What if the South Won the Civil War?

I’m no expert on American history, but my undersanding is that if Lee had have completed his march on Washington, which was his main objective, and not entangled himself in what was an encounter battlle at Gettysburgh, he would have had the opportunity to force Lincoln to sign an armistice which in effect would have brought the war to a favourable conclusion for the South. Unfortunately, for the South that is, he did become embroiled in the battle at Gettysburgh and, effectively, lost the war at that point.

My take on this is that the slaves were assets, as you point out, but not considered human assets. How does a supposedly, christian society justify an economy based on slavery when it is within its own declaration of independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of th above was a slave owner and, it is pretty conclusive, bred slaves with himself being the sire.

We have discussd in the past how nations de-humanize or demonize their enemy in order to enable their soldiers to kill with a clear conscience. For me, the question of de-humanizing the slaves follows the same psychology. Add to that the Southerners’ fear of a revolt and the potential violence resulting from such a revolt. Indeed, there were occassions that the slaves did rebel and the masters and their families were slaughtered and their plantaions put to the torch before the revolt was quashed. Down through generations the fear transforms into hatred and resentment.

"… One, Will, had been so abused by his master that he was covered with scars. On the appointed night on Sunday, they left Turner’s house and entered the house of his master where, with only one hatchet and one broadax between them, they executed all the members, including two teens, with the exception of an infant. They then moved from house to house throughout the night and executed every European-American they could find with the exception of a white family that owned no slaves; Will chopped up his master and his wife so passionately that Turner called him “Will the Executioner.” As they went from house to house they gathered slaves and weapons. By Monday, they were approaching Jerusalem but were turned back by a regiment of European-Americans. Turner dug a cave and went into hiding, but when troops arrived they scoured the countryside and executed slaves by the hundred. Turner, however, was never caught for over two months; during all this time, Virginians were seized with panic. Hundred fled the county and many left the state for good. Turner, however, was eventually captured and hung. This was the last straw; from this point onwards, no slaveowner lived comfortably with slavery now that they understood the anger, the resistance, and the vengeance that boiled beneath the burden of slavery. "


What I find a bizarre contradiction, is that these supposedly sub-human people were given Christianity. Of course, it enables them to accept their lot in life, as things will be better for them in the next (opium for the masses), but if one accepts that they are animals and not human, then why try to christianise a people that have no human soul?

Thomas Paine - African Slavery In America

"To Americans:

[i]That some desperate wretches should be willing to steal and enslave men by violence and murder for gain, is rather lamentable than strange. But that many civilized, nay, Christianized people should approve, and be concerned in the savage practice, is surprising; and still persist, though it has been so often proved contrary to the light of nature, to every principle of Justice and Humanity, and even good policy, by a succession of eminent men, and several late publications.

Our Traders in MEN (an unnatural commodity!) must know the wickedness of the SLAVE-TRADE, if they
attend to reasoning, or the dictates of their own hearts: and such as shun and stiffle all these, wilfully sacrifice Conscience, and the character of integrity to that golden idol."[/i]


Mr Bumble comes to mind:

“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble,… “the law is a ass…"
Charles Dickens: oliver Twist

By regarding them as not human.

Which is rather contradictory when one considers the efforts of Christian missionaries in Africa and elsewhere to bring such ‘savages’ to Christ around the same time, and which Christian missions were in part inspired by anti-slavery ideals.

A similar but much more modest Australian example.

GOVERNOR, JIMMY (1875-1901), outlaw, was born on the Talbragar River, New South Wales, son of Sam (later Thomas) Governor (or Grosvenor), bullock-driver, and his wife Annie, née Fitzgerald. He received his schooling at a mission school and at Gulgong. Short, good-looking and part-Aboriginal with reddish hair, Jimmy worked at Wollar before becoming a police tracker at Cassilis from 15 July 1896 to 18 December 1897. He returned to Wollar and, after woodcutting at Gulgong and wool-rolling at Digilbar, married on 10 December 1898 Ethel Mary Jane Page, a 16-year-old white woman, at the Church of England rectory, Gulgong.

In April 1900, after a variety of jobs, Jimmy got a contract for fencing (splitting and erecting posts earning 10s. and 12s. a hundred respectively) from John Thomas Mawbey at Breelong, near Gilgandra. Conscientious and anxious to prove himself in white society, Jimmy was on good terms with his employer, obtaining his rations from him and playing cricket with his small sons. Jimmy and Ethel were joined by his brother Joe and Jacky Underwood (alias Charlie Brown), a full blood, who both helped in the work, and later by Jacky Porter, another full blood, and Jimmy’s nephew Peter Governor. All claimed rations from Jimmy Governor.

Strains emerged in the marriage. Ethel, who did housework for the Mawbeys, grew unhappy; after a dispute with Mawbey, Jimmy and his friends talked of taking up bushranging. Touchy about his colour, Jimmy was stung by reports that Mrs Mawbey and Helen Josephine Kerz, a schoolteacher who lived with the Mawbeys, had taunted his wife for marrying a blackfellow. With Underwood he confronted the women, who were alone in the house with seven children and Mrs Mawbey’s 18-year-old sister Elsie Clarke, on the night of 20 July 1900. Jimmy alleged that the women laughed at him and Helen Kerz said: ‘Pooh, you black rubbish, you want shooting for marrying a white woman’. Losing all control, the two, with nulla-nullas and tomahawk, killed Mrs Grace Mawbey, Helen Kerz, and Grace (16), Percival (14) and Hilda Mawbey (11); Elsie Clarke was seriously injured.

Underwood was quickly caught but Jimmy and Joe Governor, calling themselves ‘bushrangers’, went on a fourteen-week, 2000-mile (3219 km) rampage, terrorizing a wide area of north-central New South Wales. Seeking revenge on persons who had wronged them, they killed Alexander McKay near Ulan on 23 July, Elizabeth O’Brien and her baby son at Poggie, near Merriwa, on 24 July, and Keiran Fitzpatrick near Wollar, on 26 July. After committing numerous robberies as far north as Narrabri, and in the Quirindi district, they moved into the rugged headwater country of the Manning and Hastings rivers, pursued by Queensland black trackers, bloodhounds and hundreds of police and civilians. Exulting in outwitting their pursuers, the Governors blatantly broadcast their whereabouts and wrote derisive notes to the police. On 8 October the government offered a reward of £1000 each for their capture.

After several close escapes Jimmy was shot in the mouth by Herbert Byers, a hunter, on 13 October; in a weakened condition he was captured by a party of settlers at Bobin, near Wingham, on 27 October. Joe was shot dead by John Wilkinson north of Singleton on 31 October. They had been outlawed on 23 October.

Jimmy stood trial on 22-23 November in Sydney for the murder of Helen Kerz. He was defended by Francis Stewart Boyce who raised the defence of autrefois aquit and autrefois attaint, arguing that as a result of outlawry Governor had already been attainted and could not be tried for the same crimes. These pleas in bar of trial were rejected and Governor was convicted. An appeal was dismissed, and he spent his last days reading the Bible, singing native songs and blaming his wife. He was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 18 January 1901 and buried in an unmarked grave in the Anglican section of Rookwood cemetery; Underwood had been hanged in the Dubbo gaol four days before. Governor was survived by his wife and son; on 23 November Ethel Governor married Francis Joseph Brown by whom she had nine more children. She died in Sydney on 31 December 1945.

Jimmy Governor’s ravages, in the context of Aboriginal dispossession and white racism, were the subject of Thomas Keneally’s novel The chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (1972), which was made into a film in 1978.

Sorry, that was precisely my point. guess I didn’t make it very well.

Maybe I didn’t grasp your point very well.

Anyway, we agree.

What if the South Won the Civil War?

Definitely other 44th President of the USA :slight_smile:

Not being an American and not residing in the US I had never heard of the American Civil War (we had one also) as being referreed to as the Southern War of Independence before, so I googled it.

I find that the term and the related material available give me the impression that the war is still on, or at least the wounds are still open.

Do Americans from the northern states use the same name for the war or is it just a southern perspective?

Here’s a little propaganda:


I think that most of us that have a little knowledge of what the war was fought over are aware that it was not fought to free the slaves, and that this became a later war aim of Lincoln.


The term “Southern war for independence”, is used here in the south, though not exclusively. Up north where I come from its the “Civil War”, or “War between the States”. Oddly enough the Southern Flag “Stars and Bars” although reviled by some as being a racist symbol, is as commonly seen in the north, as the south.

It’s probably become a symbol of challenge to authority. It’s used much in the sam way here, in England, as has images of Che Guevara


[b][i]One thing that was a problem for Lee at that point was the absence of Jeb Stuart. Without Stuart, Lee was blind as to the forces against him, and whether there was another way to avoid the battle. Stuart was off making another ride, as he had done against McClellan, and arrived too late to be of help in recon. Lee was furious with Stuart when Stuart finally got back.

“Deo Vindice”[/i][/b]


Not only that, but Lee was advised by his own generals to break contact. His own orders to his commanders had been for them not to be sucked into a protracted battle.

Lee was repeatedly advised to withdraw to more favourable ground where the Union forces would have to attack them and be broken in the process (such as Wellington withdrawing from Qatre Bras to Waterloo), as it is it turned out to be the other way around - not good considering Lee’s limited resources.

A rear-guard operation could have been difficult with the absence of Stuart and his cavalry, but not impossible. It would have been easier earlier in the engagement before the main Union forces had arrived on the field.

[b][i]There were many things working against Lee. Even “Old Pete” Longstreet saw that they were going to have an exposed flank at one point in the battle, but said nothing, due to a dispute he and Lee were having. In the long run, Lee accepted all responsibility for the failure in the battle. After Pickett’s charge failed to gain the high point they were seeking, Lee said he (Lee) was to blame, that it was all his fault.

By the way, I am not used to this system, yet, and I want to know how you included my response in your response to me. Thanks

“Deo Vindice”[/i][/b]

In the lower right corner of a post is a button “reply with Quote” click it, and the post in question will appear in the reply box. At the bottom of it you may enter your response, and click post to send it. If you want to quote a line or two, then copy/paste it into the reply box, and follow it with your reply.

All very true. I was having much the same thoughts on my commute this morning. Cause and effect. A case of the whole effect being greater than the sum of the individual causes.

Lee saw the opportunity of turning the Union flank at Little Round Top, but it was too late. Pickett’s charge was really one of using musketry tactics against troops armed with rifle technology. There was some sense in Lee’s assessment and going for the centre but an outdated frontal attack with inadequate artillery support was a hiding to nothing. Perhaps he underestimated the opposition, given their past performances, or maybe he felt, win or lose, he could bring an end to the war that day. I would say Lee lost the war that day and that the South continued to fight on through sheer pride and tenacity - which one can admire!

Just to add to the above. I believe tha the race for Little Round Top was the crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the battle. If Lee had won the race he could have rolled up the Union flank. The options open to Union would have been to reinforce the flank, thus further weakening their centre and making Pickett’s charge a more viable option for Lee, or they would have had to withdraw.

Thanks tankgeezer. I tried that once, but I wasn’t sure about it, so I abandoned it. I appreciate the help.
“Deo Vindice”

Uh, how about “All men are created equal…”

If you cut through all the nonsense and sand thrown in your eyes to temporarily blind you, stop and ask yourself one simple question: If there were no slavery in the South, would there have been a Civil War? I submit to you that there would have been no War Between the States. The question answers itself. Slavery was the cause. States’ Rights, Nullification, Mason-Dixon ad infinitum were all BS intended to preserve slavery. The political atmosphere surrounding free states versus slave states was incredibly vicious and nasty. Think Bleeding Kansas.

I don’t give a tinker’s damn for the derriere of a rat - otherwise known as “ratsass” - about how “constitutional” slavery was, everyone knew it was repugnant, un-Christian and revolting. The whole civilized world had given up on slavery, including the Russians when the serfs were freed, so the constitutional argument is completely bogus. In order not to lose political power, the odious southern senators even wanted their slaves to be declared 3/5 human, or white, so that they could count their population for representation in Congress. Think about that: slaves who couldn’t vote - much less read and write - kept barefoot and pregnant “represented” in Congress. Constitutional? In a pig’s eye.

The south was turning itself into a nation of church-going pretzels as it tried desperately to save its “peculiar instutition.” And when you wipe the sand out of your eyes, try going to Mississippi, Alabama, parts of Texas, Kentucky and other places today and you will see that de facto segregation is still very much alive.

Oh, and by the way, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.