The XXI Century American Revolution- Part 2
Chapter IV The Pentagon
"Don't do what I did. Don't wait until the war has started. Don't wait until the bombs have fallen...Don't wait until the engine of this war is unstoppable. Before the war take your chances. Reveal what you know It is the truth... Obey your oath... not to superior officers... but to the Constitution... which they know is being violated..."
Daniel Ellsberg. Pentagon Papers Whistleblower. 2013
crisis hit simultaneously the Bush Administration and the United States
Department of Defense (DoD), popularly known as the Pentagon, the
Department of the Executive Branch that coordinates, supervises and
organizes agencies and functions related to the national security and
the Armed Forces. DoD has
more than 2.13 million active-duty soldiers, sailors, Marines, pilots
and civilian workers, and more than 1.1 million soldiers in the National
Guard and members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps
The crisis due to the military disaster in Iraq began to shake an enormous bureaucracy of just over 3.2 million soldiers and civilians, equivalent to the population of a small country, with the Head of the Pentagon commanding 3 subordinate departments: Army, Navy and Air Force. The heads of these 3 Departments make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which in turn has a Director who is a Lieutenant General of the Army, or Vice Admiral of the Navy and supervises the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Force and 4 national intelligence services: The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
Other agencies under Pentagon command include the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Defense Reduction Agency Threats (DTRA) and the Pentagon Protective Forces Agency (PFPA). All of these agencies are under the command of the Secretary of Defense, as are the joint services schools, including the National Defense University (NDU) and the National War College (NWC). The Pentagon organization has as the 1st link in the chain of command the President of the Nation with the title of "Commander in Chief." The 2nd link in the chain is the Secretary of Defense, the highest authority in the Pentagon, who is advised by the heads of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made up of the heads of the different forces.
The 3rd link in the chain are the heads of the Unified Combatant Commands (UCC), generals or 4-star admirals called "Combatant Commanders " (CCDR). This third link reveals the deep structure of the US Armed Forces. The Pentagon organization is based on a system of Unified Combatant Commands (UCC), organizations composed of the different forces that provide effective command and control on a geographical basis with the dominion of a certain territorial sector of the planet. This geographic area is called the "Area of Responsibility" (AOR), over which it has jurisdiction both in times of peace and war.
Thus, each UCC has power over dozens of nations, governments, states and millions of inhabitants. The UCC are currently 9 in total, and arose from a series of restructuring of the Armed Forces promoted since 1945 by a joint staff led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was the supreme commander of the Allied troops in the World War 2. After its end, changes and restructuring followed under the presidency of Harry Truman, which were reflected in the National Security Act of 1947, under the political, ideological and legal framework of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. At that stage the first two UCCs emerged: The Pacific Command (USPACOM), and the European Command (USEUCOM).
The Department of Defense (DOD) and its final structure were shaped after a succession of changes, documents, amendments, and a restructuring process over the decades through which the complex structure of the US Armed Forces evolved. The entire structure of the US Armed Forces always evolved based on the UCC, each of which established a Unified Command Plan (UCP), updated annually between the CCDR and the Pentagon. The UCP is a plan that involves strategies and responsibilities for the enormous sectors of the globe that each UCC covers.
Over the years, new UCCs were formed: In 1963 the Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) for Latin America was established, and in 1983 the Central Command in the Middle East region (USCENTCOM) was established. But after the enactment of the Goldwater-Nichols Act during the Reagan Administration, 3 new UCCs emerged with new characteristics that significantly differentiate them from the UCCs that emerged in the postwar period. In 1987, the Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) emerged. In 1992 the Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) was born.
But SOCOM, TRANSCOM and STRATCOM are 3 UCCs completely different from the previous ones that had emerged in the immediate post-war period. The postwar UCC established an AOR, that is, a "horizontal" area of dominance over a group of regions and countries. On the other hand, the 3 new UCCs, SOCOM, TRANSCOM and TRATCOM, do not have an AOR, a geographical area under their domain, but instead develop a group of specific operations that cross "vertically" all the Armed Forces. For example, the TRATCOM Strategic Command, or the TRANSCOM transportation command, develop an activity that affects all forces, both strategic planning and the provision of transportation that are not linked to a particular geographic area but to all areas, of all forces, throughout the globe.
Finally, the current structure of 9 UCCs of the Armed Forces was completed in 2002 when the Bush Administration established the Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and in 2007 the Africa Command (USAFRICOM), new "horizontal" type UCCs . In turn, each UCC established Subordinate Commands such as Alaska Command (ALCOM), for example, which is subordinate to NORTHCOM, or United States Forces Korea (USFK) subordinate to USPACOM. This is how the process of organizing the Armed Forces reached its current point, constituting an imposing force, the largest in history, which has the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. By 2003, when the Iraq War began, this imposing structure of "horizontal" and "vertical" UCCs had under its control a total armament of approximately 534 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) of the Minuteman III and Peacekeeper models, in addition to 432 Trident C4 and D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and approximately 2 hundred long-range nuclear bombers, including 16 " stealth " bombers of the B-2 type.
This entire structure had 1,000 military bases distributed throughout the world and an approximate budget of 1 trillion dollars that exceeds the military budget of all capitalist powers combined, and a deployment that covers more than 180 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. At the beginning of the Iraq War, the US Armed Forces had a total of between 5,000 and 10,000 nuclear warheads, along with around 9 amphibious assault ships, 22 cruisers, 64 destroyers, and 18 frigates or littoral ships. As for submarines, it had 18 Ohio Class, 43 Los Angeles Class, 3 Seawolf Class submarines, and 9 Virginia Class submarines and a naval power of tremendous magnitude supported by the deployment of 10 aircraft carriers. This entire imposing structure makes it possible to cover all the oceans and seas of the world through the deployment capacity of 7 operational fleets equipped with nuclear power.
At the time of invading Iraq, the Armed Forces also had an Air Force (in English, USAF) made up of more than 5,500 aircraft, 3,900 active duty units, around 1,200 in the Air National Guard, 370 in the Reserve Force Air, and 180 unmanned combat aircraft, with an armament of 2,130 cruise missiles, and 450 intercontinental missiles to articulate deterrence, intelligence, global recognition, superiority in space, cyberspace, personnel rescue, and global precision attack. The USAF, with a personnel of 330,159 personnel, 68,872 reservists, 94,753 personnel in the Air National Guard, more than 151,360 civilian workers, and 60,000 members in the Civil Air Patrol, is the largest and most technologically sophisticated Air Force in the world.
At the time of facing the Iraq War, the US Armed Forces were the most important military force in the history of humanity, incomparable and unmatched by any other country, nation, or empire that had ever existed.
CENTCOM in the eye of the storm
The political and military crisis of the Armed Forces in Iraq hit hard the UCC responsible for the Middle East: The United States Central Command (CENTCOM). Based at Mac Dill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, and born in 1983 under the Reagan Administration, CENTCOM emerged from the transformation of the Joint Task Force (RDJTF), which had previously been formed by President James Carter for the Middle East region. CENTCOM, in charge of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, has an AOR of 27 nations from the Horn of Africa to China, and has under its command the 5th Fleet patrolling the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the coast from East Africa south to Kenya.
The 5th Fleet had established its base in Bahrain with its more than 20 ships, 15,000 men embarked and 1,000 ashore, a maximum deployment level of 5 aircraft carriers, 6 amphibious assault ships LHD and LHA, and the components of the Joint Force Air-Ground Marines. In the general count, CENTCOM had under its command 141 thousand men in Iraq, 20 thousand in Afghanistan, plus a Subordinate Command in the Iraq War, the USF-I, to which was added the 5th Fleet and its escort ships, the supply, and more than 30 Royal Navy ships. All enormous destructive potential, an unparalleled force. But CENTCOM began to endure very strong pressure from the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, since both were military interventions very different from all previous CENTCOM ones, from every point of view. Although it had faced wars such as the Gulf War with relative success, CENTCOM had never faced anything of the quality and magnitude of the actions involved in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the Gulf War, CENTCOM had faced with relative triumphs the actions that were part of Desert Storm in January 1991, and also successfully the operations aimed at establishing the no-fly zone in Iraq, which were called "Warrior Vigilante", "Vigilant Sentinel", "Desert Strike", "Desert Thunder (I and II)", and "Desert Fox". But the reality of CENTCOM in the area of action that covered Somalia and northeastern Kenya was different. Operations "Provide Relief" and "Restore Hope" in 1992 were very traumatic there, in which triumphs and defeats alternated, a situation increasingly complicated due to the resistance of the Somali guerrillas who achieved several triumphs, including the kidnapping of military in the city of Mogadishu, after managing to hit 2 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with rocket-propelled grenades.
By taking Somali militiamen hostage by the army, CENTCOM had to work hard to rescue them through "Operation Gothic Serpent." Despite this, the situation worsened in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and after a series of popular outbreaks that added to the accumulated defeats, the Clinton Administration ordered the withdrawal of troops from Somalia. Then CENTCOM had to face the 1996 attacks on the Khobar Towers in which 19 American airmen died, as well as the attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania where 250 people died.
In June 2000, then-President Bill Clinton appointed General Tommy Franks as Combatant Commander of CENTCOM, who had a long career in the armed forces, having served in Vietnam, in the Pentagon, on the Army General Staff, and in the Gulf War. As soon as he took office, Franks had to confront the attack on the USS Cole that occurred on October 12, 2000 in Yemen, where 17 sailors perished. However, none of the attacks or events that occurred in the region in previous years reached the intensity and severity of the confrontation that CENTCOM had to face after 9/11.
CENTCOM began operations in Afghanistan with aerial bombardments, deployment of American and British infantry, plus special forces from several allied nations such as Australia, which were later joined by NATO troops and the rest that made up the International Assistance Force for Security (in English, ISAF). In the "Iraqi Freedom" operation of March 2003, CENTCOM coordinated its actions with that of the United Kingdom troops, and with smaller contingents from Australia, Spain, Denmark, Poland, etc., but from there, and barely achieving the first triumphs in Iraq and Afghanistan a wave of criticism fell on Operation "Iraqi Freedom", and the political crisis within the Armed Forces worsened when the head of CENTCOM Tommy Franks presented his resignation as commander of the multinational coalition in May 2003.
Barely 2 months had passed after beginning operations in Iraq, when its top boss, General Tommy Franks, presented his resignation. And after resigning from commanding the Multinational Coalition, in July 2003 Franks resigned as Head of CENTCOM, with which Franks resigned from the two positions of maximum military responsibility, just 2 months after President George W. Bush proclaimed victory from the deck of the USS Lincoln with the phrase: " Mission Acomplished!" (in English, "Mission accomplished!").
The two resignations of Tommy Franks laid bare the political crisis that broke out within the Armed Forces as soon as the Iraq war began. In the best moment of triumph and glory of the Bush Administration, evident differences in strategic criteria began to appear within the Pentagon and among military commanders. The contradictions and doubts between Rumsfeld, the head of the Pentagon and the Combatant Commanders were made public, evidencing differences in both judgment and strategy, both on the battlefield and in support operations, both at the military and political levels. that began to influence the reality of the Iraq war.
What was causing this growing political crisis within the Armed Forces in the midst of the development of the war? What aggravated the political crisis in the Pentagon was that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld triad promoted a reform of the Armed Forces, taking advantage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, by developing unconventional military operations that combined the actions of the traditional Armed Forces with elite forces, in a war plan that tested a new military scheme.
This scheme of the Bush Administration was based on 3 strategies that were developed simultaneously: The first strategy was for the troops commanded by Rumsfeld to violate all organizations, laws and conventions of war, and to act in disregard of the UN Security Council, the Convention. of Geneva, and the San Francisco Charter of the UN of 1945. And while none of these organizations, laws and conventions had prevented the US Armed Forces for decades from invading nations on different continents, carrying out massacres, or launching atomic bombs with high destructive power, for Rumsfeld it was not enough and they had to overcome them and ignore them. The second strategy of the Bush Administration was to build an army parallel to the traditional army. This strategy implied a profound political-social reform of the Armed Forces, and was promoted with a permanent political campaign in favor of the use of "Non-Conventional Capabilities" for which Donald Rumsfeld became its most important spokesperson. These "Non-Conventional" military capabilities were reflected in the formation of the Special Forces, elite bodies with the capacity to carry out tasks that the regular US army was reluctant to carry out.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the ideal scenario to implement this reform of the Armed Forces and give free rein to the actions of the Special Forces. In Afghanistan, the Special Forces constituted a force of almost 47,000 men from the SEAL, Ranger, Delta Force, and other special commands, a force that achieved increasing prominence in the theater of war, being the ones that carried out the assault of Mazar-i-Sharif, and then patrolling the streets of Kabul as well as other cities in the country.
These Special Forces acted under the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), subordinate to SOCOM. But in addition to having their own Command, they coordinated actions with elite forces such as Blackwater, a privatized army with its own budget of billions of dollars established at the Fort Bragg base in North Carolina. This coordination between the mercenary troops of the Armed Forces and the privatized army corps acted under the command of General Charles R. Holland, head of SOCOM, assisted by General Dell L. Dailey as head of the JOSC.
As we saw, SOCOM was born under the Reagan Administration after the failure of the rescue of the hostages from the US embassy in Iran in 1980. Since its activation on April 16, 1987, SOCOM had participated in multiple operations such as the invasion of Panama in 1989 and various clandestine or covert missions. The headquarters of SOCOM as well as that of CENTCOM are overlapping since both share the same MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida. But this overlap of both UCCs was not only geographical, but also political.
Both UCCs overlapped actions in the Iraq War. In the military operations in Iraq, SOCOM operations overlapped, and in many cases acted contradictorily, with those of CENTCOM. By promoting this conglomerate of Special Forces at full speed, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was generating enormous contradictions within the army and the political regime. Rumsfeld sought to modify the statute of the Special Forces, for which he relied on reports from the Pentagon's Scientific Advisory Committee, according to which the Special Forces must become the central instrument of military operations and should no longer be made available to the other weapons.
The reports of the Scientific Advisory Committee raised the need to free the Special Forces from the authority of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and suggested that they be linked directly to the National Security Council. This entire new device was a completely new organization scheme for the Armed Forces, a reform that was not only military; but also political because they indirectly implied changes in the country's political regime. This scheme of reorganization of the Armed Forces was progressively established after the war in Afghanistan, in the very field of military actions, and expressed the 3rd strategy of the Bush Administration: That of carrying out a profound reform of the Forces. Armed forces that established the supremacy of the "vertical" UCC, above the "horizontal" UCC.
The Bonapartist reform of Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration
The Bush Administration began to develop a reform of the Armed Forces in the midst of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, which deepened its Bonapartist character. The political regime based essentially on the Armed Forces is called Bonapartism, and its name comes from the regime established by Napoleon Bonaparte based on the French army, which acted as an arbiter over the institutions and social classes in conflict after the triumph of the French Revolution.
The Armed Forces are an institution that tends to be placed above the rest of the political institutions such as Parliament, the Judiciary, or the Executive Branch, which is developed in all capitalist countries unequally according to the particular characteristics of each country. and its political situation. But since the United States is a state that has dominated the capitalist world economy since approximately the post-war period of the 20th century, the structure of the US Armed Forces was established from then on, progressively evolving as an enormous supranational entity that tends to position itself above all the countries, institutions and social formations of the different states of the world, and was reflected after the end of the Second World War in the formation of the "horizontal" UCC.
The military structure of UCC's with an AOR assigned over a certain geographic sector of the planet, located them as a colossal supranational military entity, above nations, governments, laws, institutions, and even armies of the different countries that make up said region. In this way, the United States Armed Forces were embodying their global Bonapartist character, establishing dominance over the different political-social formations of the various regions of the globe. This Bonapartist character developed after World War II and was expressed through the different military interventions that occurred throughout the 20th century, both in Europe in World War II, and in Southeast Asia such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, or in Latin America, Africa, etc.
Regardless of whether all the interventions are of different character and sign, all of them are an example of the growing Bonapartist position of the Armed Forces of the United States, which intervened permanently in the last 70 years in entire regions and continents of the globe. The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which established the new "vertical" UCCs SOCOM, TRANSCOM and STRATCOM, meant a reinforcement and strengthening of the Bonapartist aspects of the Armed Forces.
The appearance of the "vertical" UCCs implied the emergence of new and gigantic supranational organizations that tend to overlap in a contradictory manner, and even place themselves "above" the horizontal UCCs. Precisely, when the third strategy of promoting the predominance of the "vertical" UCCs over the "horizontal" UCCs was developed, it began to take shape in Iraq in a structure that imposed the predominance of SOCOM, in a pyramid whose vertex was Rumsfeld, and left the remaining forces, branches, and UCC's under subjection. At the time of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, two UCCs were operating under Rumsfeld's command, CENTCOM and SOCOM. Both located at the same MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. One "horizontal", the other "vertical". One under Tommy Franks, the other under Charles Hollande. Which of the two really commanded?
Both Tommy Franks, CENTCOM, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces began to observe that in the War forces were acting that were beyond their control, they did not obey their orders, they acted under their own plan and did not abide by their decisions or projects. . For example, they observed how Task Force 121 acted as a multi-service force commanded by Brigadier General Gregory L. Trebon that received direct assistance from coalition nations such as the Canadian, British, Australian, and Polish corps, which increased its power. .
Based on thousands of men drawn from the now defunct Task Force 5 and Task Force 20, Task Force 121's primary objective was to capture or kill high value targets ( HVTs ), such as mujahideen leaders or former heads of the Baath Party. Task Force 121 was directly involved in the assassination of Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, and was involved in the capture of Saddam Hussein himself. Because its primary mission was the capture of the HVT, it was organized in such a way that it had a close relationship with intelligence personnel such as CIA operators, who were an integral part of the unit.
Task Force 121 only responded to and received orders from one of the UCCs established at MacDill: SOCOM. With
this perspective, CENTCOM was in the center of the storm gripped by the
war on one side, and the internal crisis on the other. SOCOM
and CENTCOM were in charge of Rumsfeld, but CENTCOM felt that every
minute its ability to act in the war was limited by the actions of
SOCOM. The Joint Chiefs of
Staff and the Chief of CENTCOM observed how the Special Forces achieved
greater and greater prominence and took the lead in all actions,
changing the structure of the Armed Forces in the very field of military
action, which meant not only a change in the military field, but also
in the political aspect.
Rumsfeld took advantage of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars to carry out a reform of the US Armed Forces, operating in the concrete terrain, and at the same time he did not miss any opportunity to publicly stigmatize the bureaucratic weight of the high command of the Armed forces. The head of the Pentagon urged the officer corps to adapt to his demands, and put increasing pressure on the CENTCOM commands, imposing measures in order to strengthen and develop the aspects of the Armed Forces of interest to the Bush Administration. But Rumsfeld's aspirations did not end there.
The Reform of the head of the Pentagon included the absorption of the Space Command by SOCOM with a view to the creation of a space army, with the objective of advancing in the construction of a force that would have a presence in the sky to fight battles on the ground, counting with satellite support from the stratosphere with telecommunications infrastructure in orbit. It was a plan that had no limits in its Bonapartist character with an aggressiveness that endangered humanity as a whole. All the actions of the Secretary of Defense unleashed an acute crisis in the Armed Forces that partially paralyzed the General Staff, and made any plan and even any appointment difficult.
The crisis did not take long to unleash fierce internal struggles between the members of the Armed Forces, between the heads of the UCC, between the heads and Rumsfeld, installed in the Pentagon, from there it radiated towards the political parties, and all the institutions of the political regime. , with which, each event of the Iraq War only fueled these confrontations. As the War developed, the military strategy of Rumsfeld and the Pentagon reflected the reform in the very theater of the war confrontations. military of the Armed Forces. This reform promoted by the Bush Administration had the objective of deepening the Bonapartist character of the Armed Forces. And at the same time, it had another objective: The privatization of the Armed Forces initiated by the Reagan Administration through the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which found continuity with the measures implemented by the Bush Administration and the Pentagon.
The privatization of the Armed Forces and the technological leap
Starting with the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, a process of privatization of the Armed Forces began, which continued 4 years later under the Bush Sr. Administration with the management of Richard "Dick" Cheney as Secretary of Defense. This reform implied not only the emergence of vertical UCCs but also the replacement of regular soldiers with troops made up of professional mercenaries. Under Cheney's administration, the number of army soldiers was reduced from 2,200,000 soldiers to 1,600,000 soldiers as of 1989 and 1990, and the military budget was compressed.
Previously, the military did not rely heavily on civilian contractors, but reduced staff and budgets left the military with a shortage of services, infrastructure and training facilities that gave contractors carte blanche to offer a wide range of services. military and security services. Private companies and corporations began to provide services for advanced weapons repairs, facility protection, personnel security, translation, interrogation, and training courses for military and police forces.
Under the management of the Bush Administration and Donald Rumsfeld this entire process deepened. By the time the invasion of Iraq began, 35 private contractors were providing these services to the Armed Forces, including Halliburton, KBR, Bechtel, Fluor, Titan, CACL, Triple Canopy, DynCorp, Trident and Blackwater, which won security contracts valued at millions of dollars. Many of these were signed thanks to the invasion of Iraq, in addition to the services demanded by the network of detention centers and prisons in various highly complex services.
For example, the Black Sites required private planes to secretly transport prisoners, in addition to security, communications and a multiplicity of services that required an increase in contractors that at the end of 2006 numbered more than 100,000 of various nationalities providing multiple services to the Pentagon, without count potential subcontractors. In comparative terms with the Gulf War, the presence of private corporations providing military services had increased approximately tenfold. Congressional reports indicated that 20% of the money spent by his country in Iraq in the period 2003 - 2007, approximately US$85 billion, had been used to contract services to private military companies, which were grouped into Private Security . Company Association of Iraq (PSCA) to discuss matters of business interest affecting PSCAs.
These companies established a very close relationship with the local government and coalition forces. On June 27, 2004, Paul Bremer, before leaving the leadership of the Coalition Provisional Authority, signed Order number 17, which defined in Annex 4 the legal status of contractors in Iraq, an ordinance that generated controversy when it became known, since It allowed contractors not to be subject to Iraqi laws and regulations, having immunity from local processes as long as they complied with the provisions of their contract.
Later this immunity was withdrawn after the death of 17 civilians perpetrated by mercenary forces, but this whole process had one company benefiting in a privileged way: Blackwater, the most far-reaching mercenary company in the world. Blackwater with 20,000 soldiers, its own military base in North Carolina, a fleet of aircraft, gunship helicopters, and a private intelligence division, reached the heart of the army itself with the entry on the scene of a mercenary firm with the greatest reach in the world, with thousands of soldiers, the largest private military base on the planet. At the time it was hired, Blackwater manufactured its own surveillance blimps and target detection systems. The company was run by Erik Prince, a far-right white supremacist Christian and former Navy contributor to the Republican Party, whose family has had deep neo-conservative connections.
Prince was favored by a wave of contracts worth millions of dollars, which facilitated the creation of the private army company that included among its directors as President Gary Jackson, also a former Marine, and a significant number of CIA and US officials. Pentagon. Erik Prince's military base extended over around 6,000 hectares, almost 24 square kilometers in an immense swamp in North Carolina on the border with Virginia, and hence the name Blackwater adopted for the murky-colored water of the swamp. Since its formation in 1990 it provided military training support for hand-to-hand combat, precision rifle shooting, road driving and tactics courses, training for military, government and law enforcement, at its tracks in Camden and Currituck Counties.
By 2006, Blackwater had soldiers deployed in 9 countries around the world, manufactured its own surveillance blimps, its own target detection systems, and its owner, former Marine Erik Prince, had been favored by a wave of contracts worth millions. of dollars which allowed it to have an army deployed in conflict zones alongside NATO, or the UN. The PSCA demand personnel with a high degree of training and knowledge in the handling of weapons and combat situations, which is why they are mainly nourished by elite soldiers who, due to the growth of the business of military companies, move to the private sector.
Sectors of elite soldiers such as the British SAS, the US Green Berets or the Canadian JTF-2 begin to offer their services to these companies and private armies where they obtain higher salaries and benefits. Enormous contradictions caused this emergence of private companies and Blackwater in the army. Firstly, these forces carried out actions that were partially without supervision of CENTCOM and the High Command, which sometimes caused serious problems in the theater of war. To give a more resonant example, Blackwater was closely linked to the Fallujah massacre, when 4 Blackwater contractors Scott Helvenston, Jerry Zovko, Batalona Wesley and Michael Teague, were attacked and killed with grenades and small arms fire, and their bodies were hanging from a bridge over the Euphrates.
But also in other military actions, the Blackwater Forces and the regular army forces clashed in shootouts and other confusing actions, sometimes caused by errors, or sometimes as an expression of the friction between the mercenary forces and the regular troops. The other element is that the emergence of a huge mass of contracts to private companies triggered the "business" of the military task service, and caused the diversion of parts of the Pentagon Budget, which constantly triggered bidding and confrontations between the High Command. , companies and the government for the destination of those budget items.
The entire process of Reform of the Armed Forces after Goldwater-Nichols is the result of the military defeat in Vietnam. The military defeat in Vietnam produced in broad sectors of the officers and military specialists the view that this war could not yet be won despite the enormous military superiority. That conclusion led to another: In order to avoid a similar episode being repeated, the Armed Forces had to provide themselves in the future with such unmatched technological superiority that no other state could even come close to it, which led to the 1970s. t was a decade of technological leaps among the largest in history still in the process of development and evolution
The 70's were a decade of industrial evolution and great technological advances, a development in which the evolution of computing stood out, beginning in the 40's during the Second World War and relatively delayed until the 60's when He began to advance decisively. Computing reached its turning point in the 70's, with the appearance of the personal computer, and since then, computers have led the military sector, mainly in areas discovered by radar, control, early warning and management of aircraft. combat.
The most prominent example is the Internet, which emerged as a military program in 1968 when the Strategic Air Command decided to strategically disseminate sensitive military information contained in computers in various centers throughout the country. The only way to keep these computers in permanent contact was by telephone since the operators read the screens by phone, a system that evolved over the years and today we know as the Internet. In 1981 it was launched into the civil field with barely a thousand users, most of them business corporations, and then it became universal throughout the world starting in 1995.
The privatization process of the Armed Forces had another consequence: that of financing the country's powerful private military industry made up of gigantic business conglomerates, which was carried out not only through contracts but also through multimillion-dollar federal loans. Several examples illustrate this transfer of federal funds to private arms corporations. One case was the huge contracts awarded in 1978 to the McDonall-Douglas and General Dynamics companies to produce the F-16 fighters in 1975 and the F-18 fighter for the US Navy in 1978.
At the end of the 1990s, the merger of two aerospace giants, McDonall-Douglas and Boeing, was due to the Pentagon's decision to manufacture the future JSF fighter in the same model for the Air Force and the Navy, an advanced multipurpose fighter for the next 50 years, through an immense contract worth 200,000 million U$S. As a result, since then Boeing, in addition to being a world leader in the production of passenger aircraft, saw its military division increase with the incorporation of McDonall-Douglas. After manufacturing the advanced F-15 fighter, Boeing obtained the contract to provide the most advanced F-22, a state-of-the-art fighter with Stealth technology, which makes it invisible to radar and thus replaced the F-15, equipping the Forces. Air until 2050, model that entered service in the USAF in 2002.
Other great technological innovations developed since the 1970s are the laser that emerged in 1958 and was later perfected. Then biological weapons such as CS gases, VX and napalm, many of which were used in the Vietnam War. Later, the cruise missile was developed, such as the Tomahawk, used in the Gulf War, naval anti-ship missiles such as the Harpoon, the Exocet and others; the F-117 aircraft that made operations called "surgical" bombing and bombing with digital images possible, and later the construction of the B-1 and B-2 bombers. Other technological advances in military operations were the development of different types of bombs, thus since the '70s "smart bombs" were developed , laser-guided bombs, cluster bombs, defragmentation bombs, those guided by TV, delayed, thermal, graphite, precision, Paveway II and III satellite-guided bombs, and the HARM anti-radiation missile.
Then came the AH-64 Apache gunship, the A-10 anti-tank fighter, second-generation stealth technology, and the F-117. Since
the '70s, the advanced aeronautical helmet visor, electronic
countermeasures, infrared night vision, Doppler radar, and V/STOL
technology for short/vertical air takeoff and landing were developed. This
exponential growth in terms of military technology was accompanied by
advances in astrophysics and astronautics, as well as space technology
that was materialized in the space shuttles that began in the United
States with fundamentally military intentions.
The defense industry was located since the 1950's in California where research was carried out on weapons systems, missiles, computing, and all kinds of aerospace technology, hence the San Francisco area is the first world center of computing and cybernetics, where these sciences began, with emblematic areas such as Syllicon Valley, headquarters of computer giants such as Apple or Hewlett Packard, and a large global concentration of aeronautical engineers and computer engineers.
The development of the arms industry and information technology transformed California into the richest state in the entire United States, with a GDP similar to that of France. If California proclaimed its independence, its governor would attend the G-8 summit representing a sixth of the US population in the most populous state in the country. Although California is the epicenter of the American defense industry, it has secondary centers, such as the state of Louisiana, home of the aerospace giant McDonall- Douglas, today absorbed by Boeing.
Another state that is home to a defense industry giant is Michigan, home of the Lockheed-Martin conglomerate, a world leader in the manufacture of missile systems. New Jersey also stands out, in addition to Texas, and Florida related to space travel. The entire development of this cutting-edge technology was always aimed at launching a major military confrontation, which would allow the Armed Forces to overcome the defeat in Vietnam and finally prevail, a strategy that was just beginning with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
The Pentagon's multi-billion-dollar annual military budget is a dominant factor in the economy. Extensive lobby groups operate in Washington that work on a certain type of services or a weapons system, seeking a larger slice of the pie for their clients. A House Subcommittee on Armed Forces Services found that more than fourteen hundred retired officers, including two hundred and sixty-one generals and admirals, were employed by the top one hundred defense contractors. In 1961, nearly two out of every three congressmen had government military installations in their congressional districts. The presence of these, along with private military contractor companies, exerts irresistible political-economic pressure on legislators to support allocations for weapons and imperialist policies.
The Pentagon also has Echelon, considered the largest espionage and analysis network to intercept electronic communications in history. It can capture radio and satellite images, phone calls, faxes and emails and includes automatic analysis and classification of interceptions, estimated to intercept more than 3 billion communications per day. Despite having been developed in order to control the military communications of the Soviet Union, it is currently also used to find clues about terrorism, drug trafficking, and political and diplomatic intelligence, being essential for the espionage of any nation and the invasion. of privacy on a large scale.
This entire system is under the administration of the NSA (National Security Agency), an organization that has 100,000 employees in Maryland alone, although it is estimated that it has 380,000 employees worldwide, making it the largest espionage organization in the world. world. In June 2013, several media outlets such as The Guardian and The Washington Post disclosed the existence of the PRIM Program, which captures data from companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.
In this way, the Military-Industrial Complex and the Pentagon are based on the 5 giant arms companies that are Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop-Grumman. In turn, they have an alliance with the British British AerospaceSystems (BAES), which makes them the largest suppliers of defense material to the Pentagon. The 9/11 attacks allowed the design of a military strategy that could carry out all this development. The PNAC's time had arrived. Let's now see what these military strategies were, the measures and guidelines developed by the Bush Administration, the Pentagon and Donald Rumsfeld, which sought to carry out the Reform of the Armed Forces, privatization and ended up aggravating the political crisis within.
Military strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan
To understand the military strategy carried out by Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon in Iraq, it is necessary to first take a look at what the strategy of the Iraqi resistance was. As we see step by step how the military strategy of the Iraqi troops developed, we will fully understand why Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld's strategy was completely different from all those carried out in previous wars. For example, when the Gulf War took place in 1991, Colin Powell, in his capacity as Head of the Pentagon, told then-President George Bush Sr. that they needed 200,000 additional men to succeed in Iraq. But ten years later, the situation was very different.
In this war, the head of the Pentagon did not request more men, the Powell Doctrine had been left behind, and now light, small, elite troops were requested to face a resistance based on guerrilla warfare, but that did not take place in tropical jungles like Vietnam, but it was urban, street by street, and house by house. This strategic vision of Rumsfeld and the senior officials of the Pentagon rigorously anticipated the events that would occur, and corresponded perfectly with reality.
Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were aware that they were facing a resistance force that had drawn conclusions from what had happened in Afghanistan, a resistance that understood that large concentrations of troops, even if they had a relative anti-aircraft defense, were useless to confront the power of the NATO. In Afghanistan, the Taliban believed that they could resist the Pentagon forces, which led them to make the mistake from a military point of view, of exposing their best troops to the indiscriminate bombing of the Pentagon, tremendously superior in the air and in rocketry for a long time. distance.
This caused the defeat of the Taliban army in the midst of a very unequal confrontation. The massive attack by the powerful NATO Air Force produced enormous casualties in the Taliban army, which was practically wiped off the map, and was reduced to a few pockets of resistance. It was from these events of the war in Afghanistan that the Iraqi General Staff drew conclusions. It was from the experience of the defeat of the Taliban that the Iraqi military strategy was born based on the perception that NATO satellites could detect any movement of troops or concentration of troops.
The Iraqi desert was not the most appropriate place to hide a concentration of tanks, cannons and rocketry. In this way, a large army, no matter how brave it was, if it did not have air cover, ran the risk of being destroyed before entering combat. The course of action shifted toward the strategy of employing the best, most seasoned, and best-trained forces in "urban guerrilla warfare." For this reason, as soon as the bombing began and the advance of NATO troops on Baghdad was completed, the Iraqi army vanished into thin air.
And then he reappeared in commando actions, counting on the contingents of the Republican Guard and those of the security forces who had to hit and cause the greatest damage possible, and then disappear into the mass of the Iraqi people. For this objective, what the Iraqi army did was pretend to be a total surrender, while setting up bases in the cities, in the countryside and in the desert, which were used to hide the maximum amount of weapons, ammunition and explosives in hundreds of places. .
These bases were known only to certain chiefs and leaders of the resistance, and they were not large depots, but rather medium and small ones, which were functional for attacks in those most unexpected places and on the least protected forces, at any time. . From there the Iraqi resistance first attacked NATO supply columns, logistics service units and patrols inside the cities.
Then the attacks were concentrated on the troops of the new Iraqi government, allied to the invaders, and thus the assaults on the contingents made up of Iraqi soldiers became generalized. These attacks sought to frighten the collaborators with NATO and the police forces of the new Iraqi government. , producing terror in the leadership, and with it a general feeling of insecurity in the occupation government. But in addition, the entire guerrilla and command strategy sought to lead the War to a prolonged development, knowing that as time passed, the war would lose popular support in the United States, due to its enormous economic cost and in human lives. That is why the objective of the resistance was to avoid a decisive battle, an event where the one who has the greatest chance is the one with the most fire potential.
The strategy of the Iraqi resistance consisted of carrying out small actions of daily harassment that caused the psychological disturbance of many NATO soldiers. The soldiers began to go to their patrol tasks in fear, stopping and taking refuge in the terrain just a couple of kilometers from their base, with a deep fear that also triggered miscalculations, caused by nervousness. These miscalculations were detrimental to NATO's military strategy, which became evident, for example, when many of the Iraqi provisional government's police officers were killed by marines who believed they were engaging with enemies.
At the same time, the Iraqis knew that sooner or later thousands of fighters would come to Iraq to face the invasion, fighters from all regions and corners of the Middle East, moved by the struggle of the Iraqi people willing to give their lives to defeat the invading troops. The resistance strategy aimed to maintain the initiative in the entire territory; this did not require a huge force that would be easier to detect and destroy, but rather small combat forces. It was a very well-trained, well-equipped and determined military elite, which allowed them to always replace casualties with new people and always maintain an active operational force that did not lose its combat power.
Dispersion throughout the territory was preferable to a concentration because it forced a dispersion of NATO troops. The dispersion of NATO troops in turn favored the presentation of tactical opportunities for the resistance commandos, and prevented the Pentagon from arriving at a decisive battle, at the same time exposing NATO troops to receiving systematic and permanent attacks. . From the point of view of military strategy, the Iraq War began to take place according to the plan of the resistance, generally constituted, and with exceptions such as the battle of Fallujah, by small combats in which there were always casualties on both sides.
The invading soldier found himself traveling in convoys that were attacked when he least expected it; soldiers found explosives on roads, in cities, and everywhere, which turned the reality of Iraq for NATO soldiers into a permanent and unbearable nightmare caused by a practically invisible enemy. The effect on NATO troops was devastating, and although the Bush Administration did everything possible to give the impression that they were winning the war, it did not take long for the American people to realize the reality.
The winds of defeat were blowing on the Bush Administration and questioned the political strategy of the PNAC, as well as the military strategy of the Pentagon, which was exactly opposite to that designed by the Iraqi resistance. The Pentagon's strategy was that of a short war, a quick victory, and a withdrawal from the territories, leaving a local military and police force to help administer the occupation. This strategy was based from the beginning on the impact of the 9/11 attacks, which gave the GWOT a strong political base of support from mass sectors in the country and in the world, along with the collaboration of governments, political parties, and representatives of the majority of the Arab world. To achieve this short and clean war, the Pentagon sought to structure a variant of the military strategy known as "Swarming" or "swarm attack." It is an offensive strategy, consisting of a combination of numerous rapid and simultaneous actions of air strikes, cruise missiles, special forces and conventional ground forces on all decision points of the regime and its supports.
"Swarming" in the Pentagon strategy and Donald Rumsfeld
involves attacking the enemy through the offensive convergence of many
autonomous or semi-autonomous units on an objective, combining different
techniques and forms. This
strategy of the Pentagon and Donald Rumsfeld in Iraq consisted of
bombings of Baghdad, penetration of tanks in the desert, movement of
troops with mobility, regrouping, communication, autonomy of the units,
coordination and synchronization of the activities of the different
forces. The technological
advances of the information age provided advanced tools that made the
strategy more effective, with faster and more forceful results, but
also, given the intensity of the attack, caused a large number of
civilian casualties. The term swarming was
coined by the conservative think tank the RAND Corporation, and its
characteristics are similar to the strategy used by Germany in World War
II called "Blitzkrieg" (German for "Lightning War").
This strategy used by Hitler and the Nazi High Command sought to achieve its objectives quickly, combining all military forces of land, sea and air . It was unstoppable for the armies of all countries and only the Red Army of the Soviet Union stopped it. The High Command of the German Army wanted to avoid trench warfare, a defensive and positional strategy used by the armies that intervened in World War I, a strategy of static confrontations, very little useful in defeating the enemy, which caused a enormous and overwhelming number of casualties.
If in the First World War the weapons were fundamentally of a defensive nature, such as machine guns, mines or heavy artillery that were useful in trench fighting, during the Second World War offensive and mobile weapons acquired more importance . The prominence corresponded to the battle tank, the plane, the tanks equipped with larger caliber guns, with thicker and more resistant armor, and improvements in speed and autonomy. Aviation played an essential role in bombing missions, or supporting tanks, and abandoned the exclusive reconnaissance mission to become an offensive weapon, which served to transport paratroopers and destroy military and civil objectives.
In 1939 the German Luftwaffe had 4,800 war aircraft, of which 1,670 were bombers. Counting on this weaponry, the Nazi strategy of the " Blitzkrieg " consisted of a rapid entry of planes and tanks into the territory to be conquered that broke the enemy lines, reached the command posts, dismantled the rearguard and surrounded the opponent. The infantry was in charge of securing all the areas through which the first aviation advance called "Luftwaffe", and the tanks called " Panzer " by the Germans. They advanced with force, and in a few days, they made one army after another capitulate.
This strategy was first applied in the Polish War on September 1, 1939, and Germany launched the Blitzkrieg on Belgium, and the Netherlands in 1940. Finally the German army entered France in a series of military attacks that ended with triumphs of the Nazis. In the case of the Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, "Swarming" had better technology than the Nazis' Blitzkrieg when advancing on Baghdad. Product of the technological leap operated since the '70s in the Armed Forces, "Swarming" included computer technology, from censors to satellites, and from radars to night vision devices.
Based on these technological advances, the Pentagon began to use the concept of "precision technological warfare" that sought accuracy in attacks that did not affect the civilian population, a concept that was used to justify the bombings. However, the concept of "precision technological warfare" began to have cracks as soon as the bombing began, because Swarming, like the Nazi Blitzkrieg did in Europe, caused enormous damage to cities, urban concentrations and the civilian population.
Swarming was implemented with bombs that hit the neighborhoods, which could be seen in the television images in which mothers were seen crying, children running, and crowds that, having lost everything, gathered for food. Along with the concept of "precision technological warfare", the concept of "collateral damage" reappeared, used to refer to unintentional or accidental damage resulting from a military operation, and had been coined as a euphemism by the United States Army during the War. from Vietnam. The term "collateral damage" came to the masses in the 1991 Gulf War, but became widely known from the images that global broadcast networks showed the world during the Iraq War.
Perhaps the best known and most famous were the CNN images, hazy, with blurry flashes that made it impossible to appreciate the cruelty of what was happening to the civilian population in Iraq, but to the extent that it was impossible to hide the serious damage that "swarming " " provoked the population of Iraq, the truth began to be known: The "Collateral Damage" was serious abuses of the civil rights of the population. The Iraqi people had already suffered grave violations under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and were now suffering terrible abuses from the most powerful armies in history.
The hatred that the population began to feel against NATO forces, and those of the United States in particular, complicated the strategy of the Armed Forces to the extent that they had to occupy a country of very large size and population, which It required a dangerous combination of two needs: Many troops in the region, and a long occupation time, exactly the opposite of the military strategy that the Pentagon had planned. In turn, NATO had to face this panorama in the midst of a growing process of political and military isolation.
The Armed Forces had their faithful British ally and a small Australian contingent, but that was where the important military support ended. The war effort fell politically and militarily on US forces, and above all, the pressure was on CENTCOM. The political isolation was even greater than the military one, and as the war deepened, the COW disintegrated, and the rejection of the war, which was already considerable, increased day by day. In the world, and especially in Europe, isolation was increasing and the mobilizations against the invasion had reached the most important magnitudes in history.
But also in the Middle East region, to the extent that the population of Iraq increased its hatred of the occupation troops, the political isolation of the United States in the region increased, and in almost no country did the population support the war. In the US, popular support for the war was declining day by day, the fear of casualties created its own dynamic, and this was amplified in public opinion even if they were minimal, any ambush or skirmish in which a dozen soldiers died It was already considered a defeat, or a military coup of considerable importance.
It was at this crucial moment in the Iraq war, in these critical months that defined the course of the war, that General Tommy Franks resigned from his position as commander of CENTCOM and the multinational coalition. Franks had been cited as a possible candidate for the position of head of the entire US Army, but he rejected the offer from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The discussion and differences between Rumsfeld and the High Command covered several issues, but fundamentally the number of troops that should be put on the ground to win the war.
In the debate on this issue, the two existing positions in the Pentagon on military strategy were synthesized, that of Rumsfeld on the one hand versus that of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the other. The position of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, who in turn defended the vision of the Bush Administration, was the short, quick war, the " Blitzkrieg of the 21st century", with its corresponding "collateral damage", based on elite corps and mercenary armies. privatized, monitored from the Pentagon and SOCOM.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff, however, saw another more conventional military strategy, with thousands and thousands of soldiers on the ground, centered on CENTCOM. The position of head of the Army had generated a lot of tension in the Pentagon because Rumsfeld's army reform plan had caused him to clash with the top generals, which led Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki to also publicly confront Rumsfeld over the strategy in Iraq and the number of troops that should be established during the occupation of the country.
Shinseki announced his retirement on June 11, 2003. That is, as soon as the War in Iraq began, such a political crisis broke out in the Armed Forces that Tommy Franks resigned from his position as Head of CENTCOM and from his position as Chief of the Multinational Coalition, and Eric Shinseki in his position as Chief of the Army Staff, which left the Armed Forces in the first 4 months of the Iraq War without its main leaders. But in addition, Franks and Shinseki resigned, publicly expressing their political differences with Rumsfeld, which was an example of the political crisis that the Pentagon was going through. The crisis affected not only CENTCOM, but also SOCOM. The JOSC Subordinate Command (Joint Special Operations Command, JSOC), lost its top commander 6 months after the invasion, in September 2003. Dell L. Dailey had to leave his position in the middle of harsh criticism for not deploying troops and not finding Osama Bin Laden.
JSOC had been involved in the murder of Saddam Hussein's children, but had failed in the search for Osama Bin Laden. When Dell. L. Dailey left his position, Bin Laden had already been searched for 2 years without anything being known about his whereabouts. Along the way in the search for Bin Laden, the mercenary and elite troops of the JOSC had committed all kinds of massacres without distinguishing civilians from soldiers, activists and sympathizers of the armed resistance. The death squads and paramilitary forces had been very efficient at terrorizing communities, neighborhoods and social movements, murdering local leaders to "teach" locals to obey and submit to the occupation, but they had been unable to give any clue about the accused as the author of the 9/11 attacks.
It was a failure of JOSC, and of SOCOM that cost Dell his job. L. Dailey, who was replaced by Stanley McChrystal, a military "favorite" of Rumsfeld and Cheney. At the same time, the political controversy over the war and the dispute between the leaders of SOCOM and CENTCOM continued. Former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee arguing that postwar Iraq required "several hundred thousand soldiers."
This was a much higher estimate than the figure proposed by Rumsfeld and his undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz, who were the central ideologues of the planning of the invasion and occupation. Shinseki and Franks publicly opposed the military strategy of the Bush Administration, and the political crisis in the Pentagon increased with each battle, each defeat, each event that occurred in the theater of operations. After the resignation of Tommy Franks, General John Philip Abizaid, an Army General of Christian Lebanese Arab origin who graduated from West Point, was appointed as Head of CENTCOM.
But even so the crisis continued, bringing to light the failure of the military strategy of the Armed Forces, a failure well explained by Michael Gordon, chief military correspondent of the NY Times, and Bernard Trainor, retired lieutenant general of the Marine Corps, authors of the book " Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq ." Gordon and Trainor were interviewed by Democracy Now journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. In this interview Trainer explained the failure of the post-invasion plan: " ...the plan was for the US military to leave Iraq as quickly as possible, leaving an Iraqi government supported by the US in charge, assuming that the political infrastructure and economic - would be left largely intact and that in the post-Saddam period they would get the international community, the UN and others involved. This was a fatally flawed presumption that resulted in a fatally flawed plan. So, if you are looking the problem that emerged with the insurrection, here is the fundamental cause..."
In the words of the military analyst the word "insurrection" appears for the first time. This word was the expression of the reality of what was happening in the Iraq War, of the failure of the Bush Administration's military strategy that had triggered the political crisis in the Pentagon and pitted Rumsfeld against the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, the word "insurrection" expressed a new element, an unexpected direction that the War took and became the most important of all. The Iraq War was becoming the central political element of the world situation, but not because of the impact of the 9/11 attacks, but because of the action of the masses. Years after the attacks, when NATO troops had entered and occupied Baghdad, a fundamental change began to operate and fully impact international political events: In Iraq, the War was transforming into a Revolution.
Iraq: When War Transforms into Revolution
The Bush Administration's papers were burned once the Armed Forces took Baghdad. The "Blitzkrieg of the 21st century" of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz was successful until the entry into the capital of Iraq, and then it transformed into a terrible nightmare. And the explanation is simple: Until the entry of NATO troops into Iraq, one could speak of a "war" between the Iraqi army and the NATO armies. But as soon as the NATO forces were established in Baghdad, they transformed into an occupation army against which a national liberation revolution of the Iraqi people began.
And against all the plans of the Bush Administration, the "Blitzkrieg of the 21st century" did nothing more than light the spark of revolution in Iraq and the entire Middle East. A spark that Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration lit, confirming the vision of the strategist and author of classical military theory Carl Philipp Gottlieb Von Clausewitz, for whom every military device only serves the purpose of subordinating itself to political power. "War is nothing more than politics carried out by other means" was Clausewitz's famous phrase.
In works such as "On War" Clausewitz condensed his conception as a result of his hard experience serving the Prussian army during the Fourth Coalition against Napoleon. When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Prussia facing the Prussian-Saxon army led by Charles William Ferdinand, Clausewitz participated as an assistant in the Battle of Jena on October 14, 1806. That battle together with the one fought in Auerstadt ended with a crushing French victory. and the complete disintegration of the Prussian army.
Prussia suffered a humiliating defeat and became a satellite state of France. Clausewitz became one of the 25,000 prisoners, he was 26 years old, and was held captive in France for almost 2 years until 1808. The tremendous defeat that occurred acted on Clausewitz's conscience like a whirlwind: How could it be that the perfect Prussian military machine suffered such a tremendous defeat? What was considered one of the best war machines of its time had been ruthlessly crushed by a popular-based army of revolutionary origin.
This is what Clausewitz stated: " In
1793 a force appeared that surpassed everything imaginable. Suddenly,
the war again became a matter of the people, a population of 30 million
all of whom considered themselves citizens...the people became a
participant in the war; instead of only governments and armies, as until
then, the total weight of the nation was brought into play, the new
resources and efforts available for its use surpassed all conventional
limits; nothing now limited the vigor " (1)
Hence he formulated his strategic vision called Clausewitz's " triangle", or "trinity" , which has at its vertices the basic feelings of violence, hatred and enmity that affect the population, at the second vertex the entire scheme of military command with scientific elements of uncertainty and probability, but also of art and creative spirit. And in the third vertex of the triangle is the political strategy of organizations and governments. Clausewitz observed the interrelation between military strategy and social relations, a product of the impact of the French Revolution on military events.
To the rhythm of the Marseillaise, a decisive historical milestone had developed: The transformation of the war caused by the decisive intervention of the popular masses organized to fight. Napoleon's army was based on millions of mobilized peasants willing to defend their lands obtained through the revolution with agrarian reform, based on a massive recruitment process, a gigantic mass levy, sustained in a revolutionary process that had expropriated the nobility. .
But in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush Administration, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the Neocon ideologues faced facts that showed the evolution that the concepts of war and revolution had undergone over the centuries. Since the French Revolution, and with the antecedent of the American Revolution, the character of wars had been changing: From being an event carried out almost exclusively by minorities and fractions of the dominant classes, they gradually changed their character and suffered more and more. the irruption of the mass movement is assiduous.
This whole process began to develop after the English Revolution of the 17th century, as analyzed by Frederick Engels : "...all revolutions had been reduced to the replacement of a certain class domination by another; but all previous dominant classes were only small minorities, compared to the dominated mass of the people. A dominant minority was overthrown, and another minority held the helm of the State in its place and molded the state institutions to its interests..." (2)
For Engels, this was the dominant tone in wars and revolutions until the English Revolution of the 17th century: "...regardless of the specific content of each case, the common form of all these revolutions was that of being minority revolutions...the passive attitude , non-resistance on the part of the majority, gave the minority group the appearance of being the representative of the entire people...All the revolutions of modern times, starting with the great English revolution of the 17th century, presented these features, that seemed inseparable from any revolutionary struggle..." (3)
Engels pointed out the change that the American and French revolutions implied in the relations between Revolutions and Wars: "The French Revolution also completed in the military field what the American Revolution had begun. To the trained mercenary armies of the coalition, the French Revolution could only oppose poorly trained, but numerous masses, the strength of the entire nation..." (4) The emergence of the masses in revolutionary processes and wars implied great changes in relation to military strategy and technique.
the French revolutions and the First North American Revolution,
military technique was based on heavy infantry corps as explained by
Federico Engels: "The
entire infantry of an army formed a long empty quadrilateral of three
ranks on each side and did not move in battle order, but as a whole; at
most one of the wings was allowed to advance or delay somewhat... Any
modification of the order of battle during combat was impossible, and
once the infantry entered the fire, victory or defeat was decided in a
short time and in one fell swoop" (5)
But with the emergence of mass sectors in the First North American Revolution, the first "shooters" emerged, sectors of the mass movement that faced the rigid lines of the English army, defending their own interests and confronting the invader, as Engels explained: "Front To these rigid lines and without resources, groups of rebels appeared in the American War of Independence who were, admittedly, poorly trained, but knew how to use their carbines very well, they fought for their own interests - which means that they did not desert, like the mercenary troops-" (6)
These "shooters" who emerged in the 1st North American Revolution are the first "guerrillas", the shooters who emerge from the people themselves and burst into war, whose impact has consequences on military strategy and technique.
This is how Engels explained it: "...and that they did not do the English the favor of confronting them in line and in open fields, but in forests that covered them, and by loose, fast-moving guerrillas. The line infantry was powerless and succumbed to the invisible and unreachable enemies. Thus the shooter was invented again, a new way of fighting, as a result of the appearance of a modification of welded material" (7)
The irruption of the people and the appearance of the "guerrilla shooters" developed further with the French Revolution. The changes produced in military strategy by the emergence of the masses in war were perfected and incorporated into military technique and strategy by Napoleon Bonaparte, as explained by Frederick Engels: "This way of fighting, based on the combination of riflemen and columns , and in the division of the army into independent divisions or corps composed of all arms, was fully perfected in all its aspects by Napoleon, both tactically and strategically..." (8)
Throughout the 19th century, until the beginning of the 20th century, the mass movement did not appear again in wars with a key role in historical terms, with exceptions such as the Paris Commune of 1871. Acute processes such as the North American Civil War, or the Italian Unification War, observed the partial and episodic emergence of mass sectors, such as peasants in their fight for land or African Americans in their fight for slavery, which continued to associate the concepts of war and revolution in a form increasingly narrower.
But an irruption of the mass movement of historical magnitude of the style of the French Revolution did not happen during that entire period, an issue that extended until the beginning of the 20th century with World War I. During the First World War, two great revolutions occurred that shook the world: The Russian Revolution and the Mexican Revolution. In both revolutions these two processes of the mass movement were expressed, on the one hand in the Russian Revolution the urban insurrection, led by the working class and equipped with revolutionary organizations, the Soviets, that allow the workers and the people to organize to dispute the can.
On the other hand, the Mexican Revolution, where sectors of the masses and poor people of the countryside appealed to the tactics of guerrilla warfare. In his work "Revolutions of the 20th Century" Nahuel Moreno formulated it as follows : "We can divide the revolutions of this century into two types: the urban ones and those carried out through guerrillas. Already in the first decades of the century, There were two great revolutions that pre-announced these two types: the Russian revolution (urban) and the Mexican revolution (guerrilla war)" (9)
It was only after World War II that the notions of "war" and "revolution" were definitively linked. During World War II, the development of popular militias and guerrilla armies such as the Maquis in Spain or the Resistance in France became widespread in Europe to confront fascism. Thousands of combatants supported by the collaboration of millions of people in Spain, France or Yugoslavia, a mobilization that involved an irruption of the mass movement in the fight against fascism and Nazism of such colossal magnitude that it united the concepts of "war " and "revolution" forever.
The union of both phenomena, that of "war" and "revolution" , gave rise to a new fact: That of the emergence of the so-called "Revolutionary Wars" . Nahuel Moreno stated that World War II inaugurated an era of revolutionary wars: " World War II was, as we have already said, a revolutionary war...Hitler's defeat was the most colossal revolutionary triumph in the entire history of the humanity...In World War II, and in the postwar period, the most outstanding and novel event was the outbreak of revolutionary wars... During War II, guerrilla warfare became popular to confront the fascists and the Nazi armies of occupation... The revolutionary Marxists had defined the era as one of wars and revolutions, without closely linking both concepts..." (10)
The revolutionary wars that began with World War II placed the phenomena of "Wars" and "Revolutions" intrinsically linked forever. And as happened with the French Revolution, the emergence of the masses in World War II produced changes in both military strategy and techniques. In this way the evolution of wars and their connection with revolutions was completed, which gave rise to revolutionary wars.
First, during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, during the time of the bourgeois revolutions, when the combination of popular insurrection with the army, or the formation of popularly based armies, appeared in embryonic form, both in the French Revolution and in the 1st North American Revolution. This evolution continued to develop throughout the 19th century, and took a qualitative leap with the beginning of the era of the international workers and Socialist Revolution that began in 1917 with the Russian Revolution.
Already within the framework of said era, the combination of War and Revolution is definitively established, giving rise to the Revolutionary Wars starting with World War II. Since the Mexican Revolution, and throughout the entire 20th century, the Revolutionary Wars had guerrilla warfare in the countryside or in the jungle as a fundamental component, as observed in the Korean War, Vietnam, China and Indochina, Algeria, the Cuban Revolution, the Nicaraguan Revolution, or the Salvadoran Revolution, to name a few.
The leaders of these revolutionary processes such as Mao-Tse Tung or "Che" Guevara remained in history as guerrilla leaders who knew how to take the lead in revolutionary wars, whether in the fight against the Japanese invader, against the French colonizer, or against US intervention. But in Iraq a new type of revolutionary war developed. It is a revolution that united the urban insurrection with the guerrilla struggle in the jungle or the countryside. What Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld had to face was an urban revolutionary war, where the invading troops had to fight against an invisible enemy that lurked in every corner, in the streets, in the neighborhoods and in the houses.
In Iraq, the Guerrilla War, and the urban revolution were unified. It couldn't be worse for Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, the Bush Administration and the Pentagon. In Iraq Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld faced the most modern concept of war that history could offer them: If throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries the concepts of "war" and "revolution" had been unified, giving rise to the emergence of the revolutionary wars, now at the dawn of the 21st century, the concepts of rural guerrilla warfare and urban revolution had also been unified, giving rise to the concept of urban Revolutionary War.
The Bush Administration and the unparalleled power of NATO and the Armed Forces were faced with one of the most modern combinations of military and political events that historical evolution could offer them. They faced a revolutionary war, based on the method of guerrilla warfare, but urban, that is, based on a mass insurrection centered in the cities, which had the support and sympathy of millions of inhabitants of an entire region. Evolution is not a scientific process determined only for biological species or facts of nature, but also for political-social phenomena such as wars and revolutions. In Iraq, Bush, Cheney and Rusmfeld tasted the bitter taste of the historical evolution of the combinatorics between war and revolution, and its most modern version, the urban revolutionary war into which the rebellion of the people of Iraq and the whole of the Middle East.
The political crisis of the Armed Forces is transferred to all institutions
a task then awaited John Philip Abizaid, the military man who graduated
from West Point in 1973 in charge of CENTCOM, replacing Tommy Franks. Abizaid
ratified the military strategy of Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration
of acting with elite and mercenary troops, relying on the current SOCOM
and JOSC and without appealing to the requirement for more regular
troops in Iraq, because it faced an urban revolutionary war, a enemy
that ambushed them in the streets, corners, neighborhoods and houses,
both in Baghdad and in the other cities of Iraq.
On November 19, 2005, the Armed Forces carried out one of the worst massacres when a total of 24 Iraqis, including men, women and children, all civilians, were murdered by a group of Marines in Haditha, a city in western Iraq, in the Al-Anbar province. There, children and elderly people were shot with several shots at point-blank range, alleging that the murders were retaliation for the attack on a Marine convoy with an explosive device that killed soldier Miguel Terrazas. Press reports compared the incident to the 1968 My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War in which US troops launched an operation in the Son My region in search of Viet Cong.
In the My Lai massacre, the section of the army under William Laws Calley perpetrated rapes, killed livestock, and murdered 500 defenseless people. As happened in My Lai, the scandal immediately broke out throughout the world, and the White House and the Pentagon tried to reduce the serious incident that put the Armed Forces once again facing a war crime in violation of the Charter. of the UN, the Hague Conventions and the Geneva Conventions. Haditha made Marines and officers subject to possible courts-martial in US military law, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but years after the trial, none of the Marines were sentenced to prison. However, the Hadita massacre also revealed the impotence of the Bush Administration and the Pentagon in the face of a region-wide uprising against the NATO Armed Forces with its epicenter in Iraq that was deepening day by day.
The political crisis installed in the Pentagon did not take long to move to Parliament, and to hit all the institutions of the regime, the other powers and the political parties. The then retired Navy Colonel and Democratic Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania began to gain increasing prominence, acting as de facto spokesman for the senior body of officers of the Armed Forces that had mutinied against the Bush Administration and Donald Rumsfeld. In the midst of the political crisis, on November 17, 2005, Murtha presented a bill requesting an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, denouncing that Bush was "carrying out the destruction of the Army." The crisis settled in the Democratic Party, caught between the dilemma of being opposed to the Bush Administration and at the same time supporting the war. Democrats distanced themselves from Murtha, who soon came under criticism that he was a representative of the extreme liberal or extreme left wing of the Democratic Party.
Republicans and Democrats were united in their criticism of Murtha. But was Murtha a liberal, or a leftist? None of that, Murtha was the representative of a powerful sector of the Armed Forces that was being displaced in the Iraq War, and was opposed to the Pentagon's military strategy. The crisis deepened as it affected Parliament, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the Executive Branch, so Vice President Dick Cheney was forced to declare that although he did not agree with Murtha, he considered him a good man. a Marine, a patriot who takes a clear position in a legitimate discussion.
Murtha's speech not only expressed the crisis of the Armed Forces and the institutions of the regime, but also the social impact that the Iraq war had on the country. Polls from mid-November 2005 revealed that Bush's approval level exceeded 50% only in small states such as Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi, while in large states such as California, New York , Illinois, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the approval rating was already below 35%. You had to go back to the early '70s, when a president like Nixon, affected by scandal and the Vietnam War, was about to resign, to find lower figures than Bush's in the first months of 2005.
Nixon went down in the history of presidents as the one who had to hand over the White House to Vice President Ford and resign early. But now the Iraq War was taking its toll on the Bush Administration, and the ghost of Nixon began to hover over the White House, because the American people were beginning to turn their backs on the war. There were more and more voices from analysts, journalists, commentators and political leaders calling for "come home" , while the voices calling for the continuation of the war were becoming less and less. On December 1, Murtha returned to the fray in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, telling a civic group that he had made a mistake by voting for war and that most US soldiers will leave Iraq within a year because the Army is "broken, exhausted," and "in precariousness."
The political crisis spread throughout Washington to the extent that the disaster of the Iraq War announced a disaster for the Republican Party in the upcoming elections and the Bush Administration weakened day by day when it still had more than 3 years of its term ahead of it. Presidential term. What came out of the current polls was a simple message: Withdraw troops from Iraq. Otherwise, the year 2006 promised to become a political nightmare for the Bush Administration. In the midst of this debacle, the Republicans' only source of comfort was the shamefully pro-government behavior of the Democrats.
First was Democrats' terrified reaction to Murtha, symbolized by Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's cancellation of a press conference in support of Murtha. No Democrat, not even the so-called "progressives" like Kucinich, Sanders and Conyers, nor the "center" senators like Kerry, Clinton, Feingold or Obama, dared to utter the words "withdrawal." On this the Democrats and Bush's men agreed. The political crisis was not only a threat to the Republican Party, it threatened the Armed Forces and the entire political regime. The strategy of both parties became shared and the objectives were, first, to stabilize Iraq trying to avoid an open civil war, then to give the factions within Iraq the space to forge a political agreement trying to contain and ultimately extinguish the insurgency in Iraq; and finally bring the soldiers home safely.
Meanwhile, the crisis in the Armed Forces deepened without ceasing. "We need a new Secretary of Defense" said retired General Charles Swannack and an increasingly large group of senior military commanders. The rebellion against Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld deepened, and every day more generals questioned him. Bush Administration presidential spokesman Scott McClellan had to respond and publicly acknowledge the existence of a crisis, saying: "We are a nation at war that is undergoing a military transformation, and there are things that generate debate and disagreement."
Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff made it clear that Rumsfeld was not planning to resign, but the chorus of Armed Forces chiefs calling for Rumsfeld's head grew day by day. General John Batiste, General John Riggs, retired Marine Corps Generals Zinni Anthony, Gregory Newbold, Army General Paul Easton, and Wesley Clark former Commanding General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), All of them added their voices requesting Rumsfeld's resignation. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers spoke out in defense of Rumsfeld.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson also said Rumsfeld should resign, saying "we should listen to what these generals have to say." These voices were joined by that of General Charles Swannack, a commander who led the 82nd Airborne Division. Retired Colonel Laird Anderson also complained about the mismanagement of Rumsfeld, whose situation at the head of the Pentagon was already unsustainable.
Fall of Rumsfeld and crisis of the Bush Administration
On November 8, 2006, Donald Rumsfeld resigned from his position as Secretary of Defense. The enormous open political crisis in the Armed Forces, which impacted the entire political regime of the country, precipitated his fall. Rumsfeld's fall had enormous importance for the GWOT, the PNAC and the fate of the Bush Administration, because Rumsfeld was not just another official, but the top political-military strategist, the promoter of the reform of the Armed Forces and the invasion. to Iraq.
Rumsfeld's own trajectory was the expression of the political trajectory of the Armed Forces, which for decades had sought to recover from the Vietnam syndrome. Rumsfeld was not a political upstart, but a fundamental piece in the Bush Administration due to his extensive political and military experience, his long militancy in the Republican Party forged from his performance as a congressman, advisor, US ambassador to NATO, and the positions of Chief of Staff, and Secretary of Defense.
the '70s, Rumsfeld was trained in internal political battles against
officials of the caliber of Robert Hartmann, Ford's main advisor, or
Nelson Rockefeller, vice president in the Ford Administration. But
without a doubt the most important experience that marked his political
life was that of facing the serious political and military crisis in
the Armed Forces after the defeat of Vietnam. From
his position as Secretary of Defense in the Ford Administration,
Rumsfeld focused all his work and effort on raising the morale and pride
of the Armed Forces, which had been severely damaged after Vietnam.
It was not only about raising the morale of the Armed Forces, but also about designing a strategy that would allow them to recover from the bitter defeat. Therefore, regardless of the various positions he subsequently held, his fundamental position was linked to strategic military issues related to recovering the Armed Forces in the face of the fact that Vietnam had shown: That an army, even the most powerful, could turn out to be defeated in the fight on land and hand to hand against the will of a people determined to defend themselves. And that a nation, even infinitely weaker militarily like Vietnam, could defeat it.
With the lessons of Vietnam in hand, Rumsfeld was a tireless defender of the strategy of not putting too many troops on the ground and seeking by all means to seek overwhelming superiority that would allow them to defeat the enemies through the use of technologically superior force. This is why Rumsfeld sought the development of missiles, either from the Arms Control Advisory Committee, or as a presidential advisor on the Strategic Systems Panel during the Reagan Administration. There Rumsfeld acted as one of the articulators of the controversial Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) known as "Star Wars" , which on March 23, 1983, Ronald Reagan announced as a new military plan.
The SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) consisted of using strategic ballistic weapons systems on land and in space, with intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. In 1984 the Pentagon launched the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) to oversee the SDI, but the ambitious initiative was quickly criticized for reigniting the arms race. The SDI was conceived as an anti-missile shield aimed at the then-existing Soviet Union with the objective of forcing a military capitulation based on the imposition of a devastating and superior military force. And it was also an ambitious macro-military-space research program that mostly became obsolete right after it was launched.
For the development of this military capacity of the SDI, the development of technological modernization and a scientific revolution was fundamental, as well as the development of a billion-dollar investment for the Pentagon. In turn, renowned scientific institutions came to the conclusion that a global anti-missile shield was not only merely impossible with the technology existing at the time, but that at least ten more years of research would be needed to know if it could ever be achieved. to be feasible. The first missile prototypes were developed by the Nazi state in Germany under Hitler, research that later proved valuable to teams in the United States and the Soviet Union, where missile programs were slowly developing during the postwar period. However, the various programs developed from there allowed the United States Armed Forces to have a significant advantage in the field of advanced comprehensive missile defense systems.
Through years of extensive testing and research, much of the technological knowledge gained was transferred to subsequent programs and would find use and application in subsequent projects. Under the Clinton Administration, the SDI changed its name to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) in 1993, and Rumsfeld's work leading strategic and missile issues led President Bill Clinton to nominate him as president in 1998. of the Commission on the Ballistic Missile Threat. Precisely as we saw in Chapter I, it was Rumsfeld who, along with other former officials and intellectuals, had sent President Clinton a letter that would become the embryo of the Project for a New American Century in which he requested that the "withdrawal" strategies be changed . "reflexive" based on the use of the cruise missile deterrent and the replacement of that strategy with a more offensive one.
from his position as Secretary of Defense in the Bush Administration,
Rumsfeld could now express all the conclusions and his plan amassed over
decades. With the
constitution of STRATCOM Rumsfeld had attempted to modernize the entire
missile structure of the Armed Forces, seeking to convert the Armed
Forces into a kind of global and galactic police. Under
his leadership in the Bush Administration, the Ballistic Missile
Defense Organization (BMDO) was renamed the Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
in 2002, and the Pentagon's budget skyrocketed more than ever before. Important
budget allocations destined to support the PNAC, the GWOT and the
entire military strategy developed for this purpose were transferred to
But this movement broke the entire budget balance to the detriment of other civilian Intelligence agencies, which caused a significant schism between the Pentagon and the Intelligence community. That is to say, during Rumsfeld's mandate the Pentagon invaded Intelligence and diplomatic powers, and got into areas that previously corresponded to the CIA or the State Department. An entire strategy and an entire Bonapartist movement that collapsed on November 8, 2006, when under pressure from the high command of the Armed Forces he resigned from his position as Secretary of Defense and was replaced by Robert Gates, former director of the CIA. .
That day went down in history not only as the day Rumsfeld fell, but also as the day GWOT and PNAC, the key strategies of the Bush Administration, received a mortal blow. Just a few days after his resignation, on November 14, 2006, around twenty human rights associations represented by German lawyer Wolfang Kaleck sued Rumsfeld in the German Supreme Court for war crimes against humanity. At the Seville Social Forum, on February 8, 2007, a complaint was filed in the Seville Guard Court against Rumsfeld for crimes against humanity, committed in Abu Ghraib, and Guantánamo.
Rumsfeld's fall was not the fall of any official. His fall represented a blow to the backbone of the Bush Administration, which had made GWOT, the militarization of the country, and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan the axis of its entire political strategy. Without Rumsfeld, this entire strategy and the actions of the Armed Forces were left adrift. Worse still, the biggest political crisis of the Bush Administration was opening, which after having savored the triumphs after 9/11, was now facing its worst, and unthinkable moment. Curious paradox. Whoever throughout his political life put his career at the service of the historical recovery of the Armed Forces, was defeated by the High Command of that force, under the pressure of the events in Iraq. With the fall of Rumsfeld the fate of the Iraq War, the GWOT, the PNAC and the Bush Administration itself was sealed. His fall opened the largest political crisis in the US government since the fall of Nixon in the '70s.
Parliament intervenes and the Bush administration recognizes defeat
By late 2005 and early 2006, the specter of Vietnam was beginning to loom over Iraq. The panorama was dantesque, the estimated deaths exceeded 1,220,580, malnutrition skyrocketed to 28%, millions of Iraqis were in a disastrous situation, without hospitals, without water, without electricity, or essential services. Deaths and injuries continued to occur with new reports and revelations that undermined support for this war and local support for the Bush and Blair governments. The world was horrified at the holocaust and disaster perpetrated by the Bush Administration, accompanied by NATO, the UN and the G-7. The occupation forces, despite the deployment of more than 150,000 troops, had not been able to take control of the country.
The crisis in the US Army worsened, soldiers were being taken on long tours and demoralization was beginning to degenerate and transform into a breakdown of the troops, so, in view of the political crisis triggered in the Armed Forces, the political regime and the Bush Administration, Parliament decided to take action on the matter. On March 15, 2006, when Rumsfeld had not yet resigned, the Iraq Study Group (ISG) was formed in Parliament, a bipartisan Commission proposed by Representative Frank Wolf, R-Va., to evaluate the situation. in Iraq and make policy recommendations.
by James Baker, former Republican Secretary of State, and Lee H.
Hamilton, the Democratic leader who had headed the 9/11 Commission, on
December 6, 2006, the ISG published a report acknowledging that the war
in Iraq had been lost, and formulated a policy and strategy opposite to
that carried out by the Bush Administration since the 9/11 attacks.
First, the report raised the need for a gradual withdrawal of forces. Secondly, the report recommended opening a direct dialogue with Syria, until then considered a country part of the "Axis of Evil". Thirdly,
the report recommended opening a dialogue with Iran on Iraq and the
Middle East, something that seemed to be heresy in the ears of the
Neocon group. Opening a
dialogue with Iran, a country with which the United States had been in
conflict for 22 years and was also considered part of the "Axis of Evil," was a strategy opposite to that formulated since September 11, 2001 by the Bush Administration, and the Neocon group.
But the fact that Parliament decided to form a Commission, and that it formulated a report with a policy opposite to that formulated by Bush-Cheney and Rumsfeld, spoke clearly of the enormous political crisis that by 2006 had fallen on the country. The crisis of the Bush Administration and the defeat of Iraq opened the prospect of a power vacuum, something that the two fundamental political parties of the regime could not allow to happen. Parliament decided to come out in defense of the institutions of the country's regime, severely hit by the crisis, and the two most important political parties in the state had to lead the search for a solution aimed at resolving the acute open political crisis.
This implied, among other things, if the crisis worsened, the need for an elegant exit for the Bush Administration. Hence, James Baker was placed in the presidency of the ISG, a man closely linked to the Bush family, a member of the Carlyle Group positioned to negotiate with the Bushes a transition and an escape valve that would save him from national and international humiliation. . The ISG constitution sought to show that in the face of obvious defeat, Bush would not lower his head, accepting defeat, or showing despondency, but would obey the ruling of a commission of experts, officials and authorities supposedly versed in the subject. In this way, the Bush Administration would try to appear strong, without lowering the flags, nor beaten, nor beaten, but rather interested in complying with the feelings of "specialists", who would lead it to change its strategy for the Middle East.
The formation of ISG had another meaning: The weakening of the Bush Administration implied the need for Parliament to appear to rescue the country's political regime. The two pillars of the Patriot Act regime that the Bush Administration intended to consolidate were seriously damaged: Both the Armed Forces and the Executive Branch were in crisis, the PNAC was on the ropes, and if there was no change of direction, the crisis threatened. with swallowing all the institutions of the regime and the state. The crisis of the Bush Administration continued to develop unabated, now with the fall of Neocon leader John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton came from several Neocon think tanks, was a researcher at the Hudson Institute and had been appointed by Dick Cheney as vice president of the American Enterprise Institute where he participated in the creation of the Project for a New American Century. After Bush's victory, Cheney appointed him as an advisor to the State Department, from where he promoted the campaign of the existence of Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction."
But his departure did not silence the voices against the Bush Administration that continued unabated. Now more and more members of the Republican Party were joining the critical chorus of voices. Adding
to the critical voice of the Republican senator from the state of New
Mexico Pete Domenici was that of Richard Lugar, an influential member of
the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, that of John Warner, a no less
influential figure on the Committee for the Armed Forces, and Judd
Gregg's. At the same time,
everyone agreed that the government's crisis was serious, and they also
agreed that the situation in Iraq was extremely serious.
The complicated situation in Iraq also complicated the situation of CENTCOM Chief John P. Abizaid, who coined the phrase "long war" (11) to define the war against terrorism and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, invoking the phrase that underlined the strategic project of the Bush Administration. All the planning of the military operation in the Middle East, including the "short" Iraq War based on the " Blitzkrieg of the 21st century" , were in turn part of a long-term and long-range war strategy. The same idea was shared by James Jay Carafano, senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation, who co-wrote the book: "Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom."
The term "long war" was the most important definition that was now questioned by the ISG as a result of the defeat that the GWOT was suffering. The open situation of political crisis and of the armed forces not only put an end date to the supposed "Long War", but it was putting an end to Abizaid's management at the head of CENTCOM, and ran the risk of putting an end to final point to the Bush Administration itself, whose power and solidity began to fade. In Washington, politics began to move around the strategy designed by the Iraq Study Group and the emergence of Parliament. But in Baghdad, these profound changes were also going to be expressed in line with the appearance of the Iraq Study Group, and the new political orientation that Parliament began to promote and managed to implement regarding the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iraq: Changes in the political situation
On December 15, 2005, there were elections again in Iraq for the Council of Representatives, which were to close the transition period from the departure of Bremmer and the CPA government, to the promulgation of the new Iraqi Constitution and the definitive government of Iraq. . For these elections, Sistani's Shiite bloc (UIA), the DPAK of the Kurds, the Iraqi Agreement Front (IAF), a front of Sunni organizations, re-presented themselves, and Allawi presented a new Iraqi National List (INL) in accordance with Sheikh Yawar. The governments of the United States and Great Britain openly supported the INL, Allawi was the favorite of the Bush Administration, but the December 2005 elections were very disappointing for Allawi and the White House: the INL only obtained 8% of the votes. votes and 25 seats, with a distant 4th place after the IAF, the DPAK and the UIA. The latter won again and placed Jamal Talabani as Prime Minister, and Nuri Al-Maliki, also known as Jawad al-Maliki or Abu Esraa of the Islamic Dawa Party, as Prime Minister.
Since the Constitution that emerged from the Constituent Assembly of April 2005 granted all Executive Power to the Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki became the ruler of the Republic of Iraq. Maliki was an old militant of Dawa, an anti-communist Shiite organization, the most important in the UIA coalition, since the '70s when it was fighting against Saddam's dictatorship. The enthronement of Dawa (in Spanish, "Calling") was the expression of the beginning of the agreements between Washington and the Iranian regime. As guided by the United States Parliament and the Iraq Study Group, two old enemies, the Iranian regime and Washington, were beginning to weave a surprising alliance; both were now united by the horror caused by the growth of the Iraqi insurrection.
Washington feared the effects of defeat, and Tehran feared that the Iraqi revolution would be introduced into its own country, challenging the Islamic dictatorship that has ruled Iran since 1979. As these first agreements were established between the Bush Administration and the Iranian regime, Dawa began to have an increasing role in the political life of Iraq. Maliki had a close relationship with the Ayatollah regime that had financed the Islamist opposition against Saddam's dictatorship, with relationships forged at the time of his exile in Syria, Jordan and Iran.
Maliki had led the armed struggle against Hussein's dictatorship from a Dawa party organ called the "Holy War Office" ; in charge of commanding thousands of guerrillas fighting against the Iraqi Army and Police, financed by Tehran. When the NATO invasion occurred, Maliki was the second most important leader of Dawa behind the number one, Ibrahim Al-Jafari. Maliki
was the head of the De-Baathification Committee, which was a body in
charge of dismissing or expelling from the public administration the
majority of officials belonging to the Baath party. After
being elected deputy to the National Constituent Assembly, Maliki was
also one of the negotiators of the Shiite bloc to reach a consensus in
the drafting of the new Constitution of Iraq.
He had participated in the Assembly Commission in charge of security affairs; and as such he managed to get a very tough Anti-Terrorism Law drafted to combat the Iraqi resistance, which earned him a reputation as an implacable supporter of the " iron fist" against the Iraqi resistance. After both Kurds and Sunnis and a large part of the Shiites opposed Ibrahim Al-Jafari being re-elected Prime Minister, the eyes of the country's political class turned to Maliki who had better relations with the Kurdish and Sunni political leaders. .
That is why his name was proposed as that of a man capable of leading a Government of National Unity in Iraq, who would develop a plan based on a strong hand against the insurgency, and at the same time, negotiation with ethnic and religious groups that supported the occupation. From there, Maliki became the most important political leader in Iraq. Both he and the Dawa party were located at the center of the political regime that changed significantly: Although it maintained the colonial status, the Iranian political regime mutated from having the CPA at its center, an institution that functioned as an office of the Pentagon, to a government like Maliki's, which expressed the agreements between Tehran and Washington and aimed to stop the Iraqi insurgency and stabilize the NATO occupation.
the new Maliki government, the training of police forces and US
paramilitary forces began and the creation of the core of a new army
began around Kurdish forces and former middle commanders of Hussein's
army with the aim of repressing organized resistance and the growing
popular discontent. It was
not only about establishing relations with Iran, but also about
concluding agreements with military forces that had been disbanded,
accused of corruption, and being under Hussein's control. Shortly
afterwards, faced with the inability to control the situation,
especially in Sunni cities, NATO was forced to once again recruit large
numbers of troops of all ranks to maintain control of cities, roads and
Along with these measures, the Iraqi High Criminal Court sentenced Saddam Hussein on November 5, 2006 to death by hanging for having committed a crime against humanity, for the execution of 148 Shiites from the village of Duyail in 1982. Other charges that were made against Hussein include responsibility for the chemical attack on Halabia in 1988, the crushing of the Shiite rebellion in 1991, the war against Iran between 1980-88, and the invasion of Kwait in 1990. In the 2 years of the trial, Hussein He was defiant before the Iraqi Court, which on Thursday, December 28, 2006, confirmed the execution order. Saddam Hussein was executed on December 30, 2006, by hanging for crimes against humanity.
Maliki imposed the sanction of a very harsh Anti-Terrorism Law in Iraq to combat the insurgents who opposed the new Government and the presence of foreign troops in the country. All this earned him the reputation of being an implacable supporter of the "hard line" against the enemies of the new order. At the same time, he mentioned that he would reach out to all ethnic and religious groups in the country to advance national reconciliation that would allow for peace, a pacification that had already cost billions of dollars and millions of deaths in Iraq by 2006. . By 2005, while Maliki took office in Iraq, and the US Parliament took command and imposed a new policy for the war, the events that shook the Middle East were part of great events that also shook the US itself. The country was shaken by the contradictions, struggles and clashes that the attempt to impose the Patriot Act regime by the Bush Administration was causing. This shock that the country was suffering, in parallel with that suffered by the Middle East, is the subject of analysis in the next chapter.
(1) Carl Von Clausewitz "On War", libro VIII, capítulo 3, p. 591. Princeton University Press. 1984.
(2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), and (8) Frederick Engels . "The class struggle in France"
(9), and (10) Nahuel Moreno. "Revolutions of the 20th Century"
(11) Washington Post. "Abizaid Credited With Popularizing the Term 'Long War" Bradley Graham & Josh White February 3, 2006
Chapter V Beltway
Thomas Jefferson . Letter to William Stephens Smith, Paris , November 13 , 1787
"Beltway" is a way of referring to political issues that are important to officials in the US state machinery. "Beltway" is the world of bureaucracy and agents of the federal government, state institutions, the legislative branch, the Supreme Court, federal ministries, security agencies, the army, contractors, lobbyists, think tanks, pressure groups, and the media that They cover daily life in Washington. The term "Beltway" refers to the Interstate 495 bypass, a peripheral highway that surrounds Washington, DC, the nation's capital. Geographically within the perimeter of the Beltway are Arlington County, the city of Falls Church, most of the city of Alexandria, and Fairfax County, which are localities that belong to the state of Virginia. The beltway also includes parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, which belong to the state of Maryland.
Within the Beltway perimeter are the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, all the ministries, the agencies linked to the Executive Branch, the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon and the headquarters of almost all political and social organizations that have any relevance in the US. There are political battles, clashes of interests, disputes and internal fights that daily shake up the political life of the country, but have immediate reach and repercussions throughout the world. In the few square kilometers of the Beltway, the daily drama of the theater of construction of the American state unfolds. By 2005, there was a state of turmoil in the Beltway.
Throughout 2005, the problems for the Bush government were accumulating, and the resistance of the mass movement in the country to its policies was constantly growing. The Bush Administration suffered strong disapproval for its racist policy towards New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In Iraq, dark clouds were advancing over the PNAC because the Iraqi resistance was spreading and strengthening. The invasion had received worldwide repudiation, and within the country the anti-war movement was growing, as support for the invasion decreased. The curtailment of democratic freedoms with the Patriot Act regime had caused growing resistance among different segments of the population, and movements emerged that expressed their opposition to that policy.
The situation of the economy began to show dark clouds, to the extent that the contradictions in the "boom" of "subprime" mortgages emerged . The popularity of the Bush Administration was declining and rejection was growing especially among the most neglected and oppressed sectors of the population that New Orleans represented. The combination of the PNAC crisis, with the rise of the mass movement in the country against Bush's policies, increased the levels of tension in the Beltway, and a serious political crisis began to develop as an expression of the problems that the Bush government faced. They accumulated day by day, irremediably.
Beltway on fire: Complaints and political crisis
The political crisis resulted in scandals and complaints that began to break out in 2005 and affected officials of the CIA, the Executive Branch and security agencies. At the end of 2005, the "CIA-Gate" scandal reached high tension , which had actually begun on July 14, 2003 when the media revealed the name of the undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame. The revelation of the name of the covert CIA spy came as a shock to Vice President Cheney because Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's "right hand man," was the main person accused of leaking the agent's name to the press. Revealing the identity of a secret agent is considered a federal crime, and suspicions indicated that the Bush Administration itself had leaked the name of the CIA agent in revenge against Valerie Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.
Plame's husband had been sent at the request of the CIA to verify on a mission to Nigeria if there was nuclear trafficking with Iraq, at a time when the Bush Administration needed to demonstrate the existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to justify the invasion of Iraq. Bush raised Iraq's possession of WMD in his State of the Union address. But Wilson denied Bush in an article in the New York Times, saying that his research proved that Saddam Hussein never bought enriched uranium in Niger. Wilson's denial was considered by the Bush Administration as an affront, and the leak of Valerie Plame's identity was undoubtedly revenge in punishment for the rebellion of an official considered second-rate.
The scandal was worsened because the government itself had committed a federal crime, according to section 421 of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, which states that it is illegal to intentionally disclose information identifying an undercover agent. The scandal was such that prosecutor Fitzgerald had to subpoena President Bush himself, and other White House officials, in addition to Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Karl Rove, Bush's deputy chief of staff, John Hannah, advisor to Cheney Homeland Security, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card; and spokesman Scott McClellan, among others. As the details of the case became known, and it was confirmed that the revelation of the identity of the undercover agent had come from the White House itself, the tensions in "Beltway" became more serious and important. It was a major political crisis, because what shook the Beltway was that Fitzgerald could file criminal charges against Cheney, which had a direct impact on the White House and the Bush Administration.
In October 2005, the jury investigating the scandal charged Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Richard Cheney's chief of staff, with federal crimes for perjury, perjury and obstruction of justice. Lewis Libby, who was one of the most important officials of the government and the PNAC, was among the 25 prominent promoters of the PNAC since 1997, and resigned after being formally accused of charges that could mean up to 30 years in prison. The political crisis exceeded the Libby case, and began to shake the entire state superstructure of the country. In Federal Justice the case was known as United States v. Libby , under which Libby who considered himself a disciple of Paul Wolfowitz, the leader of the PNAC, was sentenced to prison.
July 2, 2007, President Bush, seeking to mitigate the crisis,
eliminated the prison sentence, stating that he found it excessive. However,
by October 2005, two thirds of the population, 66%, believed that the
country was on the wrong track, approval for Bush continued to oscillate
at its lowest levels, and he continued to lose confidence even among
traditionally Republican sectors. including white evangelicals or
Republican women. The crises and cracks within the Bush cabinet, the internal tensions between officials and ministries were growing steadily. The
political crisis unleashed between mid and late 2005 in the Bush
Administration, hit the top leadership of the government, and had
repercussions on Parliament, political parties, security agencies, the
Pentagon, and pressure groups, but it hit above all to the Executive
Differences between William Kristol and Donald Rumsfeld broke out in the Cabinet, while Colin Powell's situation became unsustainable. In the Legislative Branch, the crisis was expressed with the divisions that began to occur in Parliament, where divisions and contradictions worsened in both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party representative bloc began to divide between the wing led by Joseph Lieberman that vigorously supported the maintenance of troops in Iraq, and another wing led by John Murtha, who advocated a rapid withdrawal.
In that same period at the end of 2005, the crisis broke out in the Republican bloc of representatives when Thomas DeLay, leader of the Republican majority in Parliament, fell, denounced for illegal management of electoral funds, conspiracy and money laundering, which represented a harsh blow to the government. DeLay was a fundamental piece of the Bush Administration in Parliament, and had imposed strong discipline on the bloc, leading strongly the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. But in the midst of the scandals, divisions and internal fights that occurred, along with the present contradictions, the most historical and structural contradictions of the country's political regime also worsened. The Beltway was boiling, developing not only the crisis linked to the failure of the PNAC, but also the crisis acting on the contradictions contained in the country's political regime for a long time.
The crisis unleashed in the Beltway shook the waters of the most complex and contradictory political regime that exists in the world. The political regime of the United States of America is a complicated network of opposing political institutions, with interests that are sometimes complementary and sometimes contradictory, which intersect and constantly fight. The complexity of the US political regime is characterized by the coexistence of institutions that are complementary, and at the same time antagonistic, and that establish critical relationships among themselves. Plagued by intrigues and confrontations, the interests of these institutions are sometimes opposed, sometimes complementary. The political regime of the United States is a subject whose study we will begin to outline, and it constitutes a fascinating topic.
The republican political regime
The Beltway is the heart of the republican regime, which emerged at the end of the 18th century with its classic division of three powers: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Most citizens of the country or the world when they look at the existing institutions in Washington, the Parliament, the White House or the Supreme Court, assume that they were always there. But it's not like that. Taking a look at history, those institutions did not exist; it took a long process of revolutions, wars and struggles for them to appear. We must then define what the political regime is. For Nahuel Moreno: "The political regime is the different combination or articulation of state institutions that the ruling class (or a sector of it) uses to govern. Specifically, to define a political regime we must answer the questions: What is the institution? fundamental government? How are other state institutions articulated in it? (1)
This political regime of the state appeared in complete form after the great revolutions that the bourgeoisie carried out against feudalism. Institutions such as the Executive Branch in charge of the administration of the state and execution of laws, or the legislative branch in charge of creating laws, norms and regulations, were built over the centuries. As the first young capitalist republics emerged, these institutions, or others, such as the Judicial Branch, evolved to apply laws through the courts. This regime is, as Moreno suggests, an articulation of institutions that represents the dominant class, in this case the social class of the bourgeoisie or capitalists. For centuries, this class made progress in establishing the capitalist mode of production, without yet holding the power that was in the hands of the class of nobles, who had dominated the economy and society in the preceding centuries.
To gain power, the bourgeoisie had to confront absolutism, the monarchs, tyrants and kings who were still the ruling class in the main countries of the world, and displace them through violent revolutions. This is how George Novack explains it: "During the formative stages of capitalism, six great uprisings marked the decisive steps in the advance of the bourgeois-democratic revolution. The first was the Dutch revolution of the late 16th century, by which the Netherlands They gained their independence and established their republic. The second was the English revolutions of the 17th century, which ensured the supremacy of the British bourgeoisie and its parliament. The third was the revolt of the American colonialists, who created the United States. The fourth was the French revolution, which was decisive in the demolition of the old order in Western Europe. The fifth was the less victorious revolutions of 1848 on that continent. The American Civil War was the final act in these series of struggles by means of which the world bourgeoisie "It achieved sovereignty and the democratic revolution carried out its mission...Except for the latter, such revolutions were fundamentally directed against the dominant powers of the feudal hierarchy: the Church, the monarchy, the nobility and the lords." (2)
What we see in the Beltway is then the result of a historical process. It was in the midst of the development of the revolutions of the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries that the institutions evolved whose articulation by the bourgeois class constitutes what is known as the " republican regime" or "regime of democracy." The bourgeoisie had to create its own state to replace the feudal state, and had to build a particular articulation of state institutions, called the bourgeois democratic regime. The development of the bourgeois democratic regime had theorists who formulated its fundamental postulates in the works of John Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau. In the United States he had Franklin, Paine, or Madison. The works of all these authors inspired all new generations of revolutionaries, free-thinkers, theorists of the state and the bourgeois regime.
But this process in the United States had a particular development. The peculiarity of the republican regime that emerged in the US has to do with the fact that it was the product of a revolution, but different from the English or French one. While in England or France the revolutions faced totalitarian regimes, kings, and tyrannies of absolute monarchs, the North American revolution was a revolution that, in addition to facing tyranny and monarchy, faced an empire. It was an anti-imperialist revolution that defeated the largest empire of that time: The British Empire. This is how Nahuel Moreno explains it: "... there were two great bourgeois democratic revolutions in the entire world, and the first was anti-colonial in nature, the Yankee, North American bourgeois democratic revolution. It occurred before the French Revolution. There were two revolutions, one of a colonial, democratic type, and another of a non-colonial democratic type..." (3)
The First North American Revolution of the 18th century was also a global conflagration, in which all the powers of the time intervened: Holland, England, France, and Spain. The First North American Revolution was part of the "Age of the Democratic Revolution" , a chain process of revolutions that only achieved triumphs in France and the United States. This is how Novack explains it: " Professor RR Palmer has characterized the four decades that range from 1760 to 1800 as "the era of democratic revolution"...the challenge of democratic forces to the aristocracies, patriciates, oligarchies and privileged orders in...Switzerland, America, Holland, Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Poland and Hungary, during the latter part of the 18th century. When these protest movements ended or were extinguished around 1800, the revolution had triumphed only in America and France. But the greatness of the achievements made in these two countries on two continents "authorizes such designation for this period." (4)
To understand the emergence and character of the republican political regime in the United States, it is necessary to understand what the revolution was like that gave rise to the complex of institutions located in the heart of the Beltway. Developed as part of a global process that Palmer called the "Age of the Democratic Revolution" , the first North American Revolution was the US War of Independence, which gave rise to the country and its institutions. Let's analyze it now, reviewing some of its most salient facts.
The First American Revolution of the 18th Century
War of Independence took place between the years 1775-1783, and broke
out as a result of the intolerable condition to which the 13 colonies
were subjected by the British Empire. The
shipowner industry of the Yankee bourgeoisie that supplied the British
naval industry, and the industry in general, functioned under strict
controls and under unfavorable conditions of exchange and production. Commerce
suffered from the monopoly imposed by the metropolis, and the taxes
that London applied to the colonies were increasingly high and abusive,
such as the Sugar and Molasses Act, 1764, the Currency Act ,1764), or
the Stamp Act of 1765 (Stamp Act, 1765).
This entire unfavorable situation suffered by the 13 states was imposed with policies of repression, curtailment of democratic freedoms and oppression. Among the entire population that inhabited the colonies, discontent was growing that was soon evident in the creation of groups opposed to the king, such as the so-called " sons of liberty " led by Samuel Adams or John Hancock. The various groups of Patriots convened in a Congress of Representatives of nine colonial legislatures in New York, from October 7 to 25, 1765. Both this first meeting of nine states, which issued on October 19, 1765 the "Bill of Rights and Grievances", like others that were produced, did not in principle have the objective of Independence. Those who proposed Independence were a minority, and the majority of the colonists demanded better conditions in their status as citizens of the British Empire. But the violent attitude of British Imperialism did not give margins to those who sought to negotiate better conditions with London.
Violent incidents such as the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, and popular protest mobilizations such as the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773 broke out in the American colonies. The Empire did not want to appear weak in the face of the American colonists. , and other regions of its vast domains, for which it reacted by militarily occupying Boston in 1768. At the same time, the Parliament of London enacted a set of laws called Townshend Acts of 1767, and then the so-called "Intolerable Acts" of 1774 that cut the powers of the autonomous institutions, and those of British officials and military personnel increased. Since the colonies lacked representation in the English Parliament, the colonists considered such taxes and laws illegitimate, as they were a violation of their rights as Englishmen, which is why they began to raise the slogan of "No taxes without representation. " The rebellion gave rise to the first organizations that aimed at the development of a political regime different from the colonial one imposed by the British Empire. Groups of Patriots organized themselves into " Committees of Correspondence ", a secret or "shadow" government that would result in the creation of alternative institutions of power in each of the majority of the colonies.
These alternative institutions were called " Provincial Congress ", and spread throughout Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire. In Virginia and Maryland, Conventions called the Assembly of Freemen were formed. Over the course of two years, the provincial congresses or their equivalents effectively replaced the British government apparatus in the colonies, culminating in the unification of all of them in the First Continental Congress that met in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774. The Continental Congress emerged as the most important revolutionary institution. It was the one that centralized the governments of the 13 colonies, unified the armies and war efforts, drafted the documents and finally declared Independence. The First Congress issued a " Petition to the King " on October 25, 1774, which was not heeded, after which a trade boycott of British goods was established. London responded by promoting new "restrictive laws", the Restraining Acts, of February 9, 1775.
The Empire and the Continental Congress sought agreements and negotiated the crisis in 1775, but attempts to negotiate with the " Conciliatory Resolution " of February 27 and the " Olive Branch Petition " of July 5 failed. Hostilities began in April 1775, and the War was a process of years of cruel battles and confrontations, which included everything from the actions of a popular guerrilla of the colonists such as the "Minutemen", to political agreements that involved the powers of the period like France and Spain. Some of the key milestones of the war were first the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, which occurred in present-day Middlesex County, Massachusetts with a victory for the Patriots. The Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 17, 1775, was a Pyrrhic victory for the British, who although they eventually took and occupied Boston, suffered more than 1,000 casualties, almost a third of the forces the British had in place. Massachusetts.
Empire authorities had between 15 and 20% of the population under their
control, and only controlled some coastal cities, while the Patriots
controlled between 80 and 90% of the territory. After
the Battle of Bunker Hill, the British authorities considered the
situation so urgent that the governor was pushed to proclaim martial
law, and to promise freedom to slaves who joined the king's army,
through the Dunmore Proclamation, on 7 November 1775. The British Empire
rearranged its entire military plan in order to crush the North
American Revolution. Almost a year after the Battle of Bunker Hill the British retreated and evacuated Boston.
maneuver unleashed euphoria in the colonies, and victory bells rang in
the cities, while people took to the streets to celebrate the defeat of
the invader. But the
British withdrawal was not the end of the occupation, but rather a
military counteroffensive plan seeking to control an important port, to
bring supplies, troops and replacements. New York became a point for that objective, because it was easy to attack and was the key to access to the Hudson Valley. To
defend New York, the Continental Army and American militias were
quickly deployed to defend a city that was surrounded by water on all
sides and could be attacked from many sides.
It was decided to create several forts at the most important points of the city, its coast, and nearly 20,000 soldiers worked for weeks preparing for the British attack. The troops of the Patriot army had no combat experience, some regiments barely knew how to shoot a gun or had completed military service. They had little discipline because the soldiers were fishermen, blacksmiths, carpenters, musicians, it was a popular army, of common and humble people with a trade who had voluntarily enlisted in the militias, today fighting and tomorrow dispersing to go harvest the crops. , or take care of the family.
On June 29, 1776, New York Bay presented a colossal spectacle: An enormous forest of masts with the arrival of the Royal Navy with more than 100 ships, 500 transports and supply ships, 23,000 British regular soldiers, plus 10,000 German mercenaries. , thousands of civilian workers, and Army women. The largest amphibious demonstration by a European power in the world landed that day in Staten Island, New York. It was the prelude to the battle of New York, David against Goliath. The Empire's army was a professional army, with 15 generals with an average age of 48, and 30 years of military service. The average American general was 43 years old, with 2 years of military service. British soldiers had an average of 9 years of service. The Patriot soldiers only had a few months of experience.
The Empire hired a total of 30,067 German mercenary soldiers from the Hessian Army between 1776 and 1782, among the most expensive elite troops, run by the mercenary soldier merchant entrepreneur Friedrich Wilhem II Landgraf, from the German state of Hesse-Kassel. British military power was responded to by the Patriots with a political maneuver of great courage. On July 4, 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies unanimously voted for the Declaration of Independence, establishing the birth of a new country, the United States. From this political decision arose a political regime based on a confederation of sovereign states, with a Unicameral Congress in which each state had one vote, and acted as a representative government of all the states, whose representatives were selected by the legislative assemblies of each State.
This political regime was established through the Articles of Confederation, a 13-point document that united the 13 colonies to support the Army. The response of the British Empire was to initiate the invasion of New York. British General Cornwallis in a spectacular amphibious operation, with all types of landing craft deployed artillery, troops and horses, while the British ships of the line opened fire on the beaches and fields of Long Island, a sea of red jackets descended on the aboard their barges, jumped from the boats and pursued the American pickets, outnumbering the Patriots by almost two to one. The Hessians caused terror in the troops by attacking with their bayonets, the latest in military technology of the time, which was a weapon unknown to the Patriots.
General George Washington was forced to evacuate his soldiers, giving the British control of New York, with an unprecedented show of force and coordination between fleet and army worthy of the world power. The British Empire had managed to put the Patriots to flight, take New York, and after the victory, launched the invasion of New Jersey, with the strategy of controlling various corridors and lines of rivers, especially the line of the Hudson River. The leaders of the Imperial army knew that New England was the toughest rebel focus and that by controlling the Hudson River they could divide the region in two and advance with a powerful force composed of Hessians, Jägers, Highland battalions, light infantry and grenadiers. The other side of the empire's army was the Patriot army immersed in a deep crisis.
the end of 1776, George Washington's American army was destroyed, it
only had 3,000 soldiers, ragged and hungry, far from the 30,000 soldiers
at the beginning. The end
of contracts with the militias and the arrival of winter, together with
the wear and tear of the battles of recent months and desertions, had
left the Patriot forces depleted. The troops were poorly dressed, half-naked and the vast majority barefoot. Tents were scarce, morale was low, and many doubted that the Revolution would be successful; George
Washington's leadership was doubted and there was talk of establishing
relations with the British to put an end to the revolt.
Congress decided to evacuate the city and establish the government in Baltimore. Panic had spread through the capital and many members of the Patriot elite believed that by Christmas the Hessians and the British would be at the city's gates. Some had even begun to evacuate the city with all their belongings. But in the worst and most critical moment of the Revolution, an unexpected actor appeared on the scene: The people. Empire troops needed to get New Jersey to supply and shelter more than 10,000 men. Reinforcements, replacements and supplies had to be moved from the United Kingdom by ship, on a journey of more than 3,000 miles by sea, the British army had to live off what it could gather and gather in the colonies themselves, in order to survive in a such a big country. The British army needed food, fodder for horses and roofs for shelter. In theory, the British troops had to pay for everything they requisitioned, but looting and abuse of authority by the imperial soldiers began.
The settlers fled or hid whatever they could when the British and Hessian troops approached, and the people of New Jersey refused to give them support. The locals offered resistance and began to carry out spontaneous uprisings against the invaders. This was not in the Empire's calculations. The situation of the powerful British army began to become increasingly complicated. He was hated by the people, who saw him as an invader, he did not get local support or the supplies he needed. Thomas Paine launched the document "The American Crisis" which appealed to the deepest feelings of citizens to fight against tyranny, at the same time that the British army's logistical problems were aggravated because they were increasingly dependent on supplies by sea.
The First American Revolution was an enormous mass mobilization. Thousands of people mobilized from the town to fight, because behind each patriotic soldier, there were families, affections, friends who gave support. Those who did not fight harassed the Empire's troops, organizing ambushes, deception, espionage, informing Patriot leaders, writing pamphlets. An immense network of collaboration and resistance, a gigantic mobilization, is the explanation that despite its overwhelming technical superiority, the Empire's army found itself in an increasingly difficult position. Although the Royal Navy allowed transport convoys to reach safely, the transported volume of supplies was not sufficient to keep up with the consumption of British troops and Hessian mercenaries.
Among the first spontaneous uprisings was that of Philemon Dickinson, leader of a local militia, who, attacking and using guerrilla methods, began to harass the garrisons located on the Delaware, acting when the enemy appeared in small numbers while they were looking for food or forage. James Ewing, one of his officers from Washington, set up guerrilla movements in the Trenton area, harassing and carrying out lightning attacks in a "commando plan." The success of these attacks lay not so much in the damage they caused but in the tension and physical and mental wear and tear they caused on the enemy troops.
The situation for the imperial army began to become a nightmare. Colonel Rall, leading the Hessian troops at Trenton, watched with alarm as his troops were attacked when they went out to forage or seek supplies. These attacks did not cause many casualties but they did cause continued attrition, with men captured when they tried to search for firewood, or a soldier suffering a fatal casualty in a small skirmish, when he was ambushed during a patrol. The Hessian troops in Trenton were beginning to suffer significant wear and tear, and suffered a lack of sleep or rest due to continuous alarm signals, sporadic skirmishes, the surprise appearance of rebel pickets, or false alerts of imminent attacks. Taking advantage of this situation, Washington carried out the extraordinary crossing of the Delaware River on December 25, 1776, in which thousands of Patriot soldiers, facing inclement weather, cold and the worst conditions, crossed the river and attacked the Imperial army by surprise.
morale raised, and after the successes at Trenton, several battles
followed, until those of Saratoga in September and October 1777. In the
first battle of Saratoga the British won, but suffered many casualties. In the second, the United States army took advantage of the vulnerable position of the British and defeated them. France,
the other power of the time and enemy of England, came to the aid of
the United States, with the Treaty of the Alliance of 1778. That treaty,
together with that of Aranjuez, signed with the kingdom of Spain in
1779, was what It balanced the forces between the contenders, both land
and naval. British
military capacity was far superior to the forces of the Patriots, but
the agreements signed with France and Spain balanced the forces.
added to the fact that the majority of the population overwhelmingly
supported the revolutionaries, sealed the fate of the war, which had its
final episode at the Siege of Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781.
American and French forces They surrounded the British soldiers led by
George Cornwallis and defeated him. With
Cornwallis's surrender, more than 7,000 British soldiers were captured,
the last large contingent of the British army in the United States. Lord
North, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the American
Revolution, lost power in March 1782 and the new Prime Minister, Lord
Rockingham, wanted to make peace with the United States.
The victory of the Patriots was a colossal event that shocked the world. European elites could not believe the news coming from America: The all-powerful British Empire had been defeated. The fight of David and Goliath was repeated again: The Empire was defeated by a poor and barely nascent nation, which had a humble popular army and a precarious economy. As George Novack explains: " The settlers of the 13 states were the first people in the Western Hemisphere to break free from subjection to European powers and embark on their own national career. Theirs was the first victorious colonial revolt of the capitalist era, a feat. truly unprecedented given that, since Roman times, no colonial people had successfully managed to break free from the domination of a mother country" (5)
The Revolutions of Holland and England and the evolution of Parliament
The Second Continental Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation on March 1, 1781. The Treaty of Paris of September 3, 1783 enshrined the triumph of the patriots with Great Britain's recognition of US independence and renunciation of any British claim to its territory. As soon as the unity demanded by the Revolutionary War became unnecessary, the Continental Army was disbanded, although it retained a very small force. Thus, in that first Confederation that formed the United States, each state had its own army and 11 of the 13 states had a navy. But the most important thing is that after the years of the cruel and hard war for independence, the feelings against tyranny, against the empire, against the monarchy, for democracy and freedom took root very strongly in the North American people.
And along with the discredit of these institutions, Parliament emerged with strength and prestige as a fundamental institution in opposition to the monarchy, in the figure of the Continental Congress. This was the basis of the consolidation of the bourgeois democratic regime in the United States, and such were the feelings that took root in the people, that 7 months after the victory at Yorktown, several officers suggested something reasonable in the context of the 18th century: that The United States should establish a monarchy and George Washington should become king. Washington immediately rejected the monarchy as inappropriate and dishonorable, demanding that the issue never be raised again. And when a group of officers in 1783 threatened a coup against the Continental Congress to secure their pay, the so-called Newburgh conspiracy was immediately quelled by George Washington.
This is how Parliament emerged in the United States, an institution that is a fundamental piece of the republican regime, nestled in the heart of the Beltway. But it emerged as a product of the development of a revolutionary organization, the Continental Congress born to unify the Provincial Congresses, which directed the War and diplomacy by signing agreements with foreign powers, drafted the documents of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, which acted as a first Constitution. However, Parliament was not born in the young republic of the United States; the history of this institution dates back to previous centuries with the Dutch and English revolutions. Although both Parliament and the Constitution of the United States are institutions that emerged from the First American Revolution, they are not the pure and exclusive creation of the revolutionary leaders, known as the " Founding Fathers", Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Paine, George Washington, or James Madison. Parliament had emerged earlier in history and the Patriot leaders were influenced by the model of England and Holland, in whose successive revolutions Parliament had a great role.
The English Parliament had emerged based on the Great Council, the monarch's advisory body during the Middle Ages. The
Great Council was a convention called by the English monarchs where
bishops, abbots, barons and earls participated, convened when the king
needed to raise money through taxes. To
the extent that the primitive capitalist Forms of Accumulation
developed in Europe, the bourgeoisie as a social class was gaining more
and more weight and economic and social importance, which was reflected
in the composition of the calls of the Great Council. The
growing presence of capitalists and bourgeois in a world still
dominated by the nobles was expressed in Europe in the integration of
new organizations and Parliaments, or in agreements such as the Cortes
of León of 1188, the Magna Carta of 1215 in England, the Catalan
Cortes of 1192, or the Golden Bull of 1222 in Hungary.
All of these new institutions and agreements, in various ways and reasons, limited the powers of the king, and required a series of democratic demands. In England, the growing influence of the bourgeoisie was expressed in the composition of Parliament made up of representatives of the Church and the nobles, pillar elements of feudalism, but also made up of representatives of the bourgeoisie from the counties and the most important cities. Parliament was imposed on the king following the letter of the Magna Carta, but the nobility and the kings resisted, trying to sustain and strengthen the institution of monarchical absolutism.
That is why a revolution was necessary to impose parliamentary forms in England, which was led by the French nobleman Simon V de Montfort, who with the Battle of Lewes on May 14, 1264, defeated the Plantagenet monarchy. After Monfort's triumph, the convocation of Parliament was carried out without prior royal authorization, and had a political novelty: Along with the bishops, abbots, counts and barons, 2 bourgeois from each borough were summoned, elected in their municipalities or neighborhoods of the kingdom. The representation of the bourgeoisie and its elective nature was a revolutionary measure for the time. Simon de Montfort was forced to impose it to compensate for the power of the monarchy and the nobles, which began to institutionalize the participation in the parliament of knights and bourgeois known historically as the meeting of "the Commons". The nobility unleashed a counteroffensive, by which Montfort was defeated and killed at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, and the king's authority was restored.
there was no turning back from the revolution and Simon V de Montfort
remained for posterity as one of the fathers of parliamentary democracy.
In 1341, the nobility and
clergy were summoned separately for the first time, creating what would
effectively be an Upper House, called the House of Lords, and a Lower
House, called the House of Commons. However, the English bourgeoisie had not yet managed to consolidate a democratic regime such as the one it aspired to develop. The king still had a veto over Parliament's decisions, and the House of Lords was more powerful than the House of Commons. However,
the power of the nobility decreased at the end of the 15th century due
to the 100 Years' War, which had a particular chapter in England with
the Wars of the Roses. In
it, a good part of the nobility died on the battlefield, or were later
executed for their participation, many aristocrats lost their lands, and
the nobility entered the final stage of its history.
However, even when feudalism entered its final stage of decline, the nobility established the supremacy of absolute monarchy in England through the Tudor dynasty with the Imperial Crown. The absolute monarchy and the king were supported by the powerful House of Lords, which subordinated all the movements of the House of Commons.
While this was happening in England, the confrontation between the nobles and the bourgeoisie reached an international level and crossed Europe from the mid-16th century to the entire 17th century. This process reached an acute point with the Dutch Revolution. Known as the 80 Years' War or War of Flanders. The War was fought by the bourgeoisie of the United Provinces of the Netherlands against Charles V, who headed the powerful Habsburg absolute monarchy. In history books the Dutch Revolution is presented as a religious war between Protestants and Catholics. The fact is that at that time, political parties did not exist as we know them today, and the different social sectors acted defending their interests organized in religious orders, or churches.
the bourgeoisie organized the different Protestant religious orders in
Burgundy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and Holland, against
the powerful alliance of the Habsburgs, the Holy See and the
Inquisition, which were the highest authority in Europe. The
Dutch Revolution had similar characteristics to the First North
American Revolution: It combined democratic demands with the
anti-imperialist struggle for national liberation, in which the United
Provinces defeated the powerful Spanish Empire and achieved, in 1648,
the recognition of their independence. And
it had another common characteristic with the First North American
Revolution: It was led by Parliament, which was the States General, an
assembly that originally brought together the three states, nobility,
clergy and bourgeoisie.
States General were convened by the Burgundian dukes when they needed
funds, but in a complex process they resulted in the institution that
directed the war, constituted the Republic of the United Provinces,
formed a confederal Government that exercised power, and controlled the
two great trading companies of the country, the East India Company and
the West India Company. The
nascent Republic consolidated the figure of the Stadtholder, an embryo
of the figure of the Executive Branch, Prime Minister or President. Thanks
to this modern political system, the United Provinces emerged as a
world power thanks to its powerful navy and merchant fleet, and above
all, due to the development of new capitalist Forms of Accumulation such
as Commercial Companies and Manufacturing that acted, in economic
terms, in a complementary way, in that stage of capitalism.
Commercial Companies were a Form of Capitalist Accumulation constituted by companies of investors that obtained profits based on the dominance of trade between metropolis and colony and the exploitation of labor in the discovered colonies. They acted at the service of the dominion of vast colonial territories in which these companies acted as a true state and government, made investments, developed manufacturing and exploited local labor, which allowed them to obtain enormous profits.
On the other hand, Manufactures were capitalist companies that produced goods based on the exploitation of manual human labor. In
manufacturing, the division of labor was established within the
establishment, and the exploitation of human labor allowed the emergence
of the first relations of salaried production, although the working
class, or working class, still had an embryonic development at that
stage of capitalism. (5)
Thanks to these economic and political advances, Holland experienced an
important economic and cultural boom, becoming the great power and the
most important country of the time.
The Dutch Revolution shook the international political arena and was an incentive for the English bourgeoisie, faced with the absolute monarchy of the Stuarts, successor of the Tudor dynasty. In England the House of Commons sent the Petition of Right to Charles I in 1628, demanding the restoration of his liberties. But Charles I's response was to dissolve Parliament, and govern without it for 11 years. Following the financial disaster of the Bishops' Wars, the Stuarts were forced to summon Parliament so that they could authorize new taxes, forming the assemblies known historically as the Short Parliament and the Long Parliament that met with various recesses and forms between 1640 and 1653.
Tensions between the king and his parliament increased and deteriorated further. This
led to the outbreak of the English Civil War between the burgesses and
nobles which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642 and
culminated in the final victory of the Parliamentarian forces led by
Oliver Cromwell. Parliamentary
forces executed Charles I in January 1649, and established the
Republic, based on Parliament, in alliance with the new model army,
abolished the House of Lords and exercised power from the House of
Commons. The Revolution had a left wing embodied in the so-called "Levellers", a political movement made up of the primitive detachments of the English working class.
To confront the right wing and the left wing of the Revolution, Cromwell dissolved parliament and exercised a dictatorship: he crushed the Levellers, and exercised power with the title of Lord Protector of the kingdom. He refused to be king, and called for different parliamentary forms, based on the document called " Humble Petition and Council ." In that document he proposed a political regime based on Parliament, with the House of Commons elected as the Lower House, a House of Lords composed of nobles of the kingdom as the Upper House, and a monarchy subordinated to the constitution serving parliament and the laws. of the nation.
The nobles reacted with a counterrevolution to restore the Stuart monarchy. Supported by nobles from France, Spain and Scotland they launched a coup led by army general John Lambert. Scottish forces led by George Monck, along with international forces, invaded England, summoned Parliament and reinstalled the monarchy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as King in May 1660, and reestablished the absolute Stuart monarchy, which dissolved parliament in 1861. Upon the death of Charles II, his brother James II advanced the Stuart counteroffensive, seeking to restore the power of the Catholic Church in England.
content with consolidating its counteroffensive in England, the
absolutist Stuart dynasty began to establish the possibility of reaching
agreements with Louis XIV of France, to take the absolutist
counteroffensive to all of Europe. There
was the possibility of an international agreement between James II,
head of the Stuart absolute monarchy, who was carrying out the
counteroffensive in England, and Louis XIV, the so-called " Sun King," head of the Capetian absolute monarchy in France. Louis XIV summarized the program of monarchical absolutism with a phrase: "I am the state".
Faced with the danger of the unity of both powerful absolute monarchies, the European bourgeoisie reacted by gathering a powerful force in Holland to invade England. This force was financed by the city of Amsterdam, by bankers from Portugal, Genoa and Lombardy, such as Pope Innocent million guilds. The one who led the bourgeois coalition was the powerful Orange-Nassau banking oligarchy, headed by William III of Orange, who rented 400 transports, and negotiated the contracts of 14,000 German mercenaries from Brandenburg, Württemberg, Hesse-Kassel and Celle. William had a hard time convincing the Dutch ruling elite that such an expensive expedition was really necessary, but when Louis XIV attacked Dutch ships in French ports, the bourgeoisie understood that they had to act quickly.
The Dutch were careful to appear as an "invasion" to the English people, so the Dutch fleet of 53 warships was placed under the command of the English Rear- Admiral Arthur Herbert. The so- called "Glorious Revolution" triumphed when the troops of the bourgeoisie defeated James II at the Battle of Reading, a military action that was accompanied by strong anti-Catholic demonstrations in Bristol, Bury St. Edmuns, Hereford, York, Cambridge and Shropshire and the assault of a Protestant mob on Dover Castle. The Stuarts, the Queen and the Prince of Wales fled to France, and in 1689, the Convention of the Parliament of England declared that James's flight meant a declaration of abdication. William III of Orange acceded to the throne of England and sanctioned the Bill of Rights.
The content of the Bill of Rights is in the text of the preamble of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of 1776, of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 that was signed in the French Revolution, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The Bill of Rights states that the King cannot make or eliminate laws or taxes without the approval of Parliament, cannot collect money for his personal use without the approval of Parliament, and cannot recruit and maintain an army in peacetime, without approval of Parliament. It enshrines that elections of members of Parliament must be free, that Parliament's words cannot be hindered or denied, and that Parliament must meet frequently.
Bill of Rights was supplemented by another law, the Toleration Act,
which grants religious freedom to Anglicans, freedom of public worship,
the right to open schools, and access to all public offices. The
Parliamentary monarchy regime imposed by the Glorious Revolution
prompted the creation of the Bank of England in 1694, the first central
bank in the history of capitalism. And
the Ministry of Commerce (Board of Trade), which allowed the English
and European bourgeoisie to obtain important commercial advantages.
This gave an enormous boost to English capitalism and the works of intellectuals who laid the foundations of scientific and political thought such as Newton, Pope, Leibniz, Swift and John Locke, with his "Essay Concerning Civil Power " of 1690. And the revolutions that occurred gave more and more relevance to Parliament. When the Patriots carried out the First American Revolution in the 18th century, they did nothing more than follow in the footsteps of the revolutions that had preceded them.
Contradictions and evaluation of the bourgeois democratic regime
The Continental Congress that gave rise to the US Parliament, followed in the footsteps of the Dutch States General, Simon de Montfort's House of Commons, the Parliament throughout the English Civil War headed by Oliver Cromwell, and the Parliament definitively consecrated by the Glorious Revolution led by William of Orange. The various parliamentary forms that developed throughout the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were continued with the States General, and with even more radicalized parliamentary forms that emerged in the French Revolution. These first and incipient parliamentary forms and outlines of a political regime served as a basis for the Patriot Chiefs to build the republican political regime in the United States, and to place Parliament in it as one of its central institutions.
The Patriot leaders who had to write the Constitution of the United States looked at themselves in this mirror of revolutions. But in the development of this task, they encountered another contradiction. Those who promoted these political regimes and held power, displacing the nobles, were a property-owning class of magnates and businessmen, a very rich oligarchy of capitalists and bankers, who feared the poor people as much as they had feared the kings they themselves displaced. As a result of the fact that power was passing from one rich property class to another, and that this oligarchy of capitalists and bankers who took power feared the people, the regimes they promoted gave very limited freedoms to the poor masses. As Novack puts it : "The tenacious bourgeois republic established by the Dutch pioneers was much more oligarchic than democratic. In 1640, the Dutch statesman François Van Aersens declared that the government of the Netherlands was really an aristocracy, "where the people have no voice" (7)
Behind the Dutch revolutionaries were powerful capitalist banking houses, the Amsterdam business community that in the 15th century became the main European commercial port for grain from the Baltic region. Wealthy businessmen owned trading companies that hunted whales off the coast of Svalbard, traded spices in India and Indonesia, and founded manufacturing companies in New Amsterdam, now New York, South Africa, and South America. The fact that the interests of these business layers were defended by absolutist governments, monarchs or leaders who held noble titles should not be misleading. The absolute monarchies already openly defended the capitalist businesses of the Genoese, Portuguese, Venetian, Castile and Aragon, Burgundy, and Lombardy and Netherlands banking businessmen. Even the papacy itself was already an institution that had stimulated and developed capitalism for several centuries, controlling powerful companies, businesses of all kinds, commercial, financial, and real estate.
Feudalism was eaten away to its roots by powerful capitalist companies that dominated the economy of entire regions, installed manufacturing on the 5 continents, exploited indigenous labor and trafficked millions of slaves from Africa. Already since the 14th and 15th centuries, behind the absolute monarchies the powerful interests of capitalist businessmen were expressed: behind Charles V and the Habsburgs was the Fugger bank, or the Rothschild banking dynasty, which operated throughout Europe. Behind William of Orange was the very rich Nassau oligarchy of Burgundy. These layers of businessmen had to remove the feudal state to build their own state, but they feared giving too many freedoms to the poor and industrious masses on whom they had relied, to carry out the revolutions against the nobility. And this was precisely the second contradiction that the Patriot leaders encountered, many of whom were also rich landowners, owners and possessors of slaves.
As George Novack explains: "Although the new native ruling class, composed of merchants and other large property owners in the North and planters in the South, took the reins of power from the British officers... They only gained command of the country, disputes arose in almost all the states of the confederation, from 1783 to 1787, between the patricians and the plebeians to decide who should govern and how they should do it..." (8) The limitations on the democratic rights that the new republican regimes were intended for the poor masses, they were the product of the contradiction that the bourgeoisie experienced between the need to carry out a revolution against the old exploiting class of the feudal lords and their empires, but at the same time, maintain private property of the means of production and change.
This is how Novack explains it: The reasons for these restrictions were stated frankly by the leading spokesmen of the upper classes... John Adams, who was to be the second president, wrote in 1787-88... "It is essential to liberty that the rights of the rich are assured; if they are not, the rich will immediately be robbed and will become poor, and in turn they will rob their thieves, and in this way neither the freedom nor the property of anyone will be respected..." (9) The friction between patricians and plebeians, rich and poor, in the nascent republic had begun from the very beginning of the First North American Revolution. As Novack states: "The war of liberation from Great Britain was intertwined with a civil war in the colonies between the Conservatives and the Patriots. The committees raised by the insurrectionary masses in each locality, crowned by the Continental Congress, were instruments to destroy royal authority and serve as bases of power for the revolutionary cause. The frictions and conflicts within the class coalition that made the revolution were sometimes very acute" (10)
These class contradictions had been developing since colonial times, when the country was governed by the British Empire, and social and class differences were already emerging in the colonies. There had been Bacon's rebellion in Virginia in 1676, or Jacob Leisler's peasant revolt of 1689 in New York, which were expressions of those class conflicts. As Howard Zinn explains: " ...After Bacon's Virginian Rebellion in 1760, there were eighteen new attempts to overthrow colonial governments. There were also eight black revolts in South Carolina and New York, and forty riots of different nature...the colonial elite had to deal with the classist anger of the poor whites - the servants, the tenants, the urban poor, the landless, the tax payers, the soldiers and the sailors...as that the gap was opening between the rich and the poor...the country was not "born free", but was born slave and free, servant and master, tenant and landowner, poor and rich." (11)
tension between the rich and the poor was expressed 5 years after the
triumph of the First North American Revolution in the Shays Rebellion,
the popular uprising that occurred in Massachusetts on August 29, 1786.
It was a rebellion of the peasants and poor people, among them many war
veterans, who with weapons in their hands, had to mobilize to defend
their rights. The rebellion was led among others by Daniel Shays, a veteran of the American War of Independence, hence the name. The
rural agricultural population found itself after the War of
Independence suffering serious abuses, forced to pay taxes of all kinds,
municipal, provincial and federal fees.
were harassed by sheriffs, bailiffs and lawyers, they suffered
frightful misery and ruin, which led them to sell their property or
their livestock for less than their value, to overcome poverty and save
their families. When they
could not respond to the demands they were subjected to by merchants or
civil authorities, Massachusetts farmers began to lose their land and
to meet their debts and tax obligations, many poor Massachusetts
farmers like Daniel Shays who had been soldiers in the Revolution found
themselves upon returning home threatened in court with losing their few
assets to debt, when even many payments were owed to them by the army.
This gave rise to strong resentments against the tax collectors and the courts. The peasants moved to close the district courts. In the final months of 1786 peasants mobilized to stop court hearings on taxes and debt collection. At the outbreak of the insurrection, the masses of poor peasants began to organize an armed force, for which they planned the seizure of the Springfield weapons arsenal.
The commercial bourgeoisie of Boston decided to organize a private militia to repress the peasants. James Warren wrote to John Adams on October 22, "We are now in a state of anarchy and confusion bordering on Civil War." The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court accused those leading the protest of being "disorderly, riotous, and seditious persons" Massachusetts
Governor Bowdoin ordered the legislature to suspend habeas corpus with a
new legal distinction: rebellion in a republic, as opposed to a
monarchy, must be punished by execution. The
Massachusetts state legislature passed bills authorizing the imposition
of martial law, giving the governor broad powers to act against the
The legislature also passed the Disqualification Law prohibiting any rebel from holding office or being elected. The rebellion was defeated, several hundred of its participants were charged, and although most of them were pardoned under a general amnesty, 18 men were found guilty and sentenced to death. Shays' Rebellion showed the class contradictions of the nascent republic: Freedoms for the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie, very limited rights for workers, peasants and poor people.
However, for the historical evaluation of the parliamentary regimes that emerged at that time, even when the Shays rebellion revealed their political and social contradictions, it is necessary to place the analysis in its historical context to evaluate them correctly. For the time, these regimes were an enormous advance if we compare them with the brutal regimes of absolute monarchies, tyrannies and the Holy Inquisition that had dominated Europe in the preceding centuries. The replacement of the regimes of nobles and kings with the bourgeois democratic regime was a step forward in history, because even with their limitations, these republican regimes were enormous advances in democratic rights. Precisely for this reason, the replacement of a political regime with a more progressive one was a process that took centuries, and involved enormous wars and revolutions.
The death of millions who gave their lives was necessary to achieve these freedoms, and the bourgeois democratic regime of the United States was no exception. This is how Novack explains: "Despite its limitations, the Yankee Republic was the most progressive democratic government in the world . world at that stage of expansion of global capitalism. Its existence gave courage to the democratic forces of the Old World in their often disheartening struggles against the ancient and oligarchic regimes. Its example of victorious resistance, against the largest empire in the world, would provide "a powerful stimulus to the wars of independence that the Latin American people would wage against the weaker Spanish colonization in the following century. Thus, the United States constituted an operating model of democratic and republican government born through the revolutionary action of the masses." (12)
The Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787
the study of the development of the republican regime we have seen the
historical evolution of Parliament, and how it came to be located at the
center of the political regime of the nascent republic. We
will now see the change that occurred in the bourgeois democratic
regime after the Constituent Convention of Philadelphia that took place
between May 14 and September 17, 1787. After it, the political regime
was drastically modified and went from a structure of sovereign states,
to a more centralized power. Until
then, the United States was a decentralized state, power residing in
the sovereign states, loosely united by the Articles of Confederation.
In this regime, Parliament was located as the central institution. But after the Philadelphia Convention, the central institution became the Executive Branch, which began to displace Parliament from the center of the political regime. In this way, the United States went from being a Confederation to being a Federation with a strong central government. The change was imposed by the bourgeoisies of the economically stronger states on the weaker states, and was stipulated in the drafting of the Constitution that attempted to respond to the enormous political, social, national and international challenges that beset the young republic. .
The United States had defeated the British Empire in the Revolutionary War, and had gone through its first internal upheaval with Shays' Rebellion. This shock was analyzed as something positive by Thomas Jefferson. In a letter to his friend William Stephens Smith, he stated: "The tree of liberty must be restored from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural fertilizer." The United States was a small country, with barely 3 million inhabitants, and the powers of the time, Spain, France and England, disputed interference in its destinies. The nascent republic was beset by debts to France and the Netherlands, had no tax collection system, and had thousands of slaves. It was a country with different bourgeois sectors fighting for their interests, peasant masses in crisis and without a definitive Constitution, except for the Articles of Confederation that weakly united the 13 states.
The Patriotic Leaders had to establish a new state and a political regime without there being many models to draw inspiration from: There were not many bourgeois republics in the world that served as an example. The French Revolution, which was a great laboratory for building a republic, had not yet occurred. To carry out the sessions of the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, the delegates elected George Washington, the top leader of the First American Revolution, to preside over the convention. The debates essentially revolved around two positions: The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. The one that finally prevailed in the Convention was the Virginia plan, intensely worked on by the delegation of that state, which arrived before the other delegations to Philadelphia.
The Virginia delegation began meeting daily with state delegates to negotiate a plan that proposed a strong federal government that would make and enforce national laws, collect national taxes, and a Parliament with representation proportional to the inhabitants of each state. state. This plan sought to leave behind the articles of Confederation and advance a more centralized regime, with an Executive Branch and a Parliament elected by popular vote. It was a plan supported by the most economically powerful states with the largest population. The small states presented the "New Jersey Plan" which proposed a unicameral legislature with one vote per state, as it had worked until then.
After long and difficult negotiations, an agreement called the "Conneticut Compromise" was reached, promoted
by Robert Sherman, delegate of that state, with which a bicameral
Parliament was agreed, with a Lower House elected by representation
according to the amount of population, as proposed by the Virginia Plan
and the Upper House with representation of two senators for each state,
regardless of the number of inhabitants, as proposed by the New Jersey
Plan. This bicameral
Parliament was a concession that the promoters of the Virginia Plan made
to the smaller states that promoted the New Jersey Plan, to avoid a
breakup of the newborn republic. In
this way, the political regime was established as a federation with a
Bicameral Parliament, which satisfied the interests of both parties.
This political regime turned out to be a fairly novel regime for the time, which included the development of an advanced Constitution. The Constitution was designed with a Preamble as a brief introductory statement, then the articles that establish the description of the 3 powers, first the Legislative, then the Executive, and the Judicial, in addition to their powers. It also describes the process necessary to amend the constitution using the amendment method. It establishes that the Constitution is the supreme law that is above state laws and constitutions, which must not conflict with the laws of the federal Constitution.
Thus, the oldest Constitution among the most important that exists today emerged, in the midst of great and historic debates and negotiations, which sought to support their positions in texts based on great legal theorists. The Bill of Rights were 10 amendments added in 1791, inspired by the English Bill of Rights of 1698, which included the due process clause, a legal principle that establishes the minimum guarantees of every citizen before the law. It also included jury trials, the right to bear arms, a ban on excessive bail, and an end to cruel and unusual punishment. The Constitution included a series of changes that were historical novelties, such as, for example, the presidential election by popular vote, or the design of an Executive Branch, issues that were advanced for the time, something so unusual that those who agreed to it feared that the people thought that they were carrying out a coup d'état or creating a tyranny.
Patriot Chiefs did not want the figure of a strong, central executive
power to be confused with the nepotism of common figures at that time
such as an absolute king, or a despot. European
politics was dominated by the figure of all-powerful officials such as
Colbert or Mazarin in France, which led the Patriot Chiefs to explicitly
specify that the President is elected by indirect suffrage by an
electoral college with a term of 4 years. The
president was consecrated as head of the general administration in
charge of diplomacy, international treaties, and commander in chief of
the army, who expresses his work agenda to Congress, with the message of
To declare war, the Senate must approve it, and in times of crisis, it has the right of veto, which can be neutralized with a two-thirds vote. Regarding the Judicial Branch, Article III of the Constitution established the Supreme Court (in English, Supreme Court), composed of a chief justice, and associate justices appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They have the power of judicial review, to declare federal or state laws and federal or state executive branch laws unconstitutional and divided the nation into judicial districts and created federal courts for each district.
The Constitution established the removal of any federal official through impeachment in the event of a serious failure. In relation to voting, it was established that the president and congressmen were elected by suffrage, but at that time, only male citizens of European origin, property owners and Protestants had the right to vote. Neither women nor racial or religious minorities had electoral rights, which raised a problem: What representation would slaves have? Slaves made up about a fifth of the total population and 40% of the population of the Southern states. A debate began at the Philadelphia Convention about whether slaves would be taken into account as part of the population in determining representation in Congress, or not. The slave bourgeoisie maintained that slaves should be considered people in determining representation, but since they were the property of their owners, they should not have a vote or pay taxes.
Delegates from states where slavery had disappeared argued that slaves should be included in taxes, but not in determining representation. Finally, a compromise was agreed by which three-fifths of the slave population would be counted, both when distributing taxes and for the distribution of members of the House of Representatives. Ten states had already outlawed slavery, and many delegates to the Convention denounced it. But Georgia and the two Carolinas threatened to leave the Convention if the slave trade was prohibited, so, to avoid a breakup of the country, the Convention resolved that Congress would have the power to prohibit the slave trade, but not before At least 20 years would pass, that is, from January 1, 1808. Thus, the Constitutional Convention of Philadelphia left an iron contradiction planted in the country: The nascent republic was born making great innovations in the political regime, but maintaining relations of slave production, with retrograde characteristics and enemies of civil liberties.
The contradictions of the nascent US republican regime
These contradictions are explained by the economic and social interests that were behind the bourgeoisies of the economically strongest states that prevailed in the Convention. All of the resolutions adopted by the Convention except the first were written by Virginia Representative James Madison and reported by Virginia Governor Edmund Randolph. Virginia was the strongest state at the time. After the writing of the Constitution, the state gave the country what was called the "Virginia Dynasty ", Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, 4 of the first 5 presidents, came from Virginia. The power and preeminence of Virginia at that time in the country is explained by its economic and political location, which was a product of the evolution and birth of the states that constituted the Union.
Virginia was born as a result of the business venture promoted by the British Empire, which multiplied after the defeat of the Spanish Empire at the hands of the Dutch revolution in the 16th century. This led the powers to take advantage of the crisis in Spain to launch colonies in America. England launched colonization imitating the model of Spain, and in that first stage, Elizabeth I extended contracts to individuals starting in 1578 throughout North America. The contract extension process unleashed a movement of settlement of private settlers, which included the emigration of political and religious dissidents, Presbyterians, Quakers, Puritans, etc. who obtained permits to settle in North America, in areas as far away as possible from the Spanish Empire.
phase of waves of settlers included the group of Calvinists who
traveled on the Mayflower, and founded the Plymouth Colony and Province
Town in 1620, among others. In
general, those first particular colonies failed because the Europeans
did not adapt to the harsh conditions, they suffered from the climate,
food, diseases and hunger. They
also did not have the capital to make the necessary investments to
guarantee the success of the company, which did happen from the second
phase of colonization in which the concessions and royal certificates
were for Commercial Companies that, together with the Manufactures, were
the Forms of Accumulation predominant in that stage of capitalism.
The power of Virginia arose from the activity of the Commercial Companies that obtained royal charter in 1606: the Virginia Company of London and the Virginia Company of Plymouth, named in honor of Elizabeth I who was called "the Queen Virgin". The Virginia Company of London ended up constituting a true business hub from which branches and subsidiary businesses emerged that gave rise to new locations, colonies and states. The Virginia Company of Plymouth was established in the north in the New England area, where also the pastor John White founded Massachusetts, a large Puritan colony as part of a society and investment group that obtained permission and purchased the territory of the Bay of Massachusetts. Also in that area, Roger Williams, a Puritan pastor who promoted Rhode Island, established his congregation in Narrangaset Bay where they founded Providence.
Connecticut was born from the congregation founded by Thomas Hooker who also promoted religious freedom, and founded the city of New Haven. Pennsylvania was settled with a large expedition of 23 ships with Quaker travelers, in the territories granted by the king to real estate businessman William Penn for his services to the crown. Throughout the region that was called New England, the economy was based on shipbuilding, whaling and rudimentary crafts, with agriculture very poor due to the hostile climate and barren land. The economy of the region revolved around colonies of peasants who, having lost their lands, or having suffered expropriations in Europe, came to America in search of land to settle and live.
profits were not the center of these regional economies; the only
business activities that did prosper were those of merchants, such as a
sector of capitalists dedicated to the slave trade, such as the one
headed by the DeWolf family of Bristol in Rhode Island. , who amassed a
fortune from the slave trade, rum distillation, and property plantations
in Cuba and Guadeloupe. According to historian Lorenzo Johnston Greene the slave trade in the New England economy "created a wealthy class of slave traders." In
any case, this circle of merchants was very narrow, and their business
activities were very dependent on the southern states that used slaves
on a large scale on plantations. The rest of the settlers in New England and the Northern states only sought land for self-sufficiency.
The distribution of the land among the peasants was a type of primitive agrarian reform carried out through the colony's Assembly. This distributed the lots to the religious congregation that requested it so that the community could distribute it. The colony's Assembly and religious communities replaced communal lands, which were being expropriated in Europe by imperial armies. The development of a self-sufficient peasant economy, and limited business development, caused the activities of the Plymouth Virginia Company to cease.
Its activity was absorbed by the Virginia Company of London whose promoter was the businessman Bartholomew Gosnold, which was established as a limited company in 1606 in the Chesapeake Bay area, where the current states of Virginia and Maryland are located. This company, unlike the Plymouth Virginia Company, was very successful in developing business in an area of influence that extended to the Caribbean and the Sommers Islands, today Bermuda. He had important investors such as Thomas West, Lord de la Wax ablish an economic base with farms and plantation establishments, where tobacco was grown, corn and rice for export to Europe.
A policy of incentives was established so that the colonists could convince relatives and friends to emigrate, while children were collected from the streets, orphanages, prostitutes, and criminals from English cities and prisons to take them to Virginia. The settlement process became more fluid as Virginia became a commercial center, and took a huge leap when the arrival of slaves to Jamestown began, according to Howard Zinn: "In 1700, there were already 6,000 slaves in Virginia , which was equivalent to 8.3% of the population. In 1763 there were 170,000 slaves, which was equivalent, approximately, to half of the population" ( 13) Virginia was the economic center of the nation, which is why it gained the right to become the political center of the country.
Linked to the activity of the Virginia Company, Maryland emerged, a colony created in 1632 by Catholics marginalized in England, led by the businessman Cecilius Calavert, also known as Lord Baltimore, highly appreciated for his service to the crown. North Carolina was a detachment from Virginia, the same as South Carolina founded by the 8 "Lords Proprietors". By 1775, North Carolina had about 175,000 inhabitants, 100,000 whites and 75,000 black slaves. Georgia was separated from the Carolinas, named in this way in homage to King George of England. This colony was the product of the activity of the Commercial Company called " Maritime Corporation for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America" (in English, "Trustees sea Establishing the Colony of Georgia in America").
Kentucky was also a county of Virginia, and this entire area was established as a manufacturing enterprise starting in 1730, when cotton cultivation was established, the success of which caused the entire region to begin to be called the "Cotton Kingdom. " This area also included the colonies established by French business activities. The French financier Antoine Crozat, who had a monopoly on trade around the Gulf of Mexico to present-day Illinois, developed businesses in the French possessions located around the Mississippi from which the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi emerged. In these colonies, the slave trade brought from Africa was also used, and later these states were integrated into the economic-social complex called "Kingdom of Cotton."
The business activities developed in Virginia by brothers Stephen and Moses Austin gave rise several decades later to states such as Missouri and Texas. The states of New York, New Jersey and Delaware emerged as a result of the activities of the Commercial Companies of Holland and Sweden, later appropriated by England. The entire process of emergence of the states that made up the Union was a very complex process that far exceeds this brief outline that we offer here as a synthesis, but it is necessary to present this synthetic description to understand why the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention arose from a bourgeois democratic political regime so complex and contradictory that it sought to achieve a balance between powers.
This system of checks and balances, like the separation of powers, comes in legal terms from Anglo-Saxon constitutionalism, and is also attributed to Montesquieu. But,
although inspired by them, the political regime that emerged from the
Philadelphia Convention is essentially a system that emerged as a result
of the contradictions that beset the nascent nation, a young country
that had to prevent the danger of establishing a dictatorship, or
tyranny, and at the same time had to establish a strong central
government. He had to create a Federation, of a handful of autonomous states, with very diverse economies and interests.
He had to prevent a weak nation from falling into the clutches of some of the powers that dominated the world stage such as Holland, England, Spain, Portugal or England. This is how George Novack explains it: "the American revolutionaries created the first of the great constitutional conventions (constituent assemblies)... They also established an effective federal system of states that would operate within a united democratic republic... They drafted a written constitution that marked strictly the powers that the government could and could not exercise and to which a later amendment added a specific Code of Rights. They explicitly made civil authority superior to military authority" (14)
That is why the approved Constitution sought to ensure that some institutions limit others, with mechanisms such as the president's veto over laws approved by Congress, or the power of Congress to alter the composition and jurisdiction of federal courts. But also granting unprecedented democratic freedoms to the people, as Novack explains: "...Although still limited in many aspects, the rights of the people were considerably extended in several fields. The right to vote was expanded under the constitutions of many states and was representative governments were established. The criminal codes, terribly harsh, directed against the poor, were softened" (15)
At the same time, the regime had to contemplate the interests of sectors of capitalists such as the commercial bourgeoisie of the Northern states, with those of the landowning bourgeoisie of the Southern states, which resulted in a very contradictory articulation of institutions. In this articulation there existed some of the greatest democratic freedoms unprecedented in history, as Novack explains: "Although the new native ruling class, composed of merchants and other large property owners in the North and planters in the South, took the reins of power...the revolution began a process of internal democratization that overwhelmed the resistance of the rich and gave ordinary non-slave people more freedoms than any other nation then enjoyed." (16) However, as Novack states , these rights were for non-slave citizens.
The situation for slaves was very different, which established a situation of coexistence of enormous democratic freedoms for one sector of the population, and the denial of the most basic civil liberties for another. The most modern advanced laws were in collusion with the retrograde institution of slavery, which the bourgeoisie of Virginia, Maryland, Georgia and the Carolinas defended. These aspects explain the complexity of the republican regime established at the Philadelphia Convention. There are other aspects of an economic-social nature that we must also unravel to understand the complexity of the political regime that emerged in the Convention.
And to do this, we must address a controversy that has existed for many years among scholars, analysts and historians about the emergence of the United States, and the development of its political and social regime. Many authors from various currents, as a result of the existence of slavery in the Southern states, propose that at the time of its birth the United States was not a capitalist nation. With various arguments and nuances, these authors present the existence of a landowning oligarchy and slave production relations in the Southern states as proof that at the time of the Philadelphia Convention, the country had a feudal sector. And that the US had two different economies, a capitalist sector in the north, and a non-capitalist sector in the South. From this analysis we conclude that the United States, at the time of its birth, was not an entirely capitalist nation.
This view is totally wrong. The
nation that emerged from the First American Revolution and was
reaffirmed in the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787, was
absolutely capitalist. It is true that non-capitalist relations of production were established in the southern states. And
it is also true that the aspect of the land-owning oligarchs of the
southern states, who went to Oxford and Cambridge to cultivate
themselves, developed a culture of great gentlemen, and exploited
thousands of slaves, prohibiting them by law from all kinds of rights; It had more appearance of a feudal class than a capitalist class.
contrary to appearances, we must understand the essence of the
phenomenon, to understand the political and social dynamics of the
Southern states. Contrary
to what many authors have proposed, the states led by this elite were
not only not feudal, but had the most advanced capitalist development in
the country. For Karl
Marx, colonization in the Northern states is based on the constitution
of colonies of free peasants who seek to own their plot of land and
settle as settlers.
On the other hand, in the southern states, the colonies are true capitalist companies. This is how Marx analyzes colonization in the Northern states: "Here we must distinguish two types of colonies. In the first case, they are true colonies...the mass of colonists dedicated to agriculture, although they have contributed from the metropolis a capital, more or less large, does not constitute a capitalist class and even less is its production a capitalist production. They are, to a greater or lesser extent, peasants who work for themselves and whose primary and fundamental concern is to provide for themselves, to produce their own means of life. , for which reason their fundamental product does not have the character of merchandise, since it is not intended for commerce. The surplus of their products, after covering their own consumption, is sold or exchanged for imported manufactured articles, etc. Another part of the settlers, smaller, established on the coast, on the banks of navigable rivers, etc., create commercial cities. But neither can their activities be classified, in any way, as capitalist production. (17)
In relation to the colonization process that gave rise to the Southern states, Marx stated: "In the second type of colonies, the plantations, are from the very moment of creating commercial speculations, centers of production for the world market where there is a capitalist production regime, although only in a formal way, since the slavery of blacks excludes free wage labor, which is the basis on which capitalist production rests. It is, however, capitalists who manage the business of "trafficking in blacks. The system of production introduced by them does not come from slavery, but is grafted onto it. In this case, the capitalist and the landowner are one person." (18)
Nahuel Moreno explained it categorically: "The
Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and Dutch colonization in America
was essentially capitalist. Its objectives were capitalist and not
feudal: to organize production and discoveries to make prodigious
profits and to place goods on the world market. They did not inaugurate a
system of capitalist production because there was no army of free
workers in the market in America. This is how the colonizers, in order
to capitalistically exploit America, are forced to resort to
non-capitalist production relations: slavery or semi-slavery of the
indigenous people. Production and discoveries for capitalist objectives;
slave or semi-slave relationships; feudal forms and terminologies (as
well as Mediterranean capitalism) are the three pillars on which the
colonization of America was based." (19)
Moreno agrees with Marx that the colonization of the North is predominantly by peasants: "If there is a place in America whose colonization is not capitalist, it is the northeast of the United States... Europeans who wanted land went, or stayed, to this region. , climate and production like those of Europe...This immigration gave rise to a small peasantry that supplied itself and placed the slight surplus that remained on the market. Seen from a historical angle, this immigration continued the magnificent tradition of European Middle Ages to colonize new lands with independent peasants. But in North America there was a difference that would be fundamental: the excess of land prevented the growth of a feudal landholding class, although there were attempts to do so... the northern United States must be defined as a region colonized by waves of small farmers who did not support pre-capitalist production relations and who, as a consequence, were constituted for centuries in an internal market in continuous growth. The northeastern United States inherited the advantages of European feudalism: small agrarian production, without its tremendous disadvantages: a class of feudal landowners, inevitable parasites, in the future bourgeois production" (20)
Given that the working class had just emerged as such in the world, according to Moreno, colonization did not have properly speaking capitalist relations of production: " The truth is that there can be no other Marxist definition for the Spanish-Portuguese colonies and the southern United States. than that of capitalist production specially organized for the world market with pre-capitalist production relations. If we liked paradoxes we could say... that the southern United States and Latin America were colonized in a capitalist way but without giving rise to capitalist relations and that the northern United States was colonized in a feudal way (peasants who sought land and nothing more than land to sustain themselves) but without feudal relations." (21)
In that stage of capitalism, Commercial Companies and Manufactures worked in a complementary way: Commercial Companies such as the Virginia Company of London, developed Manufactures, that is, companies where human manual labor was exploited, and the division of labor was established within of the establishment. The southern oligarchy used slave production relations in manufacturing, although very different from the slavery of previous periods of history such as that of the Romans, or Greeks, who produced almost exclusively for an internal market. The slavery imposed on Southern manufacturing continued the experience of the companies established by the British Empire whose production was destined for the international market. In the manufacturing establishment, production was divided into 2 parts: one dedicated to the cultivation of goods such as tobacco, corn, or sugar for export, and another to the consumption needs of the vast population that made up manufacturing: it included the production of their own food, weaving their own cloth, and building their own houses at home.
Manufacturing production had 2 different models, on the one hand the "Virginian model" that was developed mainly in Virginia and Maryland, and on the other the "Jamaican model", which was developed in Georgia and the two Carolinas. In Virginia and Maryland the farm was relatively small, with slaves and black and white rural workers doing work together in the fields. The slave owner lived on his plantation year-round, considered it his home, and often formed intimate relationships with slaves and their families that continued from generation to generation. As Novack explains: " George Washington's home, for example, contained a weaving establishment. Other planters owned spinning and weaving mills that employed not only slave labor, but white servants on a wage labor basis." (22)
the Jamaica model applied in Georgia and the two Carolinas, the farms
copied the manufacturing model that had been imposed on the island of
Jamaica for the production of sugar, where large masses of African
American slaves were exploited who progressively replaced the contract
settlers. . The farm was managed by supervisors and foremen, the owner of the farm did not reside there, he only visited it sporadically. This plantation system was used to produce cotton, and the so-called "Cotton Kingdom" was established , destined
for export to the large English factories of the Manchester textile
industry, but also to Europe and the colonial internal market.
This is how Novack explains it: "Until the rise of the Cotton Kingdom, the capitalist plantation system in the English colonies was perfected on the largest scale in Jamaica. Economically considered, the entire island became one vast plantation dedicated to the cultivation of cotton. sugar cane and the manufacture of sugar, which was then sent abroad for sale. The plantations...belonged to absentee owners resident in England and managed by hired superintendents. They were extremely productive and worked entirely by hand of slave labor...The workers were strictly classified and worked in squads, under close supervision...The small farmers who had originally populated the island were expelled and gradually disappeared" (23 )
summary, the two types of manufacturing establishments in the Southern
states introduced machinery and division of tasks within the farm, at
first small establishments in the search for precious minerals, later
for the cultivation and exploitation of raw materials such as tobacco,
rice, and corn. Later,
huge farms with cotton cultivation destined for export to the large
English factories of the textile industry in Manchester, and also to
Europe and the colonial internal market, which allowed them to establish
the most advanced capitalist development. They are capitalist establishments whose production revolves around the profits of their owners.
Therefore, although at the origin of the United States, 1 in 6 citizens was a slave, the country was born as a capitalist nation. Today in the country there is a profound process of review and reunion with the past, of re-examination of slavery and the role and understanding of the most contradictory aspects of the Founding Fathers. But to understand these aspects, it is necessary to put aside any subjective vision, based only on the personality, or ideas of Jefferson or Washington, for example. These subjective aspects are important, but completely secondary when it comes to understanding its contradictions.
Many works attempt to reveal the apparently contradictory character of many of the Founding Fathers. They
were capable of being politically on the barricades alongside the
French people fighting the absolutist monarchy, or suffering serious
inclemencies and performing heroic feats facing the British Empire, and
then returning to the farm and continuing to cruelly exploit thousands
of African Americans. This
behavior seen with contemporary eyes appears as a tremendous
inexplicable contradiction, but for the time they experienced it as
something normal and natural.
Their behavior and actions are not understood only by psychological or personal aspects; they can only be understood if one investigates the powerful economic and social driving forces that gave rise to them, including in the analysis the class sector to which they belonged, which determined by complete his actions. They are part of a powerful manufacturing bourgeoisie, with the appearance of feudal oligarchs, but in essence, bourgeois of ancient lineage, who exploited very rich manufactures to supply national and international markets. Only in this way can the contradictory nature of his political actions be understood. And only in this way can the contradictions of the political regime that they imposed in the country they founded be understood: They were the local representatives of the international class of the manufacturing bourgeoisie. This class, to defend its interests, was capable of confronting imperialism, tyrants, and carrying out progressive tasks just as Dutch manufacturers did in Europe.
The Dutch manufacturing bourgeoisie had the guts to confront the Habsburgs, the "Sun King", the Stuarts and anyone who stood in their way. But this same social class of Dutch manufacturers, while facing terrible tyrannies, overthrowing them, and giving the world some of the political innovations that would last for centuries, were developing the capitalist system in the world, for which they enslaved million people on five continents. The most important change in the US political regime was carried out by this sector of social class, little studied and analyzed. This change had a global impact, hundreds of nations in the world have imitated and copied it following the model of its Constitution and preambles, but it was imposed by a sector of the bourgeois social class, little understood by the social sciences.
This is how Nahuel Moreno explains it: "The important thing is that this capitalist production originated from the beginning of colonization an indigenous capitalist class, independent of the merchants and the bureaucracy, the bourgeois landowners. Latin American history has not yet been studied starting from this overall characterization: the existence from the beginning of an indigenous bourgeois class linked to regional production. This class is similar to that of the southern United States that gave Washington. Liberal historians and their Marxist emulators have ignored the existence of that class because it was not an industrial bourgeoisie and they have classified it as feudal landowners, when, on the contrary, it is a much more progressive bourgeois class than thecomprador commercial bourgeoisie" (24)
With the change that was established at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, the regime went from a decentralized country to a strong central state with 3 powers, the Constitution, and the Amendments or Bill of Rights, which was an enormous advance. But at the same time, as this change was imposed by a slave-owning exploiting class, it established a contradiction that would forever mark the history of the United States. It established the paradox of the establishment of a regime of democratic freedoms unprecedented in history, imposed by a social class that based its political and social supremacy on reactionary and retrograde social relations. This paradox prepared the conditions for the country to travel the path from the First American Revolution to the Second American Revolution, with the Civil War.
A new change in the regime: Political parties emerge and the Federalist predominates
After the Philadelphia Convention, and in the next 70 years of the country's history until the Civil War, the entire axis of the political situation passed through the struggle between the slave-owning manufacturing bourgeoisie of the South and the industrial bourgeoisie of the Northern states. This is how Novack puts it: "Whoever does not keep in mind the fact that the center of gravity of American politics during the first seventy-two years of its existence is precisely in this great conflict runs the risk of losing the common thread in the labyrinth of events... " (25)
After the Constitutional Convention of Philadelphia, all the leaders of the North American Revolution such as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Paine, Adams, Franklin, etc. came out in a common "front" to defend the Union and the Constitution. Faced with the special Conventions called by the states to debate and decide their approval or rejection, all were "federalists" and defended the formation of the new federation, in debates that were very hard and difficult. In many cases, the intervention of the Founding Fathers was decisive for the states to approve the new Constitution.
But that "front" that they formed to defend the new Constitution, as soon as the government was formed, it was torn apart. The social and political contradictions that confronted these two most important capitalist sectors in the country broke that "front." This is how Novack put it: " As soon as...the machinery of the new government had been set in motion the former allies found themselves opposed to each other on a number of important issues. Their struggle for supremacy resumed on a broader scale in the framework of the Republic. Seven decades of parliamentary struggle, and ultimately a civil war... were bound to determine... who was dominating the United States." (26) This process gave rise to another change in the bourgeois democratic regime: The first political parties emerged, constituted and developed as such, something that is common today, but which at that time was another novelty of the republican political regime of the USA. USA
In his first cabinet, Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State and Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury. Both officials headed the two political parties that gave rise to the country's first political party system. On the one hand, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams were among the representative sector of merchants and bankers from the Northern states, who organized around the Federalist Party. This was in fact the first political party in the United States, whose network of supporters was urban, and they promoted a political program of establishing a strong central state, the creation of a national bank, the establishment of tariffs and taxes, they were commercially protectionist, and inclined to abolish slavery.
On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led the representatives of the manufacturing bourgeoisie of the South, who began to organize themselves into the Democratic-Republican Party. Their program was for greater autonomy of the states with respect to the central government, and they did not view the central bank favorably. They were slaveholders and advocated free trade with Europe. In the more than 70 years that go from the I to the II North American Revolution, the fight between these 2 sectors went through 3 stages: In the first stage with Washington's presidency, the Federalists exercised supremacy. Although Washington declared himself independent of both parties, he actually supported the Federalist program, as Novack states: " In the first period of their relations during the administrations of Washington and Adams, the commercial capitalists controlled the Federal machine. Piloted by Hamilton, "The far-sighted American statesmen most succeeded in enacting the most important parts of their program." (27)
But it was not only the political-social location of these two sectors of the dominant classes that divided the waters between the two parties. So did the impact of international events: Two years after the Constitutional Convention of Philadelphia, the French Revolution of July 14, 1789 was a shock that shook the world. A mass insurrection took the Bastille by storm, detonated the seizure of cities and towns in all the provinces, provoked the insurrection of the peasantry, imposed the Declaration of Rights in August, and decreed the end of the feudal regime, which mortally wounded the monarchical absolutism and King Louis XVI. This is how Novack explains it: "The central revolutionary event of the bourgeois era was the uprising in France at the end of the 18th century...it produced by far the greatest impact and had the greatest international influence of all the social and political uprisings of the bourgeois era...developed in the richest, most populous and most cultured country on the continent. Its events, ideas and institutions, as well as its armies, went beyond national borders...The spectacle of the crown, the Church and other venerable institutions being overthrown by popular uprisings, raised enthusiasm and invited emulation" (28)
The French Revolution was the final link in the chain of revolutions that characterized the "Age of the Democratic Revolution" that Novack and RR Palmer defined between 1760 to 1800. The Federalists did not view the French Revolution favorably. Washington considered the beheading of kings and nobles by the revolution excessive. On the other hand, the Democratic-Republicans supported the Revolution, Jefferson had just been ambassador to France and enthusiastically embraced his ideas. The impact of the French Revolution unleashed the revolution in Haiti, the most profitable French colony, and between 1791 and 1804 the Haitian Revolution abolished slavery and proclaimed the Republic in a country with 452 thousand black slaves, a cry for freedom that resonated in the island, after the fall of the monarchy in France.
in addition to the economic-social conditions of the time, and the
impact of international events, it was another decisive element that
drove the evolution of political parties in the history of the country. A profound economic-social change was taking place in the capitalist system. Until
the 18th century, capitalism, the predominant Form of Accumulation was
Manufacturing, manufacturing capitalists were at the forefront of the
development of productive forces, and spearheaded the most important
The manufacturing bourgeoisie of the Southern states were the local representatives of that international class, but in the mid-18th century a new Form of Capitalist Accumulation began to emerge that contained and surpassed manufacturing: Industry. This Form of Accumulation operated enormous and profound changes in capitalism and the world economy. In industry, the capitalist incorporated machines, which replaced manual labor, with which the establishment became a factory. The division of labor combined with machines allowed mass production, which increased productivity and the exploitation of labor, which promoted a qualitative leap in production.
For this reason, the industry involved a leap in the process of capital and profit accumulation. This
process began with technical innovations such as that of John Wyatt,
who announced his spinning machine in 1735, which revolutionized the
textile industry. The
introduction of machines also allowed a radical change in production and
commerce because it revolutionized transportation and communications. At
the beginning of the industry, the most important technological
innovations were the steam engine and the so-called Spinning Jenny,
related to the textile industry.
But after them, new machines and technologies emerged and were a permanent improvement of the production process that included agricultural production, with which the industry also began to absorb the production of the countryside, the sea, fishing and raw materials. When industrialization was introduced in the countryside, revolutionizing all production, the production of the countryside ended up being absorbed by the industry and becoming one more variant of the Forms of Industrial Accumulation.
With industry a new sector of social class emerged, the industrial bourgeoisie. And along with it, the modern salaried proletariat emerged, which consolidated the capitalist mode of production with its two fundamental social classes: the bourgeoisie that already existed and a modern new class that, although it had appeared sporadically before in history, did so now. for the first time in an organic and massive way: the working class. This is how Federico Engels explains it: " But it has been precisely this industrial revolution that has everywhere brought clarity to class relations, which has eliminated a multitude of intermediate forms, bequeathed by the manufacturing period and, in Eastern Europe, even by the guild crafts, creating and bringing to the forefront of social development a true bourgeoisie and a true proletariat of great industry . " (29)
The Axis of Accumulation, that is, the geographical center where this Capitalist Form of Accumulation developed was England. The predominance of England had been sealed in the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, which led to England gradually displacing other powers such as Portugal, Spain and Holland, which had been the world center of Manufacturing, from the center of capitalism. If Manufacturing worked in a complementary manner with Commercial Companies, Industry was complemented by Banks, which constituted the Form of Financial Accumulation characteristic of industrial capitalism. England was the vanguard in the development of a new Regime of Capitalist Accumulation, which had Industry as the Predominant Form of Accumulation.
This is the reason why the industrialist bourgeoisie of the Northern states wanted to continue establishing privileged relations with England, given that the industrialists and bankers of the North were interested in promoting the new Regime of Accumulation in the brand new and recently constituted nation. When wars broke out in Europe in 1792, with France and Great Britain competing for world hegemony as the main contenders, Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party advocated aligning themselves with France, establishing restrictions on British trade. But the Federalist party prioritized relations with Great Britain and carried out a pro-English foreign policy, which is why both the Washington-Hamilton and Adams Administrations practiced neutrality in the European conflict, which was the line that London imposed. to his allies.
pro-English foreign policy of the Federalist administrations was
continued with the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between
Her British Majesty and the US, commonly known as Jay's Treaty which
was signed in 1794, and ended the issues pending since the Treaty of
Paris of 1783 after the First American Revolution. The
Jay Treaty allowed 10 years of commercial exchange, with British
possessions in India and the Caribbean, in the midst of the wars that
shook Europe. Jay's Treaty
also established the withdrawal of British army units from the
Northwest Territory west of Pennsylvania and north of the Ohio River,
and resolved to establish arbitration over border problems with Canada.
Support for the treaty announced by Washington was decisive for its ratification by 2/3 of the Senate in November 1794. From the British perspective, its war with France required improving relations with the United States, to prevent the United States from falling into the French orbit. The Jay Treaty angered France, which captured nearly 300 American ships bound for British ports in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean. President Adams, anticipating a war with France, promoted the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, which sought to put limits on the immigration of foreigners and the press's criticism of the government. These were laws against French refugees who participated in American politics and against Republican editors or Irish immigrants, who were considered potentially dangerous in the face of the pro-British politics of the Federalists. The law increased the waiting period to obtain naturalization and authorized the expulsion of foreign citizens.
Faced with increasing tensions with France, Federalist President Adams sent a diplomatic delegation to Paris to negotiate the peace that was achieved with the Treaty of Mortefontaine. But the division between the bourgeois sectors of the North and the South had worsened. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison strongly opposed the Jay Treaty and the Alien and Sedition Act. Both launched a national opposition campaign, in which they denounced the unconstitutionality of these laws in resolutions drafted for the assemblies of Kentucky and Virginia, positioning themselves as bulwarks in the defense of democratic rights. His campaign laid the foundations for the constitution of the Democratic-Republican party and Jefferson resigned his position as Secretary of State, a fact that publicly manifested the rupture between the Founding Fathers.
But not only foreign policy divided both parties, internal politics also divided them day by day. One point that accentuated the division was the creation of the first legally established Bank of the United States in 1791 by Congress. The federalist industrial bourgeoisie promoted the creation of the central bank, as part of its strategy to develop the regime of industrial accumulation, and it was devised by Alexander Hamilton to settle the debts that the country had since the War of Independence, and establish a stable currency. The existing currency in the country was the "Continental" note created to pay the expenses of the revolution and liberation of the United States, but the excessive printing of the Continental to finance the expenses of the war of independence, caused serious inflation and depreciation of the currency, incorporating the phrase "it is not worth a continental" , to this day in the country's culture.
There were at that time in the country more than 50 English, French, Spanish, Portuguese coins in circulation, vouchers issued by states, cities, stores, and companies in large cities. The values of these currencies were tremendously unstable, making it almost impossible to carry out transactions, develop a trade or grant credits, the value or exchange rate of both the party agreeing to receive it and the person granting it was never known. The depreciated Continental and the existence of unstable currencies turned the country into a paradise for speculators. The most affected were the humblest sectors and the distant inhabitants who suffered the degradation of their assets, as well as the distances and primitive paths leading to values being unknown and transactions impossible.
There was a need to have a new strong and valuable currency, which led Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury in George Washington's government, to impose through the legal decree signed on April 4, 1792 that the country adopt as its own currency to the Mexican "daler" , called "dollar" in English phonetics. The Mexican "daler" had emerged in 1535 by order of Charles V, King of Spain and Emperor of Germany, in the newly discovered silver mines of Mexico. The King ordered that a coin similar to the one used in Europe be minted under the name " thaler" ; name that is an abbreviation of "Joachimsthaler", the valley in northern Bohemia in which the silver mines that provided the metal to coin it were located. The coiners carved the 2 pillars of Hercules formed by the coasts of the new and old world, whose stylized image formed an "S" crossed by 2 vertical bars.
promoted the adoption of the new currency, and the creation of the Mint
where it would be minted, in addition to a plan to create taxes to
finance the constitution of the Central Bank. This
was established with initial financing based on the sale of 10 million
dollars in shares, the purchase by the United States government of the
first 2 million, and the rest for sale to be purchased by citizens of
the country or foreigners, although the latter would not have a vote in
board meetings. The requirement for the purchase is that a quarter of the purchase price would have to be paid in gold or silver.
Under these conditions, the Bank of the United States could technically hold $500,000 in real money and could make credit loans. The Bank was established as a private company, whose charter could not be denied until 1811, during which time no other federal bank could be authorized to operate, while the states would be free to create interstate banks. The creation of the Central Bank allowed the control of finances and credit on a large scale, while limiting the actions and credit capacity of the states. Hamilton, seeking to establish a tax scheme to finance the Bank, established taxes on the import duty of alcoholic beverages, and increased the tax on domestically distilled whiskey and other liquors. This was the origin of the Whiskey Rebellion, a popular uprising, in which the existence of the authority of the central power was revealed since it was repressed for the first time with the sending of federal troops, unlike what happened with The Shays Rebellion.
The Second Period: The predominance of the Democratic-Republican Party
In the year 1800, Jefferson won the presidential elections and the Democratic-Republican Party came to power, opening a second stage after the First American Revolution. This stage was characterized by the absolute predominance of the Democratic-Republican party and the crisis and disappearance of the Federalist Party, which meant a new change in the country's political regime: With the Parliament, the Executive Branch, the Judiciary and the army consolidated, the political party system was reduced to a single party. In March 1801, Jefferson became the third President of the United States and appointed James Madison as Secretary of State, with which the manufacturing bourgeoisie of the Southern States, which was the most economically powerful sector, began to promote its program to deepen the capitalist accumulation that they had developed and controlled.
The Democratic-Republicans had until then developed an implacable and systematic opposition to the measures of the federalist governments, and although the interests of both bourgeois sectors were in a certain and complex way intertwined, the confrontation grew and the Northern bourgeoisie lost ground. before the most powerful manufacturing bourgeoisie of the South, which is why it had to permanently give in to the pressures of the southerners. The project of the industrial bourgeoisie was still incipient and embryonic, industrial capitalism was just beginning in the world and they intended to carry it forward in a small, barely developed, and very poor country. On the contrary, the manufacturing bourgeoisie was based in Forms of Accumulation that had a development and a consolidated structure, it was a more powerful class, with more capacity and resources, which allowed it to develop political campaigns with professional methods, and advanced innovations to the era that strengthened them until they took power.
The impetus of this political process was at the service of the development of the manufacturing accumulation regime, for which it was necessary to obtain more territories in which to establish more manufactures, plantations and slaves. The "Kingdom of Cotton" had to be expanded and extended, so the country's territory had to expand towards warm areas, suitable for its cultivation, that is, towards the south. The Jefferson Administration carried out the Louisiana Purchase, which increased the country's national territory by more than 2 million square kilometers. But at the same time, intensive manufacturing production caused soil exhaustion in the states known as the "Kingdom of Cotton", which required more territory and forced the southern oligarchy to occupy more fertile lands that would allow production to develop.
turn, the states where the soils were exhausted became suppliers of
slaves to the states that were incorporated into the "Cotton Kingdom." This is how Karl Marx explained it: "The
cultivation of the export articles of the South, cotton, tobacco,
sugar, etc., carried out by slaves, is only remunerative, as long as it
is carried out with large bands of slaves, in on a massive scale and in
large areas of naturally fertile soil, which requires only simple labor.
Intensive cultivation, which does not depend so much on the fertility
of the soil, but on the investment of capital, intelligence and energy
of labor, is contrary to the nature of slavery.Hence the rapid
transformation of states such as Maryland and Virginia, which previously
employed slaves in the production of export goods, into states that
accumulate slaves for export to the deep south. Even in South Carolina,
where slaves make up four-sevenths of the population, cotton cultivation
has been almost completely immobilized for years due to depletion of
the soil. In fact, by force of circumstances in South Carolina it is
already has become in part a source state for slaves, already selling
slaves for $4 million a year to the far southern and southwestern
states. As soon as this
point is reached, the acquisition of new territories becomes necessary,
so that a part of the slave owners with their slaves can occupy new
fertile lands, and a new market for slave suppliers is established.
Therefore, for the sale of slaves, it can be created by the remaining
section. It is, for
example, undoubted that without the acquisition of Louisiana, Missouri
and Arkansas by the United States, slavery in Virginia and Maryland
would have been annihilated long ago" (30)
The policy of establishing political and commercial agreements with France, who sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States in 1803, led the Democratic-Republican government to maintain neutrality during the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon had won a decisive victory at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, and as a consequence there were no major military conflagrations in Europe in the following years, although tensions and disputes between France and England for dominance of world capitalism reached all continents and regions. To the extent that the Democratic-Republican Administration established agreements with France, tensions grew with England, which viewed the change in US foreign policy unfavorably. The US passed on the Jay Treaty signed by the administrations Federalists that almost led to a war with France, to the agreements with France carried out by the Democratic-Republican administration, which led to a war with England.
the end of Jefferson's second term, Jefferson's decision to retire from
political activity was known within the Democratic-Republican Party,
and Madison was the candidate to succeed him. Madison
won the presidential election in 1808 with relative ease since there
was no opposition, the Federalist Party had collapsed and only retained
some support in the New England region. One
of the reasons for the collapse and subsequent disappearance of the
Federalist Party was the death of one of its founders, Alexander
Hamilton, who died after fighting a duel with the vice president and
member of the Democratic-Republican Party, Aaron Burr.
The first serious problem that the Madison Administration had to face was the crisis in diplomatic relations with Great Britain. As tension between London, Paris and Washington grew, the conflict crossed all regions and continents: Napoleon's invasion of the Iberian Peninsula unleashed revolution in the South American colonies against Spain, the English navy blocked American ships to prevent them from trading with France, and the clashes extended to India or Africa. Britain decided to tighten the noose and armed the indigenous tribes in the Northwest Territory to harass the Madison Administration. The United States considered the boarding of its ships an affront to the country's sovereignty, and Congress, led by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, approved a declaration of war against Great Britain. The declaration was issued with the opposition of the Federalists who, if they went to war with Great Britain, refused to provide financial support or soldiers and even threatened the secession of New England.
But the Democratic-Republican Administration discovered that war was almost impossible because there were no funds. Their
own policies led them to that situation: The Democratic-Republicans
were demolishing the Federalists' economic scheme: they had dismantled
the Bank of the United States, and reduced the tax system. That
is why in the Union message, Madison asked for a war plan to build
ships and strengthen the army, in the face of the imminent war with
Great Britain that began in 1812. The war with England developed with
the battles in the Northwest Territories, of the Great Lakes, on the
Canadian border, in Baltimore, and the important conflagration of New
Orleans, in which the British were defeated.
The Empire attacked Washington in 1814, destroying the White House, the Capitol and other public buildings. But the US army contained the British and peace was finally signed through the Treaty of Ghent. Meanwhile in Europe, Napoleon had been defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. The war ended, and a period of relative peace and economic growth began in the world and the United States. This consolidated and strengthened the Democratic-Republican Administration.
the war with Great Britain was also part of the territorial expansion
strategy of the Democratic-Republican Administration that continued to
be carried out in the midst of the conflagration. President
Madison promoted the colonization of the Northwest Territory after the
Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, which began to materialize a fundamental
aspect of the territorial extension strategy: the removal of Indians
from their tribal lands.
This process of removing the Indians from their lands involved a true genocide that had an exclusive protagonist: Andrew Jackson. This is how Howard Zinn explains it: "The "removal" of the Indians was necessary to open the vast American territory to agriculture, to commerce, to markets, to money...Andrew Jackson was a real estate speculator, merchant, slave trader and the most aggressive enemy of the Indians in early American history...he became a national hero in 1814, when he fought at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend against a thousand Creeks, of whom he killed eight hundred... When the war ended, Jackson and his friends began to buy the lands confiscated from the Creeks and Jackson had himself appointed commissioner of the treaty issued in 1814, by which the Creek nation was left without half of its territory..." (31)
The Treaty with the Creeks Indians set a precedent. The expropriation of lands that these civilizations had occupied for centuries combined, in the strategy of the manufacturing bourgeoisie, attacks and exterminations with treaties that, according to Zinn, skillfully opened cracks between the primitive communist communities.
This is how Howard Zinn explains it: "... It granted the Indians individual ownership of the land, thus managing to open fissures between them, breaking the custom of communal land ownership, bribing some with land, leaving others without it." , introducing competition and collusion among them...Between 1814 to 1824, in a series of treaties with the Southern Indians, the whites seized three-quarters of Alabama and Florida, a third of Tennessee, a fifth part of Georgia and Mississippi, and parts of Kentucky and North Carolina. Jackson played a key role in these treaties, using bribery, deception, and force to seize more land, as well as employing his friends and relatives. These treaties and these violations of Indian territory allowed the establishment of the cotton kingdom and the establishment of slave farms...Jackson had extended the white colonies to the border area of Florida, which was property of Spain. Here lay the towns of the Seminole Indians, and some black slaves took refuge Under the pretext that it was a sanctuary for runaway slaves and plundering Indians, Jackson began to make raids in Florida, which he said was essential for the defense of the United States. It was the classic prologue to a war of conquest. Thus began the Seminole War of 1818, which ended with the American acquisition of Florida. It appears on school maps with the discreet motto of "Florida Purchase, 1819" - but in reality it was born from Andrew Jackson's military expedition beyond the borders of Florida, burning Seminole villages and capturing Spanish forts, until Spain found itself "persuaded" of the need to sell...This is how Jackson became governor of the territory of Florida..." (32)
All of this expansion policy laid the foundations for the formation of a new state of the Union on the basis of the old Northwest Territory that was called Indiana. In 1810, the Democratic-Republican Administration annexed western Florida that belonged to Spain, and the dispute over the Texas territories began with Mexico. The new states admitted to the Union were Louisiana in 1812, and Indiana in 1816. Meanwhile, the Federalist Party, which had taken a pro-British and secessionist stance in the war with Great Britain, dissolved and disappeared from the political scene. In the presidential elections of 1820, the Democratic-Republicans did not even have opposition since the disintegrated Federalist Party did not nominate any presidential candidate. Consequently, Democratic-Republican President Monroe was re-elected almost unanimously in elections in which he obtained 82.9% of the Representative positions, that is, 155 of the 187 positions in dispute. With such overwhelming dominance and almost non-existent opposition it seemed that the party was at its peak, but in a very short time things changed dramatically, causing a new change in the country's political regime.
The Third Period: The Democratic Party and the Republican Party emerge
The third period of the transition between the I and the II North American Revolution occurs with the crisis of the Democratic-Republican Party, with which the 2 political parties that are pillars of the bourgeois democratic regime in the United States emerge: The Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The country's political system was mutating again and from the bowels of the Democratic-Republican political party itself the 2 tendencies that would later make up the 2 parties emerged. Very soon internal battles began in the Democratic- Republican Party between Andrew Jackson, greatest hero of the War of 1812, John Quincy Adams, Monroe's Secretary of State who came from the Federalist Party, William H. Crawford, Monroe's Secretary of the Treasury; and Henry Clay Speaker of the House of Representatives of Congress. Various factions followed these leaders, so much so that although the party increased the number of representatives and managed to monopolize 88.7% of the seats; In practice, that majority was diluted because they divided into rival groups.
the Democratic-Republican Party chose William Crawford as its
presidential candidate, the unity of the party had already been
destroyed, and the organization had in fact divided. Crawford
received important support from former presidents Jefferson and Madison
who retained great influence as founders of the party; but his support could not avoid the crisis. Jefferson could only watch, helplessly, the process of disintegration of the party he had founded and brought to power.
The division and polarization within the moribund Democratic-Republican Party reflected the increasingly extreme confrontation between the industrial bourgeoisie of the North and the manufacturing bourgeoisie of the South, which forced agreements and arrangements to avoid a total confrontation. The most important of them was the Missouri Compromise, of 1820, between the representatives of the slaveholding and abolitionist states in Congress to maintain the balance that then existed between the 11 non-slaveholding states and the other 11 slaveholding states.
When discussing in 1819 the law of admission of the new slave state of Missouri, this would unbalance the composition of the Senate, which was made up of two representatives from each state. There were two senators for each slave state, which were: Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. The Senate also had 2 representatives from each non-slave state which were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The negotiated solution reached on March 2, 1820 was to incorporate 2 new states: 1 slave state, Missouri, and another non-slave state, Maine, which depended on the state of Massachusetts.
establishment of a dividing line, defined by the parallel 36º 30', as
the future limit of the western slave and abolitionist states, known as
the Mason-Dixon line, was agreed upon, from which, with the Missouri
Compromise, the line Mason-Dixon became a symbol of the division and
cultural border regarding slavery in the country. The
crisis and the confrontation between the manufacturing bourgeoisie of
the south and the industrial bourgeoisie of the north gradually erased
the borders between the old political parties; There were former Federalists who supported Jackson, while others were with Adams.
On the other hand, former Democratic-Republicans allied themselves with Federalists, while former Federalists supported Democratic-Republicans. For this reason, the presidential elections of 1824 were going to imply another change in the country's political regime. They were the first presidential elections in which the popular vote would directly elect the members of the Electoral College. At that time, the majority of the States reformed their state laws so that the citizens themselves and not the State Legislatures were the ones who chose the officials called Presidential Electors; who in turn had the responsibility of electing the President of the nation.
In other words, the republican political regime went from a Third Degree presidential election system to a Second Degree one, thus allowing direct popular suffrage to define the composition of the Electoral College in charge of appointing the President. The presidential election continued to be indirect, but the reform gave all citizens, regardless of their social class, economic level or degree of education, a direct and decisive participation in the presidential election. Those who still could not have access to the vote were women and blacks, both slaves and freedmen, but the increase in voters and their gravitation made a new political element of enormous importance emerge. Along with the influx in voting, the "business" of politics and elections emerged, with which fraud, the network of influence peddling, political clientelism and the electoral machinery became the order of the day.
In the state of New York, Tammany Hall had emerged, a political machine that responded to the Democratic-Republican Party and played an important role in controlling New York City politics, based on immigrants, mainly Irish. But in the election of 1824 that party had a critical cadre, the Southern States mostly supported Jackson, as did the central Atlantic region; Quincy Adams was strong in the Northeast, Clay in parts of the West; Crawford on the Southeast coast. When the election was held on November 9, 1824, Jackson obtained 41.36% of the popular votes, Quincy Adams 30.92%, Clay 12.99% and Crawford 11.21%. However, in the Electoral College things were somewhat different: Jackson had 99 electors, Quincy Adams 84, Crawford 41, and Clay 37. Since none had an absolute majority, according to constitutional rules the United States House of Representatives had to elect the new President among the three candidates who gathered the most support in the Electoral College.
That is, he had to choose between Jackson, Adams and Crawford. Clay, upon being eliminated from the presidential race, reached an agreement with Quincy Adams, by which the latter agreed to appoint him Secretary of State, in exchange for which, he used his powerful influence in the House of Representatives. Thanks to his agreement with Clay, Quincy Adams was elected President with the support of 13 states, against 7 that supported Jackson and 4 for Crawford. Jackson and his supporters denounced the political agreement designed to "steal" his victory.
In fact, it was quite ironic that in the first election by popular vote, the winner was designated by a political agreement that left out the candidate with the most votes and benefited the one who had lost in popular votes. But this revealed that the election by Electoral College was obsolete, in fact, one of the most undemocratic elements of the bourgeois democratic regime created by the Founding Fathers, which persists to this day. The case of the 1824 elections demonstrated that the indirect election system gave rise to compromises and fraud. In fact, the event of someone being elected president who did not have a majority of votes happened repeatedly in the country's history, such as the case of the 2000 elections, where Bush defeated Gore.
If the complex and decisive electoral campaign had seriously hurt the Democratic-Republican Party; the result meant his end. The wounds could not be healed, and no one had any interest in reconciling the warring factions; Rather, the confrontation worsened, because the former Democratic-Republicans who supported Jackson decided to make a fierce opposition to the Government of John Quincy Adams. Jackson and his supporters, representatives of the southern manufacturing bourgeoisie, effectively founded a new party that would eventually be known as the Democratic Party. Adams and Clay founded the National- Republican Party, which a few years later failed and disappeared; but many of its members, led by Clay, would found the Whig Party of the United States, which emerged as a representative of the interests of the Northern industrial bourgeoisie.
both bourgeois sectors that were developing the dispute for control of
the country, there was a huge class of peasants and small farmers who
were also fighting to defend their political-social interests. But
this class was never able to establish its interests independently of
the 2 large bourgeois sectors, either they followed the industrialist
bourgeoisie of the North already organized around the Republican Party,
or they followed the manufacturing bourgeoisie of the South organized
around the Democratic party.
This is how Novack explains it: "The role of farmers in 19th century American politics is a magnificent example of the axiom that an economically subordinate class cannot be the supreme power in political life. American farmers lacked internal cohesion , the integrated economic strength and the broad political perspective to run the nation. By far the largest part of the population, they were also the most heterogeneous and dispersed... A part of the Western cultivators found their main markets in the industrial East and Europe, and another in the slaveholding South. Economic dependence led to political dependence. A section of the farmers adhered to the planters' Democratic Party, others tied themselves to the parties of the Northern bourgeoisie, the Whig, and more. late to the Republican Party" (33)
Despite the disintegration of the Democratic-Republican Party, and the new political geography that was emerging, the southern bourgeoisie continued until 1948 managing the political machinery of power, already clearly organized in the Democratic Party. With the Administrations of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Burén, the Democratic Party deepened its strategy of extermination of indigenous societies and expropriation of new territories, in the service of territorial expansion.
As Howard Zinn explains: "The ranch system, based on the cultivation of tobacco in Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky, and rice in South Carolina, spread to the fertile new cotton lands of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, and needed more slaves...When Jackson became president, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi began to introduce laws to extend the authority of the states over the Indians in their territory. The Indian territory was divided for distribution through the state lottery...Treaties signed under pressure and by deception divided the tribal lands of the Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws into smallholdings, making each individual easy prey for contractors, speculators and politicians. The Creeks and Choctaws remained on their individual lands , but many of them were deceived by the real estate companies...The Creeks, deprived of their land, lacking money and food, refused to go west. Some hungry Creeks began to attack white farms, while the Georgia militia and the settlers attacked the Indian villages. Thus began the Second Creek War...The forces that led to the "moving" of the Indians...Were born from the rise in the price of land, and the greed of businessmen. The Indians were going to end up dead or exiled, the real estate speculators richer, and the politicians more powerful." (34)
Thousands of indigenous settlers were displaced to the West, under the promise of the federal government to grant them economic aid and give them new lands. But these aid and lands barely appeared and a large part of the Indian population died in the long journeys of forced exodus. The Indians who rebelled were killed by the federal army, which gave carte blanche to white immigrants and settlers to settle in the occupied territories. The expansion went beyond the Rocky Mountains, and collided with Mexico.
This is how Zinn explains it: "To
the southwest was Mexico, which had won its independence in a
revolutionary war against Spain in 1821. Mexico was a huge country that
included Texas and what we know today as New Mexico, Utah, Nevada,
Arizona, California and a part of Colorado. After a campaign of
agitation, and with the help of the United States, Texas broke with
Mexico in 1836 and declared itself the "Republic of the Lone Star." In
1845, the US Congress incorporated it as a new state of the Union. Now
James Polk, an expansionist from the Democratic Party, was in the White
Mexico never recognized the independence of Texas and therefore defended the limits of 1819. However, the United States, Great Britain and France accepted the affirmation of Texas as an independent state, thus advancing the dispossession of a vast territory that belonged to a nation like Mexico, weak and recently independent. In the years that followed, the Texas legislature claimed even more Mexican territory as its own, eventually coming to claim the Californias. In 1845 the United States annexed Texas through a joint resolution of Congress, precipitating war with Mexico.
Among those who opposed the war with Mexico were the abolitionists, according to Zinn: "... the American Abolitionist Society said that the war "is
waged only for the detestable and horrible purpose of extending and
perpetuating the slave regime throughout the vast territory of Mexico...
January 21, 1848 Frederick Douglass, former slave, Orator and writer
extraordinaire, he wrote (in his Rochester newspaper, the North Star) of
"the present war - unfortunate, cruel and iniquitous - against our
sister republic Mexico seems a scapegoat of Anglo-Saxon greed and love
of dominion" (36)
With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 1848, the war ended by which Mexico's border was established on the Río Grande, after being stripped of vast territories such as Texas, as well as a wide strip of territory that included Alta California, New Mexico, and large portions of the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora, in a large expanse known as the Mexican Cession. According to Zinn, after the dispossession of Mexico: "The Fugitive Slave Law, passed in 1850, was a concession to the southern states in exchange for the admission into the Union of the Mexican territories conquered in the war (especially California) as free states. of slavery. The Law made it easier for slavers to capture former slaves, or simply, the capture of blacks accused of fleeing..." (37)
A turning point was occurring in political relations and the situation in the country. The manufacturing bourgeoisie applied increasingly violent and undemocratic methods as it lost economic and political weight, while that of the industrial bourgeoisie grew. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, promoted by senator and Democratic Party leader Stephen Douglas in 1854 for the creation of the states of Nebraska and Kansas, precipitated the battle for Kansas, which was the prelude to the civil war. According to the Missouri Compromise of 1820, slavery should not be allowed in both new states. But the Kansas-Nebraska Law annulled it by stating that whether those states were slaveholding or not, the citizens decided through "popular sovereignty."
Its promulgation unleashed the battle for Kansas, in which the southern oligarchy sent armed bands that terrorized the colonists, to displace them from their lands, and obtain more territories where they could establish more manufactures, plantations and slaves. The Democratic Administration of President Franklin Pierce encouraged the immigration of thousands of pro-slavery nonresidents from Missouri to Kansas who rigged elections by fraud and intimidation, and established a pro-slavery government in Lecompton. In response, northern abolitionists flooded into Kansas, wrote Kansas' first constitution (1855), and elected the Free State legislature in Topeka.
In a message to Congress on January 24, 1856, President Franklin Pierce declared the one established in Lecompton as an official government, and the one elected in Topeka as a rebel and insurrectionist. He received a response from Republican Senator Charles Sumner who took the floor to denounce the threat of slavery in Kansas, in a speech remembered as "The Crime Against Kansas", which ended in a row in the Senate. Violence continued to increase. President Pierce led nearly 500 US Army soldiers, and with their cannons trained, ordered the dissolution of the Free State Legislative Assembly. In response, abolitionist militias were armed such as the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, led by Colonel Charles R. Jennison, which began to have the nickname "Jayhawkers", for being an army that confronted pro-slavery ruffians. The Jayhawkers invaded farms, looted estates and freed slaves, in a true battle for Kansas, which went down in history as the "Bleeding Kansas", and caused new changes in the country's political regime.
On the one hand, it led to the disappearance of the Whig party, which was divided between those in favor of a slave-owning Kansas and those who fought for an abolitionist Kansas. On the other hand, it led to the creation of the Republican Party, made up of the most determined anti-slavery supporters, who promoted the fight for Kansas, with money, weapons and soldiers. This is how Karl Marx explains it: "Scarcely had the Kansas-Nebraska bill passed...when armed emissaries of the slaveholders...knife in one hand and revolver in the other, fell upon Kansas and sought by means of the greatest atrocities without precedents, evict their settlers from the territory colonized by them. These raids were supported by the central government in Washington. But they provoked a tremendous reaction. Throughout the North, but especially in the Northwest, an aid organization was formed to support " (38)
Also the fight for control of the institutions by both competing bourgeois sectors was what led to invasions, armed actions and disputes. As Marx explains: " As is known, the representation of individual states in the House of Representatives of Congress depends on the size of their respective populations. As the populations of free states grow much more rapidly than those of slave states , the number of representatives of the North was bound to surpass that of the South very quickly. The real seat of political power of the South was increasingly transferred to the US Senate, where each state, whether its population was large or small , is represented by two senators. In order to assert its influence in the Senate and, through the Senate, its hegemony over the United States, the South therefore requires a continuous formation of the new slave states. However , this was only possible through the conquest of foreign lands, as in the case of Texas, or through the transformation of the territories belonging to the United States first into slave territories and later into slave states, as in the case of Missouri, Arkansas, etc" (39)
This is how the fight for control of institutions, political parties, states, and the army was precipitated. Even the institutions confronted each other, as a prelude to invasions, armed actions and disputes. In the landmark Scott vs. Sandford trial of 1857, Dred Scott, an African-American slave who had been taken by his owners to states where slavery was prohibited by the Missouri Compromise of 1820, attempted to sue for his freedom. The Supreme Court of Justice, in an aberrant historic ruling, declared that blacks, whether slaves or free, could not be citizens of the United States and, therefore, lacked standing to sue in Federal Court. The pro-slavery ruling of the Supreme Court trampled Federal laws, Parliament, and the state Constitution, as Marx explained: "... This Court, which has nine judges, five of whom belong to the South, had has long been the most willing tool of slaveholders. It was decided in 1857, in the well-known Dred Scott case... that slaves could be forced to work in the territories by their owners, so each individual slave owner had the right to introduce slavery into hitherto free territories against the will of the majority of the colonists" (40)
The evolution of the republican political regime of the United States
The "battle for Kansas " was the preamble to the Civil War, 4 years after the events in Kansas began, the historic conflagration between the Union army and the Confederate army, which opened a new political, social and economic stage in history. of the country, with events that gave rise to new institutions and changes in the political regime. To the extent that we have reviewed the different stages of history, we have seen how the institutions that are today part of the republican political regime emerge. When we analyze the political crisis that arose in 2005 in the Bush Administration, we see how it had an impact on the different institutions that make up the political regime.
But at the same time, all this evolutionary analysis that we have done here allows us to understand how the institutions of this regime are part of a historical evolution, a genetic process with different phases and periods. We saw how the republican political regime is at first a weak articulation of confederate states, united by the Articles of Confederation. Then, to the extent that the triumph of the First North American Revolution is achieved, Parliament emerges as the central institution of the regime. At the same time, we saw how Parliament is an institution whose history and evolution does not only belong to the history of the United States, but is also linked to the history of Europe and the successive revolutions and struggles that are part of the evolution and emergence of the capitalism.
with the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, the republican regime
evolved into a strong central state, and a more centralized set of
institutions centered on the Executive Branch, in which the
Constitution, amendments and the Judicial Branch emerged. Later
we saw how, to the extent that conflicts break out between the
different bourgeois class sectors, the manufacturing bourgeoisie on the
one hand and the industrial bourgeoisie on the other, political parties
emerge in the midst of the internal and external conflicts of the
crisis. with France and Spain. In the period in which the manufacturing bourgeoisie dominates, there is a war with England, and later with Mexico.
The Federalist Party, the Democratic-Republican Party, the Whig Party, and finally the Democratic Party and the Republican Party emerge and evolve. All of these institutions that we have analyzed emerged in that first period of 75 years of development of the country, and allow us to thoroughly understand the origin of the contradictions of a complex political regime, the bourgeois democratic regime that emerged in the United States, which will be taken as a model. of almost all the capitalist nations that are going to emerge in the world.
But these institutions of the bourgeois democratic regime are not the only institutions that are in the Beltway today. There are other institutions that emerged long after the country's republican regime was formed. For example, when we analyze the political crisis unleashed in the country in 2005 with the Libby case, we see that the crisis hit institutions such as the Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA, which coexist with Parliament, the Supreme Court and the White House. . But institutions such as the Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA, and even the current structure of the US Armed Forces appeared much later in the historical reality of the country. These institutions emerged as a result of the profound social and political changes that operated in capitalism, which included changes such as the emergence of new social class sectors, or the appearance of new capitalist Forms of Accumulation, which in turn produced changes in the structure of the state and the political regime of the country.
In turn, these changes impacted the country and the world. To the extent that these new institutions emerged, they expressed themselves and modified the political regime of the country as a result of the fact that the new institutions that emerged became embedded and began to coexist with the old institutions of the republican political regime that emerged in the first 75 years of life. of the nation. In this way, what we know as the Beltway was formed. The economic, political and social driving forces that gave rise to the emergence of the new institutions, the complex and contradictory relationships between the new emerging institutions and the previous ones existing as part of the republican regime, the different locations that these institutions have in the Beltway, which explain The scope of the crisis and political changes that began to operate in the United States since 2005 are the subject of analysis in the following chapter.
(1) Nahuel Moreno. Revolutions of the 20th Century.
(2) George Novack. Democracy and Revolution Pathfinder Press 1977
(3), and (4) Nahuel Moreno. Painting School 1984
(5) George Novack. Democracy and Revolution Pathfinder Press 1977
(6) The End of Multinationals. Chapter V General Law of Forms of Accumulation. Amazon 2012
(7), (8), (9) y (10) George Novack. Democracy and Revolution Pathfinder Press 1977
(11) Howard Zinn. "A People's History of the United States". 1980
(12) George Novack. Democracy and Revolution Pathfinder Press 1977
(13) Howard Zinn. "A People's History of the United States". 1980
(14), (15) y (16) George Novack. Democracy and Revolution Pathfinder Press 1977
(17) and (18) Karl Marx. Critical history of surplus value, Volume II, Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, pp. 331 et seq.
(19), (20) and (21) Nahuel Moreno. Four theses on Spanish and Portuguese colonization, thesis II 1948
(22) and (23) George Novack "The Colonial Plantation System" New International December 1939
(24) Nahuel Moreno. Four theses on Spanish and Portuguese colonization, thesis II 1948
(25), (26), y (27) George Novack. The Struggle for National Supremacy, 1789-1848. Agosto 1939
(28) George Novack. Democracy and Revolution Pathfinder Press 1977
(29) Federico Engels Antiduhring
(30) Karl Marx. The American Civil War. Die Presse No. 293, October 25, 1861
(31) Howard Zinn. "A People's History of the United States". 1980
(32), y (33) George Novack. The Struggle for National Supremacy, 1789-1848. Agosto 1939
(34), (35), (36) y (37) Howard Zinn. "A People's History of the United States". 1980
(38), (39) and (40) Karl Marx. The American Civil War. Die Presse No. 293, October 25, 1861
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