OTD in History… June 24, 1795, the Senate ratifies Jay’s Treaty establishing trade between America and Great Britain

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OTD in History… June 24, 1795, the Senate ratifies Jay’s Treaty establishing trade between America and Great Britain

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

On this in history June 24, 1795, the Senate ratified Jay’s Treaty, negotiated by Chief Justice of the United States John Jay for President George Washington to resolve the outstanding issues between the United States and Great Britain after the Revolutionary War. The treaty avoided war and established preferential trade with Britain, alienating France, America’s ally in their war for independence. Although residue issues were resolved with Britain, it contributed to tensions over trade between the US, Britain and France that would contribute to the War of 1812. Additionally, the treaty was divisive between the two emerging political parties, the Federalists, who supported the treaty and Democratic-Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, who distrusted the British and supported loyalties to France.

The Senate passed “The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America” with a vote of 20–10, the two-thirds majority necessary to pass. In 1794, President Washington sent Chief Justice Jay to London to negotiate the outstanding issues from the Revolutionary War that were continually causing tensions between the two nations. The issues involved tariff and trade restriction on American exports, the British refusing to vacate their Northwestern forts although it was party of the 1783 Paris Peace Treaty, which Americans believed were contributing to attacks by natives on American settlers, and the impressments of American ships, sailors and naval supplies, although America was considered neutral on trade.

The issues were putting the two nations at the “brink of war,” and President Washington listened to his Secretary of the Treasury and Federalist Alexander Hamilton about resolving the problems with Britain. Washington sent the pro-British Chief Justice to negotiate. Jay had negotiated on America’s part in 1783. Hamilton advised Jay to use a threat to bargain with Britain, that the US would join the Scandinavians, the Danish and Swedish and would fight against impressments. Hamilton, however, betrayed Jay and told the British that America would not use military force or form the alliance. Jay was left without any advantages in his negotiations. Virginia Senator James Monroe later joined the mission to watch over the Democratic-Republican interests.

Among Washington’s demands, he wanted the British to vacate their army from forts in the Northwest Territories, compensate slaveholders for slaves abducted and ship owners, whose ships were confiscated. Washington also wanted free trade with the British West Indies.

The British were refusing to comply because the US was breaking two articles of the 1783 Paris Peace Treaty, refusing to pay debts to British creditors and keeping loyalists’ confiscated properties from the war.

The agreement Jay negotiated with British Foreign Secretary Lord Grenville in the fall of 1794, hardly favored the US but it would avoid war. In the agreement, Britain would vacate the Northwestern forts, and grant the US “most favored nation” status with trade but severely restrict trade in the British West Indies. The remainder would be resolved by arbitration including the “Canadian-Maine boundary, compensation for pre-revolutionary debts, and British seizures of American ships.” In return, the US would grant Britain preferential trade rights including trade access with the British West Indies, and the US would adhere to Britain’s “anti-French maritime policies” including allowing the British to seize American goods to be traded with France with pay and French goods without pay. The US would also ensure that private British war debts were all repaid. Britain’s King George III signed the treaty on November 19, 1794.

Britain favored Hamilton and the Federalists and that was the reason they negotiated at all with the US. Historian John C. Miller writing in his 1964 biography, Alexander Hamilton and the Growth of the New Nation noted, “The fact that the British were willing to make a treaty with the United States in 1794 was partly owing to their recognition that the strengthening of the ‘well-intentioned Party in America’ led by Hamilton was Great Britain’s best hope of stemming the tide of Jacobinism in the United States and upholding neutrality against the ‘French faction’ headed by Jefferson and Madison.” (Miller, 421)

Jay’s Treaty might have prevented war but it was a failure in American diplomacy, an observation made at the time and by historians. Historian Raymond Walters Jr. in his 1957 biography Albert Gallatin: Jeffersonian Financier and Diplomat writes, “The treaty Jay sent home represented a complete triumph for British diplomacy. The United States won modest concessions at a humiliating price.” More recently, historian Richard Norton Smith remarked, “Indeed, a first reading of the twenty-eight articles suggested that Washington’s experiment in secret diplomacy had blown up in his face. Instructed to secure American rights and open British markets; the chief justice did neither. Although agreeing to evacuate the northwestern posts no later than June 1, 1796, the British retained a share of the lucrative fur trade on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian boundary. In exchange for this concession, no more than a belated promise to carry out the terms of the old peace treaty, Jay had bargained away his country’s wartime rights as a neutral power.”

Historians, however, noted that Jay’s Treaty accomplished what it was supposed to in avoiding war with Britain. Historian Richard Brookhiser in his 1996 book, Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington observed, “In the day time, your path through the woods is ambushed; the darkness of midnight … The ratification of Jay’s Treaty also assured that the country would not be tugged by sympathies with France into a showdown with Britain it could not afford.” (Brookhiser, 100) While historian Joseph J. Ellis concurred in his 2004 book, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, Jay’s Treaty “bet, in effect, on England rather than France as the hegemonic European power of the future, which proved prophetic. It recognized the massive dependence of the American economy on trade with England [and] it linked American security and economic development to the British fleet, which provided a protective shield of incalculable value throughout the nineteenth century.” (Ellis, 136)

The treaty divided the nation, with Hamilton’s Federalists supporting the pro-British deal and the Democratic-Republicans led by Jefferson and James Madison in opposition. Jefferson and Madison found that is favored Britain and put America’s trade interests at risk. With former Secretary of State Jefferson between posts, Madison as a Virginia Congressman was the official voice in opposition. After Washington signed the treaty, Jefferson wrote to Monroe on September 6, 1795, about the public opposition, “So general a burst of dissatisfaction never before appeared against any transaction. Those who understand the particular articles of it, condemn these articles. Those who do not understand them minutely, condemn it generally as wearing a hostile face to France.”

Neither was Washington satisfied with the treaty but he thought it was the country’s best chance to avoid another war with Britain, and opened up trade with Britain. Congress also opposed the treaty, and it was uncertain it would be ratified but the Senate passed it on June 24, and Washington signed it into law on August 18, 1795. Over the next year, Congress would remain divided as they worked on the appropriations bills to fulfill the treaty, and on April 30, 1796, the House passed with a vote of 51–48 the appropriations bills to fund the treaty.

In addition to keeping the nation out of war and increasing trade, it helped form the party-system in American politics. Historians Samuel Eliot Morison, Henry Steele Commager and William E. Leuchtenburg in The Growth of the American Republic, concluded, “The fight over appropriations for the Jay Treaty in the House marked the crystallization of the party system.” (Morison, Commager and Leuchtenburg, 308) Jay’s treaty staved off war as Washington hoped but was not a solution as Jefferson and Madison foresaw. The agreement threatened America’s trade neutrality, with Britain consumed in the Napoleonic Wars; America was caught in the middle. British impressments and blockades would only increase when Jefferson assumed the presidency and again put the country on the brink of war. Finally, Madison would take a stronger nation to war in 1812, to resolve finally British continual trade blockade and impressments.

Over 220 years later, the US is again confronted and divided by party over trade. Republican President Donald Trump’s protectionist and anti-trade America First policies, have his administration renegotiating or pulling out of the country’s free-trade agreements with its allies. Recently, Trump has taken his trade wars further imposing tariffs on trade partners unless they negotiate fair deals with the US. His policies contrast with the Democrats pro-free-trade ideology. Although the Democrats and the news media are treating Trump’s approach to trade as an abbreviation in American history, Jay’s Treaty and the uproar and opposition it caused proves trade agreements have always been controversial for the nation.

SOURCES AND READ MORE

Brookhiser, Richard. Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington. New York: Free Press, 1996.

Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

Miller, John C. Alexander Hamilton and the Growth of the New Nation. New York: Harper and Row, 1964.

Walters, Raymond. Albert Gallatin, Jeffersonian Financier and Diplomat. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1969.

Wood, Gordon S. Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815. New York [etc.: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. She is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor, and a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

British-American Diplomacy
Jay Treaty : Senate Resolution June 24, 1795

Resolved, (two-thirds of the Senate concurring therein,) That they do consent to, and advise the President of the United States, to ratify the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, concluded at London, the 19th day of November, 1794, on condition that there be added to the said treaty an article, whereby it shall be agreed to suspend the operation of so much of the 12th article, as respects the trade which his said Majesty thereby consents may be carried on, between the United States and his islands in the West Indies, in the manner, and on the terms and conditions therein specified.

And the Senate recommend to the President to proceed, without delay, to further friendly negotiations with his Majesty, on the subject of the said trade, and of the terms and conditions in question.

Source:
Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
Edited by Hunter Miller
Volume 2
Documents 1-40 : 1776-1818
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931.
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OTD in History June 22, 1807, The Chesapeake-Leopold Affair one of the key events leading to the War of 1812

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OTD in History June 22, 1807, The Chesapeake-Leopold Affair one of the key events leading to the War of 1812

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

On this day in history June 22, 1807, the British ship the HMS Leopold attacked the American frigate the USS Chesapeake on the Chesapeake Bay of the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, as part of British semi-warfare and impressments against American ships during the Napoleonic Wars. The engagement was a key event leading to the War of 1812, the final war between the two countries, but Presidents Thomas Jefferson and successor James Madison were able to stave off declaring war for another five years.

In earnest since 1803, Great Britain engaged in impressments; taking British naval deserters back into the Royal Navy. Most of the men were taken from American ships, many even had American citizenship or papers, but as Frank W Thackeray and John E Findling write in their book Events that changed the world in the nineteenth century, the British policy was “once an Englishman, always an Englishman.” (Thackeray and Findling, 20)

The war between the two countries almost started earlier than in 1812 because of the Chesapeake affair in June 1807. Near the Chesapeake Bay, the British ship the Leopard under Captain Salusbury Pryce Humphreys pursued and then stopped the American warship. Humphreys insisted they come on board to retrieve a deserter. When the Chesapeake’s captain James Baron refused the British ship opened fire, killing three and wounding 18 including the captain, the Chesapeake was only able to get one shot fired in retaliation, after Barron surrendered.

Humphreys still came on board taking four men, three of which were American with citizenship but had served on British ships. The Americans were Daniel Martin, John Strachan, and William Ware, all from HMS Melampus, two were African-Americans. Jenkin Ratford was the only British born on the ship and used to part of the crew of HMS Halifax. The three Americans were sentenced to 500 lashings but they were commuted because Britain later returned the three to the Americans. Ratford, however, was sentenced to death by hanging on the Halifax. Chesapeake’s captain, Barron was court-martialed and suspended from duty for five years. Britain eventually offered to pay for the damages to the Chesapeake.

The incident caused an uproar in America because of the disrespect Britain gave America and humiliation to the nation’s honor. Many wanted the government to respond with force, even Federalists and Democratic-Republicans agreed on the matter. President Jefferson remarked the war fervor for war was more than for the battle that touched off the Revolutionary War. The President expressed, “Never since the Battle of Lexington have I seen this country in such a state of exasperation as at present, and even that did not produce such unanimity.” Madison was Secretary of State under Jefferson, and future President James Monroe was just a foreign minister.

Monroe notified Britain of America’s demands, which included “British disavowal of the deed, the restoration of the four seamen, the recall of Admiral Berkeley, the exclusion of British warships from U.S. territorial waters, and the abolition of impressments from vessels under the United States flag.” Britain would not budge on the impressments. The nation, however, was not prepared for another war. Instead, President Jefferson responded on July 2, with a policy of “peaceful coercion,” which stopped sea trade to Britain and France.

Congress proceeded to pass in December 1807 the highly divisive and unsuccessful Embargo Act of 1807. The incident heightened tensions between the two countries, America demanded respect and would not get it from Britain. Britain’s actions the next five years would cause economic hardships for Americans the humiliation would be enough for America to stand up and declare in what was considered the second war for independence.

READ MORE

OTD in History… June 18, 1812, President Madison signs declaration beginning the War of 1812 against Britain and colonial Canada

Thackeray, Frank W, and John E. Findling. Events That Changed the World in the Nineteenth Century. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997.

Tucker, Spencer, and Frank T. Reuter. Injured Honor: The Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, June 22, 1807. Annapolis, Md: Naval Inst. Press, 1996.

 

 

OTD in history… June 18, 1812, President Madison signs declaration beginning the War of 1812 against Britain and colonial Canada

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OTD in history… June 18, 1812, President Madison signs declaration beginning the War of 1812 against Britain and colonial Canada

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

On this day in history, June 18, 1812, the War of 1812 begins after President James Madison signs the Congressionally passed declaration into law, beginning what is often considered the second war for independence. Since 1807, during President Thomas Jefferson’s administration, Great Britain had been engaging in a blockade against America because they were trading with France, their enemy in the Napoleonic Wars. Britain also practiced impressments, taking American seamen and forcing them to join the British Royal Navy. On the land front, Britain had been agitating Native Indians to attack American communities. Two and a half years later America was triumphant putting to rest any more wars with Great Britain as they began diplomatic and trade relations that continue, while America would no longer threaten Canada as they moved towards nationhood.

After over 200 years, the good relations between the three countries seem to be eroding under President Donald Trump again over trade and tariffs. After imposing steel tariffs on Canada claiming national security, Trump recently remarked in a conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” when trying to justify the national security reasons. Trump claimed to have been joking but the issue brought up the War of 1812 and the old wounds of the conflict where America unsuccessfully attempted to conquer Canada and the only war where Canada was legitimately an enemy and threat to America in their fight on the side of the British.

Since America won the Revolutionary War, they had been engaging in trade with France, an American ally without any interference from Great Britain shipping from the French West Indies to the US and then to France. With the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, Britain started to make it difficult for America to trade with France. The 1805 Essex case in Britain determined Americans could only trade with France if they paid a tariff and proved the items were not originally meant to go to France. American ships were neutral and usually traded with both countries. French leader Napoleon Bonaparte issued the Berlin and Milan decrees in December 1806 and 1807, which created a blockade around Britain. Britain countered with the Order-in-Council. Both empires essentially ordered that ships trading with either empire would have their goods confiscated, American bore the brunt of the decrees. Until the war, the British captured 1,400 American ships.

In earnest since 1803, Britain also engaged in impressments; taking British naval deserters back into the Navy. Most of the men were taken from American ships, many even had American citizenship or papers, but as Frank W Thackeray and John E Findling write in their book Events that changed the world in the nineteenth century, the British policy was “once an Englishman, always an Englishman.” (Thackeray and Findling, 20) The war between the two countries almost started earlier because of the Chesapeake affair in June 1807. Near the Chesapeake Bay, the British ship the Leopard stopped the American warship and insisted they come on board to retrieve a deserter, when the captain refused the British ship opened fire-killing 21, the British captain still came on board taking a total of four men, three which were American citizenship. President Jefferson responded in December 1807 with a policy of “peaceful coercion,” which stopped sea trade to Britain and France. Congress proceeded to pass the Embargo Act of 1807.

The embargo affected the American economy hitting the Northeast that relied on shipping trade the hardest. As Thackeray and Findling write, the embargo was a “politically divisive issue” in the Presidential election of 1808 between Democratic-Republican James Madison, and Federalist, C. C. Pinckney. Madison won the election. Before Jefferson left office he repealed the Embargo Act, and in its stead, Congress passed the Non-Intercourse Act, which allowed trade with all other countries except Britain and France, unless they “removed their decrees.” Economic conditions did not improve and in May 1810, Congress passed Macon’s Bill №2 resuming trade with the two countries “but if either revoked their decrees, the United States would reinstitute nonintercourse against the other.” (Thackeray and Findling, 31) In November, Napoleon revoked his decrees but still harassed American ships. At the same time, America ceased to trade with Britain and diplomatic relations virtually ended.

On land, the US was facing difficulties with the Indians in the territories. As American removed the Indians further West for settlement, great Shawnee chief Tecumseh decided to fight back by forming an alliance with Southern tribes and attacking settlers. Indiana territorial governor William Henry Harrison instead, attacked the Shawnee when Tecumseh was not there in what became the Battle of Tippecanoe fought in north-central Indiana. Congress widely believed that Britain was behind Tecumseh’s actions, supplying them from their Northern Canadian colonies. Congressmen in the west wanted war declared to capture Canada and end their aid to the Indians.

When Congress met in November 1811, under new Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky, they passed a number of war preparedness bills, for an army and enlarging the navy. A small battle where the American ship the President beat the British Little Belt pushed the country to war. On June 18, Madison signed the declaration of war. Just two days earlier, on June 16, “Britain’s House of Commons had repealed the Orders-in-Council.” (Thackeray and Findling, 22) Britain thought Madison would revoke the declaration; instead, he made it about the 10,000 American sailors impressed by Britain.

At first, the war was a stalemate, Britain was occupied with the war in Europe until 1814, and America failed to raise the funds and increase enlistment to enlarge to army and navy to capture Canada. In the first six months of the war, America was victorious in six sea battles, while privateers “captured over 150 British merchant ships worth $2 million.” Britain did better in the land war; with Tecumseh, they reacquired the Michigan territory, while in November 1812, America’s attempted unsuccessfully to invade Upper Canada. By April 27, 1813, with Canada not reinforced with supplies, America captured and burned Upper Canada’s capital York now Toronto. In October, Canada lost Tecumseh as a defense, who was killed. Britain successfully applied a blockade by sea to New York and Philadelphia and blocked the Chesapeake and Delaware.

In 1814, when Napoleon abdicated, Britain turned its attention to the Americans assaulting the country by land and by sea. At the Battle of Lundy’s Lane in July 25, 1814, near Niagara Falls at the New York-Canada border, America lost its last chance to invade Canada. On August 24, Britain captured under Maj.-Gen. Robert Ross from Rostrevor, County Down, Ireland captured the capital Washington, DC burning down the Capital, Library of Congress, Treasury and the White House in retaliation for an attack on York, which forced President Madison to flee to Virginia. Britain thought these defeats would prompt America to fold but Madison would not. Francis Scott Key would be inspired to write the poem the Star Spangled Banner when he saw the American flag still flew above Fort McHenry outside Baltimore Harbor on September 14. On September 11, the US had a resounding victory pushing back Britain at Lake Champlain near the border. America had its most decisive victory after the ceasefire with the Andrew Jackson leading the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.

The war officially ended with a ceasefire on December 24, 1814, when both parties signed the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium. The war officially ended on February 16, 1815, Madison signed the ratified peace treaty. America had staved off the mighty British forces, and although Britain had hoped for American concessions, they could not acquire them. Prime Minister Lord Liverpool concluded, “We might certainly land in different parts of their coast, and destroy some of their towns, or put them under contribution; but in the present state of the public mind in America it would be in vain to expect any permanent good effects from operations of this nature.”

Historians popularly view the War of 1812 as the second war for independence cementing America’s status as a nation. Britain was pleased they were able to contain America. Canada might have been the big victors, British historian Amanda Foreman writes, “For Canadians, the war was, and remains, the cornerstone of nationhood, brought about by unbridled U.S. aggression.” Johns Hopkins University professor and historian Eliot Cohen writing in his book Conquered into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battles along the Great Warpath that Made the American Way of War believes Canada benefited the most, “ultimately, Canada and Canadians won the War of 1812… Americans at the time, and, by and large, since did not see matters that way.” Cohen speaking of Canada’s gains in the war explains, “Not only did the colony remain intact: It had acquired heroes, British and French, and a narrative of plucky defense against foreign invasion, that helped carry it to nationhood.”

Historian Sally E. Hadden claims the War of 1812 often called “forgotten conflict” had far-ranging effects for America. Hadden explains, “Surprisingly, the war had a tremendous long-term impact on international law of the sea, American foreign and domestic policies, and America’s plans for expansion to the south and west, which altered American-Indian relations for the rest of the century. The war elevated men like Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun to power in American politics; all would affect momentous decisions in the years before the American Civil War.” Historian Alan Taylor in his book The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies concludes, “The ultimate legacy of the war was that the empire and the republic would share the continent along a more clearly defined border more generous to the Americans and more confining to the British — but most ominous to the Indians.” (Taylor, 439)

The issues that brought upon the war would be resolved years later with the 1817 Rush-Bagot Agreement, which demilitarized the Great Lakes.” The Convention of 1818 determined the Canada US border; the border would be along the forty-ninth parallel until the Rocky Mountains, while both would share the Oregon Territory for 10 years, and the US secured fishing rights off Newfoundland. Politically, the war destroyed the Federalist Party, when they supported the Hartford Convention’s plan for the Northeastern states to secede if Congress did not give them more influence. In contrast, it saw the rise of influence of the South and West, with two war heroes Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison later elected president.

SOURCES

Cohen, Eliot A. Conquered into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battles Along the Great Warpath That Made the American Way of War. New York, NY: Free Press, 2011.

Hickey, Donald R. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012.

Thackeray, Frank W, and John E. Findling. Events That Changed the World in the Nineteenth Century. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997.

Taylor, Alan. The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

OTD in History June 14, 1841, British Colonel Charles Henry Churchill wrote a letter to Sir Moses Montefiore supporting a Jewish state in Palestine

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OTD in History June 14, 1841, British Colonel Charles Henry Churchill wrote a letter to Sir Moses Montefiore supporting a Jewish state in Palestine



By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

unknown artist; Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885); Ramsgate Library; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/sir-moses-montefiore-17841885-77099



On this day in Jewish history, June 14, 1841, British Colonel Charles Henry Churchill wrote a letter to Sir Moses Montefiore supporting the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Montefiore, was a British banker, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and philanthropist, who founded the first New Yishuv, Mishkenot Sha’ananim in 1860, the first Jewish settlement outside the walls of the old City of Jerusalem. Churchill served as the British consul to Ottoman Syria, which included Palestine, today’s Israel. Churchill, an evangelical Protestant, and ancestor of the future Prime Minister Winston Churchill, was one of the first to suggest the political establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

Montefiore spent his whole life living as part of the Western Europe’s Jewish elite and his adult life as the “the preeminent Jewish figure of the nineteenth century” as Abigail Green recounts in her biography “Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero,” the most complete biography of his life. Montefiore was one of the 12 Jewish financial brokers in London in the early 19th century. Born in Italy to a Sephardic Jewish family, his family moved back to England, where Montefiore was educated.

Afterward, Montefiore entered the grocers and tea merchants’ trade, before going into the finance business and stockbroking with his brother Abraham. Montefiore’s profile and success in the business grew when he married into Nathan Mayer Rothschild’s family. Among the Jewish world, Montefiore’s business is not what made him well known and remembered, but his philanthropy and proto-Zionism in pre-state Israel. Montefiore retired young from the business world in 1824 at the age of 40 to concentrate the rest of his long life on his philanthropic efforts.

Montefiore’s first visit to Israel was in 1827 and it changed his life, specifically when he and his wife Judith Barent-Cohen prayed at Rachel Tomb for children; although the Montefiore never had any children. He subsequently visited Israel six other times, the last time in 1875 when he was 91 years-old. The moment led him to become religiously observant, he served as the president of the Beavis Marks Synagogue for 39 years and traveled with a “shohet” to ensure all the meat he ate was kosher as he extensively traveled.

Montefiore met Churchill in Malta in November 1840, when Churchill asked if he could serve as a courier to Damascus. Churchill arrived in February 1841 and the head of the Jewish community Raphael Farhi held a reception in his honor on March 1.

Churchill gave his first speech supporting Jewry to rousing applauds:  

“May this happy meeting be looked upon as … a forecast of such a connection and alliance between the English and the Jewish nation as shall be honourable and advantageous to both. May the hour of Israel’s deliverance be at hand. May the approximation of Western civilization to the interesting land be the dawn of her regeneration, and of her political existence; may the Jewish nation once more claim her rank among the powers of the world!” (Green, 206)      

Churchill would author two letters to Montefiore advocating “Jewish national regeneration in Palestine.” (Grief, 535) In the first letter dated, June 14, 1841, Churchill advised that the Jews should commence “agitation… to resume their [political] existence as a people.” Churchill believed with the “aid” of the “European Powers,” Jews would attain in the end ‘the sovereignty of at least Palestine.”

In his second letter, dated over a year later on August 15, 1842, Churchill seemed to backtrack stating that only as subjects of the sublime Porte could Jews “recover their ancient country or regain a footing in Palestine.” They would need the Five Great Powers (Britain, France, Russia, Austria, and Prussia) to advocate that the Sultan allow them to settle and “colonize” in Palestine, “under the protection of the Great Powers.”  Under Churchill’s proposal, Jewish colonies would be autonomous but would be required to pay a tax to the Sultan. Churchill concluded that “Judea” would be “once more a refuge and resting place” for world Jewry. (Grief, 535)

In addition to the letter, Churchill included a detailed proposal about how this colonization would be established. The first step was an application to the British Government to the attention of Foreign Secretary Lord Aberdeen. Aberdeen would send a person to Syria “a fit and proper person to watch over the interests of the Jews.” Churchill finished his letter writing “God has put in my heart the desire to serve His ancient people… I have discharged a duty imposed on me by my conscience.”  (Grief, 535)

Montefiore took Churchill’s two letters to the Board of Deputies of British Jews were he served as president. On November 8, 1942, they responded to Montefiore, that they would not be initiating Churchill’s proposal or any other for settlement in Palestine, but would participate if a Jewish community in another country would. In less than a decade, Montefiore would begin settling Jews in settlements in Palestine on his initiative and working with Churchill.

Montefiore’s most extensive philanthropy was towards the small Jewish community in Israel, hoping to entice more Jews to live there. He turned towards settling Israel in 1854 when he became the executor of American Judah Touro’s will; Touro wanted a settlement created with his money. Montefiore used his money and that of Touro’s estate to establish agricultural communities outside of Jerusalem’s Old City beginning the New Yishuv. Montefiore purchased an orchard outside Jerusalem to provide agricultural training to Jews in 1855 and in 1860 created the first settlement, Mishkenot Sha’ananim or the Inhabitations of Delight. Montefiore added incentives to encourage poorer Jews to settle despite the dangers. The first settlement consisted of “twenty-four apartments on the slopes of Talibiyeh facing Mount Zion.” (Blumberg, 60)

Afterward, he created additional neighborhoods, “the Ohel Moshe neighborhood for Sephardic Jews and the Mazkeret Moshe neighborhood for Ashkenazi Jews.” Montefiore also set-up the essentials for a growing community in Jerusalem, including health care, education and charity, some industries and essential factories, and the Montefiore Windmill to mill flour in Yemin Moshe, which still stands today. Montefiore hired Churchill to train the Jews in agriculture. According Arnold Blumberg in “Eretz Israel, Israel, and the Jewish Diaspora: Mutual Relations,” Montefiore, however, was “not interested in creating a Jewish state, he did regard the normalization of Jewish life through self-supporting labor, as essential.” (Blumberg, 60) While, Derek Penslar called Montefiore’s settlements “Palestinophilia,” the “establishment of philanthropic enterprises devoted to the social and economic transformation of Palestinian Jewry.” (Penslar, 63)  

The exchanges between Churchill and Montefiore and Churchill’s proposal helped develop proto-Zionism, the forerunners of Zionism. As Blumberg noted, “In Palestine itself, the old Yishuv seemed untouched by the currents of nineteenth-century thought. Nevertheless… the entry of western Jews upon the scene had laid the foundation for the new Yishuv. Long before the advent of political Zionism, a new spirit was alive in Palestinian Jewry.” (Blumberg, 61) Churchill’s proposal led to Montefiore taking charge and funding settlement beyond the Old Yishuv in Jerusalem’s old city, setting the stage for the new settlements and the aliyahs to Palestine that commenced in 1882.

Churchill’s letter to Montefiore, June 14, 1841:

I cannot conceal from you my most anxious desire to see your countrymen endeavour once more to resume their existence as a people.

I consider the object to be perfectly attainable. But, two things are indispensably necessary. Firstly, that the Jews will themselves take up the matter universally and unanimously. Secondly, that the European Powers will aid them in their views. It is for the Jews to make a commencement. Let the principal persons of their community place themselves at the head of the movement. Let them meet, concert and petition. In fact the agitation must be simultaneous throughout Europe. There is no Government which can possibly take offence at such public meetings. The result would be that you would conjure up a new element in Eastern diplomacy—an element which under such auspices as those of the wealthy and influential members of the Jewish community could not fail not only of attracting great attention and of exciting extraordinary interest, but also of producing great events.

Were the resources which you all possess steadily directed towards the regeneration of Syria and Palestine, there cannot be a doubt but that, under the blessing of the Most High, those countries would amply repay the undertaking, and that you would end by obtaining the sovereignty of at least Palestine.

Syria and Palestine, in a word, must be taken under European protection and governed in the sense and according to the spirit of European administration.

I therefore would strenuously urge this subject upon your calm consideration, upon the consideration of those who, by their position and influence amongst you are most likely to take the lead in such a glorious struggle for national existence. I had once intended to have addressed the Jews here in their Synagogue upon the subject, but I have reflected that such a proceeding might have awakened the jealousy of the local Government.

I have, however, prepared a rough petition which will be signed by all the Jews here and in other parts of Syria, and which I shall then forward to you. Probably two or three months will elapse first. There are many considerations to be weighed and examined as the question develops itself—but a “beginning” must be made—a resolution must be taken,”an agitation must be commenced”, and where the stake is “Country and Home” where is the heart that will not leap and bound to the appeal?

Supposing that you and your colleagues should at once and earnestly interest yourselves upon this important subject of the recovery of your ancient country, it appears to me (forming my opinions upon the present attitude of affairs in the Turkish Empire) that it could only be as subjects of the Porte that you could commence to regain a footing in Palestine. Your first object would be to interest the Five Great Powers in your views and to get them to advocate your view with the Sultan upon the clear understanding that the Jews, if permitted to colonise any part of Syria and Palestine, should be under the protection of the Great Powers, that they should have the internal regulation of their own affairs, that they should be exempt from military service (except on their own account as a measure of defence against the incursions of the Bedouin Arabs), and that they should only be called upon to pay a tribute to the Porte on the usual mode of taxation. I humbly venture to give my opinion upon a subject, which no doubt has already occupied your thought—and the bare mention of which, I know, makes every Jewish heart vibrate. The only question is – “when” and “how”.

The blessing of the Most High must be invoked on the endeavour. Political events seem to warrant the conclusion that the hour is nigh at hand when the Jewish people may justly and with every reasonable prospect of success put their hands to the glorious work of National Regeneration.

If you think otherwise I shall bend at once to your decision, only begging you to appreciate my motive, which is simply an ardent desire for the welfare and prosperity of a people to whom we all owe our possession of those blessed truths which direct our minds with unerring faith to the enjoyment of another and better world.

“Proposal of Colonel Churchill” August 15, 1842:

Human efforts preceded by prayer and undertaken in faith the whole history of your nation shows to be almost invariably blessed. If such then be your conviction it remains for you to consider whether you may not in all humility, but with earnest sincerity and confiding hope direct your most strenuous attention towards the land of your Fathers with the view of doing all in your power to ameliorate the conditions of your brethren now residing there and with heartfelt aspiration of being approved by Almighty God whilst you endeavour as much as in you lies to render that Land once more a refuge and resting-place to such of your brethren scattered throughout the world as may resort to it.

Hundreds and thousands of your countrymen would strain every effort to accomplish the means of living amidst those scenes rendered sacred by ancient recollections, and which they regard with filial affection, but the dread of the insecurity of life and property which has rested so long upon the soil of “Judea” has hitherto been a bar to the accomplishment of their natural desire.
My proposition is that the Jews of England conjointly with their brethren on the Continent of Europe should make an application to the British Government through the Earl of Aberdeen to accredit and send out a fit and proper person to reside in Syria for the sole and express purpose of superintending and watching over the interests of the Jews residing in that country.

The duties and powers of such a public officer to be a matter of arrangement between the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Committee of Jews conducting the negotiations. It is, I hope, superfluous for me to enlarge upon the incalculable benefit which would accrue to your nation at large were such an important measure to be accomplished, or to allude more than briefly to the spirit of confidence and revival which would be excited in the breasts of your fellow-countrymen all over the world were they to be held and acknowledged agents for the Jewish people resident in Syria and Palestine under the auspices and sanction of Great Britain….

READ MORE / SOURCES


Adler, Joseph. Restoring the Jews to Their Homeland: Nineteen Centuries in the Quest for Zion. Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1997.

Blumberg, Arnold. Zion Before Zionism 1838-1880. Jerusalem: Devora Publishing, 2007.

Green, Abigail. Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.

Grief, Howard. The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel Under International Law: A Treatise on Jewish Sovereignty Over the Land of Israel. Jerusalem, Israel: Mazo Publishers, 2013.

Mor, Menachem. Eretz Israel, Israel, and the Jewish Diaspora: Mutual Relations: 1st Annual Symposium. University Press of America, 1991.

 

 

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Margaret Thatcher: How the papers covered her death

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Margaret Thatcher: how the papers covered her death

Source: UK Telegraph, 4-9-13

The UK Telegraph takes a look at how the British regional and national press covered the death of Margaret Thatcher….READ MORE

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Niall Ferguson & Douglas Brinkley Discuss Margaret Thatcher’s Legacy on CNN

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Zakaria on Thatcher: ‘In some ways she’s more consequential than Churchill’

Source: Daily Caller, 4-8-13

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher may have been even more consequential than former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, according to CNN foreign policy analyst Fareed Zakaria on “Piers Morgan Live” Monday night. Zakaria joined historian Niall Ferguson, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass and historian Douglas Brinkley on Morgan’s show to discuss the legacy of Thatcher, who died in London on Monday of a stroke….READ MORE

Niall Ferguson: “Churchill was described rightly by that great historian A.J.P. Taylor as the ‘savior of his nation. And I think Margaret Thatcher was also the savior of her nation. You know, the others on the panel won’t know what Britain was like in the 1970s, but you and I know, Piers, that the country was in an appalling mess. And she single handedly turned that around. So she is up there second only to Churchill in my view.”

Douglas Brinkley: “First off, look, Winston Churchill is in a category all himself as British prime minister. I mean, warding off Nazi Germany is not the Falklands crisis. But the rest of the panelists I think are right. By ’79, Britain was an economic mess and she came in and really inspired Great Britain to remember it had a role in the world.”

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Nancy Reagan Remembers Margaret Thatcher: ‘We Had A Very Special Relationship’

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Nancy Reagan Remembers Margaret Thatcher: ‘We Had A Very Special Relationship’ (VIDEO)

Source: Huffington Post, 4-8-13

Nancy Reagan Margaret Thatcher

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan called into MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” to share memories of her relationship with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

“We had a very special relationship. I think people thought she and I didn’t have a relationship. Nothing could be farther from the truth. And of course I loved it that she and Ronnie were as close as they were.”

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Julian Zelizer: Margaret Thatcher And Ronald Reagan Remembered As Political Soul Mates

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Margaret Thatcher And Ronald Reagan Remembered As Political Soul Mates

Source: Inquisitr, 4-8-13

Margaret Thatcher And Ronald Reagan Remembered As Political Soul Mates

Former first lady Nancy Reagan recalls the Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan friendship:

“Ronnie and Margaret were political soul mates  committed to freedom and resolved to end communism. As prime minister, Margaret had the clear vision and strong determination to stand up for her beliefs at a time when so many were afraid to ‘rock the boat.’ As a result, she helped to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of millions of people.”…

Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University historian, says Margaret Thatcher “certainly liked Reagan a lot from the moment he won office and he felt the same. They had a deep respect, admiration and a friendship. Each believed in the strength of free markets, disdained communism and saw themselves and their countries as part of a transatlantic alliance.”…READ MORE

History Headlines April 8, 2013: 5 moments that show why Margaret Thatcher mattered in American politics & Speech to Joint Houses of Congress

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5 moments that show why Margaret Thatcher mattered in American politics

Source: WaPo, 4-8-13

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first woman prime minister, died Monday at age 87.

The longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century, the “Iron Lady” held the office for more than 11 years, including all of the 1980s. During that time, she left a major mark on U.S. politics, mainly through her close relationship with President Ronald Reagan.

(Howard L. Sachs/AP)

(Howard L. Sachs/AP)

1) “The second most important man in my life.”

2) Strains in the relationship

3) Address before a joint session of Congress

4) “No time to go wobbly.”

5) Spurning Sarah Palin….READ MORE

1985 Feb 20 We
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Joint Houses of Congress

Source: Margaret Thatcher Foundation

Document type: speeches
Document kind: Speech
Venue: Capitol Hill, Washington DC
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Journalist:
Editorial comments: MT spoke to a joint meeting of the House and Senate at 1100, departing the Capitol at 1150.
Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 3321
Themes: Foreign policy (USA), Conservative Party (history), Foreign policy (general discussions), European Union (general), Defence (general), Foreign policy (USSR and successor states), Defence (arms control), Foreign policy (development, aid, etc), Trade, Monetary policy, Conservatism, Privatised and state industries, Economy (general discussions), Defence (general), Foreign policy (Americas excluding USA), Terrorism, Northern Ireland, Foreign policy (USA)
[ Tip O’Neill ] Mr. Speaker, [ Ronald Reagan ] Mr. President, Distinguished Members of Congress:

On this, one of the most moving occasions of my life, my first words must be to say thank you for granting me this rare privilege of addressing a Joint Meeting of the United States Congress.

My thoughts turn to three earlier occasions when a British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill , has been honoured by a call to address both Houses. Among his many remarkable gifts, Winston held a special advantage here. Through his American mother, he had ties of blood with you. Alas, for me, these are not matters we can readily arrange for ourselves!

Those three occasions deserve to be recalled, because they serve as lamps along a dark road which our people trod together, and they remind us what an extraordinary period of history the world has passed through between that time and ours; and they tell us what later generations in both our countries sometimes find hard to grasp: why past associations bind us so closely.

Winston Churchill ‘s vision of a union of mind and purpose between the English-speaking peoples was to form the main spring of the West. No-one of my generation can forget[fo 1] that America has been the principal architect of a peace in Europe which has lasted forty years. Given the shield of the United States, we have been granted the opportunities to build a concept of Europe beyond the dreams of our fathers; a Europe which seemed unattainable amid the mud and slaughter of the First World War and the suffering and sacrifice of the Second.

When, in the Spring of 1945, the guns fell silent, General Eisenhower called our soldiers to a Service of Thanksgiving. In the order of service was a famous prayer of Sir Francis Drake :

“Oh Lord God, when Thou givest to Thy Servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory!”

On this day, close to the 40th anniversary of that service and of peace in Europe—one of the longest periods without war in all our history—I should like to recall those words and acknowledge how faithfully America has fulfilled them. For our deliverance from what might have befallen us, I would not have us leave our gratitude to the tributes of history. The debt the free peoples of Europe owe to this nation, generous with its bounty, willing to share its strength, seeking to protect the week, is incalculable. We thank and salute you! (applause)

Of course, in the years which separate us from the time when Winston Churchill last spoke to Congress, there have[fo 2] been disappointments as well as hopes fulfilled: the continued troubles in the Middle E* famine and oppression in Africa; genocide in South East Asia; the brutal occupation of Afghanistan; the undiminished agony of tortured Poland; and above all, the continued and continuing division of the European continent.

From these shores, it may seem to some of you that by comparison with the risk and sacrifice which America has borne through four decades and the courage with which you have shouldered unwanted burdens, Europe has not fully matched your expectations. Bear with me if I dwell for a moment on the Europe to which we now belong.

It is not the Europe of ancient Rome, of Charlemagne, of Bismarck. We who are alive today have passed through perhaps the greatest transformation of human affairs on the Continent of Europe since the fall of Rome. In but a short chapter of its long history, Europe lost the position which it had occupied for two thousand years—and it is your history as much as ours.

For five centuries, that small continent had extended its authority over islands and continents the world over.

For the first forty years of this century, there were seven great powers: United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, Italy. Of those seven, two now tower over the rest—United States and the Soviet Union.

To that swift and historic change Europe—a Europe of many different histories and many different nations—has had to find a response. It has not been an easy passage to blend this[fo 3] conflux of nationalism, patriotism, sovereignty, into a European Community, yet I think that our children and grandchildren may see this period—these birth pangs of a new Europe—more clearly than we do now. They will see it as a visionary chapter in the creation of a Europe able to share the load alongside you. Do not doubt the firmness of our resolve in this march towards this goal, but do not underestimate what we already do.

Today, out of the forces of the Alliance in Europe, 95%; of the divisions, 85%; of the tanks, 80%; of the combat aircraft, and 70%; of the fighting ships are provided, manned and paid for by the European Allies (applause) and Europe has more than three million men under arms and more still in reserve. We have to. We are right in the front line. The frontier of freedom cuts across our continent.

Members of Congress, the defence of that frontier is as vital to you as it is to us (applause).

It is fashionable for some commentators to speak of the two super powers—United States and the Soviet Union—as though they were somehow of equal worth and equal significance. Mr. Speaker, that is a travesty of the truth! The Soviet Union has never concealed its real aim. In the words of Mr. Brezhnev , “the total triumph of all Socialism all over the world is inevitable—for this triumph we shall struggle with no lack of effort!” Indeed, there has been no lack of effort!

Contrast this with the record of the West. We do not aim at domination, at hegemony, in any part of the world. Even against those who oppose and who would destroy our ideas, we plot no aggression. Of course, we are[fo 4] ready to fight the battle of ideas with all the vigour at our command, but we do not try to impose our system on others. We do not believe that force should be the final arbiter in human affairs. We threaten no-one. Indeed, the Alliance has given a solemn assurance to the world—none of our weapons will be used except in response to attack (applause).

In talking to the Soviet Union, we find great difficulty in getting this message across. They judge us by their ambitions. They cannot conceive of a powerful nation not using its power for expansion or subversion, and yet they should remember that when, after the last War, the United States had a monopoly of nuclear weapons, she never once exploited her superiority. No country ever used such great power more responsibly or with such restraint. I wonder what would have befallen us in Western Europe and Great Britain if that monopoly had been in Soviet hands!

[ Tip O’Neill ] Mr. Speaker, wars are not caused by the build-up of weapons. They are caused when an aggressor believes he can achieve his objectives at an acceptable price (applause). The war of 1939 was not caused by an arms race. It sprang from a tyrant’s belief that other countries lacked the means and the will to resist him. Remember Bismarck ‘s phrase: “Do I want war? Of course not! I want victory!”

Our task is to see that potential aggressors, from whatever quarter, understand plainly that the capacity and the resolve of the West would deny them victory in war and that the price they would pay would be intolerable (applause). That is the basis of deterrence and it is the same whatever the nature of the weapons, for let us never forget the horrors of[fo 5] conventional war and the hideous sacrifice of those who have suffered in them.

Our task is not only to prevent nuclear war, but to prevent conventional war as well (applause).

No-one understood the importance of deterrence more clearly than Winston Churchill , when in his last speech to you he said: “Be careful above all things not to let go of the atomic weapon until you are sure and more than sure that other means of preserving peace are in your hands!” Thirty-three years on, those weapons are still keeping the peace, but since then technology has moved on and if we are to maintain deterrence—as we must—it is essential that our research and capacity do not fall behind the work being done by the Soviet Union (applause). That is why I firmly support President Reagan ‘s decision to pursue research into defence against ballistic nuclear missiles—the Strategic Defence Initiative (applause). Indeed, I hope that our own scientists will share in this research.

United States and the Soviet Union are both signatories to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a treaty without any terminal date. Nothing in that treaty precludes research, but should that research—on either side—lead to the possible deployment of new defence systems, that would be a matter for negotiation under the treaty.

Mr. Speaker, despite our differences with the Soviet Union, we have to talk with them, for we have one overriding interest in common—that never again should there be a conflict between our peoples. We hope too that we can achieve security with far fewer weapons than we have today and at lower cost, and[fo 6] thanks to the skilful diplomacy of Secretary Shultz , negotiations on arms control open in Geneva on the 12th March. They will be of immense importance to millions. They will be intricate, complex and demanding, and we should not expect too much too soon.

We must recognise that we have faced a Soviet political offensive designed to sow differences among us; calculated to create infirmity of purpose; to impair resolve, and even to arouse fear in the hearts of our people.

Hope is such a precious commodity in the world today, but some attempted to buy it at too high a price. We shall have to resist the muddled arguments of those who have been induced to believe that Russia’s intentions are benign and that ours are suspect, or who would have us simply give up our defences in the hope that where we led others would follow. As we learned cruelly in the 1930s, from good intentions can come tragic results!

Let us be under no illusions. It is our strength and not their goodwill that has brought the Soviet Union to the negotiating table in Geneva (applause)

Mr. Speaker, we know that our alliance—if it holds firm—cannot be defeated, but it could be outflanked. It is among the unfree and the underfed that subversion takes root. As Ethiopia demonstrated, those people get precious little help from the Soviet Union and its allies. The weapons which they pour in bring neither help nor hope to the hungry. It is the West which heard their cries; it is the West which responded massively to the heart-rending starvation in Africa; it is the West which has made a unique contribution to the uplifting of hundreds of millions of people from poverty, illiteracy and disease.[fo 7]

But the problems of the Third World are not only those of famine. They face also a mounting burden of debt, falling prices for primary products, protectionism by the industrialised countries. Some of the remedies are in the hands of the developing countries themselves. They can open their markets to productive investment; they can pursue responsible policies of economic adjustment. We should respect the courage and resolve with which so many of them have tackled their special problems, but we also have a duty to help.

How can we help? First and most important, by keeping our markets open to them. Protectionism is a danger to all our trading partnerships and for many countries trade is even more important than aid. And so, we in Britain support President Reagan ‘s call for a new GATT round (applause).

The current strength of the dollar, which is causing so much difficulty for some of your industries, creates obvious pressures for special cases, for new trade barriers to a free market. I am certain that your Administration is right to resist such pressures. To give in to them would betray the millions in the developing world, to say nothing of the strains on your other trading partners. The developing countries need our markets as we need theirs, and we cannot preach economic adjustment to them and refuse to practise it at home (applause).

And second, we must remember that the way in which we in the developed countries manage our economies determines whether the world’s financial framework is stable; it determines the level of interest rates; it determines the amount of capital available for sound investment the world over; and it determines[fo 8] whether or not the poor countries can service their past loans, let alone compete for new ones. And those are the reasons why we support so strongly your efforts to reduce the budget deficit (applause).

No other country in the world can be immune from its effects—such is the influence of the American economy on us all.

We in Europe have watched with admiration the burgeoning of this mighty American economy. There is a new mood in the United States. A visitor feels it at once. The resurgence of your self-confidence and your national pride is almost tangible. Now the sun is rising in the West (applause)

For many years, our vitality in Britain was blunted by excessive reliance on the State. Our industries were nationalised controlled and subsidised in a way that yours never were. We are having to recover the spirit of enterprise which you never lost. Many of the policies you are following are the policies we are following. You have brought inflation down. So have we. You have declared war on regulations and controls. So have we. Our Civil Service is now smaller than at any time since the War and controls on pay, prices, dividends, foreign exchange, all are gone.

You have encouraged small business—so often the source of tomorrow’s jobs. So have we. But above all, we are carrying out the largest programme of denationalisation in our history (applause).

Just a few years ago, in Britain, privatisation was thought to be a pipe dream. Now it is a reality and a popular[fo 9] one. Our latest success was the sale of British Telecommunications. It was the largest share issue ever to be brought to the market on either side of the Atlantic—some 2 million people bought shares.

Members of Congress, that is what capitalism is—a system which brings wealth to the many and not just to the few (applause)

The United Kingdom economy is in its fourth year of recovery. Slower than yours, but positive recovery. We have not yet shared your success in bringing down unemployment, although we are creating many new jobs, but output, investment and standard of living are all at record levels and profits are well up. And the pound? It is too low! For whatever the proper international level of sterling, it is a marvellous time for Americans not only to visit Britain but to invest with her (applause) and many are!

America is by far the largest direct investor in Britain and I am delighted to say that Britain is the largest direct investor in the United States (applause).

The British economy has an underlying strength and like you, we use our strength and resolve to carry out our duties to our allies and to the wider world.

We were the first country to station Cruise missiles on our territory. Britain led the rest (applause). In proportion to our population, we station the same number of troops as you in Germany. In Central America, we keep troops stationed in Belize at that government’s request. That is our contribution to sustaining democracy in a part of the world so vital to the United States (applause). We have troops in Cyprus[fo 10] and in the South Atlantic and at your request a small force in Sinai, and British servicemen are now on loan to some thirty foreign countries. We are alongside you in Beirut; we work with you in the Atlantic and in the Indian Ocean; our navy is on duty across the world. Mr. Speaker, Britain meets her responsibilities in the defence of freedom throughout the world and she will go on doing so (applause)

Members of Congress, closer to home there is a threat to freedom both savage and insiduous. Both our countries have suffered at the hands of terrorists. We have both lost some of our best young lives and I have lost some close and dear friends. Free, strong, democratic societies will not be driven by gunmen to abandon freedom or democracy (applause) The problems of the Middle East will not be solved by the cold blooded murder of American servicemen in Lebanon, nor by the murder of American civilians on a hi-jacked aircraft (applause) Nor will the problems of Northern Ireland be solved by the assassin’s gun or bomb.

Garret FitzGerald and I—and our respective governments—are united in condemning terrorism (applause). We recognise the differing traditions and identities of the two parts of the community of Northern Ireland—the Nationalist and the Unionist. We seek a political way forward acceptable to them both, which respects them both. So long as the majority of people of Northern Ireland wish to remain part of the United Kingdom, their wishes will be respected. If ever there were to be a majority in favour of change, then I believe that our Parliament would respond accordingly, for that is the principle of consent enshrined in[fo 11] your constitution and in an essential part of ours.

There is no disagreement on this principle between the United Kingdom Government and the Government of the Republic of Ireland. Indeed, the four constitutional nationalist parties of Ireland, north and south, who came together to issue the New Ireland Forum Report, made clear that any new arrangements could only come about by consent, and I welcome too their outright condemnation and total rejection of terrorism and all its works.

Be under no illusions about the Provisional IRA. They terrorise their own communities. They are the enemies of democracy and of freedom too. Don’t just take my word for it. Ask the Government of the Irish Republic, where it is an offence even to belong to that organisation—as indeed it also is in Northern Ireland.

I recognise and appreciate the efforts which have been made by the Administration and Congress alike to bring home this message to American citizens who may be misled into making contributions to seemingly innocuous groups. The fact is that money is used to buy the deaths of Irishmen north and south of the border and 70%; of those killed by the IRA are Irishmen—and that money buys the killing and wounding even of American citizens visiting our country.

Garret FitzGerald —and I salute him for the very brave thing he did yesterday in passing a special law to see that money did not get to the IRA— Garret FitzGerald and I will continue to consult together in the quest for stability and peace in Northern Ireland and we hope we will have your continued support for our joint efforts to find a way forward (applause)[fo 12]

Distinguished Members of Congress, our two countries have a common heritage as well as a common language. It is no mere figure of speech to say that many of your most enduring traditions—representative government, habeas corpus, trial by jury, a system of constitutional checks and balances—stem from our own small islands. But they are as much your lawful inheritance as ours. You did not borrow these traditions—you took them with you, because they were already your own.

Human progress is not automatic. Civilisation has its ebbs and flows, but if we look at the history of the last five hundred years, whether in the field of art, science, technology, religious tolerance or in the practise of politics, the conscious inspiration of it all has been the belief and practise of freedom under law; freedom disciplined by morality, under the law perceived to be just.

I cannot conclude this address without recalling words made immortal by your great President Abraham Lincoln in his second Inaugural Address, when he looked beyond an age when men fought and strove towards a more peaceful future.

“With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right that God gives us to see the right. Let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations!”

Members of Congress, may our two kindred nations go forward together sharing Lincoln ‘s vision, firm of purpose, strong in faith, warm of heart, as we approach the third millenium of the Christian era.

Mr. Speaker, thank you! (applause)

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Richard Norton Smith, Allan Lichtman & James Cooper: Margaret Thatcher & Ronald Reagan: ‘Political Soul Mates’ Who Didn’t Always Agree

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Thatcher and Reagan: ‘Political Soul Mates’ Who Didn’t Always Agree

How Thatcher And Reagan Used One Another For Political Cover

Source: US News, 4-8-13

President Ronald Reagan and Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were "political soulmates,"  Nancy Reagan once said.

President Ronald Reagan and Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were “political soulmates,” Nancy Reagan once said.

Richard Norton Smith, a presidential historian at George Mason University: “When the Iron Lady vouched for [Mikhail] Gorbachev’s authenticity, it carried a weight that no one else on the world scene had. I’m not saying Reagan would not have developed the relationship he did, but I have to believe that her endorsement helped to facilitate that relationship.”

Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University: “Ronald Reagan was one of the most personable politicians we’ve ever had in the United States, he was the master of the one-liner, he was extraordinarily good at disarming his opposition – Margaret Thatcher didn’t have those kinds of personal skills. She tended to be the kind of politician who worked more with fierce determination and iron will rather than charm and personality.”…READ MORE

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Margaret Thatcher & Ronald Reagan: Was their ‘special relationship’ partly a myth?

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Thatcher and Reagan: Was their ‘special relationship’ partly a myth?

Source: WaPo, 4-8-13

President Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher talk in New York in 1985. (MIKE SARGENT/AFP/Getty Images)

President Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher talk in New York in 1985. (MIKE SARGENT/AFP/Getty Images)

U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday, and U.S. President Ronald Reagan are remembered as a geopolitical “power couple,” a partnership that pushed for free-market conservatism and helped win the Cold War. In both U.S. and U.K. politics, their names are practically synonymous.

But the truth was far more complicated and, particularly when it came to the more difficult moments of the Cold War, Reagan and Thatcher found plenty to disagree on. Nicholas Henderson, the U.K. ambassador to Washington under Thatcher, was later asked by a British politician if he had learned any real secrets. He paused before saying, “If I reported to you what Mrs. Thatcher really thought about President Reagan, it would damage Anglo-American relations.” That quote was revealed in a book released last year by historian Richard Aldous, “Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship”. ..READ MORE

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Iron Lady & Former Prime Minister, Dead at 87

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Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Iron Lady, Dead at 87

Source: ABC News Radio, 4-8-13

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Margaret Thatcher, the first woman ever to serve as prime minister of Great Britain and the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century, has died at age 87.

During her long career on the political stage, Thatcher was known as the Iron Lady.  She led Great Britain as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 — a champion of free-market policies and an adversary of the Soviet Union.

Many considered her Britain’s Ronald Reagan.  In fact, Reagan and Thatcher were political soul mates.  Reagan called her the “best man in England” and she called him “the second most important man in my life.”…READ MORE

History Headlines April 8, 2013: 5 Ways Margaret Thatcher Changed History

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY HEADLINE NEWS

History Buzz

HISTORY MAKING HEADLINES

5 Ways Margaret Thatcher Changed History

Source: Parade, 4-8-13

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Margaret Thatcher, the steel-willed former prime minister of Great Britain, died Monday of a stroke at the age of 87….

Her historic career, marked by these and many other accomplishments, will be remembered for generations to come.

She was the first female prime minister…

She created and popularized “Thatcherism.”…

She led Britain in the Falklands War…

She helped end the Cold War…

She won the respect of her critics….READ MORE

History Buzz February 4, 2013: Skeleton found under parking lot confirmed as England’s King of Richard III

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Skeleton of England’s Richard III found under parking lot

Source: USA Today, 2-4-13

Modern views of the medieval king have been heavily influenced by Shakespeare’s portrayal in the play Richard III

king richard

A painting of Britain’s King Richard III by an unknown artist is displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in London.(Photo: Leon Neal, AFP/Getty)

Story Highlights

  • Skeleton was buried under a parking lot
  • Richard III was England’s last Plantagenet king
  • Remains will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral

It took five centuries but the mystery over what happened to the remains of England’s last Plantagenet king, Richard III, is finally solved after scientists at the University of Leicester confirmed a skeleton buried under a city parking lot is Shakespeare’s much maligned king.

Monday’s announcement brings to a close the long-debated question of what followed the killing of Richard III on the battlefield 528 years ago. Further tests on the skeleton that suggest that accounts of his withered arm are inaccurate may help to restore his reputation, historians say.

“This is a historic moment and the history books will be rewritten,” said Philippa Langley, originator of the search and a member of the Richard III Society. “We have searched for Richard and found him – now it is now time to honor him.”

The remains will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral….READ MORE

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