Could the CSA have survived as a confederation/preserved states rights

That's basically the question. I've seen allot of CSA victory alternate histories, and from the ones i've heard of, the CSA always seems to continue to have a federal government like the US.

IOTL, there were CS politicians who opposed the Davis administration on the grounds that war-time measures (suspending habius corpus, the draft, seizure of supplies etc.) were against states rights.

If the CSA won, would they remain a confederacy? If the CSA remained a confederacy, how long would would the nation have survived, let alone even successive to begin with? Would a confederation government have compromised industrialization, economic competition, political power, etc? Would the CSA have balkanized or gradually adopt a more federal government?
 
That's basically the question. I've seen allot of CSA victory alternate histories, and from the ones i've heard of, the CSA always seems to continue to have a federal government like the US.

IOTL, there were CS politicians who opposed the Davis administration on the grounds that war-time measures (suspending habius corpus, the draft, seizure of supplies etc.) were against states rights.

If the CSA won, would they remain a confederacy? If the CSA remained a confederacy, how long would would the nation have survived, let alone even successive to begin with? Would a confederation government have compromised industrialization, economic competition, political power, etc? Would the CSA have balkanized or gradually adopt a more federal government?
The CSA wasn't a confederacy to begin with, except in name. But whether or not the people in favor of state power (not rights, power) or not would have/could have won out post-war is more complicated.
 
The CSA wasn't a confederacy to begin with, except in name. But whether or not the people in favor of state power (not rights, power) or not would have/could have won out post-war is more complicated.
I am aware of this; the whole "Confederate" name just seemed to be a political/qiasi-propaganda title. I agree, if the CS became a true confederation or not in the long run, the whole thing would be a mess.
 

De la Tour

Banned
I imagine the states' rights would come out on top. It was the entire reason the war was fought, after all.
 
I imagine the states' rights would come out on top. It was the entire reason the war was fought, after all.
Not according to the people writing the ordinances of secession and proclaiming the purpose of the Confederacy to their fellows and the world.
 

Anaxagoras

Banned
There would have been a political defeat between extremist states-righters and those people who had supported the Davis administration during the war and recognized that a reasonably powerful central government was necessary.

That said, the differences between the United States Constitution and the Confederate States Constitution were sufficiently large enough to ensure that the state governments in the Confederacy would be considerably more powerful than they turned out to be in the United States.
 
The ACT of secession is the penultimate use of the idea of State's Rights.
The leaders of the Confederacy, however, seceded for slavery.

And the South imposed on the North's states' rights with the Fugitive Slave Act, which basically made slavery legal everywhere.
 
I imagine the states' rights would come out on top. It was the entire reason the war was fought, after all.
states' rights to own slaves; the slave states eagerly subverted the rights of anyone who didn't agree with them, the evidence for which is a veritable laundry list
 
That said, the differences between the United States Constitution and the Confederate States Constitution were sufficiently large enough to ensure that the state governments in the Confederacy would be considerably more powerful than they turned out to be in the United States.
While the CSA Constitution has significant differences from the US Constitution, it doesn't seem to do anything to make state governments more powerful, let alone significantly more powerful. Could you please give some specific examples?
 

Anaxagoras

Banned
I imagine the states' rights would come out on top. It was the entire reason the war was fought, after all.
The declared right of the Southern states to maintain slavery, yes.

While the CSA Constitution has significant differences from the US Constitution, it doesn't seem to do anything to make state governments more powerful, let alone significantly more powerful. Could you please give some specific examples?
One example: in Article 1, Section 2, the states are given the power to impeach any officer of the central government in the state.

But in looking it over again, I think your general point may be correct. It has been awhile since I examined the question.
 
The leaders of the Confederacy, however, seceded for slavery.

And the South imposed on the North's states' rights with the Fugitive Slave Act, which basically made slavery legal everywhere.
I'm not going to go over the Fugitive Slave Act "legalizing slavery everywhere" BS again it's a very narrow view of the case. Please refer to this by the late robertp6165, he was the ultimate Confederate States expert on this site, and I only knew him for a little while before he passed:

robertp6165's blog [CENTER said:
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]FIVE MYTHS ABOUT WHY THE SOUTH SECEDED”[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]A REPLY TO JAMES LOEWEN[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]By Robert Perkins[/FONT][/CENTER]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Recently in the Washington Post, sociologist and author James W. Loewen published an article entitled, “Five Myths About Why the South Seceded.” The article is a good demonstration as to why sociologists shouldn’t attempt to write history. It is filled with misrepresentations and factual errors. Lets examine each of Loewen's so-called “Myths” in turn. [/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]SO-CALLED MYTH # 1: THE SOUTH SECEDED OVER STATES' RIGHTS.[/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Confederate states did claim the right to secede,” Loewen says, “but no state claimed to be seceding for that right.” This statement is easily refuted, as Loewen ignores the fact that Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas all seceded in response to the demand of President Abraham Lincoln for troops with which to launch an invasion of the secessionist States and force them back into the Union. These States had previously rejected secession for themselves, but went to war to defend the right of other States to secede. So for these States, the right of secession was, in itself, clearly a “States’ Right” they considered important enough to secede over, and to fight over.[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Loewen then argues that “In fact, Confederates opposed states' rights - that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery.” He then goes on to point out that South Carolina’s “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union,” issued on December 24, 1860, notes "an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery" and “protested that Northern states had failed to 'fulfill their constitutional obligations' by interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage.”[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The problem with Loewen’s argument is that [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]there is no States’ Right to violate the Constitution[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]. And the Constitution, in Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, clearly states that “No person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.” The Northern States, in “interfering with the return of slaves to bondage,” as Mr. Loewen puts it, were in clear violation of the Constitution as it existed at that time.[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]If the Northern States opposed having to return escaped slaves to their owners, there was a Constitutional remedy for that, namely the amendment process specified in the Constitution. It is interesting that no Northern State ever proposed, prior to the outbreak of war in 1860, an amendment to remove Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3 from the Constitution. Rather than use the Constitutional remedy, they chose the illegal remedy of simply ignoring those parts of the Constitution they found repugnant.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Therefore, for Mr. Loewen to state that the Confederates opposed States’ Rights, based on the fact that they insisted on the return of their slaves as was [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]guaranteed[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] to them by the Constitution, is highly disingenuous. Sorry, but there was no “States’ Right” involved in this case, at least not on the Northern side of the issue.[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] Loewen then claims that “Slavery, not states' rights, birthed the Civil War,” and then goes on to say that “Other seceding States echoed South Carolina,” quoting the Secession Declaration issued by Mississippi on January 9, 1861, which stated, among other things, that "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of the commerce of the earth. . . . A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization."[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] In point of fact, the statement of Mississippi quoted by Loewen is not an “echo” of South Carolina’s, because South Carolina never said anything remotely like it in its own Declaration. South Carolina’s Declaration is basically a legalistic justification of the reasons why they felt they had the right to secede. It did not, even once, endorse slavery as an institution or express a desire to protect it. What it did say about slavery, in a nutshell, was...[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]1) The Constitution recognized the institution of slavery and guaranteed certain protections for it, and that the Northern States were in violation of the Constitution because they were not complying with Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3 (the Fugitive Slave Clause).[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]2) The anti-slavery agitation in the North, and the activities of the anti-slavery societies located there, had disturbed the domestic tranquility of the slaveholding States. Neither the Northern States nor the Federal Government had done anything to stop this. And since the insurance of domestic tranquility was one of the stated purposes of the Constitution...stated in the Preamble...the Federal Government had failed in one of the primary purposes for which it had been established.[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]3) The victory of the Republican Party in the 1860 elections meant that not only would these conditions not be remedied, but would be exacerbated.[/FONT]
[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] 4) Therefore, since the North had violated the Constitution and subverted the purposes for which it was created, and since it had, by placing the Republican Party in power, demonstrated that it intended to go on violating and subverting it, and since their success in the recent election demonstrated that they had the power to do so over any objections the South might raise, South Carolina had been freed from her own obligation to be bound by the compact of the Constitution, and she was free to leave the Union, which she now opted to do.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]That’s it…no endorsement of slavery, no declaration of intent to keep slavery forever, nothing remotely resembling the statement of Mississippi which Mr. Loewen quotes.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]But what about other States? Does Mr. Loewen have a point there? Did any of them agree with Mississippi’s statement? Well, only five of the eventual eleven states of the Confederacy issued statements of their reasons for seceding. Of those five, only two...those of Mississippi and Texas...can be viewed as ringing endorsements of slavery and a possible desire to maintain the institution in perpetuity. The other three do talk about [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]the conflict between the North and the South over slavery[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif], in particular, the refusal of the Northern States to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act (which the South considered to be a prima facie violation of the Constitution which justified them in breaking the compact of the Union) and the agitation of Northern abolitionists which had recently led to the John Brown episode, as leading them to the decision to secede. To state that you wish to leave the Union [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]to remove yourself from the continuing conflict over slavery[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] is not the same as saying you wish to leave the Union [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]to protect slavery[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]. Given that the “conflict over slavery” had, just over a year previously, manifested itself in an attempt by Northern abolitionists to start a slave insurrection in the South…something which was widely believed to mean inevitable, indiscriminate massacres of white people in the South…they surely had reason to want to remove themselves from that conflict, without necessarily wanting to preserve slavery as an institution forever.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]And slavery is not the only issue spoken of by the Southern Secession Declarations. Florida’s Declaration, for example, talks about the tariff issue as being a secondary cause in its decision to secede. Georgia's declaration argues (in a long-winded and bombastic way which obscures the meaning of the document and leads people like Mr. Loewen to misinterpret it) that the real issue was that Northern industrialists had been trying to take over the government for decades so as to enact their program of business subsidies, high tariffs, and internal improvements within the Northern States paid for with Southern tax dollars. Those industrialists had failed in their program and had made an alliance with the anti-slavery faction in the North, which allowed them to unite the North behind them and take over the government. Therefore, the real problem, in Georgia’s eyes, was not the slavery issue, but Northern industrialists and other business interests who were seeking to take control of the government, by any means, fair or foul, and use it to plunder the South for their own benefit.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]So Loewen’s contention that the statement of Mississippi that “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery” was typical of the sentiments expressed by the other Southern States in their Secession Declarations is simply false. Those who try to reduce the causes of the Civil War down to a single issue…slavery…are often led astray and see only what they want to see in documents of the period. Loewen is one of these, and it shows.[/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]SO-CALLED MYTH # 2: SECESSION WAS ABOUT TARIFFS AND TAXES.[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] [/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]“During the nadir of post-civil-war race relations," Loewen begins, "the terrible years after 1890 when town after town across the North became all-white 'sundown towns' and state after state across the South prevented African Americans from voting, ‘anything but slavery’ explanations of the Civil War gained traction. To this day Confederate sympathizers successfully float this false claim, along with their preferred name for the conflict: the War Between the States.” [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]It is never a good sign, if one is looking for an honest and unbiased interpretation of historial events, when a writer begins his argument by impugning the integrity of those who disagree with him, as Loewen does in his opening passage. He then goes on to compound that basic error of historical analysis by making a statement which is patently false. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]“These explanations are flatly wrong," Loewen declares. "Tariffs were not an issue in 1860, and Southern states said nothing about them. Why would they? Southerners had written the tariff of 1857, under which the nation was functioning. Its rates were lower than at any point since 1816.” [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Every part of that statement is patently false, as I will now demonstrate.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]--As stated previously, two of the Southern States, Florida and Georgia, did explicitly list, in their Secession Declarations, high tariffs among the reasons why they seceded. The others did not, but that does not mean that they did not consider the issue high on their list of priorities. After all, the Secession Declarations were attempts to explain why the Southern States felt they had the right to secede, and were legally justified in so doing. Collection of tariffs for the protection of industry was not illegal under the United States Constitution, and therefore would not have been seen as a possible legal justification for secession. Interestingly, however, one of the first things the Confederates did when they wrote their own Constitution was to ban protective tariffs. If they didn’t consider the issue important, they certainly hid that fact well.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]--If tariffs weren’t an issue in 1860, then one wonders why Abe Lincoln based so much of his campaign around that issue? Why, for example, would Lincoln’s official campaign poster show he and his running mate, Hannibal Hamlin, above the campaign slogan, "Protection for Home Industry?" “Protection for Home Industry” is, of course, a euphemism for “High tariff rates to protect home industry from foreign competition.” Why, in a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, would Lincoln announce that no other issue was as important as raising the tariff rate? Why would Lincoln make skillful use of his lifelong protectionist credentials to win the support of the Pennsylvania delegation at the Republican convention of 1860? Does Mr. Loewen honestly think that the Southern States weren’t aware of all these things?[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Furthermore, Lincoln went on, following his election, demonstrating that raising the tariff was a top priority of his administration. He signed ten tariff-increasing bills while in office. In his First Inaugural Address, he threatened an invasion of those States which refused to collect the federal tariff, saying, “The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.” And, when he announced a naval blockade of Southern ports, the very first reason he gave for doing so was as follows: “Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein…” The South was aware of all this, too, Mr. Loewen.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]--Loewen states that the 1857 tariff rate, which was the lowest tariff of the entire nineteenth century, was in effect in 1860, and that this somehow proves that the tariff issue wasn’t important for Southerners during that period. This is nothing short of a blatant lie.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]While it is true that the 1857 tariff rate was indeed in effect during 1860, Loewen conspicuously fails to mention that the notorious Morrill Tariff, which more than doubled the average tariff rate from 15% to 32.6%, had been passed by the Northern-dominated House of Representatives during the 1859-1860 session of Congress and was fully endorsed by President-elect Abraham Lincoln. Indeed, it was quite literally the cornerstone of the Republican economic policy. At the time, the tariff accounted for at least 90 percent of all federal tax revenues. The Morrill Tariff therefore represented a more than doubling of the rate of federal taxation! Thirty-three Republican Senators following the 1860 Election meant a near-Republican-majority in the Senate, which then consisted of 68 members. Since many Northern Democratic Senators also supported high tariffs, the South knew that the Morrill Tariff was virtually assured of passage during the 1861 session. Yet Loewen doesn’t mention the Morrill Tariff at all in his essay. Why is that, Mr. Loewen?[/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]SO-CALLED MYTH # 3: MOST WHITE SOUTHERNERS DIDN'T OWN SLAVES, SO THEY WOULDN'T SECEDE FOR SLAVERY. [/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Loewen begins by admitting that most white Southern families owned no slaves. However, he says, “two ideological factors caused most Southern whites, including those who were not slave-owners, to defend slavery. First, Americans are wondrous optimists, looking to the upper class and expecting to join it someday. In 1860, many subsistence farmers aspired to become large slave-owners. So poor white Southerners supported slavery then, just as many low-income people support the extension of George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy now.”[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]There may be some truth to that argument. However, there is little direct evidence for it, and Mr. Loewen presents none. It is interesting that historian James McPherson, hardly a neo-Confederate source, clearly demonstrates in his book, [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif], that relatively few Confederate soldiers during the war fought to preserve slavery. Some did, of course, but they were the minority. If the vast majority of Southern non-slaveholding whites really aspired to become slave owners, as Loewen clearly implies without directly stating it to be true, one would have thought that such sentiment would have been far more common than it was.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Second and more important,” Loewen continues, “belief in white supremacy provided a rationale for slavery.” He then quotes an 18th century French political theorist, Baron de Montesquieu, to prove his point, without offering any other evidence.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]An 18th Century Frenchman? Really? One would think he would at least cherry-pick out of Alex Stephens’ Cornerstone Speech, like everyone else does. Maybe he’s just lazy, but it does call into question the depth of his knowledge on this subject…and why sociologists shouldn’t pontificate outside their specialty.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]However that may be, this argument is one of the few which Loewen makes that does have a certain amount of validity to it. Certainly Southerners of the mid-nineteenth century were white supremacists, and certainly that belief made it easier for them to hold black men as slaves. Virtually every other white person in the world at that time held similar beliefs. They were by no means unusual at that period of history. Indeed, since we’re using Frenchmen to prove our points here, why not point out that Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman who, unlike de Montesquieu, [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]actually visited the United States[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] and observed conditions there first-hand, thought that such attitudes were far more prevalent in the North than in the South? But does a belief in white supremacy automatically translate into a desire on the part of the South to secede from the Union?[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Loewen does not, beyond merely asserting that such was the case, provide any proof of a connection between that belief and the decision of the Southern States to secede from the Union. Certainly there were some, such as Alexander H. Stephens, who thought there was such a connection. But it is just as clear that others did not. Jefferson Davis, in his First Inaugural Address, for example, mentioned slavery not at all. And only two of the eleven states which eventually formed the Confederacy (namely Mississippi and Texas) ever stated, in justifying their action of secession, that a belief in white supremacy played any part in their motivation for secession (and before anyone chimes in with “Well of course they wouldn’t admit that publicly,” please remember that these were people who, in general, [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]were[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] white supremacists and quite unashamed of it, and who would have been expressing what was merely the majority viewpoint at the time. They certainly had no reason to hide their views).[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]SO-CALLED MYTH # 4: ABRAHAM LINCOLN WENT TO WAR TO END SLAVERY. [/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Loewen starts out well enough, pointing out that many Americans think that since abolition occurred as a result of the Civil War, abolition was, in fact, the Union’s goal. He then points out that Lincoln himself declared otherwise. Preservation of the Union, declared Lincoln, was his goal in going to war, not the abolition of slavery.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]So far, so good.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]But of course, Loewen doesn’t end there. He states, “Lincoln's own anti-slavery sentiment was widely known at the time. In the same letter, he went on: ‘I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.’ A month later, Lincoln combined official duty and private wish in his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.”[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]First of all, the “personal wish that all men everywhere could be free” is hardly a ringing denunciation of slavery or a statement of altruism toward the slaves, especially in light of other statements which Lincoln made both before and during his Presidency which indicated that he was, himself, a firm believer in white supremacy, and didn’t believe that white and black people could live together in peace if black people were free. Lincoln’s solution to that problem was the deportation of free blacks to Liberia, Haiti, or Central America…places where, given the atrocious, disease-ridden conditions in those regions, an influx of several million former slaves would have certainly meant a massive death rate among the deportees. If Lincoln's plans had come to fruition, the former slaves certainly would have been out of sight and out of mind, but would they really have been better off? That’s doubtful.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]And Loewen’s mention of the Emancipation Proclamation as proof of Lincoln’s desire to end slavery is simply laughable. The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free a single slave. It only applied to slaves over which Lincoln had no control…even slaves in areas of the Confederate States (such as parts of Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) which had been occupied by Union troops were exempt from it…and slaves in the United States itself (funny how everyone forgets about them while focusing on those held by the Confederacy) were not freed until the passage of the 13th Amendment in December 1865, nearly eight months after the war ended. If Lincoln really was tormented by a desire to end slavery, it seems like he could have actually, you know, [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]freed some slaves[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]. He didn’t.[/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]SO-CALLED MYTH # 5: THE SOUTH COULDN'T HAVE MADE IT LONG AS A SLAVE SOCIETY. [/FONT]
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[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Loewen points out that “Slavery was hardly on its last legs in 1860. That year, the South produced almost 75 percent of all U.S. exports. Slaves were worth more than all the manufacturing companies and railroads in the nation.”[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Okay, so far, so good. That much is accurate.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Then Loewen continues, “No elite class in history has ever given up such an immense interest voluntarily.” Mr. Loewen, the millions of slaves formerly held by the British Empire, or the millions of others who would be freed by Brazil in the 1880s, might disagree with that statement! [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Then Loewen takes a detour into fantasy territory. “Moreover,” he says, “Confederates eyed territorial expansion into Mexico and Cuba. Short of war, who would have stopped them - or forced them to abandon slavery?”[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]It is true that the Confederates did intrigue in Northern Mexico during the war, seeking the separation of some of the northern Mexican states from that country. But there was a reason for that which would not apply to expansion elsewhere. The acquisition of the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora would have given the Confederacy a Pacific coast and access to Asian trade markets. The port of Guaymas, in Sonora, was and is one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Confederate control of that harbor would have been highly advantageous to the Confederacy.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]But if Mr. Loewen is going to claim that the Confederacy had some grand plan to conquer territory beyond the very limited ambitions detailed above, it would behoove him to cite actual Confederate statements and plans made during the Civil War. There is little to no evidence that the Confederacy actually had any plans to expand elsewhere in Latin America, other than in northern Mexico as stated above. There wouldn’t have been a reason for that, and here’s why.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]It is true that many Southern politicians in the antebellum period favored expansion into Latin America for the purpose of spreading slavery. The South, in the antebellum period, was vitally concerned to maintain the balance in the U.S. Congress between the number of free states and the number of slave states. As the Northern population grew much faster than did that of the South, the House of Representatives was dominated early on by the North. Therefore, the South sought to ensure that the balance between free and slave states in the Senate was maintained so as to prevent total Northern domination of Congress.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]With the admission of California as a free state as a result of the Compromise of 1850, the balance in the Senate was tipped in favor of the North. Therefore, during the 1850s, we see Southern politicians advocating all sorts of things to restore the balance. That’s why they supported, for example, the abandonment of the Missouri Compromise and the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which stated that the issue of slavery in the territories would be settled on the basis of popular sovereignty. And that’s also why they supported the acquisition of new territory, south of the border, which would be reserved for slavery.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]However, an independent Confederacy would not need to be concerned about the composition of the United States Congress anymore. The entire reason why expansion was sought by Southern politicians in the 1850s would have simply disappeared by virtue of the fact of Confederate independence.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]So please, Mr. Loewen, if you’re going to make such assertions, let’s see some facts to back them up.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Then Loewen states, “To claim that slavery would have ended of its own accord by the mid-20th century is impossible to disprove but difficult to accept. In 1860, slavery was growing more entrenched in the South. Unpaid labor makes for big profits, and the Southern elite was growing ever richer. Freeing slaves was becoming more and more difficult for their owners, as was the position of free blacks in the United States, North as well as South. For the foreseeable future, slavery looked secure. Perhaps a civil war was required to end it.”[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]If you look at the situation in 1860 in isolation, that may seem a perfectly reasonable argument. But Loewen ignores the fact that economic realities were going to change over the next few decades which would render slavery into an inviable institution. Let’s look at that scenario for a moment.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Loewen's statement that “unpaid labor makes for big profits” betrays a simplistic understanding of the economic realities behind slavery. The reason why slavery was so profitable for a large landowner...and why it would not be nearly so profitable for anyone else...was not that it provided "unpaid labor." There is no such thing as "unpaid labor." Even a slave has to be “paid,” because a worker, whether free or slave, has to be provided a minimum living standard. Workers have to be provided with food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. The difference is how those things are provided. A Northern factory owner had to spend cash, in the form of pay for his workers, in order to do that. A Southern plantation owner could produce, right there on the plantation, just about everything his workers needed to survive and remain healthy enough to work. The value of the food, clothing, shelter, and medical care a plantation owner provided for his slaves could be, and often was, greater than that which the pay given to Northern factory workers allowed them to purchase for themselves. But since it was all home produced, rather than purchased from outside sources, a Southern plantation owner did not have to lay out cash in order to support his workers. And that was a major advantage. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Bearing those facts in mind, economic realities were going to change significantly starting in the early 1890s which would make slavery untenable from an economic point of view. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]First, even before the war, alternate sources of cotton were being developed in other countries like Egypt and India. The Civil War gave that a big boost, of course, but nevertheless, competition was gradually entering the cotton market and would continue to do so. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Second, the South was overproducing cotton by a significant margin. That's why the British and French were able to ignore the power of "King Cotton" during the war, because textile manufacturers had large supplies in their warehouses, left over from previous years' production. Greed being what it was, that trend would almost certainly have continued after Confederate independence. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The combined effect of the above two factors would, as indeed happened in our own history, cause a cotton glut on the market during the 1890s. Historically, this caused prices to crash and forced large landowners all over the South into bankruptcy. We can expect that something similar would happen in an independent Confederacy, with large plantation owners being forced into bankruptcy instead. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]What would have been the effect of this? Bankrupt landowners would attempt to create liquid capital by A) selling off slaves and B) selling off land, and with the operation of the law of supply and demand, prices on both would take a nosedive. A lot of slaves probably wouldn't be able to be sold. Rather than continue to support the unsold slaves, bankrupt owners would be forced to cut their own losses, free them, and let them look out for themselves. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Third, in real history, the land sold off by the bankrupt large landowners during the cotton bust of the 1890s and early 1900s was bought mostly by small farmers who seized the opportunity to cash in on the aristocracy's misfortune. We can assume that something similar would happen with both slaves and land in an independent Confederacy. However, in order to do so, these small farmers would, as happened in real history, end up heavily in debt. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Fourth, since the slaves and land would now be spread out over a much larger number of holders, each one would have fewer slaves and less land to work with. This means that most of the new slaveholders wouldn't be able, like the large holders who just went bankrupt, to produce both a significant cash crop and everything their slaves would need to live and remain healthy enough to work. Therefore, they would, unlike the large landowners, have to lay out cash for those items they couldn't produce on their own. This, in addition to the debt incurred when purchasing the land and slaves, would be a significant burden on them. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]This inherently unstable situation would be upset by the entry of the Mexican Boll Weevil into Texas in 1892. By the mid-1920s, the boll weevil would be all over the South, and cotton production would be, as it was in our history, decimated. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Now, the small landowners and slaveholders would still have the mortgages they incurred when buying the slaves and land in the 1890s. They would still not be able to produce everything their slaves need, so they would still be laying cash out for those expenses. But now, they wouldn't be able to raise and sell enough cotton to pay those bills, and another wave of bankruptcies would sweep over the Confederacy. The difference now would be that there wouldn't be a secondary market for the slaves. Like the large landowners before them, those who couldn't sell their slaves would be forced to set them free rather than continue to support them. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]By this time, there would be relatively few slaves left in the Confederacy. With the decline in the number of slaves and in the political power of the slave-holding class, anti-slavery sentiment within the Confederacy would begin to surface and grow. It is reasonable to expect that State after State, starting in the Upper South, would abolish slavery and that this would finally allow a Constitutional Amendment to be passed to formally abolish the institution everywhere, probably in the late 1920s or early 1930s at the latest. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]There will be some who ask, "Why couldn't the slaves simply be shifted to produce other crops?" or "Why couldn't they simply be shifted to manufacturing?" Well, several reasons. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]First, the plain and simple fact is that cotton was so outrageously profitable that no other crop...except perhaps tobacco or sugar...really compared with it. Tobacco and sugar don't usually thrive in the same areas where cotton thrives, which is why tobacco wasn't grown all over the South like cotton was. And cotton depletes the soil, and tobacco does too. So you're not going to get a good tobacco crop on land which has been used, over long periods, to produce cotton. If all it took to solve the problems which historically arose in the 1890s, and which would likely still arise if the South was independent, was to switch crops, one would assume that the large landowners who went bankrupt in real history during that period for similar reasons would have done that. The fact that they didn't speaks volumes. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]As for manufacturing, there has never been a case where slave labor was used on a large scale successfully in manufacturing, with the exception of one...Nazi Germany. But the Nazis didn't have to pay for their slaves...they just conscripted people...and they really didn't care if the slaves lived or died so they invested very, very little toward their upkeep. Indeed, the death of the slave was one of the goals of Nazi slavery, with any production received from the slave before he/she died being a side bonus. That wouldn't be the case in the Confederate States, where slaves would have to be kept healthy so as to maximize production in a manufacturing setting. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Some will point to examples like Tredegar Iron Works, where half of the approximately 900 workers were slaves by 1861, as an example of large-scale use of slavery in manufacturing. But few of the slaves working at Tredegar and other manufacturers in the South were actually owned by those manufacturers. For the most part, these slaves were owned by local landowners, and rented out to the manufacturers. The landowners incurred the cost of actually supporting the slave, not the factory owner. For that system to work, you would have to have an intact plantation system working in the background, producing for free at home the stuff needed to support the slave. As described above, that support system would disappear during the crisis of the 1890s and onward. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]It is, of course, an idle endeavor to speculate about what might have been. We can truly never know, for certain, how things might have turned out. But there is at least as much reason, and probably more, to think that slavery could have been ended peacefully, than there is to think otherwise.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Mr. Loewen concludes by saying, “As we commemorate the sesquicentennial of that war, let us take pride this time — as we did not during the centennial — that secession on slavery’s behalf failed.”[/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The Civil War was totally unnecessary to end slavery, even if the North decided it didn't want to wait for slavery to die out naturally. The Union spent enough money fighting the Civil War to purchase and set free every slave in America, without the loss of over 620,000 lives and the devastation of half the country. Furthermore, the Civil War and its aftermath of Reconstruction led to over one hundred years of racial hatred, lynchings, and segregation which afflicted our great country after the Civil War and which continue to poison race relations in this country to the present day. That’s nothing to take pride in, Mr. Loewen, and might well have been avoided if the Confederacy had won its independence and slavery had been allowed the chance to die out peacefully. [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]But the Union won, and we’ll never know, will we?
[/FONT]

The act of secession is an attempt to claim that it's not treason if you lie hard enough.
The act of secession is declaring one's own state as sovereign, the leaders of the Confederacy were no more traitors than our own Founding Fathers were, the only difference is that the Founding Fathers won.

states' rights to own slaves; the slave states eagerly subverted the rights of anyone who didn't agree with them, the evidence for which is a veritable laundry list
I've always taken it as "State's Rights to handle slavery as a state's issue on it's own terms with no Federal intrusion".

Refer to Robert's blog quote above.

While the CSA Constitution has significant differences from the US Constitution, it doesn't seem to do anything to make state governments more powerful, let alone significantly more powerful. Could you please give some specific examples?
It does however, make it impossible for the Confederate government to abolish slavery on any centralized level. However, nothing is preventing the individual states from doing it. Which I believe was the point.
 

Anaxagoras

Banned
It does however, make it impossible for the Confederate government to abolish slavery on any centralized level. However, nothing is preventing the individual states from doing it. Which I believe was the point.
It does in effect, because it states specifically that no Confederate citizen can be denied the right to take his slave property into any other Confederate state. So as long as slavery was still legal in even a single Confederate state, it would remain legal throughout the Confederacy.
 
It does in effect, because it states specifically that no Confederate citizen can be denied the right to take his slave property into any other Confederate state. So as long as slavery was still legal in even a single Confederate state, it would remain legal throughout the Confederacy.
By that same logic were Illinois and Ohio slave states before the Civil War?

I wouldn't disagree that even if there was one single CS state holding on to slavery that it would still be legal in the CSA, but if a state chooses to abolish slavery it means that the residents of that particular state cannot own slaves. And in principal to the decentralized nature of the CSA there is no way that they can push that on any other state unless the bordering states choose to abolish it themselves.
 
Illinois and Ohio were governed under the United States Constitution, not the Confederate States Constitution.
The slave legislation in the CS Constitution is pretty much a copy of the pre-war Fugitive Slave Law. So by the logic of the Fugitive Slave Law BEFORE THE WAR, were Illinois and Ohio considered slave states?

Slavery was legal in the Union as a whole because of 15 states, no issue there. But does that nullify Ohio as a Free State?
 
The act of secession is declaring one's own state as sovereign, the leaders of the Confederacy were no more traitors than our own Founding Fathers were, the only difference is that the Founding Fathers won.
That argument works better on someone who doesn't think the Patriots were traitors and rebels without good reason, FYI.

And Robert's blog is hardly a source I would trust on this issue.
 
That argument works better on someone who doesn't think the Patriots were traitors and rebels without good reason, FYI.

And Robert's blog is hardly a source I would trust on this issue.
Our Founding Fathers were traitors and rebels, to the British Crown, so to the Throne of England, we were nothing but a den of snakes and traitors.

Compared to who? Robert was probably the best source for this subject on this site.
 
Our Founding Fathers were traitors and rebels, to the British Crown, so to the Throne of England, we were nothing but a den of snakes and traitors.

Compared to who? Robert was probably the best source for this subject on this site.
And you say this as if somehow that is invalid.

Actual historians?

And "best source" based on what?
 
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