It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In the 1880s George Pullman built the town of Pullman near Chicago to manufacture his famous railway sleeping cars. All buildings, homes, and stores in the town were owned and rented to the workers. By 1894, the Pullman Company had declining sales and lay off hundreds of workers, and reduced the salaries of others. On May 7, the workers asked for lower rent and were flatly refused. The American Railway Union was formed and led by Eugene V. Debs. By June 26, railroad workers around the country began to strike. On July 3, President Grover Cleveland, declares striking a federal crime and orders federal troops to forcibly disperse the striking works. On July 7, troops, standing face to face with strikers, open fire killing thirty-four workers. By August 3, the strike was declared over by police, and Debs and others were imprisoned. Six days later, the U.S. Congress makes Labor Day a National Holiday.
The Ludlow Massacre was an attack by the Colorado National Guard and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado, on April 20, 1914. Some two dozen people, including women and children, were killed. The chief owner of the mine, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was widely criticized for the incident.
The massacre, the culmination of a bloody widespread strike against Colorado coal mines, resulted in the violent deaths of between 19 and 26 people; reported death tolls vary but include two women and eleven children, asphyxiated and burned to death under a single tent. The deaths occurred after a daylong fight between militia and camp guards against striking workers. Ludlow was the deadliest single incident in the southern Colorado Coal Strike, lasting from September 1913 through December 1914. The strike was organized by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) against coal mining companies in Colorado. The three largest companies involved were the Rockefeller family-owned Colorado Fuel & Iron Company (CF&I), the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company (RMF), and the Victor-American Fuel Company (VAF).
In retaliation for Ludlow, the miners armed themselves and attacked dozens of mines over the next ten days, destroying property and engaging in several skirmishes with the Colorado National Guard along a 40-mile front from Trinidad to Walsenburg. The entire strike would cost between 69 and 199 lives. Thomas G. Andrews described it as the "deadliest strike in the history of the United States".
The Ludlow Massacre was a watershed moment in American labor relations. Historian Howard Zinn described the Ludlow Massacre as "the culminating act of perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history". Congress responded to public outcry by directing the House Committee on Mines and Mining to investigate the incident. Its report, published in 1915, was influential in promoting child labor laws and an eight-hour work day.
The Ludlow site, 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Trinidad, Colorado, is now a ghost town. The massacre site is owned by the UMWA, which erected a granite monument in memory of the miners and their families who died that day. The Ludlow Tent Colony Site was designated a National Historic Landmark on January 16, 2009, and dedicated on June 28, 2009. Modern archeological investigation largely supports the strikers' reports of the event.
In 1781, most of the Continental Army was demobilized without pay. Two years later, hundreds of Pennsylvania war veterans marched on Philadelphia, then the nation's capital, surrounded the State House where the U.S. Congress was in session, and demanded their pay. Congress fled to Princeton, New Jersey, and several weeks later, the U.S. Army expelled the war veterans from Philadelphia. In response to that experience, the federal district is now directly governed by the U.S. Congress, now known as Washington, D.C., was excluded from the restrictions of the Posse Comitatus Act which forbade the use of the U.S. military for domestic police activity.
The practice of war-time military bonuses began in 1776, as payment for the difference between what a soldier earned and what he could have earned had he not enlisted. Breaking with tradition, the veterans of the Spanish–American War did not receive a bonus and, after World War I, their not receiving a military service bonus became a political matter when WWI veterans received only a $60 bonus. The American Legion, created in 1919, led a political movement for an additional bonus.
On May 15, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge vetoed a bill granting bonuses to veterans of World War I, saying: "patriotism... bought and paid for is not patriotism." Congress overrode his veto a few days later, enacting the World War Adjusted Compensation Act. Each veteran was to receive a dollar for each day of domestic service, up to a maximum of $500, and $1.25 for each day of overseas service, up to a maximum of $625 (2010: $7,899). Amounts of $50 or less were immediately paid. All other amounts were issued as Certificates of Service maturing in 20 years.
3,662,374 military service certificates were issued, with a face value of $3.638,000,000 (2010: $43.7 billion). Congress established a trust fund to receive 20 annual payments of $112 million that, with interest, would finance the 1945 disbursement of the $3.638 billion due the veterans. Meanwhile, veterans could borrow up to 22.5% of the certificate's face value from the fund; but in 1931, because of the Great Depression, congress increased the maximum value of such loans to 50% of the certificate's face value. Although there was congressional support for the immediate redemption of the military service certificates, President Hoover and republican congressmen opposed such action; they reasoned that the government would have to increase taxes to cover the costs of the payout, and thus any potential recovery would be slowed.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars continued to press the federal government to allow the early redemption of military service certificates.
The first march of the unemployed was "Coxey's Army" in 1894, when armies of men from various regions streamed to Washington as a "living petition" to demand that the federal government create jobs by investing in public infrastructure projects (Donald L. McMurry, "Coxey's Army", 1930). In January 1932, a march of 25,000 unemployed Pennsylvanians, dubbed "Cox's Army", had marched on Washington, D.C, the largest demonstration to date in the nation's capital, setting a precedent for future marches by the unemployed...
On June 15, 1932, the House of Representatives passed the Wright Patman Bonus Bill which would have moved forward the date for World War I veterans to receive their cash bonus.
Most of the Bonus Army camped in a Hooverville on the Anacostia Flats, a swampy, muddy area across the Anacostia River from the federal core of Washington, just south of the 11th Street Bridges (now Section C of Anacostia Park). The camps, built from materials scavenged from a nearby rubbish dump, were tightly controlled by the veterans who laid out streets, built sanitation facilities, and held daily parades. To live in the camps, veterans were required to register and prove they had been honorably discharged.
The Bonus Army massed at the United States Capitol on June 17 as the U.S. Senate defeated the Bonus Bill by a vote of 62-18...
The marchers remained at their campsite waiting for President Hoover to act. On July 28, 1932, Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the police to remove the Bonus Army veterans from their camp. When the veterans moved back into it, they rushed two policemen trapped on the second floor of a building. The cornered police drew their revolvers and shot two veterans, William Hushka and Eric Carlson, who died later.
William Hushka (1895–1932) was an immigrant to the United States from Lithuania. When the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, he sold his butcher shop in St. Louis, Missouri and joined the United States Army. After the war he lived in Chicago. Hushka is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Eric Carlson (1894 – July 28, 1932) was a U.S. veteran from Oakland, California. He fought in the trenches of France in World War I. He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
When told of the shootings, President Hoover ordered the army to evict the Bonus Army from Washington...
At 4:45 p.m., commanded by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the 12th Infantry Regiment, Fort Howard, Maryland, and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, supported by six battle tanks commanded by Maj. George S. Patton, formed in Pennsylvania Avenue while thousands of civil service employees left work to line the street and watch. The Bonus Marchers, believing the troops were marching in their honor, cheered the troops until Patton ordered the cavalry to charge them—an action which prompted the spectators to yell, "Shame! Shame!"
Shacks that members of the Bonus Army erected on the Anacostia Flats burning after the confrontation with the military.
After the cavalry charged, the infantry, with fixed bayonets and tear gas (adamsite, an arsenical vomiting agent) entered the camps, evicting veterans, families, and camp followers. The veterans fled across the Anacostia River to their largest camp, and President Hoover ordered the assault stopped. However, Gen. MacArthur ignored the president and ordered a new attack. MacArthur explained his actions by saying that he thought that the Bonus March was an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government. Fifty-five veterans were injured and 135 arrested. A veteran's wife miscarried. When 12-week-old Bernard Myers died in the hospital after being caught in the tear gas attack, a government investigation reported he died of enteritis, while a hospital spokesman said the tear gas "didn't do it any good."
During the military operation, Major Dwight D. Eisenhower, later the 34th president of the United States, served as one of MacArthur's junior aides. Believing it wrong for the Army's highest-ranking officer to lead an action against fellow American war veterans, he strongly advised MacArthur against taking any public role: "I told that dumb son-of-a-bitch not to go down there," he said later. "I told him it was no place for the Chief of Staff." Despite his misgivings, Eisenhower later wrote the Army's official incident report which endorsed MacArthur's conduct.
The 20th century was a time of enormous changes in American life. The beginning of the 21st century seems a suitable time to look back over the past 100 years and see how the United States has developed, for better and worse, during that period of its history.
Changes in the workplace reached across social strata. For those in the working class, the effects of industrial growth were often adverse. Labor unions enjoyed little public support, lacked legal status, suffered from internal differences, were weakened by periodic economic depressions, and lacked the power to counter employers' use of such anti-union tactics as hiring strikebreakers, known as scabs.
Crowding of industrial workers and their families in tenement districts worked against the kind of neighborliness that characterized life in small towns. The saloon was the social club for many immigrants. It provided cheap or free lunches, warmth, banking and notary services, gambling, party rooms, and political headquarters. Premature death disrupted many families. At the turn of the century, life expectancy at birth for white males was 46.6 years; for black males, 32.5 years; for white females, 48.7 years; and for black females, 33.5 years. (In 1995 the figures for the comparable groups were 73.4, 65.2, 79.6, and 73.9.) The maternal mortality rate in 1915 was 61 per 1,000 live births (compared to 8 in 1990); the infant mortality rate stood at 100 per 1,000 live births (compared to 7.6 in 1990), and was twice as high for blacks. Divorce also caused disruptions. The number of divorces was 15 times higher in 1920 than in 1870; by the mid-1920s, one in seven marriages ended in divorce. Moral problems evident in the corruption of urban political machines, high juvenile delinquency and crime rates (the homicide rate had quadrupled in New York in the last two decades of the 19th century), and widespread prostitution were coupled with health problems: diseases and epidemics resulting in part from water and sewage disposal deficiencies.
About one in seven Americans—more than 46 million people—rely on such programs to get by, according to the study, which involved confidential surveys of more than 60,000 recipients of food aid from groups affiliated with Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks that distribute donated food to programs in all 50 states.
The ranks of the hungry include 12 million children and 7 million seniors, plus millions more among the working poor, military families, the unemployed, and young college graduates. Those in each group said their reliance on food aid stemmed from a daily struggle to put healthy and nutritious food on the table when all that many can afford is inexpensive processed food that fuels a cycle of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
originally posted by: Metallicus
I am not certain what alternative you are suggesting. How do you deal with people like myself that only want to have voluntary interactions with human beings? I don't want to be part of a larger society, but perhaps a community. When I help someone by sharing the fruits of my labor I want it to be on my terms and not legislated by some government. I want to share what I have with my neighbors not some entity.
Any government that exists enslaves its people. Can a person be born without having to swear fealty to a government or nation? I just want to be free to provide for myself, my family and community. I don't have any interest in foreign goods, wars or other petty concerns of governments or international agreements.
I just want to be free from Government and the inevitible tyranny that they inflict.
Where is there a place to live as a free man?
You want a real liberal utopia? You're looking in the wrong places. No one's vision of utopia is run by a dictator. Try glancing in the direction of Scandinavian countries, you'll hit closer to the mark.
originally posted by: Edumakated
Interesting. Now show us the liberal utopias... you know places like North Korea where everyone is equally poor (except for the connected elites). Or maybe pictures from communist Russia? Or maybe China?
Capitalism isn't perfect, but of all the ism's it has done more to raise standards of living than any other 'ism. There will always be greed and unscrupulous individuals.
originally posted by: ISawItFirst
a reply to: Hefficide
Your Abraham Lincoln quote invalidates your entire point. Interesting read though.