Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Why has the USA had no actual dictator and only one civil war?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Humanities » World History Group Donate to DU
 
Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-25-06 10:07 PM
Original message
Why has the USA had no actual dictator and only one civil war?
Why have other former British colonies had dictators and recurring civil conflict?
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-27-06 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand haven't had dictators OR civil war.
Like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were largely settled by British emigrants (in numbers eventually greater than the native populations) who created a common, mostly Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture (which remained largely dominant even in the US, most especially in New England and the South, with later immigrants encouraged to assimilate). Other former British colonies, on the other hand, were never settled by the British in large numbers, and remain populated largely by their native inhabitants, among whom tribal conflict and sectarian religious violence were common before the British arrived, and again after the British left. The recurring cycles of violence. governmental collapse, and dictatorship in former British colonies in Africa, or in Pakistan, etc., are more or less a continuation of conflicts that have existed for centuries.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. don't forget India - the world's largest democracy
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. According to the following website, India has had MANY civil wars just from 1940 to 2005.
Edited on Thu Mar-01-07 06:36 PM by Boojatta
http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ask_...

India II Hyderabad 1948 1948

India III Naga Revolt 1956 1997

India IV Sikh Insurrection 1982 1993

India Ia Part/Kash/In-Pak War 1946 1949

India Ib Kashmir 1965 1965

India Ic Kashmir 1988



Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. There was also the 1975-77 Emergency
Maybe Indira Gandhi wasn't exactly a dictator, but she close during those years.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. English-based civil traditions have a lot to do with it.
All English-speaking countries have a fairly Libertarian-based culture and societal structure that is a poor environment for dictators to pop-up in.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
otherlander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-22-07 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. I think America maintained more of the British way of ruling
because many of its revolutionaries were politicians who worked with Britain prior to the war. It was kind of unusual in being a revolution against colonial powers that was lead by colonialists. Other uprisings- not necessarily against Britain, but colonial powers in general- were lead by the people who were being colonized, and who didn't always have as much of a background in politics. The British system was brutal, but it worked. But when you say that America has only had one civil war, it's arguable that the wars between British-descended Americans and indigenous people who were trying to keep their land should also be counted as civil wars.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-22-07 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thank you for participating in this thread.
I think America maintained more of the British way of ruling because many of its revolutionaries were politicians who worked with Britain prior to the war.

You might elaborate on what you mean by "the British way of ruling." Presumably American revolutionaries didn't say, "Join us and fight for the British way of ruling." Nor did the British think that the revolutionaries were secretly working for Britain and only pretending to be revolutionaries.

it's arguable that the wars between British-descended Americans and indigenous people who were trying to keep their land should also be counted as civil wars.

It's not clear why you specify "British-descended" rather than Dutch-descended, German-descended, etc. In any case, I doubt that the people you are referring to as "indigenous" were struggling to replace the British colonial authority. Not every war is a civil war.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
otherlander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-23-07 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Sorry, should have been more clear.
Of course the revolutionaries were trying to create a system that would avoid the flaws of the British one: taxation without representation, monarchy, etc. But the rights that they wanted to guarantee were also influenced by the rights that Britain had under the Magna Carta, and by English philosophers like Locke. The people who had power in America after the revolution were generally descended from colonists, and still seemed to believe it was their right to drive out the native people as the colonial powers had done.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. Doh, just realized I already posted. nevermind...
Edited on Tue May-15-07 11:06 PM by Odin2005
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. I disagree with your premise
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 02:36 PM by HamdenRice
There used to be an old cliche that the Revolutionary War should have been called the Civil War and the Civil War should have been called the Revolutionary War.

At any rate, the War of Independence was much more of a civil war than a revolution. Assuming the Civil War was really a civil war, then we had at least two civil wars.

I think we have had other civil wars, but we maintain a myth of American exceptionalism, which includes "stability" which makes us unable to accept certain things about our own history.

By most definitions of civil war, there was a civil war in Kansas in the 1850s, the era of so-called "Bleeding Kansas." There was a civil war throughout the south (a little over a decade after the big Civil War) which terrorized African Americans, put an end to reconstruction governments and overthrew the existing political and economic structure of society. The late 19th century witnessed a civil war between big capital and big labor. And there was a civil war in 1967-68 which included mutinies and fragging in the Army overseas, the creation of armed violent underground groups in urban areas, widespread street violence, and a relentless, illegal campaign of death squads by the government against groups they considered dangerous to the existing order.

We've also had dictators, if you include within the definition that it is possible for a political leader to get elected and then become a dictator by closing off the political process, like Hitler or Indira Ghandi did. By that measure, Lincoln was arguably a dictator and was called one at the time. Considering we are a federalist system with many mini states, I think it's fair to point out that many of the southern states were little more than dictatorships between Reconstruction and the civil rights movement for a significant minority of southern populations and in some cases majorities (eg South Carolina).

And of course there is George W. Bush. Two stolen elections, the suspension of habeas corpus, torture, kidnapping, extra-judicial executions, and secret prisons. We are living under a dictatorship today.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Robeson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Excellent post....
...not much to add to it. Only thing to add, is we have had dictatorships of plutocracies throughout our history. Still do.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. How about famines?
Edited on Mon Jun-16-08 02:04 PM by Boojatta
Does anyone think that there have been famines in the USA?

How does availability of food in America compare with availability of food in other countries that achieved independence after 1776? For example, how does America in 1804 compare with Zimbabwe 28 years after Zimbabwe achieved independence from the UK?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-18-08 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yes there have been famines in the USA
First of all, it's necessary to understand what famine is. Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize for economics for his work on famines, and his basic insight can be summed up as follows: famine is not the condition of there not being enough food; it is the condition of people being too poor to buy the food that is available.

There have been almost no famines in which there was an absolute shortage of food -- even in places like Somalia and Ethiopia. Lower harvests or even disasterous harvests may cause famines, but the mechanism of famine is that the bad harvest causes the price of food to go up too high for poor people to be able to purchase it.

So famine can occur amidst plenty: During the Irish potato famine, Ireland continued to export food, and during the Somali famine of 1992, the warehouses of Mogidishu were full of food.

In the South for much of the early 20th century, there was widespread hunger and malnutrition. Most sharecroppers, black and white, at monotonous diets of cornbread, bacon and molasses, leading to diseases normally seen during famines.

There was also widespread hunger during the Great Depression.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-08 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
14. I think it is because of how we got started
It was sort of a group thing at the start and no one got to be king of the pile so we have always had this rule by all. This odd thought that men can rule them self has just stuck in our way of life. When we find one of those who think he was 'born to rule' we sort of end up roasting him over a fire. Plus we had the history of the English rule of law that we took with us all over this country and once you get to a place and set up the rules it is hard to get rid of them if they work pretty well. It is a thing right out of the Mag na car-ta.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Dec 17th 2014, 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Humanities » World History Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC