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What If the South Had wonn the Civil War - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Sat Aug 30th, 2008 10:36 pm
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44th VA INF
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I posted This fourm because i find the topic interesting what would have become of the confedracyif they had won the american civil war . My personal oppian is that the CSA would develop in to a very powerful nation it coul bite chunks of western territory  out of the north as a price for brininging on the war and A confedrate Victorie would shurel cause the states of Mossari and Kentucky to join the confedracy And possiblie even maryland and i also thinlk that the union would greatly weeknd from the cost of the war and loseing large amount of territori thus letting the CSA develop Over the later part of the century and could continue to gain strenght in to the 20th centraly.  I have read a Intersting trilogy of novels written by harry turtledove that explains alot about this subject

Last edited on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 02:26 am by 44th VA INF



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:16 am
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Wrap10
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Consider that the original Confederacy would be very unlikely to remain intact from 1865 until today. The precedent of secession would have been established fact, and the Confederacy could hardly deny the same right to a state that decided to declare itself no longer a member.

Odds are the same would have been true for what remained of the United States. If the southern states are successful in their attempt to secede, then the chances of more states leaving the Union are excellent.

The result? Find a map of Europe, or of the Balkans, and I think you'll see the likely result. Instead of the current single, powerful nation that actually exists, we'd be a series of smaller, weaker individual countries. Probably not 48 of them, but certainly not just one or two.

The Confederacy "bite chunks" of western territories away from the North as punishment for the war? How are they going to do this without starting another war? They cannot simply walk out there and say, "this is ours," and that's that. But it does raise an interesting question, and that is, what becomes of the western territories in the event of a Confederate victory in the war?

But the idea of a modern-day Confederacy as a large, powerful nation? Perhaps. But I rather doubt it. In fact, I rather doubt the Confederacy that existed in the 1860's would still exist as such today. And changing the outcome of the war changes more than just the map and history of the current United States. It changes the history of the entire world. What we don't know is exactly how. But it would have happened. I realize there are books out there that depict a warm and fuzzy future following a Confederate victory in the war. It's a nice idea, but does not conform to how the real world tends to work.

Perry



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:29 am
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The Iron Duke
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The Confederacy would have needed a massive industrial revolution to become a long lasting power. They experienced a good deal of industrial expansion during the war but much more was needed. Plus, the south didn't have a strong tradition of a merchant marine. Without this they would have never been able to compete with the trade of the remaining United States, Britain, France, or Germany. Jefferson's vision of the noble yeoman farmer was steadily becoming an outdated concept.

However, based upon their ingenuity and flexibility shown during the war, I do believe the Confederacy had the capacity to become a strong industrial power.

As a final thought, I don't really buy into this domino theory that if the south leaves then the entire country ruptures apart into 20 pieces.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:36 am
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44th VA INF
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I resect your oppion wrap10 i donot agree with tough no one said the us would develop in to power and it did the confedracy breaking up is not likely due the fact that the confedrates where united under a single cause during the war and they would have no reason to breakup



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:55 am
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Wrap10
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Here's one possible scenario...

http://wesclark.com/jw/what_if.html



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 04:09 am
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ole
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When the south becomes industrial, she immediately assumes the the thing she despises. Can't win for losing. Agriculture had not lost its basics, it just no longer had its ascendency.

ole



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 04:41 am
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The Iron Duke
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But did the average southerner despise industrialization or was it more the big planters?

I honestly don't know but Emory Thomas discusses in his book The Confederate Nation that there was a growing merchant middle class prior to the war.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 04:54 am
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Wrap10
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The Iron Duke wrote: The Confederacy would have needed a massive industrial revolution to become a long lasting power. They experienced a good deal of industrial expansion during the war but much more was needed. Plus, the south didn't have a strong tradition of a merchant marine. Without this they would have never been able to compete with the trade of the remaining United States, Britain, France, or Germany. Jefferson's vision of the noble yeoman farmer was steadily becoming an outdated concept.

However, based upon their ingenuity and flexibility shown during the war, I do believe the Confederacy had the capacity to become a strong industrial power.

As a final thought, I don't really buy into this domino theory that if the south leaves then the entire country ruptures apart into 20 pieces.

Well, aside from whether anyone "buys into" the idea that the two countries would have fractured even more after the war, secession would have created the precedent. Plus, I think the image of a united Confederacy, possessing an all-for-one-and-one-for-all mentality, has been shattered by scholarship in recent years. There were some serious internal divisions within the Confederacy. I have no idea if, assuming they win the war, the result would have been 20 new countries at some point or some other number. But I do think it would have been more than one or two. The odds of the original Confederacy holding together for 150 years simply doesn't strike me as realistic. Again, it's possible. But I do not think it's probable.

Perry



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 04:57 am
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Wrap10
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44th VA INF wrote: I resect your oppion wrap10 i donot agree with tough no one said the us would develop in to power and it did the confedracy breaking up is not likely due the fact that the confedrates where united under a single cause during the war and they would have no reason to breakup
The single cause that united the Confederacy was the attempt to preserve slavery. But, referring to my note above, I'd suggest that you might consider doing some research on internal division within the Confederacy during the war. If you've been told that there wasn't any, and that every southerner supported the war, you might be surprised. Neither side was truly "united" during the war. Far from it.

Perry



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 04:58 am
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The Iron Duke
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I was alluding more to the future of the remaining United States rather than the Confederacy.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 04:59 am
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i found that secnario intersting but the western territories forming there own nation is unlikely due to the fact that one nation of the 2 nations would grab them up

Last edited on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 05:02 am by 44th VA INF



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 05:01 am
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44th VA INF
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i have alreay done a bit of resherch on the topic



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 05:14 am
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Wrap10
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i found thta secnario intersting but the western territories forming there own nation is unlikely due to the fact that one nation of the 2 nations would grab them up

Which territory? How would they be grabbed up? When? Under what circumstances? How would one side get them without the other side putting up a fight? Is there a negotiated agreement between the two countries that divides the territories? What about the folks already living in out there? Do they get a say?

What about England and France? Do you not think a fractured United States is going to interest them in trying to re-establish a presence on the North American Continent? How is the new Confederacy going to respond? Align themselves with the United States to show a solid front?

Is the Confederacy, or the U.S., going to be strong enough to "grab" the far western reaches of the continent? Present-day California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, etc...what happens to these areas? Do the people in the territories align themselves with the United States? The Confederate States? England? France? Spain? Each other?

How do we know? How do we know what would have happened to any of the territories? How can we say for sure that we know what would have happened?

That's really my point. If the Confederacy succeeds in their effort to create a new country, it changes the entire dynamic of how history, or rather the future, is going to unfold. That is an absolute certainty. Absolute. Everything is up in the air. The only thing we can't be certain of is the details. The western territories might have simply wound up in one or the other of the existing countries - U.S. or C.S. - but that is far, far, from certain. And in my opinion, very unlikely.

Perry



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 05:47 am
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44th VA INF
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good argument there buddy



 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 05:47 am
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i think were both partly right

Last edited on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 05:48 am by 44th VA INF



 Posted: Mon Sep 1st, 2008 03:50 am
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" If the South would have won we'd have it made,
  I'd probably run for President of the Southern states"

oh my bad.....we aint talkin bout songs are we.......well just ignore me



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 Posted: Fri Sep 5th, 2008 09:58 pm
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I don't believe the South would have remained one country. Remember, they were fighting for STATE's rights, not the Confederacy as a whole.

Lee said, "If Virginia secedes, I must go with her." He didn't say, "I must go with the Confederacy." He was on record as being against secession, as many of the southern officers were.

And we can't ignore the elephant in the room. Slavery had to end sooner or later, regardless of who won the war. Now, would ALL the southern states agree upon this all at the same time? Not likely. So the hard core pro-slavery states would now have to split from the ones that weren't as dependent upon slave labor and had decided to abolish. 

Even after that, if they all somehow stayed together through what would have to be a slow and agonizing dissolution of slavery, (which may well have set up a series of smaller wars), how would the south transition from farming to industry? As far as I know, the railroad network of the south was not nearly as accomplished as in the north. How much more would they now have to charge for the cotton and tobacco crops now that they had to actually PAY the work force?

I just don't see it.

Marty



 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 02:13 am
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The Iron Duke
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If you want to read about the south's move from agriculture to manufacturing I would recommend Emory Thomas's works.



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 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 04:04 pm
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Duke:

Could you be more specific, please. Am unfamiliar with Emory Thomas but would welcome seeing what he has to say.

ole



 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 04:35 pm
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Somewhere, somehow, I missed reading this thread. Guess it was hiding under a newer one. (That'll learn me to open the forum rather than the newest thread.)

No way, no how, would a winning Confederacy remain a nation. One of the underlying principles it fought for in the first place was to keep the status quo: a relatively wealthy, isolated, ruling aristocracy. The demise of slavery would lead to an end of that "superior" class.

One of the truisms I buy into is "that which does not grow, dies." The leaders of secession and the subsequent Confederacy were committed to not growing. Very nearly all the capital in the south was invested in slavery and land. Profits were plowed into more land and more slaves -- very little went into establishing a factory or building a railroad or even carving a decent road to open a market. Would that mind-set have changed with a Confederate victory? Doubtful.

A favored fact is that the south had about 50,000 factory workers....the north had about 50,000 factories.(Yeah, it's beside the point, but I never get tired of repeating that particular statistic.)

As to quarreling over the territories, it would happen solely because of it's symbolism. (It's mine! No it ain't.) Not because of their actual value. There was no future for the planter class in the territories. It's been said that slaves could mine with the best of the laboring immigrants. That's likely true, given that skilled slaves could do anything an Irishman could do and, according to some accounts, better. What I don't see here is the given that the ruling, planter class was quite fixated on planting and not the least bit interested in digging.

Just a thought.

ole



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