Visual History of the World

(CONTENTS)
 

 


HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION & CULTURE

From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Photography
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
Prehistory
First Empires
The Ancient World
The Middle Ages
The Early Modern Period
The Modern Era
The World Wars and Interwar Period
The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists

 




The Modern Era

1789 - 1914


In Europe, the revolutionary transformation of the ruling systems and state structures began with a bang: In 1789 the French Revolution broke out in Paris, and its motto "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite"—Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood—took on an irrepressible force. A fundamental reorganization of society followed the French Revolution. The ideas behind the revolution were manifest in Napoleon's Code Civil, which he imposed on many European nations. The 19th century also experienced a transformation of society from another source: The Industrial Revolution established within society a poorer working class that stood in opposition to the merchant and trading middle class. The nascent United States was shaken by an embittered civil war. The economic growth that set in following that war was accompanied by the development of imperialist endeavors and its rise to the status of a Great Power.
 

 


 


Liberty Leading the People,
allegory of the 1830 July revolution that deposed the French monarchy,
with Marianne as the personification of liberty,
contemporary painting by Eugene Delacroix.

 

 


The United States: Beginnings and Rise to World Power
 


1789-1917
 

 

The United States, spiritually still strongly rooted in the European tradition, strove to develop its own identity. A foreign policy of isolationism, manifested in the Monroe Doctrine, was implemented. During the 19th century, the territory of the United States increased through the purchase and annexation of land. After 1828 the differences between the Southern and Northern states became increasingly apparent, particularly over the issue of slave ownership. The Civil War from 1861 to 1865 traumatized the young country. Nevertheless, the Union was preserved with the North's victory. After the Civil War, the country's economic and technological ascent began. The entry of the United States into World War I in 1917 signaled the abandonment of isolationism.

 


Economic Rise
 

The rapid growth of US cities between 1877 and 1897, swelled by immigrant labor and industrial workers, was accompanied by social and economic problems.

 

The rise of the United States as a world power began with its rapid economic progress.

Following the construction of railroads, the discovery of 4 oil led to further economic expansion and wealth as well as capital for further economic investment.


4 Oilfield in California, 1925

John D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870, creating the first "trust" in the United States: by 1911, it controlled about 90 percent of the oil business. In 1873, Andrew Carnegie began building up the steel industry.

The rapid growth of the 2 cities and the steady rise in the number of predominantly destitute 3 immigrants from Europe and Asia led to the development of ethnic neighborhoods in the big cities and a huge rise in number of industrial workers.

There were no binding regulations covering labor conditions. Wildcat strikes and acts of violence were the order of the day. and unions were organized only locally.

The 1 "Haymarket Riots" in May 1886 demonstrated the urgent need for social solutions.


2 State Street, Chicago, 1903


3 Medical examination of
immigrants, Ellis Island,
New York, 1900


1 "Haymarket Riots," Chicago, 1886

Two days after police shot six strikers during a mass demonstration, twelve people, including several police, were killed in a bomb attack. Four "anarchists" were hanged as a result, although there was no proof of their guilt. The Haymarket affair directly inspired the celebration of May 1st as International Workers' Day.

While the unions were consolidating their organization, the economic middle class demanded that politics finally be brought into line with the expansive economic development of the country. An explosive issue was protective tariffs, which favored the sale of American over foreign goods within the United States, but also hurt those sectors that were dependent on imported commodities. President Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and 1893-1897), an opponent of prohibitively high tariffs, was unable to prevent his successors from placing record tariffs on dutiable goods in 1890 (the "McKinley Tariff") and 1897 (the "Dingley Tariff"). By 1909, protective tariffs were set at 57 percent.

In 1893, a collapse of the foreign markets and risky speculation by the trusts resulted in a serious economic crisis in the United States.

 

 

The Trusts


"Standard Oil" share

A trust (short for "trusteeship") is an amalgamation of formerly independent companies into a single joint-stock company with the goal of controlling the market, that is, creating a monopoly in a specific industrial sector. In contrast to a cartel, a trust is a tightly organized unit of administration and capital.

Since trusts were first created, the US government has been trying to abolish them to ensure free competition, though often with only moderate success. Important US antitrust laws include the Sherman Act (1890), the Elkins Act (1903), and the Federal Trade Commission and Clayton Act (1914).



Rockefeller as an industrial emperor,
1901 cartoon from Puck magazine

 
 

 

 
 


John D. Rockefeller by John  Sargent, 1917

 

 

 

John D. Rockefeller


J. D. Rockefeller

American industrialist
in full John Davison Rockefeller

born July 8, 1839, Richford, New York, U.S.
died May 23, 1937, Ormond Beach, Florida

American industrialist and philanthropist, founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust.

Rockefeller moved with his family to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1853, and six years later he established his first enterprise—a commission business dealing in hay, grain, meats, and other goods. Sensing the commercial potential of the expanding oil production in western Pennsylvania in the early 1860s, he built his first oil refinery, near Cleveland, in 1863. Within two years it was the largest refinery in the area, and thereafter Rockefeller devoted himself exclusively to the oil business.

In 1870 Rockefeller and a few associates incorporated the Standard Oil Company (Ohio). Because of Rockefeller’s emphasis on economical operations, Standard prospered and began to buy out its competitors until, by 1872, it controlled nearly all the refineries in Cleveland. That fact enabled the company to negotiate with railroads for favoured rates on its shipments of oil. It acquired pipelines and terminal facilities, purchased competing refineries in other cities, and vigorously sought to expand its markets in the United States and abroad. By 1882 it had a near monopoly of the oil business in the United States. In 1881 Rockefeller and his associates placed the stock of Standard of Ohio and its affiliates in other states under the control of a board of nine trustees, with Rockefeller at the head. They thus established the first major U.S. “trust” and set a pattern of organization for other monopolies.

The aggressive competitive practices of Standard Oil, which many regarded as ruthless, and the growing public hostility toward monopolies, of which Standard was the best-known, caused some industrialized states to enact antimonopoly laws and led to the passage by the U.S. Congress of the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890). In 1892 the Ohio Supreme Court held that the Standard Oil Trust was a monopoly in violation of an Ohio law prohibiting monopolies. Rockefeller evaded the decision by dissolving the trust and transferring its properties to companies in other states, with interlocking directorates so that the same nine men controlled the operations of the affiliated companies. In 1899 these companies were brought back together in a holding company, Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), which existed until 1911, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared it in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and therefore illegal.

A devout Baptist, Rockefeller turned his attention increasingly during the 1890s to charities and benevolence; after 1897 he devoted himself completely to philanthropy. He made possible the founding of the University of Chicago in 1892, and by the time of his death he had given it more than $80 million. In association with his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., he created major philanthropic institutions, including the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (renamed Rockefeller University) in New York City (1901); the General Education Board (1902); and the Rockefeller Foundation (1913). Rockefeller’s benefactions during his lifetime totaled more than $500 million.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 

 


The Policy of Imperialism
 

In 1897-1898, McKinley and Roosevelt intensified US imperialistic expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean regions. President Wilson concentrated on domestic and internal policies after 1913, but the political situation in the world forced him to enter the World War I on the side of the Allies in 1917.

 

Republican William McKinley was the first "modern" president of the United States (1897-1901). He strengthened the personal authority of the president, raised protective tariffs, introduced the gold standard for the dollar, and built up the confidence of commerce, industry, and the labor unions in the government, in 1898, McKinley intervened in Cuba's fight for liberation from Spain. The interest of the government directed itself toward the new markets and sources of raw materials of Latin American and the Pacific region all the way to the Far Fast. Cuba became a republic in the Treaty of Paris, and the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico were ceded by Spain to American possession, which led in 1899 to the formation of a critical anti-imperialism league in Democratic circles.

Following McKinley's assassination in September 1901, his successor Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) stepped up the expansion policy. Domestically, he brought about more effective control of the trusts and actively settled labor disputes. Reelected in 1904, he intervened in several Central American countries and mediated the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, for which in 1906 he became the first American awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

After installing a US-dependent government in Panama in 1903, Roosevelt acquired control of the Canal Zone for the United States and had the 5 Panama Canal built (dedicated 1914), connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.


5 Opening journey on the Panama Canal 1914

In 1913, 6 Woodrow Wilson brought the Democrats to power again (1913-1921).

Wilson curbed the expansion policy and concentrated more intensely on domestic issues. His "New Freedom" program aimed at social reform. Wilson followed a liberal cultural policy and promised to respect the rights of other nations.

Wilson responded to the outbreak of World War 1 with a declaration of neutrality. His course was controversial, but his promise of noninterference secured him reelection in 1916. However, he was pushed into action particularly by Republicans, especially since unrestricted submarine warfare was affecting US shipping.

With the approval of Congress, Wilson declared 7 war on Germany on April 6,1917.


6 President Woodrow Wilson


7 American soldiers set sail for Europe, 1917

 

 

Woodrow Wilson


Woodrow Wilson

president of United States
in full Thomas Woodrow Wilson

born December 28, 1856, Staunton, Virginia, U.S.
died February 3, 1924, Washington, D.C.

Main
28th president of the United States (1913–21), an American scholar and statesman best remembered for his legislative accomplishments and his high-minded idealism. Wilson led his country into World War I and became the creator and leading advocate of the League of Nations, for which he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Prize for Peace. During his second term the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was passed and ratified. He suffered a paralytic stroke while seeking American public support for the Treaty of Versailles (October 1919), and his incapacity, which lasted for the rest of his term of office, caused the worst crisis of presidential disability in American history. (For a discussion of the history and nature of the presidency, see presidency of the United States of America.)

Early life, education, and governorship
Wilson’s father, Joseph Ruggles Wilson, was a Presbyterian minister who had moved to Virginia from Ohio and was the son of Scotch-Irish immigrants; his mother, Janet Woodrow, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, had been born in England of Scottish parentage. Wilson was the only president since Andrew Jackson to have a foreign-born parent.

Naturally enough, the Presbyterian church played a commanding role in the upbringing of “Tommy” Wilson. The family left Virginia before his second birthday, as his father successively held pastorates in Augusta, Georgia, and Wilmington, North Carolina, and taught at the Columbia Theological Seminary in South Carolina. His uncle, James Woodrow, was the leading light of the seminary faculty, and after college the young man dropped his first name both to emphasize the family connection and because he thought “Woodrow Wilson” sounded more dignified. His father served during the Civil War as a chaplain with the Confederate army, and his church in Augusta was turned into a military hospital. The young Wilson was deeply affected by the horrors of the war.

Apparently dyslexic from childhood, Wilson did not learn to read until after he was 10 and never became a rapid reader. Nevertheless, he developed passionate interests in politics and literature. He attended Davidson College near Charlotte, North Carolina, for a year before entering what is now Princeton University in 1875. At Princeton he blossomed intellectually, reading widely, engaging in debate, and editing the college newspaper. While still an undergraduate he published a scholarly essay that compared the American government with the British parliamentary system, a subject that he would develop further in his first book and apply in his own political career.

After graduation from Princeton in 1879, Wilson studied law at the University of Virginia, with the hope that law would lead to politics. Two years of humdrum legal practice in Atlanta, Georgia, disillusioned him, and he abandoned his law career for graduate study in government and history at Johns Hopkins University, where in 1886 he received a Ph.D.; he was the only president to earn that degree.

Wilson’s doctoral thesis was also his first book, Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics (1885), which further developed his comparison between the American and parliamentary government and suggested reforms that would make the American system more efficient and more answerable to public opinion. Among his later works are a general analysis of government, The State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics (1889); a history of the United States, Division and Reunion, 1829–1889 (1893); the five-volume A History of the American People (1902); and Constitutional Government in the United States (1908), in which Wilson elegantly set forth the modern view of the president as “the representative of no constituency, but of the whole people. When he speaks in his true character, he speaks for no special interest.”

In 1885 Wilson married Ellen Louise Axson (Ellen Wilson), the daughter of a Presbyterian minister from Rome, Georgia, with whom he had three daughters, Margaret, Jessie, and Eleanor. The marriage was warm and happy, although it was shadowed by Ellen’s bouts of depression and Wilson’s brief extramarital affair with Mary Allen Peck. Ellen’s death in August 1914 devastated Wilson with grief, which lifted only when he met and courted Edith Bolling Galt (Edith Wilson), whom he married in December 1915.

Wilson was the only professional academic to become president. He began his career teaching history and political science at Bryn Mawr College in 1885 and moved to Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1888. Two years later he went to Princeton, where he quickly became the most popular and highest-paid faculty member. In 1902 he was the unanimous choice to become president of Princeton. Wilson upgraded the university both financially and intellectually, and he attempted far-reaching reforms of both undergraduate and graduate education. Several of his policies were adopted, but his reforms for restructuring and democratizing the university ran afoul of opposition from faculty conservatives and wealthy alumni and forced him to abandon several of his key plans.

Meanwhile, the publicity that Wilson had generated as Princeton’s president attracted the attention of conservative kingmakers in the Democratic Party, who offered him the 1910 nomination for governor of New Jersey. Wilson resigned from the university, and, artfully turning the tables on his patrons, he won the governorship with a dynamic, progressive campaign. Once in office he put his earlier ideas about parliamentary practices to work in implementing a sweeping reform program that gave him a national reputation and made him a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Prevailing at the 1912 convention after a hard struggle against better-entrenched rivals, Wilson entered into an exciting three-way race for president. Former president Theodore Roosevelt’s bolt to the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party had split the dominant Republican Party, a factor that allowed Wilson to be elected with only 42 percent of the popular vote but with an electoral college landslide of 435 votes to Roosevelt’s 88 and William Howard Taft’s 8. In that campaign, Wilson answered Roosevelt’s call for a “New Nationalism” with his own equally compelling vision of a “New Freedom.” Wilson was the first Southern-born president elected since the Civil War. (See primary source document: First Inaugural Address.)

First term as president
The presidency offered Wilson his supreme chance to put his ideas about government to work. Admitting that he intended to conduct himself as a prime minister, he drew up a legislative program in advance, broke with previous presidential practice by appearing before Congress in person, and worked mainly through his party. Important help in keeping congressional Democrats in line came from the party’s three-time unsuccessful presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan, whom Wilson appointed secretary of state. Indispensable policy advice came from the controversial Boston attorney Louis Brandeis, who had helped Wilson formulate the New Freedom agenda during the campaign. Wilson also kept Congress in session continually from April 1913 to October 1914, almost a year and a half, something that had never before happened, not even during the Civil War.

Wilson’s approach achieved spectacular results. He won his first victory with passage of the Underwood-Simmons Tariff, which reduced duties on imports for the first time in 40 years. Accompanying the new tariff, to offset lost revenues, was an income tax, which was permitted under the recently adopted Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Wilson’s second victory came when, after months of complicated debate and bargaining over banking and currency reform, Congress passed the act creating the Federal Reserve System, which remains the most powerful government agency in economic affairs. A third victory came with passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act, which strengthened existing laws against anticompetitive business actions and gave labour unions relief from court injunctions. Accompanying this act was one creating the Federal Trade Commission, which remains a major agency overseeing business practices.

Wilson followed those legislative accomplishments with a second wave of reform measures in 1916. In part to attract Roosevelt’s Progressive voters of 1912, he pushed through Congress laws to create an agency to regulate overseas shipping, to make the first government loans to farmers, to prohibit child labour, to raise income and inheritance taxes, and to mandate an eight-hour workday for railroad workers. Wilson also nominated Brandeis to a justiceship on the Supreme Court and successfully fought for his confirmation in the Senate. Brandeis, who served until 1939, was the first Jewish justice and became a major force on the Supreme Court. These victories were even more impressive than the earlier ones, because losses in the 1914 elections had reduced the Democrats’ majorities in Congress and because the Republicans’ opposition had hardened.

Foreign affairs bedeviled Wilson from his first days in the White House. Latin America was the first trouble spot. Though critical of previous Republican interventionism in that region, Wilson and Bryan soon followed the same course, occupying Haiti and the Dominican Republic and governing them as protectorates. Mexico, which was torn by revolution and counterrevolution, proved most vexing of all. First adopting a policy of “watchful waiting” and then seeking to overthrow the military dictatorship of Victoriano Huerta only dragged the United States into interventions by the navy at Veracruz in 1914 and by the army in 1916 in a “punitive expedition” to chase the guerrilla leader Pancho Villa, who had raided across the border into New Mexico. Wilson eventually reconciled himself to a hands-off stance toward Mexico.

The outbreak of World War I in August 1914, which coincided with his wife’s death, tried Wilson’s mind and soul. Almost no one questioned American neutrality in the beginning, but both the British blockade of maritime trade and German U-boat attacks soon made neutrality painful. On May 7, 1915, when a U-boat sank the British liner Lusitania, killing more than 1,100 people, including 128 Americans, the war came home with a vengeance. Wilson at first urged his countrymen to show restraint, declaring, “There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight,” but he also pressed the Germans to rein in their submarines and decided to build up the armed forces. Those moves impelled Bryan to resign in protest and to oppose Wilson politically. A combination of patience and firmness on the president’s part paid off when the Germans, for military reasons of their own, pledged to curtail submarine warfare in April 1916. For the rest of that year the threat of war receded, while relations with Great Britain worsened because of their ever-tightening blockade and their brutal suppression of the Easter Rising, the armed revolt in Ireland that eventually led to independence.

Second term as president
Wilson prevailed in the 1916 election, becoming the first Democrat to win a second consecutive term since Andrew Jackson. His narrow victory by 277 to 254 electoral votes over Charles Evans Hughes, the nominee of the reunited and resurgent Republicans, was a great political feat. The campaign cry “He kept us out of war” helped, but Wilson’s domestic record on progressive and labour issues played the biggest part in his achieving a healthy plurality in the popular vote and a small electoral margin. (See primary source document: Second Inaugural Address.)

His reelection assured, Wilson mounted a peace offensive in December 1916 and January 1917 aimed at ending the world war. First he made a public diplomatic appeal to the belligerent nations to state their peace terms and accept American mediation, and then on January 22 he gave a stirring speech in which he called for a “peace without victory” and pledged to establish a league of nations to prevent future wars.

Unfortunately, the Germans rendered Wilson’s peace efforts moot by unleashing their submarines on February 1. For the next two months Wilson agonized over how to respond. Public opinion remained divided and uncertain, even after publication of the Zimmermann Telegram, a secret communication by the German foreign secretary that offered Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to Mexico in return for going to war against the United States. Wilson finally decided to intervene, mainly because he could see no alternative and hoped to use American belligerency as a means to build a just, lasting peace. On April 2, 1917, he went before Congress to ask for a declaration of war so that the United States could strive to fulfill his injunction that “the world must be made safe for democracy.” (See primary source document: War Message.)

Wilson proved to be a surprisingly effective war president. Recognizing what he did not know, he delegated military decisions to professional soldiers, particularly General John J. Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Force in France, and economic mobilization to such men as Bernard Baruch, William Gibbs McAdoo, and Herbert Hoover. Careful planning also ensured the success of the Selective Service Act, which became law in May. This helped to raise the strength of the armed forces to five million men and women, two million of whom reached France by the war’s end. The boost given to the Allies by American money, supplies, and manpower tipped the scales against the Germans, who sued for peace and laid down their arms with the Armistice of November 11, 1918.

A less happy side to Wilson’s delegation of war-making tasks came at home, where some of his cabinet members, most notably U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, brutally suppressed dissent. The overzealous hounding of radical groups, aliens, and dissidents both during the war and in the Red Scare of 1919–20 was justified on grounds of national security but was condemned by civil libertarians and ultimately discredited. Diplomacy was the one job that Wilson kept to himself. He seized the initiative on war aims with his Fourteen Points speech of January 8, 1918, in which he promised a liberal, nonpunitive peace and a league of nations. Determined to keep those promises, Wilson made the controversial decision to go in person to the Paris Peace Conference, where he spent seven months in wearying, often acrimonious negotiations with the British, French, and Italians. The final product, the Treaty of Versailles, was signed on June 28, 1919. The treaty’s financial and territorial terms severely compromised Wilson’s aims, but those were offset by its inclusion of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which he believed would adjust international differences and maintain peace. (See primary source document: League of Nations.)

Wilson returned from the peace conference exhausted and in failing health, in no shape to face the biggest fight of his career. Republican senators, led by Henry Cabot Lodge, sought either to reject the treaty or to attach reservations that would gravely limit America’s commitments to the League of Nations. After two months of frustrating talks with senators, Wilson took his case to the people in September 1919 in the hope of shaping public opinion on this important issue of the day. A master of the English language and public oratory, he threw himself into a whirlwind cross-country tour, giving 39 speeches in three weeks.

The strain, both mental and physical, was too much for him. He had a near breakdown on September 25, after which his doctor canceled the rest of the tour and rushed him back to Washington. On October 2, 1919, Wilson suffered a massive stroke that left him partially paralyzed on his left side. His intellectual capacity was not affected, but his emotional balance and judgment were badly impaired.

This was the worst crisis of presidential disability in American history, and it was handled badly. No one seriously suggested that Wilson resign. His wife, Edith, controlled access to him, made decisions by default, and engineered a cover-up of his condition, which included misleadingly optimistic reports from his doctors. Although he gradually recovered from the worst effects of the stroke, Wilson never again fully functioned as president.

The peace treaty went down to defeat in the Senate, as a consequence of Wilson’s stroke-induced rigidity. He demanded that Democratic senators spurn all efforts at compromise with Lodge and the Republicans. Twice, on November 19, 1919, and March 19, 1920, the Treaty of Versailles failed to gain the two-thirds vote necessary for ratification. Later, under Warren G. Harding, Wilson’s Republican successor, the United States made a separate peace with Germany, something Wilson had believed “would place ineffable stain upon the gallantry and honor of the United States.” The United States never joined the League of Nations.

In the 1920 election Wilson called for “a great and solemn referendum” on the treaty and the League of Nations and entertained fantasies about running on that issue himself. Edith Wilson and his closest friends quietly scotched those notions. Instead, the Democrats nominated James M. Cox, the governor of Ohio, on the strength of his lack of association with Wilson, although an administration loyalist, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, received the vice presidential nomination. The election did become a referendum on Wilson, as Harding called for a return to “normalcy” and blamed all the country’s troubles on the man in the White House. The Republicans won a landslide victory, which they interpreted as a mandate to reverse Wilson’s progressive policies at home and his internationalism abroad.


Later years
Wilson lived in Washington for almost three years after leaving office in March 1921. Though an invalid, he never wavered in his conviction that the United States should and would eventually join the League of Nations, and he took a keen interest in politics. In one of his last public appearances he rode in the funeral procession of his younger and supposedly healthy successor, Harding. Wilson died in his sleep at his Washington home. His remains were interred in the newly begun National Cathedral; he is the only president buried in the capital city. His historical reputation at first suffered from his failure to carry the day in his last years and the ascendancy of the Republicans, and it declined further during the 1930s with the “revisionist” revulsion against World War I. But during World War II Wilson’s reputation soared, as he came to be regarded as a wrongly unheeded prophet whose policies would have prevented world calamity. The United Nations and collective security pacts are viewed as fulfillment of Wilson’s internationalist vision.

John Milton Cooper, Jr.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 

 


President McKinley on the Monroe Doctrine

"Isolation is no longer possible or desirable. The period, of exclusiveness is past. The expansion of our trade and commerce is the...problem.

Commercial wars are unprofitable. A policy of good-will and friendly trade relations will prevent reprisals."



William McKinley campaigns on gold coin (gold standard) with support from soldiers, businessmen, farmers and professionals, claiming to restore prosperity at home and victory abroad

 

 

 

William McKinley


William McKinley

president of United States

born January 29, 1843, Niles, Ohio, U.S.
died September 14, 1901, Buffalo, New York

Main
25th president of the United States (1897–1901). Under McKinley’s leadership, the United States went to war against Spain in 1898 and thereby acquired a global empire, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. (For a discussion of the history and nature of the presidency, see presidency of the United States of America.)

McKinley was the son of William McKinley, a manager of a charcoal furnace and a small-scale iron founder, and Nancy Allison. Eighteen years old at the start of the Civil War, McKinley enlisted in an Ohio regiment under the command of Rutherford B. Hayes, later the 19th president of the United States (1877–81). Promoted second lieutenant for his bravery in the Battle of Antietam (1862), he was discharged a brevet major in 1865. Returning to Ohio, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1867, and opened a law office in Canton, where he resided—except for his years in Washington, D.C.—for the rest of his life.

Drawn immediately to politics in the Republican Party, McKinley supported Hayes for governor in 1867 and Ulysses S. Grant for president in 1868. The following year he was elected prosecuting attorney for Stark county, and in 1877 he began his long career in Congress as representative from Ohio’s 17th district. McKinley served in the House of Representatives until 1891, failing reelection only twice—in 1882, when he was temporarily unseated in an extremely close election, and in 1890, when Democrats gerrymandered his district.

The issue with which McKinley became most closely identified during his congressional years was the protective tariff, a high tax on imported goods which served to protect American manufacturers from foreign competition. While it was only natural for a Republican from a rapidly industrializing state to favour protection, McKinley’s support reflected more than his party’s pro-business bias. A genuinely compassionate man, McKinley cared about the well-being of American workers, and he always insisted that a high tariff was necessary to assuring high wages. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he was the principal sponsor of the McKinley Tariff of 1890, which raised duties higher than they had been at any previous time. Yet by the end of his presidency McKinley had become a convert to commercial reciprocity among nations, recognizing that Americans must buy products from other countries in order to sustain the sale of American goods abroad.

His loss in 1890 brought an end to McKinley’s career in the House of Representatives, but with the help of wealthy Ohio industrialist Mark Hanna, McKinley won two terms as governor of his home state (1892–96). During those years Hanna, a powerful figure in the Republican Party, laid plans to gain the party’s presidential nomination for his good friend in 1896. McKinley went on to win the nomination easily.

The presidential campaign of 1896 was one of the most exciting in American history. The central issue was the nation’s money supply. McKinley ran on a Republican platform emphasizing maintenance of the gold standard, while his opponent—William Jennings Bryan, candidate of both the Democratic and Populist parties—called for a bimetallic standard of gold and silver. Bryan campaigned vigorously, traveling thousands of miles and delivering hundreds of speeches in support of an inflated currency that would help poor farmers and other debtors. McKinley remained at home in Canton, greeting visiting delegations of Republicans at his front porch and giving carefully prepared speeches promoting the benefits of a gold-backed currency. For his part, Hanna tapped big businesses for enormous campaign contributions while simultaneously directing a network of Republican speakers who portrayed Bryan as a dangerous radical and McKinley as “the advance agent of prosperity.” McKinley won the election decisively, becoming the first president to achieve a popular majority since 1872 and bettering Bryan 271 to 176 in the electoral vote. (The table provides a list of cabinet members in the administration of President William McKinley.)

Inaugurated president March 4, 1897, McKinley promptly called a special session of Congress to revise customs duties upward. On July 24 he signed into law the Dingley Tariff, the highest protective tariff in American history to that time. Yet domestic issues would play only a minor role in the McKinley presidency. Emerging from decades of isolationism in the 1890s, Americans had already shown signs of wanting to play a more assertive role on the world stage. Under McKinley, the United States became an empire. (See primary source document: First Inaugural Address.)

By the time McKinley took the oath of office as president, many Americans—influenced greatly by the sensationalistic yellow journalism of the Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers—were eager to see the United States intervene in Cuba, where Spain was engaged in brutal repression of an independence movement. Initially, McKinley hoped to avoid American involvement, but in February 1898 two events stiffened his resolve to confront the Spanish. First, a letter written by the Spanish minister to Washington, Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, was intercepted, and on February 9 it was published in American newspapers; the letter described McKinley as weak and too eager for public adulation. Then, six days after the appearance of the Dupuy de Lôme letter, the American battleship USS Maine suddenly exploded and sank as it sat anchored in Havana harbour, carrying 266 enlisted men and officers to their deaths. Although a mid-20th century investigation proved conclusively that the Maine was destroyed by an internal explosion, the yellow press convinced Americans of Spanish responsibility. The public clamoured for armed intervention, and congressional leaders were eager to satisfy the public demand for action.

In March McKinley gave Spain an ultimatum, including demands for an end to the brutality inflicted upon Cubans and the start of negotiations leading toward independence for the island. Spain agreed to most of McKinley’s demands but balked at giving up its last major New World colony. On April 20 Congress authorized the president to use armed force to secure the independence of Cuba, and five days later it passed a formal declaration of war. (See primary source document: War Message.)

In the brief Spanish-American War—“a splendid little war,” in the words of Secretary of State John Hay—the United States easily defeated Spanish forces in the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Combat began early in May and ended with an armistice in mid-August. The subsequent Treaty of Paris, signed in December 1898 and ratified by the Senate in February 1899, ceded Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States; Cuba became independent. The ratification vote was extremely close—just one vote more than the required two-thirds—reflecting opposition by many “anti-imperialists” to the United States acquiring overseas possessions, especially without the consent of the people who lived in them. Although McKinley had not entered the war for territorial aggrandizement, he sided with the “imperialists” in supporting ratification, convinced that the United States had an obligation to assume responsibility for “the welfare of an alien people.”

This desire to care for the less fortunate was characteristic of McKinley and was nowhere better illustrated than in his marriage. McKinley married Ida Saxton (Ida McKinley) in 1871. Within two years, the future first lady witnessed the deaths of her mother and two daughters. She never recovered, and she spent the rest of her life as a chronic invalid, frequently suffering seizures and placing an enormous physical and emotional burden on her husband. Yet McKinley remained devoted to her, and his unflagging attentiveness earned him additional admiration from the public.

Renominated for another term without opposition, McKinley again faced Democrat William Jennings Bryan in the presidential election of 1900. McKinley’s margins of victory in both the popular and electoral votes were greater than they were four years before, no doubt reflecting satisfaction with the outcome of the war and with the widespread prosperity that the country enjoyed. Following his inauguration in 1901 (see primary source document: Second Inaugural Address), McKinley left Washington for a tour of the western states, to be concluded with a speech at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Cheering crowds throughout the journey attested to McKinley’s immense popularity. More than 50,000 admirers attended his exposition speech, in which the leader who had been so closely identified with protectionism now sounded the call for commercial reciprocity among nations. (See primary source document: Reciprocal Trade Agreements.) The following day, September 6, 1901, while McKinley was shaking hands with a crowd of well-wishers at the exposition, Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, fired two shots into the president’s chest and abdomen. Rushed to a hospital in Buffalo, McKinley lingered for a week before dying in the early morning hours of September 14. He was succeeded by his vice president, the man Mark Hanna sneeringly referred to as “that damned cowboy,” Theodore Roosevelt.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 

 

The Roosevelt Corollary

On December 6, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt amended the Monroe Doctrine with his own "Roosevelt Corollary."

He proclaimed an American right to intervene in the Western Hemisphere (Latin America and the Pacific region) and justified the entitlement of the United States to exercise international police powers in Latin America.

The role of the United States as a "world policeman"—which remains controversial to this day—began with him.



1909 cartoon from Puck magazine. Outgoing US president Teddy Roosevelt (dressed as a cowboy) hands responsibility (in form of a baby that looks like Roosevelt labeled "My Policies") to his successor William Howard Taft (wearing a nurse-maid's apron and bonnet over his suit). TR's secretary William Loeb, dressed as a bell boy, carrys Roosevelt's "Big Stick."
 

 

 

 

Theodore Roosevelt


Theodore Roosevelt


president of United States
bynames Teddy Roosevelt and TR

born October 27, 1858, New York, New York, U.S.
died January 6, 1919, Oyster Bay, New York

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26th president of the United States (1901–09) and writer, naturalist, and soldier. He expanded the powers of the presidency and of the federal government in support of the public interest in conflicts between big business and labour and steered the nation toward an active role in world politics, particularly in Europe and Asia. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1906 for mediating an end to the Russo-Japanese War, and he secured the route and began construction of the Panama Canal (1904–14). (For a discussion of the history and nature of the presidency, see presidency of the United States of America.

The early years
Roosevelt was the second of four children born into a long-established, socially prominent family of Dutch and English ancestry; his mother, Martha Bulloch of Georgia, came from a wealthy, slave-owning plantation family. In frail health as a boy, Roosevelt was educated by private tutors. From boyhood, he displayed intense, wide-ranging intellectual curiosity. He graduated from Harvard College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, in 1880. He then studied briefly at Columbia Law School but soon turned to writing and politics as a career. In 1880 he married Alice Hathaway Lee, by whom he had one daughter, Alice. After his first wife’s death, in 1886 he married Edith Kermit Carow (Edith Roosevelt), with whom he lived for the rest of his life at Sagamore Hill, an estate near Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. They had five children: Theodore, Jr., Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin.

As a child, Roosevelt had suffered from severe asthma, and weak eyesight plagued him throughout his life. By dint of a program of physical exertion, he developed a strong physique and a lifelong love of vigorous activity. He adopted “the strenuous life,” as he entitled his 1901 book, as his ideal, both as an outdoorsman and as a politician.

Elected as a Republican to the New York State Assembly at 23, Roosevelt quickly made a name for himself as a foe of corrupt machine politics. In 1884, overcome by grief by the deaths of both his mother and his wife on the same day, he left politics to spend two years on his cattle ranch in the badlands of the Dakota Territory, where he became increasingly concerned about environmental damage to the West and its wildlife. Nonetheless, he did participate as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1884. His attempt to reenter public life in 1886 was unsuccessful; he was defeated in a bid to become mayor of New York City. Roosevelt remained active in politics and again battled corruption as a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission (1889–95) and as president of the New York City Board of Police Commissioners. Appointed assistant secretary of the navy by President William McKinley, he vociferously championed a bigger navy and agitated for war with Spain. When war was declared in 1898, he organized the 1st Volunteer Cavalry, known as the Rough Riders, who were sent to fight in Cuba. Roosevelt was a brave and well-publicized military leader. The charge of the Rough Riders (on foot) up Kettle Hill during the Battle of Santiago made him the biggest national hero to come out of the Spanish-American War.

On his return, the Republican bosses in New York tapped Roosevelt to run for governor, despite their doubts about his political loyalty. Elected in 1898, he became an energetic reformer, removing corrupt officials and enacting legislation to regulate corporations and the civil service. His actions irked the party’s bosses so much that they conspired to get rid of him by drafting him for the Republican vice presidential nomination in 1900, assuming that his would be a largely ceremonial role.

Elected with McKinley, Roosevelt chafed at his powerless office until September 14, 1901, when McKinley died after being shot by an assassin and he became president. Six weeks short of his 43rd birthday, Roosevelt was the youngest person ever to enter the presidency. Although he promised continuity with McKinley’s policies, he transformed the public image of the office at once. He renamed the executive mansion the White House and threw open its doors to entertain cowboys, prizefighters, explorers, writers, and artists. His refusal to shoot a bear cub on a 1902 hunting trip inspired a toy maker to name a stuffed bear after him, and the teddy bear fad soon swept the nation. His young children romped on the White House lawn, and the marriage of his daughter Alice in 1905 to Representative Nicholas Longworth of Ohio became the biggest social event of the decade.

From what he called the presidency’s “bully pulpit,” Roosevelt gave speeches aimed at raising public consciousness about the nation’s role in world politics, the need to control the trusts that dominated the economy, the regulation of railroads, and the impact of political corruption. He appointed young, college-educated men to administrative positions. But active as he was, he was cautious in his approach to domestic affairs. Roosevelt recognized that he had become president by accident, and he wanted above all to be elected in 1904. Likewise, as sensitive as he was to popular discontent about big business and political machines, he knew that conservative Republicans who were bitterly opposed to all reforms controlled both houses of Congress. Roosevelt focused his activities on foreign affairs and used his executive power to address problems of business and labour and the conservation of natural resources.

Above all, Roosevelt relished the power of the office and viewed the presidency as an outlet for his unbounded energy. He was a proud and fervent nationalist who willingly bucked the passive Jeffersonian tradition of fearing the rise of a strong chief executive and a powerful central government. “I believe in a strong executive; I believe in power,” he wrote to British historian Sir George Otto Trevelyan. “While President, I have been President, emphatically; I have used every ounce of power there was in the office. … I do not believe that any President ever had as thoroughly good a time as I have had, or has ever enjoyed himself as much.”


The Square Deal
Despite his caution, Roosevelt managed to do enough in his first three years in office to build a platform for election in his own right. In 1902 he cajoled Republican conservatives into creating the Bureau of Corporations with the power to investigate businesses engaged in interstate commerce but without regulatory powers. He also resurrected the nearly defunct Sherman Antitrust Act by bringing a successful suit to break up a huge railroad conglomerate, the Northern Securities Company. Roosevelt pursued this policy of “trust-busting” by initiating suits against 43 other major corporations during the next seven years. (See primary source document: Controlling the Trusts.)

Also in 1902 Roosevelt intervened in the anthracite coal strike when it threatened to cut off heating fuel for homes, schools, and hospitals. The president publicly asked representatives of capital and labour to meet in the White House and accept his mediation. He also talked about calling in the army to run the mines, and he got Wall Street investment houses to threaten to withhold credit to the coal companies and dump their stocks. The combination of tactics worked to end the strike and gain a modest pay hike for the miners. This was the first time that a president had publicly intervened in a labour dispute at least implicitly on the side of workers. Roosevelt characterized his actions as striving toward a “Square Deal” between capital and labour, and those words became his campaign slogan in the 1904 election.

Once he won that election—overwhelmingly defeating the Democratic contender Alton B. Parker by 336 to 140 electoral votes—Roosevelt put teeth into his Square Deal programs. (See primary source document: Inaugural Address.) He pushed Congress to grant powers to the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate interstate railroad rates. The Hepburn Act of 1906 conveyed those powers and created the federal government’s first true regulatory agency. Also in 1906, Roosevelt pressed Congress to pass the Pure Food and Drug and Meat Inspection acts, which created agencies to assure protection to consumers. The “muckrakers,” investigative journalists of the era, had exposed the squalid conditions of food-processing industries.

Roosevelt’s boldest actions came in the area of natural resources. At his urging, Congress created the Forest Service (1905) to manage government-owned forest reserves, and he appointed a fellow conservationist, Gifford Pinchot, to head the agency. Simultaneously, Roosevelt exercised existing presidential authority to designate public lands as national forests in order to make them off-limits to commercial exploitation of lumber, minerals, and waterpower. Roosevelt set aside almost five times as much land as all of his predecessors combined, 194 million acres (78.5 million hectares). (See primary source document: The Conservation of Public Lands.) In commemoration of Roosevelt’s dedication to conservation, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, D.C., a 91-acre (37-hectare) wooded island in the Potomac River, were named in his honour.


Foreign policy
Roosevelt believed that nations, like individuals, should pursue the strenuous life and do their part to maintain peace and order, and he believed that “civilized” nations had a responsibility for stewardship of “barbarous” ones. He knew that taking on the Philippine Islands as an American colony after the Spanish-American War had ended America’s isolation from international power politics—a development that he welcomed. Every year he asked for bigger appropriations for the army and navy. Congress cut back on his requests, but by the end of his presidency he had built the U.S. Navy into a major force at sea and reorganized the army along efficient, modern lines.

Several times during Roosevelt’s first years in office, European powers threatened to intervene in Latin America, ostensibly to collect debts owed them by weak governments there. To meet such threats, he framed a policy statement in 1904 that became known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (see primary source document: Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine). It stated that the United States would not only bar outside intervention in Latin American affairs but would also police the area and guarantee that countries there met their international obligations. In 1905, without congressional approval, Roosevelt forced the Dominican Republic to install an American “economic advisor,” who was in reality the country’s financial director.

Quoting an African proverb, Roosevelt claimed that the right way to conduct foreign policy was to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Roosevelt resorted to big-stick diplomacy most conspicuously in 1903, when he helped Panama to secede from Colombia and gave the United States a Canal Zone. Construction began at once on the Panama Canal, which Roosevelt visited in 1906, the first president to leave the country while in office. He considered the construction of the canal, a symbol of the triumph of American determination and technological know-how, his greatest accomplishment as president. As he later boasted in his autobiography, “I took the Isthmus, started the canal and then left Congress not to debate the canal, but to debate me.” Other examples of wielding the big stick came in 1906 when Roosevelt occupied and set up a military protectorate in Cuba and when he put pressure on Canada in a boundary dispute in Alaska.

Roosevelt showed the soft-spoken, sophisticated side of his diplomacy in dealing with major powers outside the Western Hemisphere. In Asia he was alarmed by Russian expansionism and by rising Japanese power. In 1904–05 he worked to end the Russo-Japanese War by bringing both nations to the Portsmouth Peace Conference and mediating between them. More than just to bring peace, Roosevelt wanted to construct a balance of power in Asia that might uphold U.S. interests. In 1907 he defused a diplomatic quarrel caused by anti-Japanese sentiment in California by arranging the so-called Gentlemen’s Agreement, which restricted Japanese immigration. In another informal executive agreement, he traded Japan’s acceptance of the American position in the Philippines for recognition by the United States of the Japanese conquest of Korea and expansionism in China. Contrary to his bellicose image, Roosevelt privately came to favour withdrawal from the Philippines, judging it to be militarily indefensible, and he renounced any hopes of exerting major power in Asia.

During his second term Roosevelt increasingly feared a general European war. He saw British and U.S. interests as nearly identical, and he was strongly inclined to support Britain behind the scenes in diplomatic controversies. In secret instructions to the U.S. envoys to the Algeciras Conference in 1906, Roosevelt told them to maintain formal American noninvolvement in European affairs but to do nothing that would imperil existing Franco-British understandings, the maintenance of which was “to the best interests of the United States.” Despite his bow toward noninvolvement, Roosevelt had broken with the traditional position of isolation from affairs outside the Western Hemisphere. At Algeciras, U.S. representatives had attended a strictly European diplomatic conference, and their actions favoured Britain and France over Germany.


Last years as president
The end of Roosevelt’s presidency was tempestuous. From his bully pulpit, he crusaded against “race suicide,” prompted by his alarm at falling birth rates among white Americans, and he tried to get the country to adopt a simplified system of spelling. Especially after a financial panic in 1907, his already strained relations with Republican conservatives in Congress degenerated into a spiteful stalemate that blocked any further domestic reforms. Roosevelt also moved precipitously and high-handedly to punish a regiment of some 160 African American soldiers, some of whom had allegedly engaged in a riot in Brownsville, Texas, in which a man was shot and killed. Although no one was ever indicted and a trial was never held, Roosevelt assumed all were guilty and issued a dishonourable discharge to every member of the group, depriving them of all benefits; many of the soldiers were close to retirement and several held the Medal of Honor. When Congress decried the president’s actions Roosevelt replied, “The only reason I didn’t have them hung was because I could not find out which ones … did the shooting.” This incident, along with his establishment of independent agencies within the executive branch and his bypassing of Congress and expanded use of executive orders to set aside public lands beyond the reach of the public, is why some historians see in Roosevelt’s presidency the seeds of abuse that flowered in the administrations of later 20th-century presidents. Roosevelt’s term ended in March 1909, just four months after his 50th birthday.


Later years
Immediately upon leaving office, Roosevelt embarked on a 10-month hunting safari in Africa and made a triumphal tour of Europe. On his return he became ineluctably drawn into politics. For a while, he tried not to take sides between progressive Republicans who supported his policies and those backing President William Howard Taft. Although Taft was Roosevelt’s friend and hand-picked successor, he sided with the party’s conservatives and worsened the split in the party. Both policy differences and personal animosity eventually impelled Roosevelt to run against Taft for the Republican nomination in 1912. When that quest failed, he bolted to form the Progressive Party, nicknamed the Bull Moose Party—in a letter to political kingmaker Mark Hanna, Roosevelt had once said “I am as strong as a bull moose and you can use me to the limit.”

In the presidential campaign as the Progressive candidate, Roosevelt espoused a “New Nationalism” that would inspire greater government regulation of the economy and promotion of social welfare. Roosevelt spoke both from conviction and in hopes of attracting votes from reform-minded Democrats. This effort failed, because the Democrats had an attractive, progressive nominee in Woodrow Wilson, who won the election with an impressive 435 electoral votes to Roosevelt’s 88. Roosevelt had been shot in the chest by a fanatic while campaigning in Wisconsin, but he quickly recovered.

Since the Progressive Party had managed to elect few candidates to office, Roosevelt knew that it was doomed, and he kept it alive only to bargain for his return to the Republicans. In the meantime, he wrote his autobiography and went on an expedition into the Brazilian jungle, where he contracted a near-fatal illness. When World War I broke out in 1914, he became a fierce partisan of the Allied cause. Although he had some slight hope for the 1916 Republican nomination, he was ready to support almost any candidate who opposed Wilson; he abandoned the Progressives to support the Republican candidate, Charles Evans Hughes, who lost by a narrow margin. After the United States entered the war his anger at Wilson boiled over when his offer to lead a division to France was rejected. His four sons served in combat; two were wounded, and the youngest, Quentin, was killed when his airplane was shot down. By 1918 Roosevelt’s support of the war and his harsh attacks on Wilson reconciled Republican conservatives to him, and he was the odds-on favourite for the 1920 nomination. But he died in early January 1919, less than three months after his 60th birthday.

John Milton Cooper, Jr.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 



The Statue of Liberty in New York

unveiled on October 28, 1886
 

 

 

 

Statue of Liberty


The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World (1886) by Edward Moran.

monument, New York City, New York, United States
formally Liberty Enlightening the World
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colossal statue on Liberty Island in the Upper New York Bay, U.S., commemorating the friendship of the peoples of the United States and France. Standing 305 feet (93 metres) high including its pedestal, it represents a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet bearing the adoption date of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) in her left. The torch, which measures 29 feet (8.8 metres) from the flame tip to the bottom of the handle, is accessible via a 42-foot (12.8-metre) service ladder inside the arm (this ascent was open to the public from 1886 to 1916). An elevator carries visitors to the observation deck in the pedestal, which may also be reached by stairway, and a spiral staircase leads to an observation platform in the figure’s crown.

A plaque at the pedestal’s entrance is inscribed with a sonnet, “The New Colossus” (1883) by Emma Lazarus. It was written to help raise money for the pedestal, and it reads:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”




A French historian, Edouard de Laboulaye, made the proposal for the statue. Funds were contributed by the French people, and work began in France in 1875 under sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. The statue was constructed of copper sheets, hammered into shape by hand and assembled over a framework of four gigantic steel supports, designed by Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. In 1885 the completed statue, 151 feet 1 inch (46 metres) high and weighing 225 tons, was disassembled and shipped to New York City. The pedestal, designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt and built within the walls of Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island, was completed later. The statue, mounted on its pedestal, was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland on Oct. 28, 1886. Over the years the torch underwent several modifications, including its conversion to electric power in 1916 and its redesign (with repoussé copper sheathed in gold leaf) in the mid-1980s, when the statue was repaired and restored by both American and French workers for a centennial celebration held in July 1986. The site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1984.

The statue was at first administered by the U.S. Lighthouse Board, as the illuminated torch was considered a navigational aid. Because Fort Wood was still an operational Army post, responsibility for the maintenance and operation of the statue was transferred in 1901 to the War Department. It was declared a national monument in 1924, and in 1933 the administration of the statue was placed under the National Park Service. Fort Wood was deactivated in 1937, and the rest of the island was incorporated into the monument. In 1956 Bedloe’s Island was renamed Liberty Island, and in 1965 nearby Ellis Island, once the country’s major immigration station, was added to the monument’s jurisdiction, bringing its total area to about 58 acres (about 24 hectares). Exhibits on the history of the Statue of Liberty, including the statue’s original 1886 torch, are contained in the statue’s base.

Encyclopaedia Britannica
 


Liberty Island

 

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi

(August 2, 1834 – October 4, 1904) was a French sculptor who is remembered mainly for designing the Statue of Liberty. He is also known as Amilcar Hasenfratz, a pseudonym used for his paintings of Egyptian subjects, apparently because of concern that his work in another medium would distract from his sculpture.


Born in Colmar, Alsace, Bartholdi went to Paris to further his studies in architecture as well as painting.
Auguste Bartholdi died of tuberculosis, in Paris, on 4 October 1904.

The Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty in New York CityThe work for which Bartholdi is most famous is Liberty Enlightening the World, the Statue of Liberty, donated in 1886 by the Union Franco-Americaine (Franco-American Union), founded by Edouard de Laboulaye, to the United States. It was rumored all over France that the face of the Statue of Liberty was modeled after Bartholdi’s mother; and the body after his mistress. Before starting his commission, Bartholdi traveled to the United States to personally select New York Harbor as the site for the statue.

In 1879, Bartholdi was awarded design patent U.S. Patent D11,023 for the Statue of Liberty. This patent covered the sale of small copies of the statue. Proceeds from the sale of the statues helped raise money to build the full statue.

 


see also:
The Statue of Liberty in New York
 

 

 

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