Just to make something clear

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Thu Jul 10 08:39:56 MDT 2003

On Thu, 10 Jul 2003 07:20:46 -0700 "dms" <dmschanoes at earthlink.net>
> One more thing, your statement:
> "and in fact the progressiveness of the Northern cause lay not
> > only -and in a sense not even firstly- in abolition but in
> rejection
> > of the Southern attempt to turn the United States into a British
> > colony again by extending slavery in order to strengthen the link
> > between King Cotton and King Coal"
> is just plain wrong.  The progressive nature was solely in the
> destruction
> of slavery.  That destruction is what freed Northern capitalism from
> the
> boundaries of the archaic social relations supported by slavery.
> Neither
> the South nor Britain had any illusions about turning the Union into
> a
> colony of Britain.

I think what Nestor meant is that the US would have remained
an economic colony of Britain if the Confederacy had won
the war.  Through much of the 19th century, the US was
arguably an economic colony of Great Britain.  British
investors were a major source of capital for the US.
The US, especially the South was a major source of
raw materials for British industry, including especially
a prime source of cheap cotton for Britain's textile mills.
This economic relationship was one of the sources of
conflict betwwen the industrial capitalists of the North
and the planters of the South.  Northern industrialists
favored high tariffs to keep out British goods, and thereby
secure domestic markets for Northern industry and thus
promote a more rapid development of industry in the
US.  The Southern planters, who were dependent of British industry as a
major market and as their prime source for such goods
as agricultural equipment and other goods that the
Southern planters needed and wanted, favored low

In fact the US, up to the time of the Civil War, largely functioned
within the British sphere of influence (with the exception of
the period of the War of 1812).  The Monroe Doctrine was announced
with the support of Great Britain, and for many years it was
enforced with the tacit backing of the British fleet.  Up through
the Civil War, the US was internationally basically a junior
partner of Britain.

This last point connects us to the larger point, that just
about every Latin American country in the 19th century,
underwent their own civil wars which in terms of the
compositions of the opposing sides were closely
analogous to the forces behind the two sides in the
US Civil War.  On the one side were the great landowners
and merchants, whose interests linked them to Great
Britain, whereas the other side was based upon
the emerging "national bourgeosies" who were
interested in promoting domestic industrial development.
Whereas, in the US, the side representing the emerging
"national bourgeosie" centering around industrial
capital, was victorious, the opposite turned out to
be the case in most of Latin America.

> Your attempt to state that the progressive nature was firstly, or
> mostly, in
> the North's defeat of the attempt to reduce the US to colonial
> status is
> simply a substitution of bourgeois nationalism for the real social
> content
> of the revolution, a result clearly of your ahistorical obsession
> with the
> "progressive" nature of nationalism.
> While you think your service as an imperialist politician  gives you
> special
> insights (oh by the way, I served imperialism too, a little
> unwillingly, and
> my special insights involved hauling my sorry ass- as fast as I
> could -away
> from the guys chasing me), I think it has severly, perhaps
> permanently
> impaired your ability to distinguish history from personal fantasy.
> With best wishes for your continued progress in teaching Marxist
> analysis,
> dms

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