A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861-1868

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by KenH, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. KenH

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  2. robycop3

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    In-depth research has shown that the Confederacy would NOT have survived as a nation, even if they woulda remained free of war. They simply didn't have the resources nor the economics. However, the North woulda been greatly weakened w/o the South.

    Several nations, including England & France, cast covetous eyes upon North America during the Civil War, but wisely concluded the forces of both sides were too strong to be defeated on their own land by an outsider. Mexico came to the same conclusion.

    I believe the South's attempts to return to the antebellum ways, albeit w/o slavery, helped keep them from advancing as the rest of the nation did over the next 50 years. I also believe the Reconstruction Era was the most-corrupt in USA history, both North and South.
     
  3. born again and again

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    But in the former Soviet Union, the South won.
     
  4. born again and again

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    Areas within Iraq are already attempting to secede . . . and they don't have a constitution yet.
     
  5. Magnetic Poles

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    Trouble with Iraq is the borders were drawn by the British colonialists, not taking into account rival factions they included within those arbitrary borders.
     
  6. born again and again

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    I believe Poles is absolutely correct. And furthermore, the French and Americans (a.k.a. Woodrow Wilson) agreed in 1919.
     
  7. Stratiotes

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    Could be...but I think it had a little to do with reconstruction and the federal government under racist policies of the Woodrow Wilson administration which undid the few "good" things that reconstruction accomplished.
     
  8. born again and again

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    You mean like the eleventh, twelvth and thirteenth amendments to the constitution?
     
  9. Kiffen

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    What few good things?

    Stealing and thievery of Southern property?

    Abusing and using former slaves?

    Stirring up racial hatred that endures to this day?

    I can't think of any good thing that came out of Reconstruction.
     
  10. Stratiotes

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    During reconstruction and following there was a great deal of racial healing and people of many races held government offices in the south...including many that were elected after reconstruction where the voting was not controlled by loyalty oaths and such nonsense. The south was on its way to healing until Wilson came to office and began the work of segregating the federal government. His segregation policies led to a windening of the Jim Crow laws that encouraged racists in the south and north to limit public office to whites only.

    Overall, I would agree with you that reconstruction was bad. It was not, however, the sum of all evils in the south. Much of the racial tensions were from after reconstruction.
     
  11. Johnv

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    There's STILL racial tension in the south. Perhaps not in the densely populated areas, but in rural and underlying areas? Most definitely. When I was in Georgia a few years ago, a local man told me he broke up with his fiance because he found out that she had in the past "dated colored's". The man had no idea I was mixed race.

    I knew a mixed race (black/white) couple who taught sunday school at church. They moves here from Mississippi because they received death threats from folks accusing them of being "n*ger lovers". This was after their parents disowned them for marrying "outside their race". And these were Baptists, too.
     
  12. Scott J

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    John, If you think that is a problem isolated to the south and especially the rural south then you are badly misinformed.

    You also might want to note that there is at least as much opposition to black-white marriages in the black community as the white.

    I grew up in very rural NC about 25 years ago. We only had about 50 black people in our town but two were married to white women and one was married to a Cherokee. I knew the children of these marriages and never heard of any threats or mistreatment. In fact, the two married to white women were well thought of in the community.

    OTOH, a pastor in a neighboring town had a daughter go wild, move to Atlanta, have a baby by a black man out of wedlock, then leave the baby with this pastor. This county had never had a black person live in it. A mob descended on his house demanding that he get rid of the child. He stood his ground and they left.

    Point is... there are ignorant bigots in every state and in every color. For you to pick on the south the way you have only increases the ignorance.
     
  13. Scott J

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    Trouble with Iraq is the borders were drawn by the British colonialists, not taking into account rival factions they included within those arbitrary borders. </font>[/QUOTE]That's true. Probably the best long term solution would be to divide it into Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd nations. Of course we couldn't leave for many years to come or all out war would break out.
     
  14. billwald

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    Maybe the Confederacy would have failed but they had the same right (whatever THAT is)to pull out of the USofA as the colonies did to pull out of GB.
     
  15. Stratiotes

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    Amen! One reason the underground railroad ended in Canada was because many northern states had made it illegal for blacks to settle in their state. An influx of new workers was a threat to the pre-Unionized industrial north workers.

    Most often the law requiring returning runaway slaves is cited as the reason it ended in Canada and I don't doubt that to some extent but the fact that racism did not stop at the Mason-Dixon line was also a factor not often talked about.

    When slavery ended and former slaves began to migrate north at the end of the 19th century, it just fed that fear of lost jobs again.

    I think it odd that some of the worst race riots have been in the states where slavery had not existed during the war and yet the south has become the straw man to beat whenever the subject arises.
     
  16. Alcott

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    Do you have any references for this research? Or at least give a brief review of how it was determined that the Confederacy would not have survived as a nation, considering that so many Latin nations from Mexico to Chile did; many with far less resources than the CSA.
     
  17. billwald

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    Slavery was tried in the North but it was inefficient due to the climate and the cyclical nature of manufacturing. It was more profitable to hire poor free white workers when a factory had a contract and lay them off to freeze and starve in slow times.

    Slaves were an asset which had to be maintained. Free workers are a "resource" to be used up and discarded. Our owners throw this in our faces by changing "personnel" to "human resources" but the human resources are to ignorant to get the joke.

    On the other hand, the South was stupid in maintaining slavery. They should have freed the slaves - imported new slaves and turned them loose. Nothing would have changed because a caste system would have developed and the owners would still have cheap labor.

    A caste system did develop - old money, new money, middle class, and trash class. Everyone instinctively knows their caste. It is still a big deal when a rich person marries a poor person.
     
  18. robycop3

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    Do you have any references for this research? Or at least give a brief review of how it was determined that the Confederacy would not have survived as a nation, considering that so many Latin nations from Mexico to Chile did; many with far less resources than the CSA. </font>[/QUOTE]Sorry to have taken so long to reply, Alcott, but I simply hadn't checked out this thread for a month or so.

    My sources hav been encyclopedia articles, magazine articles, and historical TV docs.

    The South in 1861 was quite lacking in industry, transportation, and in sources of new money besides "King Cotton"-as well as in supplies of many basic materials such as cloth and medicine. Their political situation was chaotic, to put it mildly. The "Confederate navy" was miniscule.

    Soon after the war began, the Federal Navy clamped a fairly effective blockade on the South. Now, while Southerners reveled in the exploits of blockad runners such as Capt. Raphael Semmes, the reality was that these were mere pinpricks; the South's cotton rotted on the wharves. This was the most telling happening of the war. One analyst wrote, "Ths south wasn't shot to death; she was strangled to death".(Analyst unnamed, from a Ken Burns TV doc) The South simply couldn't conduct any commerce overseas, nor supply itself with items they couldn't make themselves.


    They were forced to finance the war with old money. Their industry couldn't keep up with the demand for the things the war used. They generally kept their armies supplied w/guns & ammo, but everything else soon ran short, including uniforms, boots & shoes, coats, blankets, tents, tools, and, worst of all, FOOD AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES.

    It's a tribute to Southern ingenuity and perseverence that they were able to fight as long as they did. They were outnumbered 3 to 1 in population, counting slaves, who couldn't be counted on to fight for the South.(They didn't dare arm the slaves, fearing an insurrection.) At sea, they performed some spectacular exploits such as making the scuttled Union sloop Merrimack into the first ironclad ship to actually be used in battle(The French had made an ironclad in 1859, but it never saw combat. ) and the first sinking of a ship by a submarine. But again, these were mere pinpricks which didn't deter the Federal blockade at all.

    Any nation with a powerful navy, such as England ot France, coulda eventually worn the South down in the same manner, and indeed both of those nations DID consider entering the war, but they saw both North and South had formidable armies, and they believed that any intrusion on their part might drive North and South together again, at least long enough to deal with any foreign threat. The South sent feelers to Mexico for aid, but Mexico had internal probs of her own, and, having been drubbed by a SMALL American army just 15 years earlier, wasn't anxious to cross swords with an army led by many of the officers who'd given them that drubbing. Besides that, it was the Maximilian Time, and there was a small Mexican civil war going on between an army led by Benito Jaurez & forces, including some French troops, led by Max. The only reason Mexico survived is that the French recognized that Mexico was ungovernable by any foreign power without a huge and ongoing investment in soldiers, a price France was unwilling to pay.

    I believe that if the South had won independence, she woulda soon had England at her doorstep, especially if England woulda been able to make some sorta deal with the North. England then had the world's largest and most powerful navy, and coulda easily blockaded the South as the North had done. I just don't believe the South had the resources to survive very long as a sovereign nation, but she had enough resources to have made some powerful nations interested in taking over her. it woulda taken a tacit military alliance with the North, which I believe woulda been impossible to obtain...not to mention an ongoing menace from the North itself. I believe that if the North had been defeated, they woulda renewed the war in a matter of months, and kept at it till they won. And any foreign invasion of an indy South most likely woulda driven them back into the arms of the North, at the price of their sovereignty.

    The Latin American nations you mentioned weren't considered worth the trouble and the huge military commitments for England and France to invade; many of them had just given Spain and Portugal bloody noses, and didn't have any nearby enemies, so they were free to develop themselves into viable nations.

    And even if the South had remained war-free, she woulda faced economic strangulation from the North.
     
  19. nate

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    I think the Confederacy would have easily survived. She had cotton. And in 1862-65 Cotton was King. She would have drawn the support of England and went into trading with her. Remeber both England and France helped the Confederate War effort as several iron clads were built in both. The North was already placing economic stranglehold on the south placing a huge tax on incoming goods while lowering exported goods. That helped the industrial north and hurt the agricultural south. Abolitionist were stirring up the slave issue which was numbered in days anyway also threatning the southern economy. The South felt threatned economically. The war began over economy and the states right to keep slavery. Rember Lincoln was not much of a leader. The Proclamation only freed southern slaves not northern slaves(Kentucky,Missouri, WV, OK.) Lincoln was not a man of integrity but rather someone who just wanted to preserve the union. Lincoln said if he didn't free one slave and it would keep union he'd do it and if he had to free them all he'd do it. He issued Proclamtion only to keep Europe out of the War. The South was Right. They stood on the freedom our original forefathers stood on.
     

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