POL326Y1 Lecture Notes - Puritans, World War I

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14 Apr 2014
May 22/2013
We need to contextualize the US and understand it’s historical origins, etc.
oThe role that it has played throughout it’s history within the world system of states
oWe first need to understand that the origins are developed through the expansion of Europeans
through colonialism
o Colonialism had impact on the US
Search for regions rich enough to be exploited and weak enough to be dominated by
Dependency theory originated in Latin America
The image used to analyze the development of different societies (modernization)- some
states are further along on that scale than others
This theory is misleading
Development of first world and underdevelopment of third world are correlated
As European powers correlated wealth and gained democracy the third world was
instead distorted by the creation of narrow elites- fuels the accumulation of wealth in
Europe while exploiting the wealth and resources of the underdeveloped
Southern States
Similar economies to those that developed in the Caribbean
oLarge plantations
oProduce goods in high demand in places like GB and FR
oUsed the wealth from the export of these materials to gain access to the best and
cheapest industrial goods typically produced by GB
oThis is a classical dependency between the Southern States and GB
Each depended on each other to reach highest potential
oPattern of development in the Northern States was different
Northern States
Not exempt from people owning large plots of land
Most that worked the land were farmers not slaves or indentured servants
Mostly Europeans from lower-class background or religious minorities would be farmers
in the north
oQuakers, Amish, Puritans, etc.
Relationship with GB was different
oNorthern States were able to produce most of what they needed
oCouldn’t export valuable products that would be useful to GB
oTheir ability to import was also therefore diminished
oAmerican Revolution
Did little to change this social structure differences between the North and the South
Revolution was not a revolution that brought underclass to power
Rather a revolution from the American elites against the British
Rebelled against the Englishmen
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Taxation without ability to influence policy in GB, etc.
Success of the revolution allowed the US to consolidate the control over the 13 colonies but
gave rise to pressures to expand the territorial reach of the US
“Empire” language was typically used by the founders of the new republic
American revolution was therefore not a rejection of colonialism empire within N. America
A revolution against GB
Wanted the US to rise as an empire in the W. Hemisphere
Simple demographics
James Madison dealt with this in the federalist papers
Outlined the demographics of the colonies
Families had between 6-12 children
Population was doubling ever 20 years
Such population growth would quickly result in a more rigid class system in the cities of
the eastern coast
The best means to deal with this is to allow for the western expansion
Moving West involved moving into territory claimed by other European powers, and
expanding into native territory
oThese colonies had very little actual control of these colonies
oWeak claim
oWeak ability to resist expansion of the US
oThey were distracted by domestic issues within the US
Napoleonic Wars, etc.
oNew Orleans, Haiti,
1803 French lost these Haiti colonies to the first slave rebellion in western
Lost New Orleans to Louisiana purchase
Louisiana purchase was the first step in drastically expanding the US westward
Further expansion was a result of a conflict with Mexico
Brought the territories of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California into the US
Final hold out was the state of Texas
oStill under the control of Mexico
oWeakly ruled by Mexican government
oIncreasingly being settled by Americans
oAmericans that settled there were those from slave states- northern regions
populated by white American citizens were gaining populations higher than the
white populations of the south
oCountervailing strategy was to create more slave states out toward the west
oMeans by which the slave states could maintain a rough balance with non-slave
states to attempt to keep slavery within them
oAnnexation of Texas
oLead by the US essentially beat Mexico out because Mexico also didn’t believe
in slavery
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oTexas then declared their independence
First attempts defeated in famous battle of the Alamo
Mexico successful
oPolk administration develops a war of aggression
Dispute over southern border of the territory
Invaded Mexico
All the way to Mexico city
Annexed Texas and completed the territorial expansion of the US
within the continental US as it exists today
oFurther expansion of the US territorially was blocked not by foreign countries by
rather by the US itself
oIt was the Lincoln administration that rejected the idea of the further expansion of
the US southward
Rejected the further expansion of slavery elsewhere
Lincolns presidency was the straw that broke the camels back in regards to the southern
states remaining in the Union
This is when the confederacy declared their succession from the union
The Union argued that they had no right to remove themselves from the union
The Civil War settled this question
Civil War appears to be against slavery
oSome also look at it through different conclusions
Some argue that slavery was not the core issue, but rather a pawn within a
greater struggle between the states in terms of a war involving
oThe commodification of labor played a part in this
Modern capitalisms
Slavery is arguably a commodification of labor
oNorthern states and Southern states represented two fundamentally different
economic models
oSouthern States
Classical dependency
Supply and demand with GB
The southern states could then import goods from GB and live a “high life”
oNorthern States
Not in the position to profit from business with GB
More self sufficient
Not able to afford goods from GB like the southern states could
Didn’t have exploitable resources like the south did
North needed to industrialize
Industrialization is hard because GB was the leader of industrialization
The US needed protectionism to allow for their own industrialization
to flourish
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