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Old December 14th, 2012, 12:16 AM
Aranfan Aranfan is offline
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What If: The North Secedes in the ACW.

What if instead of the slavocrats seceding to protect slavery, the North had seceded because they refused to continue to be associated with slavers?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 12:23 AM
CaliBoy1990 CaliBoy1990 is offline
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What if instead of the slavocrats seceding to protect slavery, the North had seceded because they refused to continue to be associated with slavers?
TNF had a pretty interesting scenario going in the Alternate Presidents thread a little while back.....I forget what it was called, though.

Anyhow, even with the whole of the old North(and maybe most of the Dakotas east of the Missouri, too)gone, I don't think slavery would be given much of a new lease on life: You still have the territories and the West to deal with, and one factor some forget to consider is the possibility that many antislavery Unionites still loyal to the Union might just pack up and move westward, which would, of course, significantly complicate an already rather strange situation.....

I'd give the whole slavery system maybe until 1910 or so to live before it comes crashing down on everybody(though, IMO, something similar to Apartheid replacing it isn't at all farfetched; IOTL's Jim Crow was basically this in many ways, though only on a regional, instead of national scale.).
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Old December 14th, 2012, 12:44 AM
Umbric Man Umbric Man is offline
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There was this timeline I found by a member of the board recently called 'What Hath a Warm Overcoat Wrought'. The North secedes in the 1840s and it's pretty interesting to see how the two regions of the USA develop in broad strokes parallel but not terribly similar to the two in OTL.

Anyways, I wouldn't be surprised if a more peaceful secession would happen. Surely the 36'30'' border would extend westwards as the border between north and south - it was attempted to push it as late as 1860 with the Crittenden Compromise, so we could see Cali split.*

*Of course the 37th parallel was already in place for the future Oklahoma/Kansas and Colorado/New Mexico and Utah/Arizona, so it's more like the 37th parallel as the border between North n' South, and then a sudden slight downwards shift to 36'30'' in the now-split California.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 01:28 AM
RamscoopRaider RamscoopRaider is online now
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Originally Posted by Aranfan View Post
What if instead of the slavocrats seceding to protect slavery, the North had seceded because they refused to continue to be associated with slavers?
Need an early POD, by the time abolition really became important the balance had already favored the north, why should they secede when they control the government?

No you need an early POD to weaken the North vis a vis the south, or to kick off the abolitionist movement quicker
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Old December 14th, 2012, 01:38 AM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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"The North" only controlled the government because the term "the North' is used as interchangable with "free states". There's no "Northern bloc" in any other sense.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 02:44 AM
Sucrose Sucrose is offline
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"The North" only controlled the government because the term "the North' is used as interchangable with "free states". There's no "Northern bloc" in any other sense.
True. But that's just nomenclature. Okay, "The Free States" secede in the ACW. What sort of scenario could make this happen?

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Originally Posted by RamscoopRaider View Post
Need an early POD, by the time abolition really became important the balance had already favored the north, why should they secede when they control the government?

No you need an early POD to weaken the North vis a vis the south, or to kick off the abolitionist movement quicker
Right. You need a fairly early POD to dramatically shift political power to the South. Otherwise the timeline just leads to OTL.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 02:50 AM
B_Munro B_Munro is offline
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Goldstein did a little map scenario (although I think it takes more than bumping off the Republican Party...)

http://www.alternatehistory.com/disc...es#post6663580
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Old December 14th, 2012, 02:54 AM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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True. But that's just nomenclature. Okay, "The Free States" secede in the ACW. What sort of scenario could make this happen?
My point is, there isn't going to be something that makes both New England and the Old Northwest (to pick opposite ends of the Free States, not counting California and Oregon) want to secede, because there's no "we're the ____." outside "part of the US".

No one says American but Northern by the Grace of God, and I don't know what kind of POD would change that.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 03:10 AM
Sucrose Sucrose is offline
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My point is, there isn't going to be something that makes both New England and the Old Northwest (to pick opposite ends of the Free States, not counting California and Oregon) want to secede, because there's no "we're the ____." outside "part of the US".

No one says American but Northern by the Grace of God, and I don't know what kind of POD would change that.
I'd argue that any cohesion among the free states would come from their opposition to Southern dominance of the country, and their similar economies. I don't really think it's much more outlandish than the whole, disparate South seceding.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 03:19 AM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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I'd argue that any cohesion among the free states would come from their opposition to Southern dominance of the country, and their similar economies. I don't really think it's much more outlandish than the whole, disparate South seceding.
New England and the Old Northwest don't have similar economies, though. One is based on the sea, for instance, which is much more important than "both are free states".

And the "disparate South" is not nearly as disparate as the "North".
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Old December 14th, 2012, 03:25 AM
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New England and the Old Northwest don't have similar economies, though. One is based on the sea, for instance, which is much more important than "both are free states".

And the "disparate South" is not nearly as disparate as the "North".
They both have industrial economies and are connected by the Eerie Canal. Once the canal and later railroads were built, there wasn't that significant of a difference between a sea-based and inland economy. New England and the Old Northwest were actually very similar culturally as well. You can occasionally even see the ghost of these cultural similarities in voting patterns today.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:02 AM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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They both have industrial economies and are connected by the Eerie Canal. Once the canal and later railroads were built, there wasn't that significant of a difference between a sea-based and inland economy. New England and the Old Northwest were actually very similar culturally as well. You can occasionally even see the ghost of these cultural similarities in voting patterns today.
There's a great significance between an economy based on overseas trade and an economy that isn't.

Especially with the Old Northwest still (as of 1860) not as industrialized as the Northeast.

Also, I can't tell if that's a pun or a typo, so I'm assuming pun.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 05:49 AM
Rich Rostrom Rich Rostrom is offline
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What if instead of the slavocrats seceding to protect slavery, the North had seceded because they refused to continue to be associated with slavers?

Highly improbable. For white Southerners, especially in the Deep South, slavery protection was (or was presumed to be) an existential issue. There were large areas where slaves outnumbered whites. It was assumed by most whites that if the blacks were not under rigid control, they would rise up against the whites and destroy them.

In the Upper South, there were fewer such areas, but slave property was still a very large proportion of wealth, and slaveowners were socially and politically dominant. And even there the fear of slave insurrection was real. Nat Turner's Rebellion was in Virginia; so was John Brown's expedition.

The "Fire-Eaters" had been for years asserting that fanatical "abolition fiends" wanted to incite such insurrections. Now an anti-slavery President was going to take power, and they asserted that he would use the Federal government to subvert the authority of whites over the slaves. That created enough panic to get secession declared in the Deep South. The Upper South wavered, vainly hoping for some compromise to restore the Union. When that was impossible, they also declared secession.

Now turn it around. Outright abolitionists were a minority in the North. Lincoln got just under 55% of the vote in the North, and both he and the Republicans loudly disclaimed any intention of abolishing slavery; their pledge was only to restrict it to the South.

Lincoln voters, and even many Democrats, disliked slavery, and didn't want in their states, but most of them were indifferent to its presence in Southern states. Few of them considered that presence more important than the Union. It didn't affect them, or threaten to affect them, in any important way.

In fact, there were some abolitionists who in 1860-1861 declared that Southern secession was a good thing, because it purged the U.S.A. of slavery. They were vehemently denounced, and even jeered off platforms.

The only way that Northerners might consider secession over slavery is if the prohibition of slavery in their states was overriden, and slavery was brought in. That possibility was raised by Republicans in the wake of the Dred Scott decision. The Supreme Court had found that the Constitution allowed slavery in all territories, regardless of what Congress or the residents of the territory wanted; neither had the power to deprive a slaveholder of his property. Republicans suggested that it was only a small further step to a ruling that no state could do so either.

That would mean slavery in all states.

If the Court made such a ruling, and if at the time there was a pro-Southern President (either a Southerner or a Doughface), and if there was a pro-slavery majority in Congress... then there might be enough resentment in some Northern states for secession.

But that set of circumstances seems impossible. Dred Scott was blatant judicial overreaching, asserting a claim that hardly anyone had even thought of. It overturned the Missouri Compromise, which had passed with Southern votes and been accepted by Southerners for over 30 years. Only three years earlier, Southerners had rejoiced that the Kansas-Nebraska Act would modestly breach the Compromise by allowing settlers in that territory to permit slavery.

All apportionments of the House gave a majority of seats to free states, and it seems highly unlikely that there would be enough Doughfaces to form a majority so pro-slavery that they would enforce such a decision. It would not be impossible - there were some, and a determined pro-slavery President could use patronage and other manipulation to make more - but very unlikely. (The Senate was more easily controlled by the South, since it was not proportional.)

That's what it would take to provoke Northern secession, and I don't see it ever happening.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 01:06 PM
Aranfan Aranfan is offline
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Wasn't there an "in transit" type legal trickery that did bring slavery to the north after Dredd Scot? Or am I mixing RL up with Decades of Darkness?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 01:09 PM
CaliBoy1990 CaliBoy1990 is offline
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Wasn't there an "in transit" type legal trickery that did bring slavery to the north after Dredd Scot? Or am I mixing RL up with Decades of Darkness?
Probably the latter.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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Wasn't there an "in transit" type legal trickery that did bring slavery to the north after Dredd Scot? Or am I mixing RL up with Decades of Darkness?

The Dredd Scott v. Sandford decision did indeed provide a back door for slavery to exist in previously free states and it did so thanks to the "in transit" loophole Justice Taney and the other assholes on the court "discovered". Further helping the cause of slavery, the decision also stated that people of African descent could not be citizens and thus were not protected by the Constitution and that Congress could not regulate slavery in a territory.

Scott was purchased in Missouri by an Army doctor who was then assigned to posts in two free states. When the doctor was reassigned to Missouri, he let Scott behind and rented him out. Scott married during this period and he and his wife eventually had daughter who born in a free state and thus not a slave. The army doctor moved around some more while the Scotts and the doctor's wife stayed in St. Louis. In St. Louis the Scotts were continually rented out by first the Army doctor and then his widow. Scott tried buying his, his wife's, and his legally fee daughter's freedom beginning in the 1840s, the widow refused, and that kicked off the court case that the Supreme Court fucked up in 1857.

The Scott decision basically opened free states to slavery thanks to the "in transit" provision. Furthermore, a slave's owner needn't even remain in the state where the slave was "working" as the example of a "rented" Scott staying behind at Fort Snelling when his owner was posted south.

The decision also doomed all free blacks when it stripped them of protection of the Constitution. The court stated that Scott's daughter, despite being born free, could be held as a slave by the doctor's widow.

While the full ramifications of the decision were never felt because there wasn't enough time between 1857 and 1861 for them to be felt, the legal ruling that slave owners could more their "property" to free states, that they could rent out their "property" in free states, and that all previous statutes concerning the extension of slavery into the territories were null and void pretty much put Lincoln in the White House and began the Civil War.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:01 PM
Aranfan Aranfan is offline
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So there's the POD. Simply find a way to butterfly the three way split the Democrats suffered, keeping Lincoln out of the White House and putting a pro-Slavery President in. Let boil for a few years while resentment builds as the vile institution spreads across the North, with the Fugitive Slave Act being used to enslave formerly free blacks and rent them out in the same communities. Then, the North decides to Secede, feeling that Freedom is incompatible with the expansion of Slavery.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:06 PM
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[snip]
all this and yet Lost Causers claim that the ACW is a "War of Northern Aggression"

incidentally, the North actually would have this "War of Southern Aggression" justification and it would be TRUE
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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The South would probably let the "the North" go since it would allow them to definitively dominate the Union.

As for what would constitute "the North," you'd get New England and most of New York (but not NYC and it's CT/NJ environs), maybe Michigan and even Wisconsin. Anti-slavery is not a big enough issue outside of Yankeedom to drag IL/IN/OH into the "Northern" camp, ditto PA and NJ. Appalachians wouldn't join because the majority supported the Union rather than opposed slavery.

So unless "the North" tries to conquer the Midlands, I don't see a Southern-dominated Union doing much to stop their leaving. If this Northern Federation manages to jump across the Great Lakes to Michigan and Wisconsin and Minnesota, the main conflicts with the Union will arise in the West. I wouldn't be surprised if Oregon tried to join "the North" either since it was heavily settled by Yankees and founded as a "New England on the Pacific."

Last edited by Wolfpaw; December 14th, 2012 at 06:53 PM..
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:39 PM
Wolfpaw Wolfpaw is offline
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So there's the POD. Simply find a way to butterfly the three way split the Democrats suffered, keeping Lincoln out of the White House and putting a pro-Slavery President in. Let boil for a few years while resentment builds as the vile institution spreads across the North, with the Fugitive Slave Act being used to enslave formerly free blacks and rent them out in the same communities. Then, the North decides to Secede, feeling that Freedom is incompatible with the expansion of Slavery.
Yet in all likelihood the Republicans are going to win in 1864, so things aren't delayed much longer. Seward is probably going to be the candidate, and god knows how the Southerners will react to an abolitionist Yankee when they flipped the cart over an averse Appalachian.
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