Research Did Davis want the Articles of Confederation or a Southern USA?

MikeyB

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
I'm embarrassed to even reference this but I will anyway. In the North and South miniseries, Davis argues the necessity of a strong central government as a necessary wartime measure. I believe this is historically accurate.

But made me wonder. If the CSA won, did Davis envision his government running like the Articles of Confederation? Or would he be happy with a permanent, strong central government in Richmond, but "Southerners governing Southerners", which would be less objectionable to his constituents than the DC led Federal government they were leaving?
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
I'm embarrassed to even reference this but I will anyway. In the North and South miniseries, Davis argues the necessity of a strong central government as a necessary wartime measure. I believe this is historically accurate.

But made me wonder. If the CSA won, did Davis envision his government running like the Articles of Confederation? Or would he be happy with a permanent, strong central government in Richmond, but "Southerners governing Southerners", which would be less objectionable to his constituents than the DC led Federal government they were leaving?
Zebulon Vance would confirm that Davis did in fact operate a very strong, centralized federal government during the war. Not sure why Davis would see the benefit of going to the ineffective model of the Articles after the war. There's a reason those were ditched in 1787.
 

MikeyB

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Sep 13, 2018
Zebulon Vance would confirm that Davis did in fact operate a very strong, centralized federal government during the war. Not sure why Davis would see the benefit of going to the ineffective model of the Articles after the war. There's a reason those were ditched in 1787.

Perhaps the more basic question: Is the premise of the Confederacy built upon opposition to a strong Federal government in principle, or opposition to the DC strong Federal government?
 

rpkennedy

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Carlisle, PA
Perhaps the more basic question: Is the premise of the Confederacy built upon opposition to a strong Federal government in principle, or opposition to the DC strong Federal government?

In my mind, it was opposition to a strong federal government outside of their control. So long as the feds were actively protecting their interests, it was ok in their book. It was when the scales started tipping the other way that they began to agitate about how much power it had.

Ryan
 

MikeyB

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
In my mind, it was opposition to a strong federal government outside of their control. So long as the feds were actively protecting their interests, it was ok in their book. It was when the scales started tipping the other way that they began to agitate about how much power it had.

Ryan

very interesting. So how do you balance this perspective against the view they were fighting for states rights?
 

Joshism

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Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
The Confederate Constitution was nearly identical to the US Constitution. If the South wanted AOC 2.0 they would need to hold a postwar constitutional convention and basically throw out something that had worked so well they won a war for independence. Seems unlikely.
 

rpkennedy

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Carlisle, PA
very interesting. So how do you balance this perspective against the view they were fighting for states rights?

IMO, most of the secessionists' support for states' rights began and ended with slavery. If they could better protect slavery with a strong, central government than that is what they wanted. If it was better with strong states' rights, so be it. That said, with the creation of the CSA, attitudes ran the gamot depending on time and situation. Davis was generally for a strong governement (understandable as it made his job easier) but there were some governors *cough* Joe Brown *cough* who wanted final say in anything that happened in their states and to their citizens and, in some cases, actively struggled against federal authority.

Ryan
 

Lubliner

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Nov 27, 2018
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Chattanooga, Tennessee
I was thinking more along the lines that when the first few States seceded, they were to govern themselves independently, with the ability to negotiate with foreign powers. The reason for the confederacy was for the protection of each individual State due to the Northern 'embarrassment' of their desires. This also makes me wonder if they had succeeded in becoming a new nation, what new purpose would the Richmond Government play?
Lubliner.
 
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