Corruption in Late Nineteenth-Century America and George Engel’s Conversion to Socialism

I. Introduction
a. Thesis: Engel became a socialist because he believed that the American economic system, political system, and judicial system exploited the working class, which he belonged to. He claimed the Americans elites had all the power: they “gamed” the system so that the working class was impoverished and powerless.

II. Engel’s expectations prior to emigration from Germany: While in Germany, Engel believed that, if he emigrated to the United States, it would treat him fairly and reward him for hard work.
[Note: “The United States” is one country; therefore, the proper pronoun to use is singular: it.] a. He was unable to flourish in the German economy, because of industrialization [why, exactly?] b. He heard that the U.S. would treat even its working class fairly.
c. He was eager to emigrate to the U.S., become a good citizen, and work hard (Note: Emigrate means “to leave a particular country in order to move to some other country. “Immigrate” means to move to a particular country from some other country. For example, consider the sentence, “There are twenty million immigrants in the U.S.” That statement indicates what country they settled in. The statement, “Three million Syrians have emigrated due to the Syrian civil war” means those who left their country to live in some other country.]
III. Engel’s mistreatment: Engel was mistreated because of the economic hardship, political corruption, and judicial bias he suffered.
a. The working class was unable to live dignified lives because of horrible working and living conditions.
1. working conditions
i. [describe how they were unfair] 2. living conditions
ii. [discuss the starving workers, and so on] b. The working class was unable to improve its conditions because the American political system had been corrupted in favor of the elites
1. [what evidence does he give for this corruption?] c. Working class radicals, who only sought a more equitable society, were unfairly punished by the judicial system
1. Police don’t care about the rights of workers to protest
2. Engel was arrested not for a crime he had committed, but because the elites didn’t like his political beliefs
3. The jury in his trial is prejudiced: it didn’t care about truth–Engel claims he had nothing to do with the terrorist bombing.

IV. Because of these inequalities and injustice, Engel turned to Socialism/Anarchism
[note: while Socialism, Anarchism, and Anarchist terrorism are actually very different ideologies, Engel seems toy conflate them (unknowingly mixes them all together) in his trial statement.] 1. Why Socialism and Anarchism are political-economic ideologies that will make society equal for everyone, concentrating on the working class.
a. [What specifically will socialism/Anarchism do, to make the lives of workers better?]V. Conclusion
1.While in Germany, Engel dreamed of moving to the U.S., where his life would be better. He expected that he would find a decent job, live a respectable life, vote in fair elections, and be treated justly by the judicial system.
2. However, after he arrived, he found that
a. he could not find a decent job
b. he, and other workers, were forced to live in poverty
c. voting didn’t matter, since the system was rigged
d. He eventually was caught up in a criminal system that was fundamentally unfair
3. For these reasons, Engel joined radicals to overthrow the U.S. government
a. Radical Socialists and Anarchists would create a just world, where the masses of people would divide the wealth equally, and have true democracy

post 2022-10-20 04:30:36
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