If England had recognised the Confederate States?

Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
160
Location
England.
The South abolishes Slavery. It makes the war a 'States Rights' issue.

Without slavery in the way, the British Govt. recognises the South. The growing power of the United States is dealt a severe blow. The British Empire's position is strengthened. Guaranteed cotton for the Lancashire Mills. What was becoming a new naval rival is in turmoil.

For the South, British Soldiers in Canada pose a threat to the US as does The Royal Navy. The blockade is broken. Arms flow to the South.

Would that have 'Saved the South'? Would secession have succeeded?
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,431
Location
Near Kankakee
Would that have 'Saved the South'? Would secession have succeeded?
Interesting "what if" Spirit. Probably not. It would certainly have made the war longer and far more costly. The percentage of eligible manpower in the north was not significantly tapped for the WBTS. Participation of a foreign power would have stirred the "stay-at-home" population. France and Russia would have welcomed the diversion of British muscle to make international inroads Britain couldn't allow.
Just a thought.
Ole
 

Hanny

Banned
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
1,095
SpiritofPickett said:
The South abolishes Slavery. It makes the war a 'States Rights' issue.

Without slavery in the way, the British Govt. recognises the South. The growing power of the United States is dealt a severe blow. The British Empire's position is strengthened. Guaranteed cotton for the Lancashire Mills. What was becoming a new naval rival is in turmoil.

For the South, British Soldiers in Canada pose a threat to the US as does The Royal Navy. The blockade is broken. Arms flow to the South.

Would that have 'Saved the South'? Would secession have succeeded?
Not a realsitic what if, (one driven by hindsight i believe) the right to abolish or not abolish either exists at state or national level, the CSA was never going to force its members to abolish it any more than AH would have won WW2 if he had been nice to jews instead, the what if requires a fundamental change of the nature of the creature under debate, one that lacks any realstic possobility, let alone economic viability or historical reason for doing so.
 

Hanny

Banned
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
1,095
ole said:
Interesting "what if" Spirit. Probably not. It would certainly have made the war longer and far more costly. The percentage of eligible manpower in the north was not significantly tapped for the WBTS. Participation of a foreign power would have stirred the "stay-at-home" population. France and Russia would have welcomed the diversion of British muscle to make international inroads Britain couldn't allow.
Just a thought.
Ole
While what ifs are a lot of fun, i dont acept this as one of merit, but as a mental excercise, since the Northern states had already furnished a very high mil particpation ratio, its not clear that they could further increase it, modern states dont usually achieve this level of participation, let alone enhance it. France and the UK were very close to each other and likly to combine in any what if, and be opposed by Russia.


http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/cwc/other/stats/warcost.htm
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,431
Location
Near Kankakee
Thanks for the link, Hanny. Good stuff to have on hand.

An additional 1 percent participation in the Union would have been more than enough to take care of any invasion from Canada. It would have been that pesky navy. But seriously, would Britain sacrifice it's market northern market in order to get Southern cotton? (Which, by the way, she was doing alright without.)

England played it just right. She had little to gain by taking sides and a lot to lose if the other side won. By staying out, she didn't alienate anyone, so there could be no hard feelings no matter which side won.
Ole
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
160
Location
England.
Thanks for the thoughts.

Thanks Ole & Hannay. Good points and interesting ones. I think your point Ole, about the Northeners being motivated by a foreign power interferring is the most notable.

Hannay is right about the World 'Super Powers' of the day sitting back, that is also accurate.

The beauty of this site is being able to open up a thread and get some serious, considered replies back offering alternative viewpoints. Gets the grey cells ticking over! :thumbsup:

The South's decision to hold cotton exports I think was a grave mistake. It didn't help the war effort and lost markets when the South needed to rebuild after the war.

As an Englishman I find the 'What if' the Confederacy succeeded facsinating. What would World Politics today be like? Would we still have had 2 World wars? (Probably but perhaps the World political dynamic would have created alternate alliances?)

People can correctly argue that such a discussion is a waste of time but I do wonder about it!

Thanks again for your views!:smile:
 

Hanny

Banned
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
1,095
ole said:
Thanks for the link, Hanny. Good stuff to have on hand.

An additional 1 percent participation in the Union would have been more than enough to take care of any invasion from Canada. It would have been that pesky navy. But seriously, would Britain sacrifice it's market northern market in order to get Southern cotton? (Which, by the way, she was doing alright without.)

England played it just right. She had little to gain by taking sides and a lot to lose if the other side won. By staying out, she didn't alienate anyone, so there could be no hard feelings no matter which side won.
Ole
Your wecome to the link and i hope you found it of intrest.

As to any esculation of the conflict, if UK and France come in then the 8k initial Uk to Canada rising to a projected 25k and arms for 50k Canadians, which btw were the new UK breachloaders as the UK was in the midst of re arming its armed forces with them, cav done first in 61, would no longer be the threat level, but one much greater than a 1% increase could safely cover.


My point is that there are two (or more!!,) ways of thinking about the WBTS, one is that the Northern states put an exceptionaly high number of men into the conflict, based on a macro statistical line of inquiry, and off the top of my head, about double or tripple the UK in either WW by way of comparison. That continued immigration to the Northern states replaced and increased the national population allowing a larger base population, but would not occur if the war esculated and control of the sea or european demarkation ports were not providing them, so while historicaly the north gains from the war years increase in adult males that come into the US and serve, it would not only in all probability lose them, but have to increase its induction of existing males just to stand still, as compared to CSA states declining, and if the war escualted, have to further expand, and since those who are avoiding service are doing so by paying a bounty, those drafted and serving instead of paying, will come from those who are doing agricutural or other work who cannot afford to pay a substitute.

Another way is that on the micro level, many educational places initially sent large numbers off to war and then by wars end were sending none, as an example of how we could argue that many more bodies were available for induction, and if the continetal US was invaded then they may indeed feel that service is better than payment.
 

matthew mckeon

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
13,744
I'm not sure which direction this thread is going.

1) Would Great Britain have intervened in the CW, devoutly to be wished for by the CSA? Afterall French intervention in the Revolution had been decisive.

2) With the intervention of Great Britain as a given, how would it have played out.

I think (1) was always remote. The CS strategy of a cotton boycott compelling British intervention was a projection of Southern dependence on cotton on others.

Phrases like "dealing growing United States power a great blow," and "strengthening the British Empire," are vague future wishes, while expending ships, millions of pounds and thousands of lives, in the hopes of gaining what exactly? are present reality.

French intervention in the Revolution was part of a larger struggle against Britain that had been going on for many decades. Absent such an compelling conflict, Britain had no real dog in the fight.

The idea of the CSA issuing its own Emancipation Proclaimation before Lincoln seems so outside the realm of possibility that "iits not even wrong."
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,431
Location
Near Kankakee
I was just thinking of the enormous number if Irishmen in New York and New England. And wouldn't they have loved to see the British Army cross the Canadian border?

Spirit: Many believe that "what ifs" are a waste of time -- that what actually happened is the only goal of history. I find them an amusing game that frequently tickles the curiousity, thereby leading to untapped interests.
Ole
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,431
Location
Near Kankakee
As an Englishman I find the 'What if' the Confederacy succeeded facsinating. What would World Politics today be like? Would we still have had 2 World wars? (Probably but perhaps the World political dynamic would have created alternate alliances?)
I reject the premise. The Confederacy would have come back to the Union. The attitude of the "governing class" would have kept a constant tug toward separation, but the people would have eventually overruled them -- possibly with a civil war within the CSA. In just four years (granted, there was a war going on), that class proved inept in governing. Laws proposed before the shooting started hint that the CSA was quite class conscious and anticipated creating an "aristocracy." I don't believe the yeoman farmer or middle-class would have long put up with that.
Ole
 

MobileBoy

Cadet
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
397
Location
Mobile,Al
It is important to remember that the CSA never had problems with draft riots like the north did.Why in the world would they(the yeomen farmers who did most of the fighting and by the way weren't nearly the living in shacks poor white trash barely surviving they are stereotyped as rejoin the Union).Late in the war once inflation was making it very difficult to obtain food and everyday supplies and the battlefield wasn't going great either the Southern will collapsed.Before those situations occurred only a very tiny minority of Confederates even considered the Union their country still probably less than 10 percent.If you look at enlistment records into both armies from Confederate states it was significantly less than that.Now friends with Britain on the South's side(which of course would include France as Napoleon the third made clear he was willing to back the CSA when Britain did) that situation would never happen.The CSA would be very well supplied.Other than the minimal effect of the few Confederate raiders the Northern economy was booming in the war from what I've ascertained.With the British and French navies it's conceivable that the Union's Atlantic seaboard could be blockaded.The commerce on the Great Lakes could also be severely disrupted and no doubt many of the Northern populace would see war up close and personal on their own territory.That's a lot different having your property seized and or destroyed in some cases than reading about it in the newspaper.Without dominace of the waterways the entire war changes.The Union swift advance using the rivers may or may not have occurred in the West.Certainly a large number of Union troops would have to be stationed along the Canadian border and along the Atlantic seaboard.Those Northern citizens would have to fear war coming to their doors.Britain could have easily bombarded coastal cities.Would the Union have been able to defend California and keep its vast gold?About the Irish they couldn't have kept coming over and enlisting in the Union army with the royal navy preventing their enterance.An effective blockade of the North may have spurred patriotic feeling or it may have swayed the majority of the populace to let the South go.Would it really have been worth all that trouble to everyone to force the Confederacy to be a part of their nation especially in a war that may be a stalemate at best for the Union?I don't think so but of course it's all just an educated guess.Maybe an economist wiser than I can chime in about what effects the British and French navy would've had on Northern shipping and economy.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
29,664
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
MobileBoy,

Sorry, but the Confederate Army had a tough time keeping men in the ranks and had to employ armed men to go get those who had been drafted or who had deserted. In some areas of the South, a recruiting officer took his life in his hands if he went looking for draftees or tried to enlist men for the Confederate cause.

Many civilian authorities pleaded with Richmond to send troops to round up deserters, tories, and others who would not go quitely into that good cause.

And, you can find most of this trouble beginning when the South instituted a draft, before the Union ever did as I am sure you are aware.

Don't focus on one area and you will find both sides had problems and no side was without 'sin.' The idea that every person in the South was solidly behind secession, etc., is one of the biggest myths in the entire war.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Will Posey

Retired User
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
1,207
Location
Knoxville, Tennessee
ole said:
Laws proposed before the shooting started hint that the CSA was quite class conscious and anticipated creating an "aristocracy." I don't believe the yeoman farmer or middle-class would have long put up with that.
Ole
The aristocracy still exists today. It's just a fact of life that the present day middle class puts up with.
 


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top