Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Historical Record

The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions starting in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spreading throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world.  The railroad was the child of the Industrial Revolution. The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human history; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way. In 1834, President Andrew Jackson’s political world of his time during the Britain’s extension of markets through the Opium War with China was a boom and bust period for the American economy. Jackson distrusted banks, especially the Second Bank of the United States for printing worthless paper money in the economy. The Second Bank of the United States was authorized for a twenty year period during James Madison's tenure in 1816. As President, Jackson worked to rescind the bank's federal charter. In Jackson's veto message (written by George Bancroft), the bank needed to be abolished because: It concentrated the nation's financial strength in a single institution.It exposed the government to control by foreign interests.The spirit of Jacksonian Democracy animated the party from the early 1830s to the 1850s, shaping the Second Party System, with the Whig Party the main opposition. After the disappearance of the Federalists by 1820, there was a hiatus of weakly organized personal factions until about 1828-32, when the modern Democratic Party emerged along with its rival the new Whig Party. The new Democratic Party became a coalition of farmers, city-dwelling laborers, and Irish Catholics. It was weakest in New England, but strong everywhere else and won most national elections thanks to strength in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia; (by far, the most populous states at the time), and the frontier. Democrats opposed elites and aristocrats, the Bank of the United States, and the whiggish modernizing programs that would build up industry at the expense of the yeoman or independent small farmer.At the same time, the history of rail transport in Great Britain 1830 - 1922  which covers the period between the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR), and the Grouping, the amalgamation of almost all of Britain's many railway companies into the Big Four by the Railways Act 1921. This coincides with the development of rail all over the globe that the 1700’s the world of Adam Smith was no longer at once much smaller and much larger than ours today. As populations using rail would become more increasingly mobile the mainstream dependence on maritime trade and transport was gone.

The sciences in every field were developed during the Industrial Revolution, the revolutions in the economy were companioned with the revolutions of thinking, perspectives and methodology took science out of the realm of alchemy and into the light of Nature’s physical world placing human societies at the center of a new power of harnessing natural forces. The Victorian society quintessentially identified with the Industrial Revolution became the model for countries undergoing the development of an industrial revolution. The path toward a bourgeois society and its customs and institutions of the Victorian age adopted the free movement of people to cities by rail connecting continents as had never before.

Slavery and serfdom formed the greater part of the type of work still being done for commercial trade in the Victorian age. Slavery was not abolished in England until 1834 and in 1865 for the US, in 1835 it took one year for Belgium and Western Europe to be connected by rail shows the raid pace of change in this period. A steady flow of destitute and impoverished hubs of immigrants concentrated in the work houses of England’s Manchester factories ubiquitously named; ‘Workshop of the World”, these factories were dependent on the cotton grown of the southern states of the US. The Southern Cotton plantations would produce for markets the British Navy secured for the Manchester capitalists was the set up. It is not unreasonable to assume that if markets were successfully generated by the British Navy the deleterious effect of a cotton famine on the working class of the northern states of the US population will persist. Cotton for the Northern US made it possible to finance a Civil War against the South was the catalytic event of the age eventually the chief cause for the outbreak of the Civil War.The Poor Laws of England made it a crime to be poor helped to give rise to the Chartist movement, as an anti-establishment movement with the following program for action:

1. A vote for every man twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for crime.
2. To protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.

3. No property qualification for members of Parliament - thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor.

4. Payment of members, thus enabling an honest tradesman, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency, when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the Country.

5. Equal Constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of large ones.

6. Annual parliaments, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since though a constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelve-month; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.

The cotton famine in the northern states of the Union helped to enlist the working classes in the war.

The Corn Laws imposed high duties on imports of important grain, these protective tariffs brought down the national average for a living wage. The Corn Laws favored landlords because they were able to sell grain without the importation of grain from the competition. This increased profits for large scales farmers of grain who were not inclined to increase the rate of pay for labor.

The Panic of 1837 was a financial crisis in the United States built on a speculative fever.  The bubble burst on May 10, 1837 in New York City, when every bank stopped payment in specie  (gold and silver coinage). The Panic was followed by a five-year depression, with the failure of banks and record-high unemployment levels. Crisis and the general wage reductions led to widespread impoverishment of the English Working Class.

The Panic of 1847 was started as a collapse of British financial markets associated with the end of the 1840s railroad boom. The Bank of England had to request a suspension of the Bank Charter Act to end the crisis. It was caused by excessive monetary inflation due to the Bank of England and fractional reserve banking.The panic of 1847 cleared away a vast number of unsound business houses, and trade generally became much more sound and healthy; this lasted until the year 1855.

A cotton famine breaks out because the American Civil War reduced the mass of product. This had the effect of lowering the price wage of the Working Class. The Civil War in America ends.

The American industrial revolution gets off the ground with the close of the Civil War. But the Panic of 1873 or Depression of 1873 marked a severe international economic depression in Europe and United States that lasted until 1879, and even longer in some countries. It began with financial failures in Vienna (capital of Austria–Hungary then) that spread to most of Europe and overextended American banking in late 1873. It was one of a series of economic crises in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In Britain, the result was two decades of stagnation known as the "Long Depression," during which Britain lost its world economic leadership. In the U.S. literature this global event is usually known as "Panic of 1873", while in the European is known as Long Depression or Great Depression.

The Panic of 1893 was a serious economic depression in the United States that began in 1893. Similar to the Panic of 1873, this panic was caused by railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures. Compounding market overbuilding and a railroad bubble was a run on the gold supply and a policy of using both gold and silver metals as a peg for the US Dollar value. The Gold Standard Act officially placed the United States on the gold standard and the abolition of slave states in the Union. The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection (1899–1902), was an armed military conflict between the Philippines and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following annexation by the United States.The war was part of a series of conflicts in the Philippine struggle for independence, preceded by the Philippine Revolution and the Spanish-American War.

The Russian Revolution was the first wave of mass political unrest through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included terrorism, worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies. It led to the establishment of the limited constitutional monarchy, the State Duma of the Russian Empire, the multi-party system and the Russian Constitution of 1906.

A financial panic began as the stock market began to fall. The market reached a low point on November 15, 1907 when the average was 39% lower than on March 13. The Panic of 1907, also known as the 1907 Bankers' Panic, was a financial crisis that occurred in the United States when the New York Stock Exchange fell close to 50% from its peak the previous year. Panic occurred, as this was during a time of economic recession, and there were numerous runs on banks and trust companies. The 1907 panic eventually spread throughout the nation when many state and local banks and businesses entered into bankruptcy. Primary causes of the run include a retraction of market liquidity by a number of New York City banks and a loss of confidence among depositors, exacerbated by unregulated side bets at bucket shops.

World War I was a military conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918 and involved most of the world's great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centered around the Triple Entente) and the Central Powers. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history. More than 15 million people were killed, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in history. The war is also known as the First World War, the Great War, the World War (prior to the outbreak of World War II), the War to End All Wars, or an imperialist war of nation-states.

The Russian Revolution is the collective term for the series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. In the first revolution of February 1917 (March in the Gregorian calendar), the Tsar was deposed and replaced by a Provisional government. In the second revolution, during October, the Provisional Government was removed and replaced with a Bolshevik (Communist) government.

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 (October 1929), also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout. The crash began a 10-year economic slump that affected all the Western industrialized countries.

World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict; lasting from 1939 to 1945 which involved most of the world's nations, including all of the great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilized. In a state of "total war," the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant action against civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it was the deadliest conflict in human history with over seventy million casualties.

The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang (KMT or Chinese Nationalist Party), the governing party of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC). The war began in April 1927, amidst the Northern Expedition. The war represented an ideological split between the Western-supported Nationalist KMT, and the Soviet-supported Communist CPC. In the People's Republic of China, the war is more commonly known as the "War of Liberation".Wage and salary controls that were instituted during World War II were ended by Executive Order 9801.

The Cuban Revolution and the Korean War: The Cuban revolution began when poorly armed rebels attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago and the barracks in Bayamo on 26 July 1953. The exact number of rebels killed is debatable, however in his autobiography, Fidel Castro claims that five were killed in the fighting, and an additional fifty-six were killed later by the Batista regime.Among the dead was Abel Santamaría, second-in-command of the assault on the Moncada Barracks, who was imprisoned, tortured, and executed the same day of the attack. The survivors, among them Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl Castro Ruz, were captured shortly afterwards. In a highly political trial, Fidel Castro spoke for nearly four hours in his defense, ending with the words; "Condemn me, it does not matter. History will absolve me." Fidel Castro was sentenced to 15 years in the presidio modelo prison, located on Isla de Pinos; Raúl was sentenced to 13 years.

The Korean War (1950–53) was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and People's Republic of China (PRC), with air support from the Soviet Union. The war began on 25 June 1950 and an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. The war was a result of the political division of Korea by agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War. The Korean peninsula had been ruled by Japan prior to the end of the war. In 1945, following the surrender of Japan, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with United States troops occupying the southern part and Soviet troops occupying the northern part.  The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides, and the North established a Communist government. The 38th Parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Koreas. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War.The four minute mile is broken by Britain's Roger Bannister.

Long period of expansion in the economy defies previous theories of short term business cycles.

The Vietnam War and a 9 year period of recession in the American economy runs the course of the full length of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War ends in 1974.

A ten year period of economic growth and the end of the Cold War marks the rise of the Evangelical Religious Right with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
The American Gulf War. Increasing misery, poverty and material deprivation of the American Working Class through the extension of debt.

The US Fair Trade Act and the Gulf War produces an oil glut with the effect of sinking wages and, 9/11, a catalytic event marking the passage of the US Patriot Act by Congress ushers in a new conflict between the Islamic world and the West.
The US invasion of Iraq and the collapse of the housing market and the global financial system is precipitated by the extension of credit markets and the housing bust.

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