Jamestown Journey: Jamestown & Market Economy II

Lead: Jamestown almost failed, but two things saved it. Private ownership of property and a cash crop, Tobacco.

Intro.: Dan Roberts and A Moment in Time with Jamestown - Journey of Democracy, tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Content: Early Virginians were expected to grow their own food, protect themselves, explore for gold and silver, or, if they could not find it, do something else to generate revenues for the Virginia Company, which owned the colony.

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Jamestown Journey: Jamestown & Market Economy I

Lead: One of the great contributions of the Jamestown colony was to firmly establish the free market as the way of doing business America.

Intro.: Dan Roberts and A Moment in Time with Jamestown - Journey of Democracy, tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Content: All the major themes, good and bad, that shaped the American experience, near genocidal conflict with Native Americans, the arrival of enslaved Africans, a secular society in which religion was influential but not dominant, a proto-democracy and a market economy, were in full bloom in Jamestown before the first Pilgrim set foot on icy, righteous Cape Cod. Nevertheless, by 1615 Jamestown was almost defunct.

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William Jennings Bryan and Cross of Gold I

Lead: During the election of 1896 American voters just about lost control of themselves, all over the question of money.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1893 the US sank into the worst financial depression the nation had yet experienced. Banks failed, farmers lost their holdings, and President Grover Cleveland, just beginning his second non-consecutive term, saw his long held dreams of reform shattered by the stricken economy. All his efforts to revive business and lift the national spirit came to grief and by 1896, Cleveland was even rejected for his party’s nomination. Instead, the Democrats chose a champion of free silver, a little-known congressman from Nebraska. He won by getting out in front of a tidal wave.

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William Jennings Bryan and Cross of Gold II

Lead: Embittered by what he considered lack of recognition of his clearly superior leadership and bravery in battle, Benedict Arnold embarked on a course that made him the most famous traitor in American history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the fall of 1777, Connecticut native Benedict Arnold was recuperating from a serious leg injury received at the Battle of Saratoga. In that most decisive American victory in the Revolution, Arnold’s leadership had been critical, but his commander Horatio Gates and the Continental Congress were tardy in according him proper recognition. This was not the first time Arnold had felt passed over for promotion and slighted by his superiors. Nevertheless, he had earned the great admiration of George Washington and eventually Congress recognized him for his role at Saratoga and restored his rank.

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Haynes-Webster Debate I

Lead: The argument over tariffs led to the Hayne-Webster debate.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Throughout U.S. history there has been a running dispute over trade. Competing regions and political parties have tried to use the taxing power of the federal government, which alone can place a tax on imported goods, to give them an advantage. In the 1800s Northern states were often in favor of high tariffs on imported goods, particularly from England, because a big tax on imports meant they would cost a lot more than items made in the USA, thus protecting American infant industry. The South with very little manufacturing, wanted the lowest possible tariff so that when southerners went overseas to sell their cotton, tobacco and grain they would not face high import tariffs imposed by foreign governments in retaliation for high U.S. tariffs. Each region was out for its own best interest. In 1828 Congress passed the so-called "Tariff of Abominations." It protected northern manufacturers, but was bad for the south.

 

 

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William Jennings Bryan and the Cross of Gold – II

Lead: At the Democratic Convention of 1896 the candidate chosen was a champion of free silver.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: The burning issue in the campaign of 1896 was money. Debtors such as small farmers whose wheat and cotton was declining in price, wanted the government to increase the amount of silver coins in circulation thereby making it easier for them to buy equipment and pay off their loans. Creditors such as banks and railroads wanted the government to stick with the gold standard because gold was considered more valuable. Would policy shift to cheap silver or stay with the more precious gold backing for the currency? The Democrats in 1896 dumped their incumbent President Grover Cleveland and chose instead a thirty-six year old former congressman from Nebraska, William Jennings Bryan.

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William Jennings Bryan and the Cross of Gold – I

Lead: During the election of 1896 American voters just about lost control of themselves, all over the question of money.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: In 1893 the US sank into the worst financial depression the nation had yet experienced. Banks failed, farmers lost their holdings, and President Grover Cleveland, just beginning his second non-consecutive term, saw his long held dreams of reform shattered by the stricken economy. All his efforts to revive business and lift the national spirit came to grief and by 1896, Cleveland was even rejected for his party’s nomination. Instead, the Democrats chose a champion of free silver, a little-known congressman from Nebraska. He won by getting out in front of a tidal wave.

Read more →