[Marxism] Popular front

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Fri Oct 7 19:34:33 MDT 2005


There were plenty of socialists of all ethnic backgrounds, not just
Germans.  Why is it that Marxists pretend that the only socialists were
Germans--and just some Germans, at that--well, just Joseph Weydemeyer
and Freidrich A. Sorge.

Some of the American radicals of the day did clamor for Seward, notably
those from Kansas who had been fighting a shooting war for some years.
I mean people like William A. Phillips, or Dick Hinton, the English
Chartist who rode with John Brown and later organized English-speaking
sections of the First International in the U.S. 

The radical movement in Illinois always favored Lincoln.  All of them
rallied to his nomination when it was done.

Btw, note that these characters were IN the Republican Party, not some
outside organization working a front WITH the Republicans.

More importantly, when Lincoln's program had unfolded more fully in the
course of the war, and he ran for reelection in 1864, the German
socialists were among the few Republicans toying with dumping Lincoln in
favor of actually dragging Fremont back into the entire thing.  But the
American radicals always held fast for Lincoln. 


-----Original Message-----
From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
[mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu] On Behalf Of James Zarichny
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 9:15 PM
To: marxmail
Subject: [Marxism] Popular front

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

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