Would the USA be better off to have let the Confederate states go peaceably ?

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thomas aagaard

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The North would not just leave the South alone because it was simply too important to be allowed to withdraw from the Union. The North would have lost valuable territory and resources if the South had seceded. First of all, the South contained valuable government property that would have been lost such as forts, arsenals, U.S. mints, custom houses, ship yards and other assets. In addition, the North would have lost the tax revenues generated in the South through the collection of the federal tariff which was an important source of funding for the federal government..
The army deployed in Texas cost more each year than the total number of $ Collected in the south as Tariffs.
Then add the expenses for other facilities in the south.

For the federal government, "owning the south" was bad for the federal economy,
 
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uaskme

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I would suggest reading other books besides O'Riley's, perhaps the book, Battle Cry of Freedom, by James McPherson, an actual history of the Civil War vice an attempt to just to sell a book for big bucks.

Frederick Douglass encouraged black enlistments wanting blacks to support the Union, but mostly to earn their own freedom and improve their lot with whites in the North and the entire nation. While true for a time, blacks were paid less than white troops, but this was corrected and blacks who had been underpaid received back wages from when they enlisted to make up the difference.

But to get back to the point, no, the United States of America would NOT be better off to have let the Confederate states go peaceably. It would have wrecked the idea that free men could govern themselves in a peaceful setting, confirmed the idea that there could be property in men, and confirmed the idea that men must be ruled be a king or wealthy class of aristocrats who would guide there every move and keep power for themselves.

The Confederacy is where it belongs.

On the ash heap of history.

Unionblue
So, you don't think McPhearson made money on his Book? And didn't have a Particular Audience in mind, when he wrote his Books? Had to, Let Em Up Easy on Lincoln!
 

uaskme

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I won't address each point: I'll leave those for others.
However, I must to remind everyone that, as discussed many times elsewhere, the majority of the tariff proceeds were collected in northern ports. The argument can be made that the South was the region that benefited most from tariff revenues.
View attachment 315345
<Andy Hall, "Visualizing Tariff Revenues", Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog. February 26, 2013. https://deadconfederates.com/2013/02/26/visualizing-tariff-revenues/>
Collected in Northern Ports, added to the price of the product, just like excise taxes, and passed on to the consumer. Northern Produced Products that were protected were Inflated. So those Revenues would of stayed, where that item was Manufactured. Boosting the Economy where the Manufactured Operated. Which was in the North.
 

WJC

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Thanks for your comments but your statistics do not actually reflect where the demand for the imported goods originated. Imported goods that arrived at ports of entry in the U.S. were then shipped to various locations around the country including the southern states. Just because the tariff was collected in the north doesn't indicate the final destination for a particular imported item.
Thanks for your response.
The chart was intended to address your assertion that had secession succeeded, "the North would have lost the tax revenues generated in the South through the collection of the federal tariff". It clearly shows that the revenues collected through tariffs overwhelmingly originated in Northern and Western ports, which would have continued to be a part of any surviving Union.
 
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WJC

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Collected in Northern Ports, added to the price of the product, just like excise taxes, and passed on to the consumer. Northern Produced Products that were protected were Inflated. So those Revenues would of stayed, where that item was Manufactured. Boosting the Economy where the Manufactured Operated. Which was in the North.
Thanks for your response.
Certainly, had secession succeeded, all revenues collected by the U. S. would have remained in the United States. Tariffs always impact the consumer: that would not have changed, nor is that part of the argument that has been made.
Others have asserted that the Southern States, rather than0" not getting their fair share", actually benefited disproportionally from the Federal tariff revenue. I will only suggest that any impact of the loss of tariff revenue collected in Southern ports on the States of the surviving Union would have been minor.
 

WJC

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As I remember the timeline . . . the seceding states formed the Confederacy and then seized federal assets. So, I think that it was more about establishing national sovereignty than some sly way of declaring war.
I suggest you look into the extent of the insurrection against the United States prior to the February 1861 'founding' of the so-called 'Confederate States'. For starters, see Dayton Pryor, The Beginning and the End: The Civil War Story of Federal Surrenders Before Fort Sumter and Confederate Surrenders After Appomattox. (Berwyn Heights, MD: Heritage Books, 2002).
 

Potomac Pride

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Thanks for your response.
The chart was intended to address your assertion that had secession succeeded, "the North would have lost the tax revenues generated in the South through the collection of the federal tariff". It clearly shows that the revenues collected through tariffs overwhelmingly originated in Northern and Western ports, which would have continued to be a part of any surviving Union.
There is no way to measure precisely the amount of tariff revenues that were generated by the Northern states because there were no statistics that were kept at that time on the final destination of dutiable products. Imported goods that arrived at northern ports could have ended up in certain southern states where the demand for them originated.
 
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WJC

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There is no way to measure precisely the amount of tariff revenues that were generated by the Northern states because there were no statistics that were kept at that time on the final destination of dutiable products. Imported goods that arrived at northern ports could have ended up in certain southern states where the demand for them originated.
Thanks for your response.
Where the products ended up has no bearing on the tariff revenues generated.
 

WJC

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"Let the South go! Where then shall we get our revenue?" - Abraham Lincoln
This 'quote' has been largely debunked. Nowhere in Lincoln's notes or letters is it mentioned. It appears in the memoirs of Raphael Semmes, who was not present, writing seven years later. According to Semmes, when asked, "why not let the South go?" Lincoln replied, "Let the South go! Where then shall we get our revenue?" <Raphael Semmes, Memoirs of Service Afloat, During the War Between the States. (Baltimore, MD: Kelly Piet & Co. 1868), p. 59.>
It may have originated from a statement attributed to Lincoln in the April 23, 1861, Daily Exchange. Reverend Fuller, of the YMCA, met with Lincoln in Washington to urge him to "pass no more troops through Maryland" and "to use his efforts to restore peace".
Mr. Lincoln replied that, mathematically speaking, the troops could not crawl under Maryland, nor could they fly over it, and consequently they would have to come through it. If he was to follow the advice of Dr. Fuller, he would have no Government at all. France and England would recognize the Southern Confederacy, and his revenues would be broken up, and the government would be worth nothing​
<The Daily Exchange, Baltimore, Tuesday, April 23, 1861.https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83009573/1861-04-23/ed-1/seq-1.pdf >
 

leftyhunter

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You mean that the southerners paid a lot of taxes and also higher costs for imported good because of high tariffs to benefit manufacturers in the NE whereas the colonists had free access to the largest and most developed market in the world but objected to making a contribution to their own defence.:wink:

Seriously the the rebellions were vastly different in a number of ways but the key factor is that one set of rebels, heavily backed by foreign powers, won whereas the other because they lacked that support were ultimately defeated.
Actually tariffs were at a historic low prior to Ft.Sumter. Not one of our posters who make's the argument that tariffs caused the ACW can post a source that shows how much money the average Southern white family paid for tariffs. Keeping in mind in the antebellum US there were no sales or income taxes.
Not one of our posters can articulate what imported item was so vital to the well being of Southern whites that it was worth fighting for.
Leftyhunter
 
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Andersonh1

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This 'quote' has been largely debunked.
I'd say it has been questioned, but not debunked. It apparently originated with Colonel John Baldwin, a member of the Virginia convention who met with Lincoln on April 4, 1861. Lincoln has also been quoted as wording it this way: "“Well…what about the revenue? What would I do about the collection of duties.” Lincoln was very concerned about the loss of revenue every day that the South was out of the Union.

He also made much the same statement later on when meeting with A. H. Stuart, also a convention member in a second meeting.
“I remember,” says Mr. Stuart, “that he used this homely expression: ‘If I do that, what will become of my revenue? I might as well shut up housekeeping at once.’​

He apparently also said much the same thing in a third meeting with a Dr. Richard Fuller, a Baptist Preacher from Baltimore. Three different meetings, three different men all indicate that Lincoln was concerned about the revenue if he let the South go peacefully.

John Tyler's son Lyon Tyler was aware of all three meetings, and wrote this:
…the deciding factor with him (Lincoln) was the tariff question. In three separate interviews, he asked what would become of his revenue if he allowed the government at Montgomery to go on with their ten percent tariff… Final action was taken when nine governors of high tariff states waited upon Lincoln and offered him men and supplies.​
 

steve59p

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The Revolution of 1776 is often given as an excuse for the Southern slaveholding states rebellion, as if the two were the same, instead of being totally different. No representation in in English government was a primary complaint of American colonists, while the slaveholding South had full representation in the federal government. The right of trial was denied in many cases to the American colonies, while the slaveholding South had access to the courts.

I could go on, but suffice it to say, what caused the American Revolution and the Rebellion of the Southern slaveholding states couldn't have been more differnet in their causes.

Unionblue
Sorry to raise this after a delay but I seemed to have missed out on several pages of debate for some reason.

It was a complaint in that it was an excuse for paying no taxes to contribute towards the colonies defences. However its extremely doubtful that the rebels were serious about the issue because the flip side of this would have been that having representation in Parliament like the people in the British Isles would have meant paying taxes on the same level as they did. Not the small contribution that London was asking for. Its a pity Parliament never called the rebels bluff on this because then the same people who were rioting and attacking loyalists, sometimes brutally would have very likely turned on the rebel leaders.:wink:

I know there's a common myth that Britain sought to tax the colonies heavily but it simply isn't true. Even through with the power of US influence its often believed around the world, including by many people in Britain.:mad:
 

steve59p

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Virginia and all others followed slavery into war. Your opinion on what you think the States were entitled to is just that...your opinion.

Kevin Dally
You do realise this is factually inaccurate. As the previous poster pointed out the last 4 states to leave did so because they disagreed with Lincoln's decision. That you wish to believe that their decision was based on slavery is your opinion but in defiance of the facts so carries little weight.
 
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steve59p

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I fail to see how amputation helps a man become better at a particular job or skill. No matter how well he will do at adapting to the loss of a limb, he will always wish he had that leg, that arm, that hand, back and be whole once more.

It is the same with a nation, Fragment it, tear it in two, chop off a portion of it, and it will never, ever, be the same.

It would have been the same for the United States, although I know there are some here who claim the United States would have still existed, though just merely reduced in territory. That is a false premise, in my own view. I think the idea of a United States, a nation run by the people, free and independent, would have been utterly destroyed and erased from any significant political and social history. It would have shown the idea to be weak, fragile, and an utter failure. It would have been an encouragement to kings and despots everywhere that individuals cannot rule themselves.

Sorry, but the concept of a Confederacy leaving peacefully is wrong on two very important counts.

1. The Confederacy did NOT leave peacefully.
2. It would have destroyed the idea, the hope, of people governing themselves.

Unionblue
UB

I'm afraid your taking such an extreme stance on American exceptionalism it make it difficult to take your arguments seriously. A peaceful secession, if it had occurred wouldn't have destroyed the union, unless the remaining members of the union decided it should. Even if that had happen, say some sort of military coup which is extremely unlikely with a peaceful separation as the union would have had virtually no army to impose such a rule, the world would have lost one example of a [for the time] reasonably democratic and liberal state but there were plenty of other areas of progress and reform in the world.

I think more likely, if some peaceful secession had been arranged would have been that the union would have simply passed new regulations, either for any change of secession, by any means to be forbidden as the hard liners are suggesting or formally set rules for such an option but probably with a hell of a lot of loops to jump through.

Steve
 

steve59p

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What would exist would be better. The problem with the CW and the treatment of ex-slaves is that the Abolitionists never followed through. By the time the war was over and Reconstruction is about to begin, Northerners and Abolitionists were sick of war, taxes and sick of the South.

Had the South won or been allowed to go peacefully, there would have been a different resolution for the ex-slaves. Many would have been re-settled out west or overseas. Southerners would have had a vested interest in helping to succeed those ex-slaves who did remain in the South.

Instead, in 1865, four million ex-slaves were simply cut loose to wander. This led to their manipulation by Carpetbaggers and exploitation by ex-plantation owners. It also led to Jim Crow laws and the discrimination which forced blacks to flee the South searching for work. That created the northern ghettos we see today.
JW

I think your vasting over-estimating how rosy it would have been for blacks in the south without the war. Apart from the fact that many northerners wouldn't want many escaping from the south I can't see the southern establishment allowing either that or even rights for blacks as that would have undermined their entire legal and social/economic system.

Slavery would almost certainly have died but it would be likely to be a long and grisely period for those poor people enslaved. Plus their not likely to have much opportunities in the south after slavery does end.
 

Andersonh1

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Actually tariffs were at a historic low prior to Ft.Sumter.
That was the exception, not the rule. Again, it wasn't just the immediate political environment in 1860 that was the problem, it was four decades of political conflict that had reached the breaking point. The tariff may or may not have been at its lowest point, but it had been painfully high before, and would be again, and they all knew it, especially as the northern numerical majority continued to grow and the south had less and less ability to prevent laws that favored the north and hurt them.
 
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Potomac Pride

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Actually tariffs were at a historic low prior to Ft.Sumter. Not one of our posters who make's the argument that tariffs caused the ACW can post a source that shows how much money the average Southern white family paid for tariffs. Keeping in mind in the antebellum US there were no sales or income taxes.
Not one of our posters can articulate what imported item was so vital to the well being of Southern whites that it was worth fighting for.
Leftyhunter
It really wasn't what imported items were so vital but the nature of the southern economy. The southern states had a very small manufacturing base so they depended on the importation of goods from overseas or from the northern states for the manufactured items they needed. Therefore, a tariff on imported goods from abroad increases the costs for manufactured items. Furthermore, the southern economy was very dependent on the export of their agricultural goods to other nations. Import tariffs impose an undue burden on export dependent regions such as the southern states. Tariffs cause the price of certain goods to rise but exporters are unable to pass the costs on because they have to sell their items at market prices and swallow the costs. International economists call this the "pass through effect" of a tariff. Finally, tariffs create another burden because foreign producers earn less profit as a result of a tariff that is imposed. As a result, they will have less money to spend on exports in order to balance the decrease in imports. It is for these reasons that the southern states were opposed to protectionist tariffs because of the undue burden it put on their economy.
 

uaskme

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Thanks for your response.
Certainly, had secession succeeded, all revenues collected by the U. S. would have remained in the United States. Tariffs always impact the consumer: that would not have changed, nor is that part of the argument that has been made.
Others have asserted that the Southern States, rather than0" not getting their fair share", actually benefited disproportionally from the Federal tariff revenue. I will only suggest that any impact of the loss of tariff revenue collected in Southern ports on the States of the surviving Union would have been minor.
This conversation was with a Southern Unionist during this Secession Crisis. The Baldwin Interview, in which Baldwin was trying to convince Lincoln to abandon Sumpter and Pickens:

Lincoln listened attentively to arguments he had decided a week before to reject. At points he made comments or asked questions indicating his reservations. He worried about where to find the funds to run the government if $50 million per year in import revenues were lost. pp305

But Doubts about the new tariff soon arose. A violent clash between federal and Confederate uncertainty and reduced international commerce rapidly undermined national finances during the secession crisis because the federal government in that arcadian age still supported itself primarily by taxing imports. Treasury officials scrambled to arrange loans as a stopgap measure. Coincidentally, the departure of low tariff congressmen from the deep South enabled Republicans to fulfill a campaign pledge by enacting a protective tariff. Supporters of the bill also depicted it as a timely revenue measure. Increased federal tariff rates were, therefore, due to take effect on April 1.

But doubts about the new tariff soon arose. A violent clash between federal and Confederate authorities appeared likely should the federal and Confederate authorities likely should the federal government try to collect tariff revenues in the deep South. Unionist therefore urged a passive approach, fearing the impact of any armed confrontation. The new tariff thus provided an additional exhibition of apparent federal helplessness in the face of secession.

To make matters worse, the federal government continued to run out of money. American trade remained depressed by political uncertainties, and revenue collections therefore lagged. In late March as in January, the Treasury Department again had to float substantial loans. Its principal creditors, the powerful and influential large merchants of New York City, had strenuously opposed passage of the new tariff and now urged its repeal. Although initially hopeful that political turmoil in the deep South would bring more interior commerce and hence international trade to New York, they concluded during March that considerable New York trade would be siphoned off to secession ports, where the old lower tariff rates would remain in effect. Nor were they reassured by supporters of the new tariff, who insisted that few imports would be diverted south because southern ports had inadequate facilities and poorer access to interior customers. The Confederate Congress added to merchants' anxieties by indication that it would soon move to lower the southern tariff, thereby giving importers added incentive to ship to the South rather than New York. pp283-284 Reluctant Confederates by Crofts

Old MYTHS die hard. Southerners, didn't pay any taxes. Southerners didn't consume anything. Oh, how little influence they had. The above was the effect of losing the Lower South. How would it of been with the Upper South gone? This is the reason Lincoln started the War. To collect Taxes and save Yankee Imports.
 
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