within anything like a reasonable time. And remember that thirteen states which contain only 5 percent of the voting population can block ratification even though the thirty-five states with 95 percent of the population are in favor of it.

A very large percentage of newspaper publishers and chambers of commerce and bar associations and manufacturers’ associations, who are trying to give the impression today that they really do want a constitutional amendment, would be the very first to exclaim as soon as an amendment was proposed, “Oh! I was for an amendment all right, but this amendment that you’ve proposed is not the kind of an amendment that I was thinking about. And so, I am going to spend my time, my efforts, and my money to block this amendment, although I would be awfully glad to help to get some other kind of an amendment ratified.”

Two groups oppose my plan on the ground that they favor a constitutional amendment. The first includes those who fundamentally object to social and economic legislation along modern lines. This is the same group who during the recent campaign tried to block the mandate of the people. And the strategy of that last stand is to suggest the time-consuming process of amendment in order to kill off by delay the legislation demanded by the mandated. To those people I say, I do not think you will be able long to fool the American people as to your purposes.

The other group is composed of those who honestly believe the amendment process is the best and who would be willing to support a reasonable amendment if they could agree on one.

To them I say, we cannot rely on an amendment as the immediate or only answer to our present difficulties. When the time comes for action, you will find that many of those who pretend to support you will sabotage any constructive amendment which is proposed. Look at these strange bedfellows of yours. When before have you found them really at your side in your fights for progress?

And remember one thing more. Even if an amendment were passed, and even if in the years to come it were to be ratified, its meaning would depend upon the kind of justices who would be sitting on the Supreme Court bench. For an amendment, like the rest of the Constitution, is what the justices say it is rather than what its framers or you might hope it is.

This proposal of mine will not infringe in the slightest upon the civil or religious liberties so dear to every American.

My record as governor and as president proves my devotion to those liberties. You who know me can have no fear that I would tolerate the destruction by any branch of government of any part of our heritage of freedom.

The present attempt by those opposed to progress to play upon the fears of danger to personal liberty brings again to mind that crude and cruel strategy tried by the same opposition to frighten the workers of America in a pay-envelope propaganda against the Social Security law. The workers were not fooled by that propaganda then. And the people of America will not be fooled by such propaganda now.

I am in favor of action through legislation:

First, because I believe it can be passed at this session of the Congress.

Second, because it will provide a reinvigorated, liberal-minded judiciary necessary to furnish quicker and cheaper justice from bottom to top.

Third, because it will provide a series of federal courts willing to enforce the Constitution as written, and unwilling to assert legislative powers by writing into it their own political and economic policies.

During the past half-century the balance of power between the three great branches of the federal government has been tipped out of balance by the courts in direct contradiction of the high purposes of the framers of the Constitution. It is my purpose to restore that balance. You who know me will accept my solemn assurance that in a world in which democracy is under attack, I seek to make American democracy succeed. You and I will do our part.

Links for further information
An link to an audio file of FDR giving this speech

OLD CHAPTER 29 OUTLINE–from 11th edition

Chapter 29 Outline

Make sure your notes are in your own words and that you explain the consequences/historical significance of items.

I. Wilson – a Democrat and a Southerner—NO WAY! Right?
—–A. How is Wilson’s progressivism similar to that of Taft and Roosevelt?
—–B. How is it different? New Nationalism versus New Freedom
—–C. How does Wilson manage to get elected?
———-1. Bull Moose party,
———-2. Socialists
———-3. What do third parties in the US traditionally do?
—–D. What is significant about Wilson’s election? Who was he?

II. Wilson gets to work
—–A. Triple Wall of Privilege
———-1. Underwood Tariff and the 16th Amendment,
———-2. Federal Reserve Act—what were the effects?,
———-3. FTC and Clayton Act
—–B. Populist ideas Wilson borrows
—–C. Labor reform
—–D. Foreign policy—anti-imperialism
———-1. Jones Act,
———-2. Mexico, Pancho Villa, and Black Jack
—–E. The Great War erupts—and we try to dodge it
———-1. sinking ship and submarines,
———-2. Pledges
—–F. Appointments
———-1. Brandeis
—–G. Campaign for re-election
———-1. Hughes,
———-2. TR and the Progressive Party,
———-3. “He Kept Us Out Of War,”
———-4. Sectional division

Anti-imperialist response to “The White Man’s Burden”

“The White Man’s Burden” as Prophecy
By Benjamin R. Tillman

Source of text: “Are We to Spread the Christian Religion with the Bayonet Point as Mahomet Spread Islam with a Scimiter?” In William Jennings Bryan, et al., Republic or Empire? The Philippine Question (Chicago: The Independence Co., 1899) — a book of essays by various anti-imperialists who were especially enraged by the Philippine-American War. Benjamin R. “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman (1847-1918) was an early vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League (1899) and an honorary vice president of the American Anti-Imperialist League (1899-1901). He was a central figure in Southern efforts to disfranchise African Americans during the 1890s and early 1900s.

Questions to consider:
1. What racial arguments are being made by Senator Tillman? What are his specific reasons for opposing colonization of places like the Philippines?

Extract from a speech delivered in the U.S. Senate, Feb. 7, 1899.

As though coming at the most opportune time possible, you might say just before the treaty reached the Senate, or about the time it was sent to us, there appeared in one of our magazines a poem by Rudyard Kipling, the greatest poet of England at this time. This poem, unique, and in some places too deep for me, is a prophecy. I do not imagine that in the history of human events any poet has ever felt inspired so clearly to portray our danger and our duty. It is called “The White Man’s Burden.” With the permission of Senators I will read a stanza, and I beg Senators to listen to it, for it is well worth their attention. This man has lived in the Indies. In fact, he is a citizen of the world, and has been all over it, and knows whereof he speaks.

“Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed– Go, bind your sons to exile,
To serve your captive’s need; To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild– Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.”

I will pause here. I intend to read more, but I wish to call attention to a fact which may have escaped the attention of Senators thus far, that with five exceptions every man in this chamber who has had to do with the colored race in this country voted against the ratification of the treaty. It was not because we are Democrats, but because we understand and realize what it is to have two races side by side that can not mix or mingle without deterioration and injury to both and the ultimate destruction of the civilization of the higher. We of the South have borne this white man’s burden of a colored race in our midst since their emancipation and before.

It was a burden upon our manhood and our ideas of liberty before they were emancipated. It is still a burden, although they have been granted the franchise. It clings to us like the shirt of Nessus, and we are not responsible, because we inherited it, and your fathers as well as ours are responsible for the presence amongst us of that people. Why do we as a people want to incorporate into our citizenship ten millions more of different or of differing races, three or four of them?

But we have not incorporated them yet, and let us see what this English poet has to say about it, and what he thinks.

“Take up the White Man’s burden–
No iron rule of kings, But toil of serf and sweeper–
The tale of common things. The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread, Go, make them with your living
And mark them with your dead.”

Ah, if we have no other consideration, if no feeling of humanity, no love of our fellows, no regard for others’ rights, if nothing but our self-interest shall actuate us in this crisis, let me say to you that if we go madly on in the direction of crushing these people into subjection and submission we will do so at the cost of many, many thousands of the flower of American youth. There are 10,000,000 of these people, some of them fairly well civilized, and running to the extreme of naked savages, who are reported in our press dispatches as having stood out in the open and fired their bows and arrows, not flinching from the storm of shot and shell thrown into their midst by the American soldiers there.

The report of the battle claims that we lost only seventy-five killed and a hundred and odd wounded; but the first skirmish has carried with it what anguish, what desolation, to homes in a dozen states! How many more victims are we to offer up on this altar of Mammon or national greed? When those regiments march back, if they return with decimated ranks, as they are bound to come, if we have to send thousands and tens of thousands of re-enforcements there to press onward until we have subdued those ten millions, at whose door will lie these lives — their blood shed for what? An idea. If a man fires upon the American flag, shoot the last man and kill him, no matter how many Americans have to be shot to do it.

The city of Manila is surrounded by swamps and marshes, I am told. A few miles back lie the woods and jungles and mountains. These people are used to the climate. They know how to get about, and if they mean to have their liberties, as they appear to do, at what sacrifice will the American domination be placed over them? There is another verse of Kipling. I have fallen in love with this man. He tells us what we will reap:

“Take up the White Man’s burden,
And reap his old reward– The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard– The cry of those ye humor
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:– ‘Why brought ye us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?'”

Those peoples are not suited to our institutions. They are not ready for liberty as we understand it. They do not want it. Why are we bent on forcing upon them a civilization not suited to them and which only means in their view degradation and a loss of self-respect, which is worse than the loss of life itself?

I am nearly done. Nobody answers and nobody can. The commercial instinct which seeks to furnish a market and places for the growth of commerce or the investment of capital for the money making of the few is pressing this country madly to the final and ultimate annexation of these people regardless of their own wishes.

Vocabulary for this post:
shirt of Nessus

The “White Man’s Burden”

This famous poem, written by Britain’s imperial poet, was a used by some Americans as a response to the American take-over of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.

Questions to consider:
1. Is the tone of this poem ironic or serious? Explain.
2. In what ways are the “captives” made to seem like children (infantilized), and why are they portrayed in this manner?

The White Man’s Burden
Rudyard Kipling, 1899

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another’s profit,
And work another’s gain.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
The savage wars of peace–
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper–
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard–
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–
“Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?”

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Ye dare not stoop to less–
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Have done with childish days–
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

Margaret Sanger– An Autobiography

from the Modern History Sourcebook

Margaret Sanger (1883-1966) after she served as a nurse on New York ‘s impoverished Lower East Side, as noted in her autobiography, became a crusader for birth control. In 1917 she founded the National Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

During these years in New York trained nurses were in great demand. Few people wanted to enter hospitals; they were afraid they might be “practiced” upon, and consented to go only in desperate emergencies. Sentiment was especially vehement in the matter of having babies. A woman’s own bedroom, no matter how inconveniently arranged, was the usual place for her lying-in. I was not sufficiently free from domestic duties to be a general nurse, but I could ordinarily manage obstetrical cases because I was notified far enough ahead to plan my schedule. And after serving my two weeks I could get home again.

Sometimes I was summoned to small apartments occupied by young clerks, insurance salesmen, or lawyers, just starting out, most of them under thirty and whose wives were having their first or second baby. They were always eager to know the best and latest method in infant care and feeding. In particular, Jewish patients, whose lives centered around the family, welcomed advice and followed it implicitly.

But more and more my calls began to come from the Lower East Side, as though I were being magnetically drawn there by some force outside my control. I hated the wretchedness and hopelessness of the poor, and never experienced that satisfaction in working among them that so many noble women have found. My concern for my patients was now quite different from my earlier hospital attitude. I could see that much was wrong with them which did not appear in the physiological or medical diagnosis. A woman in childbirth was not merely a woman in childbirth. My expanded outlook included a view of her background, her potentialities as a human being, the kind of children she was bearing, and what was going to happen to them.

. . .

As soon as the neighbors learned that a nurse was in the building they came in a friendly way to visit, often carrying fruit, jellies, or gefilte fish made after a cherished recipe. It was infinitely pathetic to me that they, so poor themselves should bring me food. Later they drifted in again with the excuse of getting the plate, and sat down for a nice talk; there was no hurry. Always back of the little gift was the question, “I am pregnant (or my daughter, or my sister is). Tell me something to keep from having another baby. We cannot afford another yet. ”

I tried to explain the only two methods I had ever heard among the middle classes, both of which were invariably brushed aside as unacceptable. They were of no certain avail to the wife because they placed the burden of responsibility solely upon the husband-a burden which he seldom assumed. What she was seeking was self-protection she could herself use, and there was none.

Below this stratum of society was one in truly desperate circumstances. The men were sullen and unskilled, picking up odd jobs now and then, but more often unemployed, lounging in and out of the house at all hours of the day and night. The women seemed to slink on their way to market and were without neighborliness.

These submerged, untouched classes were beyond the scope of organized charity or religion. No labor union, no church, not even the Salvation Army reached them. They were apprehensive of everyone and rejected help of any kind, ordering all intruders to keep out; both birth and death they considered their own business. Social agents, who were just beginning to appear, were profoundly mistrusted because they pried into homes and lives, asking questions about wages, how many were in the family, had any of them ever been in jail. Often two or three had been there or were now under suspicion of prostitution, shoplifting, purse snatching, petty thievery, and, in consequence, passed furtively by the big blue uniforms on the corner.

. . .

Pregnancy was a chronic condition among the women of this class. Suggestions as to what to do for a girl who was “in trouble” or a married woman who was “caught” passed from mouth to mouth-herb teas, turpentine, steaming, rolling downstairs, inserting slippery elm, knitting needles, shoe?hooks. When they had word of a new remedy they hurried to the drugstore, and if the clerk were inclined to be friendly he might say, “Oh, that won’t help you, but here’s something that may.” The younger druggists usually refused to give advice because, if it were to be known, they would come under the law; midwives were even more fearful. The doomed women implored me to reveal the “secret” rich people had, offering to pay me extra to tell them; many really believed I was holding back information for money. They asked everybody and tried anything, g but nothing did them any good. On Saturday nights I have seen groups of from fifty to one hundred with their shawls over their heads waiting outside the office of a five?dollar abortionist.

These were not merely “unfortunate conditions among the poor” such as we read about. I knew the women personally. They were living, breathing, human beings, with hopes, fears, and aspirations like my own, yet their weary, misshapen bodies, “always ailing, never failing, ” were destined to be thrown on the scrap heap before they were thirty-five. I could not escape from the facts of their wretchedness; neither was I able to see any way out. My own cozy and comfortable family existence was becoming a reproach to me.

. . .

. . . No matter what it might cost, I was finished with palliatives and superficial cures; I was resolved to seek out the root of evil, to do something to change the destiny of mothers whose miseries were vast as the sky.

Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1938), pp. 86-89, 92.