The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Skandinaven -- July 22, 1879
    Elevated Railroads (Editorial)

    It has been proposed that elevated railroads be built in Chicago. The common council has been petitioned for permission to erect same.

    1. South Side and Blue Island Elevated Road Company with a capital of three million dollars. The line to run from Market Street and Van Buren to Lake Street, on Lake to South Water Street and on Dearborn Street south to city limits.

    2. North Chicago and Evanston Elevated Railroad Company, with a capital of two million dollars, to run from the river at North Wells along Lincoln Park to city limits.

    3. West Chicago Elevated Railroad Company, with a capital of three million 2dollars, to run from the river at Madison Street west to city limits, with branch lines on Ogden and Milwaukee avenues.

    We join in the general protest against the erection of these proposed railroads. We have learned that in New York the building of these "El" roads spoiled the neighborhoods in which they were built, and decreased the value of real estate tremendously.

    We want to point out that Madison Street, for example, would have to close more than two thousand stores, and would no longer be a business street.

    These "roads" would only be of value to "real estate speculators" who are stuck with worthless property in the suburbs.

    It has been proposed that elevated railroads be built in Chicago. The common council has been petitioned for permission to erect same. 1. South Side and Blue Island Elevated Road ...

    Norwegian
    I D 1 a
  • Skandinaven -- April 26, 1881
    Anti-Monopoly League

    A meeting was held at Tremont House on Clark Street in order to form an anti-monoply organization. As a result, the Anti-Monopoly League was formed, having the indorsement of Skandinaven and a number of Scandinavian organizations.

    A meeting was held at Tremont House on Clark Street in order to form an anti-monoply organization. As a result, the Anti-Monopoly League was formed, having the indorsement of Skandinaven ...

    Norwegian
    I D 1 a, I D 1 b
  • Skandinaven -- January 22, 1883
    The Railroads

    A twenty-five year old brakeman, Albert Johnson, was crippled for life because of the "link one pin coupling" in use on all railroad cars. The link and pin coupling should be replaced by the new improved coupling that assures the brakemen of much more safety than the old style.

    The railroads should be forced by law to install all the new equipment possible to promote safety.

    In 1882 hundreds of workers were killed because the railroads believed that human life was cheaper than up-to-date equipment.

    Our State Legislature should pass laws to protect the workers.

    A twenty-five year old brakeman, Albert Johnson, was crippled for life because of the "link one pin coupling" in use on all railroad cars. The link and pin coupling should ...

    Norwegian
    I H, I D 1 a
  • Skandinaven -- May 19, 1889
    Chicago's Arch Enemy

    Mooreland, a surburb of Chicago, was completely destroyed by fire, last night. The fire started in a church at about 3:30 P. M.; it soon spread to adjoining buildings; by 5:00 P. M., the entire town was in flames. Every available fire apparatus in Chicago was sent to Mooreland, but the fire had gained much ground.

    Several well-known Scandinavian businessmen lost their homes. Among them were: J. R. Olinger, on 48th Street; Ed. Anderson, Fulton Street; Chris Sorensen, Lake Street; August Anderson, Indiana (Grand) Street; Charles Nelson, Hubbard Street; C. Johnson, Harry Nelson, Sam Anderson, Martin Hansen, Conrad Jensen, all [lived on] Hubbard Street. Christ Sorensen and Lars Breum lived near the outskirts of the town.

    About a month ago, Mooreland, was annexed by the city. Skandinaven asks its readers to help in offering assistance to the victims of the fire, if possible

    Later news reports several more names of Scandinavians who lost all their 2possessions.

    This should be a warning to Chicago [to eliminate] fire hazards and make more fire equipment available.

    Mooreland, a surburb of Chicago, was completely destroyed by fire, last night. The fire started in a church at about 3:30 P. M.; it soon spread to adjoining buildings; by ...

    Norwegian
    I M, I D 1 a, IV
  • Skandinaven -- January 28, 1890
    Better Transportation

    Why is the transportation, both horse and cable cars, so bad? They talk about improvements day and night, but nothing is done.

    The new electric trains which are used in New York should be tried here. These trains are faster, more comfortable to ride in, and should be cheaper to operate. The boodled politicians are becoming wealthy by following the orders of big business, and the transportation companies pay well. The company which asked for a franchise on an Elevated line on Milwaukee Avenue would not or could not pay boodle, hence no Elevated trains on Milwaukee Avenue. Well, what price graft?

    Why is the transportation, both horse and cable cars, so bad? They talk about improvements day and night, but nothing is done. The new electric trains which are used in ...

    Norwegian
    I D 1 a, I F 6
  • Skandinaven -- February 13, 1890
    Milwaukee Avenue Elevated Lines

    There is a small group of businessmen between Erie Street and Ashland Avenue on Milwaukee Avenue who have petitioned against the erection of an Elevated structure on Milwaukee Avenue. The reason is that they believe people will use the Elevated trains to travel to the South Side to trade.

    We think that they are wrong in their attitude. An Elevated line on Milwaukee Avenue would increase the sale of real estate as far north as Armitage Road and as far west as Craigin village.

    People living quite far west on Lake Street claim that property values have already increased.

    We want to go on record as of the opinion that the Elevated lines should be built.

    There is a small group of businessmen between Erie Street and Ashland Avenue on Milwaukee Avenue who have petitioned against the erection of an Elevated structure on Milwaukee Avenue. The ...

    Norwegian
    I D 1 a, II A 2
  • Skandinaven -- June 05, 1890
    City Water

    The Health Department tells you to boil your drinking water before you use it. The Water Department should use disinfectants in the water, because the people do not want to go to the trouble of boiling the water. This would prevent much of the disease that is spread here in Chicago. Every time we have an epidemic, we can always trace it either to the water or the sewerage system.

    Our aldermen should do something about this. They make so many promises before election without keeping any of them, so let them begin now to do something for the voters.

    Another thing, the water pressure is so low that it seldom reaches the fourth story unless an additional pump is installed in the building. In the summer time, when many faucets are left running, it is nothing unusual not to be able to get water on the second floor.

    2

    The voters should petition the City Council to have the Health Department run the City Water Works, and demand that the city water be disinfected or sterilized so that it will not carry germs of all kinds to the users.

    The voters can and must demand; if they do not, they will never get what they want or what they need.

    The Health Department tells you to boil your drinking water before you use it. The Water Department should use disinfectants in the water, because the people do not want to ...

    Norwegian
    I M, I D 1 a, I F 6
  • Skandinaven -- June 30, 1890
    The Sewers

    The city has finally decided that larger sewer pipes should be installed throughout the city.

    We are happy to see that the Sewer Department and not the Health Department is at last waking up.

    But the sewerage system is way behind the growth of the city. Many sections are not yet served by even an inadequate system. And what is worse is the fact that streets are paved before the sewers are installed. This is a waste of time and money.

    The city has finally decided that larger sewer pipes should be installed throughout the city. We are happy to see that the Sewer Department and not the Health Department is ...

    Norwegian
    I D 1 a, I F 6, I M
  • Skandinaven -- December 26, 1891
    West Side Street Railways

    The cable car company, of Baron Yerkes, on Milwaukee Avenue is already so dilapidated that passengers find it a torture to ride the cars. In the winter there is no heat and, still worse, some of the cars are open. The south side company has proven that it can give better service, can give heated cars and can operate with fewer accidents. Baron Yerkes could do the same if he would spend just a fraction of the millions he has made.

    We will start a movement to force Charley Yerkes to give us better transportation. We were partly instrumental in causing changes to be made at the poorhouse, the county hospital, and at Dunning.

    The cable car company, of Baron Yerkes, on Milwaukee Avenue is already so dilapidated that passengers find it a torture to ride the cars. In the winter there is no ...

    Norwegian
    I D 1 a, I M
  • Skandinaven -- September 18, 1892
    A Sad Tariff Lesson (Editorial) by Nicolay Grevstad

    Tariff for revenue only sapped Norway's strength and ruined her industries. The heavy burden of taxation fell upon her common people and crushed them. Tariff for revenue only will bring the same calamity upon the American people. This is proved in this article.

    The last session of the Norwegian parliament recently held, witnessed a new departure in fiscal legislation, which briefly may be characterized as a determined effort to relieve the common people and the industries of the country of some of the burdens imposed by a ruinous tariff policy. Although Norway is a country with limited resources, her experience in tariff legislation is instructive and valuable. It illustrates with unmistakable plainness 2that the inevitable effects of a tariff for revenue are impoverishment for the common people.

    Norway was one of the first countries in Europe to embrace the economic gospel of Richard Cobden. Towards the close of the corn-law campaign in England, a young man of eminent ability was appointed to teach political economy in the University of Christiania, and with him, free trade made its entrance into Norway. His work soon bore fruit. The university began to grind out free traders at a rapid rate, and gradually the press drifted into the hand of these young and aggressive followers of the great prophet of England. The Norwegian people, generally so slow and deliberate in their movements, were converted to the new gospel in an incredibly short time. Opposition was silenced, and the doctrine of protection was commonly regarded as economic lunacy. Cobden had no sooner scored his triumph on foreign soil by the conclusion of the commercial treaty between England and the empire of Napoleon III, than Norway followed in the footsteps of France, adjusted her import duties on a tariff for revenue basis only and concluded a series of commercial treaties by which she bound herself to 3adhere to the new policy for a number of years. Thus free trade was firmly established in Norway.

    Various reasons of a fiscal and industrial nature account for Norway's easy conversion to the new policy. In the first place, the expenses of the government made it necessary to levy duties on all or nearly all articles of import as well as a few articles of export. The raising of revenue consequently must be one of the main objects of any tariff which might have been adopted. Moreover, from a fiscal point of view, the lowering lumber and fish products. In exchange for these concessions, Norway exposed her tiny industrial plants to practically unrestricted foreign competition, and placed the main burden of taxation upon the shoulders of the common people by raising about two-thirds of her total revenue from heavy import duties on a few articles of common consumption, especially coffee, sugar, tea, illuminating oils and tobacco. In other words, she adopted the very policy which the Democratic party endeavors to establish in this country.

    The new policy was inaugurated under favorable auspices, and for a time 4all went well. There was a steady and increasing foreign demand for lumber and fish products; imports increased enormously, and business flourished. The source of all this apparent prosperity was the phenomenal growth of Norwegian shipping. With a population of less than 2,000,000 people, Norway in a few years attained the rank of the third maritime power in the world. Her flag floated over all the seas, and the net income of her ocean trade, some $25,000,000 annually, was sufficient to cover the large difference of value between imports and exports and thus keep the balance of trade even. Free trade was worshiped as the mother of the new activity and what appeared to be the rapid accumulation of wealth.

    This spell of an illusory prosperity did not last long, only some fifteen years. By that time iron and steam had largely displaced the old wooden vessels, and in consequence the value of Norway's magnificent fleet of clippers was almost destroyed. They could not be employed profitably. A large and steadily increasing adverse balance of trade stared the nation in the face. The conclusion was inevitable. Gold flowed out of the country to pay for imports; business was at a standstill, employment was scarce, 5wages fell, and the country sank gradually deeper into the quagmire of a financial and industrial crisis. As if carried by contagion, a general bankruptcy swept the whole line of coastal cities, so prosperous and flourishing during the first years of free trade. In some of them nearly every business house was wrecked.

    Nor was this all, nor perhaps the worst effects of the free trade policy. The most deplorable feature of the situation was that the people found themselves practically helpless. They had learned to consume more liberally, depending upon foreign countries for manufactured articles. These they were no longer able to buy in sufficient quantities while they were as unable to manufacture them for themselves. Now it became evident how completely free trade had sapped the strength of the country. Its manufacturing industries, never of great importance, had scarcely made any progress whatever. Many industries had been wiped out of existence by foreign competition. The once prosperous tradesmen in the cities were ruined, as was also the very creditable domestic industry of the rural districts. The country was 6flooded with foreign goods and overrun by foreign traveling men, mainly Germans, who in many instances penetrated into the valleys to compete with the country merchants. Their goods were cheap, of course, because Norway was made a dumping ground for part of the surplus German goods. The country was no longer able to sustain its growing population, and the emigration to this country reached enormous figures. The heavy flow of people to America, especially to Chicago and the middle west, dates back to the first years of the depression produced by the free trade policy. A majority of the Norwegian born citizens of the Northwest have come to this country since then. To them the picture outlined above will be very familiar. They left Norway as free traders and many of them have probably remained free traders ever since. Some possibly never dreamed that free trade had anything whatever to do with their coming to America. But if they look back upon conditions in their old homes in the light of their wider experience, they cannot fail to perceive [the fact]that Norway's tariff for revenue only was one of the main sources of the evils from which they fled.

    The severe lesson was not taught entirely in vain. The period of pinching 7was a good time for reflection. Some began to question the infallibility of the Cobden gospel. As usual in the politics of Norway, the farmers took the lead. They had suffered severely from American competition and were rapidly going to the wall. They wanted protection and had the power to enforce their demand. The writer happened to be on a visit to Norway some five years ago, when the protection sentiment began to make itself felt. The discussion and reasoning of the people were curious. Nearly everybody was firmly convinced that free trade was all right and protection all wrong. Still the conclusion was that there was nothing to do but to apply the remedy of protection. The hands of the country were tied, however, by commercial treaties. For the time being, little could have been done in the way of increasing the duties on manufactured articles, even if the country had been ready for the change. A cautious beginning was made by raising duties on agricultural products. The experiment was satisfactory, and gradually further steps were taken in the same direction. Meanwhile the protection sentiment attained greater strength and consistency. A demand arose for protection of manufacturers, and it is plainly only a question of time until the tariff laws of Norway will be revised with a 8view to protecting home industries. The last Storthing [Parliament] made a beginning. But public opinion is clearly in advance of legislation. Norway has very promising possibilities in the line of woolen manufactures, and the people demand ample protection for this industry. They do not regard an advalorem duty of 50 per cent on woolens as too high a price for the boon of wearing homemade clothes.

    Skandinaven (Daily Edition), Sept. 19, 1892.

    However, it is the heavy burden a tariff revenue throws upon the common people which mainly, thus far, has attracted the attention of Norwegian statesmen. This burden had at last become unbearable, and the last Storthing found itself compelled to do something to relieve it. It reduced the duties on sugar and illuminating oils, although it could not do so except by resorting to the extremely unpopular measure of imposing a direct tax on property and incomes. As is well known, this form of taxation is preferred to any other by a small number of theorists; but the great majority of both parties in Norway were opposed to it at heart. Its adoption was the work of necessity.

    9

    How to provide sufficient revenue will always be one of the main objects of tariff legislation in Norway. In other words, she is compelled to keep more or less close to the path of a tariff revenue. Even if the majority desired it, she could not at this time adopt a tariff for protection pure and simple, because such a tariff would not produce sufficient revenue. The Norwegian people know this perfectly well. Their change of heart on the tariff issue is therefore all the more remarkable. The country is still hampered and its hands tied by bungling commercial treaties. They all contain the favored nation clause, and unscientific, unbusinesslike arrangement which generally impairs the usefulness of such treaties and often destroys their value. What will best serve Norway's interests are of course reciprocity arrangements with the various nations with which she has intercourse. This would enable her to revise her tariff duties with greater freedom and with a view to giving greater and more effective protection to her home industries.

    Norway's painful experience and her efforts to get away from a disastrous policy adds a fresh chapter to the history of destruction and ruin wrought 10by free trade. This lesson may be studied to great advantage by our own people. It illustrates plainly and forcefully how thoroughly free trade saps and drains the strength of a nation, only to leave it a helpless wreck on the rocks of general impoverishment and bankruptcy, unable to supply its wants because [it is]incapacitated for production either for home consumption or [foreign]exchange. Nearly every newspaper in the Northwest has many readers whose experiences in their old homes form a part of this very lesson. The change in the public sentiment in Norway as evidenced by her recent tariff and fiscal legislation must needs appeal to them with particular force. But here we are met by the curious coincidence, that while the Norwegians in Norway have been endeavoring to get away from the free trade, a considerable number of the Norwegians in America have kept on worshiping the old idol and voting for the very policy which drove them out of their native country. Generally speaking, the Norwegians in America are ahead of their kinsmen across the sea; but in this particular instance they seem to lag far behind.

    Tariff for revenue only sapped Norway's strength and ruined her industries. The heavy burden of taxation fell upon her common people and crushed them. Tariff for revenue only will bring ...

    Norwegian
    I D 1 a, V A 2, III H, I C, IV