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

WJC

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My position is not that the United States had lost but rather had not fought.
Thanks for your response.
Unfortunately, not fighting to preserve the Union would have been an unacceptable defeat for the American experiment. If states can forcibly leave the Union over the results of an election, how can that Union survive other petty differences?
Like it or not, The United States, though never perfect, has been a positive force in the world, one unmatched by any other in history.
I deplore the death and destruction of any war. But occasionally wars must be fought. We are far better off today than we might have been had the conflict not been settled as it was.
 

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Thanks for your response.
Actually, I have. But what concerns me is the 'homegrown ones' here. How can anyone believe that any Americans- indeed, anyone in the world- today would be better off if the United States had lost and been balkanized? Is there no one who understands the effect of the end of the American experiment in self-government- particularly at the hands of a nation dedicated to the preservation and expansion of chattel slavery- would have meant?
It involves getting forbidden modern history and current events but I would be willing to discuss at PM if you choose.
 
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In a word no. In a more diverse explanation, it would have been national suicide. Letting the Confederacy go, peacefully (or by force of arms) would have been a bold faced admission that the government in Washington did not control the nation from sea to shining sea and was no longer the dominant power on the continent.
So much for consent of the governed then. And here I thought the people ruled, not Washington.
 
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Thanks for your response.
Unfortunately, not fighting to preserve the Union would have been an unacceptable defeat for the American experiment. If states can forcibly leave the Union over the results of an election, how can that Union survive other petty differences?
Like it or not, The United States, though never perfect, has been a positive force in the world, one unmatched by any other in history.
I deplore the death and destruction of any war. But occasionally wars must be fought. We are far better off today than we might have been had the conflict not been settled as it was.
The truth is that i know that. This thread was started in response to a poster claiming that the southern contribution since the war is what put us on the world stage. So i posed the question of “could we have done it without the south ?” The union was already a world power and many thought it could take on England again if necessary. Imo the biggest mistake was post war and a failed reconstruction. The union did not finish the job and like so many other examples in history resulted in another war which is still being fought. Cest’ la vie .
I was just trying, in my warped way, to point out that we are all the same and no region or political block can claim responsibility for our greatness. It is as a whole that we have achieved the great things that we have and all Americans had a part in it.
 

Viper21

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This thread was started in response to a poster claiming that the southern contribution since the war is what put us on the world stage.
What I actually said is:

"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."

This would include (like I said), EVERY major conflict this country has seen, & continues to see. American Revolution, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, etc... including the GWAT.

I never said, Southerners are solely responsible. I simply made reference to the HUGE contributions Southerners have made to this country since it's inception. Our over representation in the military suggest (to me anyways), we currently, & have historically had, a significant hand in establishing our dominance on the world stage. Without our contributions, you'd see a vastly different military. Could we be as dominant in the world today, without Southerners..? Perhaps. Could we have been victorious in WWII..? Perhaps. Although, I wouldn't want to risk the future of the civilized world on it.

This is without even getting into the contributions of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, & Jackson.
 

OpnCoronet

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Minus thehyperbole, it is probably true that the United States would have been of little account on the world state, if secession had been achieved.

Certainly the history of Europe and S.E. Asia, would be vastly different, I believe.
 

WJC

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That is not why they left. This gets repeated over and over, but it's not true. The election was the triggering event, but the reasons they left went back four decades.
Thanks for your response.
No one denies that there were many factors. Most agree that the root cause was slavery. However, the secessionists themselves told us that the proximate cause ("triggering event") was the election of that "Black Republican", Abraham Lincoln. It appears that we agree.
 
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Thanks for your response.
No one denies that there were many factors. Most agree that the root cause was slavery. However, the secessionists themselves told us that the proximate cause ("triggering event") was the election of that "Black Republican", Abraham Lincoln. It appears that we agree.
The problem I have with your original statement that I responded to, and others that have made similar statements, is that the impression it conveys is that the Southern States that seceded did so simply because they were unhappy about the result of a single Presidential election. The act of secession is presented as nothing more substantial than a group of people stamping their feet because they lost, when in reality it was far more than that, and factors which contributed to the decision went well beyond a single election. We have to be careful not to mischaracterize and give the wrong impression.
 

WJC

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The problem I have with your original statement that I responded to, and others that have made similar statements, is that the impression it conveys is that the Southern States that seceded did so simply because they were unhappy about the result of a single Presidential election. The act of secession is presented as nothing more substantial than a group of people stamping their feet because they lost, when in reality it was far more than that, and factors which contributed to the decision went well beyond a single election. We have to be careful not to mischaracterize and give the wrong impression.
Thanks for your response.
I can certainly understand your sensitivity on this. However, it remains a historical fact that 'the last straw' was Lincoln's election. The 'loser taking the football and going home' seems an accurate analogy.
Had someone other than Lincoln won, would South Carolina have seceded?
 

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Thanks for your response.
Again, what does "I doubt you ever et a South" mean?
That was a faux pas, someone came to the door as I was starting on the post. I apparently hit the reply button before getting up. Here is the response I sent when I got back: I doubt you've met "America haters" either. Post#82. It was a reply to that post.
 

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The problem I have with your original statement that I responded to, and others that have made similar statements, is that the impression it conveys is that the Southern States that seceded did so simply because they were unhappy about the result of a single Presidential election. The act of secession is presented as nothing more substantial than a group of people stamping their feet because they lost, when in reality it was far more than that, and factors which contributed to the decision went well beyond a single election. We have to be careful not to mischaracterize and give the wrong impression.
He would hopefully benefit from reading Avery O. Craven's The Growth of Southern Nationalism: 1848-1861 and David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis: 1848-1861.
 
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Thanks for your response.
I can certainly understand your sensitivity on this. However, it remains a historical fact that 'the last straw' was Lincoln's election. The 'loser taking the football and going home' seems an accurate analogy.
A divorce due to irreconcilable differences would be a far more accurate analogy. They tried to make the marriage work, but the problems just kept accumulating until a split seemed the only workable solution.

The football analogy trivializes the South's grievances, and honestly I think that's the intent, to make the South's complaints look like they aren't worth taking seriously.

Had someone other than Lincoln won, would South Carolina have seceded?
They had intended to secede in 1852, so I think we have to conclude that it was only a matter of time.
 
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That is not why they left. This gets repeated over and over, but it's not true. The election was the triggering event, but the reasons they left went back four decades.
Agreed! Some times people fuss way too much over the straw that broke the camels back; but totally ignore the fact that on its own a straw has no chance of breaking said back.
 
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I agree with about 90% of this. One thing i disagree with is that the south would lose mississippi access to the north. The north was already shipping from places like St. Louis by rail and canal directly to the Atlantic ports. They did not really need control of the lower mississippi. There are a couple other points but overall i agree.
JF

Yes it was and could do that but as I understand it there is an opportunity cost there in that even today travel by water is cheaper than by any other route including railways. Canals would help but I'm doubtful that you could have a system of canals linking mid-west producers and markets to the east coast - although I could be wrong here. As such its perfectly possible to send most/all OTL traffic via either railway or possibly a combination of that and a St Lawrence but I don't think it would be economically as efficient as using the Mississippi.

Steve
 



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