U.S. Pulls Out of China Loan Deal; Vienna Rattles Sabres

  • New York State Senator Franklin D. Roosevelt, 31, was sworn into office as the youngest Assistant Secretary of the Navy in American history, and the first federal government job for the future United States President.
  • Exactly 50 years after his March 18, 1863 selection, King George I of Greece was assassinated in Salonika while walking the streets of the city recently captured from Turkey. The King, who had refused bodyguards and was accompanied only by his equerry, was shot in the back by Aleko Schinas, a Greek citizen.
  • U.S. President Wilson announced that the U.S. government was withdrawing approval of American banks in the
    Quotation from Woodrow Wilson's History of the...

    Quotation from Woodrow Wilson’s History of the American People as reproduced in the film The Birth of a Nation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    proposed six-nation loan to China.

  • Song Jiaoren (Sung Chiao-jen), the President of the Kuomingtang Party in the Republic of China, was shot and fatally wounded while waiting for a train in Shanghai; Song would die two days later. Song’s killer, Wu Shiying, had been assisted by Ying Guixing, and a search of their apartments found documents linking the murder to cabinet Minister Hong Shuzu, Interior Minister Zhao Bingjun, and even President Yuan Shikai.
  • Constantine I took the oath of office as the new King of Greece
  • Wireless communication between the United States and France began when the U.S. station at Arlington, Maryland sent a message received at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

It continues to be a slow news period.  The main items of note include Woodrow Wilson’s’ withdrawal of U.S. government backing for a multinational loan to the new Chinese Republic.   Back in  the days before the IMF and other such international financial institutions, the leading imperialist powers would typically float loans to less developed countries in exchange for being granted key positions in the state financial institutions of the target country.  From this vantage point they could then squeeze the target country without mercy.  The Ottoman Empire, Egypt and the Latin American republics had been typical victims.    In the case of China, the leading powers tended to gang-bang in a sort of wolf-pack, just as they did in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. In the long run the attempted subjugation of China would not succeed, marking probably the most signal failure of imperialism’s attempted conquest of the world, though the Japanese imperialists would eventually make the most determined, and the most destructive,  attempt.

The other current events of note are the assassination of the Greek King, George I, and his replacement by the new (and pro-German) King Constantine.   the ominous noises coming from Vienna (Austria-Hungary) concerning the continued Montenegrin-Serbian assault on Scutari, and on the Albanians generally.  Meanwhile the New York Times suggests for the first time that Victoriano Huerta’s claims concerning the strength of the opposition to the coup are less than credible.

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