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U.S Civil War

Discussion in 'Historical Events & Figures' started by steveox, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. steveox

    steveox Well-Known Member

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    This is my favorite history topic. I wonder what would happen If the south won? If the South Won this would been the map
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    If the union continue to lose and they lost gettysburg then i think lincoin would made a conditonal deal with Robert E Lee. CSA would keep those gray states and the USA in blue. Then Later i think the CSA would had invaded mexico and turn the mexicans into slaves and perhaps the CSA would been the leader in Tabbaco industry.
     
  2. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    If this is something that interests you, you should look up an author named Harry Turtledove. He writes "alternate historical fiction," which is basically revisionist history that recognizes that things didn't really happen the way portrayed in the books.

    Several of his books postulate different ways the South could have won the Civil War and how their independence would have shaped North American and world politics.
     
  3. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    That's a very interesting thought. My guess is that the U.S. would be more conservative because it would have to compete w/ the CSA. By this I mean, states rights (10th Amendment) of course.
     
  4. Justinian

    Justinian New Member

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    Hmmm

    It's hard to say what would have happened if the North gave up but I'm pretty sure it would have had complications in The First World War.
     
  5. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey New Member

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    You must be kidding. A hypothetical scenario is your favorite historical subject? In any case a highly unlikely historical out come. Not to mention a highly undesirable one in every aspect.
     
  6. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    You reach for your condescending hat just a bit too quickly. Hypothetical scenarios help us examine history's consequences and how we view our own history.

    "Highly unlikely?" Have you ever read anything about the Civil War? If Lee hadn't been stopped at Gettysburg he was maybe two months away from surrounding and cutting off Washington, DC - cutting the head off of the United States and throwing our armed forces into disarray (er...more disarray). And even before that Lee had made an even stronger move that was turned back at Antietam - only because a Confederate courier dropped Lee's General Order 191. The orders were found by a Union officer and McClellan used them to plan his strategy, and even then barely managed to win the battle. If those orders hadn't been recovered McClellan almost certainly would have lost at Antietam, and Lee would have been left a clear avenue to Washington.

    We "won" the Civil War by luck and the skin of our teeth. By the end of the war it wasn't superior strategy or intelligence that handed the Union a victory, it was superior numbers and a general who wasn't afraid of throwing away as many lives as possible to get the job done. Take a good look at it - the American Civil War was a five year war and the Union armies spent three of those five years on the losing side of all the battles, save Antietam. That the Union won after a series of such debacles was highly unlikely.
     
  7. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey New Member

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    Luck? Skin of our teeth? Sounds like a football game. There was no single event or seminal moment that determined the out come of the Civil War. It was a long, grinding war of attrition that the Confederacy never could have won. The Union advantage in numbers of men, industrial and military capacity were overwhelming from the beginning. The naval and economic blockade stangled the south. And Sherman's march to the sea was something more than the mere application of brute force. All these historical facts are more than evident.
    But, I guess some people like to think that every point of view deserves equal consideration. As if every trivial notion merits some credibility. And of course there are those who want to accept any idea that supports what ever mindless lunacy they are pre-disposed to believe. So, your shallow analysis and dubious conclusions are not really surprising.
     
  8. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    The "total war" theory is what eventually won the war. However, if the Confederates could have captured and cut off Washington the long war of attrition that the Civil War eventually became would never have occurred; support for the war in the Northern states, especially in Northern cities like New York, was already low and a huge symbolic loss such as the loss of the nation's capital would have almost certainly caused the North to start looking for a peaceful resolution - in other words, surrender.

    The naval blockade did severely weaken the Southern economy, but it alone wouldn't have won the war. Without Sherman and Sheridan, the true destruction of the southern economic base never would have occurred - and neither of those two men got a shot at being generals until after Gettysburg. Without the narrow defeat of the Confederacy at Antietam, or the defeat of the Confederacy at Gettysburg which happened due to Lee's biggest tactical blunder, the "war of attrition" never would have occurred.

    Oh, the arrogance. The world just lays down at your feet, doesn't it?

    All views, especially strongly-held ones, deserve consideration. German leaders in the 20s dismissed out of kind an angry little extremist splinter group, believing it to be too small and insignificant to ever amount to anything. Eventually the Nazi Party grew until distinguishing it from the German government became nearly impossible.

    Tell me, why is it shallow to reject the idea of our infallibility in war, especially given the present situation of American armed forces in Iraq and that the South in the Civil War possessed far greater generals, which made up for what they lacked in industrial might and manpower? Seems to me that brushing aside the Civil War as a minor conflagration that the South never had a hope of winning is the shallow line of reasoning.

    Let's compare the American Revolution to the Civil War, shall we?

    Who won the Revolution, the yokels and farmers with homemade weapons led by brewery owner or the most well-trained, well-equipped army in the world? The yokels did, despite being outclassed, out-manned, and out-gunned.

    They won by superior usage of tactics, picking their battles well, using foreign aid, and wearing down the enemy to the point where they just gave up.

    Tactics - The American patriots in the Revolutionary War used guerrilla-style tactics, rather than traditional European-style tactics, which allowed them to hide out and take down British units while the Brits were caught standing up. Southern generals also used superior tactics during the Civil War - despite being up against superior forces in all major conflagrations of the war, they won using an array of superior tactics. Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and both battles of Bull Run are all excellent examples.

    Picking their battles - American revolutionary forces knew that if they stood and confronted a British field army head on they'd probably get massacred. Therefore, General Washington chose his battles carefully, only attacking when chances were best of victory. The South did this as well - except, notably, at Gettysburg.

    Foreign aid - It is quite probable that American forces would not have won the Revolutionary War without the intervention of France, which provided us with their Navy so that we could launch what turned out to be the last battle of war - Yorktown. During the Civil War, both Britain and France, who were economic partners with the South (using Southern cotton in their textile factories) were just itching to recognize the Confederacy as an independent nation, which would have directly led to their intervention in the war on the side of the South. The only thing that prevented them from doing so was the Emancipation Proclamation - and the only reason Lincoln managed to get the thing out was Antietam. Without a Union victory at Antietam, Britain and France probably would have recognized the Confederacy as an independent nation and done their part to end hostilities.

    Wearing down the enemy - Countries often find it difficult to fight unpopular wars. After years of trying to subjugate the American forces during the Revolutionary War, the British just gave up. Don't delude yourself into thinking that we "beat" them; they gave up, even though they could, potentially, have thrown enough divisions at North America to wipe us off the map. The same could easily have befallen the North in the Civil War; without victory to show that he was at least winning the war, Lincoln was becoming more and more despised by Northern citizens. Without victory at Antietam, holding back the growing masses of war critics would quite probably have gone beyond Lincoln's control.

    As you can see, the whole thing hinges on Antietam. Without a Union victory there, Southern forces would have been able to surround and cut off the city, a major symbolic and tactical blow to the United States. Britain and France would have recognized the Confederacy as an independent nation and put their considerable influence behind ending the war in favor of their economic partner. Northern citizens already discouraged with the two-year, perpetually negative war would have expressed a total lack of support in carrying the thing onwards.

    Now, if I'm being so shallow, perhaps you'd like to point out how the Union would have managed to come back from a loss at Antietam? That is, the loss that probably should have happened, if not for that courier's blunder.
     
  9. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey New Member

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    Confederate victory at Antietam, Gettysburg or any other hypothetical you can think of would not have resulted in Union defeat. Casualties were always extremely high on both sides. What do you think the Confederates could have used to follow up such a victory? With what reserves of men? The Union always had more than enough men under arms. The Confederacy always struggled to maintain an effective field army. They never even had the resources to garrison cities and strategic areas. Southern victory could never have been anything but a fantasy.
     
  10. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Casualties were certainly high, but the assertion that the Union could just keep throwing lives away for no gain is far from the way of things. Without victories public support for the war would have decreased and decreased to the point where, even if Lee didn't manage to follow up on victories at Antietam or Gettysburg, Lincoln would have been replaced with McClellan as president in the 1864 election.

    All Lee had to do was keep beating the Union in large battles and he was all set. He didn't need vast reserves of men because he was inflicting a lot more casualties than he was receiving. Add to this the fact that he fielded an extremely fast army, capable of covering great distances, and you see where I'm going - he could manage to get through three or four huge land battles in the North and still accomplish his objectives. Three or four was all he'd have to fight because of how fast he moved, especially in regards to how slow Union generals like McClellan, Hooker, Burnside, and Meade all were. Both McClellan and Meade were handed the enormous victories which kept the Confederacy from winning the war. Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet were far superior as military leaders. Longstreet in particular had a plan for using defensive trenches to encircle and besiege Washington which was fifty years ahead of its time. If Lee had listened to Longstreet at Gettysburg it would have been the Union forces charging an impossible position, not the other way around.

    The Confederate battle plans called for quick, decisive victory. A war of movement and maneuver was just what a small nation needed to defeat a large nation and the Confederate armed forces excelled at it from 1861-1863. By 1864 they'd more or less run out of gas, and it was only up to a military commander like Grant who was willing to drown the Southerners in blood to bring an end to the war.

    It isn't like the Confederacy was aiming for a war of attrition. If they had been they would have been complete idiots (in the militaristic sense). A quick, decisive war was exactly what they needed - discourage the enemy, prove legitimacy to potential allies, and discredit the enemy commander-in-chief. In a war of attrition, yes, they had no prayer of winning, and from 1864 to the close of the war a Southern victory was more or less a fantasy. The most they could have hoped for was to stall the Union advances long enough to get Lincoln to sue for peace.
     
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