Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Glory days

How did they do it? How can we do it again?

Perhaps staying out of wars, and quickly jailing greedy bankers, would be a start.

11 comments:

James Higham said...

Start with Martine Bond, of JP Morgan.

dearieme said...

"How did they do it?" Did stealing and selling other folks'land play any role?

Sackerson said...

Tell me more, both!

dearieme said...

WKPD:-
Americans' eagerness to expand westward prompted a long series of Indian Wars and an Indian removal policy that stripped the native peoples of their land. The Louisiana Purchase of French-claimed territory ..almost doubled the nation's size. ... A series of U.S. military incursions into Florida led Spain to cede it and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819. The United States annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845. ..The 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest. The U.S. victory in the Mexican–American War resulted in the 1848 cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest.

Sackerson said...

But I was talking about the Period of Fiscal Virtue 1816 - 1835...

dearieme said...

Fair enough. But look at the history - having picked off the Spanish territory in 1819, their military expenditure was just the very cheap despoiling of the Indians - relatively expensive fighting with Mexico came after your period. Otherwise they had almost no military expenditure to make since their exposed border with British North America was secure and the Royal Navy secured the Atlantic and Caribbean. In the pre-Welfare State age, if you spend next-to-nothing on warfare, you should do pretty well. Remember their history - the British colonies in North America were the most lightly taxed civilisation in history.

Sackerson said...

So my point stands: stay out of wars. This will be controversial, but what if the US had stayed out of WWI? Surely Hitler's rise and WWII wouldn't have happened, and the British Empire collapsed anyway, didn't it?

It could have been worse: I understand that when the Republic was formed, one of the suggestions for the official language of the new country was German, since there was a significant proportion of German-speakers at that time. Had that gone ahead, the US might have pitched in on the other side in 1917.

dearieme said...

No, the German language thing is much-repeated, but tosh all the same. (And, to this day, the Republic doesn't have an "official language", which is quite odd given the American love of officialising everything - even the seasons, for Heaven's sake.)

As for WWI, what would have happened depends on whether we still won or whether the Boche hung on for a draw. Either way, a Europe redesigned without Wilson's lamebrained input might indeed have avoided Hitler.

wildgoose said...

I believe the suggestion that the U.S.A. might have chosen to speak German was actually Nazi propaganda, i.e. "a big lie".

And Germany had already lost by 1917 when the U.S. entered the war, their best hope was, as dearieme says, negotiating an acceptable defeat.

Although I would argue that the First World War was the one we should not have fought. There was a study done around 1908 which reckoned that if Britain and Germany had allied then no country on Earth could have stood against us, (and the remaining European powers would probably have promptly and futilely allied against us).

In other words, France's greatest diplomatic coup was to separate us from our traditional alliance with the German States to instead supporting our traditional enemy, i.e. France.

Anonymous said...

Sound money may just have had something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

At Valley Forge, PA (the closest think the US has to holy ground), you will find a statue of some German general or other, which was erected by the "American-German friendship society", in 1915 of all years.

When I discovered this (by walking past it) I was more than a little astonished.

But I think it also tells us that the fact of German influence in the US at that time was not all post-facto Nazi propaganda.