The trade deficit was made up by foreign earnings of the merchant fleet. The US had a big advantage in building wooden sailing and steamships. Those earnings made up most of the difference and the rest was evened out by foreign investors who needed US currencies to buy bonds and stocks.I been telling you advocates for the Confederacy that it had everything to do with the Monroe Doctrine for months.
The rest of your post is a theory but the evidence clearly shows it was merely a theory that never materialized. Had the South imported from abroad as much as the North and West, there could have been no sensible reason for such a detour: Southern ships could trade directly to Europe. But direct trade with Europe was not possible. The greater part of goods imported into the South originated from the West, not from Europe. Although the South depended upon Europe as well as the North for manufactured goods, its imports from Europe were smaller in value than imports into the North and West and smaller in bulk than the staples it exported. Thus, if the ships carrying cotton had sailed from Southern ports direct to Europe and back, they would have had to return in ballast. New York and New England's domination of the Southern market was therefore not accidental(Genovese, Eugene. The Political Economy of Slavery. Rev. Ed. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1989).
The South also had little hope of increasing European imports to balance the trade to make it possible to trade directly with Europe. The reason for the inability to raise imports is the same reason for the South's limited industry: restricted Southern demand. The Southern cotton, iron, paper, wool, and railroad industries struggled because there was a low level of Southern patronage: the opinion of the editor of the Southern Agriculturalist in 1828, that the South lacked sufficient customers to sustain a high level of manufacturing, echoed throughout the antebellum period. Small demand therefore not only crippled the South's economy by hindering manufacturing and industrialization, but also by forcing foreign trade to be conducted through the North because direct trade was rendered severely unprofitable(Genovese, Eugene. The Political Economy of Slavery. Rev. Ed. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1989).
So what that the south exported the majority of exports, the US had a closed economy. Those exports were only 5% of the GDP.
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The U.S. was in a trade deficit when the south was exporting that 80% of exports and when tariffs were low. From 1800-1870, the United States ran a trade deficit for all but three years and the trade balance averaged about –2.2 percent of GDP. Then from 1870-1970, it ran persistent trade surpluses that averaged about 1.1 percent of GDP when tariffs were "supposedly" high.
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You have it backward, the south was not simply important enough to break off from the north. The south was periphery region, nothing more and the consequences would have been beyond disastrous for them if secession was given. I think after all the data produced in this thread that if secession was allowed it would have been the south that faltered way before the north.
Your disastrous theory was already debunked anyway when Lincoln implemented an income tax to pay for the war. This is significant in regards to you thinking some tariffs and cotton exports revenue was so vital to the United States of America's existence.
Economics 101: tariff, income tax and excise tax all accrue government revenue. Historical statistics from the U.S. Bureau of the Census records show that in the 1850s the annual tariff revenue collected was $40-$50 million, which equated to 1.5% of GDP(U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics, Series U-210). But you don't think the government could have collected $50 million in taxes to replace the tariff revenue?
Losing cotton revenues would have put a strain on the US economy, but it would have easily been replaced. Taxation is taxation no matter how you look at it.