Houston, Walker, slavery and Marx (was Re: Engels, Marx and ethnic prejudices )

Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar
Sun Sep 16 10:16:27 MDT 2001


En relación a Re: Houston, Walker, slavery and Marx (was Re: En, 
el 15 Sep 01, a las 22:35, Mark Lause dijo:

> The War with Mexico did NOT postpone the US Civil War.  Quite the contrary.  
> The War with Mexico demonstrated with unabashed clarity the fact that cotton
> planters (politically ascendant from the 1820s through their Democratic Party)
> had entirely subsumed the functioning of the US government to their own
> purposes.  Its immediate impact was the creation of the Free Soil Party, which
> began the sectionalization of American politics. Land acquired from Mexico
> included most of Kansas, over which the sectional conflict became an armed
> struggle.

(a) An acquisition implies some kind of trade-off: you give me this, I return 
you something else. Land was not acquired from Mexico. It was robbed from 
Mexico. This situation was later sacralized by a treaty between an overwhelming 
bully and a defeated, weak country. But this was not an acquisition, by any 
measure.

(b) I understand Mark's point very well. And of course I agree with him
on the political consequences of the war. What I wanted to point out, however, 
is that in providing new ground for expansion to the Southern slaveowners, the 
newly incorporated territories somehow alleviated the pressure on, for 
instance, Southern Illinois (not a matter of chance that Lincoln began his 
carreer there, by the way).
> 
> American radicals at the time understood this.  Much better than Marx and Engels
> could have.



Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar
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