Why would it have been better with a Confederate victory?

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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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To All,

I have read the following two quotes with great interest.

"Memory often takes me back to thos trying days and I fight my battles over and shed my tears in silence over the many dear friends, shattered hopes and cruel misfortunes. The world does not know of what material the Army of General Lee was composed, and I regret to say the generation in the South that has grown up since the ending of that bloody struggle regard it with either indifference or as a fortunate ending. This of course is mortifying indeed to those who struggled so hard and so long for what they knew to be right. Yes, we fought in the conviction that we were defending those inalienable rights guaranteed by our forefathers. I often thin those who now sleep upon far away battlefields are the most blessed, because they never realized the mortification of a subjgated people."

-- 1st Lt. Octavius A. Wiggins, Company E, 37th North Carolina, provided by CSA Today on 'The mortification of a subjugated people' thread, April 14, 2014.

"One thing remains to be said. The world has not stood still in the years since we took up arms for what we deemed our most valuable right - that of self government. We now enjoy the rare privilege of seeing what we fought for in the retrospect. It no longer seems so desirable. It would now prove only a curse. We have good cause to thank God for our escape from it, not alone for our sake, but for that of the whole country and even the world.

Had our cause succeeded, divergent interests must soon have further separated the States into groups, and this continent would have been given over to divided nationalities, each weak and unable to command foreign credit. Since the day of Greece, Confederacies have only held together against foreign enemies, and in times of peace have soon disintegrated. It is surely not necessary to contrast what would have been our prospects as citizens of such States with our condition now as citizens of the strongest, richest, and, strange for us to say who once called ourselves "conquered" and our cause "lost," the freest nation on earth."

-- Edward Porter Alexander, in his introductory to his book, Military Memoirs of a Confederate (1907), contributed by Lnwlf on the 'If the CSA had won the war...would it have mattered?' thread, April 12, 2014.

What appeared immediately to me when viewing these two quotes is that they were bookends, one with a view held directly upon the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865 and the other with an opposing view that seems to have accepted the idea of defeat and even praises the outcome of that defeat.

Which led me to a question for today's forum members.

I have seen on this forum a belief stated from time to time, that a Confederate victory would have been far more desiarble outcome then our present state as a nation.

My question to those who believe such is, why?

What in your view would have been better about our country and our present-day standing and place in the world of today, would be so much better if there had been a Confederate victory that did establish a fully recognized, Confederate States of America? And be specific as you can.

I would also like to see some restraint by those who disagree with this premise as I would really like those who feel such to freely express their views without the usual attack dog response.

Let's find out how others feel things good have been different, especially when I see the two quotes above being so different and opposed to one another with the distance of 42 years between them.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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dvrmte

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I know Porter gave up farming and taught at South Carolina college and then became a railroad executive. Life must've been good for him. He might've been the beneficiary of government insured profits.

What about Wiggins, what did he do for a living?
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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I know Porter gave up farming and taught at South Carolina college and then became a railroad executive. Life must've been good for him. He might've been the beneficiary of government insured profits.

What about Wiggins, what did he do for a living?
dvrmte,

Not the point.

The point is how would it have been better if Porter had been on the winning side and Lt. Wiggins would not have to had all those bitter feelings?

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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James B White

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No one yet? While I don't actually believe things would have necessarily been better with a Confederate victory because I think such "what if" hypotheticals depend on what caused the underlying difference and it's too easy to make assumptions that lead to the conclusion one wants...

This one seems fairly easy to argue for. If a Confederate victory had happened early in the war--or more likely, a stalemate and peace negotiation--it would have prevented all the death and destruction due to the war and prevented a generation of embittered white people from taking out their anger on the blacks in their midst. People have suggested the same thing if there were no World War I--no angry defeated Germany to rise and create World War II: http://www.npr.org/2014/03/11/285915312/a-world-without-wwi-featuring-music-man-lenin-and-herbalist-hitler

The boll weevil, industrialization and overpopulation would have made slavery unprofitable and it would have died out in the south as it did in the north, and the first outside threat (World War II at least if not before) would have pushed the two halves of the country together again.

Again, I don't think that's necessarily what would have happened--there's no way to know--but it's an easy argument to make.
 

CSA Today

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First of all, the question of “Why would it have been better with a Confederate victory” is too speculative with replies likely too based on partisan imaginary foresight to give anything like a rational answer to such a look into the future proposition.

The anti- Confederate and Southerners are too stupid run a country crowd are likely to see near immediate failure and self- destruction. To these people, how could the South possibly exist as a country without the North guiding hand to keep quarrelsome Southerners from turning on each other? Any prognosticator, from this group, knows Southerners really like Northerners better than other Southerners and that Southerners wouldn’t bear to be away from their real friends in the North for long. At the same time, pro Confederate visionaries see a South as the master of its own destiny and far better off as results, but they can only reckon.

Of course we can never do more than guess about what might have been. One can only wonder how much greater Great Britain would be to day had France not intervened in the first war for independence and the rebellious colonial minority been doom to certain failure and the empire remained intact, but that would be as idle a speculation as speculating about the future of an independent Confederate States of America.
 
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godofredus

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No one yet? While I don't actually believe things would have necessarily been better with a Confederate victory because I think such "what if" hypotheticals depend on what caused the underlying difference and it's too easy to make assumptions that lead to the conclusion one wants...

This one seems fairly easy to argue for. If a Confederate victory had happened early in the war--or more likely, a stalemate and peace negotiation--it would have prevented all the death and destruction due to the war and prevented a generation of embittered white people from taking out their anger on the blacks in their midst. People have suggested the same thing if there were no World War I--no angry defeated Germany to rise and create World War II: http://www.npr.org/2014/03/11/285915312/a-world-without-wwi-featuring-music-man-lenin-and-herbalist-hitler

The boll weevil, industrialization and overpopulation would have made slavery unprofitable and it would have died out in the south as it did in the north, and the first outside threat (World War II at least if not before) would have pushed the two halves of the country together again.

Again, I don't think that's necessarily what would have happened--there's no way to know--but it's an easy argument to make.
I have heard those arguments "that slavery would have died out.." so many times without one shred of evidence. What really happened is that the ex-Confederate states replaced slavery with various devices: first, "the Black codes," then vagrancy laws; see:
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas Blackmon and
Worse than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice
by David M. Oshinsky

and, of course, the general rule of Jim Crow....

That there were individuals who escaped from the south and even Blacks who were successful under "white man's country" laws, but they were - on a percentage basis, few.

I could say a lot more about the persistence of bigotry after the Rebellion was crushed but that would expose me to correction by a moderator, so I have learned to contain myself.
 

James B White

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What really happened is that the ex-Confederate states replaced slavery with various devices: first, "the Black codes," then vagrancy laws; see:
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas Blackmon and
Worse than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice
by David M. Oshinsky

and, of course, the general rule of Jim Crow....


The premise, though, is that without the anger of "mortified, subjugated" white men, there would have been less need for southern states to come up with new and interesting ways of keeping black people down, and therefore more of a chance for slavery to end naturally. It's impossible to predict, but it's on a parallel with those who say the loss of World War I was what made Germany angry enough to start World War II.

Of course, one could also argue that without the war, there would have been no chance for black men to prove their worth on the field of battle and therefore earn the support of the federal government.

And the big sticker: Why would the north negotiate a lasting peace, when abolitionists hadn't given up and gone away after any of the temporary compromises in the previous decades? Whatever would have changed to make a lasting peace possible would affect everything else.
 

BillO

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I can't say that the USA would have been better off. Perhaps a good butt whipping early in the empires development might have made them less adventurous. Perhaps it wouldn't have turned into an empire at all. Virginia would have surely been better off and my Mothers family would have been better off. Perhaps if the south had won they might have come up with a better way to free the slaves rather than say "here you go, you're free" and then leave them to compete with no land, no education, no skills and no chance against a bunch of very ****** off battle hardened veterans who just lost a war and most everything they had owned with it.
 
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Barrycdog

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For me I would have prefered parts of North Georgia not been burned but this will delve into modern politics so here we go. Lets look at the Confederate preamble and one little part "invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God". This in my opinion means a lot. We look at their values and compare them today and you see a very different contrast. I think faith is what made our country strong and not necessarily an overbearing Federal Government. I really don't see where any Federal program that has done We the people any good i.e. Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, HUD, immigration etc. etc. The only successful program was Hoover Dam and that was built on the back of hard working Americans. So with that reasoning I think there would have been a more desirable outcome.

I could go into a lot more but I am going to stick with this one. Since we can delve into the Modern. There are all kinds of speculative ideas on how things may have turned out good or bad. I can say today I have zero faith in the Federal Government and the South didn't either.
 

CSA Today

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For me I would have prefered parts of North Georgia not been burned but this will delve into modern politics so here we go. Lets look at the Confederate preamble and one little part "invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God". This in my opinion means a lot. We look at their values and compare them today and you see a very different contrast. I think faith is what made our country strong and not necessarily an overbearing Federal Government. I really don't see where any Federal program that has done We the people any good i.e. Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, HUD, immigration etc. etc. The only successful program was Hoover Dam and that was built on the back of hard working Americans. So with that reasoning I think there would have been a more desirable outcome.

I could go into a lot more but I am going to stick with this one. Since we can delve into the Modern. There are all kinds of speculative ideas on how things may have turned out good or bad. I can say today I have zero faith in the Federal Government and the South didn't either.[/QUOTE]
:thumbsup:
 

NedBaldwin

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Why would you have more faith in the Confederate central government?

For me I would have prefered parts of North Georgia not been burned but this will delve into modern politics so here we go. Lets look at the Confederate preamble and one little part "invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God". This in my opinion means a lot. We look at their values and compare them today and you see a very different contrast. I think faith is what made our country strong and not necessarily an overbearing Federal Government. I really don't see where any Federal program that has done We the people any good i.e. Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, HUD, immigration etc. etc. The only successful program was Hoover Dam and that was built on the back of hard working Americans. So with that reasoning I think there would have been a more desirable outcome.

I could go into a lot more but I am going to stick with this one. Since we can delve into the Modern. There are all kinds of speculative ideas on how things may have turned out good or bad. I can say today I have zero faith in the Federal Government and the South didn't either.
 
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James B White

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For me I would have prefered parts of North Georgia not been burned but this will delve into modern politics so here we go. Lets look at the Confederate preamble and one little part "invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God". This in my opinion means a lot. We look at their values and compare them today and you see a very different contrast.
Do you mean the values of religious people in the Confederate states only, or nationwide? Certainly there were Christians in the antebellum period whom Confederates loathed: northern Methodists, Quakers, etc. One could argue that they seceded in part to get away from the influence of those religious people and their values.
 

Barrycdog

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Do you mean the values of religious people in the Confederate states only, or nationwide? Certainly there were Christians in the antebellum period whom Confederates loathed: northern Methodists, Quakers, etc. One could argue that they seceded in part to get away from the influence of those religious people and their values.
Well, the South did include this in its Constitution. I think the Christian influence in regard to all issues would have been more appropriate to war at any rate. John Brown thought he was a Christian influence. One could argue the South seceded to get away from religious people and their values but that would effectively shoot a hole in a lot of good ole revisionist history so it will never happen.
 

Barrycdog

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Why would you have more faith in the Confederate central government?
One that puts faith in God above all else. Again if you argue that religious people were behind the abolition movement and you argue that John Brown had a Christian influence then you have to consider that that Christian influence would have eventually led to abolition and maybe even a true civil movement. Do you believe the Federal Government can enforce a moral right or at least in their minds? Let see how did that work out, sharecropping, reconstruction, civil rights 100 years later....
 
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NedBaldwin

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... I think the Christian influence in regard to all issues would have been more appropriate to war at any rate. ...
I dont understand this sentence. What do you mean by it?

One could argue the South seceded to get away from religious people and their values but that would effectively shoot a hole in a lot of good ole revisionist history so it will never happen.
Can you explain the underlined part? I dont understand you.
 

James B White

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Well, the South did include this in its Constitution. I think the Christian influence in regard to all issues would have been more appropriate to war at any rate. John Brown thought he was a Christian influence. One could argue the South seceded to get away from religious people and their values but that would effectively shoot a hole in a lot of good ole revisionist history so it will never happen.
I've lost track of which revision of the previous revision is now considered revisionist history.

But considering that most Protestant church members had already devided their religions into northern and southern versions before the war, primarily on the question of slavery, I think one could make a strong case that the southern states seceded to get away from the anti-slavery agitation that came from northern religious crusaders (and of course a few free-thinkers, but they were a tiny minority compared to the anti-slavery religious influence).

But one can't have it both ways. The southern churches were convinced that slavery was approved by God, so religious influence, when applied to the Confederacy, meant influence in support of slavery. If one claims that the religious influence of anti-slavery churches is a good influence, well, that's not the influence of the Almighty God that the Confederate Constitution was referring to.
 
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NedBaldwin

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Again if you argue that religious people were behind the abolition movement and you argue that John Brown had a Christian influence then you have to consider that that Christian influence would have eventually led to abolition and maybe even a true civil movement.
Religious people come in many different forms. Just because one religious person is motivated in one way doesnt mean all religious people would be likewise motivated. Just as there was a religious believe behind the abolition movement so there was religious support for slavery. Religious leaders have used the same religion to preach for war and to preach for peace. So I dont follow your reasoning.


Do you believe the Federal Government can enforce a moral right or at least in their minds?
Enforcement of the law is part of the function of governments, so yes I believe that the government can enforce laws and rights.
 

Barrycdog

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For starters, Lee himself saw slavery as bad
"So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained."

Many people in the South did too. I think that the combined Christian influence would have lead to a better result that what the Federal Government offered.

I cant see how one can make he argument both ways. Either the South left the Union to protect slavery or the South left the Union to escape religious zealots. Considering that if the South won and the victors get to write the hsitory there might have been a different story.
 
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