DBWI: Was the American Reunification War inevitible?

As we know the US gave up the Civil War in 1865 after President Pendleton became president after Little Mac was killed in a streetcar accident. Although the CSA "won" it was in a world of hurt right from the start. The inflation rate was 15% a month (535% a year!), was forced to partially default on its debt, had to almost totally rebuild its railroads, had thousands of slaves roaming the countryside and had maintain an army of 50,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry to prevent the Union from starting round two and to catch runaway slaves. It also lost the state of TN and WV by this time and VA north of the Rappahannock River which went to MD. Slaves more and more started to push Poor Whites out of the factories. Eventually this started a Socialist(Which is why the South is the most pro-Socialist part of the US even today) uprising in the CSA. In 1885 the US invaded the CSA to "Restore order" and the CSA found itself no match for the US with its hundreds of machine guns and its own infighting. The US was also helped when tens of thousands of Poor Whites switched sides when the US government promised that plantation land would be seized and divided up between US soldiers. The CSA finally surrendered in 1887.

Is there any way to prevent this after 1865? The way I see it the CSA was doomed from the start with 1/3 its population in chains and Poor Whites being frozen out of the system.
 
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As we know the US gave up the Civil War in 1865 after President Pendleton became president after Little Mac was killed in a streetcar accident. Although the CSA "won" it was in a world of hurt right from the start. The inflation rate was 15% a month (535% a year!), was forced to partially default on its debt, had to almost totally rebuild its railroads, had thousands of slaves roaming the countryside and had maintain an army of 50,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry to prevent the Union from starting round two and to catch runaway slaves. It also lost the state of TN and WV by this time and VA north of the Rappahannock River which went to MD. Slaves more and more started to push Poor Whites out of the factories. Eventually this started a Socialist(Which is why the South is the most pro-Socialist part of the US even today) uprising in the CSA. In 1885 the US invaded the CSA to "Restore order" and the CSA found itself no match for the US with its hundreds of machine guns and its own infighting. The US was also helped when tens of thousands of Poor Whites switched sides when the US government promised that plantation land would be seized and divided up between US soldiers. The CSA finally surrendered in 1887.

Is there any way to prevent this after 1865? The way I see it the CSA was doomed from the start with 1/3 its population in chains and Poor Whites being frozen out of the system.
Yes. France intervenes instead of the United States. King Napoleon IV of France (house of Bonaparte) was very interventionalist at the time, and it was rumored he and King Agustin II of Mexico (House of Hapsburg) might send a joint army into the CSA and install Agustin's cousin Salvador as King, had the USA not intervened before they did. The war will not be a war of reunification. Instead, most likely there will be guerilla warfare between Napoleon's forces and the Confederate rebels, much like Mexico only 20 years earlier. However, the United States might get Virginia back.
 
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You'd need some sort of broad-based Southern nationalism to pull this off, I think. The main problem with the OTL CSA was that it was founded by the planters, for the planters. If you have significant support from the poor whites (maybe a more egalitarian Confederate constitution?), then the Confederate state could have lasted longer. As long as it's reasonably stable and somewhat prosperous, I think it could last a long time. The money was there; people forget this because of the massive destruction wreaked by the war and its aftermath, but the South had the most millionaires in the country at the start of the war.

How you get there is the problem. If the CSA secedes as OTL, and the war goes as OTL, it's basically doomed. You'd need something to change in the South before the war.

Also, if the French and Mexicans try to intervene, the US is certainly going to intervene. Monroe Doctrine and all that. The US was really unhappy about Mexico alone being occupied by the French; how do you think they'd react to a French puppet setting up shop in former US territory? To put this in RoE terms (OOC: think Europa Universalis) (I know, using videogames to describe history, boo, hiss), the US considered the CSA to be within its sphere of influence, and would definitely intervene if anyone tried to mess with the CSA.
 
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Yes. France intervenes instead of the United States. King Napoleon IV of France (house of Bonaparte) was very interventionalist at the time, and it was rumored he and King Agustin II of Mexico (House of Hapsburg) might send a joint army into the CSA and install Agustin's cousin Salvador as King, had the USA not intervened before they did. The war will not be a war of reunification. Instead, most likely there will be guerilla warfare between Napoleon's forces and the Confederate rebels, much like Mexico only 20 years earlier. However, the United States might get Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee back.
All of which it had BEFORE the war!
 
You'd need some sort of broad-based Southern nationalism to pull this off, I think. The main problem with the OTL CSA was that it was founded by the planters, for the planters. If you have significant support from the poor whites (maybe a more egalitarian Confederate constitution?), then the Confederate state could have lasted longer. As long as it's reasonably stable and somewhat prosperous, I think it could last a long time. The money was there; people forget this because of the massive destruction wreaked by the war and its aftermath, but the South had the most millionaires in the country at the start of the war.

How you get there is the problem. If the CSA secedes as OTL, and the war goes as OTL, it's basically doomed. You'd need something to change in the South before the war.

Also, if the French and Mexicans try to intervene, the US is certainly going to intervene. Monroe Doctrine and all that. The US was really unhappy about Mexico alone being occupied by the French; how do you think they'd react to a French puppet setting up shop in former US territory? To put this in RoE terms (OOC: think Europa Universalis) (I know, using videogames to describe history), the US considered the CSA to be within its sphere of influence, and would definitely intervene if anyone tried to mess with the CSA.
I am not sure the US would try to intervene in the face of French intervention. It first has to deal with the stronger unified joint French-Mexican army, not to mention the Confederate rebels and landowners, and the fact that many slaves and poor whites are pro-France and pro-Mexico. Besides, a US intervention after a French intervention will also pull Great Britain, Saxony, Denmark, and Prussia into the fight too. The Great War might just be conducted about 20 years earlier.
 
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Well, politically, the reunification war was pushed both by the right and the left in the north. The right because they felt the loss of the south reflected badly on the US internationally, and the left because of how mainstrem abolitionism had become, so yes, I'd say it was pretty much inevitible. Just look at the rhetoric. The right wing newspapers of the time called the southerners "a race of godless tratiors" and the left wing newspapers paint them as "slothful bloodthirsty sadistic savages who get obsene sexual pleasure from torturing blacks."
 
I am not sure the US would try to intervene in the face of French intervention. It first has to deal with the stronger unified joint French-Mexican army, not to mention the Confederate rebels and landowners, and the fact that many slaves and poor whites are pro-France and pro-Mexico. Besides, a US intervention after a French intervention will also pull Great Britain, Saxony, Denmark, and Prussia into the fight too. The Great War might just be conducted about 20 years earlier.
If GB goes against France then it is doomed. That was one of the things that kept France out. It was worried it would have to pull so many troops out of its colonies to make much of a difference that GB could just waltz in. France is thousands of miles away, had its own colonies to worry about and the US was FAR from a weak opponent in 1885!
 
Well, politically, the reunification war was pushed both by the right and the left in the north. The right because they felt the loss of the south reflected badly on the US internationally, and the left because of how mainstrem abolitionism had become, so yes, I'd say it was pretty much inevitible. Just look at the rhetoric. The right wing newspapers of the time called the southerners "a race of godless tratiors" and the left wing newspapers paint them as "slothful bloodthirsty sadistic savages who get obsene sexual pleasure from torturing blacks."
True enough, it is hard to butterfly that away barring ASBs!
 

birdboy2000

Banned
Speed up the revolution. The more exhausted the union is from the prior war, the less willing they'll be to intervene to restore order - the civil war was quite bloody, and even with CSA internal divisions, many as late as 1885 feared a repeat. And the global socialist movement, without some of the experiences of the 1870s (I'm thinking primarily of the Paris Terror) will be less terrifying to the union as well - yes, slave revolts tend to radicalize, but if it's a new ideology that had never been tried it has a better chance to present the union with a fait accompli, instead of scaring them into action by the very word "socialist".
 
True enough, it is hard to butterfly that away barring ASBs!
Even more so considering the polical landscape at the time. When the Radical party split from the Republican party to become the new northern opposition party in a political landscape without the "traitor" Democratic party, they began pushing even harder for abolition. Thus we have new laws like, for example the "Liberty act", which not only completly reversed the old "fugitive slave act" making it a crime to aid and abbet southern slave hunters after they crossed the border, but actually carried a death penalty for owning a slave, buying a slave, selling someone into slavery, failing to free a slave upon immigration to the United States, and so on. The bill was almost entirely a Radical one, as the mainstream Republicans felt it went to far, thus it passed with almost unanimous support by the Radicals, and only a handful of Republican votes, and yet even with this division along party lines, the one thing both parties agreed on was the need to "punish the south." Hence we see things like the "Cotton Act" which made it illegal to purchase cotton from "any nation which uses slave labor." Or the "Slave Transportation Act" which empowered the US navy to capture any ship carrying slaves across the Atlantic. Measures like this where supported on the Right by the Republicans because it damaged the CSA's economy, and on the Left by the Radicals, as it underminded the instution of slavery. But I ask you, how long could this have gone on without the South getting pissed off enough to go to war?
 
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If GB goes against France then it is doomed. That was one of the things that kept France out. It was worried it would have to pull so many troops out of its colonies to make much of a difference that GB could just waltz in. France is thousands of miles away, had its own colonies to worry about and the US was FAR from a weak opponent in 1885!
But Great Britain wouldn't have to pull so many troops out of its colonies. It could support the Saxon, Danish, and Prussian soldiers against the French.
 
But Great Britain wouldn't have to pull so many troops out of its colonies. It could support the Saxon, Danish, and Prussian soldiers against the French.
Sorry, I put that wrong. What I meant are the FRENCH are doomed. They would be facing mulitple opponents and would have to ship large amount of troops to the South leaving its colonies weakened. They probably won't France proper but they would lose a number of colonies. Why would France risk that on behalf of a slavocracy?
 
As we know the US gave up the Civil War in 1865 after President Pendleton became president after Little Mac was killed in a streetcar accident. Although the CSA "won" it was in a world of hurt right from the start. The inflation rate was 15% a month (535% a year!), was forced to partially default on its debt, had to almost totally rebuild its railroads, had thousands of slaves roaming the countryside and had maintain an army of 50,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry to prevent the Union from starting round two and to catch runaway slaves. It also lost the state of TN and WV by this time and VA north of the Rappahannock River which went to MD. Slaves more and more started to push Poor Whites out of the factories. Eventually this started a Socialist(Which is why the South is the most pro-Socialist part of the US even today) uprising in the CSA. In 1885 the US invaded the CSA to "Restore order" and the CSA found itself no match for the US with its hundreds of machine guns and its own infighting. The US was also helped when tens of thousands of Poor Whites switched sides when the US government promised that plantation land would be seized and divided up between US soldiers. The CSA finally surrendered in 1887.

Is there any way to prevent this after 1865? The way I see it the CSA was doomed from the start with 1/3 its population in chains and Poor Whites being frozen out of the system.
I don't think it could have been prevented outright.....delayed for a couple decades, perhaps. Although due to the fact that the South pretty much relied on slavery for just about everything(no free blacks after 1866), and all the widespread sabotaging of equipment, and continued depression of the wages of white workers, etc., the C.S.A. was liable to have to face the music at some point. And then you have the activities of the anti-socialist, anti-cannabis, and pro-slavery Klan from 1890 onwards; in fact, you can't even start discussing the South after the War Between the States without talking at least a little bit about the KKK.

I find it interesting, by the way, that the C.S.A.'s succession inspired the creation of a few Tsarist breakaway states when the Soviet Union was formed in 1908, just before WWI(though they were all conquered at the end of WWII in '45, with the dissolution of the USSR occurring in the following year, and then we had the Great Detente/Cold War with the Russian Federation up until 1990 and I hope we won't be repeating that again.).
 
Sorry, I put that wrong. What I meant are the FRENCH are doomed. They would be facing mulitple opponents and would have to ship large amount of troops to the South leaving its colonies weakened. They probably won't France proper but they would lose a number of colonies. Why would France risk that on behalf of a slavocracy?
The French might be defeated overseas, but they still have the Great War being conducted 20 years earlier. And in this case, even though the French narrowly were defeated on the North American continent, they still might be able to pull a victory on the Quadruple Alliance.
 
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No way that French/Mexican intervention gets all of the CSA. IMHO maximum gains for them would be Texas, Indian territory, possibly parts of New Mexico & Arizona. Trying to move across the Mississippi is simply too much of a logistical stretch for them. Remember the USA has RRs galore that go east & west as well as some connections to the CSA - once you get in to Northern Mexico really no RR connections to Texas so stuff has to go by wagon until across the border. Likewise RRs in New Mexico & Arizona either go west to California or north - maybe one line only to Texas. Even though with a French heritage New Orleans will be owned by the USA - a Mississippi French/Mexican on one side (western Louisiana) might be acceptable but the USA will absolutely want the Mississippi available to transport goods from the midwest to the world, therefore minimum is the lower Mississippi "internationalized".

If France/Mexico do this, I expect you'll see the USA seize Baja, not worth much but then USA controls Sea of Cortez - Mexico & France can't match US strength on the west coast & waters. Again might see southern borders of New Mexico & Arizona moved south a little - again not so much for value as tit-for-tat.

Finally, I'm sure the French/Mexicans will love the bleeding ulcer that Texas plus will become - the French will not be pleased with the financial and military drain of fighting Texas/ex-CSA irregulars while dealing with a rising/unifying Germany back home.
 
Well, politically, the reunification war was pushed both by the right and the left in the north. The right because they felt the loss of the south reflected badly on the US internationally, and the left because of how mainstrem abolitionism had become, so yes, I'd say it was pretty much inevitible. Just look at the rhetoric. The right wing newspapers of the time called the southerners "a race of godless tratiors" and the left wing newspapers paint them as "slothful bloodthirsty sadistic savages who get obsene sexual pleasure from torturing blacks."
OOC: Good post, but I hate to break it to you: Most right-wingers of the time probably wouldn't be too unhappy with the C.S.A.(though some moderate devout Christians could be an exception, though). In fact, sadly, I betcha many of the more hardcore right-wingers in the Union would be quite sympathetic to the C.S.A.

IC: Yes, but the only problem is, your scope re: the right wing reaction seems to be limited to a few moderates in New England & the "Indianapolis Courier" in Indiana. Many other right-wingers(excepting most moderates, and those only leaning right of center.) were at least indifferent to the C.S.A., and in fact, many more reactionary conservatives at the time were actually calling abolitionists and those others who opposed the C.S.A. as "godless"; one newspaper in the Cleveland area actually went so far as to demand that President Garfield be tried for high treason(and then he was shot in 1885 by an extreme right-winger who opposed war with the Confederacy, leading to now former VP James Blaine taking his place)!

No way that French/Mexican intervention gets all of the CSA. IMHO maximum gains for them would be Texas, Indian territory, possibly parts of New Mexico & Arizona. Trying to move across the Mississippi is simply too much of a logistical stretch for them. Remember the USA has RRs galore that go east & west as well as some connections to the CSA - once you get in to Northern Mexico really no RR connections to Texas so stuff has to go by wagon until across the border. Likewise RRs in New Mexico & Arizona either go west to California or north - maybe one line only to Texas. Even though with a French heritage New Orleans will be owned by the USA - a Mississippi French/Mexican on one side (western Louisiana) might be acceptable but the USA will absolutely want the Mississippi available to transport goods from the midwest to the world, therefore minimum is the lower Mississippi "internationalized".

If France/Mexico do this, I expect you'll see the USA seize Baja, not worth much but then USA controls Sea of Cortez - Mexico & France can't match US strength on the west coast & waters. Again might see southern borders of New Mexico & Arizona moved south a little - again not so much for value as tit-for-tat.

Finally, I'm sure the French/Mexicans will love the bleeding ulcer that Texas plus will become - the French will not be pleased with the financial and military drain of fighting Texas/ex-CSA irregulars while dealing with a rising/unifying Germany back home.
Which is why France didn't get involved at all, and Mexico only took back territories that it had lost to the Confeds. Neither could handle the violence which was sure to break out in Texas.
 
OOC: Good post, but I hate to break it to you: Most right-wingers of the time probably wouldn't be too unhappy with the C.S.A.(though some moderate devout Christians could be an exception, though). In fact, sadly, I betcha many of the more hardcore right-wingers in the Union would be quite sympathetic to the C.S.A.
OOC: I disagree, they wouldn't be sympathetic to Blacks necessarily (Although the South's declaring war to preserve slavery would make abolitionism stronger in the long run no matter what.) but would be highly motivated to removing the "blot on national honor" that a successful secession would be. You are thinking in 20th-21st century terms on left/right. The left at the time was also HIGHLY racist. I think he is right that the left would be offended by slavery but the right would be offended by the very notion of the continuation of the CSA.
 
OOC: I disagree, they wouldn't be sympathetic to Blacks necessarily (Although the South's declaring war to preserve slavery would make abolitionism stronger in the long run no matter what.) but would be highly motivated to removing the "blot on national honor" that a successful secession would be. You are thinking in 20th-21st century terms on left/right. The left at the time was also HIGHLY racist. I think he is right that the left would be offended by slavery but the right would be offended by the very notion of the continuation of the CSA.
OOC: Well, yes, some moderate conservatives probably wouldn't be too happy with the C.S.a, either, especially those Christians with an abolitionist slant. And undoubtedly some members of the left might not be so eager to fight the C.S.A.; Though I can also point out, that very few HIGHLY racist(casually so would be an entirely different matter) individuals existed outside the fringes of the left. The right, however, was very likely a different story.

And yes, I get that things weren't exactly the same(obviously), but they sure as hell weren't all that different on the social side when it came down to the core of things, so my point still stands.

However, though, you are also certainly correct in that many on either side wouldn't necessarily care much about the blacks(something I never contested, btw), barring perhaps a genocide of some kind.

IC: Yes, you did have a few extreme racists supposedly on the left, but they were primarily on the fringes and shunned by most other lefties, even many of the casual racists. The right, however, was chock full of them(though many moderate Christians, Yankees in particular, felt more camaderie with the left for a variety of reasons).
 
OOC: Well, yes, some moderate conservatives probably wouldn't be too happy with the C.S.a, either, especially those Christians with an abolitionist slant. And undoubtedly some members of the left might not be so eager to fight the C.S.A.; Though I can also point out, that very few HIGHLY racist(casually so would be an entirely different matter) individuals existed outside the fringes of the left. The right, however, was very likely a different story.

And yes, I get that things weren't exactly the same(obviously), but they sure as hell weren't all that different on the social side when it came down to the core of things, so my point still stands.

However, though, you are also certainly correct in that many on either side wouldn't necessarily care much about the blacks(something I never contested, btw), barring perhaps a genocide of some kind.
OOC: No, being highly racist was the norm for the left and the right until somewhere in the mid 20th-century. The "Solid South" was solid Democrat until the 1970s and the Civil Rights laws needed to be passed with the help of Republican votes.
 
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