Saturday, April 29, 2017

Today -100: April 29, 1917: Of separate peaces, conscription, and small nationalities


Austria has been putting out peace feelers towards Russia, suggesting that it has given up its plans to carve out Russia’s Polish territories. This is pissing off the German press, because it means that Austria and Germany may no longer have shared war aims.

Conscription (“selective service”) passes the House 397-24 and the Senate 81-8. Both houses vote to double the current pay of enlisted men. The Senate version would draft men aged 21 to 27, the House version 21 to 40. States will be responsible for providing a number of soldiers proportionate to their population. No sign-up bonus will be allowed, no paying for substitutes as in the Civil War.

200 members of Congress cable Prime Minister Lloyd George, asking him to “settle the Irish problem” in accordance with Woodrow Wilson’s principle of waging war “for the world-wide safety of democracy and of small nationalities.” They don’t mention, oh I don’t know, India, which to be fair is a fucking huge nationality.

Guatemala breaks relations with Germany.


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