Andrew Johnson impeachment and the Nation Magazine

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Aug 6 20:34:59 MDT 2003

Jon Flanders:
>What was dubious about it? Chattel slavery was destroyed by force of
>arms. Granted, it took another hundred years for the black population of
>the south to finally gain formal democratic rights, after the overthrow
>of the Reconstruction Governments. But would we say that the
>revolutionary character of the French Revolution was made null and void
>by the Bonapartist reaction that followed?

What's a century here or there.

>As to the agency of the Northern ruling class, they were led to triumph
>not by people like Godkin, but by leaders of the Radical Republicans
>like Thaddeus Stevens, whose 1867 speech on Reconstruction policy I
>append. It breathes even today with the fire that inspired hundreds of
>thousands to march into the cannon's mouth. Don't let your antipathy to
>the current Nation Magazine color your historical analysis Lou.

Jon, I am trying to address an entirely different question. It is whether
the Northern industrial bourgeoisie had some kind of intractable opposition
to the *plantation system* as such. The *plantation system* is more than
slavery. It involves a caste system, extra-economic coercion, prison labor,
lynching, the KKK and all the rest. If one of the major purposes of the
civil war was to create yeoman farmers, it did not succeed. Of course, the
question is whether that was a purpose at all...

Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list:

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