Discussion A quote from Grant's memoirs

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wausaubob

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New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania made up for their out migration with very high birth rates, and international immigration. The south did not have those demographic features.
 
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JohnJW

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Bad writing do not equal low IQ. A person can have a high IQ even if he never learned to read/write.
As I understand it, the group (s) who attempt to compare the writings of historical figures are composed of scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists and other experts. I assume they would take your points into account.

Grant was a graduate of West Point. He was right in the middle.

McClellan graduated second in his class and only because one other guy beat him in drawing. As I remember, MacArthur was first. Custer was last.

So rankings, writing skills, achievement . . . all these things are small pieces of a larger puzzle, I would assume. No one is definitive.
 

wausaubob

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Slavery was already fading away on the northern boundary of the slave economy. The western frontier of the south already had large areas in which slavery was maladapted. Poor white people in the south did not like gambling on cotton production. They did not like the risk. White people were leaving. And the population dynamic near the Mississippi was crippled by disease. Cotton itself was subject to downturns in the British mercantile economy. Slave revolts are very common. Santo Domingo and Jamaica experienced slave revolts. By the time Grant wrote the quoted passage, there had been slave revolts in Cuba and massive resistance in Brazil.
 

wausaubob

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If the Confederacy had tried to exist as a separate country, the free line would have moved down to the Ohio River. Slavery would have become concentrated in the deep south.
 
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wausaubob

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The biggest risk the Confederacy faced was that the United States would recapture the Mississippi, and occupy Arkansas and Tennessee, and money Democrats in New York would say that the rest is not worth it. The next step would be to offer Texas a deal too good to decline for RR development and harbor improvements at Galveston and just let the 6 state eastern Confederacy drift.
 

JohnJW

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If the Confederacy had tried to exist as a separate country, the free line would have moved down to the Ohio River. Slavery would have become concentrated in the deep south.
I think that's true. I read somewhere that in 1865, 90% of the Mississippi Delta was still open land, totally uncultivated.
 

wausaubob

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The command group that finished the war for the US was hardly a anti-southern group. In the navy, David Farragut and S. Phillips Lee had the lead. Both were southerners. In the army, people like William Sherman and Jefferson C. Davis knew that the Confederacy had to be utterly defeated. George Meade was hardly an abolitionist.
Although the US had defeated the Confederacy both strategically and tactically by July of 1863, the counterattack at Chickamauga produced one of the bloodiest two day battles of the war.
By that time it would have been impossible to convince either the navy, and its nationalist command structure, or the army officers who knew their fellow West Pointers in the Confederacy that the US could continue to prosperity if the threat of the Confederacy continued.
The nature of the Confederacy would have been a militarized country with a dependent economy, with a poor and slow growing labor class.
The other basis of Grant's observation was what happened with respect to railroad development in Texas and northern Missouri once slavery was abolished there. By 1885 New York City was one of the great metro areas of the world. There no chance of the Confederacy keeping up with New York City.
There were about 50,000 large cotton and sugar operations in the south prior to the war. That supported about 10% of the population. Most of the rest of the southern population was poor and even desperately poor.
 
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barrygio

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There were about 50,000 large cotton and sugar operations in the south prior to the war. That supported about 10% of the population. Most of the rest of the southern population was poor and even desperately poor.
I'm not a student of the South's antebellum and Civil War history, but I doubt your description of 90% of the Southern population as being "poor or even desperately poor" for the following reason: During the Vicksburg campaign, Grant was able to march his army back and forth between Vicksburg and Jackson, feeding them almost nothing except for what they could pilfer from the population, and of course Sherman did the same through Georgia. To me this paints a picture of the rural South as being quite self-sufficient. Maybe not rich with cash, but even if all you are is a subsistence farmer, you are not "desperately poor" if you can comfortably feed, clothe and shelter your family.

Regards
 

thomas aagaard

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but I doubt your description of 90% of the Southern population as being "poor or even desperately poor"
The slaves where "desperately poor" ;-)

But you are right, his numbers are simply not correct, since About 1/3 of every households in what became the CSA owned at least one slave.
 
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Joshism

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Supposedly, grant had the lowest IQ of any US president.
And I doubt there was any reliable method of measuring that subjective trait then.
They don't measure the IQ of historical figures. They estimate it based on what they've produced. It's simply a matter of comparison. Writing is especially easy to do because computers today allow you to examine the writing of ancient figures. Paintings, sculpture are more difficult. Music is also fairly east to use as an estimator.
We've gone from psychoanalyzing the dead to estimating their IQ.

A Google search turned up one study of the presidents' IQs. They helpfully estimated them down to the decimal points. Even using an average of several estimates that's laughably precise.

Anyhow, they did conclude Grant had "only" a 120 IQ. They also concluded John Quincy Adams was the only president smarter than Jefferson.
 

Joshism

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Grant was a graduate of West Point. He was right in the middle.

McClellan graduated second in his class and only because one other guy beat him in drawing. As I remember, MacArthur was first. Custer was last.
It's important to remember that West Point graduation rankings were based on demerits as well as well as test scores.

Was it Custer who was one demerit away from flunking out?

Lee was 2nd in his class. Are we to assume the guy ahead of him was a super-genius?
 
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