100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Archive for the category “Politics”

Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Forced To Resign

Leopold Graf Berchtold von und zu Ungarschitz, Frättling und Püllütz
or Count Leopold Berchtold was born into a wealthy noble family. He studied law and joined the Austro-Hungarian foreign service in 1893. He married Countess Ferdinanda Károlyi, the daughter of one of the richest aristocrats in Hungary, in Budapest and their combined fortunes made him one of the wealthiest men in the empire. He served at the embassies in Paris (1894), London (1899) and St. Petersburg (1903). In 1906 he was named Ambassador to Russia.

In February 1912, Count Berchtold was appointed as his successor and thus became, at the age of 49, the youngest foreign minister in Europe. The Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 had Austro-Hungary pursuing a hard-line policy and flirting with the idea of war against Serbia. It managed to prevent Serbia from securing an outlet to the Adriatic Sea by support given to the creation of Albania but Russian influence in the area remained strong among Balkan nationalists and supporters of Pan Slavism. Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo in June 1914, Count Berchtold seized the opportunity to launch punitive action against Serbia and deal the country a mortal blow. After diplomacy failed, the Austro-Hungarian government made a decision to enter a state of war with Serbia on July 28, 1914.

Once the war commenced, Italy’s role was a questionable problem. The Italians wanted certain territorial concessions for their participation. The Austro-Hungarian government was dead set against any Italian demands and were ready to go to war with Italy over it. But Brechtold has learned that Italy has obtained vague promises of compensations in South Tyrol from Germany. Under this German pressure and wishing to avoid a two-front war on its borders, Berchtold sends out messages indicating that he was ready to cede the Trentino and parts of the Albanian coastline to Italy. When the ruling cabinent members of the Austro-Hungarian government find out, they are enraged.

On January 13, 1915 Austro-Hungarian Imperial Foreign Minister Count Brechtold has been forced to resign his post. He replacement has been named, Count Stephan Burián von Rajecz.

Imperial Foreign Minister of Austro-Hungary Count Berchtold - resigned

Imperial Foreign Minister of Austro-Hungary Count Berchtold – resigned

Suffrage Amendment Defeated In The House

Alice Paul was born in Mt Laurel Township, New Jersey in January 1885. Upon graduating college she went to Great Britain to work with the Women’s Social and Political Union fighting for women’s rights in Britain. After being arrested at a demonstration, Paul met Lucy Burns, an American from Brooklyn, New York who had been attending graduate school in Germany before joining the women’s rights struggle with British activist Emeline Pankhurst. Paul and Burns both lamented on the inactivity and ineffective leadership of the American suffrage movement.

Alice Paul

Alice Paul

Paul and Burns returned to the US in 1912 and joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Paul was appointed Chairwoman of their Congressional Committee where they organize a suffrage parade for President Wilson’s inauguration. Both women wanted to push for a constitutional amendment but the leaders of the NAWSA did not think it practical and wanted to work on a state by state basis. Paul and Burns thought otherwise. In 1914, they had become dissatisfied with the leadership and direction of the NAWSA and formed the Congressional Union. The Congressional Union initially focused on putting pressure on the Democratic Party, which controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. At first they fought to have a Suffrage Amendment voted on in the Senate. That went down in defeat in March 1914. The Congressional Union then focused on having an amendment brought up in the House.

Lucy Burns

Lucy Burns

On January 12, 1915, a suffrage bill was brought before the House of Representatives. 10 hours of debate took place between pro and anti suffrage representatives to a packed gallery that had many female spectators. In the end, the Suffrage Amendment was defeated by a vote of 204 to 174, (Democrats 170-85 against, Republicans 81-34 for, Progressives 6-0 for). This will not hamper the move for universal suffrage in the US when the states of Washington, California, Oregon, Kansas, Arizona and Illinois already have full suffrage and several others are inclined to follow suit.

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Recorded January 8, 1915

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Since the beginnings of the hostilities in Europe, America has taken a stand of neutrality and non-involvement. Various groups from different sides of the political spectrum such as labor unions, socialists, members of the Old Right, and pacifist groups publicly oppose participation in the war. Powerful leaders such as Andrew Carnige and Henry Ford financially have backed the Peace Movement. President Wilson promises to guarantee neutrality and keep the US out of the war. However the US is still shipping war goods to Britian and France – half the rifles in the British Army are American-made. Most of the steel used in the French armaments industry is American, along with half the French TNT. Still, the overwhelming majority of Americans wish to avoid this global conflict.

Alfred Bryan is a Canadian lyricist and arranger in New York and has written lyrics for many Broadway shows. Working with composer Al Piantodosi, he wrote an anti-war song in late 1914 – “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier” subtitled “A Mother’s Plea for Peace.” It is told from the standpoint of a mother as she contemplated her dotage without the son who should have been there to support and succor her. It was recorded and published on January 8, 1915 by Morton Harvey, a popular vaudeville singer who was the first ever to record a blues song, the “Memphis Blues” by W.C. Handy which he recorded on October 2, 1914.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQwEqhtGcW0

New Organization Fights For Woman Suffrage Amendment

The fight for the right of women to vote, Woman Suffrage, had made great strides in the November 1912 elections in the US.

https://100yearsagotoday.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/woman-suffrage-makes-great-advances-in-1912-election/

Alice Paul was born in Mt Laurel Township, New Jersey in January 1885. Upon graduating college she went to Great Britain to work with the Women’s Social and Political Union fighting for women’s rights in Britain. After being arrested at a demonstration, Paul met Lucy Burns, an American from Brooklyn, New York who had been attending graduate school in Germany before joining the women’s rights struggle with British activist Emeline Pankhurst. Paul and Burns both lamented on the inactivity and ineffective leadership of the American suffrage movement.

Paul and Burns returned to the US in 1912 and joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Paul was appointed Chairwoman of their Congressional Committee where they organize a suffrage parade for President Wilson’s inauguration. Both women wanted to push for a constitutional amendment but the leaders of the NAWSA did not think it practical and wanted to work on a state by state basis. for the times. Paul and Burns thought otherwise.

On January 2, 1913 Alice Paul and Lucy Burns started the Congressional Union of the National American Women Suffrage Association, a separate committee that focused on passing an amendment to the US Constitution granting women the right to vote. They plan to lobby congressmen and make sure president Wilson keeps his promises made to the suffrage movement during the election. The NAWSA leadership is wary of this new group.

Alice Paul

Alice Paul

Lucy Burns

Lucy Burns

 

$125 Million Loan For Chinese Railroads Approved

The Xinhai Revolution in China began in October 1911. Local Chinese businessmen who had invested in promoting railways were determined not to let central government officials profit from this new venture which the Qing royal family through the Prince Regent, father of the boy Emperor, arranged to be financed by foreign loans. Qing military efforts at suppression backfired and in October 1911, a revolt at Wuchang took place after a bomb exploded accidentally that implicated Imperial Army officers in Wuchang, China. Rather than wait to be arrested, the officers started a rebellion that spiraled out of control and resulted in the downfall of the Manchus that had ruled China for 300 years. But the railroads still were to be built and money was scarce in a fractured newly formed Republic of China.

On January 1, 1913 the “six powers” – Britain, the US, Germany, France, Russia and Japan – agreed to loan China $125 million to build it’s railways. The loan was part of the attempt by the major powers to maintain their grip over post-revolution China and control the economy by demanding direct oversight in revenue collection in certain Chinese industries.

1911 Chinese railroad bond offered in foreign markets that led to the Wuchang Revolt

1911 Chinese railroad bond offered in foreign markets that led to the Wuchang Revolt

War Council Convenes In Germany

The Balkan War has forced European powers into alliances that give military support in case of war.

The Triple Alliance was an agreement between Germany, Austria–Hungary, and Italy signed in 1882 that pledged support if any other the members of the pact were attacked. It was renewed in Vienna last week. The Triple Entente was a similar agreement between France, Britain, and Russia after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente on August 1907. Since then the European powers have been in an arms race, concentrating on naval power. The Balkan War had seen Austria-Hungary making moves against Serbia gaining access to the sea by creating the country of Albania.
Austria-Hungary feared the rise of power from it’s neighboring Slavic nationalities. Russia sees this as a threat and promised to back the warring Slavic nations if attacked by European powers. Britain and France reassured Russia that they would support Russia if it is attacked.On December 8, 1912 Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany convened a “War Council” at Potsdam to prepare for any future European conflict. This move was to prepare the German public for an inevitable “racial war, the war of Slavdom against Germandom.”

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany 1912

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany
1912

Plans For A US Central Bank Discussed In Congress

The Warburg family had it’s roots in Venice, Italy and moved to Germany in the 16th century. In 1798 the M M Warburg Company was founded establishing one of the oldest banks in Europe. In 1895 Paul Warburg became a partner in MM Warburg in Hamburg, Germany. He traveled around the world and involved himself in world finance. After frequent business trips to New York Warburg settled there in 1902 as a partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Company.

Warburg wrote a critique of American banking and advocated a central banking system in 1902. “Defects and Needs of our Banking System” was published in 1906.“The United States is in fact at about the same point that had been reached by Europe at the time of the Medicis and by Asia, in all likelihood, at the time of Hammurabi.”The lack of a central institution that could readjust the rate of bank promissory notes was a disadvantage to US banking. An institution was needed to facilitate the exchange of promises of future payment for cash. A central bank constructed along the lines of the Reichsbank could fulfill this role and make it easier for the excess reserves of one bank to be used to bolster the insufficient reserves of another. The Panic of 1907 engulfed the country’s financial system and Warburg published “A Plan for a Modified Central Bank”and “A United Reserve Bank of the United States.”

In 1908 Nelson Aldrich, Republican senator from Rhode Island, chaired the National Monetary Commission. By 1910 Aldrich consulted Warburg on multiple occasions and invited him and other bankers to a secretive meeting on Jekyll Island in Georgia where the draft of a bill to establish a central bank was developed. In 1912 a bill was put forth in Congress by Virginia representative Carter Glass detailing a Federal Reserve system for the United States basically embracing the ideas of a central bank.

On December 7, 1912 Paul Warburg presented the blueprint for the Federal Reserve System to Congress and to President-Elect Woodrow Wilson. The plan calls for 20 reserve banks under control of a central board.

Paul Warburg

Paul Warburg

Issued December 4, 1912

Oregon recently gave women equal rights including the right to participate in jury trials.

On December 4, 1912 commenting on this judicial development, the PORTLAND DAILY TELEGRAM published the editorial cartoon of a jury box filled with fashionable young women in front of a young and nattily dressed male defendant arrested (“pinched”) and on trial for burglary suggesting women would be swayed by good looks and that women would only consider the appearance of a criminal and can be easily fooled.19121204(2)

PORTLAND DAILY TELEGRAM – December 4, 1912

African American Boxer Weds In Illinois

Jack Johnson is an African American boxer who is reigning heavyweight champion. He is controversial because of his race and lifestyle.

https://100yearsagotoday.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/heavyweight-boxing-champion-indicted-in-illinois/

After failing to indict Johnson on abduction charges involving a young woman Lucille Cameron who had refused to testify againsthim, Jackson was indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago for violation of the Mann Act for arranging for an old acquaintance (who now had a grudge) to travel with him. Jackson makes no apologies for his choice of companions or how he chooses to live his life.

On December 4, 1912 Jack Johnson shocked much of America and snubbed his nose at the authorities by marrying “outside his race” to Lucille Cameron at Johnson’s mother house in Chicago attended by white and colored guests. Outside, police kept over 1,000 spectators at bay. Johnson tried to protect Cameron’s privacy.

“I will not tell where she is now, where the ceremony will be performed or anything else about it. I don’t want Miss Cameron annoyed.”

The marriage has already sparked a heated debate on racially mixed marriages.

Wedding photograph of Jack Johnson and Lucille Cameron December 4, 1912

Wedding photograph of Jack Johnson and Lucille Cameron
December 4, 1912

Indian Lawyer Makes A Personal Statement In South Africa

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India in October 1869. The son of a senior government official, Gandhi was raised in a Hindu Bania community in coastal Gujarat. In May 1883 13-year-old Gandhi married in an arranged child marriage. In 1888 Gandhi traveled to London, England to study law at University College. Gandhi was called to the bar in June 1891 and then left London for India. His attempts at establishing a law practice in Bombay failed because he was too shy to speak up in court. n 1893 he accepted a year-long contract to a post in the Colony of Natal, South Africa then part of the British Empire.

Gandhi has spent the last 19 years in South Africa representing Indian clients in the colony where he also experienced the severe discrimination of being colored in a British colonial society. He was thrown off a train after refusing to move from the first-class. Travelling farther on by stagecoach he was beaten by a driver for refusing to move to make room for a European passenger. He was barred from several hotels and the magistrate of a Durban court ordered Gandhi to remove his turban, which he refused to do. These experiences awakened Gandhi’s awareness of social injustice and started him on a path of social activism. He helped the South African Indian community unite into a political force that fought for the right to vote and against mandatory alien registration cards. He urged Indians to defy the registration law and to suffer the punishments for doing so. Gandhi has been evolving a plan of non-violent protest Satyagraha (devotion to the truth),The community adopted this plan, and during the ensuing seven-year struggle thousands of Indians were jailed, flogged, or shot for striking, refusing to register, for burning their registration cards or engaging in other forms of non-violent resistance.Gopal Krishna Gokhale is one of the founding leaders working for Indian Independence. College educated he has great respect for English politics and believes strongly in non-violence and reform within existing government institutions. In 1912 Gokhale visited South Africa at Gandhi’s invitation. As a young barrister, Gandhi received personal guidance from Gokhale including a knowledge and understanding of India and the issues confronting common Indians. Gandhi describes Gokhale as “pure as crystal, gentle as a lamb, brave as a lion and chivalrous to a fault and the most perfect man in the political field.” Gandhi also realizes how separated he is from his Indian identity.

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Gopal Krishna Gokhale
On December 1, 1912 Mohandas Gandhi began the practice of wearing traditional clothing from India. Gandhi had worn traditional Western clothing fitting an attorney but for now will wear Indain attire at all times.
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Gandhi in Western clothes
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Gandhi in traditional Indian clothes

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