20th Century, government, History, Intercession, Minnesota, war

World War I

Jul 1, 1917
Close to 120,000 soldiers and 1,000 nurses leave Minnesota to serve in World War I;
3,480 will not return.*

Lusitania leaving NY from Motography

We may wonder what prompted so many of the North Star state’s sons and daughters sign up for this war in Europe. It was so far away: geographically, emotionally, and politically. Yet, approximately 5 out of every 100 of our forbearers went to defend Minnesota and the United States.

What did our countrymen think of the prospect of joining the Great War? “Public sentiment leaned towards the British and French (Allied) forces but the country remained neutral towards the conflict in Europe. The Democrats’ re-election campaign slogan “He Kept Us Out of War” painted (President) Wilson as a peacemaker.”**

However, Wilson broke that pledge of peace when Germany sunk the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. Granted, Germany had issued the following warning in 40 U.S. newspapers, “Travelers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany . . . and Great Britain . . . and that travelers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.” One hundred years after the fact this sounds like a fair warning; to remain neutral, stay out of a war zone.

Further, some party sympathetic to the Allies had tainted the innocence of the Lusitania as a mere luxury liner, by loading her with weapons. “In the context of a wartime crossing, the cargo of the Lusitania on her last voyage included war materiel for the Allied war effort, including 52 tons of shrapnel shells, more than 3,000 percussion fuses, and 4,200 cases of Remington rifle cartridges.” Kapitanleutnant Walter Schwieger of submarine U-20 sank the Lusitania; a luxury liner also carrying war materiel. Of the 1,959 people on board, 1,195 died, including more than 120 Americans on May 7, 1915.**** Perhaps those that decided to gamble 1,200 lives to smuggle weapons past Germany’s blockade bear some blame for this tragedy?

decoded-message-l

So the question remains, did we enter the Great War based on a single act of aggression based on a false premise, or were there other events that pushed public opinion in joining the war? Below is one potential answer cited by the National Archives on the infamous Zimmerman Telegram.
“In January of 1917, British cryptographers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Minister to Mexico, von Eckhardt, offering United States territory to Mexico in return for joining the German cause. This message helped draw the United States into the war and thus changed the course of history. The telegram had such an impact on American opinion that, according to David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers, “No other single cryptanalysis has had such enormous consequences.” It is his opinion that “never before or since has so much turned upon the solution of a secret message.” In an effort to protect their intelligence from detection and to capitalize on growing anti-German sentiment in the United States, the British waited until February 24 to present the telegram to Woodrow Wilson. The American press published news of the telegram on March 1. On April 6, 1917, the United States Congress formally declared war on Germany and its allies.”***

Our Father, hear our prayer! We have offended Your justice in at least three ways in the commencement of World War I: we have lost our commitment to peace, we have tried to create righteous outcomes through deception, and we have eaten the bait of offense offered by the Enemy of all humankind. We have broken with the eternal principles of Your Kingdom, and chosen to exalt our own kingdoms. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy on our State; a sinning people.

Eternal Judge, will You forgive us for following President Wilson into World War I? Will You forgive us for the abandonment of the Monroe Doctrine and the warnings of the Founding Fathers:
Monroe Doctrine Introduction
“The occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.”

Monroe Doctrine addressed to the “allied powers” of Europe (Holy Alliance)
“We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power, we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine

“Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.” -John Adams
“Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.” -Thomas Jefferson
“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” -George Washington
http://www.humblelibertarian.com/2010/04/100-great-anti-war-quotes.html

We have followed our President and Congress into this Great War, and have broken faith with You; the Prince of Peace. Will You bless those who voluntarily served in the military with a clear conscience? Will You remove the curse received from those within our State, Federal Government, or unelected positions of influence that may have steered us into war because they lacked conscience?

Will You forgive us our judgments of the nation of Germany in the sinking of the Lusitania? Their nation provided clear boundaries of the risks of traveling within their war zone to our citizens, a warning heeded by some, and ignored by others. We amplify our offense to Germany by attempted smuggling of materiel on a civilian ship while maintaining a posture of neutrality. Will You forgive us our duplicity as a people? Will You forgive, specifically, those who may have intentionally deceived the passengers of the Lusitania?

Will You forgive the State of Minnesota, and the peoples of the United States, of our willingness to take the bait of offense through the means of media and war propaganda? We believed the reporting that innocent lives were taken, and they were, but under a false premise. Will You forgive us this offense and duplicity towards Your Sincerity? Will You forgive those of us who sincerely believed a lie?

Will You free us from the guilt of those who schemed to frame this event of abandoning our neutrality in favor of war? Will You judge both those who wrote the Zimerman Telegraph and interpreted it? Whether it was true or false, the outcome was that we chose war over maintaining relationship. Will You forgive Germany where it broke faith with the US? Will You forgive the United States where it broke faith with Germany? Will You forgive us all our ignorance and arrogance? We have believed the worst of enemy, the best of ourselves, and have not continued to believe in the G-d and Father of All Nations!

I want to be clear that I do not condemn those Minnesotans who served in this war, or paid the supreme sacrifice. I believe that they acted in good faith on the information they had. Lord, will You bless those who paid for our freedom with their lives and pain to their bodies, minds, and spirits? Will You bless their generations to be ready for war as a last resort of exhausting every avenue to peace? Amen.

 

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
**http://www.woodrowwilsonhouse.org/1916-election
***https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/zimmermann
****Read an eyewitness account of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915? https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/eyewitness/html.php?section=18

Learn about Minnesotans drafted in WWI? https://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww1/draft-registration/minnesota.html

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19th Century, Agriculture, Civics, education, farming, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties

The General Allotment Act (Dawes Act)

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Feb 8, 1887
Congress enacts legislation that allots 160-acre tracts of land to heads of households of American Indian families. The rest of the reservation land is thrown open to non-Indian homesteaders. Eventually, Native-held lands are reduced by more than two thirds.*

“The Dawes Act had a negative effect on American Indians, as it ended their communal holding of property by which they had ensured that everyone had a home and a place in the tribe. It was followed by the Curtis Act of 1898, which dissolved tribal courts and governments. The act “was the culmination of American attempts to destroy tribes and their governments and to open Indian lands to settlement by non-Indians and to development by railroads.”[27] Land owned by Indians decreased from 138 million acres (560,000 km2) in 1887 to 48 million acres (190,000 km2) in 1934.[3]
Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado was one of the most outspoken opponents of allotment. In 1881, he said that allotment was a policy “to despoil the Indians of their lands and to make them vagabonds on the face of the earth.” Teller also said, “the real aim [of allotment] was “to get at the Indian lands and open them up to settlement. The provisions for the apparent benefit of the Indians are but the pretext to get at his lands and occupy them….If this were done in the name of Greed, it would be bad enough; but to do it in the name of Humanity…is infinitely worse.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act

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Messiah, there is such a gap between intent and actions. One the one hand, the Dawes Act points to a desire to respect the property of Native Americans. On the other hand, it ‘gives’ them title to land if they accept the conditions. Is this freedom, or fiefdom?
First, as a human being and fellow Minnesotan, I want to acknowledge our sin of envy. We are not content with what we have. Lord, forgive us the envy contained in the Dawes Act of Native lands! Will You heal the whole inheritance of envy, and heal the lands that were annexed unjustly?
Second, I want to acknowledge the mixed motives of our hearts! I acknowledge the honest desire of many at this time that Native peoples assimilate and become one people with the United States, and with Minnesota. Many were motivated by a desire to share ‘common ground’ figuratively and literally with Indians. As in “I’m a simple Norwegian farmer who is trying to start a new life in America. What does my Indian neighbor have against me? I used to hunt and fish with him. I’m not a land man for the railways, or a representative of the Department of the Interior, but their actions make me the bad guy to my Indian neighbors.”

Many Natives did not want to not feel the pains of being a foreign enclave in their homelands. While they resisted many aspects of Western Culture, they also admired and even craved some of its fruits: new technologies and techniques, trade for useful products, positive interactions with new neighbors, etc. They seemed to both admire and fear the new culture in their land. Some Natives willfully accepted new ways, and others did not.

Lord, have mercy on these hearts! Some on both sides of this divide, whether Immigrant or Indian, wanted to take a chance and embrace. Some were repelled by clashing with another culture. Lord forgive how we have feared our brother’s ways, and rejected what You have to teach us through him! Lord, forgive us our hesitancy to trust! Will you restore us to chesed? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesed

Next, I want to acknowledge that both cultures succumbed to the “power men” within them. There were plenty of Minnesotans’ willing to capitalize on the imbalance of power the Dawes Act gave them! Too many tried to moralize the outright theft of property! They claimed desires to civilize native peoples to gain public approval for their land grab. Nothing changes. They are still among us. However, I mourn before you this day, and acknowledge this offense against my Native brothers! Have mercy! Will You reverse this curse? Will You restore these injustices?

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the counter judgments that some Native peoples made in response to these ‘land grabbers’. They chose to meet offense with counter offense, perhaps not learning from their own tribe to tribe, or First Nation to First Nation acts of offense and or war. It is clear to see these fruits yielding a harvest of separation even today in our state. Will You forgive these counter judgments? We have offended You first! Have mercy!

Will You have mercy on our natural desires for vengeance stemming from the Dawes Act? Will You give us a new common inheritance as Minnesotans’? Will You take the bitter roots from our hands so that we can recieve from You? When we must disagree, will You teach us to do it with understanding, clarity, and respect?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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19th Century, Health, History, Intercession

Mayo Clinic

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1883
Dr. William W. Mayo takes his sons into his practice. Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie eventually specialize in surgery and build the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester.*

Gracious One, thank you that you inspire all medicine and healing! Thank you for innovators’ like the Mayo brothers, and their foresight to build their clinic! Thank you for their legacy of working to save the physical man and the physical woman! Thank you for the blessing Mayo Clinic has been, is, and will be to this state.
Jesus, bless the Mayo Clinic, their family, all employees and all properties their generations, homes, ideas, contributions in your authority. Cover the debts of the clinic with the currency of your blood. May all who will receive it, your life, also know that their Messiah has literal power to save the body, mind, and spirit of humankind! I cringe when I think of how many lives are lost due to our separation from You! How much health is squandered in conflict with friends, spouses?!
Lord, I ask that You build a clinic for the spirit of man in Rochester! Will you bless us with ‘chesed’ as well as the healing of the human body? Will you inspire a place of intercession for the right relationships of men, women, boys, and girls? May your body, the Church, be restored to humbly ask and receive Your miraculous healing in body, mind, and spirit? Will You demonstrate your power to save in our State of Minnesota?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

**Why is this place so famous? http://history.mayoclinic.org

 

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19th Century, Culture, Economics, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, riverboat, Technology, Transportation

Steamboats 1840 to 1870  

mississippi-riverboat

Steamboat trips up the scenic Mississippi are the fashion for Eastern tourists in the 1840s. By the mid-1850s steamboats, carrying supplies and immigrants as well as tourists, arrive in St. Paul at the rate of four or five a day during the summer months.*

Holy Spirit, will You journey with me through the steamboat era of the Mississippi? Will You allow me to bounce ideas off You, and alert me to any related subjects? Thanks that You are in, around and through all times and places! I love You for that!
Thanks for the gift of the steamboat! The idea of going effortlessly upstream must have been revolutionary in 1840. What would be an appropriate analogy to present Minnesotans’; skiing uphill at Afton or Wild Mountain? Maybe waterskiing without a rope or a boat?
I thank You for the relational benefits of this mode of transportation to our midwestern forefathers and foremothers. Technology is often viewed in terms of its innate capabilities, but not in terms of the relationships those capabilities may unlock. Transportation advancements seem to inherently effect relationships by changing how we view our geography.
For example, before the steamboat one imagines that it would be much easier for Northerners to travel south, downstream, on the Mississippi than Southerners to travel north. Is it a stretch to imagine that this creates a one-way relational path? If one can only passively receive visitors, products, news, from the north how would that impact one’s world-view.
Conversely, imagine what it would be like to only be a giver on this unidirectional path. A farmer works all season, loads up his crop, brings it to a river town, and sends it away. He feels the immediate reward of the sale of his harvest, but is largely isolated from any connections to those downstream.
Will You forgive any judgments between north and south based out of this one-way relational paradigm? Will You forgive any resentments based on an identity of being primarily a “giver” or a “receiver”? Will You forgive past judgments based on geographic isolation instead of real relationship?
Lord of Hesed, will You create in our generation a desire for real relationship, while aided by technology, not based on technology? Will You show us ways to reverse any symbolic or real curses resulting from one-way relationships? Will You make our mighty rivers flow upstream, and give us a future of blessed two-way, real relationships with our world and fellow man?

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .  The current URL is http://www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

 

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