Tuesday, September 6, 2016

August 6: and a little more history.....

The United States of 1776 was the offspring of an imperial power. In fact, the American revolution had less to do with freedom than it did with becoming an imperial power just like daddy.

Get real. Read the American constitution. Then look at the United States as it was in 1776 and later.
All people were created equal? Get serious. The biggest business in the U.S. growing cotton. And that needed slaves. And slaves were not equal. Nor for that matter were women. Nor were those men who didn't own property.

As for motive to get rid of British power, in 1776 wealth came from land. The thirteen states wanted all that land to the west of them. Britain opposed such an expansion. So Britain had to go. And the thirteen states turned their attention, in the best imperial fashion, to building an empire all the way to the Pacific coast. (It is not a coincidence that the first president, George Washington, was the new country's biggest landowner.)

In that process, the people all that land belonged to were the native peoples. So they would have to be displaced and/or killed. The first century of the American empire was devoted to that project - and a few others.

In search of land, it invaded Canada. (American students are taught that this was the second American revolution. And that's nonsense. This was an invasion of Canada to steal land, and to kill whoever got in the way.) The Harper government was very discreet in its celebration of the War of 1812, treating it as if it were just a celebration of funny, old army uniforms. But it really was a war. Canadians were murdered.

That war didn't work, so the American empire turned its attention to Mexico as American land speculators and slave traders  (like Davy Crockett) moved in. When Mexico warned them it would not permit slavery on its land, the land speculators and slave dealers holed up at The Alamo. There they were killed by a Mexican army, and a righteous United States moved in to avenge its heros.

Mexico lost. And the American empire took over what is now Texas, Arizona, Nevada, much of California. Take a look at the Spanish names of American cities over much of the western U.S. from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

The final U.S. conquest to become a part of the U.S. was Hawaii. That happened at the request of American missionary families in Hawaii who had already built their own empire, taking over the land of the native Hawaiians. Leaders among them, like the Doles, wanted Hawaii joined to the U.S. for its market. But the U.S. had its own reasons for wanted it.

It wanted Hawaii as a naval base. Now, why would a country want a naval base so far off its shores? Wouldn't it have made more sense to defend the U.S. from a continental port? Yes, it would have. But Pearl Harbour was not for defence. It was to extend American power into the Pacific for offence. This was an early show of interest in the markets of Asia - especially of China.

At the close of the century and into the early twentieth century, the American empire moved in on the Caribbean  and South America- on Spanish imperial territory and on former Spanish colonies that had won their independence.

No. It didn't to it to bring democracy. In fact, it almost invariably established dictatorships - as in Cuba and Haiti, or puppet governments. They were colonies - though they were never called that.
Their purpose was to make money for American billionaires through looting of their resources, through cheap labour....and later through ignoring environmental concerns. Later, Americans would express horror that Castro was a dictator. He was. But he actually ruled for the benefit of Cubans. The American-sponsored dictators who preceded him were unspeakably brutal and murderous. To this day, the U.S. routinely sends special ops (hired killers) to dispose of locals who complain about the destruction of their land and water by American and Canadian companies.

1 comment:

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