What was Shelby Foote talking about?

wausaubob

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Here is the little clip in which Mr. Foote spoke about the process of modernization in which the Civil War was embedded:

He made a reference to the Homestead Act, which highlighted the fact that the Midwest, including Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, experienced the Civil War decade as a population boom.
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wausaubob

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The other issue he mentioned were all the marvelous inventions.
Long sections of the Preliminary Report of the 1860 Census discussed the mechanization of grain harvesting. A 10,000 year old process was being altered all around them. Steam power was being applied to the threshing process.
The report can be found here:
 

wausaubob

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Another age old process, stitching and tying fabrics and leather was also being mechanized. The United States wasn't going to win the war because of sewing machines. But the development of these products is a powerful indication of the pace of innovation in the highly, competitive, ruthless capitalism of the United States.
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wausaubob

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Mr. Foote made a reference to crew races in New England among college youths who were not needed for the war effort in 1864. Similarly this note from page 272,
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Demonstrates that life in the Midwest was barely deflected by the Civil War. Agricultural machines and sewing machines drew attention at the State Fairs.
 

wausaubob

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The growth in the Midwest did not occur merely after the Civil War concluded. School censuses taken by the states showed that either the 1860 census had been very poorly conducted, or the region was experiencing rapid population growth:
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Ibid. pp. 272-273
 

wausaubob

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Its my conclusion that in the many years Foote worked on his saga, he read extensively in 19th century newspaper and magazine reports. In his reading he learned what was not visible to most people in the Civil War era, the US was changing rapidly from a set of coastal colonies dependent on trade and shipping, to a continental power, with advanced manufacturing capabilities.
 
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wausaubob

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Steel was also a small industry in 1860:
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See pages cxciii through cxcv, https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1860/manufactures/1860c-05.pdf

But most industrial and railroad people knew steel was the future. It had already been proven to be much more efficient in railroad applications by engineering experiments in England.
This is where steel arrived by 1870:
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See page 625, https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1870/wealth-industry/1870c-28.pdf
And that was just a beginning as shown in this special report on the steel industry in 1880.
https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1880a_v2-16.pdf#[0,{%22name%22:%22FitH%22},805]
 

jcaesar

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Here is the little clip in which Mr. Foote spoke about the process of modernization in which the Civil War was embedded:
Foote is by in large correct when it comes to the issue of a politically independent South.

The North had a virtually inexhaustible supply of raw recruits coming in fresh off the boats. New technologies were being instituted and making waging war easier and easier for the North on an almost month by month basis.

Richmond in refusing the advice of men like Lee, Pemberton, and Colburne until 1865 made their situation far worse by not making accommodation with their slave population giving the North another massive recruiting source.

The 1864 election is sold today as the hinge of fate of history by most popular media where little Mac with a few more votes in November would have given the South a nation. Nobody believed that including the ANV at the time if one reads their letters. The issue came down to an easy peace where the South would have come back into the Union with mild federal pressure for change and no reconstruction as we know it compared with what happened.
 

wausaubob

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Foote is by in large correct when it comes to the issue of a politically independent South.

The North had a virtually inexhaustible supply of raw recruits coming in fresh off the boats. Richmond in refusing the advice of men like Lee, Pemberton, and Colburne until 1865 made their situation far worse by not making accommodation with their slave population giving the North another massive recruiting source.

1864 is sold today as the hinge of fate of history by most popular media where little Mac with a few more votes in November would have given the South a nation. Nobody believed that including the ANV at the time. The issue came down to an easy peace where the South would have come in with mild federal pressure for change and no reconstruction as we know it compared with what happened.
McClellan was not going to agree to permanent separation. He would have offered different terms. But even the US Army would have resisted not granting rights to the USCT by the summer of 1864, and where emancipation had been achieved on the ground, it was going to be very difficult to re-institute chattel slavery.
 

jcaesar

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McClellan was not going to agree to permanent separation. He would have offered different terms. But even the US Army would have resisted not granting rights to the USCT by the summer of 1864, and where emancipation had been achieved on the ground, it was going to be very difficult to re-institute chattel slavery.
I agree, but I can imagine the southern states would have been given a grace period to completely abolish it rather then it fully ending in 1865. Little Mac may want the 13th amendment passed by the end of his term in office, but not at the start and a defeated Lincoln probably wouldn't have had the votes to pass it when he did.

McClellan would want it to look like he with the support of the Southern states ended slavery rather then the North dictated the end to the South, but yes it would have ended not long after the war.
 
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Lubliner

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From the initial outset of the war when the north called upon volunteers, many of the western states exceeded their quotas. Also the conscription process was suspended after the New York riots, wasn't it? I believe he is mentioning the full scale utilization of all societal processes that could have been brought forth if necessary. Meanwhile, the Union had many troops out west guarding against the movements of Indians as the territories were settled during this period. The overall focus is in the east when studying the Civil War, but the whole continental land mass between Canada and Mexico should be looked into more often, just as foreign affairs also had an impact on governmental decisions.
Lubliner.
 

wausaubob

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From the initial outset of the war when the north called upon volunteers, many of the western states exceeded their quotas. Also the conscription process was suspended after the New York riots, wasn't it? I believe he is mentioning the full scale utilization of all societal processes that could have been brought forth if necessary. Meanwhile, the Union had many troops out west guarding against the movements of Indians as the territories were settled during this period. The overall focus is in the east when studying the Civil War, but the whole continental land mass between Canada and Mexico should be looked into more often, just as foreign affairs also had an impact on governmental decisions.
Lubliner.
That wasn't the story the late Mr. Foote wanted to tell, but his summary statement is an indication that he was aware of the bigger picture.
 

wausaubob

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From the initial outset of the war when the north called upon volunteers, many of the western states exceeded their quotas. Also the conscription process was suspended after the New York riots, wasn't it? I believe he is mentioning the full scale utilization of all societal processes that could have been brought forth if necessary. Meanwhile, the Union had many troops out west guarding against the movements of Indians as the territories were settled during this period. The overall focus is in the east when studying the Civil War, but the whole continental land mass between Canada and Mexico should be looked into more often, just as foreign affairs also had an impact on governmental decisions.
Lubliner.
I think the 1860 census was a serious under count in the west, from Texas to Wisconsin. Particularly there were German immigrants in many areas, not yet eligible to vote, and hard to count accurately.
 

Lubliner

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I think the 1860 census was a serious under count in the west, from Texas to Wisconsin. Particularly there were German immigrants in many areas, not yet eligible to vote, and hard to count accurately.
Do you know how these census reports were filled out? I would think the open country would be difficult to include all that settled out on the ranges.
Lubliner.
 

wausaubob

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The thing that the Confederacy was fighting for was an ephemeral gain. The US wasn't going anywhere. And it was going to abolish slavery, and come in line with British policy on that issue. The US was still going to have a surging capitalist economy and a family farm agricultural system. Britain was still going to the dominant economic power until the end of the century.
Foote was talking about the fact that the Civil War did not slow down growth in the US. If anything the amount of work compressed into four short years in railroading, telegraph technology, and iron and steel, demonstrated to the US what it had. Methods that worked were demonstrated. Things that did not work were rejected.
The US got a lot better at war, and still had room for improvement.
 
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