Discussion:
Winning the civil war w/out firing a shot?
(too old to reply)
c***@forpresident.com
2004-12-13 19:57:01 UTC
Permalink
In every history class I have taken, President Buchanan was criticized
for his inaction when confronted with secession. However, based on
other information I received in my history courses, I can't help but
wonder if he was right, and if Lincoln had continued in his path, maybe
the Civil War could have been avoided? My history courses always
suggested the Southern states that initially seceded had a shakey
economy , and that without the support of Virginia, the CSA were not
going to survive. Of course, Virginia was very reluctant to join the
Confederacy, and only did so in response to Lincoln's request that the
states supply troops to quell the rebellion (sending the signal that
you're either with us or against us) . If Lincoln had never undertaken
the preparation for a military campaign, thus keeping Virginia out of
the hands of the CSA, would the conflict have been avoided because the
CSA (w/out VA) would have been unable to sustain itself as a seperate
nation?

If, under this scenario, the conflict had been successfully avoided,
what would have become of slavery?
Donnie
2004-12-13 22:15:26 UTC
Permalink
On 13 Dec 2004 11:57:01 -0800, ***@forpresident.com wrote:

King Charles could have abdicated, but I doubt he'd have done it.*








* Americans !!! <g>
James Gassaway
2004-12-13 22:33:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@forpresident.com
In every history class I have taken, President Buchanan was criticized
for his inaction when confronted with secession. However, based on
other information I received in my history courses, I can't help but
wonder if he was right, and if Lincoln had continued in his path, maybe
the Civil War could have been avoided? My history courses always
suggested the Southern states that initially seceded had a shakey
economy , and that without the support of Virginia, the CSA were not
going to survive. Of course, Virginia was very reluctant to join the
Confederacy, and only did so in response to Lincoln's request that the
states supply troops to quell the rebellion (sending the signal that
you're either with us or against us) . If Lincoln had never undertaken
the preparation for a military campaign, thus keeping Virginia out of
the hands of the CSA, would the conflict have been avoided because the
CSA (w/out VA) would have been unable to sustain itself as a seperate
nation?
If, under this scenario, the conflict had been successfully avoided,
what would have become of slavery?
The USA would have ceased to exist. It would have set a precedent allowing
succession, which would have lead to the breakup of what was left of the
country.

The CSA would have survived (at least for a while). Both England and France
were eager to see the USA fail and had economic interests in keeping the
cotton flowing. Historically they found or developed other sources because
of the Union blockade, but with no interuption there would have been no
reason for them to do so in this ATL. Cotton trade and various economic
assitance packages from Europe would have insured the economic survival of
the CSA, just to spite the USA if for no other reason. Of course, later on
the CSA would probably also breakup as further political disputes leading to
more successions. There would be a precedent for it, after all.
--
Multiversal Mercenaries. You name it, we kill it. Any time, any reality.
robert j. kolker
2004-12-13 22:56:49 UTC
Permalink
James Gassaway wrote:

The word is secession. Sorry to pick the nit.

Bob Kolker
James Gassaway
2004-12-14 20:34:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by robert j. kolker
The word is secession. Sorry to pick the nit.
Bob Kolker
No offense taken. I was typing it out quickly and didn't take the time to
dig out my dictionary. (No spell checker in my Usenet posting software,
unfortunately.)
--
Multiversal Mercenaries. You name it, we kill it. Any time, any reality.
Richard VanHouten
2004-12-15 04:12:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Gassaway
Post by robert j. kolker
The word is secession. Sorry to pick the nit.
Bob Kolker
No offense taken. I was typing it out quickly and didn't take the time to
dig out my dictionary. (No spell checker in my Usenet posting software,
unfortunately.)
A spell checker wouldn't have helped. Succession is, after all, a valid
word; it just means something entirely different from what you meant.
James Gassaway
2004-12-16 03:10:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard VanHouten
Post by James Gassaway
Post by robert j. kolker
The word is secession. Sorry to pick the nit.
Bob Kolker
No offense taken. I was typing it out quickly and didn't take the time to
dig out my dictionary. (No spell checker in my Usenet posting software,
unfortunately.)
A spell checker wouldn't have helped. Succession is, after all, a valid
word; it just means something entirely different from what you meant.
Really? :)

<shrug> Either way, no offense was taken. I actually think I owe you a
thank you for catching that for me.
--
Multiversal Mercenaries. You name it, we kill it. Any time, any reality.
Richard VanHouten
2004-12-16 03:53:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Gassaway
Post by Richard VanHouten
Post by James Gassaway
Post by robert j. kolker
The word is secession. Sorry to pick the nit.
Bob Kolker
No offense taken. I was typing it out quickly and didn't take the time
to dig out my dictionary. (No spell checker in my Usenet posting
software, unfortunately.)
A spell checker wouldn't have helped. Succession is, after all, a valid
word; it just means something entirely different from what you meant.
Really? :)
Yep. Secession - what the US Civil War was about. Succession - what
happened when Andy Johnson took up the reins of power after Lincoln's death.
p***@river-valley.net
2004-12-14 01:49:34 UTC
Permalink
Did Lincoln ever say why he went to so much trouble trying to keep the
country together instead of just letting it dissolve?

I know the North had at least a few memorable draft riots, and some
fringe abolitionist wanted the North to leave first. How wide spread
was the desire to keep the South in, or was it just Lincoln's personal
obsession?
Mark Edelstein
2004-12-14 01:55:02 UTC
Permalink
Well the war was fought for Union, and Union first. The problem was
that the U.S as always likes short victorious wars and was not prepared
for a long one. On the other the U.S has certain advantages in fighting
a long hard war.
Michael Emrys
2004-12-14 02:34:58 UTC
Permalink
Did Lincoln ever say why he went to so much trouble trying to keep the country
together instead of just letting it dissolve?
Wasn't he afraid that a divided US would be easy meat for the rapidly
industrializing nations of Europe? If so, precisely how rational was that
fear? How much would the Union be giving up if it let the South go? Most of
the population and industry were in the North, and it's reasonable to assume
that as the western territories gained statehood, most of them would have
preferred to join the Union rather than the CSA.

Or was the fear that once the precedent of secession had been established
that further disintegration would proceed? If that were the case, then the
country would be become essentially ungovernable in important respects.

Michael
Mark Edelstein
2004-12-14 04:25:12 UTC
Permalink
I think the greatest fear is the degrading of constitutionalism. The
Civil War is a concrete committment to cnstitutionalism first and last.
Thus, it is not merely territorial disintegration but the greater fear
of an end to the real success, if flawed, of the American experiment
(and it was truly an experiment).
Alfred Montestruc
2004-12-14 05:11:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Edelstein
I think the greatest fear is the degrading of constitutionalism.
That is *very* debatable. Suggest you read a book entitled "Northern
Editorials on Secession" edited by Perkins. Even Lincoln papers
conceeded the legality of secession till after the south did it, then
they were looking for a legal excuse to compell the south to do what
they wanted. The whole basis of american government is consent of the
governed, one that is withdrawn, as the the majority of people legally
repudiate the government, you have no basis in principle to make people
obey a law of that government.
Post by Mark Edelstein
The
Civil War is a concrete committment to cnstitutionalism first and last.
Thus, it is not merely territorial disintegration but the greater fear
of an end to the real success, if flawed, of the American experiment
(and it was truly an experiment).
Steven Witmer
2004-12-16 22:00:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alfred Montestruc
Post by Mark Edelstein
I think the greatest fear is the degrading of constitutionalism.
That is *very* debatable. Suggest you read a book entitled "Northern
Editorials on Secession" edited by Perkins. Even Lincoln papers
conceeded the legality of secession till after the south did it,
Now, Al, you should know better than that by now. Lincoln *NEVER* spoke in
favor of secession as you mean the term - a legal separation. What Lincoln
*DID* note was the right of revolution - which is a very different animal
entirely.

then
Post by Alfred Montestruc
they were looking for a legal excuse to compell the south to do what
they wanted. The whole basis of american government is consent of the
governed, one that is withdrawn, as the the majority of people legally
repudiate the government, you have no basis in principle to make people
obey a law of that government.
Er, no. Again, Al, you should know better by now. The population of the CSA
did not represent "a majority of the people", and the basis of american
government is democracy. To have a minority able to participate in the voting
while at the same time retaining the right to do as it damn well pleases in the
event of a voting result it does not like is NOT democracy, or any other sort
of government except anarchy.

Hell, if you include slaves, the secessionists in the south didn't even have a
majority within much of their own territory, for that matter.



Steven Witmer

"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."
- Benjamin Franklin
Emperor
2004-12-18 21:17:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
Wasn't he afraid that a divided US would be easy meat for the rapidly
industrializing nations of Europe? If so, precisely how rational was that
fear?
Not very, but it's an irrelevant point: Lincoln was afraid of the seccession
for more emotional, patriotic reasons than that. Or, at the very least, it
isn't fair to paint him as that mercenary about it.
Post by Michael Emrys
Or was the fear that once the precedent of secession had been established
that further disintegration would proceed?
Jackpot.
Jack Linthicum
2004-12-14 12:33:13 UTC
Permalink
You have to listen to what was said at the time and especially before.
Enough leaders realized that the Federal Union was a unique thing,
greater than its parts, and would not continue to exist with smaller
men in charge. Calhoun wanted a separate South, but knew it was not a
viable economic entity and therefore would be dependent upon support
from European nations. The dwarfs that followed him in power in the
Southern states never figured that out.

"Another notable crisis of his period of office was the nullification
crisis (or secession crisis), 1828-32, which merged issues of sectional
strife and disagreements over trade tariffs. High tariffs (the "Tariff
of Abominations") on imports of common goods were seen by many in
Southern colonies as unfairly benefiting Northern merchants and
industrial entrepreneurs at the expense of those who had to buy the
goods subject to the tariffs, mostly Southern farmers. The issue came
to a head when the Vice President, John C. Calhoun, in the South
Carolina Exposition and Protest of 1832, supported the claim of his
home state, South Carolina, that it had the right to "nullify" -
declare illegal - the tariff legislation of 1828, and more generally
the right of a state to nullify laws which went against its interests.
Although Jackson sympathized with the Southern interpretation of the
tariff debate, he was also a strong supporter of federalism (in the
sense of supporting a strong union with considerable powers for the
central government) and attempted to face Calhoun down over the issue,
which developed into a bitter rivalry between the two men. Particularly
famous was an incident at the April 13, 1829 Jefferson Day dinner,
involving after-dinner toasts. Jackson rose first and toasted "Our
federal Union: it must be preserved!", a clear challenge to Calhoun.
Calhoun responded with a toast to "The Union: next to our liberty, most
dear," an astonishingly quick-witted riposte."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jackson
Eric D. Berge
2004-12-14 02:45:32 UTC
Permalink
Both England and France were eager to see the USA fail
Huh?
Doug Hoff
2004-12-14 03:23:31 UTC
Permalink
Both England and France were eager to see the USA fail
Huh?
Napoleon 3 was keen on seeing the the USA crumble, so as to forestall any
further Anglo-Saxon expansion into Latin America. There were conservatives
in the UK who were hoping that the US flew to pieces to prove a point -
popular government does not work. I forgot which British politician who
commented that, once the US broke up, it would likely adopt aristocratic
government.
--
--
----------
Doug

***@gmail.com (take out x'es)

www.althist.com
david
2004-12-14 06:53:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Doug Hoff
Both England and France were eager to see the USA fail
Huh?
Napoleon 3 was keen on seeing the the USA crumble, so as to forestall any
further Anglo-Saxon expansion into Latin America. There were conservatives
in the UK who were hoping that the US flew to pieces to prove a point -
popular government does not work.
But such were few in number, and frankly insignificant in the scheme of
things. There were those in the USA in the 1870s who felt that a private
invasion of Canada would lead to the UK granting independence to
Ireland, but these were not in the main stream of US political policy.
One could argue that the Fenians had more influence on US policy than
those UK Eagle-baiters you describe.
--
David Flin
Doug Hoff
2004-12-14 22:27:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
Post by Doug Hoff
Both England and France were eager to see the USA fail
Huh?
Napoleon 3 was keen on seeing the the USA crumble, so as to forestall any
further Anglo-Saxon expansion into Latin America. There were
conservatives
in the UK who were hoping that the US flew to pieces to prove a point -
popular government does not work.
But such were few in number, and frankly insignificant in the scheme of
things.
True. The guiding principles of HM govt during the ACW was to (1) stand up
for the UK's rights as a neutral and (2) hope for a speedy resolution of the
conflict. And I think they stood by those principles, for the most part.
Of course, (1) was bound to cause some friction with the Union as the
blockading power. And (2) probably led many to wish that the Union would
just give it up, since it seemed unable to subdue the Confederacy.
Post by david
One could argue that the Fenians had more influence on US policy than
those UK Eagle-baiters you describe.
One of the down-sides to popular government is that pressure groups can
cause their representatives to take silly foreign policy stands. The
Fenians and their insistence upon Lion-tail-tweaking are a good example.
--
----------
Doug

***@gmail.com (take out x'es)

www.althist.com
prestorjon
2004-12-15 03:46:15 UTC
Permalink
<<True. The guiding principles of HM govt during the ACW was to (1)
stand up
for the UK's rights as a neutral and (2) hope for a speedy resolution
of the
conflict. And I think they stood by those principles, for the most
part.
Of course, (1) was bound to cause some friction with the Union as the
blockading power. And (2) probably led many to wish that the Union
would
just give it up, since it seemed unable to subdue the Confederacy.
Of course the UK was "neutral" during the ACW. They weren't as biased
as the US was during the world wars but they weren't fully neutral
either. British officials wink winked at supplies from Britain being
sent to the CSA and looked the other way as British shipbuilding firms
built commerce raiders and ironclads for the CSA. IIRC the British
government settled indeminity claims against it for the damage caused
by Confederate raiders, which is about as much of an admission as one
would be likely to get that they allowed the South to arm itself in
Britain.
Doug Hoff
2004-12-15 04:35:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by prestorjon
<<True. The guiding principles of HM govt during the ACW was to (1)
stand up
for the UK's rights as a neutral and (2) hope for a speedy resolution of the
conflict. And I think they stood by those principles, for the most
part.
Of course, (1) was bound to cause some friction with the Union as the
blockading power. And (2) probably led many to wish that the Union
would
just give it up, since it seemed unable to subdue the Confederacy.
Of course the UK was "neutral" during the ACW. They weren't as biased
as the US was during the world wars but they weren't fully neutral
either. British officials wink winked at supplies from Britain being
sent to the CSA and looked the other way as British shipbuilding firms
built commerce raiders and ironclads for the CSA. IIRC the British
government settled indeminity claims against it for the damage caused
by Confederate raiders, which is about as much of an admission as one
would be likely to get that they allowed the South to arm itself in
Britain.
AFAIK, the UK was found, after arbitration, to have negligently permitting
the Confederates to violate their neutrality in some gray areas, such as
permitting British firms to build ships that were not armed when they left
British shores, but were tricked out to be armed later. OTOH, HM govt did
actively intervene to prevent the Laird rams from reaching the CSA, and if
they hadn't, they could have been a headache for the Union navy.
--
--
----------
Doug

***@gmail.com (take out x'es)

www.althist.com
david
2004-12-15 05:47:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by prestorjon
<<True. The guiding principles of HM govt during the ACW was to (1)
stand up
for the UK's rights as a neutral and (2) hope for a speedy resolution of the
conflict. And I think they stood by those principles, for the most
part.
Of course, (1) was bound to cause some friction with the Union as the
blockading power. And (2) probably led many to wish that the Union
would
just give it up, since it seemed unable to subdue the Confederacy.
Of course the UK was "neutral" during the ACW. They weren't as biased
as the US was during the world wars but they weren't fully neutral
either. British officials wink winked at supplies from Britain being
sent to the CSA and looked the other way as British shipbuilding firms
built commerce raiders and ironclads for the CSA.
To be fair, Britain also sent supplies and equipment (saltpetre, rifles,
etc) to the USA. Of course, the CSA had more need of outside supply than
the USA, hence there was more marketing opportunity for British firms
from the CSA than the USA, but there were sales opportunities gleefully
taken up by British firms that made things to kill people.

One can argue that the imbalance in neutrality was more the consequence
of an imbalance in marketing opportunity than in any preference for
either side.
Post by prestorjon
IIRC the British
government settled indeminity claims against it for the damage caused
by Confederate raiders, which is about as much of an admission as one
would be likely to get that they allowed the South to arm itself in
Britain.
Of course, the precedent that countries that make and sell ships
intended to prey on merchant shipping should pay an indemnity to the
government of the merchant shipping benefits the UK. In any conflict, a
third party who sold ships to prey on British merchant shipping - the
largest in the world at the time of setting the precedent - would end up
paying Britain, thus potentially deterring people from building commerce
raiders.

One can argue that Britain settled the indemnity claims in part because
it was in its long-term interests to do so.
--
David Flin
Doug Hoff
2004-12-15 23:42:09 UTC
Permalink
Of course, the precedent that countries that make and sell ships intended
to prey on merchant shipping should pay an indemnity to the government of
the merchant shipping benefits the UK. In any conflict, a third party who
sold ships to prey on British merchant shipping - the largest in the world
at the time of setting the precedent - would end up paying Britain, thus
potentially deterring people from building commerce raiders.
One can argue that Britain settled the indemnity claims in part because it
was in its long-term interests to do so.
and the UK was fairly keen to improve relations with the US at the time, and
the 'Alabama claims controversy' was a major impediment to better relations.
Submitting the issue to inernational arbitration was a face-saving way out
_and_ pleased the international arbitration lobby. IMHO, the Whitehall of
the time was a fairly class act - they framed the judgment of the
arbitration panel and hung it on the wall of the office as a reminder about
not being diligent regarding the obligations of a neutral.
--
----------
Doug

***@gmail.com (take out x'es)

www.althist.com
Emperor
2004-12-18 21:19:20 UTC
Permalink
Both England and France were eager to see the USA fail
Huh?
Agreed. For the most part, a stupid statement.

Public opinion was largely in favor of the Union, especially in Britain.
Slavery was anathema there.

You could make a case that it would have been pragmatic for British and French
elites to be concerned over the rising power of the US, but for the most part,
they didn't adopt that far-sighted an attitude about it.
mike stone
2004-12-19 07:17:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Emperor
Public opinion was largely in favor of the Union, especially in Britain.
Slavery was anathema there.
Though at least until the EP it was possible to argue plausibly that slavery
was not the issue.
Post by Emperor
You could make a case that it would have been pragmatic for British and French
elites to be concerned over the rising power of the US, but for the most part,
they didn't adopt that far-sighted an attitude about it.
What support there was for the Confederacy seems to have been mainly
sentimental. The success of Lee and Jackson at seeing off a larger opponent in
Summer 1862, had given the South a much better image, as a gallant David
blacking the eye of the Federal Goliath. This had a big affect on public
opinion, which was notoriously volatile in its symapthies. Note what happened
in 1877-8, when Osman Pasha's defence of Plevna turned the Unspeakable Turk
into a gallant knight fending off the big Russian bully. The danger to the
Union came not from British machinations but from British sentimentality.
--
Mike Stone - P'boro Eng

Good King Wenceslas look out
At the Feast of Stephen
All the twisters are about
At ye Festive Season
Living by a forest fence
No one but a liar would
Say he'd walked three miles from thence
Just to gather firewood
Doug Hoff
2004-12-21 00:02:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Emperor
Both England and France were eager to see the USA fail
Huh?
Agreed. For the most part, a stupid statement.
Public opinion was largely in favor of the Union, especially in Britain.
Slavery was anathema there.
You could make a case that it would have been pragmatic for British and French
elites to be concerned over the rising power of the US, but for the most part,
they didn't adopt that far-sighted an attitude about it.
Some of the elites did. N3 was very keen on seeing the Union collapse, but
he was not going to move without the UK. And the UK was not going to move
unless the US forced them to. And the US was not going to force them to.
Of course, N3 was short-sighted in another way. He wanted the Union to fail
to forestall US expansionism into Central America. An independant
Confederacy was much more likely to engage in such adventurism than a Union
that was intact. Of course, this was not that long since the US-Mexican
War, the Gadsen Purchase and the Ostend Manifesto, so to an uninformed
observer, it would be the US that was the peril, not just the Golden Circle.
One of the interesting notes in 'One War at a Time' was how ill-informed
many in Europe were about the American situation.
--
----------
Doug

***@gmail.com (take out x'es)

www.althist.com
Ebenezer T. Squint
2004-12-14 04:48:03 UTC
Permalink
James Gassaway <***@sonic.net> wrote in message news:7Novd.11753$***@typhoon.sonic.net...
<snip>
Post by James Gassaway
The CSA would have survived (at least for a while). Both England and France
were eager to see the USA fail and had economic interests in keeping the
cotton flowing.
I can't speak for France, but for the UK this is simply untrue. They
didn't have it in for the USA, certainly not by 1860. The UK would
have preferred having a peaceful and sensible neighbour across the
49th parallel, even if it meant one dealing from strength. There were
several incidents 1815-1861 that could have been used as an excuse for
war between the UK and USA, and indeed flimsier excuses were used
against other nations; but concerning the USA, cooler heads always
prevailed. By 1860 the borders were defined and a mutual understanding
had evolved, and instability in the USA could only undermine those
cordial relations. Both the UK and France made an effort to remain
neutral in the ACW, and even avoided formally recognizing the CSA,
much less sending money or free arms/ammo. British reaction to the
Trent Affair was as hostile as it could possibly be, thanks to
Palmerston's temper (think of a British Teddy Roosevelt.)
Economically, the trade with the Northern states was just as important
as King Cotton, and becoming more so. There may have been some early
empathy for Confederate self-determination, but those were outweighed
by the fact that a CSA victory implied the survival of slavery, once
that became a war issue. Nappy 3 took America's preoccupation as an
opportunity to play with Mexico, but that's another matter.
Post by James Gassaway
Historically they found or developed other sources because
of the Union blockade, but with no interuption there would have been no
reason for them to do so in this ATL.
This is true, but still, cotton turned out to be hardly the bargaining
chip the South hoped it would.
Post by James Gassaway
Cotton trade and various economic
assitance packages from Europe would have insured the economic
survival of
the CSA, just to spite the USA if for no other reason.
No doubt trade would stabilize the CSA, but not "just to spite the
USA." In this peaceful secession ATL there would be nothing wrong with
it. Unfettered commerce is the right of any independent nation.
"Economic assistance packages," OTOH, might be hard to justify to the
public with the CSA keeping slavery.
Alfred Montestruc
2004-12-14 05:02:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Gassaway
Post by c***@forpresident.com
In every history class I have taken, President Buchanan was
criticized
Post by James Gassaway
Post by c***@forpresident.com
for his inaction when confronted with secession. However, based on
other information I received in my history courses, I can't help but
wonder if he was right, and if Lincoln had continued in his path, maybe
the Civil War could have been avoided? My history courses always
suggested the Southern states that initially seceded had a shakey
economy , and that without the support of Virginia, the CSA were not
going to survive. Of course, Virginia was very reluctant to join the
Confederacy, and only did so in response to Lincoln's request that the
states supply troops to quell the rebellion (sending the signal that
you're either with us or against us) . If Lincoln had never
undertaken
Post by James Gassaway
Post by c***@forpresident.com
the preparation for a military campaign, thus keeping Virginia out of
the hands of the CSA, would the conflict have been avoided because the
CSA (w/out VA) would have been unable to sustain itself as a
seperate
Post by James Gassaway
Post by c***@forpresident.com
nation?
If, under this scenario, the conflict had been successfully
avoided,
Post by James Gassaway
Post by c***@forpresident.com
what would have become of slavery?
The USA would have ceased to exist. It would have set a precedent allowing
succession, which would have lead to the breakup of what was left of the
country.
Why would other states leave? If their is no long term benifit to be
had from being in the union that the states would see as a god reason
to stay (much as the southern states had stayed for a long time, and
New England states did not seceed decades earlier when they threated
to), then would it not be best for all to break up the union since no
one would stay of their own accord?

------snip
david
2004-12-14 06:49:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Gassaway
The USA would have ceased to exist. It would have set a precedent allowing
succession, which would have lead to the breakup of what was left of the
country.
The CSA would have survived (at least for a while). Both England and France
were eager to see the USA fail and had economic interests in keeping the
cotton flowing.
To use a phrase relatively common in English parlance, that is an
interesting and novel take on the position, but one that is not entirely
justified by the evidence.

The UK and the USA had spent 1815-1860 getting along reasonably well,
and had large interests in continuing profitable trade with the each
other. One can postulate an outbreak of jingoism on both sides leading
to a short war with specific objectives (such as might have developed
from the Trent crisis), but in general, the status quo suited both sides
too well for either to want to change it.

It is worth noting that whenever there was a border or trade dispute
between the USA and the UK over Canada, both sides sat down and talked
through to a settlement.

Of course, there were irrelevant vocal minorities on both sides of the
Pond making some silly claims (such as those in the UK who looked for
the failure of the USA to prove that Democracy was a silly idea, and
that the natural state of things was for aristocrats to control the
destiny of nations. These were about as relevant to British politics as
the Monster Raving Loony Party are today).

Britain had an interest in keeping the cotton flowing. It had no
particular interest in whether that cotton came from a place called the
CSA or the USA. The CSA played the cotton card historically, and that
didn't lead to intervention by the UK.
Post by James Gassaway
Historically they found or developed other sources because
of the Union blockade, but with no interuption there would have been no
reason for them to do so in this ATL. Cotton trade and various economic
assitance packages from Europe would have insured the economic survival of
the CSA, just to spite the USA if for no other reason.
Why should the UK provide economic assistance to the CSA? It would be
happy to buy - at whatever favourable price it could negotiate (and it
holds all the cards in such negotiations), but this is a period when the
UK is prepared to allow famine to run unchecked in parts of the UK
because of the belief that economic assistance leads to worse problems.
The UK had no real spite with the USA. They traded too well and too
profitably for that.
Post by James Gassaway
Of course, later on
the CSA would probably also breakup as further political disputes leading to
more successions. There would be a precedent for it, after all.
--
David Flin
Doug Hoff
2004-12-14 23:58:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
Post by James Gassaway
The USA would have ceased to exist. It would have set a precedent allowing
succession, which would have lead to the breakup of what was left of the
country.
The CSA would have survived (at least for a while). Both England and France
were eager to see the USA fail and had economic interests in keeping the
cotton flowing.
To use a phrase relatively common in English parlance, that is an
interesting and novel take on the position, but one that is not entirely
justified by the evidence.
To be sure, the official position of the UK was neutrality. I took a look
at Mahin, 'One War at a Time' and came across the following:

'The best thing would be that the right to secede should be acknowledged ,
that there should be a separation - one republic be constituted on the
principle of freedom and personal liberty - the other on the principle of
slavery.'

1/61, British Foreign Secretary to British Minister in DC. From the context,
it appears clear that it is more an expression of a desire to avoid a war
than an earnest wish that the US collapse. OTOH, the Dispatch, a
conservative paper in London, wrote:

'The real motives of the civil war are the continuance of power of the North
to tax the industry of the South and the consolidation of a huge
confederation to sweep every other power from the American continent, to
enter into the politics of Europe with a Republican propaganda, and to bully
the world."

The Times seemed more inclined to just believe in the futility of the Union
cause:

"The longer the conflict lasted, teh more convinced The Times became that
Lincoln's government should accept disunion for what it was, a sad and
irrevocable fact ... The critique of the American conflict which the Times
fashioned in the late summer and autumn of 1861 would remain virtually
unchanged for the duration of the war... Britain's leading newspaper had
established itself as a committed opponent of the federal cause, with the
result that its capacity of independent judgment of American affiars was
substantially impaired."

quoting Martin Crawford.

Mahin also quotes GM Trevelyan:

In England the upper ranks of society sympathized generally with the South,
and lower with the North... The poorer classes had then many relations in
the Northern United States who often wrote home to say what a fine land they
had found ... America was therefore bettter understood in the cottage than
the mansion... The second reason was ... that one section was dreading and
the other eagerly expecting the event of 'American democracy' in England by
a further expansion of the franchise.

So, I dont think the idea that the British aristocracy as a class
anticipated the death of the Union as a defeat for democracy is out of left
field. But - it certainly was not enough to sway the UK towards actually
helping the CSA.
--
----------
Doug

***@gmail.com (take out x'es)

www.althist.com
mike stone
2004-12-14 07:37:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@forpresident.com
In every history class I have taken, President Buchanan was criticized
for his inaction when confronted with secession. However, based on
other information I received in my history courses, I can't help but
wonder if he was right, and if Lincoln had continued in his path, maybe
the Civil War could have been avoided? My history courses always
suggested the Southern states that initially seceded had a shakey
economy , and that without the support of Virginia, the CSA were not
going to survive. Of course, Virginia was very reluctant to join the
Confederacy, and only did so in response to Lincoln's request that the
states supply troops to quell the rebellion (sending the signal that
you're either with us or against us) . If Lincoln had never undertaken
the preparation for a military campaign, thus keeping Virginia out of
the hands of the CSA,
It wouldn't have.

Once the news of Ft Sumter reached Richmond, a jubilant procession marched on
the State Capitol, where they hauled down the US flag and hoisted the Stars and
Bars. A battery fired a 100-gun salute to celebrate the "southern victory". An
observer reported "Everyone in favour of secession". It would take a few more
days for the formalities to be completed, but practically speaking Va had taken
the plunge without waiting to see what Lincoln did. The atmosphere was similar
in Tenn and NC. (See MacPherson "Battle Cry Of Freedom", Ch9)


would the conflict have been avoided because the
Post by c***@forpresident.com
CSA (w/out VA) would have been unable to sustain itself as a seperate
nation?
Indeed, which is why the CS leaders forced the issue by bombarding Ft Sumter. I
forget who it was, but str one leading figure saying that if things were
allowed to drift "our people will soon be flocking back to the old Union"
Post by c***@forpresident.com
If, under this scenario, the conflict had been successfully avoided,
what would have become of slavery?
It would have gone on a lot longer - probably into the 20C - esp if the Corwin
Amendment were ratified.
--
Mike Stone - Peterborough England

"But it _can't_ be true. The government hasn't denied it"
Rich Rostrom
2004-12-14 20:52:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike stone
Post by c***@forpresident.com
In every history class I have taken, President Buchanan was criticized
for his inaction when confronted with secession. However, based on
other information I received in my history courses, I can't help but
wonder if he was right, and if Lincoln had continued in his path, maybe
the Civil War could have been avoided? My history courses always
suggested the Southern states that initially seceded had a shakey
economy , and that without the support of Virginia, the CSA were not
going to survive. Of course, Virginia was very reluctant to join the
Confederacy, and only did so in response to Lincoln's request that the
states supply troops to quell the rebellion (sending the signal that
you're either with us or against us) . If Lincoln had never undertaken
the preparation for a military campaign, thus keeping Virginia out of
the hands of the CSA,
It wouldn't have.
Once the news of Ft Sumter reached Richmond, a jubilant procession marched on
the State Capitol, where they hauled down the US flag and hoisted the Stars and
Bars. A battery fired a 100-gun salute to celebrate the "southern victory". An
observer reported "Everyone in favour of secession". It would take a few more
days for the formalities to be completed, but practically speaking Va had taken
the plunge without waiting to see what Lincoln did. The atmosphere was similar
in Tenn and NC.
The Richmond mob was noisily secessionist, but they had been
all along, and the convention had nonetheless resisted the
pressure to declare secession. Even after Fort Sumter, the
vote was only 88-55 in favor. So I don't think the popular
reaction to Sumter was decisive by itself.

Neither was Lincoln's call for troops to suppress rebellion.

IMHO, what _was_ decisive was the realization that the secession
declarations of the Deep South states were irrevocable, and that
there would be no settlement of the crisis.

In January 1861 (IIRC) the VA legislature passed a resolution
stating, in effect, that if the secession crisis was not resolved,
VA would go out too. IOW, they wanted the North to 'come to their
senses' and accept all the slaveowners' demands, which the
Virginians considered eminently just and sensible. Then (they
thought) the Deep South would rescind secession. Most of them did
not want secession at all, even peaceful secession.

This hope was of course a complete fantasy. Neither Lincoln nor
the North in general would ever make the concessions VA expected,
much less what might have placated the Deep South. Nor is it
likely that the fire-eaters who controlled the Deep South states
would have rescinded secession on any terms.

Fort Sumter and Lincoln's call for troops dispelled the fantasy,
leaving the VA assembly no real choice except the path the VA
legislature had previously indicated.

Many neo-Confederates and other cranks insist that it was only
the call for troops that 'flipped' VA. It is probable that some
of convention delegates 'flipped' due to this factor. OTOH it
also seems probable that some delegates would have supported
secession if it was safe, but voted 'no' because they feared the
consequences to VA of participating in a war with the Union,
which Lincoln had said he would wage. It should be noted that
all of the delegates from the counties along the upper Potomac
(from Washington to Harpers Ferry) voted 'no', even though they
had the same demographics as typical counties to the S and E,
whose delegates nearly all voted 'yes'. My estimate is that
these two factors were about equal.
--
Nothing which was ever expressed originally in the English language resembles,
except in the most distant way, the thought of Plotinus, or Hegel, or Foucault.
I take this to be enormously to the credit of our language. -- David Stove
Matt Giwer
2004-12-14 16:32:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@forpresident.com
In every history class I have taken, President Buchanan was criticized
for his inaction when confronted with secession. However, based on
other information I received in my history courses, I can't help but
wonder if he was right, and if Lincoln had continued in his path, maybe
the Civil War could have been avoided? My history courses always
suggested the Southern states that initially seceded had a shakey
economy , and that without the support of Virginia, the CSA were not
going to survive. Of course, Virginia was very reluctant to join the
Confederacy, and only did so in response to Lincoln's request that the
states supply troops to quell the rebellion (sending the signal that
you're either with us or against us) . If Lincoln had never undertaken
the preparation for a military campaign, thus keeping Virginia out of
the hands of the CSA, would the conflict have been avoided because the
CSA (w/out VA) would have been unable to sustain itself as a seperate
nation?
I think is clear Lincoln was rather a fanatic (at least as a
reelectable political position) on preserving the Union as he saw it.
That is why he insisted upon calling it a rebellion rather than
secesssion even though only South Carolina could be construed as being
in rebellion. And certainly that could have been negotiated to a
resolution, treating as a local situation that got out of control
rather than a pretext for war.

Expecting the south to collapse economically doesn't offer much hope.
The families that run the states will have the least suffering so they
won't be motivated to return. That leaves the man in the street to
engage in real civil wars against their own states. Certainly there
would be no way to coordinated simultaneous rebellions in all ten states.

The real reasons for the rebellion were the US Government spending
general revenues towards industrializing the north and against
deceptive porkbarrel legislation. The CSA would have had the same
sources of revenue but spend the money in the CSA putting it on a
firmer economic foundation.
Post by c***@forpresident.com
If, under this scenario, the conflict had been successfully avoided,
what would have become of slavery?
Would have ended by 1900 one way or another. Sharecropping is a more
profitable for the land owner as he has no responsibility for those
who cannot work.
--
When Israelis justify their actions by comparison to
the treatment of the American Indians they are
admitting to being thieves and murderers.
-- The Iron Webmaster, 3309
Steven Witmer
2004-12-16 22:12:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Giwer
Post by c***@forpresident.com
In every history class I have taken, President Buchanan was criticized
for his inaction when confronted with secession. However, based on
other information I received in my history courses, I can't help but
wonder if he was right, and if Lincoln had continued in his path, maybe
the Civil War could have been avoided? My history courses always
suggested the Southern states that initially seceded had a shakey
economy , and that without the support of Virginia, the CSA were not
going to survive. Of course, Virginia was very reluctant to join the
Confederacy, and only did so in response to Lincoln's request that the
states supply troops to quell the rebellion (sending the signal that
you're either with us or against us) . If Lincoln had never undertaken
the preparation for a military campaign, thus keeping Virginia out of
the hands of the CSA, would the conflict have been avoided because the
CSA (w/out VA) would have been unable to sustain itself as a seperate
nation?
I think is clear Lincoln was rather a fanatic (at least as a
reelectable political position) on preserving the Union as he saw it.
That is why he insisted upon calling it a rebellion rather than
secesssion even though only South Carolina could be construed as being
in rebellion.
<boggle>

1. In the Prize Cases in 1862, the entire US Supreme Court effectively stated
that the seceding states were in a state of rebellion, as that term was used by
both the majority and dissenting opinions - and the dissenting opinions
included that of Roger Taney. If even Taney felt comfortable using the term
rebellion, why pick on Lincoln for using it? Or do you feel you have greater
authority than the entire sitting Supreme Court in 1862?

2. More than just South Carolina had taken aggressive acts. The arsenal and
federal hospital at Baton Rouge had been seized, as had a US Naval vessel in
port. In Georgia, militia siezed US forts at the direction of the governor of
the state. An attempt to sieze a fort in Florida was repulsed by the garrison.
Other federal forts and installations were siezed as well, without warning.
ALL of these event occurred before Lincoln was even inaugurated, let alone
before Sumter was fired upon. Many of these events occurred before the states
in question had voted to secede, and so by ANY scope of event the most fevered
imagination they were within the Union at time. See McCulloch v Maryland for
reasons why seizing federal properties is a no-no.

<snip>


And certainly that could have been negotiated to a
Post by Matt Giwer
resolution, treating as a local situation that got out of control
rather than a pretext for war.
Except it wasn't "local", as per my comments above. Similar incidents had
already happened across the south - it was just Sumter that was the last straw.
You can only let someone slap your face for so long before you say enough is
enough.


Steven Witmer

"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."
- Benjamin Franklin
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