Why "the South" did not get a railroad to the Pacific

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wausaubob

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Three state delegations, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois were pretty set on the central route. And the central route would reach Sacramento.
So that route probably had the support of California and Oregon as well.
 

wausaubob

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Railroads depend on passengers and mail. Freight has to enough value per lb to worth shipping. And if there is more efficient means of transportation, such as using steamboats to transport cotton, railroads do not automatically take that freight. Thus the low population density south was not natural railroad country. Not all railroads make money. And those that did make money connected large cities to other large cities. The owners of those railroads, and their investors, had the most influence on the route selection.
 

wausaubob

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The mining camps of Nevada drew road builders in the Sierras looking for a wagon route over the mountains. It was this detailed work, available to either railroad planners or road builders that created momentum in California. A road on that route could generate some revenue in California and Nevada as it extended its roads and built the early sections.
 
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wausaubob

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The very low population density of Texas worked against building railroads there. And the British were hesitant about investing in a slave economy which the perceived as inherently revolutionary and unstable.
 

James Lutzweiler

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Yet according to Freehling, that is exactly what they did.
A now land-rich South understandably put lower priority on the acquisition of California and Cuba, both lush but neither located on a slaveholder's porous border. The higher priority involved consolidation of the vulnerable Border South.​
<William W. Freehling, The Reintegration of American History: Slavery and the Civil War. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 170.>
Thank you for this informative and specific citation. I strongly disagree with Freehling's "lower priority" in re: California. I cannot speak with respect to Cuba. I think the documentary evidence from 1845-1860 shows that the interest of the South at no time diminished but in fact expanded, as all Americans, North and South, learned more and more about the value of California. I have absolutely no doubt that some young scholar with the interest in doing so could graph this interest in compelling detail.

In short, Freehling is simply wrong. Evidence? Look in his writings for any mention of Southern interest in China. If you find any, please advise. Freehling is barely aware of the PRS; and his references to De Bow are unbelievably few. How is one to understand Southern interest in CA without reference to these sources --to say nothing of Confederate actions in the far West in 1861-62? No, Dr. Freehling is simply wrong.

But I thank you again for familiarizing me with this viewpoint of his. Very interesting. Very revealing. But all truth will not died with this fine historian.

James
 

uaskme

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British invested in Southern Railroads built with Slavery. Brits were Yankee Like. The Negro was no obstacle when it came to Making Money. South could of shipped Cotton, which they were already doing. Traded Slaves using the RR, which they were already doing. And most of all Direct Traded with Europe. This would of allowed the South to Nation Build. Spread influence to the Western States and Northern Mexico. Control Commerce between Europe and Asia. Would of been a game changer.

For evidence of the Lower South Direct Trading with Europe, we know during the Secessionist Winter they did. Eliminating Yankee Imports and Tariff collections. Lincoln couldn’t pay the bills with his reduced revenues. Lower South, was doing just fine, without the Yankee. The Reason Lincoln started his War.
 
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WJC

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I strongly disagree with Freehling's "lower priority" in re: California.
Thanks for your response,
I believe what is being missed is that many of the benefits of a TRR along the southern route required immense investment with no immediate return. Political action, such as stopping the escape of slaves, offered immediate returns for very little investment.
 

uaskme

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Thanks for your response,
I believe what is being missed is that many of the benefits of a TRR along the southern route required immense investment with no immediate return. Political action, such as stopping the escape of slaves, offered immediate returns for very little investment.
The Border South's far greater willingness to bend northward received another statistical illustration in the House vote on the North's greatest gain: free California. In the evenly divided Senate, northern victory on California had required at least one southern abstention. In the northern-dominated House, no Southerner had to endorse the victors' spoils. Still, 64% of border congressmen voted to admit California as a free state. Only 27% of the Middle South's representatives and 2% of the Lower South's concurred. pp509

Examining southern motivation for the Fugitive Slave Law requires precision about which Southerners are being analyzed. The question is not why the South demanded. With pressure for a new fugitive law, as with most everything, no South existed. On this peculiar occasion, the usually most intransigent South was the least demanding. In the Congress of 1850, Deep South senators emphasized that this "useless" bill measured up dismally against proposed northern gains. Only a thousand or so fugitives a year successfully escaped to the North, and those mostly from the Border South. A new law, like the old edict, might not stem the small hemorrage at the fringes. James Mason's bill, declared United States Senator David Yulee of Florida, was unenforceable in the North and worthy of "little interest." We in the Deep South, added Henry Foote of Mississippi, are not so "interested in this matter as are those slave sates which border on the free states." pp502-503

When voting time on the Pratt Amendment came, almost half the northern senators abstained on the war within the South. The other half of Yankees abstentions gave southern senators ability to pass Pratt's bounty in the Senate, assuming they voted strongly enough together. The Upper South rallied 6-3 for Pratt. The Lower South turned him down 8-4. With fugitive slaves, as with Henry Clay's initial package, Deep South senators stood guard against all hints of Conditional Termination. pp505

Above passages from Freehlings The Road to Disunion. There was a heated debate on the FSL. As we can see, the Lower South did not Concede to a Free California. Most wanted the 36-30 Line extended. FSL was vastly more important to the Border South than to the Lower. Long way from Montgomery to the Ohio River. Expansion was more important to the Lower South. Many in the Upper South was against it. All of this happened in 1850. At the beginning of this thread. Alaska posted a map about RR construction. It Exploded in the 50s. Gadsden Purchase was in 1854. This was not a static situation.

Attributing trading the TRR for the FSL is a huge back flip, limbo dance and case of amnesia.
 

CSA Today

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I am sorry, but I cannot agree with you on this. Southerners repeatedly demonstrated they had no problem at all taking Federal money and help as long as it went to them -- but were very opposed to letting it go to someone else.

On the drift away after 1855 -- that is what happened. Certainly Secretary of War Davis and Gadsden were working together on the southern RR route in 1853: that is before 1855 and tells us nothing about what happened after 1855. Once "the South" has thrown their support to Douglas in order to get "Popular Sovereignty" into the Nebraska Act, the "southern route" is dead. Davis is no longer pushing for it; others move on as well.
You would think the South wasn't paying into the Federal kitty. Southerners were getting sick and tired of paying for Northern internal improvement and getting little back in return.
 
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trice

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You would think the South wasn't paying into the Federal kitty. Southerners were getting sick and tired of paying for Northern internal improvement and getting little back in return.
Well, that is simply not so. Almost all US revenue was collected north of the Potomac River (over 60%of the tariff was collected in New York City alone). I have never seen anyone claiming what you are claiming who had any facts to support their claim. Do you have any actual data to share on US revenue from "the South"?

On internal improvements -- many Southerners loved them when they benefited "the South". They had no problem at all with decades of the Federal government spending large piles of money on flood control projects along the Mississippi -- and yet another survey of the river was just completing at the end of 1860, about to make recommendations for yet another round of flood control projects that the Federal government would be paying for. There is also the boondoggle building of 2 naval yards on the Mississippi that the US Navy did not want in the 1840s (New Orleans for $100,000 and Memphis for over a million). The biggest, most expensive single asset the US government had was constructed in Virginia (seized by the Virginian militia at the start of the war). The entire American System of internal improvements was generally a creation of Henry Clay of Kentucky. John Calhoun of South Carolina was a supporter early on. "The South" had no problem at all supporting the land-grants that financed the Mobile & Ohio RR (passed in 1848).

"The South" favored spending that helped them. They opposed spending that favored someone else.
 

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Well, that is simply not so. Almost all US revenue was collected north of the Potomac River (over 60%of the tariff was collected in New York City alone). I have never seen anyone claiming what you are claiming who had any facts to support their claim. Do you have any actual data to share on US revenue from "the South"?

On internal improvements -- many Southerners loved them when they benefited "the South". They had no problem at all with decades of the Federal government spending large piles of money on flood control projects along the Mississippi -- and yet another survey of the river was just completing at the end of 1860, about to make recommendations for yet another round of flood control projects that the Federal government would be paying for. There is also the boondoggle building of 2 naval yards on the Mississippi that the US Navy did not want in the 1840s (New Orleans for $100,000 and Memphis for over a million). The biggest, most expensive single asset the US government had was constructed in Virginia (seized by the Virginian militia at the start of the war). The entire American System of internal improvements was generally a creation of Henry Clay of Kentucky. John Calhoun of South Carolina was a supporter early on. "The South" had no problem at all supporting the land-grants that financed the Mobile & Ohio RR (passed in 1848).

"The South" favored spending that helped them. They opposed spending that favored someone else.
Most US revenue came from tariffs on exports, the biggest export in 1860 was Southern raised cotton.
 

trice

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Most US revenue came from tariffs on exports, the biggest export in 1860 was Southern raised cotton.
This is completely false. It is illegal under the Constitution ("No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.") to place any tax/tariff on exports. The Supreme Court has tossed out any attempt to get around this prohibition in the history of the country.
 
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John Fenton

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Three state delegations, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois were pretty set on the central route. And the central route would reach Sacramento.
So that route probably had the support of California and Oregon as well.
Yes, and the route was started from the California end with private funding.
 
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CSA Today

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There were no export tariffs as they are explicitly unconstitutional. Federal revenue came from two sources: land sales and import tariffs.

Ryan
My mistake, my mind apparently wandered off for a moment. The source below better explains Southern resentment.

"As early as the Revolutionary War, the South primarily produced cotton, rice, sugar, indigo and tobacco. The North purchased these raw materials and turned them into manufactured goods. By 1828, foreign manufactured goods faced high import taxes. Foreign raw materials, however, were free of tariffs.

Thus the domestic manufacturing industries of the North benefited twice, once as the producers enjoying the protection of high manufacturing tariffs and once as consumers with a free raw materials market. The raw materials industries of the South were left to struggle against foreign competition.

Because manufactured goods were not produced in the South, they had to either be imported or shipped down from the North. Either way, a large expense, be it shipping fees or the federal tariff, was added to the price of manufactured goods only for Southerners. Because importation was often cheaper than shipping from the North, the South paid most of the federal tariffs.

Much of the tariff revenue collected from Southern consumers was used to build railroads and canals in the North. Between 1830 and 1850, 30,000 miles of track was laid. At its best, these tracks benefited the North. Much of it had no economic effect at all. Many of the schemes to lay track were simply a way to get government subsidies. Fraud and corruption were rampant.

With most of the tariff revenue collected in the South and then spent in the North, the South rightly felt exploited. At the time, 90% of the federal government’s annual revenue came from these taxes on imports.”

https://www.marottaonmoney.com/protective-tariffs-the-primary-cause-of-the-civil-war/
 

rpkennedy

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My mistake, my mind apparently wandered off for a moment. The source below better explains Southern resentment.

"As early as the Revolutionary War, the South primarily produced cotton, rice, sugar, indigo and tobacco. The North purchased these raw materials and turned them into manufactured goods. By 1828, foreign manufactured goods faced high import taxes. Foreign raw materials, however, were free of tariffs.

Thus the domestic manufacturing industries of the North benefited twice, once as the producers enjoying the protection of high manufacturing tariffs and once as consumers with a free raw materials market. The raw materials industries of the South were left to struggle against foreign competition.

Because manufactured goods were not produced in the South, they had to either be imported or shipped down from the North. Either way, a large expense, be it shipping fees or the federal tariff, was added to the price of manufactured goods only for Southerners. Because importation was often cheaper than shipping from the North, the South paid most of the federal tariffs.

Much of the tariff revenue collected from Southern consumers was used to build railroads and canals in the North. Between 1830 and 1850, 30,000 miles of track was laid. At its best, these tracks benefited the North. Much of it had no economic effect at all. Many of the schemes to lay track were simply a way to get government subsidies. Fraud and corruption were rampant.

With most of the tariff revenue collected in the South and then spent in the North, the South rightly felt exploited. At the time, 90% of the federal government’s annual revenue came from these taxes on imports.”

https://www.marottaonmoney.com/protective-tariffs-the-primary-cause-of-the-civil-war/
That source ignores the tariffs on Southern raw materials such as rice, indigo, and sugar which were not exported but consumed domestically, almost exclusively. These tariffs were absolutely protective.

In addition, that source states that most of the tariff revenue was collected in the South which is absolutely untrue based on data illustrated on this side repeatedly. By the late 1850s, more than 50% of the tariff was collected in New York City alone with just over 90% collected in Northern ports. Outside of New Orleans, all other Southern ports collected less than 5% of the revenue.

Ryan
 

CSA Today

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That source ignores the tariffs on Southern raw materials such as rice, indigo, and sugar which were not exported but consumed domestically, almost exclusively. These tariffs were absolutely protective.

In addition, that source states that most of the tariff revenue was collected in the South which is absolutely untrue based on data illustrated on this side repeatedly. By the late 1850s, more than 50% of the tariff was collected in New York City alone with just over 90% collected in Northern ports. Outside of New Orleans, all other Southern ports collected less than 5% of the revenue.

Ryan
If that is true and the North was getting most of the money from tariffs that would explain Southern resentment.
 
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John Fenton

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My mistake, my mind apparently wandered off for a moment. The source below better explains Southern resentment.

"As early as the Revolutionary War, the South primarily produced cotton, rice, sugar, indigo and tobacco. The North purchased these raw materials and turned them into manufactured goods. By 1828, foreign manufactured goods faced high import taxes. Foreign raw materials, however, were free of tariffs.

Thus the domestic manufacturing industries of the North benefited twice, once as the producers enjoying the protection of high manufacturing tariffs and once as consumers with a free raw materials market. The raw materials industries of the South were left to struggle against foreign competition.

Because manufactured goods were not produced in the South, they had to either be imported or shipped down from the North. Either way, a large expense, be it shipping fees or the federal tariff, was added to the price of manufactured goods only for Southerners. Because importation was often cheaper than shipping from the North, the South paid most of the federal tariffs.

Much of the tariff revenue collected from Southern consumers was used to build railroads and canals in the North. Between 1830 and 1850, 30,000 miles of track was laid. At its best, these tracks benefited the North. Much of it had no economic effect at all. Many of the schemes to lay track were simply a way to get government subsidies. Fraud and corruption were rampant.

With most of the tariff revenue collected in the South and then spent in the North, the South rightly felt exploited. At the time, 90% of the federal government’s annual revenue came from these taxes on imports.”

https://www.marottaonmoney.com/protective-tariffs-the-primary-cause-of-the-civil-war/
This article is full of revisionist lies and even uses Jefferson Davis’s book for a guide.
David john Marrota is a financial and investment planner with no evidence of historical , much less civil war, knowledge. I have no idea who Meagan Russell is , maybe his secretary ?
The article and it’s sources and supporting documents have no validity. It not evident that they did any research but got their information from biased revisionists as fact and with no independent corroboration.
 
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