[Marxism] Re:1812 and Star-Spanged Banner

dwalters at marxists.org dwalters at marxists.org
Sun Apr 30 06:37:16 MDT 2006

I think I generally side with Mark on this issue. Clearly the War of 1812 was
objectively the end of the War for Independence. It was certainly viewed that
way by the British, who wanted to smash it's former colony once and for all. I
don't hold the thesis that it was motivated by 'expansionism'. If it was, the
baby US gov't would of done something a little more serious than send a few
hundred troops into the St. Lawrance. They would of also prepared *at least*
the way they did it in 1777 when both Tom Paine and Benjamin Franklin went to
Toronto in a bid to bring those colonies into the Contitental Congress (which
they failed miserably in). I think Canada was more an afterthought at best and
an immediate need to confront the British militarily before their garrisons in
Halifax, Montreal and Toronto grew stronger.

[I still think it was the British war on US shipping, thus strangling booming
economy of the US (the fastest growing at the time, largely because of the
national trariff)that was of the main interest to US capitalist support for the

U.S. eyes looking north wasn't a bad idea. If one views the American Revolution
as a progressive one, it's later genocidal and slave holding nature
notwithstanding, then those that opposed the American revolution in Canada were
nothing but a bunch of Tory loving monarchists. I've always thought that
Canadanian leftists being "proud" of their failure to join the Revolution to be
amazingly oxymoronic.

Then again, as a balance sheet, two things are noteworthy. By not becoming part
of the US, millions of First People's probably were saved from the more overt
genocidal nature of US expansionism west. I don't think there can be any doubt
on this. I believe Louis wrote some on this question on his site.

However, I am also convinced by the Canadians not joining the US as part of it's
struggle against British imperialism, it *doomed* the US to maintaining it's
slaveholding status for another 50 years. Slavery was never integral to the
development of Canadian political-economy. I gather it was banned ther when the
British empire banned slavery well before the US. Anyway, had those provinces
joined the US, it would of added a tremendous political weight against the
expanision of slavery generally in the US and tilted the balance against
slavery a lot earlier.

This is all speculation on my part. But history is never as neat as it appears
in the history book and it's frought with contridictions, none the more so that
the US Revolution.


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