[Marxism] Popular front

James Zarichny zarichny at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 7 19:14:47 MDT 2005

I found the notes from the 1958 or 1959 study group
with Steve Max, Jim Brook, and others.  I will
reproduce them in a drastically reduced form.

    Following the defeat of the German revolution of
1848, many revolutionaries emigrated to America to
escape repression.  By 1860, many had become American
citizens.  The 1860 Republican Party convention was in
Chicago with many German delegates.  There were eight
men who wanted to be designated as the Republican
candidate for president, but only Seward, Lincoln, and
Fremont had a sizable following.  In the balloting,
none could get a majority.  That evening, the Germans
met in a hotel.  They were united in their opposition
to Fremont because Fremont was anti immigrant.  Their
primary concern was to defeat Fremont.  To do this,
they had to unite behind a single candidate.  Some
argued that slavery was the central issue and they had
to unite behind Seward, who was the only clearly
anti-slavery candidate.  Others argued that this was
mistaken.  They argued that the American people were
not ready to accept an anti-slavery man.  They argued
that the Germans should support Lincoln because he was
electable.  This point of view won, and the next day
all of the Germans voted for Lincoln and he got the
     The prior evening, Lincoln talked to many
delegaes.  Some of the delegates were small foundry
owners from Pennsylvania.  Lincoln told them that if
he were elected president, he would put a high tariff
on iron goods imported from England.  Some of the
delegates were farmers from Indiana with growing sons
and not enogh land for all of them.  Lincoln told them
that if he were elected president, he would get a
Homestead Act passed which give the boys free
farmland.  Lincoln told the delegates from each state
the things they wanted to hear.
     ----end of notes----

I think that the Germans participated in a popular
front.  I think that the far left purists of today
would have clamoured for Seward.  After all, Lincoln
never explained where he would get the land for the
Homestead Act.
      Jim Zarichny

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005 

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