Monday, March 16, 2015

Today -100: March 16, 1915: Of oligarchies of virtue, ammunition, blockades, and wholesale bloodshed

The NYT mocks the New York World for coming out in favor of women’s suffrage, or at least declaring that it is inevitable, that “In the steady sweep of democracy, the time will come when the present opposition to woman suffrage will seem as short-sighted and senseless as the former opposition to manhood suffrage now seems.” Nah, that could never happen. The World also wants to enfranchise all women because, it says, a handful of women agitators have too much power now, maintaining “a reign of terror over legislative bodies, in consequence of which half the country is now bedeviled by some form or another of harem government”. The NYT thinks it’s ridiculous to believe “that a woman ceases to be contrary when she gets what she thinks she wants.” The editorial continues, “Women are not purer or more noble than men, and if they were that would be no reason for giving them the ballot. An oligarchy of virtue would be only one degree less oppressive than an oligarchy of vice.”

Headline of the Day -100:  “Kitchener Needs More Ammunition.” The British secretary of war blames trade union restrictions and not his own incompetent management.

Wilson proposed to Germany and Britain that Germany stop sinking British ships if the UK allows food shipments to reach Germany. Britain says no, and now has declared its blockade of Germany (while for some reason carefully avoiding the word blockade). It says the goods it seizes will be sold and the proceeds will go to the owners... eventually. Because they’re claiming this move is solely in retaliation for Germany’s submarine warfare (i.e. not what it really is, a war measure to starve Germany into submission), only Germany and not Austria is being blockaded.

Vice President Thomas Marshall says it would be a bad idea to intervene militarily in Mexico. “Wholesale bloodshed would follow.. and then we would have another Philippine Islands on our hands – something we would have trouble getting loose of.” And “what would we do with the blood-thirsty Yaqui Indians? We might never subdue them?”

Rich Germans are fleeing to Scandinavian countries. Out of a sense of patriotic duty, of course: the government supposedly asked them to leave in order to relieve some of the pressure on the food supply.

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  1. Bit of a technical nightmare operating a maritime blockade against Austria.

  2. True, but the threat contained in the declaration of one would have some effect.