Political Parties of an Independent CSA

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#1
The Confederate government, despite its brief existence, still managed to divide itself over some important political issues. There was never time for true political parties to emerge, but but in the latter half of the war, it could be said that there were "pro-" and "anti-Davis" factions in response to Davis' "abuses" of power. There was also much disagreement over what form the future Confederate supreme court.

However, what form could Confederate politics and the court system have taken had the Confederacy survived? Let's say the war ends in late 62-early 63 with European mediation just to get the ball rolling (Davis hasn't had to interfere as much as did, debt hasn't started to skyrocket as much as it would).
 

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BlueandGrayl

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#2
The Confederate government, despite its brief existence, still managed to divide itself over some important political issues. There was never time for true political parties to emerge, but but in the latter half of the war, it could be said that there were "pro-" and "anti-Davis" factions in response to Davis' "abuses" of power. There was also much disagreement over what form the future Confederate supreme court.

However, what form could Confederate politics and the court system have taken had the Confederacy survived? Let's say the war ends in late 62-early 63 with European mediation just to get the ball rolling (Davis hasn't had to interfere as much as did, debt hasn't started to skyrocket as much as it would).
So we're assuming no Lost Order and much more successful counter offensives in the East (Maryland-Pennsylvania) and West (Kentucky/Tennessee-Mississippi) occur thus leading to Confederate independence.

Pro- and Anti-Davis factions could be part of the template for political parties in the CSA to occur you had your Democrats (which Southerners belonged to), you had your Whigs, you had your Constitutional Unionists turned secessionists, and you had your Fire-Eaters. Plus given the class differences that existed in the Confederacy I think they would also provide a model for Confederate political parties to form: one that represents the white collar business/planter elite and middle classes and the other that represents blue collar small farmers, immigrants (in certain places), and whites of lesser classes thrown with maybe some colored/non-white support.
 
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#3
So we're assuming no Lost Order and much more successful counter offensives in the East (Maryland-Pennsylvania) and West (Kentucky/Tennessee-Mississippi) occur thus leading to Confederate independence.

Pro- and Anti-Davis factions could be part of the template for political parties in the CSA to occur you had your Democrats (which Southerners belonged to), you had your Whigs, you had your Constitutional Unionists turned secessionists, and you had your Fire-Eaters. Plus given the class differences that existed in the Confederacy I think they would also provide a model for Confederate political parties to form: one that represents the white collar business/planter elite and middle classes and the other that represents blue collar small farmers, immigrants (in certain places), and whites of lesser classes thrown with maybe some colored/non-white support.
This was pretty much my thinking - your "planter party" will probably be the ones making noises about Cuba and the Caribbean, which the moderates will have to swear up and down that's not the case if/when they try to get some kind of alliance out of Britain/France. On the subject of alliances, France seems more likely than Britain, and Brazil could be worth a shot.
 

BlueandGrayl

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#4
This was pretty much my thinking - your "planter party" will probably be the ones making noises about Cuba and the Caribbean, which the moderates will have to swear up and down that's not the case if/when they try to get some kind of alliance out of Britain/France. On the subject of alliances, France seems more likely than Britain, and Brazil could be worth a shot.
Wow, thanks.
 
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#5
Hmmm, I think the main reason for "pro-Davis" and "anti-Davis" factions was mainly because the C.S.A. was facing an existential crisis at its birth on the losing side with many former U.S. politicians being at its helm. That being said I'd bet those two factions would evaporate in the face of Confederate victory in the War.

As far as political parties forming in an independent C.S.A. I'm not sure it would have happened, and that if it did, it wouldn't be until say WW1. If we look at how political parties formed in the early days of the good ole U.S.A. the forming of them was seemingly driven by cultural differences more than anything else. The Federalists were strong in the North mainly around urban areas, and a lot of rural ones, and Democratic-Republicans of Thomas Jefferson in the South. The Federalists were driven by the concept, (and I'm oversimplifying all this), by the principle of a strong central government to strengthen the U.S. to survive, and the Democratic-Republicans were formed out of a strong belief the Federalists would make the U.S. an over-bearing monarchy, (not sure that was justified), and were champions of limited government, with powerful State's Rights over the Federal Government being one of the main planks.
Looking back at how the fear of reverting back to what had existed before, the cultural and economic distrust between North and South, and the same distrust between rural and urban areas as well, one can say a similar but not identical situation could have existed in an independent C.S.A., but the C.S.A. would be starting out with a government unlike the U.S. one, being more what can be described as in-between the U.S. Articles of Confederation and U.S. Constitution in power, rather than a carbon copy of either. Before the U.S. Constitution was signed there were no political parties, the central government wasn't powerful enough to warrant their formation, BUT there were factions, usually political alliances between State governments against the others. I think something similar would have happened in the C.S.A.

In the hypothetically independent C.S.A. I don' think the central government would have been powerful enough for some time to bring about the catastrophe of political parties upon it, but they probably would have started to form in the aftermath of the WW1 era, as I think the times would driven many to the belief that a stronger central government for the C.S.A. was needed. Before that one would definitely political factions, my bet is that they would change frequently, but I think they would have mainly been sticking together and their reasons simply changing. My bet on factions would be:
Faction 1: Virginia, North Carolina, and if it was a member of the C.S.A., Kentucky
Faction 2: South Carolina
Faction 3: Georgia, Florida, Alabama
Faction 4: Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas
And if the C.S.A. "won" it, the Indian Nations probably would have aligned with Faction 4, but been more of an "associate" as I doubt they would be a State, or States.

As for how I came to that conclusion of those States being in such factions with each other, its cultural, and economic, those two factors would have been the catalyst for it, similar to the U.S. and the States mentioned would have tied to one another by those things through roughly similar culture, and economic ties probably dependent on railroads and ports for goods more than anything, and they probably would not get along with other "factions".
As for their ability to work together, I think Factions 1 and 2 would stick together, but not be the same for, reasons, and I personally think they would have instigated a Confederate Civil War. By that I mean them trying to gain a firm hand over the other States/Factions in way of them being the center of power in a more powerful C.S. central government, and I think that would have happened before the end of the 1870's after Southern cotton lost it economic dominance, which was inevitable. In a Confederate Civil War I think Factions 3 and 4 would have stuck together and I think they would have won, after that I think steps would have been taken to make sure it never happened again, probably through a Constitutional Amendment or two, (and I also suspect slavery would have issue in the affair, and would probably come to an end afterwards as I think it would be more of a hindrance to the C.S.A. by that time), and after a terrible war for independence in the 1860's and a terrible civil war in the late 1870's the C.S.A. would probably be in bad shape.

After that I suspect the issue of re-unification with the U.S. could come up as an issue between the Factions, but whether or not it would succeed would depend on the actions of the U.S. during a Confederate Civil War. If they sat back, and did nothing, re-unification would be possible, if the U.S. backed a side, it would depend on which side they backed, and if was winner or loser. But if the U.S. worked behind the scenes to encourage the civil war, and took advantage of it to "occupy" areas of the C.S.A. or try a full on invasion, it would have united both side together against the U.S. and made the U.S.A. and C.S.A very bitter enemies from then on, with re-unification never being an issue for the political factions of the C.S.A.

After such happenings the political factions of the C.S.A. would have probably would have constantly bickered with one another, and rattle sabers when ever an important issue came up, mainly because the economy of the C.S.A. would be in a major slump after two factitious wars in less than twenty years. But that would probably change big time in the late 1890's and early 1900's after a certain oily discovery in Texas, and the discovery of the resources availability in other areas of the Deep South, and seeing how Factions 3 and 4 would already be the political powerhouse of the C.S.A. after a hypothetical Confederate Civil War, I imagine peace and harmony for all factions would follow, as disagreements tend to come from stagnation, and harmony comes from mutual benefit. After the discovery of oil the States of Faction 1 and 2 and some of Faction 3, they probably would have turned to small quality industrialization as their economic "cash crop" and together with oil in other areas would have led to some harmony as while different, the various cultures of the South are similar, and when there's mutual benefit the need for political factions, or full on divisive political parties would have been unnecessary. Now when WW1 comes along I've no idea on what would have happened there, and I think any hypothetical scenario on the subject can be accurate in any degree, as the variables after when the world went mad are an unknown.

Sorry my hypothesis is so long, hope y'all make it through all of it.
 
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Mortari

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#6
I think you'd end up kinda like early US politics with a federalist and an anti-federalist party. With Jefferson Davis on the Federalist end though with a better name which doesn't sound so centralized. Remember the Confederacy wasn't a small government. They were actually 70,000 strong at the federal level (not including military) which made them larger than the US gov't at the time. Created a new national currency, taxes, the first conscription law in North America. A lot in the South were unhappy about that.


Now it would be a 6 year term, a single term. I like the thought of Joseph E Brown in there on that states rights anti-federalist party. He was a big supporter of states rights and I had they won I think he would have remained critical but without the rebellion parts. He would be young. 46 years old but that's the same age as Grant when he was elected.

With Davis out then Stephens maybe or Forrest (No idea here his political aspirations, just thinking of who might resonate a-la Grant in the US). Lee would have been 60, a few years before his death and while his health may have been holding at that point, from what I've read of his letters to his wife, he was planning on settling down after the war. Benjamin was the wrong race (even if he would have been the Sec of War through the end). I could see a 3rd candidate or party for a while until things shook out. Maybe the last hurrah of the fire eaters trying to maintain some political power. Rhett or Wigfall. Maybe even Miles being who they got behind. Young but could see his fame with the flag being what they use to try and garner votes knowing a conventional choice wouldn't carry.

Then I think down the line there starts to gain some traction with maybe not an anti-slavery party, but an indentured servitude, 2nd class citizen, apartheid style party. Maybe not until mechanical cotton pickers are in widespread use (1940's) maybe a tad earlier. Which pushes a civil rights party way way back but I think when that's finally accepted then comes a reunification party possibly. Of course we'd be talking over 130 years of separation at that point, so my guess is that split is pretty solid by then (Figure it's been 70 years since the Phillippines have been an American territory, and how close do we view them today as former Americans)


So my guess for the 3 candidates are:

Joseph E Brown (states rights anti-federalist)
Stephens or Forrest (federalist but with a more moderate name)
William Miles (fire eaters)
 

BlueandGrayl

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#7
I think you'd end up kinda like early US politics with a federalist and an anti-federalist party. With Jefferson Davis on the Federalist end though with a better name which doesn't sound so centralized. Remember the Confederacy wasn't a small government. They were actually 70,000 strong at the federal level (not including military) which made them larger than the US gov't at the time. Created a new national currency, taxes, the first conscription law in North America. A lot in the South were unhappy about that.


Now it would be a 6 year term, a single term. I like the thought of Joseph E Brown in there on that states rights anti-federalist party. He was a big supporter of states rights and I had they won I think he would have remained critical but without the rebellion parts. He would be young. 46 years old but that's the same age as Grant when he was elected.

With Davis out then Stephens maybe or Forrest (No idea here his political aspirations, just thinking of who might resonate a-la Grant in the US). Lee would have been 60, a few years before his death and while his health may have been holding at that point, from what I've read of his letters to his wife, he was planning on settling down after the war. Benjamin was the wrong race (even if he would have been the Sec of War through the end). I could see a 3rd candidate or party for a while until things shook out. Maybe the last hurrah of the fire eaters trying to maintain some political power. Rhett or Wigfall. Maybe even Miles being who they got behind. Young but could see his fame with the flag being what they use to try and garner votes knowing a conventional choice wouldn't carry.

Then I think down the line there starts to gain some traction with maybe not an anti-slavery party, but an indentured servitude, 2nd class citizen, apartheid style party. Maybe not until mechanical cotton pickers are in widespread use (1940's) maybe a tad earlier. Which pushes a civil rights party way way back but I think when that's finally accepted then comes a reunification party possibly. Of course we'd be talking over 130 years of separation at that point, so my guess is that split is pretty solid by then (Figure it's been 70 years since the Phillippines have been an American territory, and how close do we view them today as former Americans)


So my guess for the 3 candidates are:

Joseph E Brown (states rights anti-federalist)
Stephens or Forrest (federalist but with a more moderate name)
William Miles (fire eaters)
What about Zebulon Vance(cool name by the way) he was quite popular in his home state of North Carolina and was a states' rights guy there's also Robert Barnwell Rhett (a ardent Fire-Eater), Louis Wigfall, and Joseph Gallatin Brown.
 

Mortari

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#8
What about Zebulon Vance(cool name by the way) he was quite popular in his home state of North Carolina and was a states' rights guy there's also Robert Barnwell Rhett (a ardent Fire-Eater), Louis Wigfall, and Joseph Gallatin Brown.
Some good candidates as well. Rhett and to a lesser extent Brown and Wigfall I think all kind of fell away once the gears of secession were turning. I'll be honest my knowledge of Vance isn't great, but at 37 years old, I think he would have been a bit young to run at the time.
 
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#9
Some good candidates as well. Rhett and to a lesser extent Brown and Wigfall I think all kind of fell away once the gears of secession were turning. I'll be honest my knowledge of Vance isn't great, but at 37 years old, I think he would have been a bit young to run at the time.
Alexander H. Stephens and Robert Toombs could also join a states' rights party. Getting a general of some kind of war hero to run would probably be a good move. The moderates will likely have John C. Breckinridge, Judah P. Benjamin, and Clement Claiborne Clay in their ranks.
 

Mortari

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#10
Alexander H. Stephens and Robert Toombs could also join a states' rights party. Getting a general of some kind of war hero to run would probably be a good move. The moderates will likely have John C. Breckinridge, Judah P. Benjamin, and Clement Claiborne Clay in their ranks.
I don't think Benjamin would have been possible with his race. Not for a position like President. Just my thought.
 
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#12
Does anyone have thoughts on how the Confederate Supreme Court would function? Even though judicial review had been established for over half a century, many Southerners had a problem with the principle, and didn't want any CS Supreme Court using it. I'm thinking that some kind of compromise could probably be worked out, whereby the Court has the power to strike down state laws, but a majority of the representatives of all the states must approve it?
 

CSA Today

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#13
The Confederate government, despite its brief existence, still managed to divide itself over some important political issues. There was never time for true political parties to emerge, but but in the latter half of the war, it could be said that there were "pro-" and "anti-Davis" factions in response to Davis' "abuses" of power. There was also much disagreement over what form the future Confederate supreme court.

However, what form could Confederate politics and the court system have taken had the Confederacy survived? Let's say the war ends in late 62-early 63 with European mediation just to get the ball rolling (Davis hasn't had to interfere as much as did, debt hasn't started to skyrocket as much as it would).
North Carolina had the Conservative Party (anti-Davis) and the Confederate Party (Pro-Davis). Wartime Governor Zebulon B. Vance was elected in 1862 on the Conservative Party ticket and in 1864 on the Confederate Party ticket.
 
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#14
North Carolina had the Conservative Party (anti-Davis) and the Confederate Party (Pro-Davis). Wartime Governor Zebulon B. Vance was elected in 1862 on the Conservative Party ticket and in 1864 on the Confederate Party ticket.
Do you know, was this because identity with the CSA hardened during the war and the Conservative Party largely declined as a sense of national unity developed or did Vance switch parties for other reasons?
 

CSA Today

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#15
Do you know, was this because identity with the CSA hardened during the war and the Conservative Party largely declined as a sense of national unity developed or did Vance switch parties for other reasons?
It had a lot to do William W. Holden a one-time political ally, but as Vance grew more pro-government Holden grew more critical. The last straw was when Holden advocated that North Carolina make a separate peace treaty with the United States. This was too much for Vance. Holden ran against him in 1864 on the Conservative Party ticket and was trounced at the polls by Vance running on the Confederate Part ticket. In the election of 1864. Holden was supported by only the most radical wing of the Conservative Party, he carried only two of North Carolina's then 86 counties. The civilian vote was Vance – 44,856, Holden -- 12,847. The soldier vote was Vance -13,209, Holden – 1,824.

Hugh T. Lefler and Albert R. Newsome, Noth Carolina, The History of a Southern State, p.447.
 

BlueandGrayl

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#16
It had a lot to do William W. Holden a one-time political ally, but as Vance grew more pro-government Holden grew more critical. The last straw was when Holden advocated that North Carolina make a separate peace treaty with the United States. This was too much for Vance. Holden ran against him in 1864 on the Conservative Party ticket and was trounced at the polls by Vance running on the Confederate Part ticket. In the election of 1864. Holden was supported by only the most radical wing of the Conservative Party, he carried only two of North Carolina's then 86 counties. The civilian vote was Vance – 44,856, Holden -- 12,847. The soldier vote was Vance -13,209, Holden – 1,824.

Hugh T. Lefler and Albert R. Newsome, Noth Carolina, The History of a Southern State, p.447.
Given your mention of Zebulon Vance (cool name by the way) and the Conservative and Confederate Party perhaps it could serve as the basis of a two-party Confederate political system.
 
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#17
Interesting, as I understood it, Zeb Vance was highly critical of Davis' use of executive power. In the series of events described here, no one will be advocating a separate peace with the Union, so I'd expect Vance to run on an anti-Davis ticket.
 
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CSA Today

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#18
Interesting, as I understood it, Zeb Vance was highly critical of Davis' use of executive power. In the series of events described here, no one will be advocating a separate peace with the Union, so I'd expect Vance to run on an anti-Davis ticket.
Vance main gripes against Richmond was opposition to the conscription act as a Conservative in 1862, that too many North Carolina, or predominately North Carolina brigades were led by men from outside the state, and that the government wasn't doing enough to defend coastal areas under attack by the enemy. Vance didn't oppose peace negotiations with the United States as long as it was done by the Confederate government and not by a local politician running for state office.
 
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#19
The Confederate government, despite its brief existence, still managed to divide itself over some important political issues. There was never time for true political parties to emerge, but but in the latter half of the war, it could be said that there were "pro-" and "anti-Davis" factions in response to Davis' "abuses" of power. There was also much disagreement over what form the future Confederate supreme court.

However, what form could Confederate politics and the court system have taken had the Confederacy survived? Let's say the war ends in late 62-early 63 with European mediation just to get the ball rolling (Davis hasn't had to interfere as much as did, debt hasn't started to skyrocket as much as it would).
Wouldn't the Confederacy have political parties similar to Apartheid era South Africa from 1910 to 1992?
After all South Africa was as close in similarity to the Confederacy has any as ever been.
Leftyhunter
 

BlueandGrayl

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#20
Wouldn't the Confederacy have political parties similar to Apartheid era South Africa from 1910 to 1992?
After all South Africa was as close in similarity to the Confederacy has any as ever been.
Leftyhunter
The thing is apartheid and slavery are two different things. Although I don't support either system there is a distinct difference apartheid is simply segregating people but not putting them in bondage while slavery is permantely putting someone in forced servitude.
 



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