Why didn't the South Wait?

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wausaubob

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The Confederacy could not wait because the surge towards secession was likely to recede. The US needed to mobilize even if there was going to be separation. Lincoln maximized his chance that the shooting would start in SC, rather then in Texas, St. Louis or Harper's Ferry.
 

wausaubob

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People want to argue about the first shot and all of that. But once 14 southern Senators did not show up for duty, the Morrill Land Grant College Act, the Homestead Act, the initial TCC railroad bill, the first national banking reform, abolition of slavery in DC, the inactivation and repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act, were going to be enacted. Within a year of their absence, the Republicans were going to create a political revolution.
 

Rhea Cole

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The thing missing from this discussion, it seems to me is 1875. Had the southern states seceded, they would have been governed by a backward looking pseudo-aristocratic minority of slave holders. Electricity, telephones, the full throated power of the industrial resolution would have passed them by like cars passing cows chewing their cud in a field. If like their soul mate the Kaiser, they were true to character & provoked a war with the U.S., it would be a slaughter, a genuine scraping out the rind slaughter. By then South Carolina would have been 85 percent slave, sweet Jesus, the self-liberating people would have their master's guts for garters... something they would richly deserve.

If you think this is not a certainty, remember Napoleon's regiments fate in Haiti.
 
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wausaubob

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If there had been an 8 year delay, the war would have started with the US having ironclads everywhere. The assembly of magazine rifles with interchangeable parts would have been very advance in Connecticut. Some would have figured out how to keep Gatlings device from jamming and how to pump water through a cooling mechanism.
Nebraska would have been admitted by then and Pittsburg would have put most other iron producers out of business as it transitioned to steel.
By 1868 there would have been field telegraph systems available for artillery spotters.
Gunboats would have figured out a mechanical means of elevating the guns.
 

wausaubob

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But, as cited above, the biggest risk of even a short period separation, was the US military would stop viewing the Confederates as their former countrymen. Though the risk that the enslaved would lose patience and rise up in servile inserection, was not minimal.
 

wausaubob

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If the war had been delayed, the US would have been much better prepared. Arsenals in the south would have been filled with outdated weapons.
 
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Rhea Cole

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If the war had been delayed, the US would have been much better prepared. Arsenals in the south would have been filled with outdated weapons.
You certainly have raised valid points. It is useful to add what the South Carolina slaveholders were worried about. They explicitly raises the spector of demographic oblivion. As they so pithily put it, the black race was the most productive in the world, within a short period of time the white population of South Carolina would be about 10 percent. At that point, it was both feared & predicted that the white population would go the way of the French in Haiti.

That hellish nightmare is what was repeated over & over as the motivation for going to war early rather than later. It was also why they had made every effort to purchase, annex or just plain invade Cuba. The filibusterers, the Gray Eyed Man of Destiny & all the rest of the adventurers whose goal was the Slave Empire of the Caribbean were a vital part of that goal. Slaveholding territory would extend from Delaware right down to the Amazon valley, thus guaranteeing that God's true order for mankind would be maintained for a thousand years. (When I read too much of that stuff, my sentences take on an unstoppable moment.) Step one was secession; step two was Cuba; step three was the entire coast from Texas to Brazil. Gotta had it to them, those boys thought big... There was an emperor in Brazil, whoah, wouldn't that be cool?
 
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