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"A Stranger in a Strange Land" - Karl Marx in Texas?

Beata Beatrix

Democratic Bokononists of America
#1
This scenario's been discussed before, but I thought it'd be worth bringing up.

In 1843, a stateless Karl Marx seriously considered moving to the Republic of Texas, which had a large German population - he went so far as to ask the mayor of Trier for a visa. Without Marx, Wilhelm Weitling and the League of the Just probably stay as the dominant socialist / communist movement on the continent, while Marx might well run into some trouble with the Texian (and later, American) authorities. Thoughts?
 
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Mumby

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#2
This scenario's been discussed before, but I thought it'd be worth discussing.

In 1843, a stateless Karl Marx seriously considered moving to the Republic of Texas, which had a large German population - he went so far as to asking the mayor of Trier for a visa. Without Marx's presence on the continent, Wilhelm Weitling and the League of the Just probably stay as the dominant socialist / communist movement on the continent, while Marx might well run into some trouble with the Texian (and later, American) authorities. Thoughts?
I really like the idea but I'm not sure of the consequences
 

Mumby

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#5
It's an interesting concept especially since it's very easy to imagine that his later works would be thrown off track by what seems to me to be inevitable work on abolitionism.
That reminds me of something @Thande said, that you could theoretically look at Marx's theories and realise that he created them whilst living in such an extremely industrialised and class conscious environment as mid 19th century Britain. Given a different environment with different conflicts, his theories and conclusions could be quite different.
 

Beata Beatrix

Democratic Bokononists of America
#6
It's an interesting concept especially since it's very easy to imagine that his later works would be thrown off track by what seems to me to be inevitable work on abolitionism.
Marx wrote articles for Charles A. Dana and the Republican-leading Tribune IOTL, after all. He met Dana IOTL in 1848, but if he moves or travels to New York City - another city with many German immigrants - he might end up on Greeley's staff.

One other thought is how Texas or New York might affect Marx's always perilous health.
 

napoleon IV

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#7
If Marx moves to Texas in 1843 he would never meet Engels (they first met in 1844, although they had exchanged letters before that). Engels was Marx's major benefactor, so without him Marx's financial state is going to be even more perilous than IOTL. Sans Engels Marx might even have to find a regular job, which would put a damper on his output.
That reminds me of something @Thande said, that you could theoretically look at Marx's theories and realise that he created them whilst living in such an extremely industrialised and class conscious environment as mid 19th century Britain. Given a different environment with different conflicts, his theories and conclusions could be quite different.
It occurs to me that if Marx develops his ideas in a rural environment like 1850s-60s Texas he may come to the conclusion that the rural proletariat is the future. Or maybe he develops his racial theories in further detail, and becomes known more for his work on the sociology of race than the sociology of class.
 

Alex Richards

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#8
It occurs to me that if Marx develops his ideas in a rural environment like 1850s-60s Texas he may come to the conclusion that the rural proletariat is the future. Or maybe he develops his racial theories in further detail, and becomes known more for his work on the sociology of race than the sociology of class.
Perhaps he ends up combining the two into a work about how the true Classless society cannot come about until he achieves a Raceless society?
 

Japhy

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#9
Marx wrote articles for Charles A. Dana and the Republican-leading Tribune IOTL, after all. He met Dana IOTL in 1848, but if he moves or travels to New York City - another city with many German immigrants - he might end up on Greeley's staff.

One other thought is how Texas or New York might affect Marx's always perilous health.
I'm well aware of this, the real interesting thing though is how many Tribune types and Abolitionists has hard views on the rights of labor but that was set aside over the issue of the greater evil.
Perhaps he ends up combining the two into a work about how the true Classless society cannot come about until he achieves a Raceless society?
There's also the chance it goes the other way and he winds up being a Liberal Republican type.

End of the day I see him basically becoming another 48er, abet one who might provide the Abolitionist cause with its own interesting texts, perhaps something akin to an Anti-Slavery version of Common Sense.
 
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MAC88

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WI, USA
#10
Wasn't quite sure if this idea should be posted here or here, but felt like sharing it:

I've been researching German settlement in Texas as part of my dissertation on the Civil War, and there are many instances of such settlers passively or actively resisting the CSA during this period, from draft evasion to outright Unionist rebellion. If Marx were among the 48ers or a later wave of German immigrants (maybe working as a Southern/roving national correspondent for the Tribune, as an earlier post suggested), and settled in Texas, what might be the chances of him joining such a resistance, and how might it affect his views and writings on class and labor?
 
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MAC88

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#12
Some possible elements coming to mind for the idea described in my last post:

* Marx travels to the U.S. in late 1850s, to both write for the Tribune and study the possibility of revolution in the country given the looming Civil War.

* The Panic of 1857 occurs not long after Marx's arrival, piling on financial demands that force him to postpone returning to Europe, and to stay with the Tribune even after Charles Dana leaves the paper and Greeley shifts its editorial policy away from abolition (though he eventually begins to write for the Liberator under a pseudonym, to salve his conscience). Travels over much of the North and South during this period, and (maybe?) makes contacts throughout the German immigrant community (Examples: Francis Lieber, Carl Schurz, the Salomon brothers, Franz Sigel, the Turners/Turnverein).

* Traveling to the West on the eve of the war (to examine exactly how/if the frontier dissipates social unrest in America), Marx is stranded among the "Forty-Eighter" German communities in central Texas, which are soon targeted by the CSA given their Unionist sympathies.

* When Confederate troops enter the region in summer 1862 to arrest and/or execute Unionists, Marx joins a group of Union Loyal League refugees under Fritz Tegener (or Jacob Kuechler?). Their conversations eventually persuade the group to take a stand in the heavily German "Hill Country" (rather than flee to Mexico and then Union-held New Orleans, as in OTL) so as to rally anti-CSA citizens and form a Unionist enclave/state within CSA Texas.

* The Confederates eventually isolate and attack the group in the Hill Country, leading to a different version of the Nueces Massacre, which Marx barely survives and escapes. The outrage from this attack spurs greater Unionist German resistance in Texas than in OTL, with Marx pushed into a military/political leadership role.

* End of the war finds Marx as de facto ruler or ideologue of the "Hill Country", based in New Braunfels (or San Antonio?) and governing with strong socialist leanings tailored to the rural nature of the region (??). Approached by Union officials regarding re-integration of the "commune", Marx is ambivalent...
 

Charles EP M.

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Published by SLP
#13
* The Confederates eventually isolate and attack the group in the Hill Country, leading to a different version of the Nueces Massacre, which Marx barely survives and escapes. The outrage from this attack spurs greater Unionist German resistance in Texas than in OTL, with Marx pushed into a military/political leadership role.

* End of the war finds Marx as de facto ruler or ideologue of the "Hill Country", based in New Braunfels (or San Antonio?) and governing with strong socialist leanings tailored to the rural nature of the region (??). Approached by Union officials regarding re-integration of the "commune", Marx is ambivalent...

"Welcome to fucking Das Wood, we can be a mite political."
 

Wolfram

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#14
End of the war finds Marx as de facto ruler or ideologue of the "Hill Country", based in New Braunfels (or San Antonio?) and governing with strong socialist leanings tailored to the rural nature of the region (??). Approached by Union officials regarding re-integration of the "commune", Marx is ambivalent...
One option would be to take advantage of the existing provisions allowing Texas to divide itself to create a strongly-Unionist state or two: a plurality-German one in the Hill Country, maybe a majority-Hispanophone one along the Rio Grande, maybe even cutting off North Texas in the hopes that it would fall in with the Midwest rather than the South.
 

Mumby

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#15
One option would be to take advantage of the existing provisions allowing Texas to divide itself to create a strongly-Unionist state or two: a plurality-German one in the Hill Country, maybe a majority-Hispanophone one along the Rio Grande, maybe even cutting off North Texas in the hopes that it would fall in with the Midwest rather than the South.
take that clause about dividing texas into five states to really stick it to the south