Friday, March 23, 2018

Spring 2018


 Spring 2018

There is plenty of reasons why I wholeheartedly believe in social justice. One is that I believe in the Golden Rule. Internationally, we humans live in many countries and we have a diversity of backgrounds (from our ages, sexes, colors, nationalities, etc). One pristine, glorious concept that definitely unites us is about us having the inborn, inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In that sense, we have the right to exist filled with freedom and excluding oppression. In our times, the world has many forms of injustice and corruption from tyrannical leaders, environmental degradation, and to bad economic policies. The Trump tax law is beneficial to the super wealthy not to all of the people of the States. It is definitely abhorrent that Trump wants the death penalty for drug dealers. That is why we fight for a government that not only defends the rights of some, but one that protects the human rights of all people.

Democratic freedoms like the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, and the right to petition didn't come out of thin air. These freedoms were fought for by courageous activists who wanted their posterity to witness a world better than the past. Enlarging human freedom is necessary in advancing the common good. The long road to equality will not be easy. That is why people have utilized various forms of protests including civil disobedience in order for the world to see monumental, transcendent changes. We desire justice in our daily lives, in the law, and shown in our government. We promote this aim not just because we want to help people (which we do). We advance this premise because it is the right thing to do. Immigrants, black people, women, and other minorities have made great contributions throughout the epochs of human history. Therefore, we are obligated to enrich the lives of others in an altruistic fashion. The concern of the poor is our concern. When one human is violated of his or her rights, then all of our rights are violated. In that sense, we stand up for our collective humanity when we utilize the Golden Rule faithfully in our lives. The pursuit of greed for the sake of nefarious self aggrandizement and ego makes no sense in building up the soul.

What builds up the soul is uniting ourselves in building up our communities and seeking answers that go beyond benefiting ourselves, but establishing those solutions that courageously lifts up humanity in general. We have seen positive work done by many heroes. One woman, Harriet Tubman, freed many people who were held in bondage. One man, who was Steve Biko, engineered a movement which wanted Black Consciousness to be used as a great vehicle to end the oppressive system of apartheid in South Africa. A revolutionary change is definitely our goal, because a positive, revolutionary change can make the Promised Land so real. Social justice means that we desire the promotion of the general welfare, we want tranquility, we want justice, and we want to secure liberty for ourselves and our descendants. That is why true government ought to be made by and for the people. A strong social safety net and compassion to the poor are great things to enact too. We know that humans can't live by bread alone. Material needs alone will not save us. Yet, it is not wrong to give a person bread if he or she needs it. We need to recognize that humans are more than atoms and electro-chemical patterns. I believe in the existence of the human spirit, I believe in God, and I believe that spiritual growth is necessary to develop too. Being against oligarchy and being in favor of truth plus wisdom is a magnanimous, concise aphorism to live by.

We have a problem when wealth is redistributed to the top income earners (like executives, shareholders, and major industries) in a massive scale. In 2014, the corporate profits before taxes reached its higher share of the total economy in at least 85 years. The percentage of the economy going into people’s wages has declined. It is important to note that workers are heavily consumers. When workers receive living wages and just compensation, then they can grow the economy (because they have the economic resources to develop their own lives, pay their mortgages, and fulfill their own sense of happiness). Consumer spending deals with 70% of the economic activity in America, so we have to understand how important consumer spending is as it relates to the economy. The super wealthy spend much less of their income than the middle class and the poor. Most of the economic gains today go to the super wealthy. This concentrated wealth doesn’t represent not enough purchasing power to radically improve the economy in a widespread fashion. In order to have sufficient demand (of goods and services) to comprehensively grow the economy, a larger share of total income must go into the middle class and the poor.  In order for this reality to transpire, there must be a higher national minimum wage, a bigger Earn Income Tax Credit, lower taxes on the middle class (including the poor), stronger unions (which are used to negotiate for better working conditions), and other progressive policies benefiting families. These policies don’t hurt the wealthy and they benefit the masses of the American people  collectively. The basics of equal opportunity and the love of truth must be promoted in the globe. The economy today could be much better with progressive solutions implemented in our society. Also, I believe in net neutrality. This fight will continue as we desire to see true justice spread sweepingly.

We have to ask ourselves either a gun is God or it isn't. I believe in the latter, which is why a conversation on gun violence must exist. What gets me is that we have regulations on water, foods, and other services, but cowardly Congress people refuse to talk about the necessity to deal with gun violence in communities nationwide (from Parkland to large urban metropolitan areas). There is no ambiguity on this issue. The big lie is that any regulation of a gun is equivalent to a total gun ban or disarmament. We don't want to ban guns from everyone. Yet, a 19 year old with known warning signs (like being expelled from school) has no business owning an AR-15 rifle. People want to have investments in helping those with mental health (which ought to exist), but some use mental health as a cop out to promote the myth that nothing can be done. Connecticut passed laws and their gun violence rate has radically declined. So, something can be done. I have no problem with morality being promoted in society. Yet, what is immoral is the blatant apathy and total sick belief that nothing can decrease mass shootings in American society. That is immoral and the deification of guns is also immoral. Faith without works is dead. That means that we should pray and do the work in fighting the evil of evil gun violence too. The NRA is a disgraceful pro-Trump group today. Its leadership endorses Trump's agenda. The NRA evolved from a sportsmanship group which supported gun safety to an inflexible, reactionary group. The sick people are those who view a gun as having more of a priority than innocent human life. That is why young people in the Parkland high school want change. It is certainly inspiring to witness high school students from Parkland High School speaking about the necessity to promote changes in the world as it relates to gun violence. Young people (including students from schools nationwide) in Washington, D.C. now are demanding real change too.

Some want to to be political during this time, but it is always time to speak up when innocent people are murdered. It is important that the social and political realities in America are clear. We have increased economic inequality as compared to 30 years ago. We have seen nothing but militarism since the start of the Gulf War. We witness massive increases in youth suicide. We have the glamorization of an inanimate object and some place more value in an non-living tool than human life. We have some people struggling to find work with living wages and benefits. We witness increases in hate crimes since that person in the White House was elected (back in 2016. This person enacted tariffs against China  in the form of $50 billion which economic experts could damage American jobs and increase prices. China might implement a $5 billion tariff against America. He hypocritically exempted tariffs on various European plus North American nations) and we witness massive anti-immigrant xenophobia. These factors signify how we have a long way to go. Most Americans support background checks and most most Americans support a ban on military style assault weapons for non-military citizens. 3 of the 10 deadliest mass shooting in American history (excluding 19th century and before that time) occurred in the last three months. That is why action is required to fight against gun violence in general. Violence doesn't exist in a vacuum. It comes from neglect and a lack of investments to handle mental health, to handle safety, and to handle other infrastructure necessary to deal with the conditions of our communities. When anyone places the value of a gun more than the value of human life, then that person is complicit in the situation that we're in. That is why we have to honest. My view is not popular, but it is better to be right than to be popular.


Art Part 3

Human civilizations were never completely static or stationary. It evolves greatly over the millennia of human history. Therefore, art constantly changes in its dispositions worldwide. The modern era of art is defined by the following characteristics: creative shapes, more realistic displays of imagery, and the merging of influences among the different peoples of the globe. African, European, Asian, American, and Oceanic art has shown the world that diverse forms of art capture the essence of the human soul plus the quintessential imagination of humanity. During this period of time (from 1500 A.D. to the present), monumental changes existed in world history. The human race experienced revolutions, world wars (i.e. the aftermath of World War II defines the modern architecture of the 21st century), depressions, the civil rights movement, other social movements, the numerous independence movements found in Africa including Asia, etc. Additionally, art covered the wide spectrum of human existence. From the Renaissance to Post-Modernism, art continues to be debated, looked at, and established as a vital part of the lives of humankind. Subsequently, people of color deserve their works of great art to be respected as well. Tons of black peoples, Native Americans, Asians, Latinx people, Pacific Islanders, Aboriginals, etc. formulated complex, interesting, amazingly beautiful, plus excellent works of art.

People among every color have made great contributions in human art. As art changes, modern technology has made artistic works more readily accessible to the poor and middle class. Centuries ago, much of the creative sculptures, paintings, and woodcuts were primarily accessed by the merchant class or the rich. As time went onward, museums and other requisite platforms allowed a wide spectrum of people (regardless of class or wealth) to witness the myriad forms of magnificent artwork. The modern era of human history is also defined by the growth of democratic or secular governments. Imagery, poetry, and architecture definitely reflected the reality of new generations and of the new realities of world history. Now, the time is now right to display crucial, essential information about the modern age of art. The goal of social justice is still permanently fixed in my conscience and in my soul.

"The School of Athens" by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino.jpg

The Renaissance

Italy is the Birthplace of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a large movement of artistic expression that spread from Italy to Northern Europe plus into the rest of the world. It showed the beauty of the human expression of people and it outlined changes among society. By this time of Renaissance, Europe escaped the end of the Bubonic plague that killed millions of people in Asia and in Europe. By this time, many people wanted to escape from many of the problems in Europe. Also, human beings questioned established orders of government and religion. In Italy, most people lived in rural communities, but city-states governed a large part of the Italian areas. Places in Florence, Milan, and other places had leading merchants who controlled the political and economic functions of many Northern Italian cities. The Renaissance started during the late Middle Ages. Writers and artists shown religious fervor and they wanted to embrace the many classical principles of ancient Greece and of ancient Rome. The Renaissance means rebirth, so the proponents of the Renaissance wanted to shows a rebirth of the acceptance of the classical ancient philosophies plus views of ancient Greece and Rome (including its pagan composition as ancient Greece and ancient Rome embraced heavily paganism). The Renaissance lasted from ca. 1300 to 1600 A.D. By 1453, the Turkish Ottoman forces ended the Byzantine Empire completely by conquering Constantinople. Many scholars left Constantinople to go into Italy and this helped to spread the Renaissance ideals throughout Europe. Merchants facilitated this revolution since they controlled the city-states of Italy. One of the famous merchants were part of the Medici family who lived in Florence. The Medicis was targets of assassination and war, but they persisted. Cosimo De Medici was a famous member of this family. Many of them didn’t overtly govern Florence, but they had dictatorial control over Florence. Lorenzo de Medici was the grandson of Cosimo and he was a dictator of Florence too (from 1469).

The Renaissance believed in many principles. One was about humanism, which believed that human potential and achievements can better society. In other words, humanism was placing faith in humanity and the potential to perfect humanity. Some Renaissance scholars tried to reconcile Christianity and Greco-Roman culture by merging its traditions or promoting other methods. The Renaissance also embraced worldly pleasures of parties, fancy clothes, and good music. Some were secular in promoting even non-religious influence in governing a society. Also, the Renaissance was in advocacy of being a patron of the arts (or promoting artists, spreading art, spreading literature, and showing culture). Many men and women like Bladassare Castiglione and Isabella D’Este promoted the Renaissance including funding artists. Some Renaissance writers wanted to promote the universal man or a person has to study the arts, play music, and be talented in a diversity of fields in order for this person to be completed well round. We call this the Renaissance man. Upper class women were part of the Renaissance, but sexism and discrimination was differently abundant back then. Some women like Isabella D’Este was born in the city state of Ferra and married another ruler of another city state Mantua. She was skilled in politics and helped to release her husband from being captured as a product of a war. Renaissance art included perspective (in showing three dimensions on a flat surface) with a horizon and vanishing point. In that sense, the artwork becomes more realistic and honest to detail.

Francesco Melzi - Portrait of Leonardo - WGA14795.jpg

Michelangelo Buonarroti was a painter, poet, sculptor, and architect who made realistic style when depicting the human body. Donatello made sculptures too. Raphael showed realism in his works. He loved the Madonna and child imagery. His shown paintings which are found in Pope Julius II’s library. He painted famous Renaissance figures like Michelangelo, Leonardo, and himself including classical philosophers plus their students. The School of Athens painting in 1508 by Raphael showed the Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, Socrates, and Pythagoras. Raphael was younger than Michelangelo and Leonardo. Women from the Renaissance like Sofonisha Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi were great artists. Gentileschit painted pictures of strong, heroic women. Anguissola painted portraits of her sisters and King Philip II of Spain. Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, a painter, a scientist, an innovator, and a sculptor. He loved to research on how things worked. That is why he had notebooks about the veins in leaves and muscles. Da Vinci wrote images of machines like tanks and helicopter-like devices. He made Mona Lisa which was a very detailed portrait of a woman. Da Vinci’s The Last Supper showed Jesus Christ and his disciples.

It also was a work that outlined their diverse personalities since the apostles were diverse from many regions of Israel. Authors like Dante works outlined literature in the vernacular or his native language of Italian. Francesco Petrarch was a humanist who promoted humanism in his literature. He wrote in Italian and in Latin. He wrote poetry about a woman named Laura. Off color stories like the Decameron were written by Giaovanni Boccaccio. Niccolo Machiavelli lived during this time. In his The Prince, he advised people to be more feared than loved in order to achieve power politically. He wanted to use deception even and any method available to hang onto power. Many politicians and business leaders utilize Machiavelli's strategies to this very day. Women writers of the Renaissance in Italy include people like Vittoria Conna. She wrote poetry about wives losing their husbands to war.

The Northern Renaissance is found in the area of Flanders, England, Germany, etc. Many Germans traveled into Italy to be educated in art and came back into Germany to show their works. Flemish painters like Jan van Eyck shown everyday life with oil paintings. These paintings have shown peasant life from weddings to dances plus harvests. The German painter Albrecht Durer was part of the Northern Renaissance too. Hans Holbein worked hard as a painter. In English, Thomas More was a Christian humanist. Erasmus was another Christian humanist from Holland. Erasmus wanted people to study the Bible and reject the frivolous aspects of life. Christian humanists wanted to reform society. Erasmus influenced the Bible translations of the Reformers. Roman Catholic Thomas More promoted a Utopian society and wrote in English and Latin too. Many women like Christine de Pizan fought for equal rights for women as well involving education and other spheres of life. During the Elizabethan Age, William Shakespeare wrote plays about life, love, war, tragedy, etc. He used many Greco-Roman stories and myths into his plays too. His plays were shown in the Globe Theater in London.

By 1592, he lived in London. Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and other plays outline issues discussed today. Almost 500 centuries after William Shakespeare's birth, people still are influenced by his plays via movies, plays, etc. Shakespeare's words influenced the development of the modern day English language. Acceleration of Renaissance ideals came by the Gutenberg printing press. The movable type and other aspects of printing were invented by Chinese people long before the Renaissance. Johann Gutenberg modernized the printing press to spread literature worldwide. Ironically, the Renaissance movement inspired the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and other like minded movements. The Renaissance praised individual achievement and merged Christian plus Greco-Roman influences.  It caused the growth of discoveries, maps, art, and other aspects of human civilization. The Renaissance definitely changed history forever.

Bernini Baldachino.jpg


Baroque art has been called neoclasssical art too. It was art most done with imagery and the showing of great religious significance. It was an art meant to persuade people to embrace religious views. It depicted Jesus Christ, the saints, Mary, and the apostles. Artists like Caravaggio wanted to dramatic in its display to outline dramatic realism, bold contrasts of light and dark, and outlines of emotion. Other artists of the Baroque style included Annibale Carraci, Giovanni Battista Gaulli (who used illusionism), and others. It or Baroque art was born from the early 17th century to the late 18th century. The Roman Catholic Church (especially after the Council of Trent) encouraged this art form as a means to counter the more simplistic and austerity art of the Protestants. The baroque style wanted to be bigger than life. It spread from Rome, Italy, then to northern Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, and Southern Germany. It was totally flamboyant. Its descendant is called Rococo which developed in Central Europe during the late 18th century.

One of the most famous images of the Baroque style was the Quadratura or the Trompe l'oeil which was found in the ceiling of the Church of the Jesu in Rome. It was created by Giovanni Battista Gaulli (1669-1683). The architecture of the Baroque featured large domes, religious statues, and many elaborate designs. The most celebrated baroque decorative works of the High Baroque are the Chair of Saint Peter (1647–53) and the Baldachino of St. Peter (1623–34), both by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Baldequin of St. Peter is an example of the balance of opposites in Baroque art with: the gigantic proportions of the piece, with the apparent lightness of the canopy, and the contrast between the solid twisted columns. There was the bronze, gold and marble of the piece with the flowing draperies of the angels on the canopy. Bernini made the statue of David. His sculpture showed David's emotion and his body appearing to move. It is different than the Renaissance as it shows more emotional intensity, instability, and diagonals than a typical Renaissance sculpture. Bernini wanted to outline movements. Baroque art work also have shown the effects of light and colors in transition form light to dark (which is a key part of artistic creativity).

Other Art movements

Neoclassicism existed after the Baroque period of art. It dealt with decorative and visual arts. It came about first in Rome during the mid-1700’s. The images promoted the themes of ancient classical art. It was also influenced by reason and other enlightenment principles. The paintings readily used cool colors and there was the elimination of perspectives. It wanted to have simplicity. Many used white marble for sculptures like the ancient Greek and Roman sculptors. The painting of the Oath of Horatti in 1785 outlined neoclassical imagery greatly. There was Romantic art. Romantic art is found in the Romantic period. It was a movement that focused on emotion and the power of the individual. It glorified nature, the past, and shown medieval imagery. It was a way for human beings to respond to the massive rigidity of the Industrial Revolution. Romantic thinkers influenced liberalism, radicalism, conservatism, and nationalism. There was Academic art and Realism in art too. These arts spread worldwide.

The Impressionist movement came about by the late 19th century. It was art filled with small, thin, but visible brush strokes. It focused on the depiction of light and human perception. It was heavily found in Paris. Many artists of this movement included Claude Monet with his work from 1872 called “Impression, soleil levant” or Impression, Sunrise. The artwork used many colors and some of it was done outdoors. The Impressionist paintings depicted ordinary people in parks, near bodies of water, and others working in various environments. Mary Cassat, Gustave Caillebotte, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, and others were part of Impressionism in France. Modernism existed in the late 19th and early 20th century. It used many traditional forms of art. It also reflected the rapid growth of cities and industrial societies. Many modernists rejected realism and mainstream religion. Much of the art we see today is Contemporary art which has been created in the late 20th century (with art forms like Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism. Pablo Picasso was influenced by Iberian sculpture, African sculpture, and other forms of art during the early 20th century) and early 21st century. It deals with a culturally diverse world. Technology is changing and art reflects that reality too. Contemporary art doesn’t have one point of view. It is diverse filled with different forms of artistic creativity. Research from Albert Einstein, the two world wars, scientific discoveries, TV shows, movies, electronic instruments, etc. accelerated the arts from the 20th century to the present. Abstract art, holography, fractal art, post-Modernism, graffiti art, etc. are all examples of Contemporary art.

Art in Africa, Asia, and the Americas

Art is international. It is found in the four corners of the Earth. The majority of people on this Earth are people of color, so the art from people of color is very important. Some people want to minimize or ignore art from certain areas of the world, but we aren’t those types of people. We believe in presenting information and outlining respect for the arts globally. Eastern Art is filled with diversity in India, China, and Japan. Much of Eastern Art uses a surface patterning and local color. There is an outline of works. Some paintings of Buddha were used in the context of being a religious symbol. The Bhutanese painted “thangkas” or paintings on cloths that describe Buddhist iconography. Eastern Art has calligraphy too. Many Chinese landscape paintings have black lines and gentle ink wash. Some of those works promoted the concepts of serenity and peace. One of the greatest Chinese artists was the painter Li Chieng (he lived from 919 to 967 A.D.). One of his famous works was “A Solitary Temple Amid Clearing Peaks.” He used paintings with excellence involving ink and scenery. Jeong Seon is a famous Korean landscape painter of the 18th century. He lived from 1676 to 1759. Religious calligraphy and Islamic paintings are found heavily in Western Asia. African art uses sculptures like the brass castings of the Benin people. There is folk art as well. The art of ancient Egypt focused on polytheism, the praise of pharaohs, and images of many animals. Ancient Nubia had tons of pyramid images too. Sculptures were prevalent during the Middle Ages throughout Africa.  Intricate structures are found in the Zimbabwe civilization with precise, great architectural designs. The Yoruba sculptures are iconic representations of African art. Many works in African art use brass heads, brass, and other materials.

Many African art are found in masks and it is represented by folk art too. One of the greatest artists during the 20th century was Uzo Egonu. He was born in Onitsha, Nigeria. He worked in political struggles in Africa. His works deal heavily with exquisite paintings. Olu Oguibe from Nigeria is a famous well known artist and intellectual. He not only makes art. He is a Professor Art and African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He is a great art historian and art curator. Today, the Johannesburg Biennale is a great arts venue in the Motherland of Africa. The art of Oceania is found in the areas of Micronesia, Polynesia, Australia, New Zealand, and Melanesia. Oceanic art has used wood, features, and other imagery. There are large structures in the region as well including abstract art found in the indigenous art of Australia.

Art in the Americans does deal with indigenous cultures and other pre-Columbian themes. Strong precision is found in the Olmec structures and in the usage of carved jade. Colossal heads are found in San Lorenzo. Tenochtitlán and La Venta as part of the Olmec civilization. The Mayan civilization had hieroglyphic carvings. Other paintings and sculptures plus complex architecture are found in the Mixtec, Zapotec, and other civilizations found in the Valley of Oaxaca. Mosaics, sculptures, and paintings are found in the Aztec culture. In modern American art, we see influences from Africa, Native Americans, Asians, Europeans, etc. American art from the early days to the modern era are filled with quilt work, beads, tipis, pop art, Abstract Expressionism, and other forms of expression.

Art in the 21st century

Art during the 21st century is very diverse. It deals with technology, paintings, and other forms of human expression. There is neo-minimalism. It existed during the late 20th century and continues to exist during the 21st century. It goes by many names like Neo-geometric art, Post- Abstractionism, Smart Art, and Simulationism. In essence, neo-minimalism is about using simple colors and designs in expressing art. There are contrasts and many forms of other materials in forming the art. It is deliberate in using simplicity of form and a lack of expressive content to advance art that is widespread. It involves painting, sculpture, architecture, design, and music. Many contemporary artists associated with neo-minimalism include people like David Burdeny, Tim Zuck, Laurel Smith, Tanya Rusnak, Eve Leader, Paul Kuhn, Catharine Burgess, Marjan Eggermont, Christopher Willard, etc. Digital art is a form of art that uses digital technology in being creative. It is part of the new media art too. It has transformed the skills of painting, sound, music, sculpture, etc. It is related to net art, digital installation art, and virtual reality. It is so popular that school classes teach students about digital art constantly.

Digital art is not just found in computers. It can be shown in museums, light shows, and other means. It is found in vector graphics software, graphics tablets, and other devices. CGI and other forms of computer generated 3D still imagery are heavily found in this form of digital art. Excessivism was created in 2015 by American artist and curator Kaloust Guedel with an exhibition titled Excessivist Initiative. It is a form of art that deals with investigating every aspect of life in an excessive state. It can use two or three dimensional visual creations, written or spoken words, or other activities. It wanted a reflection or examination or investigation of the capitalist system devoid of aesthetic, legal, commercial or other considerations. There is electronic art, environmental art, algorithmic art, altermodernism, and other forms of 21st century art.

Economics Part 3 (1500-1900)

This period from the time of 1500 to the end of the 19th century) outlined an explosion of economic developments and historical events. Situations like the growth of global empires and the existence of mercantilism radically changed the whole world. This era saw the evil Maafa developed and the Industrial Revolution. It was a time when the both the spreading of the evil of Western imperialism and various Revolutions transpired. The many Revolutions opposed not only monarchies, but the concept of absolutism itself. Heroic black men and black women were involved in the Haitian Revolution where they fought against slavery plus against Western imperialism. The French Revolution existed as a way for people to defeat French absolutism. Philosophers during this time period modernized their perspectives on the issues of economics (relating to goods and services plus the role of the state in the economy). Cantillon’s work of “Essai” dealt with economic research which influenced the works of Smith, Say, Bastiat, and Quesnay. People wanted to evaluate how the economy works, how economic theories functioned in real world scenarios, and the government’s relationships to the economy in general.

Classical economic theory (or the market regulating the economy without government intervention) spread worldwide. The Age of Reason, the Industrial Revolution, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War made us aware of the dynamic aspect of the economy. Industries grew, societies made more complex economic structure, and many people fought for human plus workers’ rights as well. Also, another important point must be mentioned. The slave trade was a crucial aspect of the modern day economy. In other words, the experiences of black slaves and other human beings economically benefited racists and corporatists via capitalism (as explained by the book entitled, "How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society Kindle Edition" by Manning Marable whose foreword was written by Leith Mullings) who wanted profit at the expense of human dignity. That is wrong. So, economic history must to be told in an honest, forthright fashion. In that sense, we can learn lessons and promote economic justice more thoroughly. This work will explain the economic realities among the four hundred years from 1500-1900.


Early Modern Era

The early Modern Era was after the Middle Ages. The early Modern Age lasted from about 1500 to 1750 A.D. (which the Age of Revolutions existed afterwards). This time saw mercantilism, nationalism, and international trade. National economic systems were strengthened. This saw the time of European explorers who traded the world in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Many of them used pseudo-religious justifications as a means for them to conquer lands for European monarchs. For example, Christopher Columbus was a male who traveled into the Caribbean, but he and his allies were responsible for the genocide of Native Americans in Hispaniola. Some have exploited Christianity as a means to oppress others, which is wrong and evil. Vasco da Gama traveled in Africa and Asia by 1498.  This time was part also of the price revolution. There was high inflation in Western Europe. Some believe that this high inflation was a result of the large influx of gold and silver from the Spanish treasure fleet from the New World, including Mexico, Peru and the rest of the Spanish Empire. Many imperialists got gold and silver by theft in funding their economies. During the 1500’s, Spanish explorers traveled into the Americas to explore and black slaves were with them as well. By the late 1500’s and early 1600’s, English explorers traveled into the Americas. In 1619, the first African slaves came into the Virginia colony by force. The growth of urbanization worldwide continued.  Newly-powerful monarchies wanted a more powerful military state to boost their status. Mercantilism was a political movement and an economic theory that advocated the use of the state's military power to ensure that local markets and supply sources were protected.

The first banknote in Europe was issued by Stockholms Bancoin 1661. This time marked a growth of global integration of economies, foods, and other aspects of human culture. There was the colonization of the Americas by many Europeans. There was the exchange of goods, plants, animals, and food crops among the Old World and The New World. This reality is called the Columbian Exchange. In Europe, feudalism declined by this time with the Protestant Reformation, the bloody Thirty-Years Wars, the Commercial Revolution, and pirates. In Asia, the Ming Dynasty grew in trade with Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands. In 1547, Ivan the Terrible was the first czar of Russia. The Ming Dynasty in China used banknotes as the common medium of exchange. More silver in China undermined state revenues in the Chinese economy. This damage continued with the Little Ice Age’s effects of harming agriculture. The Qing Dynasty of China lasted from 1644 to 1912, which was the last ruling dynasty of China. Japan had its Nanban trade after the arrival of the first European Portuguese during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. The Mughal Empire in India lasted from the 17th century to the early 18th centuries. Back then, India was influenced not only by Hinduism, but by Islam as well. The Ottoman Empire dominated the Middle East and parts of Northern Africa. One famous leader of the Ottoman Empire during the 1500’s was Suleyman the Magnificent. He reigned for 46 years and he added new territories along with making more developments among the Ottoman Empire.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the Songhai Empire economically controlled the trans-Saharan trade at the beginning of the modern era.  Around the beginning of the modern era, the Benin Empire was an independent trading power in West Africa, blocking the access of other inland nations to the coastal ports. Benin may have housed 100,000 inhabitants at its height, spreading over twenty-five square kilometers, enclosed by three concentric rings of earthworks. By the late 15th century, Benin was in contact with Portugal. In ca. 1585, King Kongolo Maniema established the Kingdom of Luba in Central Africa. Africa suffered the injustice of the slave trade and imperialism during this time too.

The European international slave trade among the Americas was created by the Portuguese and the Spanish (before that, there was the Islamic slave trade among Africa and Asia). The international slave trade stripped black people of their names, cultures, creeds, and lands in a vicious fashion. There has been an acceleration of the development of experimental science, the existence of humanism, the improvements in mapping plus ship design, and technological development. The early Scientific Revolution lasted from 1543-1687. Copernicus said that the Earth revolved around the sun. Galileo Galilei wrote that objects in a vacuum fall at the same rate regardless of weight. Francis Bacon promoted the scientific method. The English physician William Harvey studied butchered animals and found that blood circulates throughout the human body. Blaise Pascal invented the mechanical calculator in 1642. Isaac Newton wrote about the laws of motion and gravity in 1687. There was the emergence of nation states and secularized civic politics.


Mercantilism is an economic policy that dominated the early modern age of human history from the 16th century to the 18th century. Its goal is to maximize the trade of a nation to gain more gold, silver, and other resources. Mercantilism deals with accumulating monetary reserve via the balance of trade especially of finished goods. This policy increased wars and colonial expansion worldwide in the Americas, Africa, Asia, etc. In essence, mercantilism means that trade generates wealth and is stimulated by profitable balances which a government should encourage by means of protectionism. It promoted the government regulation of a nation’s economy in augmenting state power at the expense of rival national powers. It deals with commercialism too. That is a system in which a country attempts to amass wealth through trade with other countries, exporting more than it imports and increasing stores of gold and precious metals.

Also, mercantilism readily used colonies and slavery as a means to gain resources and exploit human lives at the same time in a disgraceful fashion. One example of how cruel mercantilism is how England during the 17th century wanted gold, so they formed a colony in America. America (in the Eastern seaboard) didn't have gold in a mass scale, but America had massive cotton. So, England buys cotton and allowed slaves to pick cotton, but they don’t allow American colonies to produce cotton independently without slavery. Later, England sells the cloth to America and England including France (England’s rival) gets the profit. Afterwards, England gets the profits and the cycle goes onward again. This system funds cities and towns (and benefit the super wealthy primarily), but many in Europe, Africa, and the Americas are poor. Giovanni Botero and Antonio Serra including Jean Bodin plus Colbert wrote about mercantilism themes. By the 16th century, modern capitalism existed in Europe. Join stock companies involve corporations have used stock to fund their business enterprises.

In colonial America before the 1780’s, it was filled with many ethnic groups, slavery, and the genocide of the Native Americans. Resources were abundant and exploited and labor existed. The economic output of the 13 colonies increased 12 fold from 1700 to 1775. Population growth grew the economy of the 13 colonies too. The British put restrictions on the products being made in the colonies and put restrictions on trade outside of the British Empire. Back then, there was a market economy. People used mining, gristmills, and sawmills. There was the export of agricultural products. The most important agricultural exports were raw and processed feed grains (wheat, corn, rice, bread and flour) and tobacco. Tobacco was a major crop in the Chesapeake Bay region and rice was a major crop in South Carolina. Dried and salted fish was also a significant export. North Carolina was the leading producer of naval stores, which included turpentine (used for lamps), rosin (candles and soap), tar (rope and wood preservative) and pitch (ships' hulls).

Another export was potash, which was derived from hardwood ashes and was used as a fertilizer and for making soap and glass. The colonies depended on Britain for many finished goods. Wagon transport was expensive. The economies of the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies were diverse too. Historian Carl Bridenbaugh examined in depth five key cities: Boston (population 16,000 in 1760), Newport, Rhode Island (population 7,500), New York City (population 18,000), Philadelphia (population 23,000), and Charles Town (Charlestown, South Carolina), (population 8,000). He argued that they grew from small villages to take major leadership roles in promoting trade, land speculation, immigration, and prosperity (which benefited certain people and not others), plus in disseminating the ideas of the Enlightenment (including new methods in medicine and technology). Most people in the American colonies back then lived in the rural locations. The tensions among the colonies and the British Empire ultimately caused the American Revolution.

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Free enterprise Philosophers

Economic philosophers grew during the early modern age. By the 18th century, the Physiocrats believe that the wealth of nations was derived solely from the value of “land agriculture” or “land development.” Quesnay believed that the economy was divided into 3 sectors of the manufacturing sector, the agriculture, and those who consume the food. Cantillon wrote about risk taking in the economy. Classical economics believed that the markets can regulate themselves without any state intervention. Adam Smith was one of the most influential economic philosophers in history. He wrote books like the Division of Labor and the Invisible Hand. He believed in the free market with little regulation. He was a Scottish man who lived from 1723 to 1790. He wrote literature like The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759 and the Wealth of Nations by 1776. He believed in the division of labor and how rational self-interest and competition can lead into economic prosperity. Smith believed in the free market, but even Adam Smith didn’t want businesses to form cabals or monopolies to fix prices or do economic corruption. Additionally, Smith outlined the proper expenses of the government in The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Ch. I. Included in his requirements of a government is to enforce contracts and provide justice system, grant patents and copyrights, provide public goods such as infrastructure, provide national defense and regulate banking.

This proves that Adam Smith believed in classical economics, but he wasn’t a total laissez faire capitalist. Say was a philosopher who believed that supply creates its own demand and that the markets don’t need help in creating purchasing power. I of course don’t agree with that view. Ricardo was a follower of Smith and he believed in Say’s law. He promoted the theory of comparative advantage, which wanted trading being useful for everyone even poorer nations. Thomas Malthus was very controversial. He was a bigot and an enemy of poor people and people in general. He promoted the lie that people are poor, because they are immoral. He wanted poor people to produce fewer children in order for population control to exist. He believed that property owners were morally superior. He is the founder of modern day classism in my view. Malthus believed that population growth will rise and cause global chaos except by reactionary policies. His views on population growth have been discredited too. Mills believed in the involvement of government to correct inevitable inequalities.

The American Revolution

Colonial America was dominated by mercantilism. England, France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic wanted to protect their investments in colonial ventures by limiting trade between each other’s colonies.  Spain wanted to get gold and silver to promote old style mercantilism. The Dutch and the British wanted to use private business to benefit themselves. The British used the Navigation Acts to handle British American colonies. These acts from 1651 and 1673 wanted foreign ships to be banned from trade between ports within the British Empire. It wanted manufactured goods to go through England before going to the colonies. It also allowed ship masts, rice, indigo, and tobacco to be exported to Great Britain. They were enforced. By the late 1700’s, England was in the early stage of the Industrial Revolution, so many finished goods were exported to the colonies. Colonists paid minimal taxes. The colonies had much economic freedom. Virginia had charter companies or groups of stockholders (like merchants and landowners) gaining money to advance the British Empire.

The private sector financed the companies; the king provided each project with a charter or grant (given certain rights). The colonies showed profits and many English investors gave charters to the settlers. Later, the colonists formed their own businesses. The British used the tax of the Molasses Act of 1733 to fund exports to England. There were new taxes like the  Sugar Act of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765 and taxes on tea and other colonial imports, which was done in part to compensate the British Empire after the French and Indian War. The American Revolution existed not necessarily about taxes (as taxes were low back then). It was about the constitutional authority of Parliament verses the colonial assemblies to vote on taxes. So, many colonists wanted no taxation without representation. The Americans in the thirteen colonies wanted their rights (as Englishmen as they see it) as a means for them to select their own representative to govern and tax them.

The British refused to do this. Then, the Americans attempted resistance via boycotts of British manufactured items. The British responded with a rejection of American rights and formed the Intolerable Acts of 1774. Soon afterwards, the Americans launched the American Revolution. The American Revolution was an all-out war against the British and the result was the independence to form the United States of America. The British wanted to end the American economy by using a blockade of all ports. The American economy was resilient and survived. The reason was that America was 90% farming and 10% in the cities. The American Revolutionary War lasted from 1775-1783. Many people promoted unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but they hypocritically owned slaves. Individual liberty, entrepreneurship, and promoting values of liberalism and republicanism existed as a framework for the colonies desiring independence from the British Empire. Philosophers during that time emphasized natural rights, equality under the law for all citizens, the general welfare, and civic duty. Britain’s war against the Americans, French, and the Spanish cost about £100 million. The Treasury borrowed 40% of the money it needed and raised the rest through an efficient system of taxation. Heavy spending brought France to the verge of bankruptcy and revolution. Congress and the American states had trouble financing the war. In 1775, there was at most 12 million dollars in gold in the colonies. This was not enough gold to cover the existing transactions or the war. The British imposed a blockade on every American port. This cut off almost all imports and exports. That is why the early Americans relied on volunteer support from militiamen and donations from supportive citizens. The colonists wanted to pay money by delaying payments to soldiers and suppliers in a depreciated currency. They promised it to make good after the war.


Early America

In 1783, many soldiers and officers were given land grants. This was done to cover the wages that they had earned, but had not been paid during the war. There was no strong leader in financial matters until 1781 when Robert Morris was the Superintendent of Finance of the United States. Morris used a French loan in 1782 to set up the private Bank of North America to finance the war. Seeking greater efficiency, Morris reduced the civil list, saved money by using competitive bidding for contracts, tightened accounting procedures, and demanded the federal government's full share of money and supplies from the states. Congress used four ways to fund the war. It cost 66 million dollars in specie (gold and silver). Congress made two issues of paper money, in 1775-1780, and in 1780-81. The first issue amounted to 242 million dollars. This paper money would supposedly be redeemed for state taxes. Yet, the holders paid them off in 1791. It was done at a rate of one cent on the dollar. In 1780, there was a second issue of new currency. It became worthless. That was redeemed by the new federal government in 1791 at 100 cents on the dollar. Many states like Virginia and Carolinas issued over 200 million dollars of their own currency. The paper money became a hidden tax on people. That was the only form of taxation during that time. Inflation grew and few people had fixed incomes. 90 percent of the people were farmers and weren’t directly affected by inflation. Debtors benefited by paying off their debts with depreciated paper. The soldiers of the Continental Army had lower wages. Their families had hardships too.

By 1776, the Congress raised money by loans from the wealthy. They promised to redeem the bonds after the war. The bonds were redeemed in 1791 at face value. Yet, it raised little money since Americans had little specie. Many rich merchants supported the Crown. France secretly supplied Americans money, gunpowder, and munitions in order to fight England as early as 1776. France officially came into the war by 1778. The subsidies from France continued. The French government, bankers in Paris, and bankers in Amsterdam loaned large sums of money to the Revolutionary War on the American side. These loans were repaid in full by the 1790’s. In 1777, Congress asked the states to provide money.

Many states had no taxation system. Little states could help out. Congress in 1780 was making requisitions for specific supplies of corn, beef, pork, and other necessities. It was an inefficient system that kept the army barely alive. The cities played a major role in causing the American Revolution. Yet, these cities were hit hard by the war. Many lost their oceanic ports, because of the blockade by the British Navy. The British once occupied the cities, especially New York City from 1776 to 1783. They or the Redcoats occupied other cities for shorter periods of time. During the occupations, the cities were cut off from their hinterland trade and from overland communities. The British left in 1783. Many of them took a large number of wealthy merchants who resumed their business activities elsewhere in the British Empire.

The new nation of America grew. The U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1787. The nation was unified with a common market and no internal tariffs or taxes on interstate commerce. The problem was that many black people were slaves back then and Native Americans were oppressed (which on how America’s wealth was built upon. America’s wealth was built on the backs of black people and the indigenous peoples of the Americas). Disgracefully, women were second class citizens and deprived of basic human rights. Alexander Hamilton was a financial innovator in America. He was the first Secretary of Treasury during the Presidential administration of George Washington. Hamilton wanted an increase role of the federal government to invest in roads, bridges, canals, etc. He promoted the implied powers which meant powers not overtly mentioned in the Constitution. Yet, these powers still legally applied to everyday life. For example, a specific road is not mentioned in the Constitution, but Hamilton wanted the government to fund the building of that road via Congress if desired. Jefferson was the opposite in wanting a weaker national government. Hamilton made a strong national credit. He took over the state debts, bundled them with the old national debt into new securities and sold it to the wealthy. This had an interesting action in keeping the new government solvent. He used tariffs on imported goods and a tax on whiskey to fund the debt. Hamilton wanted economic growth via diversified shipping, manufacturing, and banking. History has proven Alexander Hamilton correct, because a strong economy must have manufacturing, technology, shipping, and other resources, which makes up a powerful infratructure. He supported the First Bank of the United States in 1791 and its charter lasted until 1811.

After the Revolutionary War, older cities restored their economic basis. New cities like Salem, Massachusetts (which traded with China), New London, Connecticut, and Baltimore, Maryland grew. Local banks flourished in cities. Peace came. Then, Britain and France fought each other again in 1793. America was neutral in doing business to both sides. France hated this and the Quasi War from 1798 to 1799 disrupted trade. Outraged at British impositions on American merchant ships, and sailors, the Jefferson and Madison administrations engaged in economic warfare with Britain from 1807-1812, and then full-scale warfare from 1812 to 1815. This was call the War of 1812. Americans were angry of British navy ships also kidnapping American sailors. By this time, the Federalists wanted to fund a strong national government and the Republicans didn’t. The National Bank charter ended in 1811, but problems existed. State banks couldn’t operate across state lines.  During this time, over 120 new state banks were created all over the country and they issued notes that financed much of the war effort, along with loans raised by Washington. The economy of the USA grew from 1812 to 1815 despite loss of business among East Coast shipping interests. Canals, flour mills, and textile manufacturing increased in America. The cotton gin made cotton production quickly and it increased slavery in the South as cotton was a major crop in the South. It was innovated by Eli Whitney. It removed the seeds faster. Numerous scholars believe that Eli Whitney's invention extended slavery for many more decades into the future in America. Cotton was shipped to New England, Britain, and France.

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The American System

There was the American System promoted by Alexander Hamilton and others. Hamilton believed in the creation of a government-sponsored bank and increased tariffs to encourage industrial development. He died by Aaron Burr in a duel. The American System was promoted by Henry Clay and the Whig Party. Exploration, canals, and telegraphs expanded the American economy. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison didn’t want a strong central government. Jefferson wanted small farmers to dominate the economic system of America in a decentralized fashion. Thomas Jefferson envisioned a nation of agrarian farmers. Madison allowed the Second Bank of the United States in 1816. The Louisiana Territory purchase in 1803 (being worth $15 million) doubled the size of America. Yet, it continued the Manifest Density of many who viewed the Native Americans as less than human (which is wrong).  The role of the Federal Government in regulating interstate commerce was firmly established by the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Gibbons v Ogden, which decided against allowing states to grant exclusive rights to steamboat companies operating between states.

Andrew Jackson like Jefferson believed in a small federal government. Andrew Jackson (who is Donald Trump's hero) opposed the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson accused the bank of benefiting the rich, but Jackson was a person who oppressed Native Americans and was a hardened racist. He ended the Second Bank’s renewal of its charter. He even opposed paper money and wanted the government to be paid in gold and silver coins. This cause panic and the Panic of 1837 stopped business growth for three years. Economic expansion existed along with the growth of the population of America by the 19th century. During the early 1800’s, new cities grew like Pittsburgh, Marietta, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville, etc. Early 19th century economy in America was mostly agricultural. By the mid-19th century, there was a transition to industrialization, especially in the Northeast. The Southern economy was based on plantation, agriculture, tobacco, cotton, sugar (which was produced by slave labor). The abolitionist activists and black heroes fought to end slavery. The increase of railroad system in America (in places like Atlanta, Billings, Chicago, and Dallas).

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Slavery and the Civil War

The Panic of 1857 existed too. The American Civil War ended much of the economy of the South. The Civil War existed, because of slavery, disputes among the North and the South, economic issues, etc. The Civil War ultimately devastated the South. Ironically, the U.S. Civil War increased the industrialization of the North. During the 19th century, the North had a diversified economy with farms and industry. Free workers were heavily found in the North too. The Southern economy relied heavily on slave labor during the antebellum period. Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. Southern states seceded and the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter (in South Carolina on April 12, 1861 started the Civil War in America. The South has many military leaders and the North had a larger population, better transportation, greater resources, and more factories. The Northern victory make America more industrialized. Industrialists came to dominate many areas of American life. Taxes and government bonds funded the Union during the Civil War. The U.S. Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase used ingenuity in financing the war (a valued added tax imposed on manufactured items) without crippling the economy of the Union.   Chase made it easy to become a national bank; it involved buying and holding federal bonds and financiers rushed to open these banks. Chase numbered them, so that the first one in each city was the "First National Bank.” Additionally, the government printed "greenbacks"—paper money—which were controversial because they caused inflation.  The tariff act of 1862 served not only to raise revenue, but also to encourage the establishment of factories free from British competition by taxing British imports.

Furthermore, it promoted American factory workers over low paid European workers. This reality attracted tens of thousands of those Europeans to immigrate to America for high wage factory and craftsman jobs. Many Homestead Acts were used for people to buy lands for cheap in return to do housing, farming, and planting trees. Many grants during the 1850’s benefited colleges and universities. The North’s national banks executed currency for industrial expansion. Thaddeus Stevens and other Republicans wanted tariffs, bonds, income and excise taxes, national banks, and suppression of money issued by state banks, greenback currency, and western railroad land grants. The Civil War experienced new organizational methods, engineering skills, and increased businesses. The Civil War and the Union victory caused slavery to end, which was great as slavery is evil. Black people and other people sacrificed their lives, so the Union would achieve victory. We honor the sacrifice of the Union heroes.

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Mid 19th Century Developments

One of the greatest aspects of economic history was the events of labor strikes. There can be no economic progress comprehensively without labor rights and economic rights in general. These rights benefit both workers and employers. Our rights didn’t come about by the willingness of the oligarchy. Our rights were created by activism, demands, and resistance against oppression. In 1834, people in a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts protested to protest against wage cuts. They created a union of working class women. The women wanted fair wages. There was a strike for a week. A second strike existed in 1836 and in 1840. Later, the women formed the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association to try to reduce the workday to 10 hours. They used an 1845 petition, they organized chapters, and they wanted the Massachusetts state legislature to cap the work day in the mills at 10 hours. By 1847, New Hampshire became the first state to pass a 10 hour workday law, but it wasn’t enforceable. These events were part of the long struggle for workers' rights. The Industrial Revolution grew from this time. It was movement where people came from the farms and into factories for economic opportunities. Factories made large production with machines involving steam power or coal. The problems in the Industrial Revolution were the corruption found in this movement like child labor, bad working conditions, workers' exploitation, etc. Economic inequality grew along with economic growth for the leaders of large corporations. Neoclassical economics develop. New economic philosophers during the 19th century include Marshall, Pareto, Jevons, Walras, and other economic scholars.

One of the most important parts of economic history dealt with the views of Karl Marx during the 19th century. He was an economist, a historian, a political theorist, a sociologist, and a journalist. He held onto revolutionary views and offered some of the strongest criticisms of capitalism in human history. He studied Hegelian philosophy and worked with German thinker Friedrich Engels. He is known for his 1848 pamphlet called the Communist Manifesto and his three volume work called Das Kaptial. In essence, Karl Marx believed that the social realities involving human beings consist of a class struggle. He believed that capitalism permitted the ruling class or the bourgeoisie to control the means of production (which lead the working class or the proletariat to suffer exploitation and other forms of harm). He believed in historical materialism and desired that the only way to create more harmony economically was for the working class to overthrow the ruling class in a means to establish economic justice. Historical materialism relates to Marxism. It is a theory of history that material conditions of society in dealing with producing and reproduction of human existence determine the organization and development of society. Marx wanted the working class to use revolutionary action to end capitalism. He was a journalist and he regularly worked in London. Karl Marx was right to criticize the imperfections of capitalism. Karl Marx was wrong to make many immature and very vicious words against some people via letters and on other issues.

Life during the late 19th Century

By the late 19th century, the growth of Austrian Economics existed. Austrian Economics believed that individuals can use the market to make the economic systems of the world grow without a lot of government intervention. Much of the conservative or libertarian economic views today existed from Austrian Economics. It promotes marginalist and neoclassical thought, which defended capitalism. Some of the early defenders of Austrian economics included Menger, von Wieser, and Hayek. Hayek was a person whom conservatives to this day revere. He was an advocate of free markets. He falsely believed that government intervention to achieve economic egalitarianism was equivalent to totalitarianism. Libertarianism believes that that the individuals can control his or her own body, but the government should never intervene in the economy except in rare instances. The problem with as little government involvement in the economy as possible is that liberty isn’t about people doing what you want (i.e. human beings are restricted to not do murder, unjust violence, etc. as murder and unjust violence are morally wrong).

Liberty is about freedom bounded under justice, so the rights of the oppressed or the minorities including everyone else are protected by government intervention too. That is why governments exist in order to fight evil and promote the good. Morality and justice aren’t mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand since fighting slavery, discrimination, abuse, and other moral evils (via both social activism and government intervention) will establish justice for all. Ludwig Mises and Friedrich Hayek influenced the Libertarian movement. I believe in helping the poor and social justice. By the late 19th century in America, immigration grew heavily. From 1865 to 1918, millions of immigrants came into the United States in about 27.5 million people. These people were Jewish people, Italians, Russians, Irish, Germans, Central Europeans, Caribbeans, Africans, the Chinese, etc. Many of them were exploited economically by numerous corporate interests. Many of these immigrants experienced discrimination and bigotry. Some faced workers’ exploitation, but they persisted to establish great, positive contributions in American society. Also, the government used policies of Homesteads and other actions that benefited these new immigrants. In the meantime, black people experienced Reconstruction and the white racist backlash of it (which dealt with lynching, Jim Crow, and other evils). Still, courageous black people back then formed unions, associations, and civil rights groups to combat the tyranny of racial oppression. Mary Harris Jones worked as a labor organizer in 1871 after the Great Chicago Fire. The Paris Commune of 1871 in Paris denoted the power of socialist activism in Europe.

More strikes existed from the Haymarket strike in Chicago to other events. The Gilded Age occurred during the late 19th century in America. It was about the growth of technology and immigration along with many economic scandals flourishing. The Gilded Age saw further industrial growth, but continued bad conditions of working condition problems and lax wages existed as well during that era. Numerous people were crowded in tenements (in large cities) filled with horrendous conditions. The Transcontinental railroad, the telegraph, and expansion of wealth in America still primarily benefited a select few during the Gilded Age. Economic corruption grew. Monopolists like Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and John D. Rockefeller owned vast resources in oil, banking, etc. The Civil Service Act, the Interstate Commerce Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act, etc. tried to combat monopolies in business. In that era of time (from 1865-1890's), there was the Jim Crow apartheid system in the South plus in the Midwest, the continued genocide of Native Americans (like in the Wounded Knee Massacre), and further U.S. annexation of areas in the globe. Also, it is important to acknowledge the working class heroes who fought against the evils found in the Gilded Age. The 1878 Great Uprising was about railroad workers fighting economic rights and real benefits. State authorities killed many of them during this historic uprising. Eugene V. Debs was another leader of the labor rights movement and he was a socialist. The Haymarket event of 1886, the Homestead strike of 1892, and the Pullman strike in 1894 showed determined workers desiring true equality and justice.

The Populist movement grew to fight monopolies, defend farmers, and advance labor rights. Many leaders of this movement changed to be racists as time went onward. Others in this movement were among people of many colors who desired real change. Labor unions grew too. The Panic of 1893 caused a national depression. Many railroads were bankrupt. Farmers, workers, and businessmen suffered price drops, wage declined, and profits falling. McKinley (who promoted the Gold Standard) won by 1900 and the economy grew. Likewise, he saw the American Empire develop into the next level after the Spanish American war and the various annexations by America. Imperialism is wrong, because imperialism revolves around other nations dominating another group of people via exploitation, violation of human democratic rights, and other nefarious motivations. During this time, the Progressive era was in existence during its beginning. The Progressive era was about activists who wanted to eliminate conditions of poverty, corruption, and other evils in urban communities. They were diverse. Some were progressive people and some weren’t. Some of them even advanced the evil of eugenics. Labor groups, civil rights groups, and suffrage groups by the end of the 19th century continued to fight for freedom. The next part of this economic series will deal with the events from 1900 to 1945.

By Timothy

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