Confederate Expansionism After the Civil War?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Faeelin, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    "In the Union you can not have an inch of new territory. Out of it, Mexico and Central American invite us. Like ripe fruit, they will fall at our feet almost without need to shake the tree." - Georgia State Senator Philemon Tracy.

    "Let us expand South to Brazil and from her yntil stopped by snow." -The Augusta Daily Constitutionalist.

    "From San Diego, on the Pacific Ocean, thence Southward along the shore line of Mexico and Central America, then South--still South!-- along the western shore line of New Granada and Ecuador, to where the southern boundary of the latter strikes the ocean."-The Memphis Daily Appeal.

    "Let us extend our institutions over Mexico, Cuba, San Domingo, and other West India Islands and California, and thereby become the most powerful Republic that ever the sun shone upon."-The Vicksburg Weekly Sun.


    "Expansion is destiny, and God grant that it may be accomplished without drawing the sword. But it must be accomplished, because Providence designs the spreading out of African slavery into regions congenial and suitable to its prosperity. Such regions are presented in Nicaruagua, Honduras, Chihuaha, Tamaulipas in which our omnipotent staples will flourish beneath the plastic hand of black labor. when these golden visions become realities, when we shall feed the nations with raw material, then will the wisdom and prescience of the founders of our new government be vindicated - then will the proudest nations of the earth come to woo and woship at the shrine of our imperial confederacy."- Macon Daily Telegraph

    Wow. A good thing this wasn't about slavery, right?

    Anyway, we've talked about Confederate expansionism, but as I work through a book on Southern expansionism in the antebellum era I find this moderately intriguing and worth discussing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
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  2. John Fredrick Parker Donor

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    Well, the good thing for the mentioned nations, seeing as it was about slavery, was that they lost.
     
  3. The Red A virulent, ignorant bigot

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    A pipe dream, especially with an increasingly powerful US on your border.
     
  4. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    The term I've heard for this is "The Tropical Empire". I've not heard that term officially, but only informally from Civil War buffs. As in the OP, it is a Confederate Manifest Destiny to expand into Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America.

    I don't know how feasible it is for the CSA to expand that far. Certainly Cotton can bankroll a lot but the South may well lack the level of industrialization to support such a sprawling empire. I think the South would need to spend a decade or so industrializing before any expansion is really possible, and North/South relations will need to be carefully monitored in order to ensure that while the army is in Havana, the US doesn't launch a blitz toward Richmond.
     
  5. DuQuense Commisioned Officer CSN

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    Would have helped if you had included dates, with your Quotes.
     
  6. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    They're all from 1860.
     
  7. robertp6165 Confederate Troll

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    In other words, before the Confederacy even existed.
     
  8. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    .... Yes, because what Southerners were saying in 1860 as one of the reasons to secede is not relevant.
     
  9. DValdron Random human being

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    I guess the moral is that when you're a slaveowning aristocracy of southern lunatics bent upon the idea of founding your society on insane economic and moral theories, the sky is the limit.

    I guess its lucky for everyone from Mexico to Uruguay that their psychotic dreams crashed and burned.

    :p
     
  10. NKVD ☭⚑

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    The idea of the Confederacy expanding further south is ASB. They'd be pummeled by Mexico, with the help of the U.S.
     
  11. Snake Featherston Banned

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    Any victorious Confederacy will first have to stifle internal revolts by what remains of the Unionists. While this will increase the power of the Confederate military in proportion to CS society it will also have results that would complicate expansionism. First the CSA will be existing in a world where the Monroe Doctrine for all practical purposes is at least severely weakened. Neither the Union nor the Confederacy would be able to be as able to operate independently of the European powers as the unified USA did.

    Second in the case of both the Union and the Confederacy there would be substantial opposition to CS expansionism. The fear of slave revolts and potential revivals of Unionist revolts would be one containing factor. Fear the Union might take advantage of said expansionism to trigger revolts even in a short war would be the cause of another. A third would be that with the much more factionalistic nature of Confederate politics it would be a miracle to get the entire Confederacy to agree on the virtues of expansionism.

    The northern parts of the Confederacy for various reasons may come to oppose expansionism that benefits the Deep South for the same reasons the North opposed the expansionism that benefited the South in the pre-war USA. Of course given that the Confederate army would have become accustomed to repressing actual guerrilla opposition it's an open question as to how such a CSA would take that kind of thing. The USA under its second President was already passing Sedition Acts, after all.

    Presuming the internal hurdles are passed, it's debatable as to how willing a defeated Union would be to sanction CS expansion. The USA didn't respond to a defeat overseas in the 1970s very well and that wasn't even the kind of defeat a CS victory would represent. The Union may not turn revanchist but all the same it would be heavily invested in containing the Confederacy.

    The last hurdle is the Great Powers themselves. Even with a united USA that was becoming an economic superpower the British and French were messing around with Latin America as much as they wanted. I am not sure the British would take too kindly to Confederate expansionism.
     
  12. Snake Featherston Banned

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    To say nothing of how the Great Powers are going to appreciate CS expansionism.......

    That's like claiming that North Vietnam's goals were irrelevant to the Vietnam War in 1963. :rolleyes:
     
  13. robertp6165 Confederate Troll

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    1) Nothing that's been cited here in this thread demonstrates that acquiring territory in Latin America was a "goal" of the South when it decided to secede from the Union. All it demonstrates is that one State Senator...not even a U.S. Senator, for crying out loud...and some editors of some pretty insignificant newspapers in the South thought it ought to be.

    2) The reason why there was sentiment in the South for expansion into Latin America in antebellum times was because they wanted to gain new territory which could be organized into slave states for the purpose of restoring the balance between the Free States and the Slave States in the U.S. Congress. Once the South seceded, the whole reason for wanting expansion went right out the window, because since the South was no longer represented in the U.S. Congress after secession, there was no reason to care about the balance between free and slave states in said Congress.

    3) The Confederates themselves, in OTL, did express an interest in gaining the northern tier of Mexican provinces in order to gain access to the port of Guaymas in Sonora, and thus access to the Pacific Ocean. They did not express interest in expansion any further south than that.

    4) The "All of Mexico" movement after the Mexican War failed due to opposition not only from the North, but also by powerful Southern leaders like John C. Calhoun and, later on, Jefferson Davis, who could see the massive problems that would be caused by trying to absorb millions of Spanish-speaking Mexican Catholics into the USA. Those problems would have been multiplied at least tenfold if they had seriously tried to absorb not only Mexico, but other regions in Central and South America as well, into a Confederacy whose white population was less than 1/3 that of the USA. The fact that some idiotic State Senator and a few bombastic newspaper editors who didn't bother to think such a proposition through thought it was a swell idea doesn't change the fact that the people who really mattered knew it wasn't.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  14. Spengler Free AG! Banned

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    robert you hear of filibustering you know that alot of the eventual leaders of the CSA actually supported that kind of thing because it would bring more slave states into the union and also accomplished manifest destiny? I think your conveniently ignoring evidence.

    Also remember how the confederates tried to take New Mexico and Arizona, you know that there were plans to take California. Happy to provide that truth for you.
     
  15. robertp6165 Confederate Troll

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    Yes, I am aware of the filibustering expeditions of the 1850s. And I am aware that some Southern politicians supported it. However, as I stated in Point # 2 of my earlier post, the reason for it was to balance the power of the North in the U.S. Congress by bringing more Slave States into the Union.

    As for Manifest Destiny, that was a slogan from the 1840s which went out of favor in the 1850s. Even if it could be shown that the desire to pursue a Confederate version of Manifest Destiny existed, Manifest Destiny referred to a supposed destiny of the United States to expand to the Pacific Ocean. Such a goal could have been obtained by the Confederacy through the simple expedient of taking the northern tier of Mexican provinces, as indeed I stated they planned to do in Point # 3 of my earlier post. It certainly doesn't prove a desire to expand deeply into Latin America.

    I'm fully aware of what the Confederates did in Arizona and New Mexico, and their plans for California. Indeed, I have written a number of detailed historical articles on the subject, should you care to read them.

    The capture of Arizona was primarily intended to provide a base for the conquest of California. The capture of California would have been a major boost to the Confederate war effort, providing a number of good ports which would have been very difficult for the Union to blockade, and also diverting the flow of western gold and silver from Union coffers into those of the Confederacy. The advantages thus gained would quite likely have given the Confederates victory in their war for independence. So it made sound military sense to pursue that strategy, and the fact they did so in no way proves a desire to expand deeply into Latin America in the post-bellum period.
     
  16. DValdron Random human being

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    ROTFL. No, it doesn't.

    The evidence for that particular proposition would be what some of the more ambitious loons ran around saying.

    As per the quotes. :D
     
  17. Spengler Free AG! Banned

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    You do know that it was the south who had tried to stop Californian entry into the Union as a free state don't you. IT wasn't just about Military matters it was because they thought the California belonged to them. I find your assumptions that the south would just sit tight to be rather laughable btw.
     
  18. robertp6165 Confederate Troll

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    Thank you, I couldn't have said it better myself.

    What the loons say rarely if ever determines what national policy turns out to be. Especially when said loons aren't the ones in power.

    Your position is rather akin to saying "The teabaggers said it, so it must be national policy." I think the Obama administration would beg leave to disagree with that. :p
     
  19. DValdron Random human being

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    Well, except that the entire civil war was the work of ambitious loons deciding that in pursuit of the infinite perpetuation of the institution of slavery, they were going to take the marbles and leave. :rolleyes:

    Let's face it, the Confederacy was six gallons of crazy in a four gallon bucket. :eek:

    Yep, the Civil war was one of those G vs E things, and its a good thing for everyone that G won. :cool:

    Feel free to rant about 'you people' if it makes you feel better though.
     
  20. robertp6165 Confederate Troll

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    You really ought to read a few history books. It would really help you. The South opposed the admission of California as a free state not because they "thought it belonged to them," but because admitting it as a free State at that time would upset the balance in Congress between the free and slave states. It was the admission of California which gave the North the dominant position in Congress by tipping the balance in the Senate.

    None of which factored into the Confederacy's decision to attempt the seizure of California during the Civil War. After seceding, they didn't care a rat's ass about the balance in the US Congress anymore. But California still had great strategic, economic, and military value, and so they tried to take it.

    Well, forgive me if I'm not unduly bothered by that. :rolleyes: If you choose to ignore the historical facts, by all means, go right ahead.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010