Friday, August 5, 2016

July 4th as Pan-American holiday

This is a cool article (from the Wall Street Journal, of all places) about how, in the early 19th century, people in the US celebrated July 4th not just to mark their own independence, but to support and celebrate independence of the other American Republics, from Mexico to Argentina.  I've long wondered why we in the US don't identify more with the rest of the Hemisphere in that our anti-colonial struggle followed much the same trajectory (indeed, set the mold for) of the independence of countries in Central and South America.  A book I read recently about how we came to be largely anti-revolutionary goes a long way towards explaining our lack of Pan-American solidarity.  The WSJ article I'm now citing also points to the key role of slavery in making us more reticent about Latin America's independence wars, which quickly gave way to anti-slavery sentiments in a time when the US was still firmly committed to slavery.

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