Friday, November 4, 2016

History: The Year is 1893

I've uploaded year 1893 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Panic of 1893 -- The US attempts to inflate silver prices to help the farmers but instead plow the farmers under.

Dole Takes Hawaii. The Queen is Canned -- This is an ugly episode. The Queen is overthrown when US forces take Honolulu... because they can.

Lizzie Bordon Took an Axe -- Her parents were murdered but she walks because there is no proof that she did it.

Notable Births -- Omar Bradley, Hermann Göring and Mao Zedong.

In Other News -- The tomato is now a vegetable by law, the Happy Birthday song is composed, and Chief Petty Officers are added to the Navy's ranks.

The Panic of 1893

A couple of years ago Senator John Sherman passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act that punishes monopolies for manipulating the price of commodities and colluding with key resource providers. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act passed the same year forced the government to collude with key resource providers to manipulate the price of silver. Silver was $1.16 an ounce in 1890 which was considered too low. The Silver Act was supposed to boost silver prices to kick the economy into inflation. This would benefit farmers who are drowning in debt. Inflation allows the farmer to take out a loan to plant their crops and pay the loan back with inflated dollars when they sell their crops at inflated prices. (The farmers felt like had been cheated by the bankers, so they were cheating them back.) The silver miners benefited by requiring the government to buy more silver. Sherman assured President Harrison that the Silver Act would never cause a problem, but Gresham's Law says that bad money pushes out the good. The price of silver has dropped more than 50% and it is still dropping! Investors are trading worth-less silver dollars for Treasury Notes backed by gold which has remained stable and more importantly... the price has remained real. The Carson City minting of Morgan silver dollars is shut down. There is a run on the banks, and credit dries up. The farmers are totally plowed under. They blame evil Jewish bankers, but actually, Senator Sherman is a Methodist. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
This Panic was not directly the fault of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, but sudden turmoil in Buenos Aries caused European investors to pull their money out of South America. They turned to US Treasury Notes backed by gold. Then, when it became apparent that people were dumping silver for gold, gold disappeared from the market. The price of silver dropped like a rock and the US economy ground to a halt. President Grover Cleveland pushed for a repeal of the Silver Act. I find it ironic that the government can see the potential problem of private investors manipulating market prices, yet when the government does the same thing they are blind. Regardless of who is manipulating the market, it cannot be sustained for long. In the 1970s, the Hunt Brothers were accused of manipulating silver prices, pushing silver from 11 dollars an ounce to over 50 dollars. The price collapsed two months later. I'm not sure who was to blame, but a lot of rich people had their backsides hanging out in the wind that Thursday in 1980. There is a name for rich people who try to manipulate the market over the long run. They are called poor people... and poorer countries. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Dole Takes Hawaii. The Queen is Canned

It is the closing days of the Harrison Administration when news of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii reaches the United States. Sanford Dole is the first President of the provisional government. (He is a cousin, once removed, of the owner of the future Dole Pineapple Company.) President Harrison quickly negotiates a treaty to annex Hawaii, but it stalls in the Senate. The former Queen of Hawaii claims that she has been deposed illegally. In fact, she was deposed on January 17th. The treaty negotiators left on the 19th. They arrived in the USA on February 3rd and negotiations concluded on the 14th. Happy Valentines Day. The treaty stalled because the Senators were thinking the same thing you and I are thinking: the fix is in. An investigation ensues. It is found that U.S. Minster John Stevens landed U.S. Naval forces and threatened Honolulu. The Queen surrendered to superior forces. The majority of the provisional government was made up of American citizens. When the investigator from the Cleveland Administration showed up, the American Flag was flying over the capital building. Yeah. The fix was in. [9] [10]
If national honesty is to be disregarded and a desire for territorial expansion or dissatisfaction with a form of government not our own ought to regulate our conduct, I have entirely misapprehended the mission and character of our government...
-- President Grover Cleveland, addressing Congress on the Hawaii Treaty. [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Hawaii was annexed 5 years later. Apparently, President Cleveland completely misunderstood the character of the United States. It was not about freedom or principle. It was about the superior nature of the United States as a whole... with the exception of the Indians, a few Chinese, the Jews, Italians and the Irish. Did I leave anyone out? Oh yeah. Black people. What have we become? If you've been following the history segment, you have noticed a change in the character of the US citizen. We have become more brutal with others and less honest with ourselves. It is Darwinism and science replacing the God idea. You don't have to believe in God to understand the benefit of following His rules just as one does not have to believe in the Mayor of a city to realize that following the traffic laws works out well for everyone. With the imposition of our will over God's will, we have lost our limits. In some ways that is a good thing, but science is a new religion that is still finding its way. Today, secular authorities impose all sorts of limits on our conduct. In many ways the secular demands are more intrusive than the religious ones they are meant to replace. It would be a lot easier if we would correct ourselves. The God idea works. [12] [13]

Lizzie Bordon Took an Axe

The trail of Lizzie Bordon is a media frenzy. Everyone has an opinion but no one really knows. Did she really murder her parents with an axe? She looks so sweet. Certainly bad people must look bad and good people look good. Isn't that what science says? Well... there is a lot of pseudo science out there, but the evidence is unclear. The maid described the tension in the family preceding the murders of Mr. Andrew Bordon and his second wife, Abby. Lizzie and her sister, Emma believed that Abby was after their father's money. This was evident after their father transferred several pieces of property to Abby's relatives. Lizzie and Emma were are also granted properties which their father sold to them for a dollar and then bought them back for market prices. Lizzie's uncle came to visit, apparently to discuss a real estate deal. He stayed overnight and the next morning when Mrs. Abby Bordon went to straighten up his room, she was struck on the side of the head with an axe... 18 times. Mr. Andrew Bordon was next with 11. Lizzie says that she found his body laying on the couch, still bleeding out. Morphine was administered to calm her nerves and that may explain her changing testimony. Nevertheless, the police investigation provided no conclusive evidence that Lizzie Bordon did it. They could not even prove that they had the murder weapon in hand. After several weeks of testimony, the jury is back in an hour and a half. The verdict is "not guilty." The public is unconvinced and Lizzie Bordon will be ostracized for the rest of her life. Nevertheless, she will remain in the community until her death in 1927.
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
-- Anonymous.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I saw a made-for-TV movie "The Legend of Lizzie Bordon" (1975) starring Elizabeth Montgomery. She is the actress best known for her starring role in the TV comedy show, "Bewitched". The movie was a big step away from comedy and quite shocking for the time. (She appeared naked, although the camera shots were strategically done so that Grandma wouldn't faint dead away.) She did well in the role. The movie attempted to explain away the lack of evidence. Apparently the murders required a lot of preparation and careful timing. Frankly, it seemed too complex, but the police never checked Lizzie for blood stains and they gave her a break when she started to cry. Again, it was probably the morphine, so I'm not sure how admissible her testimony would be today. We'll never really know, but she did stay in town despite all the controversy. [14] [15]

Notable Births

  • Omar Bradley (A 5-star General, he will lead US ground forces during World War 2. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle will be named after him.) [16] [17]
  • Hermann Göring (Second in command after Hitler, he will be convicted of crimes against humanity.) [18]
  • Mao Zedong (The leader of Communist China who will murder up to 70 million Chinese people.) [19] [20]

In Other News

  • By law, the tomato is now a vegetable. Biologically it is a fruit, but for the purposes of the US tariff law, it is a vegetable. [21]
  • The melody to the Happy Birthday song is composed. (Don't sing it Jack or YOU WILL PAY!) It will become the highest earning single song in history. [22] [23]
  • The rank of Chief Petty Officer is authorized for the U.S. Navy. The US Coast Guard comes later. Aside from the expected requirements of time in service, etc, a Chief can only become a Chief with the acceptance of other Chief Petty Officers. They choose their own. [24]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1893, Wikipedia.

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