Constants and variables 78, Real friends edition
American Radio History, the best 'library' site on the web, has recently added several years of the NW Ayer almanacs of newspapers.
So far they have 1881, 1884, 1920, 1939, 1952 and 1962. The Ayer guides were aimed at national advertisers who wanted to place ads in non-NYC papers, so they gave brief descriptions of cities and papers.
1880 and 1920 aren't tremendously different. Some small towns faded, but cities with population between 500 and 1k still had one weekly paper, and cities between 1k and 10k typically had one or two weeklies and one daily.
The weeklies had a circulation around 1000. They were able to make a profit and continue operation for 40 years on 1000 copies per week. Could any sort of business survive at that level now? Not on your overregulated overlitigated life.
Ayer also gave the political affiliation of each paper, which was honestly stated in those days. In 1880 Kansas most papers were Republican and some were Greenback (populist). In 1920 half were listed as Independent and half Republican, with some Progressive (populist).
Overall the bigger cities were losing the D/R/P distinction on papers in 1920, while small towns were still well-defined. By 1939 nearly all papers were "Independent".
The 1920 edition includes this map showing some boundaries I'd never seen before. The red lines were the proposed
postwar boundaries. The final result wasn't nearly as extreme.
The Axis in WW1 was Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey (Ottoman). Russia was among the allies until the Revolution, when it became a Special Case, invaded and occupied
by BOTH Allied and Axis countries. (US, UK, Japan, and Czechoslovakia.) We may have been tussling over trivia like Europe, but by God we worked together on the BIG THINGS.
Who was punished most by the proposed boundaries? Turkey lost its western third to Greece and its eastern third to Armenia. Russia lost Ukraine (sounds familiar), and Lithuania became larger than Germany. The other Baltics, Livonia (Latvia) and Estonia and Courland (?) also grew into major countries eating up part of Russia. Austria-Hungary lost nothing at all, except that it was divided into three countries. Germany, the major warmaker, lost a little slice of the Saar industrial area.
The map shows who our REAL friends were then, and the alignment still holds now. Germany is our BEST FRIEND even though it frequently kills us. Russia is a SERIOUS ENEMY even though it has never invaded or attacked us. We hate Russia because we hate Russia. Turkey is a SERIOUS ENEMY because we hate Turkey.
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Looked up Courland.
Another eye-opener. Courland was a German-speaking region of Latvia. When Russia, distracted by revolution, lost control of Latvia, Courland joined up with Germany in March 1918.
Germany was still fighting Russia in 1920 for control of Baltic areas.
Finally in late 1920 the Krauts gave up and Latvia (independent) got Courland back.
So I should amend the above. It wasn't just Czech forces who were joining the Allies to occupy and grab pieces of Russia. It was KRAUT forces, before and after Armistice. Now we know for sure which side USA STRONG was on. We're always with Germany, always the Axis.
Let's repeat that one fact.
GERMANY WAS STILL INVADING RUSSIA TWO YEARS AFTER THE ARMISTICE WHEN GERMANY SUPPOSEDLY "SURRENDERED". WE WERE HELPING GERMANY TO INVADE RUSSIA TWO YEARS AFTER THE ARMISTICE.
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