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July 27, 2021, 06:01:16 PM

Could the South have won?

Started by BILLY Defiant, February 11, 2012, 12:42:01 PM

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Walter Josh

Rowan Helper (1829-1909), a Southern Abolitionist born in North Carolina and educated in Economics, wrote "The Impending Crisis" in 1857. He cogently and forcefully argued that slavery was doomed for economic reasons; not because it was a moral evil.
Using graphs and statistics, he empirically demonstrated that land values, manufacturing rates and agricultural production were rising in the North but were stagnant/declining in the South. Why?
Because cotton production was land, manpower and water intensive; three costly and scarce resources. He argued that the South needed to encourage mechanization (Capital) to replace manpower(Labor); changes that were already on the horizon. Rowan accepted Adam Smith's dictum that free labor was efficient while slave labor was not. He also controversially proposed that land devoted to cotton production be restricted via taxation. In effect, the South was pricing itself out of the British Textile Market due to the rising cost of cotton production. Rowan was clairvoyant, as within 15 years, the great mills in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester would be supplied by cheaper cotton from West Bengal. Rand Paul understates his case!

mdgiles

Perhaps the smartest thing the South could have done, would have been to agree to compensated abolition. I don't think it was even a question of being economically smart. I think the South fell in live with the "Lord of the Manor" lifestyle that the Southern Gentry lived, and the Southern population in general aspired to.
"LIBERALS: their willful ignorance is rivaled only by their catastrophic stupidity"!

Sci Fi Fan

Quote from: Mountainshield on April 23, 2013, 08:04:19 PM
Taking darwinism and the rise of eugenics into account I don't think slavery would have been solved by free abolition by the South. If there was no civil war, religion would not be sufficient to cause abolition of slavery as justification for slavery would have been embraced through darwinism, which is still embraced today even though aspects of darwinism like race realism is tabo/outlawed.

Although I agree with your conclusion, it doesn't make sense to blame social darwinism for the preservation of slavery, an institution that has existed throughout all of human history.

Darth Fife

Quote from: BILLY Defiant on February 11, 2012, 12:42:01 PM
What were the tactical errors that contributed to a Southern Defeat?

I say Lee's decision to fight an offensive war in the North and the debacle of Gettysburg.

Billy

The South didn't have to "Win" the war. It just had to keep from losing it. There are many factors which contributed to this loss, but I feel that one of the most overlooked issues was transportation.

The Industrialized North had a massive and standardized rail system. In the South, most railroads were centered near cities and few were standardized. Equipment from one local system could not operated on the tracks of a neighboring system and vice versa. This meant that the North could (and did!) move men, and supplies quickly by rail from one area to another as needed, while the South was pretty much moving men and supplies the same way armies moved them for the past 3 or 4 thousand years - on foot or by horse cart!

In fact the first U.S. Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded to Northern raiders who sabotaged rail lines in an attempt to deny its use by the South.

-Darth

TboneAgain

Quote from: Darth Fife on May 24, 2013, 11:30:17 PM
The South didn't have to "Win" the war. It just had to keep from losing it. There are many factors which contributed to this loss, but I feel that one of the most overlooked issues was transportation.

The Industrialized North had a massive and standardized rail system. In the South, most railroads were centered near cities and few were standardized. Equipment from one local system could not operated on the tracks of a neighboring system and vice versa. This meant that the North could (and did!) move men, and supplies quickly by rail from one area to another as needed, while the South was pretty much moving men and supplies the same way armies moved them for the past 3 or 4 thousand years - on foot or by horse cart!

In fact the first U.S. Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded to Northern raiders who sabotaged rail lines in an attempt to deny its use by the South.

-Darth

Good points. But hardly news. Did the Confederacy NOT know that it was woefully lacking in transportation infrastructure, compared to the Union? Was the Jefferson Davis coalition THAT blind?

The fact that the southern states were poorly connected by rail and road was certainly not a secret when South Carolina decided to secede. By nature and definition, slavery had always been used to supplant technology. "Why buy a gin when I've already bought a hundred Negroes?"
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. -- Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; IT IS FORCE. -- George Washington

Dad

My Great Great Grandfather and his wife Martha. He served in the Union Army - Corporal, 7th Cavalry Western Virginia (West Virginia) during the Civil War.




mdgiles

Quote from: TboneAgain on May 28, 2013, 12:57:23 PM
Good points. But hardly news. Did the Confederacy NOT know that it was woefully lacking in transportation infrastructure, compared to the Union? Was the Jefferson Davis coalition THAT blind?

The fact that the southern states were poorly connected by rail and road was certainly not a secret when South Carolina decided to secede. By nature and definition, slavery had always been used to supplant technology. "Why buy a gin when I've already bought a hundred Negroes?"
It's said that amateurs talk strategy and tactics, while professionals talk logistics. The South didn't even think about all the industrial, transportation and population advantages that the North enjoyed. In their arrogance they simply felt that the were "better" than Northerners. It's fascinating because of the focus that is placed upon the battles in the East - where the North lost all the battles - except the important ones; as opposed to the rest of the Confederacy - where the South lost every important battle except one. Any objective observer - let's say someone not blinded by Lee's victories - Pyrrhic every one (Lee's casualties in all of his "victories', except Fredricksburg, were simply horrific, and irreplaceable)  - who looked at the overall picture, would have seen the South's condition steadily declining.
"LIBERALS: their willful ignorance is rivaled only by their catastrophic stupidity"!

Partisan62

Quote from: mdgiles on June 24, 2013, 12:32:14 AM
It's said that amateurs talk strategy and tactics, while professionals talk logistics. The South didn't even think about all the industrial, transportation and population advantages that the North enjoyed. In their arrogance they simply felt that the were "better" than Northerners. It's fascinating because of the focus that is placed upon the battles in the East - where the North lost all the battles - except the important ones; as opposed to the rest of the Confederacy - where the South lost every important battle except one. Any objective observer - let's say someone not blinded by Lee's victories - Pyrrhic every one (Lee's casualties in all of his "victories', except Fredricksburg, were simply horrific, and irreplaceable)  - who looked at the overall picture, would have seen the South's condition steadily declining.

There were battle losses at every turn, multiple armies defeated, major cities occupied and vital ports closed.   It was a desperate fight against a foe with a huge advantage in men under arms, complete naval supremacy and world class industrial might.

How in the world could these men have ever hoped to win against such a foe? Why did they ever try to take on such a behemoth? What were they thinking?

Oh wait.....I got my history books mixed up...so sorry....what I described above is the situation in early 1780 during the American Revolution.

Funny how history shows up in the same places.  The 1780-1781 campaign in South Carolina was the real turning point of the Revolution...there wouldn't be a United States without the blood of Palmetto State patriots, including my ancestors. Why would their descendents believe that the fight was hopeless in the Second American Revolution when their fathers and grandfathers had won the equally hopeless First American Revolution.

Yes, the South could have won; if three cigars wrapped in an order at Sharpsburg had not been lost, who knows.   

We DO know that we have the monstrous all powerful government and fewer rights and freedoms because the South lost that war. Although not immediately exploited, the centralization of power in the hands of the federal government began when the War of Northern Aggression ended.




mdgiles

Quote from: Partisan62 on June 26, 2013, 07:45:32 AM
There were battle losses at every turn, multiple armies defeated, major cities occupied and vital ports closed.   It was a desperate fight against a foe with a huge advantage in men under arms, complete naval supremacy and world class industrial might.

How in the world could these men have ever hoped to win against such a foe? Why did they ever try to take on such a behemoth? What were they thinking?

Oh wait.....I got my history books mixed up...so sorry....what I described above is the situation in early 1780 during the American Revolution.

Funny how history shows up in the same places.  The 1780-1781 campaign in South Carolina was the real turning point of the Revolution...there wouldn't be a United States without the blood of Palmetto State patriots, including my ancestors. Why would their descendents believe that the fight was hopeless in the Second American Revolution when their fathers and grandfathers had won the equally hopeless First American Revolution.

Yes, the South could have won; if three cigars wrapped in an order at Sharpsburg had not been lost, who knows.   

We DO know that we have the monstrous all powerful government and fewer rights and freedoms because the South lost that war. Although not immediately exploited, the centralization of power in the hands of the federal government began when the War of Northern Aggression ended.
Uh, how about because they weren't fighting strangers from across the ocean, but their far more advanced neighbors to the north. As for the fighting in the South during the Revolutionary war, most of that fighting took place between different groups of colonials - Patriots versus Tories. With the patriots - with French help - just barely coming out on top. Which brings us to the main point. The Colonials won the war WITH VITAL SUPPORT FROM THE FRENCH. So which outside power was supposed to come to the Confederacy's aid. Great Britain? That would have meant war with the only other Anglo-Saxon power and possibly the loss of Canada. France? That would have driven the North into Great Britain's arms. Germany and Italy didn't exist, as such, yet. Russia? War with United States would have almost certainly cost them Alaska and they had no fleet equal to the US fleet, not to mention that Great Britain almost certainly would have come in on the North's side. The South, with their agrarian outlook, assumed that depriving the North and Europe of vital cotton would cause victory in their favor. The industrial North and Britain, simply looked for another source of the material -Egypt and india - and fell back on supplies of cotton they had warehoused over prior years.

Okay, last but not least; we have a monstrous, all powerful government, due to the ironclad support that the Solid South gave to the Northern Democratic political machines. Together theses two were the backbone of both Wilson and FDR.
"LIBERALS: their willful ignorance is rivaled only by their catastrophic stupidity"!

daidalos

Quote from: BILLY Defiant on February 11, 2012, 12:42:01 PM
What were the tactical errors that contributed to a Southern Defeat?

I say Lee's decision to fight an offensive war in the North and the debacle of Gettysburg.

Billy

Lee's decision at Gettysburg to attack cost them the war.

Had he instead carried out his orders from Richmond, to carry out a defensive campaign, it's likely there would be today a Confederate States of America, and in the north a United States of America.

Separate nations, but two which are very, very, close in both culture, and economics.



One of every five Americans you meet has a mental illness of some sort. Many, many, of our veteran's suffer from mental illness like PTSD now also. Help if ya can. :) http://www.projectsemicolon.org/share-your-story.html
And no you won't find my "story" there. They don't allow science fiction. :)

mdgiles

Quote from: daidalos on June 27, 2013, 12:39:51 PM
Lee's decision at Gettysburg to attack cost them the war.

Had he instead carried out his orders from Richmond, to carry out a defensive campaign, it's likely there would be today a Confederate States of America, and in the north a United States of America.

Separate nations, but two which are very, very, close in both culture, and economics.
I wonder why that, is even assumed. The South had an immense Achilles Heel - it's slave population. Did you think the North was going to quietly fold it's tents and go away? If the South had won, there was absolutely no reason, for the North to prevent the John Brown types from smuggling arms South. What the South often forgets is that, until they seceded, the US government had protected their institution of slavery. Even going so far as to intrude into Northern states territory, to enforce laws which carried no weight in the free states. And even if the South did win temporary recognition by the European states. That didn't mean alliances or support from the European states. Nothing worse than sharing a continent, with a neighbor bent on revenge. One last thing, how long do you think the Confederacy would have lasted containing only the eleven states that seceded?
"LIBERALS: their willful ignorance is rivaled only by their catastrophic stupidity"!

Walter Josh

mdgiles, w/respect.
You ask, "Which outside power was supposed to have come to the aid
of the Confederacy. Great Britain? That would have meant war w/the               
only other Anglo-Saxon power and probably the loss of Canada."
A demurral w/your assertions.
Remember that in 1860 the USA was but 72 years old and hardly a world power.
In contrast, Britain was at its zenith w/the Union Jack unfurled over some 40%
of the globe. Her Navy comprising 1000+ warships went where it pleased landing
as many troops as it pleased. We defeated Britain in an 8 years guerilla war
commencing in 1775 and later in 1812. During the former she was engaged w/the
Austrians, French and Russians on the continent and during the latter w/Napoleon.
Whitehall had long memories of both defeats. But in 1860, Britain had been at peace
since the Crimea and had 45,000 regulars in Canada alone, commanded by Garnet Wolseley,
arguably Britain's greatest general between Wellington and Kitchener. Lincoln, Chase,
Stanton, among others, grasped that Britain was to be feared and a natural ally of the South.
Great Britain's power was derivative of its wealth which came largely from the great mills
of Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Southern cotton was the vital resource, as the
plantations from East Bengal had not, as yet, become cost effective. But slavery was the bane.
Had the South been able to let go of that peculiar institution, North America would look far
differently today.

walkstall

New map may explain Lee's decisions at Gettysburg.

snip~
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — On the second day of fighting at Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee listened to scouting reports, scanned the battlefield and ordered his second-in-command, James Longstreet, to attack the Union Army's left flank.

It was a fateful decision, one that led to one of the most desperate clashes of the entire Civil War — the fight for a piece of ground called Little Round Top. The Union's defense of the boulder-strewn promontory helped send Lee to defeat at Gettysburg, and he never again ventured into Northern territory.

Why did the shrewd and canny Lee choose to attack, especially in the face of the Union's superior numbers?

While historians have long wrestled with that question, geographers and cartographers have come up with an explanation, by way of sophisticated mapping software that shows the rolling terrain exactly as it would have appeared to Lee: From his vantage point, he simply couldn't see throngs of Union soldiers amid the hills and valleys.


more @
http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20130628/US--Gettysburg-Mapping.the.Battlefield/
A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.- James Freeman Clarke

Always remember "Feelings Aren't Facts."

mdgiles

Quote from: Walter Josh on June 28, 2013, 05:09:53 AM
mdgiles, w/respect.
You ask, "Which outside power was supposed to have come to the aid
of the Confederacy. Great Britain? That would have meant war w/the               
only other Anglo-Saxon power and probably the loss of Canada."
A demurral w/your assertions.
Remember that in 1860 the USA was but 72 years old and hardly a world power.
In contrast, Britain was at its zenith w/the Union Jack unfurled over some 40%
of the globe. Her Navy comprising 1000+ warships went where it pleased landing
as many troops as it pleased. We defeated Britain in an 8 years guerilla war
commencing in 1775 and later in 1812. During the former she was engaged w/the
Austrians, French and Russians on the continent and during the latter w/Napoleon.
Whitehall had long memories of both defeats. But in 1860, Britain had been at peace
since the Crimea and had 45,000 regulars in Canada alone, commanded by Garnet Wolseley,
arguably Britain's greatest general between Wellington and Kitchener. Lincoln, Chase,
Stanton, among others, grasped that Britain was to be feared and a natural ally of the South.
Great Britain's power was derivative of its wealth which came largely from the great mills
of Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Southern cotton was the vital resource, as the
plantations from East Bengal had not, as yet, become cost effective. But slavery was the bane.
Had the South been able to let go of that peculiar institution, North America would look far
differently today.
Please explain what Great Britain had to gain by supporting the South? And 45,000 whole regulars, against a Union army of over 600,000?  And war with the Union gave all of Great Britain's enemies someone to ally with against her. As for cotton, if it was so vital, why didn't Britain go to war over it. They had gone to war over sugar before. Britain as I noted, had already stockpiled supplies of American cotton, which they supplemented with supplies from Egypt, and supplies seized by advancing Union troops.In addition, though the British upper classes, felt some sympathy with the "aristocratic" South, the British middle classes despised the slave holders of the South. It shouldn't be forgotten that much of the effort that wiped out slavery around the world came from Great Britain. And the South couldn't get rid of slavery, or why were they at war. A point made by one of the Confederate leaders, when at the end, in desperation, they were going to enlist slaves.   
"LIBERALS: their willful ignorance is rivaled only by their catastrophic stupidity"!

mdgiles

Quote from: walkstall on June 28, 2013, 08:16:26 AM
New map may explain Lee's decisions at Gettysburg.

snip~
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — On the second day of fighting at Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee listened to scouting reports, scanned the battlefield and ordered his second-in-command, James Longstreet, to attack the Union Army's left flank.

It was a fateful decision, one that led to one of the most desperate clashes of the entire Civil War — the fight for a piece of ground called Little Round Top. The Union's defense of the boulder-strewn promontory helped send Lee to defeat at Gettysburg, and he never again ventured into Northern territory.

Why did the shrewd and canny Lee choose to attack, especially in the face of the Union's superior numbers?

While historians have long wrestled with that question, geographers and cartographers have come up with an explanation, by way of sophisticated mapping software that shows the rolling terrain exactly as it would have appeared to Lee: From his vantage point, he simply couldn't see throngs of Union soldiers amid the hills and valleys.


more @
http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20130628/US--Gettysburg-Mapping.the.Battlefield/
Which makes his decision even worse. To attack when you're not sure of the terrain, or the enemies numbers? The Japanese during WW2, suffered from what they described later as "Victory Disease". They had won so often, they begun to believe they would always win.
"LIBERALS: their willful ignorance is rivaled only by their catastrophic stupidity"!