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The Progressive Era Revisited

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“NO PUBLIC OFFICIAL WHO CONSCIENTIOUSLY DISCHARGES HIS DUTY WILL DESIRE TO DENY THOSE WHOM HE SERVES THE RIGHT TO DISCUSS HIS OFFICIAL CONDUCT.” William Jennings Bryan, from New York World, 13 August, 1896

It is interesting that the history books either misrepresent the period between 1890-1940 in terms of its socio-economic context or ignore it completely.

Most of our problems on the national scene can be traced to the misdeeds during this period. We can’t hit our opponent if we don’t understand who or what our opponent is.

I’ve written extensively about many of the subtopics connected to this period such as The Federal Reserve’s connection to the The Great Depression, and outlined why it doesn’t matter which party is technically in power. Yes, the Federal Reserve even had a hand in the World Wars and the rise of dictators like Hitler and Stalin. While we are at it, let’s not forget the Rothschild’s connection to all this too.

One of the main opponents to the agenda of John Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan was William Jennings Bryan.  In our modern times, we think of Bryan as only being some sort of right-wing religious zealot (which couldn’t be further from the truth).

Keep in mind that many of the big city newspapers were owned by the same elite cartel that were advocating for an increased role for the Federal government in the daily affairs of the average American. Of course, they were going to commit libel against the most public opponent of the Progressive agenda. It wasn’t the residents of the big cities that Jennings was at odds with, but certain individuals and various special interest groups who just happened to choose the big cities as gathering places.

“I shall not slander the inhabitants of the fair state of Massachusetts nor the inhabitants of the state of New York by saying that, when they are confronted with the proposition, they will declare that this nation is not able to attend to its own business. It is the issue of 1776 over again. Our ancestors, when but three million in number, had the courage to declare their political independence of every other nation; shall we, their descendants, when we have grown to seventy millions, declare that we are less independent than our forefathers?”                                                                                                                             as quoted from the Democratic Convention in Harper’s Weekly, 18 July, 1896

It should be obvious the Rockefeller-Morgan connections throughout this whole Progressive Movement. What had happened was business had become increasingly competitive in the late 19th-early 20th century. Morgan and Rockefeller beginning with railroads and oil attempted to establish cartels. But the free-market spirit and public distrust of monopolies in addition to central banking fouled up these attempts. So they managed to hoodwink the masses using the same language of opposition to monopoly as a way to put over monopoly.

Even the Pure Food and Drug Act signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt (a Morgan crony) was done to put mom and pop food operations out of business and enable the further cartelization of the food industry. Do I really need to elaborate on the consequences of this?

The 1896 presidential election while rarely mentioned today was perhaps in its historical perspective the most important election in U.S. history.

One of Morgan’s protégés was Henry Cabot Lodge.  Lodge basically acted as a middle man for Morgan as backstage negotiations were being conducted with the Rockefeller political machine operating out of Ohio. The main contact for the Rockefeller camp was William McKinley’s campaign manager Mark Hanna.

The basic agreement was that Morgan would throw his support to William McKinley in exchange for certain concessions on establishing a central banking structure in the future.

This pooling of votes would neutralize the support that Bryan had amongst certain elements in the Democratic Party who were opposed to central banking, Silver Republicans and various populist elements in the South and Rocky Mountain states.

The Rockfeller and Morgan camps would often be at odds not so much on the overall goal of implementing statism on the free market, but mostly such differences were simply disputes in the overall jockeying of power; basically a clash of egos and wills.  But certainly when it came to the establishment of a central bank, they were literally walking arm in arm.

Shortly after the 1896 election, the Indianapolis Monetary Commission convened for the purpose of discussing and issuing a report on “currency reform”.

This meeting was publicized as business people getting together for a convention. But it was in fact individuals from the Morgan and Rockefeller camps meeting for the purpose of laying the groundwork for a central bank. They met in Indianapolis so as to create the impression that surely nothing bad would ever come out of America’s Heartland as opposed to the image that the public had of evil bankers meeting in New York City or Washington, D.C.

The go-to-man in Congress for both Morgan and Rockefeller was senator Nelson Aldrich.  While Aldrich may have been the congressional connection, the process that it took to implement both the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th Amendment was to say the least complex.

Which brings us to our current times. Needless to say, while the specific individuals have since long passed away (and are in hell), their work continues today through the system they left behind and gets ever larger.

So do you know who your enemy is?

Written by chrisforliberty

December 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

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  1. […] The Progressive Era Revisited – Chris for Liberty […]


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