The Mexican-American War, and another warm welcome

My topic over at RealClearHistory today is the Mexican-American War and slavery, so be sure to show me a little extra love and have a peek. An excerpt:

The British, for their part, played an ingeniously devious role. London convinced Mexico to finally recognize Texas independence in 1845, as long as Texas agreed to avoid annexation by another sovereign polity. This put enormous pressure on factions in Washington, Austin, and Mexico City, so much so that Tyler, by then a lame-duck, urged Congress to put aside its differences and offer statehood to the Republic of Texas (which it did). In Austin, the process was a little trickier. The Congress of the Texan Republic had to vote on whether to be independent or to be annexed, but so did a newly-formed convention of elected delegates, which was one of the requirements imposed on Texas by the United States. (Washington felt that a convention of elected delegates better fit the profile of an incoming state than a Congress that had been independent for 10 years.) Both the Congress and the convention of delegates voted in favor of annexation over independence. The convention of delegates then drew up a state constitution, turned it over to the people of Texas to be ratified, and then sent it to Washington for Congressional acceptance. On Dec. 29, 1845, the U.S. Congress finally ratified statehood for Texas.

Please, read the rest. Annexation is a topic I will continue to explore, albeit from NOL rather than RealClearHistory, so stay tuned. “Entrance” is just as important as “exit” in libertarian theory, even though the latter gets all of the fame and fortune these days.

Speaking of entrances, I’d like to officially, warmly welcome Shree Agnihotri to the consortium and highlight her first thoughts with NOL: “Role of a Citizen in Hegemonic Authoritarianism.” I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it’s about Hannah Arendt, so if you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time (don’t forget to say ‘hi’ while you’re at it). Here is her bio. Here is more from NOL on Hannah Arendt. I’m stoked to see what she has to say over the years!

RCH, and a warm welcome

My topic over at RealClearHistory today is the Mexican-American War. I lay out a general background on all the players, hoping that a primer will do readers there some good. An excerpt:

Texas. In 1821, the newly-established Mexican government was having severe trouble with the Comanche in the area and invited Americans to settle the region. This pushed the Comanche west and helped weaken them, but it also laid the groundwork for a Texian secession from Mexico. Texas declared independence from Mexico in 1835, but of course nobody in Mexico City recognized this declaration. Texas and Mexico fought for more than a decade before representatives from the Lone Star Republic finally succeeded in lobbying Washington to annex Texas and incorporate it into the American federation. It’s worth noting here that immigration was not the cause of Texian secession from Mexico, as some nativists are apt to claim today. Texas was, like Yucatán, tired of being governed poorly from Mexico City. The anti-immigration argument would be much stronger if Mexico wasn’t facing revolts and secessions everywhere it turned.

Please, read the rest. I’m going to, as I promise in the piece, delve into slavery and the war next Tuesday, but there’s also other topics to think about. Secession comes to mind for me, as I can’t help but ask what could have been if the Senate had not rejected Yucatán’s bid for annexation. Also, is annexation the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to not only “exit” in libertarian circles, but entrance as well?

Speaking of entrances, I’d like to officially, warmly welcome Mary Lucia Darst to the consortium and highlight her first thoughts with NOL: “The Sad Retreat.” I’m not going to spoil it for you, so if you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time (don’t forget to say ‘hi’ while you’re at it). Here is her bio. I am extremely excited to read what she shares here over the next few years.

A Warm Welcome

Folks, NOL is coming up on 5 years as a cooperative venture. It’s been a lot of fun and it wouldn’t have the feel it has without your continued support and encouragement. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to two new members of the consortium: Dr Vincent Geloso and William Rein. Behold:

Vincent Geloso has recently completed his PhD dissertation at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the field of economic history. He specializes in law and economics, development economics, and economic demography. He has published articles in Journal of Population Research, Essays in Economic and Business History and Economic Affairs.

Vincent was my roommate at a FEE summer seminar back in 2009 (the same summer I met Rick at an IHS summer seminar). He’s from Quebec but is a Canadian first and foremost. You can start checking out his non-NOL work here. If you are considering a non-profit to give to for this holiday season, I highly recommend IHS and FEE. Just look at what their work has done in regards to NOL. And:

William Rein is a sophomore studying Philosophy and Criminal Justice at Chico State University. He married jurisprudence a long time ago, starting seeing modern physics on the side, and just recently has been hooking up with phenomenology. Every now and then he gets caught up in journalism and opinion writing.

You can start checking out his non-NOL work here. I have many a fond memory of Chico State (and some not-so-fond ones too). Please, be on your best behavior for at least their first couple of posts!

A Warm Welcome Please

Ladies and germs, allow me to introduce Federico G.M. Sosa Valle:

Sosa Valle (follow him on Twitter) is an attorney and lecturer in law at the University of Buenos Aires. He has a Master in Economics and Political Science from ESEADE, and has published research in the areas of law, political economy and the history of ideas.

Sosa Valle is a practicing lawyer in the public sector and in the field of commercial law. In 2008 and 2009 he joined with the office of the Board Secretary of the Friedrich A. von Hayek Foundation, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Currently, he is the Co-Founder and President of the “David Hume Institute Foundation” in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I came across his work totally randomly. I was searching online for some work on Argentine economic development during the 20th century and came across Federico’s work on Hayek. His blog on Hayekian thought started out with “Notes On…” so I knew right away I was dealing with a genius.

His first two posts can be found here and here.

Thanks Federico, for your willingness to join this internationalist-oriented challenge.

Another Warm Welcome

I’ve got exciting news: Notes On Liberty is finally going to have an international relations specialist on board. Without further adieu:

Edwin van de Haar is an independent scholar who specializes in the liberal tradition in international political theory. In the recent past he has taught international relations at Leiden University and Ateneo de Manila University. He is the author of Classical Liberalism and International Relations Theory: Hume, Smith, Mises and Hayek (2009) and Beloved Yet Unknown: The Political Philosophy of Liberalism (2011, in Dutch).

His most recent publications are a chapter entitled ‘Adam Smith on Empire and International Relations’ published in the Oxford Handbook on Adam Smith (Oxford University Press, 2013) and a chapter entitled ‘David Hume and Adam Smith on International Ethics and Humanitarian Intervention’ in Just and Unjust Military Intervention: European Thinkers from Vitoria to Mill(Cambridge University Press, 2013). He also published articles and numerous other pieces on Smith, Hume, and the wider liberal tradition in political thought, among others in The Review of International StudiesInternational Relations, and The Independent Review.

Van de Haar works and lives in The Hague, The Netherlands. With Lucas Grassi Freire and a number of other scholars he runs the Facebook group ‘Libertarianism and IR’. He received a M.A. in Political Science from Leiden University, holds a M.Sc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and got his Ph.D in International Political Theory from Maastricht University.

Not too shabby, eh? Dr van de Haar’s article in the libertarian journal The Independent Review can be found here if you want to become more acquainted with his work before he starts blogging.

Dr van de Haar, coupled with Mike, Kyle, and Dave, will give the blog a number of new voices and perspectives on what liberty is and what it means. Stay tuned, and keep those ‘comments’ coming!

Another Belated Warm Welcome

Readers have been enjoying Rick’s contributions for a while, but I just realized I haven’t formally introduced him yet. So finally:

Rick Weber received his B.S. in economics at San Jose State University and his M.S. in economics at Suffolk University, where he is currently working on his Ph.D. He is fascinated by the beauty of spontaneous order, and constantly astounded by the inexpressible wealth bestowed on him by the division of labor.

I met Rick at an IHS summer seminar waaaaay back in 2009. He was the toast of the town back then, and I’m really stoked that he’s blogging with us here at the consortium. Scroll through his musings. You won’t be disappointed. He also kicks it with the Free Market Institute gang at Texas Tech.

A Belated Warm Welcome

Readers,

Allow me to introduce notewriter Matthew Strebe to the team:

Matthew Strebe is a senior undergraduate student at the University of California in Santa Cruz, double majoring in Philosophy and Classical Studies. His areas of interest include political and ethical theory from antiquity to the present, particularly concerning the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus and the classical philosopher Aristotle, along with the modern philosophers Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. He considers political labels unnecessarily stifling, and contrary to a spirit of open exchange and inquiry, but nonetheless will provide a few: he is a member of Young Americans for Liberty, a registered libertarian, with viewpoints that are conservative to some and liberal to others. If you really want to know what he thinks, it is best to ask.

His debut post can be found here, and his most recent post is here. Please join me in giving him a warm welcome, and – as our small community is apt to do – be sure to keep him on his toes in the ‘comments’ section.