20th Century, German Americans, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history, U.S. Constitution, World War I

Political Suppression in Minnesota 1917

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Meintz was tarred and feathered for not supporting War Bond drives.

1917

“Anti-German hysteria runs rampant during the war. The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety is given sweeping powers to bully German Minnesotans, suppress the right of free speech, break strikes, and even remove elected officials from office.” *

Our Constitution is designed to protect us from both tyranny of the majority or tyranny of the minority.

“In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.” – Speech, Constitutional Convention June 29th 1787 **

To offer some more specific historical context, read the excerpt from Matt Reicher’s article on the MNopedia site. 

“The U.S. entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Minnesota legislators worked quickly to pass war-related laws before the end of their spring session. As a result, the Sullivan bill saw very little debate. It passed both houses and was signed into law by Burnquist on April 16, 1917. The MCPS took control of many of the state’s regulatory, public safety, and military functions.

Throughout its tenure the MCPS provided useful services. It distributed food, controlled the prices of goods, and conserved fuel. However, it is best known for its use of secret surveillance, intimidation, and other extreme tactics in the name of protecting Minnesota’s citizens.

Ensuring clear-cut loyalty to America eventually overtook the MCPS’s other efforts. Commissioners regarded any lack of patriotism as rebellion. Political beliefs were irrelevant. Governor Burnquist maintained that there were only two parties during the war: “loyal” and “disloyal”. He and the MCPS praised the former and tried to eliminate the latter.” ***

As defined by the American Psychological Association, ambiguity is “a perceptual object that may have more than one interpretation. **** One problem with loyalty litmus tests is that they often force emotional ambiguity upon society. Citizens face the dilemma of feigning outward compliance to the law, but inwardly rejecting its divisiveness and lack of subtlety. 

It is significant that this bifurcating mania existed towards our State’s most populous ethnicity during the run up to World War I. 

“The largest flow of German immigration to America occurred between 1820 and World War I, during which time nearly six million Germans immigrated to the United States. From 1840 to 1880, they were the largest group of immigrants.” ***** Additionally, “German Americans compose a plurality in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Midwestern states.” ****** 

Lord, hear our prayer! In the era of WWI, we allowed a consensus opinion to beat down the rights of German Americans solely on the basis of their race. In offending them, the largest and most populous group of Minnesotans, we have offended You. We have treated citizens as suspects: in social circles, in their work life, in their property, and in their faith. Have mercy!

Will You restore to German Americans the damages done to them in this chapter of history? Will You forgive our fears that overcame wise law during the Great War? Will You forgive us from literally erasing their names from the persons, places, and things of Minnesota? Will You forgive the MCPS and Minnesotans from “piling on” of shame over imagined offenses, instead of dealing solely with real guilt of actually breaking the law through collaborating with an enemy during wartime?

On the other hand, will You forgive the judgments of German Americans towards the MCPS and the State? Will You free them from the weight of maintaining the offense of their humilations? Will You remove this historic offense up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? Only You can bear our sins, and change us into overcomers!

In our present and future, will You help us slow down our destructive reactionary responses to war and rumors of war through the gateway of our fears? 

Your Word says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love.” 1John 4:18 Aramaic Bible in Plain English ******** Will You help us to trust our neighbors, and honor the rights, privileges, and duties of their citizenship as much as our own? 

Will You protect us from societal damages through the means of group and identity politics? We cherish our race, or our subculture, but You have called us beyond our ethnicities as individuals! Our worth to You is not based one our “ism”, “hyphen”, our other marker; we are worthy because You have called us worthy!

Further, will You heal Your Church to be cognizant that our first citizenship is in Heaven? Will You free us from the Enemy’s triggers, and the bait of ethnic-based offense? We relinquish our rights to maintain an ethnic offense and declare the Jubilee of Your grace towards all people of Minnesota now and always. Maranatha!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** https://thefederalistpapers.org/founders/james-madison-quotes

*** ibid http://www.mnopedia.org/group/minnesota-commission-public-safety

**** http://www.apa.org/research/action/glossary.aspx

***** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Americans#World_War_I_anti-German_sentiment 

****** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Americans

******* Find primary sources of the Minnesota commission of Public Safety. http://invention.si.edu/minnesota-commission-public-safety-main-files-1917-1919

********* http://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm

 

 

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19th Century, Culture, History, Journalism, Media, Minnesota, News, Politics

First Newspaper Printed in Minnesota

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April 28, 1849
“Editor James Goodhue published the first issue of “The Minnesota Pioneer” on April 28, 1849.” *

Mr. Goodhue came to Minnesota Territory ca. April 18, 1849, and ten days later had: founded a newspaper, wrote, and published its first edition! Known as man with sharp wits and elbows, he had much to say and did not mince words. An avid Democrat, he unabashedly aired his views with vigor.

Inter alia, he debated a territorial judge so fiercely that the man stabbed him, but not before he left his challenger with a non-fatal gunshot wound!? His mixture of talk and tenacity ensure that “The Minnesota Pioneer” had enough forward momentum to survive. Currently the “(Saint Paul) Pioneer Press”, now the state’s eldest newspaper, traces its origins back to the efforts of Goodhue and the St. Paul Dispatch. ***

Lord we thank You for the gift of language and writing. We thank You for our human ability to speak. Will You help us divide this snapshot in the life of Minnesota and James Goodhue?

We thank You for the efforts and zeal of Goodhue to found a forum for public discourse in Minnesota Territory. We acknowledge the risks and personal costs paid by him for our benefit. We remember the tag line of his beloved paper to You; “Sound principles, safe men and moderate measures”.

We solemnly remember his zeal and the inherent weakness of this strength. We applaud Goodhue’s ability to articulate his heart-felt Democratic principles, but recognize that passion without self-control may yield division…or a stab wound.
Will You forgive the condemnation that came from his pen and mouth, and wounded his targets? Will You forgive the counter-judgment’s and condemnations of those who opposed him?

Presently, we find ourselves in the same position. We, at times, vigorously debate our neighbors until they become our foes. Will You give wisdom to all who pick up the pen, or tittle the keyboard in our newsrooms because they share the same heart to give voice to the times? Will You give our beloved reporters and newspapers a balance of forbearance and forthrightness, accuracy and mental acuity to enhance Minnesotan’s sense of current events? We love Your words, will You speak life to us so we can share it with others?

“With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be! Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” Berean Study Bible James 3:9-11

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** http://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/hub/minnesota-pioneer
*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Paul_Pioneer_Press
**** https://biblehub.com/james/3-10.htm

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