1867 Confederate States Presidential Election

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Who would you pick for POTCS?

  • John C. Breckinridge (Southern Democrat/Nationalist)

    Votes: 15 51.7%
  • PGT Beauregard (States' Rights Party)

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Zebulon Baird Vance (Liberty/Conservative)

    Votes: 8 27.6%
  • Robert Barnwell Rhett (Independent)

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Other (explain)

    Votes: 4 13.8%

  • Total voters
    29
  • Poll closed .

Desert Kid

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The war is over and the battle for the peace has only begun. The Confederate States is an independent country consisting of 11 states and now political parties are staring to form.

The Southern Democrats/Nationalist Party. The pro-Davis wing.

The States Rights Party. The anti-Davis, Deep South wing.

The Liberty/Conservative Party. The anti-Davis, socially moderate, Jacksonian populist wing.

Independent Candidates.

Who is your choice?
 

Carronade

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Silly me was about to ask where's Davis, but of course he couldn't run again.

Depending how the war ended, there might be one or more generals who had particularly distinguished themselves, a Confederate Washington who could be a unifying figure. Lee is an obvious one, but if the war ended successfully for the Confederates it would likely have involved victories in the west, say by Beauregard, Johnston, or my tongue-in-cheek favorite, Bragg.
 

jackt62

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I voted for Vance, who I see has received the most votes so far. The reason for my vote is that Vance was never a die-hard secessionist, and was more concerned with preserving and expanding the welfare of his own state of North Carolina and its citizens. In that sense, as Confederate President, he might have tilted the Confederacy in a more liberal direction, with the possibility of bringing an end to slavery.
 
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Desert Kid

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Silly me was about to ask where's Davis, but of course he couldn't run again.

Depending how the war ended, there might be one or more generals who had particularly distinguished themselves, a Confederate Washington who could be a unifying figure. Lee is an obvious one, but if the war ended successfully for the Confederates it would likely have involved victories in the west, say by Beauregard, Johnston, or my tongue-in-cheek favorite, Bragg.
I’ll say for argument that Lee has become the CSA’s Washington but refused to run. Whoever he endorses gets his star power.
 

Dead Parrott

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Interesting hypothetical.

With independence won, I see the inner-sectarian backroom squabbling accelerating (depending on how far removed the election is from the final victory). Also assuming the USA takes a non-hostile posture.

Without outside pressure, I see the States being highly non-cooperative (as they were even during the war). I think that favors Beauregard (or more directly, his party).

But I agree a victorious Davis, and a lionized Lee, could swing the election via any open or tacit endorsement.
 

TnFed

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I voted for Vance, who I see has received the most votes so far. The reason for my vote is that Vance was never a die-hard secessionist, and was more concerned with preserving and expanding the welfare of his own state of North Carolina and its citizens. In that sense, as Confederate President, he might have tilted the Confederacy in a more liberal direction, with the possibility of bringing an end to slavery.
I agree with your assessment. Vance kept the courts running during the war. Didn't suspend habeas corpus . Was favorable towards religious toleration to Jews. Tried to deal lightly with unionist. Bumped heads with Richmond over treatment of certain NC troops.
 
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jackt62

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Interesting decision to put Beauregard in the lineup. I never thought of him as having civilian political ambition (outside of the usual army politics) and I'm still not sure if speculating on his candidacy would make sense. Aside from Breckenridge, who was already an actual US presidential candidate, the lack of any former confederate military officers in the lineup is curious. Lee would never have consented to be a candidate for such an office, but what about officers like Longstreet or Mosby, whose real postwar careers tilted towards the northern Republican party. Perhaps such individuals, as president of an independent Confederacy, would steer that nation in a more moderate direction?
 

Desert Kid

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Interesting decision to put Beauregard in the lineup. I never thought of him as having civilian political ambition (outside of the usual army politics) and I'm still not sure if speculating on his candidacy would make sense. Aside from Breckenridge, who was already an actual US presidential candidate, the lack of any former confederate military officers in the lineup is curious. Lee would never have consented to be a candidate for such an office, but what about officers like Longstreet or Mosby, whose real postwar careers tilted towards the northern Republican party. Perhaps such individuals, as president of an independent Confederacy, would steer that nation in a more moderate direction?
Beauregard’s hatred of Jefferson Davis would be a huge motivator.
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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I went with...

Other

Who is I think would have been the main star, probably Alexander Stephens.

He was Davis' Vice-President, right after the Davis Administration would've secured independence, and I assume opened a path to the repayment of Confederate money in real hard money. This is important because what we call Confederate "money" were promissory notes, not cash, and were to repaid a few years after a peace treaty was finalized. This probably would have been a top priority given the need to stabilize the CSA's economy after the war. This is an important consideration, because the vast majority of Southerners, as well as most Americans back then, were not the most politically astute. They had life to worry about, and the Davis Administration, of which Stephens was a member, would have won independence, worked to stabilize the economy, and that's all the average voter would see back then.

I could go on, and on, but it may be more worthy of a book than a message here.

I am not saying that's who I would be a big supporter of, but I'd bet he'd be on the ballot, and would win. My personal preference would also be other. Louis T. Wigfall.:D But I doubt he would been on the ballot period.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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One thing I've got to contend with...

Political Parties.

I HIGHLY doubt that such a thing would have existed in the Confederacy in 1867, if at all it would have been somewhere around 1900, IF the Confederacy didn't collapse into a Civil War of its own by the Panic of 1871 when the cotton economy collapsed completely, which was one of the results of the War Between the States.

Political Parties form when you have people in a nation with a strong central government of different cultures, priorities, ways of thinking, and economic systems. The idea of Confederate Parties is a fantasy from alternate history novels, not reality. Look at the US under the Articles of Confederation, a weak central government, no parties unless you count individual States as parties. The US Constitution? Almost immediately. The Confederate Government was weak and the States were more powerful, in a nation with several different sub-cultures all derived from the same original one, and mostly identical economies. So even with a strong central government they while they may have formed, they wouldn't have been a factor at all just different in name thus pointless.

Thus Political Parties on a national level would have not only not serve any real purpose, but also be a hindrance. On a State level? Probably serve no purpose either as the ultimate Political Party there would be the individual State itself, and one can't "carpetbag" from one State to another in search better climates to elected in as there interests would be the interests of another State, so they'd either have to stay home or switch party interests, in other words those of the State they moved to in over to get elected.

Besides, some Confederates in they're later years spoke with pride in their memoirs that the CSA wasn't hindered by such a self defeating, divisive system as having Political Parties. The very idea of them in the CSA is mostly rubbish and only good for an entertaining fiction, where they are almost always necessary to further the plot.
 

Desert Kid

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One thing I've got to contend with...

Political Parties.

I HIGHLY doubt that such a thing would have existed in the Confederacy in 1867, if at all it would have been somewhere around 1900, IF the Confederacy didn't collapse into a Civil War of its own by the Panic of 1871 when the cotton economy collapsed completely, which was one of the results of the War Between the States.

Political Parties form when you have people in a nation with a strong central government of different cultures, priorities, ways of thinking, and economic systems. The idea of Confederate Parties is a fantasy from alternate history novels, not reality. Look at the US under the Articles of Confederation, a weak central government, no parties unless you count individual States as parties. The US Constitution? Almost immediately. The Confederate Government was weak and the States were more powerful, in a nation with several different sub-cultures all derived from the same original one, and mostly identical economies. So even with a strong central government they while they may have formed, they wouldn't have been a factor at all just different in name thus pointless.

Thus Political Parties on a national level would have not only not serve any real purpose, but also be a hindrance. On a State level? Probably serve no purpose either as the ultimate Political Party there would be the individual State itself, and one can't "carpetbag" from one State to another in search better climates to elected in as there interests would be the interests of another State, so they'd either have to stay home or switch party interests, in other words those of the State they moved to in over to get elected.

Besides, some Confederates in they're later years spoke with pride in their memoirs that the CSA wasn't hindered by such a self defeating, divisive system as having Political Parties. The very idea of them in the CSA is mostly rubbish and only good for an entertaining fiction, where they are almost always necessary to further the plot.
That's the one thing I'll disagree with you on. I think 1867 is the starting point for political parties to form in the Confederacy.

There would be one primary geographical split. The Deep South, and the Upper South. While all nominally Southerners and slaveowners, the Upper South would be more culpable and open to light industrialization and would technically be more socially moderate and more open to the strong formation of a Confederate/Southern identity post-independence.

The ideological split would be more or less like how the American Revolution went. Instead of Jefferson and Hamilton, you'd have a Davis (Nationalist) and Stephens (States' Rights) split. The pro-Davis areas of the Confederacy were by far the most war ravaged, or under occupation, namely Tennessee, Virginia and Arkansas. The Deep South, all uniformly hated Davis' administration. The odd ball in the middle would be North Carolina and Texas, which could swing either way.
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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That's the one thing I'll disagree with you on. I think 1867 is the starting point for political parties to form in the Confederacy.

There would be one primary geographical split. The Deep South, and the Upper South. While all nominally Southerners and slaveowners, the Upper South would be more culpable and open to light industrialization and would technically be more socially moderate and more open to the strong formation of a Confederate/Southern identity post-independence.

The ideological split would be more or less like how the American Revolution went. Instead of Jefferson and Hamilton, you'd have a Davis (Nationalist) and Stephens (States' Rights) split. The pro-Davis areas of the Confederacy were by far the most war ravaged, or under occupation, namely Tennessee, Virginia and Arkansas. The Deep South, all uniformly hated Davis' administration. The odd ball in the middle would be North Carolina and Texas, which could swing either way.
Your forgetting one of the biggest factors in politics, the factor that undoes all previous hostility and always ushers in unity when a war is won:

Honeymoon Periods

In a style of government that the South had, with the people, all hostility at Davis and his government would have been forgotten, and at least till the crash of 1871, all of the small differences would have been forgotten. Plus it was after a war where Southerners from every corner fought beside one another, ensuring unity among the people for a while.

After the inevitable crash, there's no doubt in my mind the Confederacy would've had a civil war on its hands because of Virginia's desires to be completely dominant of the South, and I'm sure they may have been able to convince places like North Carolina and Tennessee to side with them in promise of economic boosts which Tennessee would've been real receptive too. But there's also no doubt in my mind the USA would have been behind the scenes egging it on, ensuring a rebellion against the traitorous States by their own people, and ensuring a Confederate Government victory in the war if one didn't break out with the USA again.

Such a happening would have ensured the notion of Political Parties would become even more distasteful to Confederate citizens high and low because in their eyes, Political Parties and division of the sort would have been the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths in two wars, and folks would have endeavored to stick together more for a long time. I expect political parties of any sort wouldn't have been seen again till Spindletop in 1900 altering economic norms and priorities in different sections of the country thus bringing about the formation of Political Parties but on a less drastic level. I'd imagine they'd be more cross-State coalitions more than actual Parties.

Also Jefferson and Hamilton is a poor comparison. Two men of drastically different backgrounds, culture, and lands in a government that had just evolved from a powerless one to one in which Jefferson felt was too powerful, and Hamilton viewed as not powerful enough when both of them were forces of nature. The South had learned a slew of lessons from that and wrote a Constitution that made things a bit more balanced and a document that required no trashing and replacing, for a land that was more uniform in its economics and people, ensuring such a happening wouldn't have happened. They designed the central government to be just strong enough with corrupting influences such as lobbyist banned, and States that retained just the right amount of sovereignty to ensure no problems there unless something completely unforeseen went wrong, (like the Panic of 1871), but it would still be able to have a chance in righting itself.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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I suppose a shorter more to the point explanation would be before 1861, within the United States, the South for the most part a One-Party State within the United States for all the reasons mentioned above with there being only small differences, with even anti-secession Southerners being extremely Conservative and having more in common with secessionist Southerners than Northerners, and a victorious War of Independence would've strengthened that bond just as much a defeat did.

After the War and Reconstruction, the South continued to be a One-Party State within the US till after WW2, there's simply no way that could've been different.
 

Dead Parrott

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As I stated before, it might depend on how far removed the election was from the victory.

The confederate states were already bickering during the war. Depending on the proximity to the victory (ie the Honeymoon period mentioned) i think parties are likely, even one-state parties, and a balkanization maybe even inevitable.
 
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Desert Kid

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As I stated before, it might depend on how far removed the election was from the victory.

The confederate states were already bickering during the war. Depending on the proximity to the victory (ie the Honeymoon period mentioned) i think parties are likely, even one-state parties, and a balkanization maybe even inevitable.
It’s an 1864 victory by exhaustion.
 
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