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How the Immigrants Who Came to Ellis Island in 1907 Compare to Arrivals Today

April 19, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

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During the late 19th and early 20th century, large groups of people from northern and western Europe immigrated to the United States, like this Slavic woman. An Ellis Island Chief Registry Clerk, Augustus Sherman, captured his unique viewpoint of the influx by bringing his camera to work and taking photos of the wide array of immigrants entering from 1905 to 1914.

View the 20 images of this gallery on the original article

But lack of English or work skills weren’t the only reasons immigrants faced discrimination. There was also a general feeling that immigrants were too culturally foreign to live in the U.S. German-speaking immigrants who came over in 1907 faced a lot of backlash a decade later, when the U.S. entered World War I. Germany was an adversary in the war, and immigrants from there suddenly became “hyphenated Americans” for practicing their own cultural traditions. President Woodrow Wilson declared that “Any man who carries a hyphen about with him, carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic when he gets ready.”

In addition, Catholic immigrants from southern and eastern Europe became associated with drinking and crime. White Protestant men in the Anti-Saloon League—many of whom would go on to join the new Ku Klux Klan after 1915—argued that the U.S. needed to pass a Prohibition amendment before these new immigrants acquired more voting power. During the 1920s, the KKK gained millions of members by advertising itself as a vigilante police force that would keep Catholic immigrants from countries like Italy in line.

The U.S. tried to reduce this type of immigration with the 1924 Immigration Act, which introduced numerical caps or quotas based on country of origin. These quotas gave enormous preference to people from northern and western Europe over those from southern and eastern parts of the continent. But despite intense fears that the latter type of immigrants could never really be American, they and their descendants became an important part of the country.

“There are inherent challenges to coming to a new country and finding your way,” Lim says. Even so, “if you look at things that are critical to the idea of integration or assimilation,” like language or job skills, “immigrants today actually perform better on paper” than those who came to America over a century ago.

…read more

Source: HISTORY

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What Kim Is Thinking: We Can Get Inside the Head of North Korea’s Leader If We Read the Signs

April 19, 2019 in Economics

By Eric Gomez

Eric Gomez

After an extended period of silence since the failure of the
U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi, a flurry of activity and
statements by North Korea’s leadership has clarified their
post-summit game plan. A major speech by Kim Jong Un to the Supreme
People’s Assembly (SPA), a rhetorical fusillade against U.S. secretary of
state Mike Pompeo
by North Korea’s ministry of foreign affairs,
and an upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir
Putin
were especially important developments.

These three actions show that Kim is still open to diplomacy
with the United States, but he will pressure President Trump to
change U.S. demands while simultaneously hedging his bets and
preparing for an outcome where Trump doesn’t lift sanctions.

Kim’s silence after the Hanoi summit led to a period of
uncertainty and speculation. Choe Son Hui, a high-ranking North Korean foreign ministry
official
, was vocal after the summit and warned that Kim might reverse a moratorium on long-range
missile and nuclear weapons testing. Choe’s comments coincided with
signs of activity at a North Korean satellite
launch facility
, but there was no rocket launch and Kim did not
personally reveal his calculations.

Kim’s address to the SPA is the first time he has publicly laid
out his assessment of the Hanoi summit’s collapse and his view of
the path forward.

In the speech, Kim said that North Korea came to Hanoi prepared
to take “prudent and trustworthy measures” to build on
the joint statement agreed to at the first U.S.-North
Korea summit in Singapore
. However, he regarded the Trump
administration’s push for a bigger deal at Hanoi as
“absolutely impractical.” Given this experience at the
last summit, Kim is unwilling to meet with Trump again unless the
United States “adopts a correct posture and comes
forward…with a certain methodology that can be shared with [North
Korea].”

In other words, North Korea is still open to dialogue with the
United States if Trump drops the idea of a big deal. Kim probably
wants to move to a step-for-step approach where the United States
relaxes sanctions in exchange for North Korean actions toward
denuclearization.

An example of this approach was on the table at the Hanoi summit. North
Korea proposed to dismantle its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in
exchange for relaxing sanctions that hindered inter-Korean economic
projects. The summit fell apart after the details of the exchange
couldn’t be worked out, including U.S. concerns about the
unclear scope of dismantlement activities that would happen after
loosening sanctions.

The North Korean foreign ministry’s criticism of Pompeo and the call to replace …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Royal Births Were Once Terrifying, Deadly and Watched by Huge Crowds

April 19, 2019 in History

By Hadley Meares

On November 1, 1661, Queen Marie-Therese, the shy, retiring Spanish wife of . “It was hoped that these Spanish sounds diverted the poor queen, who kept crying out in her native language, “I don’t want to give birth, I want to die.”

Her fears were not unfounded. Childbirth was a terrifying and deadly ordeal for women and their children in an era before modern medicine. Infection was common; one in three babies in France died before the age of one. And Marie-Therese was under overwhelming pressure to give the King a living male heir, thus ensuring the Bourbon succession.

After twelve hours of agony, the Queen finally delivered a healthy boy, who was named Louis de France. Courtiers in the inner rooms signaled the baby’s sex to those in outer chambers by hurling their hats up the air (arms were crossed if the baby was a girl). King Louis XIV, the flamboyant “sun king,” shouted out the window to his subjects packing the courtyard below, “The Queen has given birth to a boy!”

READ MORE: 7 Surprising Facts About Royal Births

For many royal women, the pressure to provide an heir started as soon as the wedding celebrations ended. According to Randi Hutter Epstein, author of Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank, the 16th century French Queen Catherine de’ Medici was so desperate to become pregnant she sought out folk healers who told her to “drink mare’s urine and soak her ‘source of life’ in a sack of cow manure mixed with ground stag’s antlers.”

Once pregnant, expectant royal mothers were under constant scrutiny. Perhaps no birth was more hotly anticipated than Queen Marie Antoinette’s first baby in 1778. Although her mother, Empress Marie-Therese, had done away with public births in Austria, Marie Antoinette was unable to change the entrenched ways of Versailles. Early in the morning on December 19, the Queen rang a bell, signaling that her labor had begun.

Versailles quickly descended into chaos, as “avid sightseers” hurried in the direction of the Queen’s apartments, Fraser writes in Marie Antoinette: The Journey. The crowds “were mainly confined to outer rooms such as the gallery, but in the general pandemonium, several got through to the inner rooms.” Some royal onlookers were even “discovered perched aloft in order to get a really good view.”

In all the …read more

Source: HISTORY

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The Mueller Report — Russia's Unearned Victory Lap

April 19, 2019 in Economics

By Patrick G. Eddington

Patrick G. Eddington

The release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on
alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian
government, along with allegations of obstruction of justice by the
president, has (seemingly) answered some questions but only
generated still others.

That the president was enraged that Mueller had been appointed
comes as no surprise. What he did in response evokes memories of
Richard Nixon and Watergate.

According to the report (p. 77), Trump viewed Mueller’s
appointment as the “end of his presidency and that Attorney
General Jeff Sessions had failed to protect him and should
resign.”

Sessions submitted, but Trump ultimately did not accept, his
resignation. Trump then apparently borrowed from Nixon’s
playbook, reportedly asking White House counsel Don McGahn to
“have the Special Counsel removed because of asserted
conflicts of interest.”

McGahn did not carry out the instruction for fear of being seen
as triggering another Saturday Night Massacre and instead prepared
to resign. McGahn ultimately did not quit and the president did not
follow up with McGahn on his request to have the Special Counsel
removed.” (p. 78)

What’s also clear to me from reading the report is that
Mueller and his team apparently considered, but ultimately decided
not, to go after Trump for obstruction of justice.

In the section dealing with the yearlong negotiations with the
White House over getting the president to voluntarily provide
answers to questions about his relationship with Russian entities,
Mueller provided a rather remarkable account (p. 13):

“During the course of our discussions, the president did
agree to answer written questions on certain Russia-related topics,
and he provided us with answers. He did not similarly agree to
provide written answers to questions on obstruction topics or
questions on events during the transition. Ultimately, while we
believed that we had the authority and legal justification to issue
a grand jury subpoena to obtain the president’s testimony, we
chose not to do so. We made that decision in view of the
substantial delay that such an investigative step would likely
produce at a late stage in our investigation.”

The job of a prosecutor is to follow the leads he and his
investigators get, and to secure the necessary evidence and
testimony, via subpoena if necessary. It simply strains credulity
to suggest that on the key question of whether Trump had, by
pattern and practice, obstructed Mueller’s own investigation
that Mueller should back off because of “the substantial
delay.”

Mueller’s team wasn’t facing an expiring clock on
their investigation, and the Special Counsel clearly believed he
had the legal authority to compel the president’s testimony.
When the moment came, he balked. Look for Mueller to get grilled
— probably rhetorically incinerated — by House …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Star Lawyering Protected President Trump from Firing Robert Mueller

April 19, 2019 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

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Ilya Shapiro

Don McGahn is one of the few people who came out looking better
after the Robert Mueller report than going in. The former White
House counsel, who stepped down in October, saved President Donald
Trump from his worst instincts, displaying a legal savvy and high
ethical standard that served both the president and the country
well.

Indeed, by preventing Trump from firing Special Counsel Robert
Mueller, McGahn prevented a political crisis—not to be
confused with a constitutional one—that would’ve made the
Russia-collusion narrative seem like a jaywalking allegation. When
you add that to his execution of a laser-focused strategy on
judicial nominations—including two Supreme Court justices and
a record number of circuit judges—McGahn is the early leader
for MVP of the Trump administration. (Full disclosure: I worked
with McGahn at Patton Boggs more than a decade ago, and we have
remained on friendly terms.)

Mueller’s report concluded that McGahn was a
“credible witness with no motive to lie.” From the 30
hours the White House lawyer spent talking to the special counsel
and his team, we learn many of the some of the most portentous
developments of the seemingly interminable investigation.

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Almost immediately after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
appointed Mueller in May 2017—after Attorney General Jeff
Sessions recused from Russia-related investigations, a necessary
move given his campaign involvements but one the president never
forgave—Trump wanted to dismiss him. McGahn warned that
taking this action would look like an attempt to “meddle in
the investigation.”

The president didn’t let it go, calling McGahn at home
over the course of a June weekend to push him again to tell
Rosenstein to sack Mueller. Here’s what Mueller’s
report says about that fraught moment: “McGahn did not carry
out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather
than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night
Massacre.” McGahn later told White House Staff Secretary Rob
Porter that he had planned to resign rather than follow through on
the order.

When the president later learned McGahn had told Mueller about
the episode, he questioned his counsel’s judgment. McGahn
explained that “he had to” answer truthfully because
there was no attorney-client privilege. The …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Don McGahn Is the MVP of the Trump Administration

April 19, 2019 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

One of the biggest heroes of the Mueller report is Don McGahn,
who served as White House counsel from President Donald Trump’s
inauguration through October 2018. McGahn sat for 30 hours of interviews with special counsel
Robert Mueller. And, in the report, Mueller described him as a “credible witness with no
motive to lie.”

The report reveals that soon after Deputy Attorney General Rod
Rosenstein appointed the special counsel, Trump tried to get McGahn
to remove Mueller. McGahn repeatedly declined — and, in May
2017, he warned this action would appear as an attempt to “meddle
in the investigation.”

When Trump called McGahn in June to prod him again to remove
Mueller, the White House counsel was at his wits’ end. “McGahn did
not carry out the direction,” details the report, “deciding that he would
resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday
Night Massacre.”

Later, when Trump asked McGahn why he had told Mueller about the
order to have him fired, McGahn explained that “he had to” because
their conversations weren’t protected by attorney-client privilege.
This latter point is important because McGahn stood up for the idea
that the White House counsel’s loyalty is to the Office of the
President, not to the President himself.

Trump seemed satisfied by that explanation, but then asked,
“What about those notes? Why do you take notes? Lawyers don’t take
notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes.” McGahn replied that he
is a “real lawyer” and that notes create a clear record.

In that judgment, McGahn was right — and more helpful to
the President than Michael Cohen, his personal attorney and fixer,
or any other of the non-notetaking lawyers who made a Trump-related
appearance in the Mueller investigation.

In short, McGahn’s professionalism and commitment to legal
ethics under challenging circumstances shine through in the Mueller
report. When you add all that to his stunning success as architect
of a winning strategy on judicial nominations — including two
Supreme Court justices and a record number of circuit judges — McGahn
comes out looking as the early nominee for MVP of the Trump
administration.

Ilya Shapiro
is director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies
at the Cato Institute. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Claiming ‘Sanctuary’ in a Medieval Church Could Save Your Life—But Lead to Exile

April 18, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

The . “It would be inappropriate in the extreme to carry weapons into the church or to arrest someone or to exercise force within the church.”

In addition, the church was “deeply suspicious about the punishments meted out by secular authority,” he says. Many early church leaders thought the Roman Empire was too concerned with punishing criminals as opposed to “restoring the moral balance between the wrongdoer and God.” Sanctuary was meant to address the latter. If fugitives claiming sanctuary weren’t already Christians, they were supposed to convert.

READ MORE: How Medieval Churches Used Witch Hunts to Gain More Followers

Murder and theft were the most common crimes for which fugitives sought sanctuary in medieval Europe. Once a fugitive entered a cathedral, their pursuers could lie in wait for them outside, but they couldn’t enter to capture anyone. In addition, fugitives couldn’t bring a bow and arrow into the church to attack their pursuers from the windows, or any other weapon that they might use to defend themselves once they left.

While safe inside, fugitives might work out an agreement with the people they wronged in order to leave safely. Yet more often, fugitives had to go straight from sanctuary into permanent exile from their city, region or country. This was especially true in England beginning in the 12th century, when the country legally regulated sanctuary more than any other region in Europe.

According to England’s laws during this period, fugitives who claimed sanctuary had to leave England for the rest of their lives unless they received a royal pardon, which was very difficult to obtain. And unlike most European churches, which didn’t have formal limits on how long a person could claim sanctuary, English people weren’t supposed to stay in sanctuary for more than 40 days.

A short sanctuary followed by exile was still better than a death sentence; and for many people, it was also better than prison. “Jails were a common place to die,” says Elizabeth Allen, an English professor at the University of California, Irvine, who studies sanctuary in medieval England. “You weren’t eating well, you were given often just bread and water and disease was quite common.”

Though English sanctuary was the most heavily-regulated type in Europe, English people didn’t always follow the letter or the spirit of the laws. ln the 14th century, a London woman murdered a priest in a church and then tried …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Is the Trump Administration Helping the Saudis Build a Bomb?

April 18, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

President Donald Trump went dancing with the Saudi royals in
Riyadh, where he tried to sell America’s principles in
exchange for a mess of weapons contracts. Since then, Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo has become Saudi Arabia’s lead PR counsel
in America. The Pentagon is the Saudi regime’s premier
armorer.

Now Energy Secretary Rick Perry is acting as chief nuclear
procurer for the Saudis. “By ramming through the sale of as
much as $80 billion in nuclear power plants,” The
New York Times warned recently, “the Trump
administration would provide sensitive knowhow and materials to a
government whose de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
has suggested that he may eventually want a nuclear weapon as a
hedge against Iran and has shown little concern for what the rest
of the world thinks.”

Obviously, Trump has not endorsed a Saudi nuclear weapon.
However, his administration’s ongoing attempt to provide the
Kingdom with nuclear technology raises serious questions about U.S.
policy.

The crown prince can’t be
trusted with a bone saw, let alone nuclear weapons.

America’s relationship with Riyadh has long been fraught
with tension, inconsistency, and hypocrisy. The faux friendship
revolves around oil, the lifeblood of the Western economy. However,
the fracking revolution turned the U.S. into an energy
super-supplier, and other hydrocarbon sources have since emerged.
And if Washington stopped routinely sanctioning other governments
for not following its dictates, oil producers such as Iran, Russia,
and Venezuela would be supplying international markets, further
reducing Riyadh’s importance.

American officials like to promote the Saudis’
antediluvian absolute monarchy as the foundation for Middle East
stability. Alas, the price is unrivaled repression. Despite the
crown prince’s reputation as a social reformer, he so far has
not relaxed the Kingdom’s totalitarian political or religious
controls one bit.

And that brutality has not guaranteed stability. Saudi Arabia
looks brittle, an artificial, antiquated governing structure held
together by tyranny and bribery. In time, it will likely lose to
demands for justice, equality, and democracy, which have doomed a
host of other corrupt, brutal, Mideast dictatorships, most recently
Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir.

Outside of the country, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS)
has pursued a wild and reckless strategy of regional domination.
Even Senator Lindsey Graham, perhaps the United States’ most
war-happy lawmaker, has called MbS “crazy,”
“dangerous,” and a “wrecking ball.”

The KSA has backed radical Islamists in Syria, subsidized the
al-Sisi dictatorship in Egypt, kidnapped Lebanon’s prime
minister, used troops to sustain Bahrain’s dictatorial Sunni
monarchy, isolated Qatar, kidnapped and murdered Saudi critics in
foreign nations, invaded Yemen, intensified the Mideast’s
long-running sectarian conflict, and promoted General Khalifa
Haftar’s attack on Libya’s internationally recognized
government. MbS is even willing to court war with …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The Mysterious Fate of the Romanov Family's Prized Easter Egg Collection

April 17, 2019 in History

By Ella Morton

After the Russian Revolution, the country’s new leaders, looking to make some quick rubles, started selling off the dazzling imperial treasures.

In 2010, an American scrap-metal dealer visited an antiques stall somewhere in the United States and purchased a golden egg sitting on a three-legged stand. The egg was adorned with diamonds and sapphires, and it opened to reveal a clock. Intending to sell the object to a buyer who would melt it down for its component metals, the dealer purchased this egg-clock for $13,302. He then had trouble selling it, as potential buyers deemed it overpriced.

The dealer had valued it incorrectly—but not the way he originally thought. In 2014, the man—who remains anonymous—discovered that his little golden objet d’art was one of the 50 exquisitely bespoke . No two were even slightly similar, and each contained a surprise meaningful to the recipient.

The Faberge Imperial Coronation Egg at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, 1993.

In 1897, Nicholas II gave his wife Alexandra the Imperial Coronation Egg. The shell is made of gold embellished with translucent yellow enamel and overlaid with black enamel double-headed eagles. Inside the white velvet-lined egg is an exquisitely detailed miniature 18th-century golden carriage. The object, which took more than a year to create, is a replica of a coach once owned by Catherine the Great and used in Nicholas and Alexandra’s own 1896 coronation procession.

The 1901 Gatchina Palace egg, which Nicholas II gave to his mother Maria Feodorovna, has a pearl-encrusted shell of gold, enamel, silver-gilt, portrait diamonds and rock crystal. It opens to reveal a faithful rendering of the palace Maria called home.


The Fabergé Gatchina Egg pictured on display in an exhibit, called ‘Palaces of St. Petersburg: Russian Imperial Style’ at the Mississippi Arts Pavilion.

How the eggs fared after the Revolution

All was shiny and beautiful in the imperial palaces, but by the early 20th century, Nicholas II was contending with international conflicts, nationwide impoverishment, a population boom and a growing number of former serfs eager to overthrow a czar they saw as oppressive and out of touch. In 1904 and 1905, when Russia was at war with Japan, Nicholas suspended his annual Fabergé egg commission. He resumed the tradition in 1906, though, and had one delivered every Easter until 1917. That year, Fabergé worked on two eggs, but before they could be presented, the …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Ancient Pee Suggests Agricultural Revolution Whizzed By

April 17, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

The only decided to use pee residue because they were having trouble reconstructing a timeline with feces and bone.

“We thought, well, humans and animals pee, and when they pee, they release a bunch of salt,” said lead author Jordan Abell, a graduate student at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in a university press release. “At a dry place like this, we didn’t think salts would be washed away and redistributed.”

Though it’s not possible to distinguish human pee salts from those of other animals, the researchers used the salts to estimate population density. They found there was a turning point about 10,000 years ago when concentrations of urine salts in the archaeological layer became 1,000 times higher than those in previous layers. They estimate that between between 8450 and 7450 B.C., an average of 1,790 people and other animals lived and peed at Aşıklı Höyük every day.

This would’ve been too many people for the settlement buildings to support, which is why a lot of those urinators were probably sheep and goats. The sharp increase in pee salts around 10,000 years ago “may be new evidence for a more rapid transition” toward animal domestication, Abell said in the press release.

There are still a lot of questions remaining about where, when and how the Neolithic Revolution occurred. The pee salt study may be just a drop in the bucket, but it nevertheless helps us narrow the timeline for this region.

…read more

Source: HISTORY