Thursday, November 15, 2018

Today -100: November 15, 1918: The place of the President is here

The German government, a coalition of Socialists and Independent Socialists (SPD, USPD), confiscates the property of the Prussian crown. New elections soon, with universal suffrage for both sexes over 20 (it’s interesting that there’s almost no public discussion of the introduction of women’s suffrage. The pre-war suffrage movement was pretty small and quiet in Germany). Censorship is abolished.

The US also abolishes censorship.

Ex-Kaiser Willy is semi-interned by the Dutch in the undistinguished (if you ask me) castle of Count Bentinck.

Prince Friedrich I of Waldock and Pyrmont and Duke Eduard of Anhalt are reported to have abdicated, which is quite a trick for the latter, since he died two months ago. It’s his 17-year-old son Joachim Ernst who abdicated, or actually his uncle, acting as regent, abdicated on his behalf. Joachim Ernst will die in 1947 in the prison camp the Soviet NKVD established at Buchenwald.

There is talk of Woodrow Wilson going to Europe to participate in the peace conference. The NYT finds that other newspapers are mostly against the idea, as is the NYT: “The place of the President is here”. Furthermore, negotiating is beneath the dignity of his office (Fun Historical Fact: the office of the president had dignity in Ye Olde Times): “We are accustomed to feel that when the President speaks he speaks with authority. It is not quite the thing that he should engage in argument”. There’s a fine line between authority and arrogance. We’ll see on which side of that line Wilson chooses to stand. (Spoiler Alert: the same side he always stands on).

Parliamentary elections are called in Britain for next month.

Anti-Jewish riots with the occasional murder in Poland, as was the custom.

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