Did the Confederacy have a chance to win the Civil War?

Did the Confederacy have a chance to win the American Civil War?

  • The Confederacy did have a chance to win the American Civil War.

    Votes: 26 47.3%
  • The Confederacy never had a chance to win the American Civil War.

    Votes: 18 32.7%
  • It is unclear to me whether or not the Confederacy could have won the American Civil War.

    Votes: 11 20.0%

  • Total voters
    55
Sep 2013
900
Chattanooga, TN
#1
Two years ago I posted a thread titled "Did the South have a chance to win the Civil War?" The reason I created this new thread is to add a poll about this. My previous thread did not have a poll.

In my previous thread, I asserted that the Confederacy could have won the Civil War. In my previous thread, I listed decisions that the Confederacy made that I consider to be mistakes that contributed to the Confederate defeat. I'm not going to list what I consider to be Confederate mistakes here because I think that might skew the poll results.

I'm not interested in whether or not the South could have won the Civil War if the South did things differently long before southern secession because it totally changes the situation. It's not meaningful. I'm only interested if the South could have won the Civil War if the South did things differently from the founding of the Confederacy in February 1861. That's why I titled this thread "Did the Confederacy have a chance to win the Civil War" as opposed to "Did the South have a chance to win the Civil War".

Did the Confederacy have a chance to win the Civil War?
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P.S. If you think that a Confederates had little chance to win the Civil War, you ought to vote that the Confederates did have a chance to win the Civil War because a very small chance is still a chance.
 
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#3
I think that MJ’s scenario—a very real one in 1864–would have resuted in southern independence. But that depends on Atlanta holding out until the election. Fortunately, Hood and Davis precluded that result.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,287
Dispargum
#5
Why is it important that any chance or a small chance to win should be recorded as a 'Yes' vote? When I consider this question I think of probabilities and rational decision making. If I lived in the South in 1861 and I concluded that the odds were long against a successful war, the rational decision would be to look for another solution to the Sectional Crisis besides Civil War. I know you said the Confederacy, not the South, so I assume secession has already happened. What value is there in acknowledging, 'Well, we only have a small chance at victory. Let's do it!'
 
Likes: Edratman
Sep 2013
900
Chattanooga, TN
#7
Why is it important that any chance or a small chance to win should be recorded as a 'Yes' vote?
It is important that any chance or a small chance to win should be recorded as a "yes" vote because a small chance to win is still a chance to win. It is inaccurate to say that the Confederacy had no chance to win the Civil War if the Confederacy had a very small chance to win the Civil War. It's a matter of accuracy.

Furthermore, this has enormous implications in the significance of Confederate mistakes in the Civil War. If the Confederacy did indeed have a chance to win the Civil War, the "should have done"s could have made the difference between victory and defeat for the Confederacy.

When I consider this question I think of probabilities and rational decision making. If I lived in the South in 1861 and I concluded that the odds were long against a successful war, the rational decision would be to look for another solution to the Sectional Crisis besides Civil War. I know you said the Confederacy, not the South, so I assume secession has already happened. What value is there in acknowledging, 'Well, we only have a small chance at victory. Let's do it!'
I already answered this above.

Besides, it's just an interesting question for Civil War buffs. An issue does not have to have some sort of practical significance for it to be worthwhile for me to ask about it. Most people come here just for entertainment purposes. If something is interesting, it's worth discussing.
 
Last edited:
Likes: redcoat
Feb 2014
313
Miami
#8
If the south fought a güeritos war against the north and didn’t fight pitch battles they could not afford to replace them causalties from. Yes. The north was an invader in a land with poorer infrastructure than the north. The south just needed to drag the war out until the north did not re-elect lincoln or the British intervene as it would serve their interest for a weaker usa
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#9
The Confederacy had no chance to defeat the north militarily. But to "win", the South did not have to defeat the Union militarily, it was enough for them to convince the people of the North that the war was not worth pursuing. That was possible, although unlikely. Had McClellan been electdd president, the Confederacy would have."won", since they would have achieved their goal independence .
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,287
Dispargum
#10
The Confederacy had no chance to defeat the north militarily. But to "win", the South did not have to defeat the Union militarily, it was enough for them to convince the people of the North that the war was not worth pursuing. That was possible, although unlikely. Had McClellan been electdd president, the Confederacy would have."won", since they would have achieved their goal independence .
True, but the best way to help McClellan win the election of '64 was for the Confederates to win more battles, suffer fewer casualties, and inflict more casualties upon the North.
 
Likes: Fiver

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