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Thread: Building a Nation - an Interactive British AAR

  1. #701
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    Excellent update me hombre

  2. #702
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    Ooh, cliffhanger. Don't leave us hanging for too long, or we might fall of the edge...
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  3. #703
    The Manhattan Commune – 1857

    The events in and around New York City in the year 1857 were to send shockwaves throughout the entire world as for the first time in world history the working class seized power for themselves and for a few breif months established the first ever socialistic society.



    The reasons for the outbreak of the Commune cannot be separated from the economic conditions that caused it – industrialisation under an almost totally unrestrained capitalist system. Just as parts of Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and Britain were starting to industrialise so too was the North-East of the United States of America – with New York being the centrepiece of this industrial region. The working classes of America’s emerging industrial cities, similarly to their European counterparts, were forced to endure inhuman living conditions whilst bowing the total dominion of the property owning elite. The dichotomy in the interests between these two classes had been causing a growing level of frustration and even outright anger amongst the working class. The pent up rage caused by these grievances is what led to the violent insurrection of the workers in 1857.

    It also cannot be forgotten that the longstanding crisis within the Union over the issue of slavery was coming to a head. Again, the workers of the Northern industrial cities were militantly against slavery – frustration at the continued politicking of the government that only prolonged the institution was a lesser source of anger.



    The actual spark that set off the conflict was linked to the latest Mexican-American War. Over the past two decades the US had been to war with Mexico twice before and both times the weak Mexican Army had faced defeat and the loss of some of its territory. However, since the last war, the Mexican Army had been reformed and modernised. So when the American Army crossed over into Mexican territory in 1856 it faced a string of humiliating defeats and was forced to fall back. Crucially, the Mexicans chose to halt and not advance into actual American territory – forcing their opponents to make the next move. The war had only enjoyed lukewarm public approval from the start and the defeats coupled with the failure of the feared Mexican invasion to materialise created a large lobby for peace. In New York the majority seemed to be firmly against the war. However the recently elected President, James Buchanan, was determined to secure victory and save America from humiliation. He therefore made the fateful error of instituting conscription.



    In New York, a city filled with rage at the political and economic system as well as the hated war, attempts to conscript young men led to riots. As the riots and demonstrations continued to grow in strength with each day and each battle with the police many radical elements started to call for serious political change as well as an end to the war and a refusal of conscription. As calls for an 8 hour day started to become more prominent than those for peace in the West government officials panicked and called upon the US Army to restore order immediately before things got any further out of hand.

    As troops began to enter the city events were headed towards a climax and bloodshed seemed almost certain. However, in the first days at least, there seemed to be an uneasy calm – many working class New Yorkers seemed to think that the army might be here to save them from the brutality of the police and there was certainly a high degree of fraternisation. The radicals too, now convinced that there was no hope of conciliation with the government, looked to amiable relations with the soldiers and just as they had done amongst the crowds they attempted to spread radical ideas amongst the soldiery and convince them that this was a battle between one class and another – nothing more, nothing less.

    The period of fraternisation and calm came to an end on April 2nd as a huge demonstration was called. With tens of thousands on the streets the troops were deployed around government buildings. These same buildings happened to be the targets of the protestors – making a confrontation inevitable. After repeated attempts to hold them back the crowds started to grow rowdy and a panicking commander ordered soldiers to fire on the protesters in order to disperse them. At this moment a quite extraordinary event occurred. One soldier, Simon O’Reilly (who would later become a major figure in the Commune before being executed later in the year), turned his gun on the commander and declared him under arrest, amazingly his fellow soldiers supported his actions. As he would later put it ‘’I do not wish to live in a country where men, women and children are murdered for expressing an opinion – that is not the America I thought existed’’.



    After this events began to move exceedingly fast as the mutinies spread and numerous commanding officers were shot by their own troops. Government institutions were being taken over by the soldiers and workers and all semblance of the old regime was being brought down. On April 3rd all state and Union officials began an evacuation from Manhattan and they were to be joined by thousands of the wealthy, property owning elite who were terrified of the new world emerging around them. At this time things were still chaotic and the evacuation was allowed to take place largely peacefully.

    On April 5th the leaders within the city agreed that elections for a new Communal Council should take place on April 9th.



    The new 92 man Communal Council amounted to the revolutionary leadership. Many of the council were factory workers (it was almost unheard of for such individuals to attain high office), others included professionals like doctors and also intellectuals. Whilst universally leftwing the Council’s representation varied from liberals to revolutionary socialists, however the momentum was most definitely in the hands of the socialists.

    The new government proceeded to make numerous radical proclamations:
    • Equality for men and women
    • Equality for all races
    • A ban on slavery in the entire country (at this time the Commune had ambitions of one day becoming the national government)
    • The seizure of church property – the property was to be put under public ownership
    • The abolition of the standing army – to be replaced by a citizen’s militia
    • An 8 hour working day
    • The postponement of debt obligations
    • The right of the workers to take over factories which had been abandoned by their old owners
    • The Union flag was replaced by the socialist Red Flag as the flag of the Commune.



    Whilst the central Communal government itself was highly radical it was greatly surpassed in its actions by the local Councils which were under more direct workers’ control and were again democratically elected. In these Councils the revolutionary socialists (Anarchists, Marxists and others) were even stronger and were more determined to secure workers’ control over the means of production and thus a socialist state of being. Whilst the central Communal Council had accepted to continued ownership over factories and other means of production by those who had stayed the most radical local councils promoted the seizure of control of these by the workers.

    Before long the Commune started to come under attack as Union ships began to encircle Manhattan and areas under Commune control beyond Manhattan itself started to suffer from attacks by the US Army.



    Forming their own army of volunteer workers the Commune prepared the barricades and readied themselves for attack. Surprised by the strength of the Commune’s defences the government would delay its concerted effort to destroy it as forces where gathered for the operation.



    Between May 24th and June 1st the battle for Manhattan raged. Over the previous month government forces had been making slow progress in the areas beyond Manhattan, however on May 24th a ship filled with marines was allowed to dock on Manhattan itself, whom let them in remains a mystery, although the finger is frequently pointed at bourgeois elements that were allowed to remain in the city (although these claims have never been conclusively proven). Either way, New York City was utterly ravaged and thousands were killed. In the aftermath of the battle mass executions of anyone suspected of being involved in the leadership of the Commune took place whilst thousands more, indeed anyone suspected of taking part in the resistance to the government forces, were arrested with some even being deported to several islands in the Caicos. Estimates point to at the very least 10,000 New Yorkers being killed in the battle for Manhattan and subsequent ‘White Terror’ with 50,000-70,000 suffering from imprisonment.

    In the aftermath of the Commune the period of ‘White Terror’ in America began in earnest through a mixture of a mass propaganda Campaign (the first Red Scare), the near total suppression of Trade Unions and other labour movements and the arrest of socialist leaders and even suspected socialist leaders. James Buchanan himself explained the reaction of the US government ‘’we must blot out the aberration of the Commune from history, this new movement must be utterly destroyed lest it be allowed to bring down America itself’’.



    Just as it inspired outright terror amongst the ruling classes the Commune was an incredible inspiration and vindication for the socialist movement. As Karl Marx put it ''Workingmen’s Manhattan with its Commune, will forever be celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society’’.



    Ironically, it would be in Britain, more so even than America, that the impact of the Commune hit the hardest. The workerist infrastructure put in place by the Labour party and the strong Union movement in Britain, coupled with a lack of state censorship as in other countries, allowed for the proliferation of information on the Commune on a massive scale. The news of the workers taking control over a great city and the subsequent atrocities of the government caused a great upsurge amongst the radical elements of the labour movement. In October some 200,000 marched through London in solidarity with the Communards – an incredible moment in which internationalism became of great importance within the labour movement when it had previously held a lesser position. Calls within the ranks of the Labour Party were decisively dismissed by George Harney at this very protest, when he addressed the crowds he made it clear that armed insurrection was not only unjustified in Britain but would be counter to the interests of the workers. He called for the workers to express their rage at the ballot box, not at the barricades. It seemed that there was a serious risk that the labour movement in Britain might drift even further to the left of the Labour Party if nothing was done.

  4. #704
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    Wow. That was unexpected.

    It seems that Britain is going to have some internal troubles at once...
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  5. #705
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    Ooohh... Socialists.

    After this event, I propose that the nation pursue the fulfillment of at least the B.A. in the BADF doctrine more intensively. It is a blotch on British honor that we failed to aid the Americans in both Mexico and the Commune.
    Karl Marx and his "Communism" is misguided. The Anglo-American way has always been, and always should be capitalism. It we (Anglo-Americans) who created modern democracy in the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence, and democracy depends on freedom and liberty. Communism, which should be opposed fervently as such, seeks to take away a pillar of our culture, and for this reason no self-respecting Brit or American should take up Marx's cause, especially after Manhattan.
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  6. #706
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    Interesting...

    So the revolution in New York shows how dangerous a government dedicated to the enhancement of a single-class can be. Labour members take note. Favoring one 'class' of society over another inevitably leads to conflict...brutal conflict. Government must consider society as a whole, the rich and the poor, the jingoist and the pacifist, the rural and the urban, etc.

    Strong words from Harney, but I expect he will pay a price for having stood up to his own rank and file that way...
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  7. #707
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    Had we still a monarchy this would not happen.

    ;_;


    Tories will smash them, smash the miners, smash the students, smash the workers. Progressive conservatism should prevail!

  8. #708
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    The revolution just goes to show we have creted a superior republic in Britain to the one in the US. Across the Atlantic they have created a government based on democratic capitalism and have begun to disintergrate, here we have created one based on democratic liberalism. Democratic Liberalism means every man has the right to print what he wants, say what he wants, sell what he wants (OOC: Drugs haven't got big yet) buy what he wants, pay what he wants, strike when he wants and vote when he wants. It can be summed up in just a few words: You can do what you want.

    To the young men who marched and protested on the streets of London, remember this. Revolutions come around again. That's why they're called revolutions.
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  9. #709
    It is a blotch on British honor that we failed to aid the Americans in both Mexico and the Commune.
    Why is this? Do we really need to baby sit a country 10 times our size?
    No.

    If they CHOOSE to go to war and are repelled should we intervine on the side of the agressor?
    No.

    After all the USA is a SUPER POWER for a reason they don't need us to interfer in such petty matters. Its hardly a blotch on our honour.
    Men were granted power by God, in his wisdom, and that power requires responsibility.

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  10. #710
    Well I'm not going to lie, some of your guy's comments suprised me quite a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBob View Post
    Ooohh... Socialists.

    After this event, I propose that the nation pursue the fulfillment of at least the B.A. in the BADF doctrine more intensively. It is a blotch on British honor that we failed to aid the Americans in both Mexico and the Commune.
    Karl Marx and his "Communism" is misguided. The Anglo-American way has always been, and always should be capitalism. It we (Anglo-Americans) who created modern democracy in the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence, and democracy depends on freedom and liberty. Communism, which should be opposed fervently as such, seeks to take away a pillar of our culture, and for this reason no self-respecting Brit or American should take up Marx's cause, especially after Manhattan.
    Didn't the people of Manhattan revolt because they wanted freedom and liberty? ....

    Quote Originally Posted by TheExecuter View Post
    Interesting...

    So the revolution in New York shows how dangerous a government dedicated to the enhancement of a single-class can be. Labour members take note. Favoring one 'class' of society over another inevitably leads to conflict...brutal conflict. Government must consider society as a whole, the rich and the poor, the jingoist and the pacifist, the rural and the urban, etc.

    Strong words from Harney, but I expect he will pay a price for having stood up to his own rank and file that way...
    Well has there ever really been a political movement in history that has held the interests of all classes equally at once?

    There have of course been movements aiming at class collaboration, in this period fascism and social democracy are the most noteworthy ones, but even they favour one class above the other.

    We certainly don't have any parties that don't favor one class above another here. I guess the closest to such a party would be the Labour party, but I somehow don't think your making a campaigning punt for Labour.

    Yes, is things continue on their current course it will be hard for that reformist Labour leadership to keep the revolutionaries on side.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberstbrooksy View Post
    Had we still a monarchy this would not happen.

    ;_;


    Tories will smash them, smash the miners, smash the students, smash the workers. Progressive conservatism should prevail!
    Haha, I admire you for your persistence.

    Your last line was just pure gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by WelshDude View Post
    The revolution just goes to show we have creted a superior republic in Britain to the one in the US. Across the Atlantic they have created a government based on democratic capitalism and have begun to disintergrate, here we have created one based on democratic liberalism. Democratic Liberalism means every man has the right to print what he wants, say what he wants, sell what he wants (OOC: Drugs haven't got big yet) buy what he wants, pay what he wants, strike when he wants and vote when he wants. It can be summed up in just a few words: You can do what you want.

    To the young men who marched and protested on the streets of London, remember this. Revolutions come around again. That's why they're called revolutions.
    Dude, our Republic is based just as much on democratic capitalism as America's. The main differences between us and pre-Commune America are the slave trade and the lack of an American equivalent to the Labour Party or Chartists. Obviously post-Commune America has become very different from our very liberal Republic.

    As I assume some of the anti-socialists are going to be out in force for the next election I can promise you that the Tories are going to get a little 'heavy handed' and whilst stopping short of the 'American solution' to the socialists they will be calling for some tough measures.

  11. #711
    i'm almost certainly gonig moderate ths election. THe right want war with France and the Left was Socialism but i'll wait till i see the policies
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  12. #712
    Major Rogov's Avatar

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    Bleh, we're still in the age where the working class was genuinely the main agent of revolutionary communism - by the late 19th and early 20th we'll be able to blame most of the revolutionary movements on middle-class elitists and point out the congenial nature of genuine blue collar trade unionist socialism in comparison. But right now even if we maintain a bare-bones progressive (labor laws, shorter working day) platform it'll just play into the hands of the 19th century "bomb throwing anarchist" trope, whereas by the 20th century likely the party will be advocating aggressive nationalization of key industries and be called totalitarian.

    Also, interesting thought - with the Commune being in America rather than Paris, I wonder if this would destroy the Progressive movement of upper-class reformers in America... Heck, I wonder if it will do that here. I like the image of the Labour Party, due to its genuine working class roots and non-elitist party structure (unlike various Socialist parties of the 19th century and later), but I have to wonder if upper-class reformers like Attlee will become Liberals - in fact, with the aggressive specter of trade unionist Labourism and the swift transformation from Radical to Chartist to Labour (and perhaps from Labour to Communist if things go badly) I wouldn't be surprised if many potential Labour supporters end up going Liberal and pushing it to become more social-liberal.

    I had hopes for the New Liberalism of our history, utilitarianism and the other classics of British social-liberalism that led to the People's Charter phase of the late 19th century Liberal party, to become absorbed by a more robust Labour movement in this timeline due to the already republican and radical nature of the British Republic; but it appears that shall not be the case. Instead if anything I would bet you that more moderate leftists will end up becoming Liberals and accepting the welfare state and shift away from laissez faire sooner than later - perhaps even giving the Whigs a chance to revive as the free market capitalist party until the Tories are ready to take that role.

    Of course, from an academic perspective, Britain being effected this much by this early blooming of socialism probably means the British Republic's left could benefit from the Revisionist phase of socialism that should occur after Marx's death. Once someone like Bernstein properly lays out gradual reformism (democratic socialism) the Labour Party can take it's Our Time Line positions and push the radical impossibilists to the fringe.

    Of course if things go pear-shaped away from real history and a social-liberal, christian democrat/distributist/producerist/agrarian/populist, or Teddy Roosevelt style progressive party show up I'll hop from the loveable unionists of Labour to that new party in a second.
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  13. #713
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    First election that I will be able to participate in, and I have no idea which way I'm going to vote... Whatever keeps the socialists out will do I guess!
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  14. #714
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATTACK77 View Post
    Dude, our Republic is based just as much on democratic capitalism as America's. The main differences between us and pre-Commune America are the slave trade and the lack of an American equivalent to the Labour Party or Chartists. Obviously post-Commune America has become very different from our very liberal Republic.
    We also have a free press, and our elections aren't decided by how many advertisments each party can afford. Anyway, you surely must agree with my last bit.
    EDIT: And why are you replying rather than doing the election post?
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  15. #715
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    The Communards are indeed a threat trowards the Republic, but they only grow strong due to the government's ignorance of the plights of the working classes. Instead of instituting a fair minimum wage and and other useful social reforms they send our boys to foreign battlefields and continue to expect the workers to work hard for nothing. Vote Labour, the only way to save the republic from chaos and help the working classes!

  16. #716
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATTACK77 View Post
    We certainly don't have any parties that don't favor one class above another here. I guess the closest to such a party would be the Labour party, but I somehow don't think your making a campaigning punt for Labour.

    Yes, is things continue on their current course it will be hard for that reformist Labour leadership to keep the revolutionaries on side.
    Actually, I think the closest party to class neutrality is the Liberal Party. Labour has too much animosity for anyone not a member of the working class...

    A labour party win would be a disaster for anyone of wealth in Britain while a boon for those at the bottom of the income strata. A liberal win, however, would not be a disaster for either.
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  17. #717
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    Considering progressive income taxation leads to closer income equality, I would actually say that Labour's policies are the only ones seeking to remove class as a relevant factor in British politics. And taxing the rich down into middleclass and lifting the working class up into middleclass only helps the already existing middle-classes by providing them with a larger market of accessible peers.

    And it helps the rich too. With the playing field equalized a bit, the children of the rich will have to work hard and the best heirs will be selected and renew the competitive meritocratic qualities of upperclass households.
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    There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests up on them. - William Jennings Bryan (1896)

  18. #718
    Quote Originally Posted by TheExecuter View Post
    Actually, I think the closest party to class neutrality is the Liberal Party. Labour has too much animosity for anyone not a member of the working class...

    A labour party win would be a disaster for anyone of wealth in Britain while a boon for those at the bottom of the income strata. A liberal win, however, would not be a disaster for either.
    Well, the Liberals are certainly a long, long way from being class neutral. Indeed, they were founded with the idea of securing the interests of the bourgeiosie above all else. The Tories were in the past the party of the old landed aristocracy, but as politics has moved on they have been struggling to find a new set of core principles to attatch themselves to and have thus, generally, been going around being generally 'conservative'. But they too, like the Liberals, seem very much attatched to the bourgeiosie by this point.

    In reality, especially in the current situation, class neutrality is not something that is really possible at all. That's the problem with class conflict bro.

    The election should open either tommorow or on Sunday.

  19. #719
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    And what about Ireland? At this point, I'm kinda confused on which party thinks what on the Ireland issue, and that will make all the difference for me.
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  20. #720
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogov View Post
    Considering progressive income taxation leads to closer income equality, I would actually say that Labour's policies are the only ones seeking to remove class as a relevant factor in British politics. And taxing the rich down into middleclass and lifting the working class up into middleclass only helps the already existing middle-classes by providing them with a larger market of accessible peers.

    And it helps the rich too. With the playing field equalized a bit, the children of the rich will have to work hard and the best heirs will be selected and renew the competitive meritocratic qualities of upperclass households.
    Quote Originally Posted by Attack77
    Well, the Liberals are certainly a long, long way from being class neutral. Indeed, they were founded with the idea of securing the interests of the bourgeiosie above all else. The Tories were in the past the party of the old landed aristocracy, but as politics has moved on they have been struggling to find a new set of core principles to attatch themselves to and have thus, generally, been going around being generally 'conservative'. But they too, like the Liberals, seem very much attatched to the bourgeiosie by this point.

    In reality, especially in the current situation, class neutrality is not something that is really possible at all. That's the problem with class conflict bro.

    The election should open either tommorow or on Sunday.
    I am not communicating well, I see. What I mean by class neutrality is not that all class distinction be removed, or that all of the classes be moved together (both favorite concepts of socialists).

    I mean that a class neutral party will look after the INTERESTS of all classes. It will seek to sustain the rich's profits so that those profits can be used to benefit the workers AND the owners. It will not stand idly by while the rich oppress the poor. However, it will also not seek to punish people who's only crime is success by removing their progress towards wealth.

    It is in this sense that I mean 'class neutrality.'

    That said, I am looking forward to the next election, though I am wondering what caused the election itself...hmm, I won't speculate, but merely look forward to the update!
    The Last Mission A Love Story

    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

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