Building America's
Democratic Federalist Capitalist Republic
1619 to 1973

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and Presidential Courage Summary by W. Antoniotti  Please Share 
 

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Part 1 The Early Colonial Period
1619 Began Representative Democracy and Slavery
Freedom of Religion Began in 1636
All Immigrates Welcomed By 1654 New Amsterdam

Freedom of the Press Began with the 1735 Zenger Trial
1786 Shays' Tax Rebellion Leads to a Constitution

Part 2 Determining Political Power and "We the People"
George Washington Creates Executive Privilege
Jackson's New Use for the Veto
1800 Sees First Peaceful Democratic Power Transfer
Marshal's 1803 Power Grab Creates a Third Separate Power
Who Are the People of We the People?
 

Part 3 Increasing We of "We the People"
Who Protects the Unalienable 1866 Rights of Whom
1870's Take Away Unalienable Rights

TR Took on 1904 RR Trusts
1930's Safety Net Deficits, Like War Deficits, Prove Attractive
1973 Finally Brings Faster Track Civil Rights
 

Part 1 The Early Colonial Period
1619 Begins Representative Democracy and Slavery
The Jamestown colony had floundered until 1611 when tobacco was introduced to meet growing European demand. Crops were worked by indentured servants. In 1619 Jamestown decided to be governed by a representative democracy. Also two groups of slaves arrived and they were quickly integrated into the economy. The number of slaves grew very slowly and their treatment was much like that of local indentured servants. By the 1660's freed and existing slaves were becoming numerous enough to be competition for non-slave poor workers. They were also creating other domestic problems making large planters unhappy. This anxiety resulted in laws which removed freedoms from both existing and new slaves.

A 1662 Virginia law made children of enslaved women and white father a slave whereas they had been free.  Bacon's Rebellion of 1766 was caused by poor landowning recently freed ind73entured servants and freed slaves    paying taxes to faraway Jamestown. They also formed an army to solve their problems. Issues between Bacon's army and Jamestown developed. Eventually about 1,000 rebels chased the Governor out of the capital. "Government forces from England arrived soon after and spent several years defeating pockets of resistance and reforming the colonial government to one more directly under royal control." Slaves had once been more expensive but fear of rebellions by indentured servants added to the cost of hiring white and slaves thus became a cheaper source of farm labor. See 1. Brave New World.

The Burning of Jamestown by Howard Pyle 1905.Click to enlarge and view a slide show. Click on Most Pictures to Enlarge. Editor's Note: Our Democracy has been built over 400 and we are not  finished. Criticizing today's fledgling democracy seems a bit hypercritical.

Howard Pyle - The Burning of Jamestown.jpg

Freedom of Religion Began in 1636 When Massachusetts Expelled Roger Williams Roger Williams immigrated from England to Boston in 1631. He refused preaching/teacher work because as a Separatist he did not agree with Boston's less radical Puritans. He left for more Separatist oriented Salem caused Puritans unhappiness. He soon moved to Separatist Plymouth where he got along with the people and studied the Indian behavior. Eventually he preached ideas too unconventional for Plymouth and by 1633 he was back in Salem.  Roger Williams preached separatism, denounce as blasphemous the King's claim to Indian land, denounced the Bay Colony's loyalty oath as sacrilegious and he denied the right of civil authority to punish violation of the first five commandments. They related to idolatry, Sabbath-breaking, profanity, dishonoring your parents, and blasphemy. Eventually he was convicted of sedition and heresy. Order to leave Williams took his time but fear of imprisonment forced a quick winter departure where the cold didn't get him because he was helped by his Indian knowledge. In 1836 he and his followers founded Providence where they signed a pact allowing government that

A woman standing before a table behind which are seated several men, with several other men occupying seats against the walls of the roomcould only deal with civil matters. Anne Hutchinson a Puritan spiritual advisor was also doing her best to upset Puritan Boston and she also ended up in Rhode Island. Together they would uphold liberty of conscious. Providence grew rapidly and in 1640 Williams returned to England where his received a charter that allowed relegiouse freedom. Later he would get a more definitive charter specifically granting relegiouse freedom. He felt tolerance was not enough, only freedom would suffice. Other colonies followed and in 1861 even Quaker established Pennsylvania allowed religious freedom. His ideas would travel back to England and in 1869 John Lock would write on limiting government. Over time the U.S has fostered faith by leaving it alone. This did not eliminate the negative attitude of some toward 19th century arriving Roman Catholics or 21st century Muslims from being looked upon poorly. But we have narrowed disputes. We do not argue over a person's freedom to exercise their religion. Instead we argue about  the public expression of religion such as prayer in public schools and public display of the ten commandments.

All Immigrates Welcomed by 1654 New Amsterdam The Dutch West Easiest Company settlement of New Amsterdam grew rapidly and soon had 500 diverse inhabitants. They spoke eighteen languages. It was established for profit so anyone who worked was welcome. In 1643 twenty-three Jewish people arrived looking for work . They had been expelled from their Portuguese controlled South American Dutch Colony. Anti-Semitic Governor Peter

Stuyvesant wrote Holland asking to exclude them because they were poor and too dependent. The Jews wrote their successful business friends in Holland asking for support with the Dutch West Indies Company. The company decided they could stay as long as they were not a burden. This was a symbolic turning point because most countries restricted immigrants to maintain their cultural, ethnic, and religious identity. There would be four great foreign immigrants waves and while assimilation was not easy, immigrant culture eventual became an important part of our culture. Assimilation is one of many contentious questions that began when during the Colonial period and continues today. Pizza anyone? Click to enlarge and watch a slide show.

Freedom of the Press Began with the 1735  Zenger Trial  In late 1733 The New York Weekly Journal  publisher Peter Zenger began printing opinions critical of the corrupt British colonial governor William Cosby. A late 1734 arrest order was executed.  An inappropriately large bale was set. Zenger's lawyers did not pay as they wanted to stir up publicity against the Governor and his friendly judge. Eventually Zenger was charged with seditious liability. The law required the jury only determine if the defendant had perpetrated the material. Things didn't look good as when the judge dismissed Peter's two lawyers and replaced them with a  governor friendly lawyer. The short trial was about to end when a star Philadelphia defense lawyer took over. He agreed that his client had published the material but

he told  the jury they should acquit because true statements could not be libellee. The jury acquitted. While no precedent was set what did begin was a belief that liberty required freedom of the press and speech. The trial would be publicized and soon state governors began acting more responsibly. It would take decades to determine the exact legalities of freedom of the press and speech. President Adams would  pass Alien and Sedition Acts to stop an adversarial press. Only a few were prosecuted though some were jailed. The law  was repealed under President Jefferson.  Freedom of the press and speech issues during difficult periods would continue to haunt leaders.

Shays' 1786 Tax Rebellion Leads to a Constitution Farmers in western Massachusetts were having serious problems paying taxes after the state government began accepting only hard currency and not the worthless continental currency or farm goods. Farmers felt oppressed by a few elite eastern merchants and politicians who had set up the tax and legal systems to benefit themselves. Civil disobedience in the form of not allowing judges to foreclose on farm property began in August of 1886. It was the main tool used by the protesters. The Massachusetts Militia refused the governor's orders to control the disobedience. The purposely designed weak central government under Articles of Confederation was unable to raise a meaningful army.  Sam Adams had been the most aggressive revolutionary leader when it came to English oppression but now he was a member of the establishment. He wanted harsh treatment including execution. The governor offered a few minor tax collection adjustments to help farmers.  But he also  passed the very harsh Riot Act which took away human rights and a Militia Act that allowed the


exestuation of militia who refused to follow orders. Soon the governor began to raised a privately financed state militia. This caused a severe reaction by farmer who saw a private army is the first step on the road to tyranny. The farmers raised their own army led by revolutionary war veteran and militia member Daniel Shay. Their main battle was to be a surprise attack at the federal Springfield arsenal. It didn't work. The armory was unexpectedly defended by militia men who were quickly dispersed. Four rebels were killed. They regrouped but the new Governor's privately financed army led by Benjamin Lincoln arrived and dispersed them with a surprise attack. That was it. Rebellion over. Eventually there was an amnesty based on signing of a loyalty oath. Twenty-one leaders were order hung but only two got the rope. The governor lost reelection and the new governor was more sympathetic to the farmers and he pardoned Shay and the other leaders. In Philadelphia those in Congress who feared the rebellion of citizens and resulting anarchy wanted a strong central government so the May of 1887 Philadelphia Constitutional Convention was called.  By September a constitution was written. Ratification followed in July of 1788 and the Bill of Rights followed in 1791. The founders wrote what is now the world's oldest written constitution. France was writing her first constitution and she is now on her seventeenth and counting.

 

Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contemporary depiction of protest leaders Daniel Shays (left) and Job Shattuck.

Editors Note: Massachusetts set up a tax and legal system to benefit business. Difficult economic times after the revolution caused by an almost worthless Continental Currency caused many farmers to lose property to Easterners.
See
2. So You Want a Revolution.

Note: : textbooksfree.org summaries do little justice to the fascinating lectures available through Turning Points in American History audio course of  E. T. O'Donnell     PRESIDENTIAL COURAGE1 Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989  By Michael Beschlos
    
Fun Stuff
 Presidential Election Discussion Questions and Political Controversies
 examine poverty,
     middle income stagnation ...
 

Part 2. Determining Political Power and "We the People"
 
George Washington Creates Executive Privilege   
Jackson's New Use for a Presidential Veto

 

1800 Sees First Peaceful Democratic Power Transfer
Marshal Creates a Third Separate Power

 

Who Are We of We the people?

George Washington Creates Executive Privilege A Virginia Republican ignored Washington's order to keep Jay Treaty content secrete and passed a copy to the French who helped make it public. Hamilton's treaty defense in front of the New York City Hall had him stoned crating a bloody face. In Boston a British ship was set aflame. Source Washington's use of Executive Privilege to keep Jay Treaty information from Congress was the first of many such Presidential attempts. Richard Nixon attempt may be the most notorious. The result was our First Party System. Hamilton's use of Implied Powers to defend the constitutionality of the First Bank of the United States was one of Washington's turning points. Chief Justice John Marshall first used it in McCulloch v. Maryland.

The Politics: "A speedy Death to General Washington!" cartoon was one of many. It depicted the President being chased out of town by those who felt the unconstitutional treaty was reason for impeachment.  The South not being compensated for freed slaves who had fought for England was one reason for unhappiness. Secretary of State Hamilton wanted to negotiate but his friendship with England ruled him out. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jay was sent. Soon to be a Republican, Jay was far from being a loyal cabinet member.  See Leader of the Opposition: In Wait at Monticello from
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, 2012 by J. Meacham and
 U. S. History Hamilton vs. Jefferson.     
Cartoon source

Jackson's New Use for a Presidential Veto  "Before Independence Day 1832 the Senate and House voted to renew the charter of the Second Bank of the "United State."  Most of Jackson's cabinet was against a clash with Bank President Biddle so Jackson got help from his wordsmith-tactician Amos Kendall to help with the fight. Amos became a member of what became known as the President's  "Kitchen Cabinet"  and drafted most of Jackson's hellfire message that vetoed the Bank's renewal. Jackson's veto was sustained. Source The Politics: Few Presidents before Jackson had vetoed bills and he was the first to do so simply because he did not like it. Neither Chamber got the two-thirds votes necessary to overturn Jackson's veto. Biddle "flung open the cash draws" to stop the President's 1832 reelection but Jackson and Van Buren's 55% of the vote easily beat Clay. As Jackson predicted, Clay would not do well west of the mountains and south of the Potomac where Clay only won home state Kentucky. 

1800 Sees First Peaceful Democratic Power Transfer Republican ideology of the late 18th century believed political parties were detrimental to society because they served vested interests. A nonpartisan elite would best serve the Republic but differences and party politics developed. Thomas Pain wondered if Washington was a traitor or an imposter. Federalist Adams won the 1796 election and the constitution indicated second place finisher Jefferson was Vice President. The two friends had different political beliefs and would not get along .A key differences between the two was diplomatic relations with England and France. Federalist loved Britan and idealized their government. They felt the U.S. was too weak to get involved with the intense war between the two countries. They also hated the French because of the anarchy that had resulted after the French Revolution.  Jefferson's  group had strong Republican beliefs and soon were called Republicans. They felt the Federalist wanted to turn the fledgling Republic into a Monarchy plus and they wanted to help our revolutionary war ally France.

Federalist believed in a strong central government as demonstrated by the Washington's assumption of  state revolutionary war debt even though some states had already paid their debt. They also formed the Bank of the U.S and generated revenue with a new tariff. Both helped the Northeast industry much more than Southern agriculture. Republicans lived in mostly rural states. They felt these actions endangered the Republic. They wanted a weak central government that did not need revenue and they didn't like the eastern bankers or their tariffs. They wanted states rights. Source

The 1800 Presidential Election was very rancorous because no rules of acceptable behavior existed and politics could be a messy business. The Aurora of Philadelphia became the mouthpiece of the Jeffersonian Republicans. They printed that Adams was a Monarchist who would appoint himself King. His son would be the hereditary successor. They said Adams had ordered a boatload of prostates delivered from England to meat his lustful passions. The Porcupine Gazette did the same for the Federalists. They printed Jefferson was an atheist and anarchists. Two mistakes hurt  Adams. In 1798 he had created a standing army and enlarged the Navy. This hurt because traditional Republican orthodoxy preached that a standing army always led to a dictator. A citizen soldier was enough to meet emergencies. Second, the Alien and Sedition Acts hurt on two fronts. Immigrants didn't like the Alien Act which made them wait longer for citizenship and allowed them to be arrested and even deported. The Sedition Act made Republican written anti- government literature illegal. This would be the first of many such instances where the President's would abuse the Constitution in

the name of national security. The election ended in an Electoral College tie. Receiving votes were two Federalists , Adams( 65) and Thomas  Pickney(64) plus two Republicans Jefferson(73) and Aaron Burr(73), John Jay had one vote. The election went to the House of Representing. Hamilton worked behind the scenes for Jefferson who he felt was less-dangerous than Burr. The runoff was tied for 36 ballots and finally on number 37 Jefferson was declared the winner. The U.S. became the first society to followed a revolution with a peacefully transfer of power. In his Inaugural Jefferson said "We are all Federalists, We are all Republicans." This assured a more peaceful power transfers. Two  interesting side-note. VP Burr later killed former Treasury Secretary Hamilton in a dual. Former friends Adams and Jefferson became bitter enemies because of partisan politics and didn't communicate until 1812 when letters between the two healed the damage. Letters continued until their death on the same day of 7/4/26, the 50th anniversary of the nation's birth.

The Politics:A Quarrel between a Federalist and a Republican in the House of Representatives

Federalist and  Republican House quarrel. Foreign influence on Domestic Politics

ElectoralCollege1800.svg

Presidential election results map. Green for Jefferson, orange for Adams, gray non-voting territories Numbers are electoral votes.

Marshal Creates a Third Separate Power Of all a President's powers, many feel the appointment of a Supreme Court justice is most important. The Federalist lost power in 1800 and feared new administration anarchy and tried to decrease the new President's power so under President  Adams they decided to control the federal judiciary. First Adams appointed John Marshall as Supreme Court Chief Justice. Then the Federalist congress passed a law that decreased the number of justices from 7 to 5 and increased the number of Federal Judgeships. Adams dutifully appoint the new justices with the last group appointed the night he left office. The 42 appointments were  left signed and sealed but undelivered by Chief Justice Marshall. Known as the infamous "Midnight Judges,"  Marshal felt signed and sealed meant appointed and the administration must mail the appointments. Source

The Politics: Jefferson refused and issued 25 new appointments in their place. Marshal wanted his fellow justices to rule the 1801 Judiciary Act unconstitutional.  The justices refused. Then Federalist appointee William Marbury sued for his appointment. He wanted the soon to be appointed be Secretary of State John Madison to send the mail. In Marbury v. Madison the court ruled that Marbury had a right to the commission and that the law provided Marbury with the correct legal remedy. Nonetheless the Court stopped short of ordering Madison (by writ of mandamus) to hand over Marbury's commission.

Instead it held that the provision of the Judiciary Act of 1789 that enabled Marbury to bring his claim to the Supreme Court was itself unconstitutional since it purported to extend the Court's original jurisdiction beyond that which Article III had established. Over the years legal scholars have decided what Marshal did was a stretch at best but the deed was done. Madison felt adding to the court's power was more important than the short term political gain of his Federalist Party. The  concept of Judicial Review would spread throughout the world. See FDR Court-packing of 1937.

Who Are We of We the People?  At the dawn of the American Revolution about 60% of the white males (and their oldest son) could vote provided they owned a reasonable amount of real property or personal property. Republican government needed people who had a stake in society, a vested interest in a stable society and who wanted low taxes. No poor would be allowed to vote themselves money from the wealthy. Democracy was mob rule. Residency was also required in many states and some excluded Catholics and Jews. Property owning women, free African Americans, and Indians were allowed in a few states.

After the Revolution payment of taxes and being in the militia or army were added to the list of conditions. Most states eliminated religious tests. Maryland, North. Carolina and three other states allowed free blacks to vote. We were founded as a Representative Republic where some and not all had control. The constitution had left voting to the states. Westward expansion led to new states and their leaders wanted economic prosperity and high congressional representation. Both required people who could vote. Vermont was the first state to adjust when in 1791 she allowed all white males to vote.  Only Kentucky followed in 1792.  In 1817 Indiana started a movement toward universal white male suffrage and many states quickly followed. Source

Image result for Supreme court cartoons

Source 1   Source 2


 . Source

 
Part 3. Increasing We of "We the People"
Who Protects Unalienable 1866 Rights of Whom?
The 1870's Take Away Unalienable Rights
TR took on 1904 Corporate RR Trusts
.

1930's Safety Net Deficits, Like War Deficits, Prove Attractive
1973 Finally Brings Faster Track Civil Rights
See Apocalypse: To Civil War and Reconstruction.
Editor's Note: textbooksfree.org summaries do little justice to the fascinating lectures available through Turning Points in American History audio course of Professor E. T. O'Donnell and PRESIDENTIAL COURAGE1 Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 which emphasis the politics of events.  By Michael Beschloss  Summaries by W. Antoniotti

Who Protects the Unalienable 1866 Rights of Whom? Equal rights for all was limited to very few at the time of our founding fathers. Women, slaves, Indians and poor men need not apply. Radicals of the early 1830's associated with abolition wanted much more than freeing slaves. Everyone deserved civil rights. The Civil War had freed the slaves but what would be their status. Would freedman have civil, social, political and economic rights or would they have a serf-like status. Many citizens at that time did not have these rights. Also, what would happen to the southern states and their leaders. In the beginning of reconstruction southern President Johnson wanted the states back in the U.S. quickly so he let them back in 1865 when Congress was not in session. He also wanted no civil rights for freedman. Radical Republicans were not happy with what they observed after the war. Why? The leaders of the South had quickly regained political power, much violence was perpetrated against former slaves and Black Codes laws limiting rights were passed. Congress returned and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. It was the first

civil rights laws defining for first time a citizen and their rights. It negating the Dred Scott vs. Sandford decision by the Supreme Court that stated blacks were not and cold not be citizens. President Johnson vetoed it but Congresses overrode his veto.  After the Memphis race riot of 1866 which killed 46 blacks many felt the law was not enough. More was needed. Local government did nothing. This riot convinced many an amendment to the constitution was required to make change permanent and enforceable. The 14th amendment passed Congress in June 1866. It declared all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. were citizens. It also declared all citizens were entitled to equal protection under the law, states that denied voting rights to any adult male would have their congressional representation reduced and finally to run for office a former confederate office holders needed to be pardoned by an act of Congress. It expanded "We the people..." and charged Congress with enforcement. President Johnson went on a speaking tour to try and stop ratification failed.

Anti-black activities by organizations like the Ku Klux Klan soon began in southern states. New president Grant enforced the new amendment. By 1871 the federal government had subdued much of the violence. Blacks participated in and to some degree were integrated into society. Click on picture of Freedmen voting in 1867 New Orleans. But a counter revolution had started. Redeemer governments took over the South and went on a publicity campaign to convince northerners that blacks were being treated fairly. Eventually federal enforcement waned and after 1873 few people were involved in enforcing civil rights. Then the Supreme Court started taking a very narrow interpretation of the Constitution in relation to civil rights. The court negated that equal rights applied to race. Then they determined it did not apply to interstate commerce segregation, private organizations like hotels, clubs, rail road cars ... and that separate but equal was legal. In 1886 the rights of citizens were applied to corporations. They were collection of people and while this interpretation simplified the legal system; it also made it impossible to regulate corporation. Thus the 14th Amendment  was an asset to big business but not to minorities. R= segregation required, Y no law, B optional/limited and G illegal,

The 1870's Takes Away Unalienable Rights Northern political support for freedman began to wane in the early 1870's because scandals hit the Grant administration and the financial Panic of 1773 gave politicians other concerns. Also some northern Republicans though enough had been done and it was time for southern self-government plus a successful southern publicity campaign convinced many northerners that the south was living under a reign of black terror. Freeman they argued were not capable of intelligent leadership. Slowly over time southern resistance to northern efforts began to rise and eventually the south would go its own way. It began with a disputed Louisiana governor's election went to an election board which split so both Republican and Democrat acted as winners. A judge ruled a Republican winner and Republican President Grant sent troops to enforce his party's victory. Then  the Democratic set up their own New Orleans government. They also  set up  a paramilitary organization called the White League to do their bidding. They had frequent clashes with the state militia. Click on this interesting interpretation of events. See Carpetbagger Then a disputed election for sheriff and judge again went to Republicans so the Democrats took control of the Colfax Courthouse.

On March 25 Republicans took back control. Armed blacks supported Republicans and surrounded the court house. Democrats soon mustered a large force of armed whites. A few shots were fired on April 3 but the serious Colfax Massacre occurred on April 13, 1983 . Freedman's women and children were allowed to leave. Then most men were slaughtered.  About fifty freedman escaped but they to were captured and slaughtered. In all 150 blacks died. Some of the Republicans were eventually convicted but soon the Supreme Court that ruled in U.S. V Cruikshank that the 14th Amendment only applied to state government and not individuals. Those convicted were set free. Groups like the Klan could not be stopped. The Enforcement Act of 1870 did not apply to those to whom it was directed and soon southern Democrats were using the Mississippi Plan for political control. Soon violence and murder especially close to elections soon spread throughout the south. A Republican governor's request to the Grant Administration for help was rejected. The Democratic party run by Redeemers took control of the South. In the 1880's and 1890's the Jim Crow south developed. First, a share cropping system forced blacks into poverty by forcing them to cultivate crops and pay owners so much that poverty was pretty much guaranteed. Secondly, segregation forced blacks into a second class status as private industry excluded or separated blacks. Governments soon followed.
Blacks sued but a 1896 a conservative court ruled in
Plessy vs. Ferguson that separate but equal was legal. In reality facilities were very unequal. Lastly, the 15th Amendment voting rights were negated with voting requirements that were extremely difficult for blacks. First people whose grandfather voted  before 1867 were exempted. Whites were thus excluded while almost blacks needed to complete the requirements.  A poll tax had to be paid and few poor could afford the tax. Then a literacy test whose difficulty was the based on race excluded many blacks. The result was a 66% drop in black voting and in some states it was almost eliminated. In Louisiana black voting dropped from 130,000 in 1896 to 1,300 in 1904. The south managed to negate the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments but they did no disappear and would be reinvigorated in the 1950's and 1960' some fifty plus years later. Click on  A segregation sign on a 1938 Lancaster, Ohio restaurant. See 42  1973 Finally Brings Fast Track Civil Right  Editors Note: In 2015 22 states threatened new voting restrictions.
TR Took on 1904 RR Trusts to protect small towns, farmers and consumers from high prices. In March of 1904 the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that finance company Northern Securities must be dissolved. Of Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes who voted in the negative, Roosevelt said, he could carve ' "a judge with more backbone than that" from a "banana." '  Roosevelt felt he had amended capitalism to save it .   Secretary of State John Hay gave a ring belonging to Lincoln to the new President as an inauguration gift. It was said to contain one of Lincoln's hairs and TR said it would remind him ' " to put human rights above property rights." ' Editor's Note: The Supreme Court pt contract rights at the top. See Business Regulation Battle The Politics: To dampen Roosevelt's radicalism the delegates chose Conservative Senator Charles Fairbanks of Indiana as the 1904 V.P. running mate. Roosevelt wasn't happy. Fear of Roosevelt diminished and rich Republicans like Morgan and Harriman  gave $150,000 and $250,000 respectively to T.R.'s campaign. ..."T.R. lauded the "man in the arena," who if he failed, at least did so "by daring greatly." '  One of FDR's sons told the author of this book that ' "My father spent his whole adult life competing with T.R.." ' Click to enlarge.

1930's Safety Net Deficits, Like War Deficits, Prove Attractive From 1929 to 1933 GDP dropped from $104 billion to $56 billion and unemployment increased from 3.2% to 24.9% topping 40% in Detroit. Spending on food dropped from the $20 billion to $ 12 billions because 43% of the bank had closed taking their deposits down with them. Hoovervilles  developed as places where the homeless lived. Farmers burned food as that was cheaper than sending food to market. Were Capitalism and Democracy dead? FDR immediately called Congress back and also ordered an immediate four day bank holiday which worked so well  that when banks reopened deposits went up!  We borrow for war and few complain, what about people? Click to enlarge.

There were many important programs. During his now famous first 100 days FDR implemented Keynesian Economics. It advocated deficit government spending to put people back to work. This would expand the economy which would increase tax collections and eventually eliminate expected  deficits. There would be little long-term debt buildup if the government ran a surplus during good times. Sample of programs: Relief like Home Owners' Loan Corporation refinanced existing mortgages decreasing foreclosures. Recovery TVA employed people to build dams, controlled floods, improved irrigation and eventually generate electricity. Reform Social Security Act: Old-Age pensions, unemployment and disability Insurance

1973 Finally Begins Faster Track Civil Rights
African Americans improvements after the Civil War didn't last long and by the 1870's Jim Crow laws meant segregation in education, housing, and every-day life remained unchanged. It was a difficult time when eighty-six percent of Mississippi African Americans lived in poverty. Other areas in the south and most cities were similar. Then in 1954 a  9-0 Supreme Court ruling overturned " separate but equal" with Brown vs. Board of Education. Then forty-three-year-old seamstress Rosa Parks would not sit at the back of the bus. This resulted in a 1956 Supreme Court order ending Montgomery, Alabama bus segregation. Then 1957 Arkansas need Federal Troops for President Eisenhower to enforce school integration for the Little Rock Nine.  For more see the Race Relations section of Don't Know Much About History.

The civil rights movement was nationalized by Martin Luther King's 1963 decision to defy a court order with protest marches in Alabama. Many were arrested.  King wrote his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail. When getting out of jail was made difficult it looked like King's Birmingham efforts would fail. Then a decision to have the school children march led to very positive publicity.  About 1,000 school children were arrested. "...the notorious public safety chief Eugene 'Bull' Connor held back his police force so that  Ku Klux Klansmen could brutalize the outsiders without interference". Protesters were arrested. Civil rights leaders had their crisis.  Seen on TV the national pressure on Birmingham was immense. People following King's movement would continue being peaceful but now they would be more aggressive. Reform followed. In Washington JFK saw the a photo of a police dog biting a student protester and he realized his go slow civil rights attitude to maintain political viability in the South was over. He  asked a hostile congress for a new civil rights bill . The law would give the Attorney Genera the expanded powers needed to enforce other provisions of the bill. President Kennedy hoped his proposal would ease King's new aggressiveness but instead a major march on Washington was planned to put pressure on Congress. King made his most famous speech but it didn't work as southern opposition kept the proposed bill from coming to a vote.  Then while in Dallas to shore up his southern strategy President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. See the JFK section of Presidential Courage. LBJ would complete JFK's initiative and then some.

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 Larger Map     from American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America