Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Czar' Reed and the Spanish-American War


As [author Evan] Thomas puts it, Thomas Brackett
Reed is a "pretty obscure figure" today. But at the time, he was one of the most
powerful and outspoken opponents of the war. The Maine congressman and speaker
of the House managed, for a time, to keep the House from voting on the war, but
in the end, he couldn't hold out. "It broke his heart. At the end, he didn't
even show up to vote," Thomas says. Reed's career fell as quickly as
[Theodore] Roosevelt's rose: "He couldn't understand what this war fever was
about. I think he had common sense. But he was the loser. As society got swept
up, he was the guy who lost out." After America went to war, Reed resigned from
Congress. He died in 1902.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: How Maine Influenced Theodore Roosevelt (February 24, 2010)

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