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

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Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
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Location
Georgia
Thanks for your response.
Of course he did. Again, no one is questioning that. Collecting the tariff was an important responsibility of his Administration. The issue arises not because Lincoln mentioned it, but because some call it "the deciding factor".
Lincoln didn't just casually mention the collection of the federal tariff in his Inaugural Address and his Blockade Proclamation. He discussed the collection of the tariff in relation to a possible invasion of the southern states and a blockade of southern ports. These could be considered threats of war against the south.
 

19thGeorgia

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
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/>
"the majority of the tariff proceeds [of fiscal year ending June 1859] were collected in northern ports"

What was the collection for northern ports during Secession Winter?
 
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uaskme

Sergeant Major
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Location
SE Tennessee
Thanks for your response.
I'm not sure whose myth this is. As I pointed out, Cotton was the primary source of our nation's foreign exchange.

Not, All of the South, grew Cotton. That was not the South’s only, contribution.

If not for the War, other sources probably would not of been developed. The South had a superior product and a lower price.

What benefit was the Yankee, to the South. Other than Slave catchers. South could of used financing and shipping from Europe. Would of been Cheaper and more efficient. Yankees would of been Naked, without the South.
 
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steve59p

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Just what would have stopped any of the remaining States- say California- from deciding to follow the precedent? Further, in considering the repercussions, we ought to recognize that the fear of establishing that precedent was real at the time. Some may dismiss that today, but it was a different situation in the mid-19th-century.
Read the rest of what I said in that post.
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
The south didn't "leave" peacefully. They "left" violently and aggressively. The union did not break apart forming 30+ individual countries (19+ did not rebel) but rather stayed together while 11 southern states failed in their violent, aggressive attempt to leave it and create their own union.
They sought to leave. Possibly they could have picked somewhat better methods but many of the people posting on this issue are saying they had no right to leave under any circumstances as their ancestors had effectively enslaved them for eternity by signing the initial constitution. Ditto that Lincoln had the right to use military force to prevent any attempt at secession. They only used limited force, to remove an hostile military presence of what they considered a foreign power from one of their main ports after the ruler of that foreign power made clear he intended both to hold that and other fortified positions within their state and to reject their attempts to leave.

I'm not sure why you stating that the union didn't break apart forming independent countries? I was saying that wouldn't happen in reply to UB's claim that the union would totally cease to exist so in that respect your in full agreement with me.
 

CSA Today

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Just what would have stopped any of the remaining States- say California- from deciding to follow the precedent? Further, in considering the repercussions, we ought to recognize that the fear of establishing that precedent was real at the time. Some may dismiss that today, but it was a different situation in the mid-19th-century.
The precedent had already been set in 1776, there was no reason that Southerners should have had greater fealty to a Yankee dominated government than they had toward one dominated by the British.
 
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Andersonh1

Major
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Lincoln didn't just casually mention the collection of the federal tariff in his Inaugural Address and his Blockade Proclamation. He discussed the collection of the tariff in relation to a possible invasion of the southern states and a blockade of southern ports. These could be considered threats of war against the south.
Many of them did take his speech as a threat, and it's not hard to see why.

I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.​
In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.​
In other words, if Lincoln thought he couldn't hold the property and collect his taxes, force would be used. If nothing else, his whole speech is a very tone deaf response to Southern secession.
 
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steve59p

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Bingo.
This is what the North feared - that they would lose their profitable Coasting Trade.
That is an interesting point. The north would have lost much of its industrial sales to the south as their likely to go for cheaper European products but I hadn't considered any impact on American coastal traffic. The British merchant marine didn't have the dominance of a few decades later in world trade and I suspect that the south would be as protectionist on that point as the US was. However this is likely to mean that coastal trade, and their got a much longer coastline - ignoring the Pacific area - would be a southern monopoly rather than a union one. I'm not sure as well who would provide the shipping and manpower for traffic through the south on the Mississippi and its tributaries. Not sure how big an impact this would be but it would be a factor.

PS Meant to post this last night but seem to have forgot to actually post! :frown:
 

19thGeorgia

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
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I've seen numbers that show a drop of 40-50% during those months compared to the previous year. Will try to find the source but it may take a while.
The drop off during Secession Winter (Jan-Feb-Mar) compared to the same quarter of the previous year was 35% and over 50% in the last quarter (April-May-June).

From reports of the U.S. Treasury

Receipts from Customs

Comparison of fiscal years ending June 30, 1860 and June 30, 1861

1st Quarter (ending Sept. 30, 1859): 15,947,670.62 -- 1st Quarter (ending Sept. 30, 1860): 16,119,831.22

2nd Quarter ( " Dec. 31, 1859): 10,785,849.93 -- 2nd Quarter ( " Dec. 31, 1860): 8,174,167.69

3rd Quarter ( " Mar. 31, 1860): 14,962,783.68 -- 3rd Quarter ( " Mar. 31, 1861): 9,772,574.57

4th Quarter ( " June 30, 1860): 11,491,207.64 -- 4th Quarter ( " June 30, 1861): 5,515,552.16

~

Lincoln: "What am I to do?…what shall become of the revenue? I shall have no government? No resources?”
 
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John Fenton

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So now you're using an appositive to suggest that the "northern states" are "the USA?" I'm sure all the currently enlisted and veterans from other parts of the country (West, Midwest, and South) will be lining up to agree with you on that. :nah disagree:

In response to your question - did southern participation make a difference in these conflicts - I have no idea. Why don't you create a formula to determine a numerical "bravery factor" for all soldiers and then apply it across the demographics to determine if the US could have won WWI, WWII, or any other war since 1865, without soldiers from other parts of the country besides the "northern states?" I just know that I wouldn't have wanted US to test the accuracy of that theory.

Consumption of resources? Do you seriously believe that the southern region consumes more resources than it contributes? Texas produces 31% of the crude oil plus the 20% produced off shore in the Gulf of Mexico (southern region.) Texas produces 29% of the natural gas plus the 8% produced off shore in the Gulf (south.) California produces 78% of the geothermal electricity - CA is in the western region, not the northern states. https://18f.github.io/doi-extractives-data/sectors/
Maybe someone else will look up all the consumption stats for you - since I failed to provide the desired data to address your earlier question. Best of luck in your continued research.
Please don’t put words in my mouth. This all based on the assumption that the southern states had seceded.
I wouldn’t want to test it either but the question remains. Were the southern states necessary for future conflicts of the USA ? Did they take more with them than they left behind ? Could southern secession prevent the USA from it’s role in being the arsenal of democracy ? Could the manpower reduction have been made up from the north ? I consider the bravery factor a wash but numbers matter as the ex-confederate states know all too well.
 

lurid

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Someone posted this from another thread.
This country wouldn't be squat on the world stage without the sweat, blood, & tears of Southerners. Believe what you want Mr Economics but, those military uniforms are filled by Southerners at a greater % than our population represents. Without their sacrifices in every major conflict this country has ever seen, & continues to see, we may not exist in our current form.

Is this true ? Has the south caused more good than harm ? Did southern participation in men and resources make the difference in all of our conflicts ? Was winning wars what put the country on the world stage and continues to keep it there ? What % of the efforts were southern efforts ?
Although i honor and appreciate every man in a United States uniform or has ever worn one , could the ex-confederate southern states contribution been made up ? The poster above did not know what i meant by “over there” but we were all Yankees at that time. Did southern participation make the difference ?
The poster only mentions wars but what about the “internal war” that has been fought since ? What about the innovations, inventions, industrialization (which is what made the difference ‘over there’ ) and GNP . On balance is the United States better off for having kept the union intact ?

George m. Cohen was quite a diplomat. He united Johnnie Reb and Billy Yank and we are all Yankees who made a difference on the world stage.

Johnnie, get your gun
Get your gun, get your gun
Take it on the run
On the run, on the run
Hear them calling, you and me
Every son of liberty
Hurry right away
No delay, go today
Make your daddy glad
To have had such a lad
Tell your sweetheart not to pine
To be proud her boy's in line
Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming
Everywhere
So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We'll be over, we're coming over
And we won't come back till it's over
Over there
Johnnie, get your gun
Get your gun, get your gun
Johnnie show the Hun
Who's a son of a gun
Hoist the flag and let her fly
Yankee Doodle do or die
Pack your little kit
Show your grit, do your bit
Yankee to the ranks
From the towns and the tanks
Make your mother proud of you
And the old Red, White and Blue


Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming
Everywhere
So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We'll be over, we're coming over
And we won't come back till it's over
Over there
As for the military, the Union had more than double the population of the Confederacy (including slaves), and almost four times the number of men of combat age. Even with only 50% of eligible men enlisted, relative to the Confederacy's 75%, the Union still had more than twice the number of people in the armed forces. The north always had more people to fill the void, so it never would have missed a beat without the south as far as numbers. What metric are you using? Are you just talking about numbers or you talking about valor? The south does enlist more people in the military, but how many served with honor and distinction? How many had combat experience? How many were in the rear with the gear? If valor is the metric you are using then do a study on the history of Congressional Medal of Honor winners. New York and Pennsylvania together have more winners than the entire south combined, the rest of the northeast followed suit. This gives you something to consider, especially with the fact the south enlisted more people.

As for the inventions, innovations and patents, I posted it 50 times on this board with sources that all major ones that made this country a superpower came out of the north and west. Not one out of the south. If someone can produce some evidence to debunk what I stated I would gladly accept it. I cannot post any modern data so Ill post data from the antebellum: 93% of the important inventions from 1776-1860 came out of the free states..

As for the GDP, the dollar appreciation due to the government's deflationary policies meant higher foreign currency prices for American cotton. The increase of European demand for Midwest grain absorbed foreign currency contributing to reductions in demand for cotton in the world market place The two aforementioned scenarios were during 1860-1880. Keep this in mind, cotton was 80% of the south's GDP up until the CW, which the world demand for cotton grew 5% in the 4 decades prior to the CW but only 1% annually the 4 decades following the CW. Add the fact emancipation lowered per capita income by 28-37 percent per capita. Freeing the slaves lowered agriculture output by 9.05. Insert the serious and deplorable hookworm disease that culminated during the CW and lasted until the early 20th Century that caused more of a economic downturn. Therefore, the south had nothing to do with expanding the economy during the Gilded Age nor the subsequent ages.

Just look at the cost of the CW: In 1860 the U.S. national debt was $65 million. To put that in perspective, the national debt in 1789, the year George Washington took office, was $77 million. In other words, from 1789 to 1860, the United States spanned the continent, fought two major wars, and began its industrial growth—all the while reducing its national debt. Four years of civil war changed all that forever. In 1865 the national debt stood at $2.7 billion. Just the annual interest on that debt was more than twice our entire national budget in 1860. In fact, that Civil War debt is almost twice what the federal government spent before 1860.

Government expanded because of the CW: The United States had a progressive income tax, an estate tax, and excise taxes as well. The revenue department had greatly expanded, and tax-gatherers were a big part of the federal bureaucracy.

Inflation: like 80%. $430 million in money (greenbacks) and demanded it be legal tender for all debts. No gold backed the notes.

Because of the war, Reconstruction and Civil War pensions the annual budgets before and after the war. The 1860 federal budget was $63 million, but after the war, annual budgets regularly exceeded $300 million.

How did that debt get paid off and how?

Again, to pay off the huge national debt we acquired during the Civil War. In 1860, right before the Civil War, the U.S. had a national debt of $65 million. Five years later, when the war ended, the U.S. national debt was almost $2.7 billion—almost forty times the pre-war debt. According to the Historical Statistics of the United States, the total interest charge on the new national debt was almost $138 million—more than twice the total debt before the war. Many Americans (and Europeans) wondered whether or not the U.S. would be faithful to pay off this new, gigantic debt. Republican and Democratic presidents alike agreed that U.S. economic prosperity depended on carrying a much smaller debt load with limited government. Thus, we slashed almost two-thirds of this debt in the 28 years after the Civil War—a time of cutting federal spending and securing budget surpluses every year to pay down the debt.


The U.S. maintained a sound currency. We refused to pay off debtors by having the government issue vast sums of paper money—as some European countries had done earlier. In fact, we decided to back with gold the $400+ million greenbacks that we had issued during the Civil War. Some Americans wanted to issue more greenbacks—and benefit by paying off debts cheaply through inflation. But Presidents Grant and Hayes insisted that the U.S. buy up gold for the treasury so that we could fulfill our implied promise to the owners of greenbacks to pay them all back with gold. When we officially did this in 1879, we were telling the world that the U.S. was open for business on honorable terms. Many foreigners chose to invest in the U.S., and that capital helped expand railroads, the steel industry, and the oil industry—all areas where the U.S. began outclassing England, Germany, and the leading countries of Europe. This is the era where Carnegie, Rockefeller and other great entrepreneurs surfaced.

The government cut taxes as well as federal spending. Some argued that we needed higher taxes to pay off the debt, but most Americans believed higher taxes might encourage more government spending, and would certainly hamper the flow of capital into American industry. We wanted American entrepreneurs to be fully competitive and they were. On the tax cuts, in 1872 we eliminated the income tax and also the estate and gift tax. We reduced the stamp tax and the so-called “manufacturers and products” tax. During this generation, Andrew Carnegie’s company became larger than any steel producer in Great Britain, and John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil became larger than all other oil refiners in the world combined. Herbert Dow began challenging the Germans in the making of bromine and aspirin (a battle he would carry into the 1900s).

The U.S. became a world leader by the end of the 1800s. The rapid expansion of industrialization led to a real wage growth of 60%, between 1860 and 1890, and spread across the ever-increasing labor force. The average annual wage per industrial worker (including men, women, and children) rose from $380 in 1880, to $564 in 1890, a gain of 48%. The United States became a world leader in applied technology. From 1860 to 1890, 500,000 patents were issued for new inventions—over ten times the number issued in the previous seventy years. Between 1865 and 1898, the output of wheat increased by 256%, corn by 222%, coal by 800% and miles of railway track by 567%. From 1869 to 1879, the U.S. economy grew at a rate of 6.8% for NNP (GDP minus capital depreciation) and 4.5% for NNP per capita. The economy repeated this period of growth in the 1880s, in which the wealth of the nation grew at an annual rate of 3.8%, while the GDP was also doubled.

All this occurred and the south had absolutely nothing to do with any of it. Therefore, I personally believe the United States should have let the south go without incident because the CW was economically expensive and the south did nothing to expand the economy. This is not to say about all the lives that would have been saved.
 

Viper21

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
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Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
As for the military, the Union had more than double the population of the Confederacy (including slaves), and almost four times the number of men of combat age. Even with only 50% of eligible men enlisted, relative to the Confederacy's 75%, the Union still had more than twice the number of people in the armed forces. The north always had more people to fill the void, so it never would have missed a beat without the south as far as numbers. What metric are you using? Are you just talking about numbers or you talking about valor? The south does enlist more people in the military, but how many served with honor and distinction? How many had combat experience? How many were in the rear with the gear? If valor is the metric you are using then do a study on the history of Congressional Medal of Honor winners. New York and Pennsylvania together have more winners than the entire south combined, the rest of the northeast followed suit. This gives you something to consider, especially with the fact the south enlisted more people.
I'd like to see sources for your quoted statements here. In a brief search, I wasn't able to find organized, detailed data on home states for MOH winners.
 
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John Fenton

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Therefore, I personally believe the United States should have let the south go without incident because the CW was economically expensive and the south did nothing to expand the economy. This is not to say about all the lives that would have been saved.
I wanted to give your post a like but can’t although i agree. I was just asking questions and have no metric for measurement . I hate to think it was all for nothing or was the emancipation proclamation and the three amendments and eventually the civil rights movement worth the price ? I like to think they were.
A preliminary search revels no significant southern contribution to the ten most important discoveries in the twentieth century. So in terms of economy, industry, social structure, invention and science, it does not appear that the south contributed to the prosperity of the US. The only contribution seems to be manpower and although i read that regional economic conditions did not play a part in the higher percentage of southern enlistment in the armed forces, i believe it did. That is unless the same percentile of northern and western enlistments was also due to economic conditions. i have always maintained that southerners were brave but not necessarily more so than any other group.
 

matthew mckeon

Colonel
Retired Moderator
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Clearly a disunited United States would make for a very different North America today. Better off? Let's run through the scenarios:

The northern United States is annexed to Canada. Maple syrup assumes a greater part of the cuisine, which I think we agree would be a positive development. We have national health care. Kids in the former states learn French from kindergarten on up. John Wayne plays a Mountie in the movies. Foreigners marvel about how polite everyone is. New York cabbies snarl, "fuggetaboutit, eh?"
.
The southern United States is annexed to Mexico. The food becomes spicier, and McDonald's serves only tacos. Kids learn Spanish from kindergarten on up, but visitors from Mexico City mock their northern drawl. Disney World opens in Florida.
 

jackt62

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"Admit the right of the seceding states to break up the Union at pleasure . . . and how long will it be before the new confederacies created by the first disruption shall be resolved into still smaller fragments and the continent become a vast theater of civil war, military license, anarchy, and despotism? Better settle it at whatever cost and settle it forever."

Letter from a Union soldier (7th Ohio Volunteers) to his father, September 13, 1863.
 
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Rebforever

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I wanted to give your post a like but can’t although i agree. I was just asking questions and have no metric for measurement . I hate to think it was all for nothing or was the emancipation proclamation and the three amendments and eventually the civil rights movement worth the price ? I like to think they were.
A preliminary search revels no significant southern contribution to the ten most important discoveries in the twentieth century. So in terms of economy, industry, social structure, invention and science, it does not appear that the south contributed to the prosperity of the US. The only contribution seems to be manpower and although i read that regional economic conditions did not play a part in the higher percentage of southern enlistment in the armed forces, i believe it did. That is unless the same percentile of northern and western enlistments was also due to economic conditions. i have always maintained that southerners were brave but not necessarily more so than any other group.
Based on the line I high lighted, here is an article that may put a little light on the subject. And it has foot notes that are worthy.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/was-the-south-poor-before-the-war/
 

CSA Today

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Laurinburg NC
Based on the line I high lighted, here is an article that may put a little light on the subject. And it has foot notes that are worthy.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/was-the-south-poor-before-the-war/

Always a great source.

In 1860, the only Southern state in the bottom ten in per-capita income was North Carolina, seven states were in the mid-west, and two were in the Northeast. It was a different story in 1880 following Reconstruction.

E. Merton Coulter, The South During Reconstruction, 1865-1877, pp.192-193.
 
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