In 1879 the the Postal Service Act in the United States granted the right for magazines to be sent at second class rate. As a public service, lowering the price on this kind of commercial mail can be viewed as a tax cut or a state subsidy encouraging this form of commercial enterprise. If that was the intention it produced results, because it prompted a boom in mail order magazine subscriptions in the late nineteenth century. This was the very same year, 1879, that Charles Taze Russell began publishing Zion's Watch Tower. Was his business decision to move into magazine publishing influenced by this tax cut? Would the Watchtower organization as we know it be here today were it not for this tax cut in 1879?
Did the Watchtower organization originate as a result of a tax cut?
March 3rd 1879, before Russell began publication of Zion's Watch Tower in July 1879.
Do you think it was possible for him to get it up and running in that short a time, around 3-4 months? Or, do you think he knew the law was coming and was preparing for it ahead of time?
I don't know, either seems possible, it would be interesting to find out.
Normally, it takes a while for bills to become laws. 9/11 Patriot Act and the financing for relief efforts were an exception. The legilsation is proposed. It is assigned to committees, normally they may be hearings on the impact of the proposed law, the committee reports it, each house votes. Then, there is a conference committee with Senators and Congresspersons to reconcile both houses legislation. Finally, it goes through again. The President signs it.
This was major legislation. It can be researched through Thomas, the Library of Congress.
Didn't Russell buy a lot of newspaper ads? Graduating to ownership may have seemed logical.
I recall reading that he had a for-profit called Tower Publishing, but I don't know much about it or what it published. I would be interested to see a timeline showing the various factors (e.g. tax laws, etc.) related to the development of his operations.
God works in mysterious ways
The question ignores the history of what was happening in Russell's life at that time. Russell would have continued to support the Herald and would have never started the Watch Tower magazine had not Barbour took the Herald into such views that Russell decided no longer support The Herald. If the Act came to existence in 1879, then Russell was supporting the Herald long before there was such an Act.
See the Supplement to the first issue of the Watch Tower:
See also the Prospectus in the first issue:
A pivotal point in the early 1950s was Hayden C Covington's coup in suddenly converting the Watchtower Society to a religion and appropriating relevant religious organisation privileges via the use of the then publication: "Defending and Legally Establishing the Good News" (sic - actually "Defending and Legally Establishing the Watchtower religion").
Now Watchtower followers have the dubious distinction of being totally ignorant of the "good news" whilst spending a billion hours a year door knocking supposedly as "publishers of the good news". Just ask the next door knocker to explain the "good news according to Paul" from the heart! Their ignorance is not an accident - more than half the Bible's 152-odd references to the "good news" message are by Paul, who had left religion to follow Jesus instead!
*** w51 8/15 p. 511 Questions From Readers ***
Why has the Watchtower Society suddenly approved the use of the word “religion” relative to the worship of Jehovah’s witnesses?—P. L., New York.
*** w50 10/15 p. 393 par. 13 Further Enrichment of Understanding ***
At the 1950 international assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York city, there was released to us the invaluable legal document, the 96-page booklet entitled “Defending and Legally Establishing the Good News”.