Topic 1 – theories, things. 05/14/2013
Domestic politics: fight for distribution of different resources, takes place through legislature and interest
groups trying to affect legislature.
IR approach to politics and FP: related more to state security, assumption that states are rational actors
pursuing security and survival (especially IR Realism). Rational because capable of recognizing
vulnerabilities, picking policy options etc.
To what extent does US function as a rational actor in the intl system?
To what extent are US FP decisions affected by domestic decisions – is the outcome rational?
Theories of a state: policies are the outcomes of states, so what is a state?
State: dominant paradigm is the liberalpluralist approach. Competition between different interest
groups, political parties through elections, legislature discussions ▯ creation of policy.
State seen as a black box, various policy inputs (elections etc) ▯ policy outputs = neutrality.
State also seen as based upon a contract model, social contract. Agreement between people of a pol
community about how to manage their common affairs. Magna Carta (UK)
State is a dependent variable.
Marxist approach: politics seen as a matter of allocation (much like the other schools), but says that it
reflects the interest of dominant elites.
Instrumentalists: see state as the interest of dominant elites (Ralph Miliband UK, C Wright Mills US).
Analysis focuses on common perceptions, backgrounds etc of elites running the state and private economy.
Same socioeconomic background, friends, education ▯ same outlook. Differences however arise between
capitalists in industry vs agriculture, etc ▯ unrest in state.
So in order for state to look legitimate, relative autonomy of the state so that other interests can be
accomodated. E.g. Bush administration in Iraq – not about US security, but oil interests abroad being
protected (**), Obama response to 2008 depression affected by financial institutions’ interest.
Structuralists: Fred Block. They don’t deny the realities that instrumentalists point to, but say that states
act the way they do because of the structural position they occupy within a social system. Capitalist
economices function on willingness of investors to invest their money, so state has to ensure that this
functions for its own interest (reducing unemployment, raising standard of living etc). Statists argue that state is an independent variable, e.g. emergent states in Europe, where the model is
not contractual but an extractioncoercion model. Looks at states like Prussia under Frederick
William, where mercernaries were used to extract resources from territory. Other states in order to compete
have to do the same thing, obviously those with better resources find it easier and benefit more. Statist
argument therefore is that states produced capitalism, not the other way around.
Ikenberry Absence of threat permits policy to become capricious. After collapse of USSR, US faced no
threats and hence nothing forced them to act rationally. Rationality comes from threat/challenge to power
Alfred & Friedlander (1980s) – argue that all these schools of thought complement each other to a certain
extent. Different schools can be applied depending on what the question to be answered is.
US FP ranges over 200 years, but a single set of institutions that has helped them go from insignificant
colony to global hegemon.
Legislature (Congress) versus Executive (President), elected separately ▯ system of checks and
FP involves president as playing the dominant role.
Constitution: pres initially seen only as head bureaucrat. As US became more powerful, developed interests
abroad, presidential power increased.
Requirements of national security vs democracy: US saw itself as an experiment. Democracy
seen by pol scientists as a privilege the US enjoyed by virtue of its isolationist nature. PostWW1
introduction of Espionage Act, Sedition Act, restrictions on Germans in America. Post WW2 restriction on
civil liberties of Japanese Americans. McCarthyism, attempts to resist other interest groups. Privacy issues
etc after 9/11. National security becomes more important.
Examining the Constitution:
Today’s constitution is the second constitution, first is the Articles of Confederation which established a
weak central govt based upon states that became free from British rule in 1776 getting relative autonomy.
US constitution is above politics, not a political document.
Founding fathers all from the upper crusts of American society, ruling elite and wrote the const to protect
their own interests and their status. Constitutional Convention because US was facing crises – British angry
about losing colonies, trying to get them back. Hence emerged 2 different ideas for constitutions. Virginia plan (preferences of those who came from large
states, where states be represented in the fed govt in accordance with population size) vs New Jersey plan
(equal rep in fed govt) ▯ Connecticut compromise combined both, HofR by population, elected and Senate
by 2 state reps each, appointed.
Thomas Jefferson’s constitution (The Connecticut Compromise, originally): life, liberty, pursuit of happiness
(based upon Locke’s life, liberty, property – dominant elites!). Natural equality, protection of
President elected through electoral college (divided into states that have to be won, where states are
represented by # of HofR reps and senate reps – overrepresents small states). Therefore EC skews things
so that winning the pop vote isn’t enough. Person winning the most states can have fewer overall votes.
North vs South: slavery still persisted in the South. So in the South, to count population of the state for
HofR, slaves were counted as threefifths of a person. ThreeFifths compromise.
Constitution mentions at the end of the document that the states are essentially voluntarily surrendering
their authority to a central power. Issue of sovereignty.
This essentially pooled multiple sovereignties in one central power, unprecedented. Can states take this
sovereignty back? End of const suggests yes, start suggests no (we the people)? This initial ambiguity ▯
attempt at confederacy quashed by center ▯ states evidently can’t do that, state authority comes from
people not state. Topic 2 Constitution 05/14/2013
Const as product of competition between diff groups with diff interests ▯ compromises evident in const.
Intentional ambiguity in the document so as to allow groups to interpret the document themselves and
hence approve of it.
Key ideas: separation of powers, checks and balances
Idea that US should be governed by the rule of law, govt not given superceding authority (restricted
Diffusion of power, various branches of govt keep each other in check. ‘Ambition countering
ambition’ (phrase is from Smith’s Wealth of Nations)
Many didn’t like idea of attaching a Bill of Rights to the const, finding it unnecessary because govt powers
were specifically defined in the const. Fed govt still relatively insignificant at the time, and laws were state
laws (states had their own Bills of Rights, which could be enough).
Implications of SOP, C&B on US FP:
Separates govt into three branches: executive, legislative, judiciary. Not separation, but rather shared power
between institutions ▯ allows limited govt ▯ liberal democracy. Also applies to FP.
Protection of minorities important to Madison and other creators of the const. Done through insulating the
govt to democratic pressures by creating a sys of representation that is somewhat elitist in nature.
Filibuster: original idea was to restrict discussion times on certain bills etc in the HofR for the sake of
efficiency (NOT in the Senate, however). Senators could take the floor for as long as they want, could use
this to delay a vote on a bill etc. HofR thing however forces compromise. Sys designed to protect minority
Filibuster now: Senate convention is now that they don’t actually have to filibuster, just have to declare that
they will – enough to stop proceedings on any bill. Filibuster can be ended by 2/3 of Senate voting to end
it, but rarely been used.
Powers of Congress:
Common defence and general welfare of public
Piracy, high seas and offences against the law of nations punished by Congress
Declaring war Topic 2 Constitution 05/14/2013
Raise and support armies and navies
Advice and consent to president in the exercise of his const powers
Powers of executive branch:
President is commander in chief of the armed forces
Enforces laws passed by Congress – ‘faithful execution’
Sending ambassadors to foreign territories with the advice and consent of the Senate (appointments to be
approved by Senate)
Negotiates treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate (ratification by a 2/3 vote required for a
treaty to come into effect in the USA e.g. Treaty of Rome 1998, establishing ICC, not brought to Senate for
ratification because Senate was dominated by Republicans at the time)
President is the Chief Judicial Officer – head of Justice dept prosecutorial powers (which issues to be
discussed?) + power to appoint judges to the judiciary for life (with advice and consent of the Senate)
Not hugely important in FP, but a few crucial functions.
Power of judicial review: appointment of judges for life is intended to protect minority rights (to reverse bad
decisions made by president or Congress – this is NOT in the constitution) Ambiguity of const allowed that
power to be established.
Marbury vs Madison (right after passage of the constitution) – Federalists (Washington, Hamilton) vs anti
Federalists (Madison, Jefferson). 1898 elections: Fed govt defeated by antiFed (Jefferson won). Because
pres + congress don’t have to leave office for a few months after election, Feds tried to entrench their
version of American govt before they left. Outgoing pres made lots of appointments to the judgeship, had
them approved by Senate. Madison found one that had been approved etc but not handed out (Marbury’s).
Marbury took it to the Supreme Court intending to have them issue a writ of mandamus (pretty much an
opinion saying he should receive his appointment – not enforcing, it would simply have been ignored by
Pres). Instead, the judge declared that the judiciary has the implied power in the const to declare acts of the
president + congress unconstitutional (‘higher’ law). Usurpation of power by judiciary.
Private citizens can’t really bring charges against the government. Court doctrine is that in order to sue, an
individual must have ‘stanidng’ i.e. must have been personally damaged by a policy in order to challenge it.
E.g. planned assassination of Anwar alawlaki, failed, parents in US sued, but no standing.
2 court cases relating to FP:
Other examples: 1866 Supreme Court decision saying that civilians should only be tried in civilian courts
(unless not available). Topic 2 Constitution 05/14/2013
Acceptance of executive agreements. Other than this, courts tried to stay out of FP.
Jan 2013 case American Civil Liberties Union of New York Times vs US?
Political question, implied consent (if pres takes an action and Congress doesn’t do anything to stop him,
consent is implied)
1) US vs CurtissWright, 1936: conflict between Bolivia and Paraguay (Chaco war), US wanted it to end.
This decision granted authority to pres to put an end to the conflict there in any way possible. Roosevelt put
an embargo on arms to the Chaco region, CurtissWright corporation saw this as a stretch of his
constitutional authority. Inherent powers of president coming from sovereignty of US. This case strongly
implies that constitution is not a limit on the president in foreign affairs, only domestic. Used later by Bush
administration to justify their FP. This decision has never been overruled, but other cases that present a
2) Youngtown Sheet & Tube Company vs Sawyer, 1952: Korean war, labour unrest in US especially in steel
industry. Govt dealt with this by taking over the Youngtown Sheet & Tube Company forcibly, and imposing a
labour contract favourable to the unions (owners of factories hated it). Owners of company sued govt
representative Sawyer. Truman’s argument was that in the state of war, govt couldn’t afford disruptions in
steel production and so this was a natl security concern, not a defense of labour rights. Supreme Court
rejected his argument i.e. didn’t see this as part of the inherent powers of the president. Saw this as an
unauthorized use of power in the domestic realm – he required at least an act of Congress to support his
decision. Korean war not directly a threat to American security.
3) Boumediene vs Bush, Guantanamo bay case. Guantanamo Bay decision: decided it counted as
American territory, so people there should also have access to civilian courts (not military) as per the 1866
Supreme Court decision. Obama declared in 2009 that he’s going to shut down Guantanamo – symbolic,
wouldn’t have solved anything. But then Congress passed a decision saying Obama can’t bring these
people on to American soil. The other issue was these prisoners, believed to be terrorists etc, were gotten
to confess etc through torture and hence all this evidence was inadmissible in a civilian court. So Obama
announced that those who weren’t tried in civ courts would be tried in military tribunals. Topic 2 Constitution 05/14/2013
4) Arar vs Ashcroft. Arar was a Canadian citizen, coming back from a trip to Egypt and his flight was
detained in NY, he was put in a jail in Brooklyn, moved to Jordan then Syria. After release, he was cleared
of having any connections to terrorist orgs at all. Targeted because Canadian authorities had warned US
authorities that he might be an issue. Weird because Syrian authorities listed in US as terrorists, but they
gave them Arar to interrogate and torture – overlooking shortcomings when convenient. Arar sued
Canadian and US govts, won $10 million in Canada but didn’t go so well in the US. Supreme Court
essentially said they can’t do anything about it because it’s a national security thing, and the validity of nat
sec claims by fed govt can’t really be analysed. Didn’t compensate him because he didn’t know the names
of the agents who tortured him, and said Congress hadn’t authorised such compensation (***Pushing
things onto Congress when convenient). WTF
SC has also been less accomodating to the exec branch – most importantly in the Nixon era.
1) New York Times v US. Nixon trying to prevent NYT from publishing the Pengaton papers (Vietnamera
equivalent of Wikileaks). Employee of the Rand Corporation got hold of a secret history of American
involvement in Vietnam even before official involvement since 1963, produced by the CIA. Terrifying, etc,
caused protests and increased unpopularity of Vietnam. Supreme Court here declared that the burden of
proof i.e. that publishing it would cause a massive problem needs to be proved by the government. Gave
NYT benefit of the doubt. Nixon unable to exercise ‘prior restraint’ on the press.
2) US v Nixon. Watergate – counterintelligence, etc. Investigation into the scandal revealed massive
coverup. Initial arrested said they did so unilaterally, but turned out Nixon administration had paid them to
keep quiet about it and take the blame. Access to tapes of conversations in the Oval Office about how to
deal with Watergate was what gave him away. Deep Throat (whistleblower) made them try and get the
tapes – Nixon refused, saying it was not proper. But SC ruled against him.
Similar case under Bush administration:
1) General Accounting Office v Cheney. Cheney given responsibility under Bush for developing energy
policy, argument here was that the oil industry was unduly influencing him. Cheney said he was getting
advice, but it needed to be secret and protected.
Lots of judges appointed to the SC were appointed by conservative presidents – court currently has a 5:4
Congress’s role in restraining the exec branch: pendulum effect, mostly affected by the kind of threats or
perceived threats that the US faces. Topic 2 Constitution 05/14/2013
Rally around the flag effect: visible in Truman administration support, early Cold War
Breakdown of Cold War consensus since Vietnam, but beginnings even in the time of
1953 Eisenhower presidency begins, but his policies were mostly a continuation of the Truman
administration. He stayed for 2 terms, then 1960 elections Nixon ran as well. Kennedy accused Eisenhower
admin of allowing missile gap to develop, being too soft on communism. Democratic party also being
hardliners at the time.
‘Only Nixon can go to China’ – no one could ever accuse Nixon of being soft on communists. General
perception is that the democrats are soft on comm, any dem president would have been attacked ruthlessly.
Postpublication of the Pentagon papers, unchallenged presidential power in FP was changed.
War Powers Act 1972: pres had to inform Congress immediately if sending troops abroad. If troops
are sent in an emergency, he still has to get it approved in 60 days.
Congress also imposed oversight on the exec branch. Church & Pike committee in Senate and HofR
respectively, investigated all aspects of US FP in the postCold War era.
Aftermath of 9/11 – consensus over FP has emerged once again. Unchecked powers of pres pretty much
prevailing again, esp under Bush and Obama. Blank slate on how to deal with the global war on terror.
But now consensus coming to an end again. Idea that Obama admin is overreaching: targeting of
journalists by the justice dept – dangerous move towards totalitarianism. Privacy problems as well.
Explains why Assange doesn’t want to be extradited to the US.
Bradley Manning accused of ‘aiding the enemy’ – but who is the enemy? Wikileaks not the enemy, didn’t
publish anything that other publications did. But if it’s Al Qaeda as the enemy, then all these people are
Topic 3 – Public and its beliefs 05/14/2013
Constructivism: sort of a challenge to realism. Rationality not clear, dependent upon a context fully. How we
view ourselves in the world has a lot to do with how we calculate whether an action is rational or not.
Humans not rational, but rational within the context of their cultural existence.
3 levels of public impact on FP:
1) Public opinion
Lippman: PO is a poor guide to policy – uninformed, volatile, unstructured and incoherent.
Because of this, it is fairly easy to manufacture consent. Seen now as an elitist view. There are various
publics – what he says only applies to the mass public (8590% of the population).
Mass public view volatile and constantly changing because public policy because it’s constantly changing.
E.g. towards Correaga of Panama, PO became negative when policy changed, towards Stalin before and
after the German invasion.
Doesn’t apply to the attentive or elite publics.
Attentive public: Small part of pop who are well informed about public policy/FP issues. Differentiated
from mass due to education + profession (intellectual upper class?).
Elite public: the opinion makers. Top level journalists, members of Congress, members of executive etc.
Opinion surveys done by NYT, 1964: 25% of pop had never heard of Vietnam war, 28% didn’t know China
was communist, 50 something % hadn’t heard of Mao, 65% couldn’t find England on a map of the world.
1983: IranContra scandal etc had already happened. At this point 50 something % couldn’t find the Persian
gulf on a map. 14% couldn’t find the US on a map of the world. 40% thought USSR was part of the Western
Far less volatile, unstructured and incoherent than PO – still not a particularly good guide for FP. But does
have an impact, esp on FP. Much more resistant to change.
Dahl: argued that Americans are highly ideological, one doesn’t notice it because they share the same
Study of ideology done by Hartz and Horowitz: fragment theory.
Normal curve of ideology in US, most people in the centre of the ideological spectrum
(the liberal mainstream).
Strong communist parties in a lot of countries though, which has never really existed in the US – leftist
elements in US are also pretty close to the center. No monarchist or fascist movements on the right, so
even conservatives are relatively in the center. Topic 3 – Public and its beliefs 05/14/2013
Modified graph when looking at elites, two little bumps at the left and right ends – elites (attentive +
elite public) tend to be more ideological than mass.
So when a leftist pres candidate is going for nomination, he has to appeal to the elites and so will become
more ideological. As soon as he is in power, has to appeal to the masses so will move towards the centre
Same for the conservatives, in order to win the election you have to be a bit more centrist (after 2008,
McCain was seen as moderate/centrist so used Palin to provide the strong right influence and ended up
winning the nomination but losing the election)
Running mate chosen to balance the ticket.
Generally, liberal democratic consensus has existed for the most part in the 20 century that is
largely centrist. Not a massive impact on FP.
3) Political culture
Most important impact on FP, most resistant to change.
Pol culture: anthropological definition of culture. ‘The symbolic basis upon which a society mediates its
relationship with reality.’
Difference is in the way political culture is acquired. Result of socialization (ideology is a result of
education). Metaconscious knowledge, based off overall experiences of being part of a political
community. E.g. conversation distance: things like where Latin Americans stand closer to each other when
talking than North Americans. Another e.g. eye etiquette – no staring etc. Internalization of certain things –
much like pol culture.
Resistant to conscious awareness, criticism and change. Acquired through socialization, so it is the most
More common among elites in a society. Chomsky compared it to a process of weeding out: US edu
system rests on not only teaching explicit curriculum but also socializing individuals through an unwritten
curriculum – adopt certain attitudes towards authority, society etc. Those that internalize better end up
doing better in school, at better universities etc. Therefore most ‘educated’ also the most indoctrinated –
less likely to subject the culture to criticism, so it just perpetuates.
All societies have founding myths that aren’t questioned or criticized: for the US it has always related to a
kind of free market ethos (individualism, competition, market principles, Adam Smith’s idea that wealth
of nations is determined by how much a particular community can produce, and therefore consume). Topic 3 – Public and its beliefs 05/14/2013
Myth 1: Core myth of US society: myth of ‘city upon a hill’. Derived from a speech given by John
Winthrop (Puritan) on the Mayflower, landed on Plymouth Rock. Founding myth – Americans arrived as
repressed minorities from the British isles to create a freer, more purely religious society. Winthrop said new
colonies = shining cities upon a hill, a model and magnet for the rest of the world.
Myth as something that is so selfevident that fully believed to be true – but also is obviously false, to us.
City upon a hill had lots of offshoot, most prominent = manifest destiny. Idea that God is own the side
of the American colonists, and has given them the right to dominate North America. Once they had
occupied NA from Atlantic to Pacific, this extended to the Monroe Doctrine.
MD: announced by Pres Monroe in 1823, essentially said no European interference would be tolerated in
the Western hemisphere. Established US as dominant power/hegemon in North and South America,
essentially. Right around this time, many Latin American countries were rebelling against their colonial
overlords (Bolivar, removing Spain) – Americans worried that Britain and France would try and recolonize
these countries because of the power vacuum left by Spain’s departure. Topic 3 – Public and its beliefs 05/14/2013
Myth 2: Myth of Innocence. Says that in sharp contrast to the countries of Western Europe (created
upon war, elitism, other corrupting influences), US was created on a blank slate of innocence – no
feudalism, monarchy, Catholicism. Given this innocence…
Myth 3: Myth of Benevolence. US FP viewed as benevolent because of this innocence. Views of
European states shaped by IR Realism, where there is no morality in IR and states act to support their
national interest only. But from US perspective, they were a power who intervened not to advance their own
interests but to advance its principles and conceptions of morality in the world in order
to liberate/democratize the others. Bringing freedom and opportunity to the oppressed masses,
Myth 4: American exceptionalism. Superiority of the American way, American knowhow i.e.
technological superiority. Idea that they can succeed in places where other powers have failed e.g.
Afghanistan, known as graveyard of empires – end of Alexander the Great, British couldn’t subdue it,
Russians only briefly managed to subdue it and then it killed the USSR.
PostCold War era: exceptionalism stems from being the global hegemon e.g. rest of the world should be
subject to ICC but US should not, and should be able to act in ways that others cannot.
All these myths deeply internalized, not just visible in the foot soldiers in Vietnam (reading). 1789
Constitution made US the first democracy on the planet, other than the partial exception of Switzerland.
Hence believes other countries should all try and emulate the American structure of democracy e.g. Latin
America. America as a model that should be promoted.
Americans throughout history perceive themselves as attracting immigrants from around the world seeking
to escape poverty, oppression etc, seeking a better life in the US ▯ reinforces city upon a hill myth.
Results of this political culture in US FP:
Bartz: solipsism. General tendency for humans to think that their own way of doing something is the
only way of doing it. Metaconscious idea as well, so implies that US doesn’t have much to learn from
anyone else. This attitude has resulted in ‘enabling ignorance’. General lack of interest and
knowledge of international affairs of other countries. US is not the only country that suffers from this (e.g.
Germany, which was uniquely insulated from outside influences through much of its history). American
leaders, toplevel officials etc don’t have much knowledge about FP and intl affairs – governors who
become president. Topic 3 – Public and its beliefs 05/14/2013
Vietnam syndrome: idea that Americans lost because they faced too much domestic resistance,
Congress and reps weren’t able to provide enough resources. No real critical thought – the real thing is a
lack of interest in learning about a different culture.
Therefore, results and general tendencies of US FP:
Tendency to moralize FP. E.g. Reagan calling USSR the ‘evil’ empire, moral issues emphasized rather
than strategic. George W Bush and his axis of evil.
Oversimplification of FP. Dumbing it down for the masses. Iraq, Iran, North Korea – grouped together
as the axis of evil by George W Bush – they don’t really have much in common! Iraq and Iran had been in a
war a decade before this, and NK was a totalitarian state. Ridiculuz.
Oversell of FP. First two used to justify pretty drastic FP actions (Iraq War!)
Dualism – disconnect between principles articulated by policy makers and pragmatism of the actual
implementation of FP. E.g. Cold War history of FP – America sees itself as leader of the free world, etc, but
had no problem including countries like South Africa (which was under apartheid) under their Western
Alliance, supporting dictatorships in Latin America and many other parts of the world.
Tendency to reject and criminalize dissent on the one hand, and to dehumanize enemies on
the other. E.g. criticizing US FP in Vietnam was basically enough to have you accused of treason, but
treatment of Vietnamese by soldiers there was atrocious – ‘gooks’, homosexuals because they held hands.
Ethnocentric assholes. Topic 4 – Contextualizing US FP 05/14/2013
Wallerstein: argues that the world system as we know it today is a product of colonialism. Intl system
emerged because of colonialism in W Europe, which was a search by W European countries for regions
rich enough to exploit and weak enough to conquer.
But Europeans encountered civs like India, China which were not easy to conquer due to limited resources,
equal levels of development. Divide and rule, woo!
In Africa, he argues they didn’t find resources they were particularly interested in. In the Americas, he says
Europeans hit the jackpot: found societies tremendously wealthy (gold and silver), but also easy to conquer.
Jared Diamond: says advantage that the Europeans had is that they were dirty. Very few draft and
domesticated animals, few big cities, so no coexistence between man and animal. Europeans had large
cities, domestic animals all living in proximity. But no hygiene, no sewage systems in these cities. Ask
Influx of gold and silver into W Europe through Portugal and Spain triggered Industrial Revolution as well.
Multiple stages of European colonization:
Central and South American civilizations: simply plunder. Took all their gold and silver back to W Eur.
Latin America became a region where the new colonial structure basically made them raw material
suppliers to Europe – sugar, coffee, cocoa etc.
North America: not much gold discovered initially, so not of much interest to the Spanish or Portugese. By
the time British and French colonized NA, they had another problem. NA became very typical of the settler
colonies like S Africa, Rhodesia – but basically wealthy entrepreneurs moved to NA and bought a lot of
land, forcing those who worked the land to produce cash crops and not subsistence agriculture. New
social structure – entirely W Europeans, but closely tied to econ interests of WE
and of Britain in particular. Northern regions could produce large amounts of wood because it was
all forest. But once cut down, there’s not much more you can do. Southern regions of America however
were useful to produce sugar, tobacco and so Southerners ended up being wealthier – could use profits to
buy more things from WE. Northern regions then populated by religious minorities etc, loosely tied to
countries of origin. Became important in 19 century development of US. North more subsistence
production, couldn’t produce valuable commodities and so ended up importing manufactured goods.
American Revolution, 1776: 4 of July = Declaration of Independence = set into motion the Revolutionary
war. Most Americans understand their history as a rejection of colonialism – misleading. It was really more
that they didn’t reject colonialism, just rejected their own subsidiary position in that
system – wanted equal rights to participation in that project. Had little effect on the social structure
already in place. Some (Loyalists) escaped to Canada, others ran away to New Orleans (under Spanish
control at the time) Topic 4 – Contextualizing US FP 05/14/2013
Success of Revolution allowed US to consolidate the original 13 colonies, but gave rise also to
pressures for expansion.
James Madison: demographics of 13 new colonies were such that the majority of families had between 612
children, and so moving westward was required. Westward was territories occupied by Eur powers, native
Americans. But the Eur countries who claimed these territories had a relatively weak hold on them e.g.
Spain and how easily Napoleon was able to wrest control of New Orleans.
17891860s: greater deepening of ties to Britain, particularly in the Southern states. Southern climate
similar to Western Europe, so similar things being produced already.
French under Napoleon trying to take over territory in US, but lost interest in Louisiana, etc because Haiti
had rebelled and it was their #1 colony so they needed it and focused their attention there.
Under Pres Jefferson and SofS JQA, more territories brought in. Mexico no longer held properly by the
Spanish. Remaining Spanish/Mexican claims to Florida taken away as well (access to the sea, Atlantic to
Pacific). Remainder of the West Coast was taken by US as a result of war with Mexico. Texas remained
under Mexican control.
Large landowners in South started taking over land in Texas, because of expanding Northern control in
Congress (?) and also because they had exhausted the soil where they lived already ▯ completed
expansion in continental US.
Further expansion blocked by the US itself – Lincoln administration. Rejected slavery elsewhere, but
refused to do anything about it within the United States. Trying to impose free trade regime in Nicaragua
with US support. Lincoln’s declaration was that he would no longer tolerate US expansion southward (slave
states) – straw that broke the camel’s back – Southern states declared their independency from US. Lincoln
administration rejected this based on constitution, saying const derives authority from population as a whole
not just states, so states can’t leave.
Slavery not really the core issue of the American Civil War. Barrington Moore Jr argues the issue was the
commodification of labour. Slavery is more direct commod of labour than regular work – so almost a
requirement of capitalism.
Northern and Southern states represented two fundamentally different economic models. Southern –
classical dependency, ruling elites. North – self sufficient, but not in industrial goods ▯ needed to
industrialize. Topic 4 – Contextualizing US FP 05/14/2013
All countries that industrialized had tr