Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

<-- Previous | Newer --> | Current: 980880478 TimShell at Tue, 30 Jan 2001 18:47:58 +0000.


We don't want the HistoryOfUnitedStates to be a large pile of pro-American propaganda, like virtually all histories of that country are.  However, we also don't want it to be a large pile of ''anti''-American propaganda.  So I think we should carefully discuss each controversial point that comes up before writing about it.

''I think it may be difficult to know what is considered 'controversial' before writing.  As well, I have doubts that a) someone would be good enough to admit that their assertions will be controversial, and b) that the people discussing them on this page would necessarily be of sufficient authority to de-controversialify such a topic.  Oh, and c) some things in US history are just plain controversial.  Instead, let me propose that if anyone feels anything mentioned on the main page lacks sufficient evidence, bring it here (and write counter-evidence if desired).  Others can edit the item into less controversial terms or add proof, and then move it back.  Doubt this'd be a perfect solution, but I doubt anyone believes wikipedia is going to be _able_ to be true and objective, when anyone in the world can write in it.  But that's why we have Nupedia.''

'''The American civil war'''

Bryce stated that this was not so much about racial issues as economic issues, and Tim disagreed therewith.  Which of these points, exactly, are you disagreeing with?  If it's the racial one - wasn't the north willing to reverse it's stance on that particular issue?  Not being American, I don't really know...

The claim that emanicpation was an attempt to destroy the Southern economy is certainly false.  The emancipation took effect after the war, when the Southern economy was already ruined.  So I have to challenge that point.  Of course, ask 10 American historians about the Civil War, and you will get 10 different theories, so it's hard to say what should be included here. - Tim

''From Britannica's website:  "In the Nineteenth century, the South had seceded from the Union with the shots fired at Fort Sumter in April, 1861. Abraham Lincoln fought to preserve the Union and, in 1862, freed the slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation. The ensuing Civil War ended only in 1865 with General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomatox."  Emancipation *did* occur during the war.  My claim that it was an economic issue was drawn from the Britannica article on the Emancipation Proclamation stating, "The locking up of the world's source of cotton supply had been a general calamity, and the Confederate government and people had steadily expected that the English and French governments would intervene in the war. The conversion of the struggle into a crusade against slavery made European intervention impossible."  However, in reading some additional sources on the Library of Congress pages, and some other civil war entries, I have to admit that Tim's comments that the evidence supports many hypotheses.  I suppose generally what I'm trying to say was that a) slavery was not the _primary_ reason for the Civil War, as we might believe, and b) the reason slaves were freed had many motivations (political, militaristic, economic, and so forth) beyond just the evilness of slavery.''

''Finally, let me point out a distinction between "equality in terms of freeness" and "equality in terms of class".  The former can be claimed but not the latter.  Even today there is a class distinction; I was living in south central LA before, during, and after the riots and, being white, was made well aware of this on many occasions, and the evidence I saw supported this.  One man who can just come to Los Angeles from Mississippi told me, "Believe it or not, it's a lot better here than where I come from.''


I'm not sure why it's so important to mention the SovietUnion invading PolanD, since that had nothing to with the causes of the war.  Inasmuchas the allies never went to war with them.

''First, I said Germany invaded Poland, not the Soviet Union, although in fact they did as well.  Second, Germany and the Soviet Union had a pact between them:  "On September 1, secure behind the new German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact that had stunned the world in August, Hitler began an invasion of Poland. Great Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. By the end of 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union had divided Poland between themselves, and the Soviets had occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and had attacked Finland, which they finally defeated in March 1940... In June Hitler abandoned the Nonaggression Pact of 1939 and launched a massive surprise invasion of the Soviet Union. German armoured units drove deep into Soviet territory and at one point reached the outskirts of Moscow before Soviet counterattacks and winter weather slowed the offensive to a halt."  We may not have had pitched battles between Britain and USSR during the 1939-1940 period, but don't doubt they were our enemies.''

''In fact, it is interesting to note -- and I'll just toss this out as a flippant and discardable assertion since it'd take too long to prove -- that the NAZI's believed (for a little while, anyhow) that the British and Americans could be expected to support Fascism, since Britain and America detested Communism almost as fervently as the NAZI's did.  Looking at America's history of slavery, KKK, extermination of Native Americans, and so forth, it's surprising to think that this was actually a pretty logical thing for the NAZI's to think.  I got this off of a History Channel WWII program; I'd like to hear more about it if, in fact, it is true.''

The invasion might be worth mentioning as it was a direct consequence of the secret Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, which Hitler kept until invading the SovietUnion in 1942 (OperationBarbarossa) - WojPob (GermanY invaded on Sept. 1st and the SovietUnion on Sept. 17th 1939 - ''BTW'')

...Please note I'm not saying it's not worth mentioning altogether.  For a discussion of WWII, one could scarce leave it out.  I just don't think that the details of how the war started are particularly relevant to the history of the US, except in so far as to give them a just ''casus belli''.

There is also some stuff left on [ Ward's wiki] that probably wouldn't hurt to consider.

One thing on the main history page:  "How about the UnitedStates role in saving the world from fascist/socialist tyranny in WorldWarII??"

Technically, it was the Soviets who defeated the NAZI State.  The Soviets lost and retook a LOT of land, lost the most lives IIRC, and engaged the NAZI's much more continually (and violently, I think) than the US did.  (Curiously, the Soviets also hold the largest responsibility for defeating themselves, but that's a topic for another page.)

Also, I saw in a History Channel documentary that the NAZI "final solution" for the Jews was inspired, if not modelled on, our treatment of the Native Americans.  Are these things true?  If so, then it makes one wonder...

Another last point that I recently read when researching some of Noam Chomsky's(sp) writings...  It can be argued on a purely imperial level, that WWII was in essence an attempt by NAZI GermanY to build an empire at the expense of the existing colonial empires (France and Britain) which failed, and which instead had the net effect of shifting the imperial power to the United States.  Control over colonies, where labor can be purchased cheaply, and human rights ignored, has throughout history been an extremely important way for imperial nations to build their economic wealth.  Could it be possible that the US has been doing the same, in the time since WWII?  Or has our international history been more filled with support for burgeoning independence movements?

-- BryceHarrington

Chomsky seems to be applying Lenin's theory of imperialism.  The competing theory, that nations grow wealthy by increasing the productivity of thier labor, has the advantage over Lenin's of being supported by the evidence.

R.J. Rummel has done history's most exhaustive study on the issue of governmental mass murder.  He has calculated the total number of deaths by studying each reported instance of murder and adding them all up, for all of the most destructive regimes of the 20th century (the total for the century came in around 170 million).  For perspective, he has done similar research on pre-20th century political mass murder.  He was able to document an estimated 6000 deaths of Native Americans at the hands of the United States government.  If you wish to argue that there were more than this, please indicate when and where each incident occured and how many people were killed in each incident.  This is recent history in an area with a free press and a literate population - if these events occured, they would have been documented.  Where are the bodies?  If the evidence was destroyed, where is the powerful centralized organization that systematically disposed of the evidence over thousands of miles (a powerful centralized oganization would be necessary for a task of that scale).  Where are the directives from Washington (there is official documentation of all the modern genocides - why not this one)?  Where are the eye-witness accounts (there are eye-witness accounts of all the modern genocides - why not this one)?

A collaborative project like this one could be a valuable tool for this kind of research.  We can start of page for IndianMassacres and begin compiling an exhaustive list of incidents.

(curiously, Rummel just sent me this illustration:)

- TimShell