History of the United States eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 731 pages of information about History of the United States.

9.  Outline the rise of the socialist movement.  How did it come into contact with the American Federation?

10.  What was the relation of the Federation to the extreme radicals?  To national politics?  To the public?

11.  Explain the injunction.

12.  Why are labor and immigration closely related?

13.  Outline the history of restrictions on immigration.

14.  What problems arise in connection with the assimilation of the alien to American life?

CHAPTER XXV

PRESIDENT WILSON AND THE WORLD WAR

“The welfare, the happiness, the energy, and the spirit of the men and women who do the daily work in our mines and factories, on our railroads, in our offices and ports of trade, on our farms, and on the sea are the underlying necessity of all prosperity.”  Thus spoke Woodrow Wilson during his campaign for election.  In this spirit, as President, he gave the signal for work by summoning Congress in a special session on April 7, 1913.  He invited the cooeperation of all “forward-looking men” and indicated that he would assume the role of leadership.  As an evidence of his resolve, he appeared before Congress in person to read his first message, reviving the old custom of Washington and Adams.  Then he let it be known that he would not give his party any rest until it fulfilled its pledges to the country.  When Democratic Senators balked at tariff reductions, they were sharply informed that the party had plighted its word and that no excuses or delays would be tolerated.

DOMESTIC LEGISLATION

=Financial Measures.=—­Under this spirited leadership Congress went to work, passing first the Underwood tariff act of 1913, which made a downward revision in the rates of duty, fixing them on the average about twenty-six per cent lower than the figures of 1907.  The protective principle was retained, but an effort was made to permit a moderate element of foreign competition.  As a part of the revenue act Congress levied a tax on incomes as authorized by the sixteenth amendment to the Constitution.  The tax which roused such party passions twenty years before was now accepted as a matter of course.

Having disposed of the tariff, Congress took up the old and vexatious currency question and offered a new solution in the form of the federal reserve law of December, 1913.  This measure, one of the most interesting in the history of federal finance, embraced four leading features.  In the first place, it continued the prohibition on the issuance of notes by state banks and provided for a national currency.  In the second place, it put the new banking system under the control of a federal reserve board composed entirely of government officials.  To prevent the growth of a “central money power,” it provided, in the third place, for the creation of twelve federal reserve banks, one in each of twelve great districts into which the country is divided.  All local national banks were required and certain other banks permitted to become members of the new system and share in its control.  Finally, with a view to expanding the currency, a step which the Democrats had long urged upon the country, the issuance of paper money, under definite safeguards, was authorized.

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History of the United States from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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