Monday, March 20, 2017

Today -100: March 20, 1917: Any American citizen who is now pro-German is a traitor to this country

The Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote upholds the Adamson 8-Hour Act regulating railroad work conditions, including the enforcement of compulsory arbitration on RR companies and workers. Which gives the unions their 8-hour-day victory but introduces the worrying principle that the right to strike in such an industry is limited by the public interest. Some of the ruling seems to be railroad-specific, so Congress might not have quite so many powers over an industry whose functioning was not a vital “public service” affecting interstate commerce.

Theodore Roosevelt, you will be surprised to hear, wants war with Germany. “Any American citizen who is now pro-German is a traitor to this country”. He doesn’t like pacifists either, or armed neutrality, which “is only another name for timid war”. “Germany is already at war with us. The only question for us to decide is whether we shall make war nobly or ignobly.”

75-year-old Alexandre Ribot is the new French prime minister (again).

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George will move a parliamentary motion of congratulations to the Russian Duma for the new revolutionary government, which was formed, he says, “for the express purpose of carrying on the War with increased vigour.” He is heckled throughout by Irish MPs.

Russia announces home rule for Finland.

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