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    Coal, Steam, and The Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History #32
    Articles, Blog

    Coal, Steam, and The Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History #32

    August 27, 2019


    Hi, I’m John Green; this is Crash Course
    World History, and today we’re going to discuss the series of events that made it
    possible for you to watch Crash Course. And also made this studio possible. And made the
    warehouse containing the studio possible. A warehouse, by the way, that houses stuff
    for warehouses. That’s right, it’s time to talk about the Industrial Revolution. Although it occurred around the same time
    as the French, American, Latin American, and Haitian Revolutions – between, say, 1750 and
    1850 – the industrial revolution was really the most revolutionary of the bunch. Past John: No way, dude. All those other revolutions
    resulted in, like, new borders and flags and stuff. Present John: [sigh] We’ve studied 15,000
    years of history here at Crash Course, Me from the Past. And borders and flags have
    changed plenty, and they’re going to keep changing. But in all that time, nothing much changed
    about the way we disposed of waste or located drinking water or acquired clothing. Most people lived
    on or very close to the land that provided their food. Except for a few exceptions, life expectancy
    never rose above 35 or below 25. Education was a privilege, not a right. In all those
    millennia, we never developed a weapon that could kill more than a couple dozen people
    at once, or a way to travel faster than horseback. For 15,000 years, most humans never owned
    or used a single item made outside of their communities. Simon Bolivar didn’t change that and
    neither did the American Declaration of Independence. You have electricity? Industrial Revolution.
    Blueberries in February? Industrial Revolution. You live somewhere other than a farm? Industrial
    Revolution. You drive a car? Industrial Revolution. You get twelve years of free, formal education?
    Industrial Revolution. Your bed, your antibiotics, your toilet, your contraception, your tap
    water, your every waking and sleeping second: Industrial Revolution. [theme music] Here’s one simple statistic that sums it
    up: Before the industrial revolution, about 80% of the world’s population was engaged
    in farming to keep itself and the other 20% of people from starving. Today, in the United States,
    less than 1% of people list their occupation as farming. I mean, we’ve come so far that we don’t
    even have to farm flowers anymore. Stan, are these real, by the way? I can’t tell if
    they’re made out of foam or digital. So what happened? TECHNOLOGY! Here’s my definition: The Industrial Revolution was an increase
    in production brought about by the use of machines and characterized by the use of new
    energy sources. Although this will soon get more complicated, for our purposes today,
    industrialization is NOT capitalism – although, as we will see next week, it is connected
    to modern capitalism. And, the industrial revolution began around 1750 and it occurred
    across most of the earth, but it started in Europe, especially Britain. What happened?
    Well, let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The innovations of the Industrial Revolution
    were intimately interconnected. Like, look, for instance, at the British textile industry:
    The invention of the flying shuttle by John Kay in 1733 dramatically increased the speed
    of weaving, which in turn created demand for yarn, which led to inventions like the Spinning
    Jenny and the water frame. Soon these processes were mechanized using water power, until the
    steam engine came along to make flying shuttles really fly in these huge cotton mills. The most successful steam engine was built
    by Thomas “They Didn’t Name Anything After Me” Newcomen to clear water out of mines.
    And because water was cleared out of those mines, there was more coal to power more steam
    engines, which eventually led to the fancying up of the Newcomen Steam Engine by James “I
    Got a Unit of Power and a University Named After Me” Watt, whose engine made possible
    not only railroads and steamboats but also ever-more-efficient cotton mills. And, for the first time, chemicals other than
    stale urine (I wish I was kidding) were being used to bleach the cloth that people wore
    – the first of which was sulfuric acid, which was created in large quantities only thanks
    to lead-lined chambers, which would’ve been impossible without lead production rising
    dramatically right around 1750 in Britain, thanks to lead foundries powered by coal. And all these factors came together to make
    more yarn that could be spun and bleached faster and cheaper than ever before, a process
    that would eventually culminate in $18 Crash Course Mongols shirts. Available now at DFTBA.com.
    Thanks, Thought Bubble, for that shameless promotion of our beautiful, high-quality t-shirts
    available now at DFTBA.com. So, the problem here is that with industrialization
    being so deeply interconnected, it’s really difficult to figure out why it happened in
    Europe, especially Britain. And that question of why turns out to be one of the more contentious
    discussions in world history today. For instance, here are some Eurocentric reasons
    why industrialization might have happened first in Europe: There’s the cultural superiority
    argument that basically holds that Europeans are just better and smarter than other people.
    Sometimes this is formulated as Europeans possessing superior rationality. By the way,
    you’ll never guess where the people who make this argument tend to come from – unless
    you guessed that they come from Europe. And then, others argue that only Europe had
    the culture of science and invention that made the creation of these revolutionary technologies
    possible. Another argument is that freer political institutions encouraged innovation and strong
    property rights created incentives for inventors. And, finally, people often cite Europe’s
    small population because small populations require labor-saving inventions. Oh, it’s
    time for the Open Letter? An Open Letter to the Steam Engine. But first,
    let’s see what’s in the secret compartment today. Oh, it’s a TARDIS. Truly the apex
    of British industrialization. Dear Steam Engine, You know what’s crazy?
    You’ve really never been improved upon. Like this thing, which facilitates time travel,
    probably runs on a steam engine. Almost all electricity around the world, whether it’s
    from coal or nuclear power, is just a steam engine. It’s all still just water and heat, and
    it speaks to how truly revolutionary the Industrial Revolution was that since then, it’s really
    just been evolution. Best Wishes, John Green So, you may have heard any of those rationales
    for European industrialization, or you may have heard others. The problem with all of
    them, is that each time you think you’re at the root cause it turns out there’s a
    cause of the root cause. To quote Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron, and coal mine operators,
    “We have to go deeper.” But, anyway, the problem with these Eurocentric
    why answers, is that they all apply to either China or India or both. And it’s really
    important to note that in 1800, it was not clear that Europe was going to become the
    world’s dominant manufacturing power in the next hundred years. At the time, China,
    India, and Europe were all roughly at the same place in terms of industrial production. First, let’s look at China. It’s hard
    to make the European cultural superiority argument because China had been recording
    its history since before Confucius, and plus there was all that bronze and painting and
    poetry. It’s also kind of difficult to make a blanket
    statement that China was economically inferior to Europe, since they invented paper money
    and led the world in exports of everything from silk to china. I mean, pre-Industrial
    Revolution, population growth was the surest sign of economic success, and China had the
    biggest population in the world. I guess that answers the question of whether they’re
    digital. It’s also difficult to say that China lacked
    a culture of invention when they invented gunpowder, and printing, and paper, and arguably
    compasses. And China had more free enterprise during the Song dynasty than anywhere in the
    world. Some argue that China couldn’t have free
    enterprise because they had a long history of trying to impose monopolies on items like
    salt and iron. And that’s true, but when it comes to enforcing those monopolies, they
    also had a long history of failure. So really, in a lot of ways, China was at least as primed
    for an Industrial Revolution as Britain was. So, why didn’t it happen? Well, Europeans
    – specifically the British – had two huge advantages: First, Coal. When you trace the
    story of improved transportation, or communication, or industrial efficiency, or better chemical
    manufacturing, it always comes back to coal, because the Industrial Revolution was all about
    using different forms of energy to automate production. And England had large supplies of coal that
    were near the surface, which meant that it was cheap to mine, so it quickly replaced
    wood for heating and cooking and stuff. So that encouraged the British to look for more
    coal. The only problem with coal mining, aside from it being, you know, like, deadly and
    everything, is that the coal mines flooded all the time. I guess coal mining is also
    a little problematic for, like, the health of, you know, like, the planet. But, because there was all this incentive
    to get more coal out of the ground, steam engines were invented to pump water out of
    the mines. And because those early steam engines were super inefficient, they needed a cheap
    and abundant source of fuel in order to work – namely, coal, which meant they were much
    more useful to the British than anyone else. So steam engines used cheap British coal to
    keep British coal cheap, and cheap British coal created the opportunity for everything
    from railroads to steel, which like so much else in the Industrial Revolution, created
    a positive feedback loop. Because they run on rails, railroads need steel. And because
    it is rather heavy, steel needs railroads. Secondly, there were Wages. Britain (and to
    a lesser extent the Low Countries) had the highest wages in the world at the beginning
    of the 18th century. In 1725, wages in London were the equivalent of 11 grams of silver
    per day. In Amsterdam, they were 9 grams. In Beijing, Venice, and Florence, they were
    under 4. And in Delhi, they were under 2. It’s not totally clear why wages were so
    high in Britain. Like, one argument is that the Black Death lowered population so much
    that it tightened labor markets, but that doesn’t explain why wages remained low in,
    like, plague-ravaged Italy. Mainly, high wages combined with cheap fuel costs meant that
    it was economically efficient for manufacturers to look to machines as a way of lowering their
    production costs. To quote the historian Robert Allen: “Wages were high and energy was cheap.
    These prices led directly to the industrial revolution by giving firms strong incentives
    to invent technologies that substituted capital and coal for labor.” Ugh, Stan, I’m a little worried that people
    are still going to accuse me of Eurocentrism. Of course, other people will accuse me of
    an anti-European bias. I don’t have a bias against Europe. I love Europe. Europe gave
    me many of my favorite cheeses and cross-country skiing and Charlie Chaplin, who inspired today’s
    Danica drawing. Like, the fact of coal being near the surface
    in Britain can’t be chalked up to British cultural superiority. But the wages question
    is a little different because it makes it sound like only Europeans were smart enough
    to pay high wages. But here’s one last thing to consider: India
    was the world’s largest producer of cotton textiles, despite paying basically the lowest
    wages in the world. Indian agriculture was so productive that laborers could be supported
    at a very low cost. And that, coupled with a large population, meant that Indian textile
    manufacturing could be very productive without using machines, so they didn’t need to industrialize. But more importantly from our perspective,
    there’s a strong argument to be made that Indian cotton production helped spur British
    industrialization. It was cotton textiles that drove the early Industrial Revolution,
    and the main reason that Britain was so eager to produce cottons was that demand was incredibly
    high. They were more comfortable than woolens, but they were also cheaper, because cottons
    could be imported from India at such a low cost. So, Indian cottons created the market and
    then British manufacturers invested in machines (and imported Indian know-how) to increase
    production so that they could compete with India. And that’s at least one way in which
    European industrialization was truly a world phenomenon. For those of you who enjoy such
    highly contentious and thorny, cultural historical debates, good news. Next week, we’ll be
    talking about capitalism. Thanks for watching, I’ll see you then. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
    Muller. Our script supervisor is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history
    teacher, Raoul Meyer, and myself. We are ably interned by Meredith Danko. And our graphics
    team is Thought Bubble. Last week’s phrase of the week was “The
    New England Revolution.” That was challenging. If you want to suggest future phrases of the
    week or take a guess at this week’s, you can do so in comments, where you can also ask
    questions about today’s video that will be answered by our team of historians. Thanks for watching Crash Course, and as we
    say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome.

    Growth, Cities, and Immigration: Crash Course US History #25
    Articles, Blog

    Growth, Cities, and Immigration: Crash Course US History #25

    August 26, 2019


    Hi, I’m John Green, this is CrashCourse
    U.S. History and today we’re going to continue
    our extensive look at American capitalism. Mr. Green, Mr. Green, I’m sorry are you saying
    that I grow up to be a tool of the bourgeoisie… Oh not just a tool of the bourgeoise, Me from
    the Past, but a card-carrying member of it. I mean, you have employees whose labor you
    can exploit because you own the means of production, which in your case includes a chalkboard,
    a video camera, a desk, and a xenophobic globe. Meanwhile Stan, Danica, Raoul, and
    Meredith toil in crushing poverty – STAN, DID YOU WRITE THIS PART?
    THESE ARE ALL LIES. CUE THE INTRO. [Theme Music] So, last week we saw how commercial farming transformed the American west and gave us mythical cowboys and unfortunately not-so-mythical
    Indian reservations. Today we leave the sticks and head for the
    cities, as so many Americans and immigrants
    have done throughout this nation’s history. I mean we may like to imagine that the history of America is all “Go west young man,” but in fact from Mark Twain to pretty much
    every hipster in Brooklyn, it’s the opposite. So, population was growing everywhere
    in America after 1850. Following a major economic downturn in
    the 1890s, farm prices made a comeback, and that drew more and more people out
    west to take part in what would eventually be
    called agriculture’s golden age. Although to be fair agriculture’s real golden age was
    in like 3000 BCE when Mesopotamians were like, “Dude, if we planted these in rows, we
    could have MORE OF IT THAN WE CAN EAT.” So it was really more of a second golden age. But anyway, more than a million land claims
    were filed under the Homestead Act in the 1890s. And between 1900 and 1910 the
    populations of Texas and Oklahoma together
    increased by almost 2 million people. And another 800,000 moved into Kansas,
    the Dakotas, and Nebraska. That’s right. People moved TO Nebraska.
    Sorry, I just hadn’t yet offended Nebraskans. I’m looking to get through the list before
    the end of the year. But one of the central reasons that so many people
    moved out west was that the demand for agricultural
    products was increasing due to…the growth of cities. In 1880, 20% of the American population
    lived in cities and there were 12 cities with a
    population over 100,000 people. This rose to 18 cities in 1900 with the
    percentage of urban dwellers rising to 38%. And by 1920, 68% of Americans lived in cities
    and 26 cities had a population over 100,000. So in the 40 years around the turn of the 20th century,
    America became the world’s largest industrial power
    and went from being predominantly rural to largely urban. This is, to use a technical historian term,
    a really big deal. Because it didn’t just make cities possible,
    but also their products. It’s no coincidence that while all this was
    happening, we were getting cool stuff like
    electric lights and moving picture cameras. Neither of which were invented by
    Thomas Edison. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but suddenly there are a lot more photographs in Crash Course U.S. History b-roll. So the city leading the way in this urban
    growth was New York, especially after Manhattan was
    consolidated with Brooklyn (and the Bronx,
    Queens and Staten Island) in 1898. At the turn of the century, the population of the 23
    square miles of Manhattan Island was over 2 million. And the combined 5 boroughs had a
    population over 4 million. But, while New York gets most of the attention
    in this time period, and all time periods since, it
    wasn’t alone in experiencing massive growth. Like, my old hometown of Chicago, after
    basically burning to the ground in 1871, became
    the second largest city in America by the 1890s. Also, they reversed the flow of the
    freaking Chicago River. Probably the second most impressive
    feat in Chicago at the time. The first being that the Cubs won two
    World Series. Even though I’m sorely tempted to chalk up the
    growth of these metropolises to a combination of
    better nutrition and a rise in skoodilypooping, I’m going to have to bow to stupid historical accuracy and tell you that much of the growth had to do with the phenomenon that this period is most known for: immigration. Of course, by the end of the 19th century, immigration
    was not a new phenomenon in the United States. After the first wave of colonization by English people, and Spanish people, and other Europeans, there was a new wave of Scandinavians, French people, and especially the Irish. Most of you probably know about the
    potato famine of the 1840s that led a million
    Irish men and women to flee. If you don’t know
    about it, it was awful. And the second largest wave of immigrants was
    made up of German speakers, including a number of
    liberals who left after the abortive revolutions of 1848. All right, let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The Irish had primarily been farmers in the
    motherland, but in America, they tended to
    stay in cities, like New York and Boston. Most of the men began their working lives as
    low-wage unskilled laborers, but over time they came
    to have much more varied job opportunities. Irish immigrant women worked too, some in
    factories or as domestic servants in the homes
    of the growing upper class. Many women actually preferred the freedom that
    factory labor provided and one Irish factory woman
    compared her life to that of a servant by saying: “Our day is ten hours long, but when it’s
    done, it’s done, and we can do what we like
    with the evenings. That’s what I’ve heard from every nice girl
    that’s tried service. You’re never sure that your soul is your
    own except when you’re out of the house.” Most German speakers had been farmers in their
    home countries and would remain farmers in the US,
    but a number of skilled artisans also came. They tended to stay in cities and
    make a go of entrepreneurship. Bismarck himself saw emigration from
    Germany as a good thing saying, “The better it goes for us, the higher the
    volume of emigration.” And that’s why we named a city in
    North Dakota after him. Although enough German immigrants came to New York that the lower east side of Manhattan came to be known for a time as Kleindeutschland (little Germany), many moved to the growing cities of the
    Midwest like Cincinnati and St. Louis. Some of the most famous German
    immigrants became brewers. And America is much richer for the arrival of men like Frederick Pabst, Joseph Schlitz, and Adolphus Busch. And by richer, I mean drunker. Hey. Thanks for not ending on a downer,
    Thought Bubble. I mean, unless you count alcoholism. So, but by the 1890s, over half of the 3.5 million immigrants who came to our shores came from southern and eastern Europe, in particular Italy and the Russian and Austro Hungarian empires. They were more likely than previous
    immigrants to be Jewish or Catholic, and while almost all of them were looking
    for work, many were also escaping political
    or religious persecution. And by the 1890s they also had to face
    new “scientific” theories, which I’m putting in air quotes to be clear because
    there was nothing scientific about them, which consigned them to different “races” whose
    low level of civilization was fit only for certain kinds of
    work and predisposed them to criminality. The Immigration Restriction League was founded
    in Boston in 1894 and lobbied for national legislation
    that would limit the numbers of immigrants, and one such law even passed Congress in 1897
    only to be vetoed by President Grover Cleveland. Good work, Grover! You know, his first name
    was Stephen, but he called himself Grover. I would have made a different choice. But before you get too excited about
    Grover Cleveland, Congress and the President were able to agree on
    one group of immigrants to discriminate against:
    the Chinese. Chinese immigrants, overwhelmingly male, had been coming to the United States, mostly to the West, since the 1850s to work in mines and on the railroads. They were viewed with suspicion because they looked different, spoke a different language, and they had “strange” habits, like regular bathing. By the time the Chinese Exclusion Act went into effect in 1882, there were 105,000 people of Chinese descent living in the United States, mainly in cities on the West Coast. San Francisco refused to educate Asians until the state Supreme Court ordered them to do so. And even then the city responded by
    setting up segregated schools. The immigrants fought back through
    the courts. In 1886, in the case of Yick Wo v. Hopkins the United States Supreme court ordered San Francisco to grant Chinese-operated laundries licenses to operate. Then in 1898 in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, the Court ruled that American born children of Chinese immigrants were entitled to citizenship under the 14th Amendment, which should have been a duh but wasn’t. We’ve been hard on the Supreme Court here at
    Crash Course, but those were two good decisions. You go, Supreme Court! But despite these victories Asian immigrants continued to face discrimination in the form of vigilante-led riots like the one in Rock Springs, Wyoming that killed 26 people. And congressionally approved restrictions, many of which the Supreme Court did uphold, so, meh. Also it’s important to remember that this
    large-scale immigration – and the fear of it –
    was part of a global phenomenon. At its peak between 1901 and the outbreak
    of World War 1 in 1914, 13 million immigrants
    came to the United States. In the entire period touched off by the
    industrialization from 1840 until 1914, a total
    of 40 million people came to the U.S. But at least 20 million people emigrated to other
    parts of the Western Hemisphere, including Brazil,
    the Caribbean, Canada (yes, Canada) and Argentina. As much as we have Italian immigrants to thank
    for things like pizza (and we do thank you), Argentina can be just as grateful for the
    immigrant ancestors of Leo Messi. Also the Pope, although he has never once
    won La Liga. And there was also extensive immigration
    from India to other parts of the British Empire
    like South Africa; Chinese immigration to South America and
    the Caribbean; I mean, the list goes on and on. In short, America is
    not as special as it fancies itself. Oh it’s time for the Mystery Document?
    The rules here are simple. I guess the author of the Mystery Document. I get it wrong and then I get shocked with
    the shock pen. Sorry I don’t mean to sound defeatist, but I
    don’t have a good feeling about this. All right. “The figure that challenged attention to
    the group was the tall, straight, father, with his earnest face and fine forehead, nervous
    hands eloquent in gesture, and a voice full of feeling. This foreigner, who brought his children to
    school as if it were an act of consecration, who regarded the teacher of the primer class
    with reverence, who spoke of visions, like a man
    inspired, in a common classroom. I think Miss Nixon guessed what my
    father’s best English could not convey. I think she divined that by the simple act
    of delivering our school certificates to her
    he took possession of America.” Uhh, I don’t know. At first I thought it
    might be someone who worked with immigrants, like Jane Addams, but then at the end
    suddenly it’s her own father. [buzz] Jane Addams’s father was
    not an immigrant. Mary Antin? Does she even have
    a Wikipedia page?! She does? Did you write it, Stan? Stan
    wrote her Wikipedia page. AH. So, this document, while it was written by
    someone who should not have a Wikipedia page, points out that most immigrants to America were
    coming for the most obvious reason: opportunity. Industrialization, both in manufacturing and
    agriculture, meant that there were jobs in America. There was so much work, in fact, that
    companies used labor recruiters who went
    to Europe to advertise opportunities. Plus, the passage was relatively cheap, provided
    you were only going to make it once in your life, and it was fast, taking only 8 to 12
    days on the new steam powered ships. The Lower East Side of Manhattan became the
    magnet for waves of immigrants, first Germans, then Eastern European Jews and Italians, who
    tended to re-create towns and neighborhoods
    within blocks and sometimes single buildings. Tenements, these 4, 5 and 6 story buildings
    that were designed to be apartments, sprang
    up in the second half of the 19th century and the earliest ones were so unsanitary
    and crowded that the city passed laws requiring
    a minimum of light and ventilation. And often these tenement apartments doubled as workspaces because many immigrant women and children took in piecework, especially in the garment industry. Despite laws mandating the occasional window
    and outlawing the presence of cows on public streets,
    conditions in these cities were pretty bad. Things got better with the construction of
    elevated railroads and later subways that
    helped relieve traffic congestion but they
    created a new problem: pickpockets. “Pickpockets take advantage of the confusion
    to ply their vocation… The foul, close, heated air is poisonous. A healthy person cannot ride a dozen
    blocks without a headache.” So that’s changed! This new transportation technology also enabled
    a greater degree of residential segregation in cities. Manhattan’s downtown area had, at one time,
    housed the very rich as well as the very poor, but improved transportation meant that people
    no longer had to live and work in the same place. The wealthiest, like Cornelius Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan, constructed lavish palaces for themselves and uptown townhouses were common. But until then, one of the most notable feature of
    gilded age cities like New York was that the rich and
    the poor lived in such close proximity to each other. And this meant that with America’s growing
    urbanization, the growing distance between rich
    and poor was visible to both rich and poor. And much as we see in today’s megacity, this
    inability to look away from poverty and economic
    inequality became a source of concern. Now one way to alleviate concern is to create
    suburbs so you don’t have to look at poor people, but another response to urban problems
    was politics, which in cities like New York,
    became something of a contact sport. Another response was the so-called
    progressive reform movement. And in all these responses and in the
    issues that prompted them – urbanization, mechanization, capitalism, the
    distribution of resources throughout the social order –
    we can see modern industrial America taking shape. And that is the America we live in today.
    Thank you for watching. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
    Muller. The script supervisor is Meredith Danko. The show is written by my history teacher,
    Raoul Meyer, Rosianna Halse Rojas, and myself. Our associate producer is Danica Johnson.
    And our graphics team is Thought Café. Every week, there’s a new caption for the
    libertage. If you’d like to suggest one, you can do so in comments where you can also ask questions about today’s video that will be answered by our team of historians. Thanks for watching Crash Course and as we
    say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome.

    Gilded Age Politics:Crash Course US History #26
    Articles, Blog

    Gilded Age Politics:Crash Course US History #26

    August 26, 2019


    Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course:
    US History, and today we’re going to continue our look at the Gilded Age by focusing on
    political science. Mr. Green, Mr. Green, so it’s another history
    class where we don’t actually talk about history?
    Oh, Me From the Past, your insistence on trying to place academic exploration into little
    boxes creates a little box that you yourself will live in for the rest of your life if
    you don’t put your interdisciplinary party hat on.
    So the Gilded Age takes its name from a book by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner that
    was called The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. It was published in 1873 and it was not that
    successful, but while The Gilded Age conjures up visions of fancy parties and ostentatious
    displays of wealth, the book itself was about politics, and it gives a very negative appraisal
    of the state of American democracy at the time.
    Which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise coming from Twain, whose comments about Congress
    included, “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But
    I repeat myself.” And also, “It could probably be shown by
    facts and figures that there is no distinctly Native American criminal class except Congress.”
    So when faced with the significant changes taking place in the American economy after
    the Civil War, America’s political system both nationally and locally dealt with these
    problems in the best way possible: by becoming incredibly corrupt.
    intro Stan says I have to take off my party hat.
    Rrrr rrrr rrrrr…. So House Speaker Tip O’Neill once famously
    said that all politics is local and although that’s not actually true, I am going to
    start with local politics today, specifically with one of America’s greatest inventions,
    the urban political machine. So a political machine is basically an organization
    that works to win elections so that it can exercise power. The most famous political
    machine was New York City’s Tammany Hall, which dominated Democratic party politics
    in the late 19th century, survived until the 20th, and is keenly associated with corruption.
    Oh, it’s already time for the Mystery Document? This is highly unorthodox, Stan. Well, the
    rules here are simple. I guess the author of the Mystery Document.
    I’m usually wrong and I get shocked with the shock pen.
    Alright, let’s see what we’ve got here. “My party’s in power in the city, and
    it’s going to undertake a lot of public improvements. Well, I’m tipped off, say,
    that they’re going to lay out a new park at a certain place and I buy up all the land
    I can in the neighborhood. Then the board of this or that makes its plan public, and
    there is a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular for before. Ain’t it perfectly
    honest to charge a good price and make a profit on my investment and foresight. Of course
    it is. That’s honest graft.” Stan, I know this one. It’s about machine
    politics. It’s from New York. It doesn’t say it’s from New York, but it is because
    it is George Plunkitt. Yes! How do you like them apples?
    Oh, you wanna know the name of the book? It’s “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall.” Stan, transition
    me back to the desk with a Libertage, please. Plunkitt became famous for writing a book
    describing the way that New York City’s government actually worked, but he was a small
    fish compared with the most famous shark-like machine politician of the day, William “Boss”
    Tweed, seen here with a head made of money. “Boss” Tweed basically ran New York in
    the late 1860s and early 1870s, and his greatest feat of swindling helps explain how the machine
    system worked. It revolved around the then-new County Courthouse
    that now houses the New York City Department of Education.
    Building the courthouse was initially estimated to cost around $250,000, but ended up costing
    $13 million by the time it was finished in 1871.
    Included in that cost was a bill of $180,000 for three tables and forty chairs, $1.5 million
    for lighting fixtures, and $41,000 for brooms and cleaning supplies.
    A plasterer received $500,000 for his initial job and then $1 million to repair his shoddy
    work. The standard kickback in these situations
    was that Tammany Hall received two dollars for every one dollar received by the contractor.
    That may seem like a bad deal for contractors, but remember: That plasterer still got to
    keep half a million dollars, which is worth about $9 million in today’s money.
    Now of course that makes it sound like political machines were pure evil, especially if you
    were a taxpayer footing the bill for that courthouse.
    But machines also provided valuable services to immigrants and other poor people in cities.
    As Plunkitt explained, Tammany could help families in need:
    “I don’t ask whether they are Republicans or Democrats, and I don’t refer them to
    the Charity Organization Society, which would investigate their case in a month or two and
    decide they were worthy of help about the time they are dead from starvation. I just
    get quarters for them, buy clothes for them if their clothes were burned up, and fix them
    up until they get things running again.” In return for this help, Tammany expected
    votes so that they could stay in power. Staying in power meant control of city jobs as well
    as city contracts. Plunkitt claimed to know “every big employer in the district – and
    in the whole city, for that matter — and they ain’t in the habit of saying no to
    me when I ask them for a job.” But with all the corruption, sometimes even
    that wasn’t enough. Fortunately Tammany politicians could always fall back on fraud.
    Tammany found bearded men to vote, then took them to the barber to shave off the beard,
    but left the moustache, so that they could vote a second time. And then, they would shave
    off the ‘stache so they could vote for a third.
    And then of course, there was always violence and intimidation. By the end of the century
    a Tammany regular lamented the good old days when, “It was wonderful to see my men slug
    the opposition to preserve the sanctity of the ballot.”
    But, corruption wasn’t limited to big cities like New York and Chicago. Some of the biggest
    boondoggles involved the United States Congress and the executive branch under president Ulysses
    Grant. The first big scandal, dubbed the “King
    of Frauds” by the New York Sun, involved Credit Mobilier, the construction company
    that did most of the road building for the Union Pacific Railroad.
    This two pronged accusation involved, first: overcharging the public for construction costs
    and siphoning off profits to Credit Mobilier, and second: bribery of Congressmen.
    Now, this second charge was, of course, much juicier and also more partisan because only
    Republican congressmen, including the Speaker of the House, were implicated in it.
    Eventually Massachusetts Congressman Oakes Ames was found guilty of giving bribes, but
    no one was ever found guilty of receiving those bribes. As you can imagine, that did
    wonders for the reputation of Congress. The second major scandal involved the so-called
    Whiskey Ring, which was a group of distillers in St. Louis who decided that they didn’t
    like paying excise taxes on their product, perhaps a slightly more noble cause than that
    of the 2009 Bling Ring, who just wanted to dress like Paris Hilton.
    John McDonald, a Grant administration official, helped distillers reduce their taxes by intentionally
    undercounting the number of kegs of booze. But then in 1875, the tax evasion grew out
    of control. And McDonald eventually confessed and was convicted, thereby tainting the presidency
    with corruption just as Credit Mobilier had tainted Congress.
    That leaves the Supreme Court untainted, but don’t worry, the Dred Scott decision is
    worth at least, like, eighty years of tainting. So with all this distrust in government, after
    Grant served two terms, presidential elections featured a series of one-termers: Hayes, Garfield
    (whose term was filled out by Chester Arthur after Garfield was assassinated), Cleveland,
    Benjamin Harrison, and then Cleveland again. McKinley, who was elected twice, but then
    he was assassinated. As for their parties, Gilded Age Republicans
    favored high tariffs, low government spending, paying off national debt and reducing the
    amount of paper money – or greenbacks – in circulation. Democrats opposed the tariffs
    and were often linked to New York bankers and financiers.
    In short, both parties were pro-business, but they were pro-different-businesses.
    Despite that and the widespread corruption, some national reform legislation actually
    did get passed in the Gilded Age. The Civil Service Act of 1883 – prompted
    by Garfield’s assassination by a disgruntled office seeker – created a merit system for
    10% of federal employees, who were chosen by competitive examination rather than political
    favoritism. But, this had an unintended effect. It made
    American politicians much more dependent on donations from big business rather than small
    donations from grateful political appointees, but, you know, nice idea.
    And then in 1890 the Sherman Anti-Trust act forbade combinations and practices that restrained
    trade, but again it was almost impossible to enforce this against the monopolies like
    U.S. Steel. More often it was used against labor unions,
    which were seen to restrain trade in their radical lobbying for, like, health insurance
    and hard hats. But all in all the national Congress was pretty
    dysfunctional at the end of the 19th century, stop me if that sounds familiar. So state
    governments expanded their responsibility for public health and welfare. Cities invested
    in public works, like transportation, and gas, and later, electricity, and the movement
    to provide public education continued. Some northern states even passed laws limiting
    the workday to 8 hours. “What is this, France?” is what courts would often say when striking
    those laws down. Reform legislation was less developed in the
    South, but they were busy rolling back reconstruction and creating laws that limited the civil rights
    of African Americans, known as Jim Crow Laws. In the west, farmers became politically motivated
    over the issue of freight rates. Wait, are we talking about railroads? Let’s go to
    the ThoughtBubble. In the 1870s, farmers formed the Grange movement
    to put pressure on state governments to establish fair railroad rates and warehouse charges.
    Railroads in particular tended to be pretty monopolistic: They owned the track going through
    town, after all, so it was hard for farmers to negotiate fair shipping prices. The Grange
    Movement eventually became the Farmer’s Alliance movement, which also pushed for economic
    cooperation to raise prices, but was split into Northern and Southern wings that could
    never really get it together. The biggest idea to come out of the Farmers Alliance was
    the subtreasury plan. Under this plan, farmers would store grain in government warehouses
    and get low-rate government loans to buy seed and equipment, using the stored grain as collateral.
    This would allow farmers to bypass the banks who increasingly came to be seen, along with
    the railroads, as the source of all the farmers’ troubles.
    Eventually these politically motivated farmers and their supporters grew into a political
    party, the People’s Party or Populists. In 1892 they held a convention in Omaha and
    put forth a remarkably reform minded plan, particularly given that this was put forth
    in Omaha, which included: The Sub-Treasury Plan, (which didn’t exactly
    happen, although the deal farmers ended up with was probably better for them) Government
    Ownership of Railroads (which sort of happened, if you count Amtrak)
    Graduated Income Tax (which did happen, after the passage of the 16th amendment)
    Government Control of the Currency (which happened with the creation of the Federal
    Reserve System) Recognition of the Rights of Laborers to Form
    Unions (which happened both at the state and federal level)
    and Free Coinage of Silver to produce more money, which we’ll get to in a second
    The People’s Party attempted to appeal to a broad coalition of “producing classes”
    especially miners and industrial workers, and it was particularly successful with those
    groups in Colorado and Idaho. As the preamble to the party platform put it: “Corruption dominates the ballot box, the
    Legislatures, the congress and touches even the ermine of the bench … From the same
    prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes – tramps and
    millionaires.” Thanks, Thought Bubble. So, some western states
    were so Populist, they even granted women the right to vote in the 1890s, which added
    tremendously to the Populist’s electoral power.
    But most American voters stuck with the two main parties. Industrial workers never really
    joined in large numbers because the Populist calls for free coinage of silver would lead
    to inflation, especially in food prices, and that would hurt urban laborers.
    But if it hadn’t been for that threat of silver inflation, we might have three major
    political parties in the U.S. today. Or at least two different ones. Stupid inflation,
    always ruining everything. Populist leaders also struggled to unify because
    racism. Some Populist leaders, like Tom Watson, argued
    that black and white poor farmers were in the same boat, but Southern populists were
    not inclined to take up the fight against segregation, and even Watson himself later
    began spouting anti-Semitic rhetoric. But, in the halcyon Populist days of 1892,
    their presidential candidate, James Weaver, gained 1 million votes as a third party candidate.
    He carried 5 western states and got 22 electoral votes, which is better than Mondale did.
    But the best known Populist candidate was actually the Democratic nominee for president
    in 1896, William Jennings Bryan. Bryan, who once spoke of America as being
    crucified on a cross of gold, firmly supported free coinage of silver in the hopes that increasing
    the amount of money in circulation would raise prices for farmers and make it easier for
    people to pay off their debts. Williams Jennings Bryan is probably better
    known for the anti-evolution stance he took in the famous Scopes “Monkey Trial,” where
    he was up against none other than Clarence Darrow.
    But he did almost become president. So, the Populists were really wary of Bryan as a Democrat,
    because they feared that their ideas would be reduced to simply “free silver,” but
    they voted for him anyway. But Bryan still lost the 1896 election to
    William McKinley in what has become known as the first modern political campaign, because
    the business classes gave McKinley’s campaign an unprecedented $10 million.
    Which these days will buy you nine ads in Iowa. But back then, it won you an entire
    presidential election. He won the electoral college in a landslide 271-176.
    Bryan’s defeat in 1896 effectively put an end to the Populist Party. The corruption
    in government, both federal and local, continued, and new journalists called Muckrakers began
    exposing it in the press. Even though they were defeated at the polls,
    Populist ideas, especially direct election of senators and a progressive income tax,
    quickly became mainstream. Now, these days we don’t necessarily associate
    those ideas with Populists, which suggests that maybe they were right to worry about
    hitching their wagon to Bryan’s star. But in the end, would you rather have your
    name survive or see your ideas enacted? But of course many of the problems that the
    Populists were concerned with persisted, as did the scourge of Jim Crow. We’ll discuss
    those next week when we look at the Progressive Era. Thanks for watching.
    Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan Muller. Our script supervisor is Meredith
    Danko. The associate producer is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history
    teacher, Raoul Meyer, Rosianna Rojas, and myself. And our graphics team is Thought Café.
    Okay, I’ll make the transition, but I think you’ll want to keep filming this. Every
    week there’s a new caption for the Libertage. If you’d like to suggest one in comments,
    you can do so where you can also ask questions about today’s video that will be answered
    by our team of historians. Thank you for watching Crash Course and as we
    say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome.

    The Civil War Part 2: Crash Course US History #21
    Articles, Blog

    The Civil War Part 2: Crash Course US History #21

    August 19, 2019


    †CCUS 21 – The Civil War Part 2
    Hi, I’m John Green; this is Crash Course U.S. history and today we return to…wait,
    what are we talking about today, Stan? Ah, the Civil War! I can tell because Lincoln’s
    here. But this week we’re not gonna talk about
    casualty counts or battles or its generals with their heroic and probably fictional dying
    declarations. Mr. Green, Mr. Green, wait did that one guy
    not really say “Honeybun how do I look in the face?” because that was the best part
    of this whole class. Jeb Stewart did say that, Me from the Past,
    but it probably wasn’t his last words, but anyway today we’re going to try to focus
    on what’s really important. In the end the really vital stuff isn’t,
    like, Pickett’s Charge or Lee saying “It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise
    we would grow too fond of it” or the surrender at the Appomattox Court House.
    That stuff matters and I don’t want to deny it, but the Civil War and the way we remember
    it is still shaping the world today, and that’s what I want to focus on, because it’s the
    stuff that might actually change the way you think about your own life in your own country,
    whether it’s the United States or the Green Parts of Not America.
    intro So let’s start with one of the big questions
    historians still ask about the Civil War: Did Lincoln free the slaves? The answer, as
    with so much here on Crashcourse is yes … and also no. Let’s go straight to the Thought
    Bubble today. So Lincoln’s reputation as the Great Emancipator
    rests largely on his Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order which went into effect
    on January 1, 1863. This order ostensibly freed all the slaves in territory currently
    rebelling against the United States, i.e. in areas where the U.S. government had no
    authority to free slaves. This is rather like the United States announcing that from here
    on out, North Korea will be ruled by Lady Gaga. Sure, it’s a great idea, but it’s
    not really your jurisdiction. In areas where the U.S. did have the authority
    to free slaves, the border states and some of the areas of the Confederacy that had been
    effectively conquered and occupied by federal troops, those slaves were NOT freed. So Lincoln
    didn’t free the slaves that he actually had the power to free.
    Many historians argue that, in fact, slaves freed themselves. How? By running away to
    union lines and becoming “contrabands.” Because this was a time of war and slaves
    were seen as a valuable resource to the enemy, when they escaped and sought refuge with Union
    troops, Union commanders wouldn’t give them back, despite fugitive slave laws still being
    on the books. So many slaves escaped, the argument goes,
    that Lincoln was basically forced to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, because until
    he did so, those contraband slaves were still technically property of their Southern masters,
    and the Union generals were breaking American laws by not returning them. The Emancipation
    Proclamation then had the added bonus of encouraging more slaves to come over to the Union lines,
    many of whom joined the army, which eventually included about 180,000 former slaves and free
    black men. Thanks, Thought Bubble. So Lincoln may also
    have issued the proclamation in order to shift the focus of the war from union to slavery
    to prevent the British from recognizing the Confederacy.
    Arguably the Confederacy’s best chance to win the Civil War was to get some kind of
    foreign patron, and Britain was the likeliest choice as it was very dependent on Confederate
    textiles. But as you’ll remember from all those people
    going to Canada, Britain had already abolished slavery and it was the historic source of
    abolitionist sentiment, and so it was very shrewd of Lincoln to make the war about slavery.
    Off-topic, but if I may put on my world historian hat for a moment. Thank you, Stan. The fact
    that the British did not recognize the South had profound effects on the whole world, because
    it meant that the British shifted their focus to Egypt and India as sources of cotton for
    their textile mills. All that noted, I think Lincoln does deserve
    some credit for freeing the slaves for two reasons.
    First, he pushed for the Thirteenth amendment which actually ended slavery in the United
    States. And perhaps more importantly, he continued
    the war to its conclusion and demanded that the end of slavery and the return of the Southern
    states to the Union be conditions for peace. This may seem obvious today, but in 1864 it
    wasn’t. In fact, there were numerous calls in the
    North for an end to the war that would allow the South to exist as a separate country and
    leave slavery intact. Now, of course, the rest of world history
    indicates that at some point slavery would have ended, but by prosecuting the war to
    its end, Lincoln brought about slavery’s end sooner.
    But the Civil War didn’t just end slavery. If it had gone differently, Me from the Past
    might have been annoying teachers in a different country from the one in which I now live.
    I might’ve need a passport to visit my parents in North Carolina and slavery might have survived
    for decades–Brazil didn’t fully abolish slavery until 1888.
    And the south would be covered in green as part of Not-America. Or, the north, depending
    on where you’re watching this video, I guess. And, the people who lived through the Civil
    War knew it was momentous. In his famous Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln fostered the idea
    that the Civil War was a kind of second American Revolution, or at least a culmination and
    reaffirmation of the first one. “From these honored dead we take increased
    devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we
    here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation,
    under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people,
    for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” We tried to hire Daniel Day-Lewis for that,
    but he was unavailable. That phrase “new birth” of freedom had
    religious significance as well because it was, like, the 19th century equivalent to
    “born again.” So, the Civil War was the first modern war
    in terms of its scale and its destruction. Like, others have waged war on civilians to
    break the spirit of their enemies (STAN! Mongoltage OPPORTUNITY!)
    mongoltage But new technologies made this one of the
    most destructive wars yet recorded. And, yes, I know the Taiping rebellion took more lives,
    and in terms of percentage of population killed, the contemporaneous war in Paraguay was worse,
    but bear with me. Rifles, and toward the end of the Civil War,
    machine guns shifted the way that people fight. It became easier to defend a line, so cavalry
    charges and huge waves of attacks started to be just slaughtery although it would take
    World War I for the rest of the world to figure that out.
    And the incredible numbers of dead and wounded really changed Americans’ relationship with
    death itself. Like, the Gettysburg address was given to
    dedicate a new national cemetery, and the Civil War helped to create a culture of meditation
    on mortality itself that led to cemeteries replacing churchyards as the final resting
    places for most Americans. And the sight of slaughter and the sheer weight
    of it had profound existential effects on a generation of American intellectuals from
    Walt Whitman and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Oh, it’s time for the Mystery Document?
    The rules here are simple. I guess the Mystery Document and usually I
    am shocked. Oh my gosh, today’s Mystery Document is on an iPad!
    This appears to be a photograph of wounded soldiers in hospital. I’m gonna go ahead
    and call it as being by Mathew Brady. What? I already got it? But I didn’t get
    to say the name… Oh, it’s called Wounded Soldiers in Hospital.
    Thank you for an easy one, Stan. So, Mathew Brady was a prolific photographer
    during the Civil War, although, like a lot of prolific people, he often took credit for
    work done by his employees. And Brady really changed the way that people thought about
    war. He and his staff created some 10,000 images
    during the Civil War. And it was the first time that an event had been photographically
    documented so thoroughly. By the way, lest you think that the unreliability
    of images began with Photoshop, many of Brady’s photographs were staged.
    He would move bodies, sometimes soldiers were apparently told to act dead.
    But of course, at the time, photographs felt inherently authentic and written accounts
    of battles could now be accompanied by actual images of the fighting and its aftermath.
    But, perhaps the most important impact of the Civil War was the new nation that it created.
    Like, the American Civil War fits right in with the global phenomenon of nation-building
    that was happening. Soon we would have places on the map like
    Italy and Germany, and older places like Greece would be re-born as nation states. And then
    all of these places would be known to Americans as Not-America.
    But, by the way, congratulations to Italy on the recent election of their 732nd Prime
    Minister in just 180 years of existing. By far, the most successful of these new nation
    states were the ones that embraced industrialization and modern ideas of organization and centralized
    government. Northern victory in the Civil War meant the
    United States would follow the path that the North laid down. It would become an industrial
    rather than agrarian nation, with a national government pre-eminent over those of individual
    states. It would become a nation. And its not a coincidence that over the course
    of the 19th century, people stopped pluralizing the United States; they stopped saying, “The
    United States are a great place to live,” and began saying, “The United States is
    a great place to live.” The Civil War helped singularize what had been until then a plural
    nation. And Abraham Lincoln was the first president
    to truly expand the power of the executive. He ordered blockades and suspended habeas
    corpus, in addition to emancipating the slaves. But the Republican dominated congress played
    a role in this federalization too. Congress passed the Homestead Act in 1862
    that encouraged settlement of the west by basically giving away land to anyone who had
    $18 and was willing to live on it and farm it for five years.
    Downside: you have to live in Oklahoma. Unless of course you’re an American Indian in which
    case, downside: you don’t get to live in Oklahoma anymore.
    You may be wondering, how were we able to sell all of this land so cheap? It’s because
    we stole it! Meanwhile, the Morrill Land Grant Act financed
    colleges to offer training in new scientific agricultural techniques. The Department of
    Agriculture was created to generate statistics and share best practices in farming.
    Congress also helped unify the country with the massive land grants in the Pacific Railway
    Act of 1862. And during the war the Lincoln administration
    gave away 158 million acres to railroads to tie the nation together. Get it? Tie? Railroad
    ties? The nation toge-? I’ll take my coat and go.
    Plus, as you may have noticed, wars are expensive. And in order to finance the Civil War, Congress
    passed the first progressive income tax in American history, as well as floating huge
    bond issues to the public. And when that wasn’t enough, the administration
    began printing federal money on green paper called “greenbacks.” These, along with
    notes issued by banks under the National Bank Act of 1863 became the first national currency
    in the United States. Altogether, the total cost of the war for
    the Union was $6.7 billion. Interestingly, if in 1860 the federal government had purchased
    every slave and granted a 40-acre farm to each family, the total cost would have been
    $3.1 billion. But a) it would have been hard to get that
    bill through Congress, and b) at the time the federal government had no way to raise
    that kind of money. The federal government also actively promoted
    the industrial economy that was to become dominant in the United States after the war.
    In fact, industrialization was so healthy that visitors to cities in the North during
    the Civil War would have been hard pressed to notice that they were even in a war.
    So, ultimately, the Civil War was a victory for Alexander Hamilton’s federalist vision
    of what America should be. I mean, Thomas Jefferson could never have
    imagined the United States that emerged from the Civil War, a government that supported
    an army of a million men, carried a $2.5 billion national debt, distributed public lands, printed
    a national currency, and collected an array of internal taxes. It sounds like Britain!
    So, the Civil War wasn’t just a victory of North over South or of freedom over slavery.
    It created the nation that the United States of America has become. Thanks for watching.
    I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
    Muller. Our script supervisor is Meredith Danko. Too far! Our associate producer is
    Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history teacher, Raoul Meyer,
    and myself. And our graphics team is Thought Café.
    Every week, there’s a new caption for the Libertage. You can suggest some in comments
    where you can also ask questions about today’s video that will be answered by our team of
    historians. Thank you for watching and as we say in my hometown, don’t forget to be
    awesome. Civil War 2 –

    The Atlantic Slave Trade: Crash Course World History #24
    Articles, Blog

    The Atlantic Slave Trade: Crash Course World History #24

    August 18, 2019


    Hi, my name is John Green, this is Crash Course
    World History and today we’re gonna talk about slavery. Slavery is not funny. In fact, it is very
    near the top of the list of things that aren’t funny, so today’s episode is gonna be a little
    light on the jokes but, I’m gonna help you understand what pre-Civil War Americans often
    euphemistically refer to as “the peculiar institution.” [Intro Music] Slavery is as old as civilization itself,
    although it is not as old as humanity thanks to our hunting and gathering foremothers,
    but the numbers involved in the Atlantic slave trade are truly staggering. From 1500 to 1880CE somewhere between 10 and
    12 million African slaves were forcibly moved from Africa to the Americas and about 15%
    of those people died during the journey. I know you’re saying that looks like a very
    nice ship, I mean my God, its almost as big as South America, yeah, not to scale, and
    those who didn’t die became property; bought and sold like any commodity. Where Africans came from and went to changed
    over time, but in all 48% of slaves went to the Caribbean, and 41% to Brazil, although
    few Americans recognize this, relatively few slaves were imported to the U.S, only about
    5% of the total. It’s also worth noting that by the time Europeans
    started importing Africans into the Americas, Europe had a long history of trading slaves. The first real European slave trade began
    after the 4th Crusade in 1204; the crusade that you will remember as “The Crazy One”.
    Italian merchants imported thousands of Armenians, Circassian and Georgian slaves to Italy. Most
    of them were women who worked as household servants but many worked processing sugar,
    and sugar is of course a crop that African slaves later cultivated in the Caribbean. Camera 2 side note; none of the primary crops
    grown by slaves–sugar, tobacco, coffee–is necessary to sustain human life. So in a way,
    slavery is a very early by-product of a consumer culture that revolves around the purchase
    of goods that bring us pleasure, but not sustenance. You are welcome to draw your own metaphorically
    resonant conclusions from this fact. One of the big misconceptions about slavery,
    or at least when I was growing up, is that Europeans somehow captured Africans, put them
    in chains, stuffed them on boats and then took them to the Americas. The chains and ships bit is true as is the
    America part if you define America as America and not as ‘Merica, but Africans were living
    in all kinds of conglomerations. From small villages to city-states to empires and they
    were much too powerful for the Europeans to just conquer. And in fact, Europeans obtained
    African slaves by trading for them. Because trade is a two-way proposition, this
    meant that Africans were captured by other Africans and then traded to Europeans in exchange
    for goods; usually like metal tools or fine textiles or guns; and for those Africans, slaves
    were a form of property, and a very valuable one. In many places, slaves were one of the only
    sources of private wealth because land was usually owned by the state. And this gets to a really important point;
    if we’re gonna understand the tragedy of slavery, we need to understand the economics of it;
    we need to get inside what Mark Twain famously called “a deformed conscience.” We have to
    see slaves both as they were, as human beings, and as they were viewed, as an economic commodity. Right, so you probably know about the horrendous
    conditions aboard slave ships, which at their largest could hold 400 people. but it’s worth
    underscoring that each slave had an average of four square feet of space. That is 4 square
    feet. As one eye-witness testified before Parliament in 1791, “They had not so much
    room as a man in his coffin.” Once in the Americas, the surviving slaves
    were sold in a market very similar to the way cattle would be sold. After purchase,
    slave owners would often brand their new possession on the cheeks, again, just as they would do
    with cattle. The lives of slaves were dominated by work and terror, but mostly work. Slaves did all types of work, from housework
    to skilled crafts work, and some even worked as sailors, but the majority of them worked
    as agricultural laborers. In the Caribbean and Brazil, most of them planted, harvested
    and processed sugar, working ten months out of the year, dawn until dusk. The worst part of this job, which is saying
    something, because there were many bad parts, was fertilizing the sugar cane. This required
    slaves to carry 80 pound baskets of manure on their heads up and down hilly terrain. MFTP:”Mr. Green, Mr. Green! …Isn’t there
    a poop joke in there somewhere?” John Green: No, me-from-the-past, because
    this whole thing is too depressing! When it came time to harvest and process the
    cane, speed was incredibly important because once cut, sugar sap can go sour within a day.
    This meant that slaves would often work 48 hours straight during harvest time, working
    without sleep in the sweltering sugar press houses where the cane would be crushed in
    hand rollers and then boiled. Slaves often caught their hands in the rollers, and their
    overseers kept a hatchet on hand for amputations. Ugh…..I told you this wasn’t going to be
    funny. Given these appalling conditions, it’s little
    wonder that the average life expectancy for a Brazilian slave on a sugar plantation in
    the late 18th century was 23 years. Things were slightly better in British sugar
    colonies like Barbados, and in the U.S., living and working conditions were better still.
    So relatively good that, in fact, slave populations began increasing naturally, meaning that more
    slaves were born than died. This may sound like a good thing, but it is
    of course it’s own kind of evil because it meant that slave owners were calculating that
    if they kept their slaves healthy enough, they would reproduce and then the slave owners
    could steal and sell their children. Or use them to work their land, either way, blech! Anyway, this explains why even though the
    percentage of slaves imported from Africa to the United States was relatively small,
    slaves and other people of African descent came to make up a significant portion of the
    U.S. population. The brutality of working conditions in Brazil, on the other hand, meant that
    slaves were never able to increase their population naturally, hence the continued need to import
    slaves into Brazil until slavery ended in the 1880s. So I noted earlier that slavery isn’t new,
    it’s also a hard word to define. Like Stalin forced millions to work in the gulags, but
    we don’t usually consider those people slaves. On the other hand, many slaves in history
    had lives of great power, wealth, and influence. Like remember Zheng He, the world’s greatest
    admiral?He was technically a slave, so were many of the most important advisors to Suleiman
    the Magnificent. So was Darth Vader! But Atlantic slavery was different and more
    horrifying, because it was chattel slavery, a term historians use to indicate that the
    slaves were move-able property. Oh, it’s time for the open letter? An open letter to the word slave. But first lets see what’s in the secret compartment
    today. Oh. It’s Boba Fett. Noted owner of a ship called Slave One. And apparently a
    ballet dancer. (Singing) Do do doloo do do doo… Stan: That’s a fine approximation of ballet
    music. (Laughter)
    John: Thank you Stan. Alright, dear slave, as a word. You are over
    used. Like Britney Spears, I’m a Slave 4 U, no you’re not!
    Boba Fett’s ship, Slave One, a ship can’t be a slave! But more importantly slave, you are constantly
    used in political rhetoric, and never correctly! There’s nothing new about this,witness for
    instance, all the early Americans claiming that paying the stamp tax would make them
    slaves. And that was in a time when they knew exactly what slavery looked like! Taxes, as I have mentioned before, can be
    very useful. I, for instance like paved roads. But even if you don’t like a tax, it’s not
    slavery. Here, I have written for you a list of all the times it is okay to use the word
    slave, oh, it is a one item long list! Best Wishes, John Green. So what exactly makes slavery so horrendous?
    Well, definitions are slippery, but I’m going to start with the definition of slavery proposed
    by sociologist Orlando Patterson. It is “the permanent, violent and personal
    domination of natally alienated and generally dishonoured persons.” According to this definition
    a slave is removed from the culture, land and society of his or her birth suffers from
    what Patterson called “social death”. Ultimately then, what makes slavery slavery
    is that slaves are de-humanized. The Latin word that gave us ‘chattel’, also gave us
    ‘cattle’. In many ways Atlantic slavery drew from previous
    models of slavery, and took every that sucked about each of them and combined them into
    a big ball so that it would be the biggest possible ball of suck. Stan am I allowed to say suck on this show?
    (pause) Nice. Now to understand what I’m talking about we
    need to look at some previous models of slavery. Lets go to the Thought Bubble. The Greeks were among the first to consider
    otherness a characteristic of slaves. Most Greek slaves were Barbarians and their inability
    to speak Greek kept them from talking back to their masters, and also indicated their
    slave status. Aristotle, who despite being spectacularly
    wrong about almost everything was incredibly influential, believed that some people were
    just naturally slaves, saying “It is clear that there are certain people who are free,
    and certain people who are slaves by nature, and it is both to their advantage, and just,
    for them to be slaves” This idea, despite being totally insane, remained
    popular for millennia. The Greeks popularized the idea that slaves should be traded from
    far away, but the Romans took it to another level. Slaves probably made up 30% of the total Roman
    population, similar to the population of America at slavery’s height. The Romans also invented
    the plantation, using mass numbers of slaves to work the land on giant farms called latifundia,
    so called because they were not fun. The Judeo-Christian world also contributed
    as well, and though we are not going to venture into the incredibly complicated role that
    slavery plays in the Bible because I vividly remember the comments section of the Christianity
    episode, the Bible was widely used to justify slavery. And in particular the enslavement
    of Africans, because of the moment in Genesis when Noah curses Ham, saying “cursed be Canaan,
    the lowest of slaves shall he be to his brothers”. This encapsulates the two ideas vital to Atlantic
    slavery: 1. that slavery can be a hereditary status passed down through generations, and
    2. that slavery is the result of human sin. Both ideas serve as powerful justifications for holding
    an entire race in bondage. Thanks Thought Bubble. But there were even more contributors to the
    ideas that led to Atlantic slavery. For instance, Muslim Arabs were the first to import large
    number of Bantu speaking Africans to their territory as slaves. The Muslims called these
    Africans Zanj and they were a distinct and despised group, distinguished from other North
    Africans by the colour of their skin. The Zanj and territory held by the Abbasid
    staged one of the first big slave revolts in 869CE, and it may be that this revolt was
    so devastating that it convinced the Abbasid that large scale, plantation-style agriculture
    on the Roman model just wasn’t worth it. But by then they’d connected the Aristotelian
    idea that some people are just naturally slaves with the appearance of Sub-Saharan Africans.
    The Spanish and the Portuguese, you no doubt remember, were the Europeans with the closest
    ties to the Muslim world because there were Muslims living on the Iberian Peninsula until
    1492. So it makes sense that the Iberians were the first to these racist attitudes towards
    blacks. And as the first colonizers of the Americas
    and the dominant importers of slaves, the Portuguese and the Spanish helped define the
    attitudes that characterized Atlantic slavery, beliefs they’d inherited from a complicated
    nexus of all the slave holders who came before them. In short Atlantic slavery was a monstrous
    tragedy, but it was a tragedy in which the whole world participated, and it was the culmination
    of millennia of imagining the other as inherently lesser. It’s tempting to pin all the blame
    for Atlantic slavery on one particular group, but to blame one group is to exonerate all
    the others, and by extension ourselves. The truth that we must grapple with is that
    a vast array of our ancestors, including those we think of as ours, whoever they may be,
    believed it was possible for their fellow human being to be mere property. Thanks for watching, I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
    Muller, our script supervisor is Danica Johnson, this show is written by my High School history
    teacher Raoul Meyer and myself, and our graphics team is Thought Bubble. Last weeks Phrase of the Week was “Cinnamon
    Challenge”, I hate you for that by the way. If you want to suggest future Phrases of the
    Week you can do so in comments, where you can also guess at this week’s Phrase of the
    Week or ask questions of our team of historians. Thanks for watching Crash Course, and as we
    say in my home town, don’t forget to be awesome.

    Ultra High Speed Cameras – How do you film a tank shell in flight or a Nuclear bomb test?
    Articles, Blog

    Ultra High Speed Cameras – How do you film a tank shell in flight or a Nuclear bomb test?

    August 15, 2019


    In my last video I looked railguns, now
    whilst I was reviewing the footage I started wondering how they filmed the
    projectiles in flight. These are not the typical sort of high-speed camera shots
    where you see a bullet hitting a target for example, these are tracking the
    projectile from the barrel down the firing range. From the footage it looks
    like the camera is panning around and following the projectile but that would
    be impossible, the tank round is traveling at over 1,500 meters per
    second and would normally look like this. For all of you out there who said it’s
    done with mirrors then you are absolutely correct.
    It works by having a computer-controlled high-speed rotating mirror in line of
    sight of a high-speed camera. The speed of the rotation of a mirror matches that
    of the object being followed so the faster the object is traveling like a
    railgun projectile the faster the mirror would turn to keep up with it. Using this
    method the object can be kept in the field of view for a hundred meters or so
    or about ninety degrees of the mirrors movement. In this example the tracker 2
    from specialized imaging you can see the mirror and to its left where the camera
    is. Because the mirror is computer-controlled it can be programmed
    to follow objects that accelerate even linearly or non linearly. Now rotating
    mirrors aren’t new in fact they were some of the first high-speed cameras and
    are still some of the fastest in the world capable of up to 25 million frames
    per second and were used to record atom bomb blasts. During the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bomb they required cameras that could record the
    first few microseconds of explosion. In order to create a nuclear chain reaction
    and achieve critical mass a baseball-sized piece of plutonium had to
    be compressed to about half its size. This was achieved by using an array of
    focused high explosive lenses surrounding the plutonium core. In order
    to make it work effectively the explosives 32 of them in all had to be
    triggered within one microsecond, if any were delayed then the compression
    of the core would be unequal and the reaction would even be much less or may
    not even happen at all. Using a super high-speed camera it will
    be possible to see how effective the explosive lenses had been just a few
    microseconds after detonation. At the time the fastest cameras were Fastax
    cine cameras and could achieve around 10,000 frames per second or one frame
    per hundred microseconds, this still wasn’t fast enough though. The first
    high-speed rotating mirror camera was the Marley, invented by of a British
    physicist William Gregory Marley, the Marley camera used a rotating mirror an
    array of lenses inside a curved housing each focused onto a single piece of film
    around the edge of the case. This could record a sequence of up to 50 images
    onto 35 millimeter film at a 100,000 frames per second. But by the
    time of a Trinity test it was outdated and too slow to record the ultra quick
    reaction in the plutonium core. Head of the photography unit Julian Mack said that
    the fixed short focus and low quality of the lenses would probably have made the
    Marley camera pictures useless. He helped develop the Mack Streak camera
    which had a 10 million frames per second limit, thats one frame every hundred
    nanoseconds. By the 1950s Harold Edgerton had developed the Rapatronic camera
    the name coming from Rapid Action Electronic this used a magneto-optic
    shutter which allowed it to have an exposure time as short as 10 nanoseconds
    thats ten billionths of a second. This was first used with a hydrogen bomb test of
    Eniwetok Atoll in 1952. However they only took one image so to
    see the first few microseconds of a nuclear detonation up to 10 were used
    in sequence with an average exposure time of three microseconds. The images
    were then played back and blended together to give the impression of a
    film. For the British nuclear tests the Atomic Weapons Research
    Establishment created for C4, a huge rotating mirror camera weighing in at
    around 2,000 kilograms and was the fastest in
    the world at the time. This could record up to 7 million frames per second who
    have a mirror rotating up to 300,000 revolutions per minute and recorded the
    first British atom bomb test on the 3rd of October 1952. The rotating mirror
    cameras are still in use today but now they use highly sensitive CCDs
    to replace the filmstrip. The Brandaris 128 and Cordin model 510 have 128 CCD’s and a gas driven turbine mirror driven by helium to achieve up to 25
    million frames per second at a resolution of 500 x 292 pixels for the
    brand iris and 616 x 920 pixels of recording. At 25 million
    frames per second the mirror itself is running at 1.2 million
    revolutions per minute that’s 20,000 revolutions per second so fast of the
    atmosphere inside the camera is 98% helium to reduce for friction and the
    pressure waves that would occur in normal air. And so onto something I think
    you may find rather interesting. It’s not the fastest camera in the world but this
    one is or it was at the time in 2013 the fastest real-time tracker of a moving
    object and was developed by the Ishikawa Oku Lab at the University of Tokyo. Here
    it is tracking a ping pong ball and keeping it in the center of a frame all
    times both during a game and when it is being spun around on a piece of string.
    It does this by moving two mirrors in front of the camera one for the X
    movement and Yvon for the Y movement it then uses software similar to face
    tracking software to provide feedback to control the mirrors with a response time
    of just one millisecond. It can also be used to control a projector and in this
    scene it’s projecting an image onto the ping-pong ball whilst it’s been bounced
    on the bat, you can see the little face change on the ball at the top of its
    travel. So anyways I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the equipment behind some of the most amazing footage recorded to date
    these aren’t the fastest cameras in the world now but it’s still amazing to
    think what can be achieved by mechanical means. So as always thanks for watching
    and don’t forget we also have the curious droid Facebook page and I would
    also like to thank all of our patrons for their ongoing support and if you
    would like to support us then you can find out more on the link now showing so
    thanks again for watching and please subscribe, rate and share.

    Russian Railroads (Deutscher Spielepreis 2014) – Brettspiel Test – Board Game Review #18
    Articles, Blog

    Russian Railroads (Deutscher Spielepreis 2014) – Brettspiel Test – Board Game Review #18

    August 14, 2019


    Hello friends of analog entertainment and welcome to another episode of Hunter & Cron. Today, with Russian Railroads. 2-4 persons, 120 minutes of playing time, so quite a bit. And you should be about 12 years old, also true, because it’s a bit complex. It’s got a 24-page manual, I have not seen this from Hans im Glück in a long time. But you read through it like butter! We are located in Russia and have to bring the industrialization up to speed. And how do you do that? By building railways! There are three very concrete
    routes that need to be tackled, Namely Moscow-Vladivostok, the Transib so to speak and Moscow-Saint Petersburg and Moscow-Kiev. Down here is an industrialization bar and 1 million special functions, which can be reached by doing various things. Pure worker placement, I would say. We have a board with nothing else on it than worker placement fields. And the mandatory scoring track. A relatively large area where it’s all about the track construction, so we can build the routes. Then here we have the order of play, that we may also influence with workers. Over here is the area where I can build either locomotives or factories. Here you move forward with the industrialization or industrialization and track construction. Yes and then there are three special fields, either two temporary workers for one round, or 2 gold and here a double-up tile for the route Moscow-Vladivostok. Do not forget down here there are special engineers who are different in each game. So a little bit of variance comes into play. And it is a very nice system. The lie here in a row, from what we also recognize how many rounds are still to play. Because in each round they slip forward like this. And only the rightmost engineer can be bought in this round for 1 gold. If you have acquired an engineer, then this field is exclusively available for you for the rest of the game. Whereas the two coming engineers with their other side on top here meaning in this round you can use his ability as a normal action field. Some player would have bought this one now and in the next round they all would slip one step over. So now a new field of action comes into play here. Each player has such a beautiful tableau here. At the routes we have these black markers for the tracks. And when we acquire track steps, then we can go ahead with these tracks, and so expanding our route. Then there are a great many fields on the tableau. We can already see when we get on the track Vladivostok with the black track on field no. 2. Then we automatically get here our gray tracks. These are enabled, so to speak, and from now on you could go ahead with the gray tracks behind the black tracks. I can never overtake the black track with a gray track, I can only refine an existing black route slowly. In addition, a route is only valued as far as it is reached by a locomotive. The locomotives come in different numerical values​​, and are applied to the routes. At Vladivostok, I have the opportunity to build two locomotives, whose values will be added. 5 + 1 makes 6, so I would theoretically reach field 1-6. First the 2th locomotives will be bought, then the 3rd locomotives, then the 4th locomotives etc. And because no one needs as many locomotives, there is an alternative, what you can do with the locomotives. Down here in the industrialization bar you see: there are holes. In order to move from this field to that field, I need to continue building the bar and for that I need factories. Each locomotive is on the backside a factory and that fits here perfectly into the gap. And now you can see already, the way continues to be built here. The 5 question mark fields, that can be reached , should also be mentioned, These are really very strong special tiels that give you a wide variety of things. I can for example get me a point upgrader for the route Moscow-Vladivostok. And here 5 steps on the industrialization bar in one blow. Or who is totally dedicated to the industrialization, could bring a second industrialization markers into play and start walking around with that one well. Russian Railroads is really a great worker placement strategy game with a lot of depth. Really great balance. Offers an incredible number of strategic options, motivates for a long time. This time I’m going entirely for industry! No, this time I forget that whole track upgrading and just try to reach these special fields here as quickly as possible. To get as many worker as possible or to concentrate on these special tiles. Every game is different and brings up new thrills. Will I make it to Vladivostok this time? Or will everything work out, what I’ve devised? Or not. You ponder while it’s the others turn, you ponder until it’s your turn. And when it’s finnaly your turn, you realize “Oops” The worker field that I desperately need for my
    strategy was just blocked by somebody. And then you start to ponder again. When you take on action on your turn, what the others are up to. Can Hunter use gray track movements right now? Or is his gray track just blocked? And so I can be fairly sure that the gray track action field is still hanging around the next turn. And maybe I should prefer to build a cheap locomotive or hire the engineer? And whatever you do, when the next player’s turn is coming, you think: Oooh, I should have done the same. You have to do a lot of calculating, or counting. After each round there is a scoring phase. But this scoring is a lot of fun! Because when you see how your routes generate more and more points. This works exponentially. First I get only ten points in one round, suddenly 30, suddenly 50, 60, 100 points in a single round. This brings joy. I think it’s great. I can only agree. I have to say, I am not a railway guy at all. But I’ve heard so much good stuff about Russian Railroads, that I got myself a copy and just played it. And it has convinced me completely. It’s really a great game. It is abstract. It is not “thematic”, but rather very abstract. But it’s incredibly fun to get into it, which you can do pretty quickly. Because of the great manual. I especially liked the two player variant. The two is not only on the package because it is just possible, but because you have your own 2 player game board, I think it’s super balanced. Play it with 2 players, or if you always play with 2 players, this is one cool worker placement strategy game, that really works.

    The Industrial Economy: Crash Course US History #23
    Articles, Blog

    The Industrial Economy: Crash Course US History #23

    August 12, 2019


    Episode 23: The Rise of the Industrial Economy Hi I’m John Green this is Crash Course U.S.
    History and today we’re going to discuss economics and how a generation of-
    Mr. Green, Mr. Green, is this going to be one of those boring ones no wars or generals
    who had cool last words or anything? Alright, Me From The Past, I will give you
    a smidge of Great Man history. But only a smidge.
    So today we’re gonna discuss American industrialization in the decades after the Civil War, during
    which time the U.S. went from having per capita about a third of Great Britain’s industrial
    output to becoming the richest and most industrialized nation on earth.
    Libertage Meh, you might want to hold off on that Libertage,
    Stan because this happened mostly thanks to the Not Particularly Awesome Civil War, which
    improved the finance system by forcing the introduction of a national currency and spurred
    industrialization by giving massive contracts to arms and clothing manufacturers.
    The Civil War also boosted the telegraph, which improved communication, and gave birth
    to the transcontinental railway via the Pacific Railway Act of 1862, all of which increased
    efficiency and productivity. So thanks, Civil War!
    Intro If you want to explain America’s economic
    growth in a nutshell chalk it up to G, D, and L: Gerard, Depardieu, and Lohan. No, Geography,
    Demography and Law. However, while we’re on the topic, when
    will Gerard, Depardieu, and Lindsay Lohan have a baby? Stan, can I see it? Yes. Yes.
    Geographically, the U.S. was a huge country with all the resources necessary for an industrial
    boom. Like, we had coal, and iron and, later, oil. Initially we had water to power our factories,
    later replaced by coal. And we had amber waves of grain to feed our growing population which
    leads to the Demography. America’s population grew from 40 million
    in 1870 to 76 million in 1900 and 1/3 of that growth was due to immigration.
    Which is good for economies. Many of these immigrants flooded the burgeoning cities,
    as America shifted from being an agrarian rural nation to being an industrial, urban
    one. Like, New York City became the center of commerce
    and finance and by 1898 it had a population of 3.4 million people. And the industrial
    heartland was in the Great Lakes region. Chicago became the second largest city by 1900, Cleveland
    became a leader in oil refining, and Pittsburgh was a center of iron and steel production.
    And even today, the great city of Pittsburgh still employs 53 Steelers.
    Last but not least was the Law. The Constitution and its commerce clause made the U.S. a single
    area of commerce – like a giant customs union. And, as we’ll see in a bit the Supreme
    Court interpreted the laws in a very business friendly way.
    Also, the American constitution protects patents, which encourag4B-es invention and innovation,
    or at least it used to. And despite what Ayn Rand would tell you,
    the American government played a role in American economic growth by putting up high tariffs,
    especially on steel, giving massive land grants to railroads and by putting Native Americans
    on reservations. Also, foreigners played an important role.
    They invested their capital and involved Americans in their economic scandals like the one that
    led to a depression in 1893. The U.S. was at the time was seen by Europeans as a developing
    economy; and investments in America offered much higher returns than those available in
    Europe. And the changes we’re talking about here
    were massive. In 1880, for the first time, a majority of the workforce worked in non-farming
    jobs. By 1890 2/3 of Americans worked for wages, rather than farming or owning their
    own businesses. And, by 1913 the United States produced 1/3
    of the world’s total industrial output. NOW bring out the Libertage, Stan.
    Libertage Awesome. And even better, we now get to talk
    about the perennially underrated railroads. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble.
    Although we tend to forget about them here in the U.S., because our passenger rail system
    sucks, railroads were one of the keys to America’s 19th century industrial success. Railroads
    increased commerce and integrated the American market, which allowed national brands to emerge,
    like Ivory Soap and A&P Grocery Stores. But railroads changed and improved our economy
    in less obvious ways, too: For instance, they gave us time zones, which were created by
    the major railroad companies to make shipping and passenger transport more standard. Also
    because he recognized the importance of telling time, a railroad agent named Richard Warren
    Sears turned a $50 dollar investment in watches into an enormous mail order empire, and railroads
    made it possible for him–and his eventual partner Roebuck–to ship watches, and then
    jewelry, and then pretty much everything, including unconstructed freaking houses throughout
    the country. Railroads were also the first modern corporations.
    These companies were large, they had many employees, they spanned the country. And that
    meant they needed to invent organizational methods, including the middle manager–supervisors
    to supervise supervisors. And for the first time, the owners of a company were not always
    day-to-day managers, because railroads were among the first publicly traded corporations.
    They needed a lot of capital to build tracks and stations, so they sold shares in
    the company in order to raise that money, which shares could then be bought and sold
    by the public. And that is how railroads created the first captains of industry, like Cornelius
    “They Named a University after Me” Vanderbilt and Andrew “Me Too” Carnegie (Mellon)
    and Leland “I Named a University After My Son” Stanford. The Railroad business was
    also emblematic of the partnership between the national government and industry. The
    Transcontinental Railroad, after all, wouldn’t have existed without Congressional legislation,
    federal land grants, and government sponsored bond issues.
    Thanks, Thought Bubble. Apparently it’s time for the Mystery Document.
    The rules here are simple. I guess the author of the Mystery Document
    and if I’m wrong, which I usually am, I get shocked.
    Alright. “The belief is common in America that the
    day is at hand when corporations far greater than the Erie – swaying such power as has
    never in the world’s history been trusted in the hands of mere private citizens, controlled
    by single men like Vanderbilt…– will ultimately succeed in directing government itself. Under
    the American form of society, there is now no authority capable of effective resistance.” Corporations directing government? That’s
    ridiculous. So grateful for federal ethanol subsidies
    brought to you by delicious Diet Dr. Pepper. Mmm I can taste all 23 of the chemicals.
    Anyway, Stan, I’m pretty sure that is noted muckraker Ida Tarbell. No! Henry Adams? HOW
    ARE THERE STILL ADAMSES IN AMERICAN HISTORY? That makes me worry we’ll never escape the
    Clintons. Anyway, it should’ve been Ida Tarbell. She has a great name. She was a great
    opponent of capitalism. Whatever. AH! Indeed industrial capitalists are considered
    both the greatest heroes and the greatest villains of the era, which is why they are
    known both as “captains of industry” and as “robber barons,” depending on whether
    we are mad at them. While they often came from humble origins,
    took risks and became very wealthy, their methods were frequently unscrupulous. I mean,
    they often drove competitors out of business, and generally cared very little for their
    workers. The first of the great robber barons and/or
    captains of industry was the aforementioned Cornelius Vanderbilt who rose from humble
    beginnings in Staten Island to make a fortune in transportation, through ferries and shipping,
    and then eventually through railroads, although he once referred to trains as “them things
    that go on land.” But the poster boy of the era was John D.
    Rockefeller who started out as a clerk for a Cleveland merchant and eventually became
    the richest man in the world. Ever. Yes, including Bill Gates.
    The key to Rockefeller’s success was ruthlessly buying up so many rivals that by the late
    1880s Standard Oil controlled 90% of the U.S. oil industry.
    Which lack of competition drove the price of gasoline up to like 12 cents a gallon,
    so if you had one of the 20 cars in the world then, you were mad.
    The period also saw innovation in terms of the way industries were organized. Many of
    the robber barons formed pools and trusts to control prices and limit the negative effects
    of competition. The problem with competition is that over
    time it reduces both prices and profit margins, which makes it difficult to become super rich.
    Vertical integration was another innovation – firms bought up all aspects of the production
    process – from raw materials to production to transport and distribution.
    Like, Philip Armour’s meat company bought its own rail cars to ship meat, for instance.
    It also bought things like conveyor belts and when he found out that animal parts could
    be used to make glue, he got into the glue-making business.
    It was Armour who once proclaimed to use “everything but the squeal.”
    Horizontal integration was when big firms bought up small ones. The best example of
    this was Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, which eventually became so big incidentally that
    the Supreme Court forced Standard Oil to be broken up into more than a dozen smaller oil
    companies. Which, by the way, overtime have slowly reunited
    to become the company known as Exxon-Mobil, so that worked out.
    U.S. Steel was put together by the era’s giant of finance, J.P. Morgan, who at his
    death left a fortune of only $68 million – not counting the art that became the backbone
    of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – leading Andrew Carnegie to remark in surprise, “And
    to think he was not a rich man.”[1] Speaking of people who weren’t rich, let
    us now praise the unsung heroes of industrialization: workers.
    Well, I guess you can’t really call them unsung because Woody Guthrie. Oh! Your guitar!
    And my computer! I never made that connection before.
    Anyway, then as now, the benefits of economic growth were shared…mmm shall we say…a
    smidge unevenly. Prices did drop due to industrial competition,
    which raised the standard of living for the average American worker. In fact, it was among
    the highest in the world. But due to a growing population, particularly of immigrant workers,
    there was job insecurity. And also booms and busts meant depressions in the 1870s and 1890s,
    which hit the working poor the hardest. Also, laborers commonly worked 60 hours per
    week with no pensions or injury compensation, and the U.S. had the highest rate of industrial
    injuries in the world: an average of over 35,000 people per year died on the job.
    These conditions and the uncertainty of labor markets led to unions, which were mostly local
    but occasionally national. The first national union was the Knights of
    Labor, headed by Terence V. Powderly which grew from 9 members in 1870 to 728,000 by
    1884. The Knights of Labor admitted unskilled workers,
    black workers, and women, but it was irreparably damaged by the Haymarket riot in 1886.
    During a strike against McCormick Harvesting Company, a policeman killed one of the strikers
    and in response there was a rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square at which a bomb killed seven
    police officers. Then, firing upon the crowd, the police killed
    four people. Seven anarchists were eventually convicted of the bombing, and although Powderly
    denounced anarchism, the public still associated the Knights of Labor with violence. And by
    1902, its membership had shrunk considerably–to 0.
    The banner of organized labor however was picked up by the American Federation of Labor
    under Samuel L. Gompers. Do all of these guys have great last names?
    They were more moderate than the anarchists and the socialist International Workers of
    the World, and focused on bread and butter issues like pay, hours, and safety.
    Founded in 1886, the same year as the Haymarket Riot, the AFL had about 250,000 members by
    1892, almost 10% of whom were iron and steel workers.
    And now we have to pause to briefly mention one of the most pernicious innovations of
    the era: Social Darwinism: a perversion of Darwin’s theory that would have made him
    throw up. Although to be fair, almost everything made him throw up.
    Social Darwinists argued that the theory of survival of the fittest should be applied
    to people and also that corporations were people.
    Ergo, big companies were big because they were fitter and we had nothing to fear from
    monopolies. This pseudoscience was used to argue that
    government shouldn’t regulate business or pass laws to help poor people. It assured
    the rich that the poor were poor because of some inherent evolutionary flaw, thus enabling
    tycoons to sleep at night. You know, on a big pile of money, surrounded by beautiful
    women. But, despite the apparent inborn unfitness
    of workers, unions continued to grow and fight for better conditions, sometimes violently.
    There was violence at the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892 and the Pullman Rail strike
    of 1894 when strikers were killed and a great deal of property was destroyed.
    To quote the historian Michael Lind: “In the late 1870s and early 1880s, the United
    States had five times as many unionized workers as Germany, at a time when the two nations
    had similar populations.”[2] Unions wanted the United States and its citizens
    to imagine freedom more broadly, arguing that without a more equal economic system, America
    was becoming less, not more, free, even as it became more prosperous.
    If you’re thinking that this free-wheeling age of fast growth, uneven gains in prosperity,
    and corporate heroes/villains resembles the early 21st century, you aren’t alone.
    And it’s worth remembering that it was only 150 years ago that modern corporations began
    to form and that American industry became the leading driver in the global economy.
    That’s a blink of an eye in world history terms, and the ideas and technologies of post
    Civil War America gave us the ideas that still define how we–all of us, not just Americans–think
    about opposites like success and failure, or wealth and poverty.
    It’s also when we people began to discuss the ways in which inequality could be the
    opposite of freedom. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week.
    Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan Muller. Our script supervisor is Meredith
    Danko. The associate producer is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history
    teacher, Raoul Meyer, Rosianna Halse Rojas, and myself. And our graphics team is Thought
    Café. Each week there’s a new caption for the
    Libertage. You can suggest captions in comments where you can also ask questions about today’s
    video that will be answered by our team of historians.
    Thanks for watching Crash Course. Make sure you’re subscribed. And as we say in my hometown,
    don’t forget to be awesome. Industrial Economy –
    ________________ [1] Brands, American Colossus p 6.
    [2] Lind, Land of Promise 171

    The Railroad Journey and the Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History 214
    Articles, Blog

    The Railroad Journey and the Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History 214

    August 9, 2019


    Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course
    World History and today we’re returning to a subject that, could have an entire Crash Course
    series all of its own: the Industrial Revolution. Mr. Green, Mr. Green, are you going to do
    a whole series on the Industrial Revolution? Because that actually sounds really boring. Yeah, Me From the Past, no. I’m a little bit
    busy. I’ve got this movie that’s about to film. So yeah, no. But, uh, we are going
    to talk about like a specific and essential slice of the Industrial Revolution, that also
    like pleases my four year old self a lot: Railroads! Choooga chooga choooga chooga choo choo! We’re going to be talking about a small book by
    Wolfgang Schivelbusch called “The Railway Journey.” So in this Crash Course World History series
    we’re talking a lot about a lot of different history books so that we can approach subjects
    from a variety of angles. We want to try to introduce you to how exciting
    history can be and also how unsettled it is. How many arguments there still are. So to be clear, I’m not saying I agree with
    everything in this book – it’s one interpretation of a series of events. But it contains a ton
    of interesting ideas, and it’s one of those books that makes you think differently about
    the world. And it’s vitally important that we think
    about the role technology plays in our lives including the technology of railroads. So railroads were these big, loud machines
    that people hadn’t seen before, which makes them a pretty good metaphor for industrialization. Also, since not everyone worked in factories,
    railways were one of the few places that both middle and upper class people came face to
    face with industrial machinery. You know, if you were a factory worker that
    stuff was around you all day everyday slowly killing your soul. But if you were, say, a
    mortgage broker your work life hadn’t changed – it’s not like you had a computer. But the presence of railroads reminded you
    that you were in a different world from that of your parents or grandparents. It wasn’t
    just locomotion though, the railway itself changed the idea of an industrial machine
    to include its surrounding infrastructure, right? You needed rails and these huge engines. You
    needed timetables and organization. That encompassed everything that industrialization was about. And since railways changed the lives of middle
    and upper class people, who tend to write a lot, we know a lot about them. And the change was definitely seen as radical.
    For instance the phrase, “annihilation of time and space” was a pretty popular one
    when talking about railways. This wasn’t just a fancy way of talking
    about how railways sped up travel, but also the way that the railroad destroyed traditional
    relationships with nature. I mean sometimes nature was literally annihilated
    as when tunnels were cut through hills and depressions were graded to make the railroad as
    straight as possible, “as if drawn with a ruler.” But railroads also shaped space and time in
    a manner totally unprecedented in human history by, for instance, speeding up travel times
    which shrunk the world. And then they expanded space by creating suburbs
    and new towns. In a positive development for 99% of the population,
    railroads changed space too by opening up previously inaccessible like vacation spots
    of the wealthy. Then the wealthy migrated further away to
    places only accessible by air travel like, I don’t know, Ibiza. But now Ibiza’s full
    of Eurotrash because of inexpensive airlines. Where will the 1% vacation! Poor rich people that have to go to the Hamptons
    which aren’t even that nice, they’re just really expensive.
    And then there’s the fact that railroads literally changed time, or at least created
    the standardization of time. Like before railroads, time in London was 4 minutes ahead of Reading,
    and 14 minutes ahead of time in Bridgwater. Then in 1847 The Railway Clearing House – an
    organization established to regulate rail travel – established Greenwich mean time
    as the standard time on all rail lines, and in 1880 it became general standard time in
    England. So to be clear, time as you know it is about as
    old as the oldest living person in the world. But, the most obvious way that railroads changed
    things was travel. Until railroads, all travel was powered by muscles – either animal or
    human – so we had a sense of distance as defined by fatigue. Like when your horse died,
    you had gone a long way. Or your horse like sprained a leg going down
    a hill and you had to shoot it. Point being, for 250,000 years all power was
    muscle power and unless you could like ride a cheetah you weren’t going to go faster
    than about 20 mph. So babies could go really fast because they
    can ride cheetahs, but adults, there’s no way, cheetahs weigh like 20 lbs. As Thomas
    De Quincey put it: “When we are travelling by stage-coach at
    the rate of eight or ten miles an hour, we can understand the nature of the force which
    sets the vehicle in motion … and in the course of a day’s journey we can appreciate
    the enormous succession of efforts required to transport a loaded vehicle from London
    to a distant town.” Although to be fair, De Quincey’s ideas
    about enormous effort may have been a bit skewed as he also wrote Confessions of an
    Opium Eater Anyway, People were so comfortable with horses
    that some even argued that horsepower was superior to mechanical locomotion because
    horses relied more on renewable and easily obtained fuel. By the way, as you may see in comments there
    is still a debate about whether horse power or railroads are more carbon efficient. Anyway, the romantics at the time saw railroad
    travel as a “loss of a communicative relationship between man and nature.” And some also saw
    the old technology – horses – as having like more soul. Mechanical travel was generally seen as a
    definite economic win since it “rendered all transportation calculable,” and economists
    love to calculate. Railroads also changed the way we looked at the world, like literally
    through a window, with nature being this blur. And you can argue that like watching the world
    go by through a static window kind of prepared people for motion pictures and television
    where we stare at a screen that doesn’t move and watch a world that does. Now these noisy, coal powered trains affected
    all the senses, but especially vision. As Victor Hugo described it in 1837, “the flowers by the side of the road are
    no longer flowers but fleck, or rather streaks of red and white; there are no longer any
    points, everything becomes a streak.” So many people experienced this landscape
    as a monotonous blur, but for others it was something new and exciting. For Benjamin Gastineau,
    the constantly changing view was thrilling: “in quick succession it presents the astonished
    traveler with happy scenes, sad scenes, burlesque interludes, brilliant fireworks, all visions
    that disappear as soon as they are seen.” That sounds like a great movie. All I see when I
    look out the train window is the infinite abyss of meaninglessness, and then I pull out my phone and
    open Floppy Bird and everything is okay again. And railroad travel also changed human behavior.
    Okay let’s go to the Thought Bubble. Since looking at the landscape was no longer
    the same experience, and, according to the medical journal The Lancet, “The rapidity
    and variety of the impressions necessarily fatigue both the eye and the brain.” many
    people turned to reading books on railroads. For starters, reading was a way for upper
    class passengers to avoid having to talk with each other. European first and second class
    rail cars were designed to mimic stage coaches, with passengers facing each other. Now, in
    pre-railroad travel, you knew you were going to be stuck with whoever else was in your
    stagecoach, so it was important to try to be nice and strike up a conversation. But
    the short duration of railroad journeys discouraged the formation of rapport between travellers,
    changing our habits and turning reading on the train into a necessity.
    Rail travel also brought new fears, like when travelling at the speed of a cannonball, it
    was hard to overcome one’s terror of a possible derailment. As Thomas Creevy put it: “It is really flying, and it is impossible
    to divest yourself of the notion of instant death to all upon the least accident happening.” So that’s why I’m afraid of flying. And
    to be fair railway accidents were common enough that physicians began to document cases of
    “railway spine” a condition suffered by people who had come through railway accidents
    with complaints of pain, but few or no signs of physical injury. By the end of the 1880s,
    however, railway spine gave way as a diagnosis to “traumatic neurosis” reflecting new
    ideas in psychology. Eventually, pathological explanations for what looks a lot like nervous shock
    slipped away and only the psychological ones were left. Thanks, Thought Bubble. So new technologies
    often bring new anxieties because change is terrifying. Remember how the internet was
    going to bring an end to reading books? Remember how “e-learning” was going to
    replace classrooms and there were going to be all of these “e-teachers” who would
    replace your real teachers? But yeah, no, it turns out that real life
    teachers are pretty great. Like Heinrich Heins wrote that railroads produced “tremendous foreboding such as we always
    feel when there comes an enormous, an unheard-of event whose consequences are imponderable
    an incalculable.” Fortunately, our new industrial world view
    associated change with progress. Like this notion that humans move forward,
    that children will have a better life than their parents did – that’s new. As… oh it’s time for the Open letter! But first let’s see what’s in the globe
    today – oh no, it’s change. I hate change. An Open Letter to Progress: One of the reasons,
    I think, we’re afraid of change is that change doesn’t really mean progress. For the vast majority of human history the
    lives of children could be much worse than the lives of their parents. It depended on disease and
    weather and kings – mostly on disease and weather. There was no idea that moving forward also
    meant moving up. And I would argue that certainly innovation
    has given us much to be grateful for, but there’s something to a reluctance to change. I love you progress and you have given me
    much to be grateful for, but a gentle reminder: change doesn’t always mean progress. Best wishes, John Green. So as Schivelbusch puts it “new modes of
    behavior and perception enabled the traveler to lose the fear that he formerly felt towards
    the new conveyance.” “The sinister aspect of the machinery that
    first was so evident and frightening gradually disappeared, and with this disappearance,
    fear waned and was replaced by a feeling of security based on familiarity.” Huh, that sounds precisely like my relationship
    with a phone that always knows where I am. New technologies often change the way people
    live and perceive the world. Like one example would be the printing press. It made knowledge
    and information available as never before. But it only really affected a small segment
    of the population, at least initially. Industrialization was different in that it
    had a profound effect on large numbers of people in a very short time. And since the
    dawn of industrialization, the pace of this change and the enormity of its impact has only
    increased like, well, like a speeding train I guess. Except it’s like a speeding train that gets
    faster and faster until it reaches the speed of light – oh my gosh what a wonderful idea.
    Somebody call Elon Musk. So for most of us the Internet is a technology
    very much like the railroad. Like the railroad, the Internet in its earliest stages was both frightening
    to detractors and exhilarating to its boosters. And like railroads it has both shrunk the
    world, enabling me to communicate with you via, you know, the tubes – I don’t really
    know how the Internet works. And it’s also changed our perception of time. Think about how much sooner you expect a response
    to an email or text message vs a letter or even a phone call.
    Think about the fact that you can order a phone from China and have it arrive at your door in a
    week and that still feels like kind of a long time. In the age of the railroads to get a phone,
    which didn’t exist, from China to Indianapolis would’ve taken months. To get that same
    nonexistent phone from China to Indianapolis in 1700 would’ve taken more than a year.
    And then you turn it on and there’s not even a cell network. And you’re like “This
    is essentially just a brick. I waited more than a year and I can’t do anything with
    it!” And once the battery dies you’re going to go to plug it in and oh right there’s
    no freaking electricity! So yeah, the world is different. Now like
    railroads there’s plenty of nostalgia about the time before the Internet when people supposedly
    consumed less and talked to each other more because they weren’t constantly on their phones. But if railroad reading is any indication
    we’ve been looking for ways to use technology to avoid interacting with each other in real
    life for a long time. And we shouldn’t forget that railroads made
    travel easier and opened up new vistas and made goods less expensive and brought people
    closer together. And they also helped create the idea of nostalgia.
    I mean without industrial production the nostalgia for pre-industrial methods of travel and manufacture
    couldn’t exist. One of the best things about books like “The
    Railway Journey,” is that they help us to draw parallels between the past and the present
    and get us to focus on overlooked aspects of history, like what it meant for people
    to ride on trains for the first time. Now our study of history shouldn’t be focused
    too much on what we in the present can learn from the past, but trying to glimpse innovation
    and change as those who lived through it saw it, well I think that can be very useful to those of us
    living through a new technological revolution. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is filmed here in the Chad and
    Stacey Emigholz studio in Indianapolis, it’s possible because of all these nice people
    who make it, and because of our Subbable subscribers. Subbable is a voluntary subscription service
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    Also you can get like, I don’t know, Mongol t-shirts, posters, DVD’s if you want to
    support us. Regardless, thanks for watching and as we
    say in my hometown, “thanks for being awesome. Wait, no, we say, “don’t forget to be
    awesome.”