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Thread: What if the South Won the Civil War?

  1. #1
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    Default What if the South Won the Civil War?

    First of all, I am so thrilled to be the FIRST to post a thread in this NEW FORUM! While the Mods are sleeping, I have first crack at entering a New Thread! I feel Honoured! ..It's so dead on this site today. Is it because it's Friday? Have the Mods gone on Vacation? Where is everybody!??!!

    What would have happened if the South won the Civil War?
    I believe that this could have never have happened. The South was not strong enough to control a whole country. Their money was weak, their navy sucked (compared to the North) and other than Great looking Hotties(Girls), the South could not have made a difference in changing the constitution. Slavery would not have been revoked in the North. The 2 countries would have led their indifferent paths for awhile until WW-1 when a new era would become.Can you imagine how WW-1 would have turned out if the USA was not involved because of their split? What about the Mexicans trying to take back Texas..or was it New Mexico? Anyways, thease are all interesting What ifs?!!
    Last edited by herman2; 09-25-2009 at 12:13 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Quote Originally Posted by herman2 View Post
    First of all, I am so thrilled to be the FIRST to post a thread in this NEW FORUM! While the Mods are sleeping, I have first crack at entering a New Thread! I feel Honoured! ..It's so dead on this site today. Is it because it's Friday? Have the Mods gone on Vacation? Where is everybody!??!!
    The traffic has been down, partially because it's been summer in the Northern Hemisphere. However, traffic has increased overall, and it's never particularly heavy on weekdays, which is one of the distinctive charms of the site: less posts, but more substantive ones with a smaller circle of regulars...

    What would have happened if the South won the Civil War?
    I believe that this could have never have happened. The South was not strong enough to control a whole country. Their money was weak, their navy sucked (compared to the North) and other than Great looking Hotties(Girls), the South could not have made a difference in changing the constitution. Slavery would not have been revoked in the North. The 2 countries would have led their indifferent paths for awhile until WW-1 when a new era would become.Can you imagine how WW-1 would have turned out if the USA was not involved because of their split? What about the Mexicans trying to take back Texas..or was it New Mexico? Anyways, thease are all interesting What ifs?!!
    Well, define "winning." It's debatable if the agrarian South could have won anything against an industrialized North that still had abundant manpower even towards the end of the conflict, when the South was increasingly desperate by 1864 not unlike the Germans were by the end of 1944.

    I agree there was no chance of the South conquering the North. I think inflicting heavy casualties and more decisive early defeats than they did might have led to a victory of sorts if Lincoln were removed from office and resulted in a negotiated settlement. Something akin more to not losing rather than a decisive victory or conquest for the Confederacy. However, I've heard historians remark that Lincoln was probably more correct than he ever knew when he said (paraphrasing), "a house divided, cannot stand." And that some sort of reunification, again negotiated, was perhaps inevitable even if the North lost in 1861-62. This may have been a likelihood due to a whole host of economic interests and the fact that despite initial cozy relations with European powers, there might have been some sort of galvanizing event, or a series incidents, that might have threatened the perceived economic and territorial sovereignty of both the Union and the Confederacy. Incidents such as the French Invasion of Mexico, which might have eventually drove the USA and the hypothetical CSA into a defense alliance --perhaps culminating in some sort of reunification, if a limited one....

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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    God, Where were you when I was writing my History essay in high school!
    Wiki is ok. History Channel is ok.
    But WW2 Forum is the BEST!


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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Still here, and my stuff is copyrighted and easily Googled by a teacher that's not a gullible dope...

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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    well lets see there have been many books on the subject like bring the jubilee, the harry turtledove timeline series, among others




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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Harry Turtledove's Guns of the South is more an anecdotal primer on firearm developement than historical speculation but also it shows what a stretch it would take for the CSA to achieve its independance.

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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    The South did not fight to subjugate the North. There would have been no war if the North had recognized the right of Secession (please see another post of mine regarding secession) that the Soutern States were claiming. Several of Lincoln's advisors suggested letting them (The South) go. Lincoln's whole objective was economic. Even though the South was way behind in industry, their agricultural exports to Europe provided a tremendous amount of income to the national coffers. If you recall, The Emancipation Proclamation was not issued until after a Union victory at Sharpsburg (Antietam in the Northern Battle names). Lincoln was waiting for a conclusive Union victory to issue this proclamation. It was political, to keep the anti-slavery British Empire from recognizing the Southern Confederacy. The proclamation freed slaves only in those States fighting for independence. Without the help of England, the South did not stand a chance. Outnumbered in population, weak in industry, and other area where the Union dominated, the South could only hope for help from Europe to outlast the Union determination to subjugate them.
    Joel
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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Quote Originally Posted by texag57 View Post
    The South did not fight to subjugate the North. There would have been no war if the North had recognized the right of Secession (please see another post of mine regarding secession) that the Soutern States were claiming.
    The South indeed invaded the "North" and penetrated to Gettysburg. And the South was quite capable of "subjugating" their own "rebel" counties and regions that wanted to stay in the Union.

    There also would have been no war had the Southern politicians allowed slavery to wither away as a barbaric, nationally embarrassing relic it was instead of forging ahead into national crisis after crisis and hypocritically evoking "state-rights" at the same time they pushed for self-serving national laws intruding on other states' sovereignty and beliefs (i.e. The Fugitive Slave Act)...


    Several of Lincoln's advisors suggested letting them (The South) go. Lincoln's whole objective was economic. Even though the South was way behind in industry, their agricultural exports to Europe provided a tremendous amount of income to the national coffers.
    And the South's goals weren't economic? The use of free labor to sustain an elitist lifestyle for a very small segments of the plantation owning upper-classes that was exploitive not only to their black slaves gladly donating their free labors, their lives, and the lives of their children--but also to the multitude of poor white farmers suckered into fighting for their homes--so others could live lives of leisure? Correct me if that isn't economic...

    If you recall, The Emancipation Proclamation was not issued until after a Union victory at Sharpsburg (Antietam in the Northern Battle names). Lincoln was waiting for a conclusive Union victory to issue this proclamation. It was political, to keep the anti-slavery British Empire from recognizing the Southern Confederacy. The proclamation freed slaves only in those States fighting for independence. Without the help of England, the South did not stand a chance. Outnumbered in population, weak in industry, and other area where the Union dominated, the South could only hope for help from Europe to outlast the Union determination to subjugate them.
    Of course it was political. The entire issue of slavery was political and the War would never have been fought if their had been no slavery, which violates the U.S. Constitution BTW. And yes, the Southern strategy relied on receiving European support, but they also hope to win a series of quick victories to demoralize the North (sound familiar?). The Confederate gov't decided to simply seize all federal assets and attempted to intimidate any "renegade" areas that did not want to secede into joining them...

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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Slavery was not unconstitutional at that time. If it was, then why did Lincoln declare emancipation for slaves ONLY in the States of the Southern Confederacy? There were slaves in other States at that time. I do not defend slavery. Slavery was slowly going out, even in the South. Slavery was way down on the list of reasons for the war. My own great-grandfather was a slave holder, and he emancipated his own slaves before he joined the Confederate Army. Why free something, and then go fight for keeping it. I know the mantra that the lower classes were fooled into fighting for the aristocracy, but it just propaganda perpetrated on children in the public schools. I know, because I have taught U.S. History in public school. You admit that the war was economic. You're correct there. The South, being lower in population, was at a disadvantage in representation in the U.S. Congress. The industrial North, with greater population and representation, was getting legislation more favorable to the industrial North than the agricultural South. That was a much more important reason for the split than slavery ever was. I'll take a break, but I will be available tomorrow, the Lord willing, to defend the Southern Confederacy. "Deo Vindice"
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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Quote Originally Posted by texag57 View Post
    Slavery was not unconstitutional at that time.
    What made it unconstitutional?
    ..
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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Quote Originally Posted by texag57 View Post
    Slavery was not unconstitutional at that time. If it was, then why did Lincoln declare emancipation for slaves ONLY in the States of the Southern Confederacy?
    Because he was trying to hold the nation together, and using slavery as a weapon against the South. And the states that typically had less slaves were less likely to initially secede...

    And slavery is absolutely unconstitutional, and only hypocritical supreme court "judges" using the most spurious semantic dodges in history could actually read the Constitution and agree...

    There were slaves in other States at that time. I do not defend slavery. Slavery was slowly going out, even in the South. Slavery was way down on the list of reasons for the war. My own great-grandfather was a slave holder, and he emancipated his own slaves before he joined the Confederate Army.
    Preserving the institution of slavery had everything to do with the War. It was the Constitutional crises of territories becoming either free states vs. slave states that created the antipathy leading to the War. You cannot really defend the Confederacy without acknowledging that slavery was integral to its very existence. I'll grant you that there is a "libertarian" movement that seeks to "reform" the Confederacy into some sort of anti-federal lobby for states rights. But this is pretty disingenuous at best as many in the Confederacy were not seeking democracy at all, but ascendancy politically over the North..

    Why free something, and then go fight for keeping it.
    Perhaps because he was a Southerner, and knew that the Union forces would come sooner or later? And he could lose property, etc.

    Perhaps he knew also that even if the South "won" the Civil War/War Between the States, that there would have been almost an inevitable negotiated settlement and a reestablishment of a Union or some sort...


    I know the mantra that the lower classes were fooled into fighting for the aristocracy, but it just propaganda perpetrated on children in the public schools. I know, because I have taught U.S. History in public school. You admit that the war was economic. You're correct there. The South, being lower in population, was at a disadvantage in representation in the U.S. Congress. The industrial North, with greater population and representation, was getting legislation more favorable to the industrial North than the agricultural South. That was a much more important reason for the split than slavery ever was. I'll take a break, but I will be available tomorrow, the Lord willing, to defend the Southern Confederacy. "Deo Vindice"
    The War was very much economic, we agree. But I surmise there would have been no real split without slavery, as there was no other issue really on the table.

    Workers in the industrial North, even if they were racists who may have hated blacks as much as any Southerner, may have resented the fact that slaves could be had and could potentially be used to suppress their wages. And one could also argue that the institution of slavery itself hindered economic and industrial development in the South, and that slavery was not just immoral, but retrograde and oppressive not just to the slaves themselves. The reason why the South was lagging was because the elites had no vested interest in changing in their shortsightedness, and were struggling to maintain what was little more than a romantic, feudal society.

    One must also acknowledge one of the key reasons the South lost was not just because of being outnumbered and against a superior industrial base, but their very ideology of a decentralized state prevented the Confederates from sustaining a long term defense in a war of attrition...

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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    From the perspective of an outsider with no real knowledge of the issues I wonder if the following statement fairly represents the situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Workers in the industrial North, even if they were racists who may have hated blacks as much as any Southerner, may have resented the fact that slaves could be had and could potentially be used to suppress their wages.
    Why would Southerners hate blacks when their economy was dependent upon cheap black labour?

    Was there a distinction between (a) the slave owning classes which benefited from slave labour (which I imagine ran from plantation owners with many slaves down to people with perhaps only one black servant) and generally could be expected to try to preserve those human assets which cost them money to buy, even if those classes might not have been generous in their treatment of their slaves, and (b) the lower classes, both in the South and North, who felt threatened by the cheap black labour competing for or threatening their unskilled or semi-skilled jobs?
    ..
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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    When the Constitution was ratified, agreement was reached that slave trade would cease 20 years after the Constitution went into effect. Slavery was not outlawed-slave trade was. Slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in December, 1865. This was after the War for Southern Independence ended.
    Joel
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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Rising Sun, I will try to answer some of what you are asking about slaveholder and slave relationships in the South, but am not able to at this time. I will later today.
    Joel
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    themselves against tyranny in government."
    Thomas Jefferson


    "I ask you sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people,
    except for a few public officials."
    George Mason

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    Default Re: What if the South Won the Civil War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    From the perspective of an outsider with no real knowledge of the issues I wonder if the following statement fairly represents the situation?
    Knowing me, probably not.

    Why would Southerners hate blacks when their economy was dependent upon cheap black labour?
    Did I say "Southerners?" Sorry. I should have said some Southerners, as I was actually questioning the notion that Southern whites are somehow more inherently racist than Northern whites. I'm pretty sure people are equal opportunity xenophobic and genetically programmed to be insecure...

    Was there a distinction between (a) the slave owning classes which benefited from slave labour (which I imagine ran from plantation owners with many slaves down to people with perhaps only one black servant) and generally could be expected to try to preserve those human assets which cost them money to buy, even if those classes might not have been generous in their treatment of their slaves, and (b) the lower classes, both in the South and North, who felt threatened by the cheap black labour competing for or threatening their unskilled or semi-skilled jobs?
    Distinctions in what sense? Morally?

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