Why America Needs a New Civil War Documentary

unionblue

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I disagree.

Surprise! :smile:

The United States would certainly have continued to exist and thrive.

A man who looses his legs in an auto accident may continue to exist and perhaps even thrive, but he would in no way be the man he once was. Neither would the United States.

This idea that a successful secession by the southern states would have destroyed the republic is unsupported by the facts.

And I see no facts that support the theory the "United States would certainly have continued to exist and thrive."

Now the United States would not have been the same as it was before the war,

Ah! Uncertainty in the face of the unknown, an idea we seem to share on this topic.

certainly, but there was no avoiding that either way.
All we are left with is the results of history.

The Confederacy was destroyed, the United States was preserved, slavery was abolished and we still struggle with the results of that history, as one nation and one people.

Unionblue
 
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And I see no facts that support the theory the "United States would certainly have continued to exist and thrive."
They won the war without any need for allies, all the while taking in immigrants and expanding westward. They were not a country on the edge of the precipice, even while fighting a war. They were a growing, thriving country during all four years in contrast to the CS with its depletion of men and resources over time. So what exactly was supposed to destroy the US and "prove" that it could not work? The system and philosophy said to undergird the US worked just fine.

There's your evidence.
 

WJC

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They won the war without any need for allies, all the while taking in immigrants and expanding westward. They were not a country on the edge of the precipice, even while fighting a war. They were a growing, thriving country during all four years in contrast to the CS with its depletion of men and resources over time. So what exactly was supposed to destroy the US and "prove" that it could not work? The system and philosophy said to undergird the US worked just fine.

There's your evidence.
The point often made is not the one you attempt here: it is the effect that unilateral secession would have as a precedent. If states were permitted to withdraw from the Union whenever their politicians disagreed with the results of a national election, or some Federal policy, how long until other states would secede? Any stability that our government would have would be destroyed in a literal balkanization.
Had the United States lost, it might have survived as a smaller Union for a few years, but only until the next real or manufactured crisis.
We can and should salute the courage and persistence of those who fought for the so-called 'Confederate States', but we ought all be thankful that they lost.
 

unionblue

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They won the war without any need for allies, all the while taking in immigrants and expanding westward. They were not a country on the edge of the precipice, even while fighting a war. They were a growing, thriving country during all four years in contrast to the CS with its depletion of men and resources over time. So what exactly was supposed to destroy the US and "prove" that it could not work? The system and philosophy said to undergird the US worked just fine.

There's your evidence.
Nope, there's your opinion based mainly on facts AFTER the Civil War. All the points you name are in fact, reasons why the North/Union/US won the war.

Now consider a successful secession. Consider that the concept of secession is now an accepted fact, What keeps California in the Union? The West in the Union? The Morman's in the Union? Why invest effort, muscle and sweat into a failed idea? A country that cannot even maintain itself?

Again, you are projecting your own opinions on what you feel might have happened.

The truth is all we are left with is the actual, historical events.

Unionblue
 

Potomac Pride

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I disagree. The United States would certainly have continued to exist and thrive. This idea that a successful secession by the southern states would have destroyed the republic is unsupported by the facts. Now the United States would not have been the same as it was before the war, certainly, but there was no avoiding that either way.
You make a good point in your post. I think the USA would have been able to survive if the southern states had successfully withdrawn from the Union. However, Lincoln believed that secession would ruin the republic and its democratic principles. He considered secession to be a form of anarchy that violated the Constitution.
 
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Secession certainly shook the United States. The possibility that the US would go on without the cotton states was seriously considered.
But within 1 year, the border states and western Virginia, declined to secede, or secede from secession. By February 1862 the US navy was deployed on the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi. What wasn't obvious during the secessionist winter, was much clearer in early 1862. The main asset of the secessionist states was not the cotton south nor the old south. It was all the undeveloped territory on the southern frontier.
The US after the end of the Civil War did not confiscate any property or control the south. But they definitely did not allow the Confederates to have their own foreign policy.
The Confederacy was a threat, but it was not an asset. The US had a largess of undeveloped land that was ripe for business.
 
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The point often made is not the one you attempt here: it is the effect that unilateral secession would have as a precedent. If states were permitted to withdraw from the Union whenever their politicians disagreed with the results of a national election, or some Federal policy, how long until other states would secede? Any stability that our government would have would be destroyed in a literal balkanization.
Had the United States lost, it might have survived as a smaller Union for a few years, but only until the next real or manufactured crisis.
We can and should salute the courage and persistence of those who fought for the so-called 'Confederate States', but we ought all be thankful that they lost.
Pray tell, what crisis of serious magnitude sprang up that could have lead to more states withdrawing for a northern Union? I have seen that argument presented here before without any substance other than mere speculation.
 
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Nope, there's your opinion based mainly on facts AFTER the Civil War.
I specifically cite events taking place DURING the war as part of my argument.

All the points you name are in fact, reasons why the North/Union/US won the war.
Yes. Because the war did not significantly weaken the United States.

Now consider a successful secession. Consider that the concept of secession is now an accepted fact,
A secession won either through military loss or some sort of negotiated settlement is not something the United States is going to sit back and allow to happen again. Steps will be taken to prevent any future occurrence. And why would all those people who pulled together to try and win the war suddenly decide to all go in different directions? The country is more homogenous politically after this theoretical loss, not less.

What keeps California in the Union? The West in the Union? The Morman's in the Union? Why invest effort, muscle and sweat into a failed idea? A country that cannot even maintain itself?
I would make the argument that a country built on consent of the governed, that had to resort to military conquest of eleven states to keep them a part of itself, has already failed badly on some level to maintain itself based on original principles.

Again, you are projecting your own opinions on what you feel might have happened.
So are you. The idea that the US would have balkanized after a loss is as theoretical as my scenario.
 

O' Be Joyful

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Pray tell, what crisis of serious magnitude sprang up that could have lead to more states withdrawing for a northern Union? I have seen that argument presented here before without any substance other than mere speculation.

Since the "subject" became moot--with the defeat of the so-called Confederacy--there are no so-called examples to be found.

Thank God.
 
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The idea that the US had to be a complete, as it was, one large republic is beyond ludicrous to me. This land mass could easily have been split into several smaller republics and been entirely successful. The Lincolnian ultra nationalist view certainly is ingrained deeply into some on here. The US would have survived, be it 50, 35, or even 20 states. Look around the world and you will see smaller republic's that are entirely successful.
 

unionblue

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The idea that the US had to be a complete, as it was, one large republic is beyond ludicrous to me. This land mass could easily have been split into several smaller republics and been entirely successful. The Lincolnian ultra nationalist view certainly is ingrained deeply into some on here. The US would have survived, be it 50, 35, or even 20 states. Look around the world and you will see smaller republic's that are entirely successful.
But not the same as a United States.
 
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They won the war without any need for allies, all the while taking in immigrants and expanding westward. They were not a country on the edge of the precipice, even while fighting a war. They were a growing, thriving country during all four years in contrast to the CS with its depletion of men and resources over time. So what exactly was supposed to destroy the US and "prove" that it could not work? The system and philosophy said to undergird the US worked just fine.

There's your evidence.
I agree with @Andersonh1. The standard story is correct, that the US was badly shaken by secession, at first. The 1860 generation had not been tested, and they did not know their strength. After several dark months of worrying about permanent division, and about British intervention, and the French getting back into North America, the people of the US realized that large portions what had been the south, were uninterested in secession. It also became clear that most of the west controlled by Republicans. California and Oregon could be convinced with a federal railroad project, no matter how slim the chances of completion appeared at first.
By March and April of 1862, with Congress still in session, the Republicans enacted most of their program.
The new narrative would lie in the asymmetry of the results. The United States was getting stronger, and the British were watching what they feared most: a continental competitor in North America.
In the Confederacy, especially on the western frontier, and in those parts of the Appalachians in which few people owned slaves, people co-operated with the Confederates out of necessity, but dropped out of the war when federal authority came near.
 
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The new narrative would be that when slavery fell apart in Missouri and Maryland, was abolished in DC, and West Virginia was coerced into adopting a plan for abolition, there wasn't much time left for slavery in the 12 states including Kentucky, in which it was still a working system.
Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia paid a horrific price for the Civil War. The loss of human life in North Carolina and Alabama was inexcusable. But Texas, Arkansas and Missouri boomed after the Civil War. Texas was made for railroads, and by 1880 they had a network.
 

WJC

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what crisis of serious magnitude sprang up that could have lead to more states withdrawing
Thanks for your response.
None, probably because unilateral secession was shown not to be a wise course of action and failed to succeed. But the point was not what has happened since the 1860/61 secession crisis. It is about what might have happened had unilateral secession been successful.
 

archieclement

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But not the same as a United States.
Odd if we were United and held together by mutual feelings or purpose.......there would have been no civil war. Coercion isn't really united.........

If as some have suggested if states were free to go, some might even today........it's the threat of coercion even today that prevents it, not some spirit of united.
 
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This view ignores the fact that there was very nearly military conflict over South Carolina's nullification of the tariff in 1832. South Carolina was ready to secede in 1850. In both cases, only a political compromise prevented an outcome that finally happened in 1860-61. This idea that all was smooth sailing until Lincoln was elected is simply false.


It is worse than false, it is IGNORING history, Ignoring facts, and spinning history.

Just as so many, for so long, attempted to ignore Northern Slavery, but now historians are taking note cause IT (Northern Slavery) has been brought out of the "hiding". Along with many other "hidden" twinkling stars.

Perhaps, all those "hiding" twinkling stars will now be included in the new unbiased War Between the States documentary.

Respectfully,
William

One Nation,
Two countries
Confed-American Flag - Thumbnail.jpg
 

Malingerer

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I don't support the continued denial of the primary cause they themselves considered to be the most important and I don't accept continued, almost desperate attempts, to find out-of-context quotes to deny that primary cause.

Taken in total, and full context, we are left with slavery as the Primary cause of the war. No other complaint or excuse comes close to causing a civil war.
I had a history professor give us an analogy of the secessionist apologist argument that went something like this: imagine a physically abused wife telling her story to a judge - "my husband nearly beat me to death multiple times during the last five years. Also, he often leaves the toilet seat up". To which the defense council (the southern apologist in our analogy) cries "aha! so its more complicated than a little roughhousing among adults". To which the judge replies: "sigh....".
 



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