Muckraking

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Warren G. Harding and the Ohio Gang

  • Warren Harding served as the 29th president of the United States from March 4, 1921 through August 2, 1923
  • He also served as a Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, an Ohio state senator, and a U.S. Senator from Ohio
  • President Harding was born November 2, 1865 and died on August 2, 1923 on his way back from Alaska from pneumonia, probably caused by stress from outbreak of scandals
  • Married Florence Kling and had a mistress in high school, Nan Britton, who he had a child with
  • Bought a newspaper company with wife's money and met Harry Daugherty who got him into politics
  • Very lazy and probably shouldnt have been president. Only reasons for becoming president is because not a democrat and good looking
  • The Ohio gang (1921-1924) was a group of crooks that were either politicians or business leaders that surrounded Harding and were around him during his early political days in Ohio
  • Many of these crooks were put into the President's cabinet and were involved in many scandals that the President said he had no clue about.
  • One of the major scandals that Harding's administration scandals that Hardings cabinet was involved in was the teapot scandal
  • President Woodrow Wilson, who preceded Harding, did not let oil companies touch the oil reserves in Teapot, Wyoming. He wanted to keep the oil in *case of an emergency and for the Navy. Hardings' Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, wanted to make a few extra bucks so he leased the reserves out *to friends without competitive bidding. Meaning that the oil companies got the oil for cheap and Fall still did very well. He was keeping his money secret *and Senator John Kendrick called for an investigation. The Secretary looked innocent until a 100,000 dollar payoff the Dohney gave to him was *uncovered and that was illegal. Fall was sentenced to a year in jail, ordered to pay a 100,000 dollar fine and the land was ordered by the high court to *return to the Navy. Until Watergate, Teapot Dome was regarded as the "greatest and most sensational scandal in the history of American politics". And it *tarnished Hardings reputation even more, especially after the Great Railroad strike of 1922

The Big Book of Thugs

  • Usually called "The Big Book of" is a series of many different graphic novel anthologies and it has many different topics
  • Specifically, "The Big Book of Thugs" was published in 1996 and written by Joel Rose and is about criminals who get what they want, but not from anything smart, just pure force

Questions

  • Who do you think are our worse presidents and why?`
  • Compared to all the other scandals in presidential history, why was this the worse up until Watergate?

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/scandal2.html

  • What do you think was the point of this comic?

President Warren G. Harding's First Cabinet 1921.jpg

The Shame of Minneapolis and Lincoln Steffens

Steff.jpg

Background of Lincoln Steffens

  • Born 6th April, 1866 in San Francisco, California
  • In 1892 Steffens became a reporter for New York Evening Post
  • McClure's Magazine specialized in muckraking starting 1902 and Steffens became the editor
  • His articles from the magazine were taken and used in The Shame of the Cities which was published in 1904 and had stories of 6 different cities: St. Louis, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York
  • In 1906 Steffens and several other journalists established American Magazine
  • In 1910 he went to Mexico to report on Pancho Villa and his army
  • Steffens believed in the Golden Rule, a faith in the fundamental goodness of people
  • He died on 9th August 1936

Background on "Doc" Ames

  • Born January 18, 1842 in Illinois
  • Became a "printer's devil" in 1857 for the Northwestern Democrat
  • In August 1862, Ames was involved in the Dakota War of 1862
  • in 1863 Ames went south to give medical services during the Civil War
  • In 1866, Ames was elected to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • He served on the Minneapolis City Council in 1875-1876
  • In February 1903, Ames was arrested and was senteced to 6 years
  • The sentence was overturned on an appeal
  • He died on November 16, 1911

Shortest Summary Possible

  • Enter Doc Ames - a corrupt politician
  • Ames hires his brother as police chief
  • Enter Clarke - a businessman against Ames' greedy motives
  • Trials against Ames and his cohorts are put in place, while Ames escapes via train
  • His henchmen serve time during wait for mayor
  • Mayor is put in place and subtracts all gambling and corruption

Quotes and Analysis

  • Saul Goodman (p 10)
  • Anecdote with his wife referred to as the climax of his neglect of his family in favour of his politics and party (p 11)
  • Whole paragraph on page 13 difficult to follow - purpose? Demonstrate corruption?
  • Quote on p 15 - ????
  • "Even lawlessness must be regulated" p 18
  • Purpose of him choosing his brother as police chief
  • Theme of good overpowering evil and placing decency back into the city of Minneapolis

Discussion

  • Where in the article did it start to show Ames was a criminal even outside of politics?
  • Why did Ames get elected 3 times when the people knew what he was up to?
  • Mr. Clark was willing to do anything to put Ames behind bars, does this make him as bad as Ames?
  • It's ironic that Ames was the only one of his men to not do time for his crimes even though he was the one who created his mess in the first place

From the Blogs

  • Bridget pointed out the section where it described how he reacted towards his dead/dying wife, showing his cruelty even outside of his politics and briberies