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: 22 44.0%
  • The Confederacy never had a chance to win the American Civil War.

    Votes: 18 36.0%
  • It is unclear to me whether or not the Confederacy could have won the American Civil War.

    Votes: 10 20.0%

  • Total voters
    50

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,771
#71
In the antebellum South, it was also just as likely that the planters might counter, "If slavery is abolished, free blacks will take away your jobs and rape your daughters." In the antebellum Deep South in 1860, if anyone in the South ever publicly expressed support for abolition, the abolitionist would likely become the victim of some sort of terrorism such as having his house burned down and being run out of town or even being lynched. In the antebellum Deep South of 1860, the atmosphere and situation is very reminiscent of the Great Terror in rural France during the French Revolution.
It is sort of like it used to be you couldn't be a Communist or you can't be racist now. Abolitionist literature was not allowed in the south. However, it was OK to oppose secession as bad for the future of slavery and so on.
 
Likes: grey fox

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,651
#72
Your statements about sharecropping in the 1930s and cotton harvesting being one of the last agricultural jobs to be mechanized is totally consistent with my theory that the mechanization of southern agriculture would have led to legal slavery being abolished in the South in the first half of the 20th century if the Confederacy won the Civil War.
The first commercially viable machines for picking cotton didn't appear until the 1950s.
 
Likes: grey fox
Jan 2019
8
SC Pennsylvania
#73
Nigh impossible for a solid confederate victory in our civil war. Why? They didn't even have trains that could go from point 'A' to point 'B" due to differences in track size. (How would they transport and ship?)
They did not have the industrial setup that the union did. It's not that they were inept or stupid; they were an agricultural society with their efforts based on slave labor. They did not have the cold, hard cash that the north did... witness the fact that they took the attempt to go west and attempt to get the gold fields in California under their control while having no idea on how to treat with Indians or the wildness wilderness. And how about Picacho Peak?
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,771
#74
They couldn't win a solid victory, taking Washington, Baltimore, St Louis and so on. They could win if the Union wasn't getting far and gave up on the war.
 
Sep 2013
816
Chattanooga, TN
#75
The first commercially viable machines for picking cotton didn't appear until the 1950s.
Yeah but there would have been tractors available to plow for planting cotton in the first half of the 20th century, reducing the need for slave labor.

Industrialization in the South was inevitable during the first half of the 20th century due to the advent of technology such as electricity and electric motors and gasoline engines. If the Confederacy won the Civil War, the Confederacy still would have abolished slavery in the first half of the 20th century, even though there were no machines for picking cotton at the time.

Fiver, do you agree with me on this?
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,771
#76
Yeah but there would have been tractors available to plow for planting cotton in the first half of the 20th century, reducing the need for slave labor.

Industrialization in the South was inevitable during the first half of the 20th century due to the advent of technology such as electricity and electric motors and gasoline engines. If the Confederacy won the Civil War, the Confederacy still would have abolished slavery in the first half of the 20th century, even though there were no machines for picking cotton at the time.

Fiver, do you agree with me on this?
This is speculative. Why free slaves and lose your assets. Slaves could also be used as factory workers etc.

What if they compromised and adopted the Corwin Amendment. Then it would have been almost impossible to abolish slavery.
 
Sep 2013
816
Chattanooga, TN
#77
You seem to be unaware that the South left the Union because they feared that the Northern states would ban the expansion of slavery, not that they would end slavery
Most antebellum white southerners believed that the containment of slavery would eventually lead to the extinction of slavery, so the distinction you make is moot.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,771
#78
Most antebellum white southerners believed that the containment of slavery would eventually lead to the extinction of slavery, so the distinction you make is moot.
It would be a difficult situation for them to become a smaller and smaller minority in Congress. Slavery was becoming concentrated in the deep south. There were a series of events, bloody Kansas, the caning incident, John Brown's "raid", and then Lincoln's election. Slavery wasn't really threatened any time soon, but the interests of the deep southern states and their elite seemed better served in an independent country. To some extent though, the war just happened. Many people were expecting some sort of compromise or retreat. There had been threats to secede by South Carolina in 1832 over tariffs and by New England over the War of 1812.

The southern states could have gotten an agreement and a Constitutional Amendment protecting slavery permanently. The Corwin Amendment said there could be no Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery. This assumed that a leglislation could not abolish slavery and also that the slave states were likely to be badly outnumbered in the future so that it would be possible for 3/4 of the states to ratify an anti-slavery amendment.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,771
#80
Were guerilla tactics that practical in the 19th century? The term comes from resistance to the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. However, it wasn't used much until the mid 20th century, in the Vietnam War and some anti-colonial wars.

The Confederacy did have guerilla forces, such as Mosby's and Quantrill's and it probably would have been better to use that approach more, along with a more defensive conventional approach.
 

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