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You Can Enjoy Politics
Many of us get upset with politics. As we look back in history we will find interesting and entertaining aspects of two kinds of politics: 1) Shmoozing voters. 2) Workings within and between political groups to pass laws. Well find that much of what happens today has happened before. With such knowledge, we all can enjoy politics.

In addition we will find that much of the writings on politics seem to contain political tones or bias. These tones are related to the time of the writing, the writer and the audience.
< Back to Table Of Contents

 

12-01-2016
Join the Protest Against "Big Oil" . . . the Rising Price of Gasoline, 1916
by Hoosier Motorist magazine staff
CONTAINS: Great, quick read showing our early contempt for "Big Oil" and a condemnation of the Standard Oil Companies. Gasoline prices doubled to 24 cents per gallon and motorists were up-in-arms. Oil production and export facts are given . . . the United States produced 60% of the world's oil. The War caused increased prices, not on fundamental supply/demand but because of speculators.


 

06-02-2016
Our Government Tries to Sell Us on the Great War Through Movies, 1918
by Terry Ramsaye
CONTAINS: Entertaining and informative account of the Government's attempts to use film to persuade the public. Author writing style is filled with mockery regarding the "Committee on Public Information.” On a different note, before our involvement in the war, censorship was exercised against a William Randolph Hearst Media, fiction serial film portraying a Japanese plan to invade the U. S. with the help of Mexico.


 

04-12-2016
Opinions: American Technology and Human Welfare Part 2, Technology is Democracy 1800-1850
by Hugo Meier, Professor of History, Pennsylvania State University
CONTAINS: Very interesting look at philosophies of democracy and technology in the United States up to 1855. Author appears to promote technology as [bettering] human life but is able to give a great history of how we regarded technology, both pro and con. The Jeffersonian concept of democracy grew into other's favorable concepts but there were also critics of materialism such as Thoreau.


 

03-29-2016
Opinions: American Technology and Human Welfare Part 1, Misplaced Priorities?
by Herbert J. Muller, Professor of English, Indiana University
CONTAINS: Large collection of early 1970's liberal views of technologies and society. Author blames business, government and societal attitudes for military and social priorities of technology. You'll find many arguments similar to those of current times. Also you'll find many historic aspects of the period including "war on poverty," the "Great Society" and "Smog."


 

09-15-2015
We Have No Form of Money, How did we Trade? 1660-1760
by Chester W. Wright
CONTAINS: You had choices of how to pay or accept payment for goods or services but real money (coin) was seldom one of them ... there was little money available. States began to print "paper money" but had little basis for its value ... people knew this and England outlawed it here in the colonies. Our new, independent country would begin without a standard form of money.


 

06-23-2015
Attempt To Reopen China, 1905, Part 2 – Economic Difficulties plus the Need for Social Reform
by Jerry Israel
CONTAINS: Both religion and education oriented missionaries from the United States were already established in China and grew with designs to change their style of life to our western style. At home, our stereotypes and treatment of Chinese people hurt our diplomatic relations, and affected our business interests.


 

06-09-2015
We Attempt To Reopen the Door to China, 1905, Part 1 – Differing Goals
by Jerry Israel
CONTAINS: A bit of history and background before our 1905 visit to China plus differing ways that the people involved looked at China … from developing it as a more western society to pure economic aspirations. We previously closed the door to Chinese immigration and the closeness of Russia and Japan to China could further restrict our influence and trade with this country of 400 million people.


 

05-12-2015
Our Growing Nation and Immigration, 1820-1920
by Chester Wright
CONTAINS: Pleasant way to understand the composition of our rapidly growing nation … at times, over 1 million immigrants per year. The countries from which immigrants came from changed in the late 1800’s and from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s progressively restrictive immigration laws were enacted.


 

04-14-2015
Our First Labor Movements 1820-1840
by Edward Channing
CONTAINS: As we left the farm for the city we took our 13 hour days and our children’s labor with us. Our first initiatives were for shorter work days but later we witnessed inflation and needed more pay. Unions and labor laws were formed. Also societal experiments in factory coops produced interesting results.


 

02-17-2015
The Independent Motion Picture Industry Battles the Patents Trust, 1909
by Terry Ramsaye
CONTAINS: Enjoyably set, dramatic stories of the “Independent” motion picture producers and distributors relentless battles with the Motion Picture Patents Company. The Patents Trust had true legal rights to seek injunctions but found a difficult fight against the cagey independents.


 

12-09-2014
A Rebellious Look at Our Industry and Labor, 1902
by Sidney & Beatrice Webb
CONTAINS: A fiery 1902 proclamation of labor laws which the authors believe the [United States should adopt.] Article ends proclaiming how to control “capitalist industry” and even, discipline non-compliant labor. You’ll find interesting contrasts to communism or socialism.


 

08-05-2014
Quite a Political Character, Wisconsin’s Robert LaFollette, Late 1800’s – Early 1900’s
by Mark Sullivan
CONTAINS: Quick fun read. Author paints a colorful picture of the personality and stubborn attitudes of a Teddy Roosevelt-like Progressive-Republican Wisconsin Congressman, Governor then Senator.


 

07-17-2014
New Politics for National and World Affairs, 1939
by James Truslow Adams
CONTAINS: Given failure to get out of the depression, we decide to elect an opposition Congress to cut government spending. We begin to evaluate the world situation and begin to aid future allies. Finally we cut shipments to our future enemies.


 

04-22-2014
The President Takes Control of our Currency, the Air Mail and Labor, 1934
by James Truslow Adams
CONTAINS: Besides a fun variety of political and international topics, the Air Mail goof-up, drought in the Midwest and labor strikes dominate the article. We weren’t better off but we were getting used to our financial position.


 

01-14-2014
Beware of the Friends You Make, Especially as President …Warren Harding, 1921-23
by Fredrick Lewis Allen
CONTAINS: Unbelievable story. A naive President, loved by the nation, lets corrupt friends control many agencies. He dies after only 2½ years in office. Also, international agreements involve Japan’s future control in the Pacific.


 

12-31-2013
Many Government Programs are Declared Unconstitutional, 1935
by James Truslow Adams
CONTAINS: Much of the National Recovery Act is declared unconstitutional and the economy starts a bit of a comeback. A huge deficit spending plan is chosen to create work instead of expanding the dole.


 

11-28-2013
We Elect President Franklin Roosevelt & Get a “New Deal”, 1933
by James Truslow Adams
CONTAINS: Both sides of the story. The new President cut government employee pay, controlled our currency and got his “New Deal” which created numerous agencies in hope of stabilizing our economy and creating new jobs.


 

11-14-2013
He Was a Bull … The First Teddy Roosevelt Years, 1901-04
by James Truslow Adams
CONTAINS: Characterizing Teddy as “The Railroad Trust-Buster” tells the wrong story. He worked with corporate America, unions and foreign countries without political bull. He may be the one-and-only real populist.


 

10-31-2013
The President, Congress and the Supreme Court at Odds … also a Severe Recession, 1937
by James Truslow Adams
CONTAINS: The President wants to change the Supreme Court and gain more control over government programs. His congress does not support the additional Presidential power. Later, we enter a recession with massive layoffs.


 

10-15-2013
We Begin to Have Concerns about Conservation, 1890-1940
by Roger Burlingame
CONTAINS: With our vast wilderness we never thought about a need for conservation … by 1890 we populated the whole nation. Soil and water were the focus of our needs.


 

09-05-2013
Our View of Big Business and Government Control, 1946
by Eugene Barker, Henry Commager & Walter Webb
CONTAINS: Many facts and big names in the history of big business surrounded by our calls for regulation. Article may contain some surprising political tones.