Talk:American History Lecture Seven

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Inflation Section comment

I'd suggest rewording the section about inflation at the end of the Civil War, because the way it reads, it seems to describe the "what is $100 worth today?" in terms of the 70% inflation rate being discussed. I'd suggest adding some words to talk about average inflation over time, which goes through periods of inflation and deflation as described later in the lecture. -DinsdaleP 16:09, 18 August 2008 (EDT)

Bryan and the Cross of Gold Speech

I'd also suggest adding some more commentary around Bryan and the Cross of Gold speech, because it presents some interesting contrasts to conventional conservative economic thinking. In his speech he rails against what we'd consider Reagan's supply-side economics, and his support for special interests at the cost of national inflation is hardly what someone Like Alan Greenspan would endorse. The speech was an important milestone in American history and deserves mention, but more context would help. --DinsdaleP 14:15, 19 August 2008 (EDT)

Interesting, but the lecture is full and I'm not sure the speech proved to be as influential as you suggest. In fact, he lost and the ideas in the speech were rejected. But it was fabulous oratory.--Aschlafly 12:36, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

Native Americans

The reference to the Dawes Act is is good, but the section overall seems contradictory. It starts off by discussing how some considered the treatment of the Native Americans by the U.S. to be unjust, and that the Dawes Act was a flawed way to address it. However, the intent of the Dawes Act was to replace communal living with individual property ownership - a conservative value. In admitting that the Dawes Act failed, there's an implicit statement that the culture and lifestyle of the Native Americans was incompatible with the European culture that was trying to replace it. There's also no mention of anything that was done after the Dawes Act to improve the conditions for the Native Americans, so the conclusion is that the treatment of Native Americans by the European settlers, and ultimately by the Americans descended from them, was not just unjust, but also never properly rectified. Can this section be expanded to clarify the insights you want the students to gain regarding the Native Americans? Thanks. --DinsdaleP 10:41, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

No, the Dawes Act was not a conservative solution. It was a liberal attempt for big government to micromanage something supposedly to make it better. It didn't.
This lecture is about the late 1800s. The Indian issue will come up again in the 1900s. Thanks.--Aschlafly 12:37, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
Fair enough about waiting until the 1900's. As for the Dawes Act, you're right. --DinsdaleP 13:12, 21 October 2008 (EDT)


Given that Hawaii was a sovereign nation in the late 1800's, the current state of this lecture implies that it was proper for the U.S. to overthrow its government and rightful leader in order to annex it. I'm also not sure what the issue was with the leader of a sovereign nation who "recognized only natives on the islands" - those were the native citizens of her nation, after all. If you're stating that the sovereignity of Hawaii or the legitimacy of its ruler were not, in fact, legitimate then that should be clarified. Frankly, the treatment of the Hawaiians by the U.S. was appalling, and we learn little from history if we don't acknowledge wrongdoings when they occur. --DinsdaleP 10:50, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

I don't try to take sides on that, and simply describe what happened. I don't think Americans mistreated Hawaiians.--Aschlafly 12:38, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
Hawaii was a sovereign nation having friendly relations with the U.S., and then a handful of businessmen (Castle, Cook, etc.) manipulated events and leveraged a staged intervention by the U.S. military to overthrow the monarchy. The outcome was that a former independent nation became a U.S. territory, and the vast majority of the private property in the islands became the holdings of a handful of businessmen and their families. When I was there in the 1980's and 1990's most people buying homes there still couldn't purchase the land under their houses because of the fee-simple ownership that the businessmens' estates still controlled. In short, an independent nation was swindled from the natives for the material benefit of shrewd American businessmen, and while native Hawaiians are not looking to secede from the U.S.A., the history of how an independent nation was brought into the U.S. by force (instead of by vote as independent Texans did) should not be glossed over. --DinsdaleP 13:35, 21 October 2008 (EDT)


Er... How does a man who was born in Scotland and living in Canada qualify as a Yankee? HDCase 11:14, 22 October 2008 (EDT)

I didn't say he was a Yankee. His invention was due to Yankee ingenuity, as he was unable to achieve it in Scotland or Canada.--Aschlafly 11:19, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Given that he did a fair amount of his work at his home in Canada, I'd say that the assertion that simply being on American soil makes you smarter seems a bit unfounded. HDCase 11:28, 22 October 2008 (EDT)