A Very Brief Political History of the
A History of the Eleven
Rival Regional Cultures
of North America
11 nations with distinct identities and values
1. The First Nations American
natives worked well with French in Northern areas until broken promises and English beliefs about their
own superiority soured them.
2. El Norte – These outposts of Spain's Colonial Empire consisted of independent minded Spanish frontiersman ranchers coming up from Mexico.
3. New France – Expanding the French colonies, these furs trading explorers wanted to take care of the lands they settled in Canada and upper New England. They were explorers, not terribly ideological, who wanted to trade. They integrated peacefully with Native Americans and wanted to take care of the land.
4. Yankeedom –
Founders wanted to create a Puritanical fundamentalist
Utopia with mandated education, justice, rights for
all humans. They hated the English and most wanted freedom of Relegion as
long as it was their own.
5. New Netherlands – Dutch founders wanted to trade furs and engage in shipping from a cosmopolitan meeting place. Did not care about English politics or slavery.
6. The Midlands – Quaker William Penn wanted a tolerant isolated Quaker anti-slavery society. They loathed the Yankee religious theocracies.
7. Tidewater – English gentry
created estates in Virginia using
but they switched to slavery when the indentured servitude system degraded.
8. Deep South – English traders from Barbados where they acquired resources using violence and slavery. In Charleston they grew cotton in a society designed to benefit a wealthy few.
9. Greater Appalachia –Mostly lowland contrarians from Scotland and Ireland came to escaped English domination. They settled in poorer Appalachians lands. These hearty people valued individual liberty.
10. The Left Coast – Ingenious
people who moved West to preserve the land's natural beauty. Wanted a
utopian planned educated community.
The Far West – Explorers, hunters and a11. adventurers were joined by East Coast anti-government capitalists. They railroads and river transport to create wealth from mining, lumber and oil.
Five Political Eras
1) Elections 1788-1824 England's Political Influence Finally
Ends and the South Has Some Success
in Controlling Northern Business Interests.
Federalists favored unity through a strong central government, close ties to Britain, a centralized banking system, and close links between the government and the men of wealth who should run government. Republicans under Jefferson Madison and Monroe strongly opposed Alexander Hamilton's Federalist agenda. They stressed being more of a Republic where the individual is sovereign as opposed to democracy where the sovereign is the group, the majority.
Executive privilege was used by G.W. to keep
Jay Treaty documents
from Congress. Other Presidents would claim the right, courts would
sometimes have to decide legality. Think NSA data
First Barbary War, the first on foreign soil, stopped payment of tribute
to Mediterranean pirates. War on Terror Begins.6)
Louisiana Purchase of 1803
1821 treaties brings U.S. Florida from Spain. Later we would use
military force against Mexico to expand westward.
7) War of 1812 protected freedom of the Sea and ended hostilities with Britain. Not being able to settle the fiscal problems caused by the war, in 1814 the U.S defaulted on its deb.8) Bank of United States failed to have it's charter renewed in an attempt to limit business influence but paying for the War of 1812 required such an institution. T The battle of North/East business interest vs. South and West rural interest continues today. Think Bailout Prevention Act and the Tea Party.
9) 1920 Missouri Compromise admitted Maine as a fret state and Missouri as a slave state which postponed the pain. Think long-term government liabilities being ignored to keep the present peaceful.
10 ) Monroe Doctrine 1823 keeps U.S out of European politics and vice versa until WWI.
|2) Elections 1828-1852 Federalism vs. State's Rights and Democracy vs. Republican the Fight Begins When the Democratic-Republican Party of the Jefferson became factionalized in the 1820's Jackson's supporters began to form the modern Democratic Party. It hoped to pass political power from established elites to ordinary voters. It supported the primacy of the Presidency over the other branches of the U.S. Federal government. They continued the Bank War by opposing renew the charter of Alexander Hamilton's Bank of the United State. Democrats also opposed Whig sponsored modernizing programs that they felt would build up industry at the expense of the taxpayer. These battles continue today! Democrats fought the rival Adams and Anti-Jacksonian factions which soon emerged as the Whigs. They were led by Henry Clay who advocated the primacy of Congress over the Executive Branch as well as policies economic protectionism of Northeastern industry.||1)
Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced Indians
2) 1933 Compromise Tariff solved the North-South fight over protectionism.
3) 1838 Mormon War ended with roughly 20,000 Mormons relocated.
4) A failed 1842 Impeachment attempt of J. Taylor occurred because he had used his Presidential veto to over ride Northeast bank and tariff issues. Previous Presidential vetoes had been on Constitutional grounds. It would be the first of a few politically motivated impeachment attempts. Think Obama impeachment poll.
5) Mexican War settled with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which increased the U.S. by a third. It resulted in Slave Power accusations. The Oregon Treaty acquired much of the Northwest territory and what would be six states. England got British Columbia.
6) Compromise of 1850 postponed Civil War again and 1864 Kansas Nebraska Act increased tensions. Think postponing government budget problems.
|3)Elections 1856-1896 Civil War Ends, Northeast Takes Control, The Gilded Age is Built on the Backs of the Poor, Especially Women, Immigrants, and Blacks The civil War was followed by massive industrialization centered on rail roads, canals and steamships. Massive wealth was created. Farm mechanism lowered the cost of food and this coupled with science made for a somewhat more prosperous middle class. Immigrants suffered.||
Panic of 1857 was caused by over-consumption of goods from
Europe which lowered the money supply. Also overbuilding by competing railroads and rampant Western land
speculation caused speculative problems. Think 2008-9 Great
Why we fought the Civil War. 3)
Enforcement Acts of 1870-71 designed to protect blacks from the
Ku Klux Klan
and to protect Indians failed.
4) Panic of 1873 was caused by the Coinage Act of 1873. It lowered the money supply. Workers blamed cheap foreign labor. Called the Long Depression until the 1930's when the Great Depression, it caused much hardship. It would not be the last time immigrants were blamed for problems. Think Mexico, United States barrier.
5) Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 added merit and began the replacement of the spoils system in the federal hiring equation.
6) Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 lasted until 1942. Scott Act of 1888 expanded the restrictions on Chinese immigration. Think current Mexican Immigration issues.
7) Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 began an attempt to regulate business trusts to harness their use of monopoly power.
8) McKinley Tariff of 1890 set record for high rates. Profits increased as did the price of consumers goods.
9) Panic of 1893 resulted in a severe depression. Reluctantly J.P. Morgan bailed out the gold standard with $60,000,000. The 1894 Wilson–Gorman Tariff lowered tariffs slightly & created a 2% income tax on over $4,000 ($88,100 in 2010 dollars). It was repealed as unconstitutional by the 1895 Supreme Court.
Progressives and Populists
Finally End to the
Gilded Age But
Business Power Would Return
After WW I. The 1896
realigning election resulted in a republican forged conservative coalition
consisting of businessmen, professionals, skilled factory workers, and
prosperous farmers. There would be
opposition which created two unsettled decades called the
victory resulted from our desires for a colonial empire and business interests.
Business also had pushed for the 1897
Dingley Tariff Act which promoted industry
at the expense of consumers as the tariff was added to the price paid by consumers. The
Gold Standard protected savers
but its inflexible money supply caused hard
2) The Panama Canal acquisition of 1903 eventually resulted in improved transportation.
3) Progressive Republican FDR successfully fought party Trusts. First with the 1906 Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food & Drug Act. The Hepburn Act increased Interstate Commerce Commission regulation of Rail Road Trusts which still managed to control rates and competitors.
4) American Antiquities Act of 1906 created National Monuments and was one of many conservation activities.
5) Panic of 1907 needed help from both J.P. Morgan and the Treasury as more liquidity was needed than his wealth could provide. The 1913 the Federal Reserve System resulted and it became the Lender of Last Resort. Designed by Wall Street bankers the FED would continue under Wall Street's thumb until ... 2015 and counting! Think Great Recession.
6) Democrat Woodrow Wilson would continue progressive the agenda. The Revenue Act of 1913 substituted income taxes for lower tariffs and this lowered the price of consumer goods. The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 was a major effort to control business trusts. The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 outlawed specific conduct putting teeth into Sherman Antitrust Act. The Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 increased credit to rural family farmers and the Keating–Owen Act of 1916 temporally lowered child labor abuses..
7) Segregated government continued as Wilson was like progressives T Roosevelt and T Jefferson in that he felt Americans were not ready for integration.
8) Revenue Act of 1921 and Revenue Acts of 1924,1926,1928 reduced taxes so only richest 2% paid income taxes. Think 2 Bush tax cuts. The Fordney McCumber Tariff Act was one of many protectionist measures during the decade. Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 to protect US industries failed to help as Canada, France and others retaliated. A Mexican Repatriation program help unemployed Mexican citizens return home. It represented forced migration. Think current immigration problems.
9) Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 resulted in the Flood Control Act of 1928. It created the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to watch over public infrastructure..
10) The 16th, 17th, and 19th amendments made some progressive policies permanent.
5) Elections 1932-present Party Control Flip Flops Like a Yoyo but Progress Is Made Republicans were penalized by outrage caused during the summer of 1932 by Veteran Bonus Army deaths. It combined with the of Hoover's domestic policies. Change was demanded.
|Democrats promoted Amer. It anchored in a coalition of specific liberal groups, especially ethno-religious constituencies (Catholics, Jews, African Americans). White Southerners, well-organized labor unions, urban political machines, progressive intellectuals, and populist farm groups were also courted.|
The Good he Good
1. Health Problems Solved
1902 Scarlet Fever deaths peaked at close to 5,000 and then slowly dropped thanks to penicillin.
1905 Last Yellow Fever epidemic killed 20 in US as misquote control eliminated cause. 1936 vaccine ended disease.
1916 Measles 12,000 mostly children died. Vaccine finally eliminated most cases by early 1980's.
1918 Spanish Flu 500,000 died in US. This could have been the cause of the post WW 1 recession.
1921 Diphtheria 206,000 cases, 15,520 deaths, mostly children died.
1953 Polio 57,628 cases with 21,000 paralyzed Vaccine followed and Polio is now about gone.
1957-58 Asian Flu 70,000 died in US.
1968-69 Hong Kong Flu 34,000 died in US.
1985-95+ AIDS killed ten to twenty thousand per year in 1970's. Annual deaths peaked at 41,699 in mid 1990's and then they quickly dropped due to super drug development and availability. Total US deaths were 658,507.
By the 1960's Measles, Mumps, Rubella and a 1995 Chicken Pox vaccines made childhood safer and more enjoyable as did seat belts, infant safety seats, bicycle safety helmets, and 1962 began the era of government sponsored child protective services.
2. Long-lasting Great Depression Legislation
TVA employed people to build dams, controlled floods, improved irrigation and eventually generated electricity. Emergency Banking Act establish the first federal bank regulations and set up SEC to police Wall Street. Social Security Act created Old-Age pensions, unemployment insurance and disability Insurance. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 set maximum hours and minimum wages. It also prohibited Discriminatory Employment related to federal employment.
3. Post WW II Activity Included Reorganization of Israel resulted in a strong pro-American Middle East democracy.
Marshall Plan prevented a repeat of the post WW I problems that led to WW II. Germany, Japan and England eventually prospered.
NATO officially ended Monroe Doctrine isolationism.
Federal Aid Highway Act created interstate highway system for national defense purposes and allowed the development of suburbia.
4. A return to Progressivism Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 provided benefits for poor people, education, unemployed and the elderly.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 finally began the process of moving toward minority equality. It continued with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 designed to assured minority registration and voting and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which banned housing discrimination. Social Security Amendments of 1965 created Medicare and Medicaid.
Environmental Protection Agency was created by presidential executive order. It along with the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990 increased federal regulatory authority. 26th Amendment of 1971 lowered voting age to18 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990...
5. Taxes dropped benefits increased Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 cut most taxes. Tax Reform Act of 1986 lowered taxes on wealthy. Tax Cuts of 2001 lowered rates for many. 2003 tax cut was the first in a time of high war. 2003 Medicare Part D increase drug benefits. 2010 PPACA resulted in more people being insured. See Crash Course: U.S. History 48 ten to fifteen minutes videos Updated 8/9/17
American Citizens in 1942 consisted of 150,000
mostly Japanese men, women
The Ugly U.S.
Cost of War
1 The idea that Muslims Extremism is behind all military confrontations in the Middle East and Africa reminds me of the Cold War. Then regime change in Egypt and Syria and Para military confrontations in Central and South American were all said to be inspired by Communist. Looking back, neither Egypt or Syria became Communistic and few of these conflicts resulted in communist governments. Oligarchs looking to control lesser developed countries needed money and the USSR would contribute to one side and the U.S. to the other side. Today, Conservative Muslims have the money!
2According to Henry Kissinger's biographer Walter Isaacson, President Johnson's reason for U.S. involvement in Vietnam was called the Domino Theory. The idea that Nation A falling to Communism would make it easier for Nation B to fall and then C would fall quickly. This idea was already being questioned when Nixon took offices. Henry's reason for taking six years and not the promised six months to withdraw from Vietnam was the importance of maintaining U.S. foreign policy creditability. No attempt was made to compare the importance of credibility in relation to South-East Asia with that related to Central Europe, the Middle East, Korea/Japan, Central America and at home. Statements that something will hurt the U.S. should always be followed by be how, how much, in relation to what, at what cost ... About half of the U.S. Vietnam causalities occurred during the Nixon-Kissinger watch even though both men entered office thinking the Vietnam War was not winnable.