What If... the south had been allowed to secede peacefully?

wausaubob

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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Peaceful secession looks like a possibility when the US has a small army and naval vessels that are dispersed, obsolete or in "ordinary" maintenance and out of service.
As soon as there is a Republican administration, and another competitor is on the continent, the army gets bigger. It pulls out of Texas and it starts buying domestically manufactured weapons. Within months naval expenditures go. Ships are recalled. Maintenance is finished up and new vessels are finished as a full employment measure in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Boston, Portsmouth, ME and even at Ship Island in CA.
There is nothing in US history that suggests the scenario that once the US is more militarized there would have been any restraint exercised, especially in the west.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Once the principal cotton areas of North America are in a separate country, the British accelerate the development of alternative cotton sources, and begin to market something they call "freedom cotton". Within a few years Confederate cotton growers find out that neither the US nor Britain will pay a premium for Confederate cotton. And 1837 over production crisis was certain.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Just saw this on the Home Page of the website today, and wow this is a long thread which I haven't read. But I will stick my neck out now and add my own scenario:

If the North had allowed the peaceful secession of the Confederate states, war would have eventually erupted between them as both Nations expanded West. There would be fighting over the acquisition of the new territories...just like all the prior tensions about whether new states would be slave or free, the Mason-Dixon line, etc. Realizing this fight over the new territories would be inevitable, the North decided to provoke the war via the attempt to re-supply/re-inforce Fort Sumter and thereby defeat the Confederacy immediately rather than allow it to arm itself during the initial "time of peace". The Confederacy was militarily weak when the states seceded, so there was no better time to pick a fight than then. I think that territorial expansion and control of North America was the strategic reason the North provoked the war. If all the territories of the continent had already been divided up, I doubt that the North would have waged a war over slavery. And the South just wanted to be left alone...it had no reason to pick a fight with the industrialized and more heavily populated North. They certainly were not going to fight a war to impose slavery in the North.

If anyone else has posted a similar scenario, I assure you that I have not plagiarized. Now that I have given my theory, I'll go back and read what everyone else had to say … always interesting to read the different perspectives and "learn" (RANT ON: which, in today's highly polarized political environment, is a seemingly rare thing to do :frown:....RANT OFF).
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Just saw this on the Home Page of the website today, and wow this is a long thread which I haven't read. But I will stick my neck out now and add my own scenario:

If the North had allowed the peaceful secession of the Confederate states, war would have eventually erupted between them as both Nations expanded West. There would be fighting over the acquisition of the new territories...just like all the prior tensions about whether new states would be slave or free, the Mason-Dixon line, etc. Realizing this fight over the new territories would be inevitable, the North decided to provoke the war via the attempt to re-supply/re-inforce Fort Sumter and thereby defeat the Confederacy immediately rather than allow it to arm itself during the initial "time of peace". The Confederacy was militarily weak when the states seceded, so there was no better time to pick a fight than then. I think that territorial expansion and control of North America was the strategic reason the North provoked the war. If all the territories of the continent had already been divided up, I doubt that the North would have waged a war over slavery. And the South just wanted to be left alone...it had no reason to pick a fight with the industrialized and more heavily populated North. They certainly were not going to fight a war to impose slavery in the North.

If anyone else has posted a similar scenario, I assure you that I have not plagiarized. Now that I have given my theory, I'll go back and read what everyone else had to say … always interesting to read the different perspectives and "learn" (RANT ON: which, in today's highly polarized political environment, is a seemingly rare thing to do :frown:....RANT OFF).
The real cause was the southernmost 7 states, or rather politicians from those states, wanted to control western expansion. That would keep the demand for slaves high, and sustain the political power of the coerced labor section of the country. The Republicans had seen the three prior compromises extend slavery and increase the intensity of the dispute. The time for further expansion of slavery had passed and most northern Democrats tacitly accepted that was true. The paid labor economy had proven itself and was going to become the national model. Post 273
The Real Cause of the War
If the Missouri compromise, the 1850 compromise, or the Kansas/Nebraska local sovereignty compromise, had held up, there would not have been a Civil War. On the other hand, they both fought the British twice, continually fought the Indians, bought out the French and the Spanish backed by rapid westward expansion, the fillibustered the Mexicans in Texas, and then fought a flagrant imperialist war against Mexico.
So yes, if they weren't US Americans, they would not have fought the Civil War. Nor the Spanish/American war, nor got themselves involved in WWI without the will to impose a real peace.
Territorial disputes almost always led to war.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
I have started reading backwards through the thread, and I see (thread pages 7 and 8) a lot of "war would have occurred due to the expansionist/territorial quests of both the USA and CSA" arguments have already been put forth. A very interesting thread overall, with lots of geo-political analysis thrown in to support viewpoints. Lots more to read still...

How did I miss this thread when it first appeared?....hmmmmmm…….
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I have started reading backwards through the thread, and I see (thread pages 7 and 8) a lot of "war would have occurred due to the expansionist/territorial quests of both the USA and CSA" arguments have already been put forth. A very interesting thread overall, with lots of geo-political analysis thrown in to support viewpoints. Lots more to read still...

How did I miss this thread when it first appeared?....hmmmmmm…….
Not a problem. Avoid unnecessary outings and postpone any trips to the US for 8 months. :us34stars:🇨🇦
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Not a problem. Avoid unnecessary outings and postpone any trips to the US for 8 months. :us34stars:🇨🇦
Haha, ya, not a problem. The border remains closed and likely will for months. Alas, all the Civil War collector shows are in the US so this really, really hurts....I can't even get books shipped from the US!! (many book sellers won't ship to Canada, so I have a US mailbox which I use but I can't even get to that, and the warehouse won't accept any more shipments because Canadians can't pick up their stuff). So, I suppose I have LOTS OF TIME to read every single post from the last decade on the Forum.
 
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