Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Today -100: April 24, 1918: Of conscription, quiet in the court, and gravel

Ireland’s one-day anti-conscription general strike passes off peacefully. It was observed almost 100% in Dublin and almost 0% in Northern Ireland.

The trial of 32 Indians in San Francisco for plotting revolution in India – I’m still not sure how that would violate US law – concludes with 29 convictions and 3 acquittals. Oh, also one defendant shoots another one to death in court and is then killed by a US marshal.

That German ultimatum to the Netherlands: they want to be able to send war material (and gravel) through Neth., using its canals and railroads. The US put Neth. in a bad position by seizing its ships and rejecting a plea not to use them in the war zone.

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  1. In the Agnes Smedley case, at least, there was an aiding-the-enemy angle--she allegedly conspired with the Germans to undermine the British Empire and weaken its war efforts. The charges were eventually dropped, though, possibly because they couldn't prove a link with Germany. It may have helped that she was white--this article also mentions a white defendant who was acquitted. There's also the Neutrality Act of 1794, although that applies to military activity as opposed to just stirring up anti-government sentiment. Or maybe it's just a case of "it's 1918 and we'll prosecute whoever we want." There was a lot of that going around.

  2. Charges against Smedley were dropped after the war was over, which certainly made a difference.

    It's interesting to compare this with the US's relative tenderness towards Irish people fighting British rule there.

  3. Good points. I hadn't thought about the analogy with Ireland.