Andrew Johnson impeachment and the Nation Magazine

dms dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 7 09:39:04 MDT 2003


Perhaps I misread your original post re the creation of yeoman farmers and
the revolutionary quality of the US Civil War.  If so, my apologies.  I
thought the absence of such a result, in the South, was a basis for your
analysis.

I agree that it is a mistake to overemphasize economic factors, but there
seems to be a similarity of the post US Civil War retreat from
Reconstruction and the British maintenance, or at least malign neglect, of
the plantation system after emancipation in the Caribbean, when quite
clearly the issue is tethering the former slaves to plantation production.

Re radical land reform: too bad for Post.  He misses the complexity of the
situation and then, as you point out, Post really is trying to measure the
US Civil War against an abstraction.

Re "But access to labor and "40 acres and a mule" are not quite the same
thing.
There hangs a tale."

EXACTLY!  That is precisely the issue, the crucible that defines the change
between the 17th century and the 19th century.   The "bourgeois revolution"
has been eclipsed by the shadow of the emancipation of labor.




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