Isaac Storm Essays

2328 Words Feb 24th, 2015 10 Pages
Was it innovation or greed and corruption that played a pivotal role in making the United States the leading industrialized nation in the world during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, also known as the Gilded Age? In the book, Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson the author describes how greed and corruption by the United States government ultimately leads to poor decisions after a horrific disaster in 1900 [Larson]. In addition, well-researched essays by Henry Demarest Lloyd and Emma Goldman back up Larson’s theory that the Gilded Age was actually a very dark time for the United States.
Isaac’s Storm describes the historical aspects of the national weather service, weather
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Secondly, there was a reluctance by Americans to believe weather reports from the indigenous weathermen from Cuba even though they had pioneered hurricane science. Thirdly, the idea that a hurricane could damage Galveston, Texas, where Isaac Cline was based, was “an absurd delusion.” [Larson]. Fourthly, the governmental types in Washington, D.C. were dismissive and considered weather reports from Cuba to be exaggerated and panic inducing. The fifth issue was a pure lack of communication. Telegraph transmission was fairly new and, at that time, high winds and flooding would destroy wires and disrupt service.
According to Larson, Cline’s job as the Chief of the Weather Bureau in Galveston, was to observe, report, and issue storm warnings. Once the storm started to hit, Cline reassured Galveston “that no hurricane could seriously damage the city.” Thus, hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city’s beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation’s deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone 6,000 people lost their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Flood and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake [Larson]. As the United States was approaching the beginning of the 20th Century, individuals wrote against the arrogance and the greed

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