- May 2014
Yeah, it's a close call (), but I'm going to have to agree with you about the "No" part.Um, about forty million casualties (both civilian and military), social instability sowing the seeds of authoritarianism (Fascism, Nazism, Communism), the spread of the Spanish Influenza (50 to 100 million deaths or 3-5% of the world's population), etc.
I don't want to jump to a hasty conclusion, but I would say, "No."
guy also known as gaius
TBH, I'm not 100% onboard with this because it could be a violation of national self-determination (though whether this was actually the case in regards to Texas and California is debatable given the Mexican neglect of these provinces), but I don't think that what the US did--with the exception of its brutal treatment towards Native Americans--is anywhere near as objectionable as what Nazi Germany did since the US a) only expanded into sparsely populated territories and b) didn't actually aim to exterminate an entire ethnic group. Had Nazi Germany not been genocidal (or anti-Semitic even without the genocide) and had it limited its territorial gains to sparsely populated territories such as the Baltic countries, then its actions would have certainly been less objectionable. This doesn't mean that they would have been completely morally spotless, of course, but in such a scenario they would be more comparable to what the US did or to what Russia did in Siberia, the Far East, and Central Asia.So you admit you are justifying this Lebensraum-esque philosophy and expansionism? Do you not see any problem with this thinking?
For that matter, do you think that Russia's conquest of Siberia, the Far East, and Central Asia was immoral? I mean, Russia's role in the Circassian genocide was certainly immoral but that was in the Caucasus and I haven't heard of Russia being as brutal in Siberia, the Far East, and Central Asia.
Whether this annexation was good for the Mexicans living in the Southwest is an open question. I mean, Mexicans did sometimes lose their land as a result of them failing to fully understand the US's land laws and they also experienced some discrimination (though they were historically considered White on the US Census)--both of which I certainly strongly condemn. On the other hand, though, the economy of the Southwest right now is certainly in much better shape than it would have been had Mexico kept this territory. In fact, the situation here is so good that a lot of Mexicans and other Hispanics from Latin America voluntarily moved here over the last century or so. Demographically speaking, the situation in the Southwest is gradually reverting back in the direction of what the Southwest looked like back in the 1840s. (I don't expect the Southwest to become 90% Hispanic again, but majority-Hispanic is certainly reasonable.) Of course, life here is so good that I haven't actually heard of any large-scale secessionist movements among Hispanics in the Southwest.I think it's rather nationalistic to say that the Mexican-American War was good and justified for all because the USA conquered 1/3rd of Mexico in the name of living space and settler colonialism. Good for the USA, but is it good for Mexico or the people who lived in that territory that were not settlers? Certainly not! To me this seems pretty one-sided and biased.
So, in other words, the US conquest of the Southwest was probably a mixed bag for Hispanics.
Sure, the Native Americans would have been better off without US expansion across the continent--though perhaps not as much as one thinks since the US's expansion allowed them to live in a developed, First World country. I don't know if a hypothetical independent Native American state would have been anywhere near as prosperous as the US is.I think someone would be quick to say to say that it would be better if the USA never expanded in the first place,
Gwern actually did make an argument along those lines here:I would claim that it would be the best if Britain kept the 13 colonies and the decolonisation of America didn't occur at all.
My Mistakes - Gwern.net
Sure, having Britain hold onto the 13 Colonies against their will would have violated national self-determination. Of course, had Britain actually been able to successfully appease the colonists beforehand, then maybe they would have been more willing to remain under British rule.But this view is neither fair nor very ''liberal''.
Do you support the Mexicans in the Texas War of Independence as well?I think the Mexican-American War was unjustified because the USA really didn't have a credible casus beli in my eyes, and to claim that settler colonialism and acquiring living space is a legitimate, clean casus beli does not sit well with me for a multitude of reasons.
Also, I am curious--how do you feel about Serbia's expansion into Kosovo and Macedonia during the Balkan Wars? I mean, unlike the US in the Southwest, Serbia was never able to significantly alter the demographic situation in either Kosovo or Macedonia.
Oh, certainly! The problem with colonization lasting longer, of course, is that Europeans might have become paranoid about the possibility of non-Europeans acquiring much more political power. This wouldn't be an issue for colonies where the population is predominantly of European descent (the 13 Colonies, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, et cetera), but it would be an issue for other colonies.A way for countries to not decolonise, or at least last longer would be something like the Imperial Federation advocated by Joseph Chamberlain.