Discussion The United States was inevitably going to win the war

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wausaubob

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I think most people who had travelled widely in the US knew that the census did not adequately represent the differences in the two sections. The Midwest states were growing so fast the census could barely keep up.
 
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wausaubob

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The outcome of the this particular war, in four years, was contingent. But the demographic force already working in the US was going to produce a world power. And up until 1945, naval power was going to be dominant.
In mid century terms, naval forces cost less, and consumed less manpower. The ships were cleaner and paid more attention to nutrition. In naval battles casualties were measured in dozens, not thousands.
One way or the other, the US northern economy was going to take the part of the south it wanted and move on. The fact that they did it before elevating guns, advanced fire control, telephones and mechanical repeating rifles were perfected, just limited the types of damage that resulted. But the US was going to get to dreadnaughts first, and in all other areas, the US was going to win the arms race.
 

wausaubob

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By July of 1862, the US had the Great West, the Midwest and the NE, as well as most of the Confederate coast. Sooner or later they were going to eliminate the Confederacy as a competitor. Writers in NYC missed it and history was influenced by journalism. But history is informed by the fact that railroad material was shipped to CA while the war was going on. The national railroad was complete just 4 years after the end of the war. Show me a nation that fights a war and grows the population at the same time and lost the war. I sincerely doubt there has ever been a belligerent that was less negatively affected by a war.
 

wausaubob

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The actual war was unlikely. The more likely outcome was the US fortifying the rivers it controlled, and the VA and NC coasts and agreeing to an armistice until it was sufficiently strong to crush the Confederacy.
 
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Scottie1968

The Mimes Just Can’t Stay Away
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Oct 14, 2019
The Confederates would have needed outside help from the British. In order for that to happen the British would have had to go up against their own former citizens from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, that had moved to the US. And they would have had to disrupt the investments of their own citizens in the US and British North America. It was far easier to just move cotton production/ i.e., exploitation of to India, which helped the economy there.
 

wausaubob

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Nothing is "inevitable" in war. History is filled with examples of conflicts between a weak adversary and one with far superior military and economic might, conflicts won by the 'underdog'.
The events of the war were contingent, and the US might have been forced into an armistice for some period. But the dominance of the US at sea, on the Mississippi and in the far west point to the same conclusion. The US was drawing on near unlimited strength. The land battles of the east were hotly contested, and mostly won by the Confederates. But the fiscal stimulus of the war, and the monetary stimulus of the $400M in paper money, produced a boom economy, with steady work for whomever wanted to work. There is a reason the letters back to Britain and the continent encouraged friends and families to come over and take a chance on the US, by 1863.
 
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wausaubob

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By the time the preliminary report on the census was published in May of 1862, the facts showed the US was dominant. Reports from New Orleans, from the coastal enclaves and from the far west took time to filter back to NYC and the public, but history has no excuse not to see the US had what it wanted by the first week of June 1862.
The fact is that that not only was the Midwest dominant over the southwest in a static snapshot, but the dynamic process creating Illinois and the four state area bounded by Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, was so powerful, that within a few years it would have been able to to crush the south.
The events of the war were contingent, but in the end, in one round or another, the US was going to win.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
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Jul 8, 2015
The basic fact is illustrated in page xvii of the 1860 census report. An immigrant society, like that which existed in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, had a huge preponderance of military age men. https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1860/population/1860a-02.pdf?#
The Confederate political victory of establishing their insurgent nation, and winning the great battles of 1862, slowed immigration in 1861, and 1862, but by 1863, immigration resumed at a normal level and accelerated. https://books.google.com/books?id=cMosAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=statistical+review+of+immigration+1820+to+1910&source=bl&ots=rvZQWiEa3V&sig=x6gyC29Suf_zk6sWzDXKzOC-egQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjQj7eEv8jeAhXoy4MKHQCDDO4Q6AEwCXoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=statistical review of immigration 1820 to 1910&f=false
The United States was drawing on a virtually unlimited manpower pool reaching through Canada, back to Britain, Germany and Scandinavia.
This impacted the early part of the war, when Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa were able to invade and overwhelm the Confederates in the Border States.

But the other factor that made the outcome inevitable was the vast majority of naval and marine merchant capacity was in the northern states. As page 107 of the preliminary report of the 1860 census recorded, https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1860/preliminary-report/1860e-06.pdf?#, this advantage was studiously published to the world in May 1862. Prof. Gallagher noted that there were three ship yards in the south, in Pensacola, a private yard in New Orleans, in Norfolk. There was also a closed shipyard in Memphis, as noted by Bern Anderson. By the first week of June 1862, the US occupied all these places.
What the US administration never admitted, was the concepts of the original blockade plan were never abandoned. Every effort would be made to tighten the blockade, to prevent the Confederates from building ships that could break the blockade, and to make whatever concessions were required by Britain, to keep the English from interfering with the blockade.
And the two factors worked together. Due to immigration, in New York harbor and on the interior rivers, the US had unlimited naval manpower, both for the fighting vessels, and for the transports and colliers that kept the system running.
There was nothing the Confederates could do about these two factors. Even an armistice would not have ended immigration. It continued as the war progressed. So eventually the Northeast, Midwest and Great West would overwhelm the Confederacy.
And with respect to naval power, despite their powerful forts, ironclads and ingenious mines, the US navy had 670 vessels by January 1865. Thus the last and decisive fight of the war, was the combined arms effort to capture Fort Fisher outside of Wilmington, NC. The modern features of this battle, with its amphibious landings and tremendous bombardment, were beyond anything the US could do in 1865.
All the war did was demonstrate, that due to naval power, and rapidly increasing population, the US was an emerging world power.
The maritime power in your argument in unconvincing. The South really relied on some sort of British support to win its independence. It did not necessarily need the English to participate in the land war, but Bitish recognition of the Confederacy and some limited application of its maritime power would have solved all of the South's maritime problems overnight. When the rebs lost the possibility of British intervention they lost the war.
 
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wausaubob

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The entire period in which the British could have intervened, the US and British diplomats were negotiating a landmark treaty that would allow Britian to inspect US vessels suspected in being engaged in the slave trade. By the time that treaty was approved, the US was a few weeks away from capturing New Orleans and Memphis.
 

wausaubob

Major
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The real contingency was that US politicians would declare the war won in December of 1863. With control of the west, of Arkansas, Tennessee and the Mississippi River, the US would just fortify what they had, and return to railroad building and western expansion. By 1870, Minnesota, Iowa, no. Missouri and Kansas would begin to fill up and Nebraska would be added. The western territories would be connected by rail and steamboat traffic. https://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0029/tab13.html
By 1870 the two surviving components of the Confederacy would be swamped by northern population growth.
Immigration was rapidly changing the balance of power. Refining, steel, and the coming of automatic coupler and air brakes for railroads, were going to restructure time. And by December 1863 the US had control of prime cotton areas, in which 99 year leases could be enforced on absent land owners.
 
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wausaubob

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wausaubob

Major
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Location
Denver, CO
The disparity between the sections was much greater than depicted by the census report. The static picture of the census agreed with the election results showing about a 2:1 preponderance of population between the north and the south. But the census also depicted that the northern states of the west were growing explosively.
1581338996658.png
 
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wausaubob

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The first consequence was that the border areas connected to the Midwest, w. Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, were certain to stay in the US. The voting results from the 1860 election had already shown that opinion in these states was deeply divided. The US regiments that enterred these areas, or prepared to enter these areas, had a core of support to work with to retain control.
 

wausaubob

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Once the US had control of the Ohio River and St. Louis, they had control the existing ship building capacity.
1581340054822.png

On the Atlantic coast it was Portsmouth, ME, Boston, Brooklyn and Philadelphia. On the rivers, it was Pittsburgh, Cincinnati/Covington, Louisville and St. Louis. And it was ship building, not ship ownership that mattered most. Because steam power was working a rapid change in warships. And all ships needed repeated re conditioning.
Based on these two factors, the border areas and naval power, the chance of a short war, featuring a small number of big killing battles, was almost nothing.
 
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