For me "began" works fine.
Interested in Language
In the following passage, is the verb form began correct or should it be had begun?
Also during the second decade of the twentieth century, the federal income tax was instituted, allowing personal contributions to philanthropy to become tax deductible. On the heels of this major legislation came World War I. This changed philanthropy immeasurably by expanding the role of government. For example, by 1920 states began to initiate programs for needy children, the elderly, and some individuals with disabilities, such as the blind. New York offered unemployment relief. These groundbreaking events moved the nation to increased dependency upon the federal government in providing relief. By the time Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, the problems of the Depression era caused the establishment of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Although it lasted only for three years, it had a lasting effect on how philanthropy and charity were viewed by Americans.
(This is a paragraph from a chapter I was working on.)
Mike, could you please explain why had begun is not required here?
LaMelange, why do you think the past perfect is needed here?
I am not a teacher.
I would use "had begun",too.
"Invading armies have no rights." Noam Chomsky
"Had begun" for me too, after "by".
In 1920, they began ...
By 1920, they had begun ...
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
However I'm not a native speaker nor a teacher, I'd definitely go for "had begun" .
Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.
Not a teacher nor a native speaker.