Sunday, April 09, 2017

Today -100: April 9, 1917: Of sticking to Germany, vexing workmen, sedition, and Prussian reform

Austria breaks diplomatic relations with the United States.

Two suspected Germans are arrested in Corona, Alabama for attempting to induce negro miners to quit their jobs and come to Mexico. Two black men are also arrested for treason in Ashford, Alabama for urging blacks to revolt and “stick to Germany.”

Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, promises that unions won’t strike or press any demands of any kind during the war. He does not explain why union members should continue paying dues.

Headline of the Day -100: 

The Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviet is functioning as an alternative source of authority in Petrograd, which is very vexing to the administration. And the workers are not producing supplies for the soldiers because they’re so busy attending meetings.

Francis Widmar, the editor of the anarchist newspaper New Era, is arrested in Paterson, New Jersey, along with his printer, for sedition for putting out a pamphlet calling for a general strike against war.

Under pressure from Socialists at home and the example of the Russian Revolution abroad, Kaiser Wilhelm promises some constitutional reforms in Germany and Prussia – after the war is won. He commits to ending the three-tier franchise system and introducing the secret ballot in Prussia, but fails to mention universal suffrage or equal suffrage, leaving the way for some people to have more than one vote.

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