Dixieland: The Country of Tomorrow, Everyday (yet another Confederate TL)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by TastySpam, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Wow! The Confederacy pulled itself out of the fires of hell, but it seems like they are headed into another frying pan.
     
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  2. QuokkaCheese Member

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    I swear to you I fall deeper and deeper in love with this TL with every post... incredible job.
     
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  3. DanMcCollum P-WI

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    Oh god, is the US going to help save the CSA in exchange for a constitutional amendment to end Slavery as well as opening the country up to US investment? Because ... uffda
     
  4. traveller76 Member

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    I think the us will want a free Cuba and some sort of reduction in tariffs.
     
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  5. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    This is honestly competing for the biggest cluster of any conflict I've ever seen. Reminds me a little of the Opium War where the sides agreed to a peace, but it was rejected by others, only, the actors are the opposite way around here with the ones on the ground throwing it away. And now the US is stepping in which is only going to add to the confusion. Studies of this war in the years following are sure to be interesting.
     
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 48 - The Clay Doctrine and the Mahone Precedent

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    The Clay Doctrine and the Mahone Precedent
    President Clay was a remarkably unpopular President. On one hand, he he was a powerful speaker well beloved by the true believers in the National Union Party. But President Clay was also exceedingly paranoid, constantly suspecting his allies of plotting against him, constantly shuffling his cabinet. His paranoia only grew after the Confederate cabinet sacked their own President through questionable and illegal methods, even though President Clay loathed President Morgan. Very quickly, President Morgan found himself with few allies at all. Worst of all, the country plunged into a panic soon after his election, ironically sparked by the economic recession that the Confederacy soon found itself mired in. Clay's response to the recession divided his own National Union Party, focusing more on federal purchases of Western lands and bankrupt railroads. His refusal to hike tariffs (and his party's weakness on the East) alienated most of the Eastern industrial states, but his veto of a proposed Chinese Exclusion Act, pushed by both Western Unionists and Republicans, outraged most of the Western states. In his veto statement, President Clay delivered invective against the "scourge of white supremacy" that only further embittered his enemies.

    Surprisingly, public sentiment in the United States actually swung somewhat towards the Confederacy during the Spanish-Confederate War due to many reasons. The chief was the massive upswing of anti-Catholic nativism in this time period. The American Protective Association, founded in 1884, quickly exploded as the Panic wiped out jobs and pushed native and immigrant workers into harsher competition. The most powerful man in the Republican Party, James P. Blaine, rallied behind the American Protective Association, promising that a Blaine presidency would curtail Catholic immigration. News stories of Spanish war atrocities in New Orleans and Charleston also galvanized nativists, who immediately placed those atrocities in context of the Spanish Black Legend. The fact that they were largely committed by European Catholics against Anglo-Protestants made such narrative easy. Widespread anti-Catholicism in the North was also encouraged by omnipresent stories of deep sectarian strife in Canada.

    Thus, when Clay got a telegram from the new Acting President of the Confederate States, William Mahone, he saw a way to salvage his political career. After briefly consulting with his cabinet, he decided to put Secretary Grant directly in charge of communications with Mahone. Clay distrusted Grant and figured the farther he could get the former general from DC, the better. Grant had gone into semi-retirement after the end of the Civil War, with a remarkably controversial record that was largely rehabilitated after his widely successful "world tour." Upon his return, Clay promised to make the popular celebrity-general into the Secretary of State during the election, a campaign promise he fulfilled. The only real instructions he gave Grant were that the United States would not assist slavery and that Cuban sovereignty would be preserved, something Grant knew Clay cared deeply about because of Clay's long-standing correspondence with Jose Marti.

    Secretary Grant took a train ride down to Memphis where he immediately met with President Mahone. In tow with Grant were two of his close friends, the Seligman brothers, two Jewish-American bankers who were associates with Vanderbilt and thus had some business familiarity with the South. Grant dropped the hammer on Mahone, saying that the United States could intervene, but they could not do so if the Confederacy imposed territorial aims on Cuba or if they did not at least make some movement against slavery. Grant had expected Mahone to massively push back, but he surprisingly didn't. Much to the surprise of Grant, he immediately accepted in theory. After finding him surprisingly easy to work with, Grant helped negotiate a deal:
    1. Upon the end of hostilities, Confederate forces would leave Cuba with the condition that the leaders of revolutionary Cuba, such as Gomez and Marti, promised to hold a referendum on joining the USA, joining the CSA, or becoming an independent "Confederacy."
    2. The Confederate share of the American debt, as taken on by the Confederacy in 1867, was still unpaid. Such debt would be entirely refinanced by US bankers, such as those in Wall Street, at favorable interest rates (better than what bankers in London or anywhere else were offering) due to the United States government declaring itself secondarily liable for such debts. Grant and Mahone actually both sought that - making the US government secondarily liable meant that the two countries would have to work together even if relations later soured.
    3. President Mahone was to draft an "emergency wartime" executive order creating a Freedom of Womb law throughout the entire nation, effective for all children of slaves born on or after February 8th, 1886 in order to "celebrate" the 25th anniversary of Confederate independence and "unite the nation for war", closely based on the Brazilian Law of Free Birth.
    4. The Confederate government would be allowed to compensate all slaveholders for emancipated children born free. Mahone saw this as necessary to prevent a massive revolt of planters. In order to pay them, the Confederate government would borrow such money from US banks, similar to its refinanced national debt. The Confederacy would also recognize Stonewall's emancipation of slaves in North Carolina and be allowed to compensate the former slave holders through the same financial mechanisms.
    5. The Confederacy would have to give the United States most-favored-nation trading status, so American goods could not be tariffed at a higher rate than goods from anywhere else.
    6. American merchants and companies would not directly pay those tariffs. Confederate Customs would directly invoice the United States government for any tariffs that would have been collected on US products, and the US government would immediately credit such sums against the interest on Confederate debt. Any tariff invoices exceeding interest would lower the principal of the total debt.
    7. Finally, the United States declared that it would preserve the territorial integrity of the Confederate States, both from external and internal forces.
    The deal was sent to the White House, where President Clay immediately signed off. The deal was immediately presented to Congress. The deal was just as popular among Republicans as it was among National Unionists. Nativists, abolitionists, bankers, and merchants all liked the deal, albeit for very different reasons. Congress overwhelmingly voted to ratify a treaty that contained most of the major provisions of the deal that impacted domestic law in the United States, as well as a declaration of war on the Kingdom of Spain that needless to say shocked the Spanish, especially because an ultimatum was not even first given (this was a requirement of the agreement that Mahone bargained for).

    Upon hearing of the deal, Confederate planters exploded in outrage about the "desecration of the Constitution". However amazingly, both Mahone's executive order and his entire presidency was upheld by the Confederate Supreme Court. Under his top legal advisor, the 30-year old Kentucky-raised, Tennessee-based Louis Brandeis (known later as the "Crown Jurist of the Confederacy"), Mahone's lawyers won. They claimed it was based on the strength of their argument and certainly not the fact that Mahone's armed men were patrolling the Confederate Supreme Court. In the Mahone case, the Confederate Supreme Court ruled:
    1. Mahone's exact method of rising to power was legal. Mahone had rounded up the members of Congress who hadn't fled in time and more or less forced them at bayonet-point to impeach and remove both President Morgan and Vice-President Miles from office. They then subsequently voted to make Mahone Speaker of the House, which was acceptable because nothing says that the Speaker of the House had to be an actual member of the House. This allowed him to ascend to the Presidency immediately.
    2. Mahone's "Freedom of Womb" law was entirely legal. Technically, the Confederate government did not possess the technical requisite powers to constitutionally enact this law. However, the Supreme Court ruled that the Treaty Power allowed the government to enforce "treaties" with provisions that required powers the Confederate government normally did not have under the Constitution. The Bayonet Congress obviously ratified the treaty with the United States that established the Law of Free Birth, which instituted its provisions even if the Confederate government did not have those enumerated powers.
     
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  7. Not Henry G. Well-Known Member

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    Dec 31, 2013
    Well shit, that was unexpected and awesome. I'm glad you didn't follow the "US is revanchist until the end of either time or the CSA" approach that's popular in discussions
     
  8. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Dec 26, 2016
    Wow, out of crisis was born several incredible things:

    1. A compensated emancipation.

    2. A reconciliation between the two Americas

    3. A plan to guarantee Cuban independence

    I did not expect this at all.
     
  9. Fleetlord #AtvarDidNothingWrong

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    Does "Only Clay can go to Dixie" become a saying here?
     
  10. Albert Blake Gott Mit Uns

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    I mean, considering it wasn’t military defeat but a lack of will to continue the war that allowed Confederate independence to become realised. It makes sense relations improve somewhat. If it was military defeat then just look at OTL antebellum France after the Franco-Prussian War to see how the Union would be.
     
  11. naraht Well-Known Member

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    Dec 7, 2010
    Wow. Confederate States of America, a wholey owned subsidiary of USA Government Inc.

    This treaty reminds me of the US -Dominican Republic treaty of 1906 (which when it fell apart lead to the US Invasion in 1916) and so, I fully expect that at some point in the next 25 years, the Confederates will feel Nationalistic enough to break the treaty and the US will invade.

    The question is whether the USA has allowed its Army to shrink back down to the OTL post war levels or not. I would guess not, but that is the Author's choice. I see a Canada which is about as threatening as OTL (maybe a little less with Britain not doing quite as well iTTL's 19th century (though doing *better* is viewed as ASB)). Mexico, even while Friendly is more of a threat since it seems to be more stable and organized than at any time prior to about WWII iOTL and the CSA which is keeping a Military even if currently stuck in Cuba.

    By the 1880s, the US with its current borders (minus the CSA) will actually have to work hard to *not* end up as a World Power (even if it too somehow manages to lose to Spain) The Iron and Coal of Minnesota and Pennsylvania are still there, the culture of the engineering schools willing to take every engineering lesson created in the UK, France or Germany is still there.

    It isn't until the age of Oil (OTL 1930s) that the natural resources of the CSA become important enough to start swinging things the other way. The question there is whether those Oil exploration companies will be owned by people in Dallas or in New York.
     
  12. traveller76 Member

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    I see the US keeping a medium sized professional army and navy to combat the European influence and remind the Confederacy about their agreements. With a sinking economy I see US Corporations buying up Confederate assets through shell companies and bribing various state governments.
     
  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 49 - The Congo Free State (1884-1889)

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    Dec 31, 2016
    The Congo Free State (1884-1889)
    Prince Wilhelm of Prussia arrived in the Congo with a mission. To find glory and prestige. Unlike his counterpart King Leopold, Wilhelm largely didn't much care about profits. The two would constantly fight in terms of governing the new Congo Free State. Both men had no aversion to brutality and violence, but Prince Wilhelm and King Leopold grew to despise each other. The British attempted to mediate the two, having good relations with both King Leopold's Belgium and King Frederick's North German Federation, but it was useless. Their priorities were just simply too different. They spent their entire time in the Congo more or less sniping at each other.

    Leopold was livid at Wilhelm more or less driving the finances of the Congo Free State to hell, largely because he embezzled money to launch "crusades against slavery." In particular, Wilhelm had a tendency of recruiting armies to launch against slavers such as Tippu Tip. Wilhelm quickly became very controversial in Congo, since he had a tendency to kill quite indiscriminately, celebrating his men as "the Huns of Africa." That being said, some people still liked him for his anti-slaving activities, which means he was liked more than the universally hated Leopold, who quickly ordered his men to engage in more and more grotesque acts of violence in order to squeeze more profits out of the Congo, something that exploded to incredible heights when Confederate scientists invented rubber bike tires during the Spanish-Confederate War.[1]

    Leopold's men began involving themselves in brutal methods to acquire more rubber in order to sell off, including entire massacres of villages, most infamously the cutting-off of hands for workers who couldn't pick rubber quotas. In contrast, Wilhelm got a constant stream of funding from the home country North Germany. Seeing a method to outflank the Belgian King, Wilhelm's subordinates slowly compiled a record of Belgian atrocities over the years. Once it was clear that Wilhelm's profligacy had driven the Congo Free State into deep debts, Wilhelm's subordinates immediately started spreading the stories of Leopold's brutality. The international media was shocked and horrified. Ultimately, Prince Wilhelm took advantage of this to demand that his home country nationalize the Congo Free State.

    King Leopold reacted in anger, furious that Wilhelm had plotted to steal away his vast fortune and life's work. The Belgian parliament, mortified by the atrocities and unwilling to commit to a large colonial empire, signed off on a Prussian proposal to nationalize the Congo Free State. Unfortunately for Leopold, the Liberal Party (who supported the Congo project) had just lost power in Belgium to the Confessional Catholic Party over their failed attempt to secularize education. Unlike the Liberals, both detested the Congo Free State, viewing it as a huge financial waste of money for Belgium, not to mention immoral.

    King Leopold flat out refused, stating that the nationalization of the Congo Free State was illegal. To stop the Belgian parliament from accepting the deal, he dissolved Parliament. This suited Wilhelm, who conveniently ascended to the throne in 1888 after his father's death from throat cancer. With total control of North Germany, Wilhelm pleaded with the British to accept his power grab in the Congo. With public sentiment so against Leopold, they did so, giving Wilhelm a lifelong appreciation for the British. Prussian troops landed in the Port of Matadi, a short jaunt from the capital of Leopoldville. King Leopold declared that this was an act of war, ordering the Belgian Army to fight the Prussians (unclear how this was to be, since the entire Belgian Army was in Europe). Prime Minister Charles Woeste countermanded those orders, claiming that the Prime Minister was commander of the army, not the King, and that Leopold was violating the constitutional order. Leopold immediately dismissed him and dissolved Parliament, claiming that he was disloyal to Belgium because he was the son of immigrants from Prussia (Woeste had earlier converted from Prussian Lutheranism to Roman Catholicism and did not speak much German).

    King Wilhelm, being quite aggressive by nature, immediately threatened Belgium with an invasion of the European mainland in case of the Belgian Army mobilized against Prussia. The bombastic threat horrified British and North German diplomats, who watched the French Empire immediately conclude that a violation of Belgian neutrality would be treated as an act of war against France. Europe teetered remarkably close to war in the Congo Crisis, and it was ultimately only something quite surprising that prevented a European conflagration. The members of the Catholic Party refused to leave the Parliament and it became likely that bloodshed would erupt. They found a savior from a surprising soldier of fortune. The French-born Leopold Louis Joubert, who had gained fortune fighting with King Wilhelm I against Arab slavers in the Congo a member of the Force Publique was currently in France undergoing medical treatment. Recruiting a motley band of retired Prussian, French, and British soldiers, Joubert snuck across the border with both British and Prussian assistance, claiming that he had an important matter to speak to King Leopold about. Due to his history with the Force Publique, Leopold let him into the country, figuring that he would support Leopold's forces. Joubert actually was greatly offended by Leopold's suppression of the Catholic Party and reports that Leopold II had reached a peaceful agreement with the slaver Tippu Tip. His mercenaries burst into the Royal Palace, declaring that Leopold II had been removed from power after they arrested him in a melee. Most unusually, Joubert (who preferred to be called Ludovic), figured he could get away by declaring himself the King of Belgium.

    Europe was quite frankly utterly confused and weirded out by a random soldier of fortune who imagined himself as a Christian knight kidnapping the King of Belgium and trying to take his place. Confused, weirded out, and also relieved. Because the first order of "King Ludovic I" was for the Belgian Army to defer entirely to the orders of the elected Prime Minister, Charles Woeste, which would in theory defuse the Congo crisis. Woeste decided to just roll with it, hailing "Ludovic I" as having enacted Belgium's "Glorious Revolution." His birth name was Leopold, but no one really wanted him to call himself Leopold III. Parliament voted immediately to confirm him as the new King of Belgium. Ludovic's deep Catholic religiosity impressed Napoleon IV, and he ordered the French Army to also stand down. As a result, Wilhelm was free to move. Leopold's Force Publique completely deserted in the face of Prussian soldiers that easily dispersed any who tried resisting, allowing Wilhelm to triumphantly enter the city he would rename Wilhelmville, where he announced the annexation of the Congo Free State into Prussian Mittelafrika. Despite brutally destroying all of his enemies and opponents in the Congo, he was still seen as a massive improvement over Leopold, and he quickly delighted in being called the "Liberator of the Congo."

    As a final insult to King Leopold, because Leopold had rejected the nationalization proposal of the Congo Free State, King Wilhelm personally revised the numbers down based on his "estimates" of what the Congo Free State was worth before signing the final Belgian-North German agreement. This was very little, largely because Wilhelm kept on embezzling the money that Leopold made through his atrocities. As a result, the answer was exactly one Prussian vereinsthaler, which came in an box more expensive than the coin itself. The coin was also engraved (in French) with "From your closest business partner, Willy." Needless to say, King Wilhelm really had grown to hate Leopold in the four years they worked together. Prussian diplomats justified this by saying that the value was also diminished because King Ludovic successfully requested that the Belgians actually take a small slice of the Congo, which the North Germans accepted believing that it was a necessary face-saving move for Belgium. As a result, they turned over the Katanga region west of Lake Tanganyika over to the Belgians. The rest of the region however, was given over to Prussia. Ludovic I, living up to his promise to be a purely constitutional monarch, left Belgium entirely to just live out and help govern the region.

    The former King Leopold, now completely bankrupt and having even lost his crown, could not have been angrier at the man who literally stole all of his money and life's work. He vowed eternal revenge on Wilhelm and all of his descendants forever, although it was generally expected that he couldn't possibly make good on this threat.
    ---
    [1] This is earlier than OTL, which means Congo rubber plantations get set up much earlier.
     
  14. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    This timeline has an impressive ability to really mess around with things completely until they're even more of a cluster than OTL. I can't imagine how Leopold's going to try and get his revenge, but I look forward to seeing his attempts.
     
  15. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    This is the most flat out hilarious timeline on the board (spit take Joubert hahaha). It’s also pretty darn great, and utterly plausible. Thanks!
     
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  16. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    Oct 28, 2007
    Economics was not the only reason most white southerners supported slavery. Most white people in the South firmly believed that abolition would result in mass murder of white males and mass rape of white females. Slaves were 45% of the population in Alabama, 44% in Florida & Georgia, 47% in Louisiana, 55% in Mississippi, 57% in South Carolina. I would expect the poor whites in those states, who gain nothing from compensated emancipation to rise up against the Confederate government and/or flee en masse to places where there were a lot less black people. The current enslaved population also gains nothing by this treaty, so I'd expect attempted mass exodus by many of them as well.
     
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  17. GOU Limiting Factor Demilitarized

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    Dec 15, 2008
    Aaand there goes Confederate sovereignty (good riddance). This is going to get really interesting in the following century.
    Barring Exciting Developments, the capital almost has to come from outside the Confederacy. Some of it, especially the secondary exploration, might still be home grown, but all of it? No. Standard Oil (or an equivalent) is going to have the muscle under the Treaty Power to do pretty much what they want (and this timeline's Ted Doheny is going to find a very receptive state for his kind of criminality; a Confederate Teapot Dome 'scandal' is probably indistinguishable from normal government business.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019 at 5:35 AM
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  18. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    Dec 31, 2016
    Thanks, I try.

    Strictly speaking, there hasn't been an emancipation enacted in any states. In theory, there's a planned emancipation in North Carolina, but that's it. A "free womb law" is actually quite complex. It was most famously implemented in Brazil in 1871, 17 years before the actual abolishment of slavery in 1888. It strictly wouldn't free the slavery population and by nature of the "free" person being 1 year old, they're also quite dependent on the old plantations. Because their parents are still slaves and presumably all of their "income" goes towards manumission of their parents.

    The free womb law doesn't strictly harm the bottom line of any of the plantation owners, even if it ideologically dooms slavery in the long-term.
     
  19. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    Oct 28, 2007
    None of my points had anything to do with how the slaveholders would respond. There's a lot more to the Confederacy than just the slaveholders. Roughly 1/3 of Confederate families owned slaves. Rough 1/3 of the Confederate population were slaves.

    That leaves about 1/3 of the Confederate population - white people who own no slaves. They gain nothing form this law and it offers them a world they have been indoctrinated to believe will result is mass horrors against the white population. Even southern whites who didn't fear mass slaughter were appalled by the idea of future emancipation.

    "It is in so many words saying to you we will not burn you at the stake but we will torture you to death by a slow fire we will not confiscate your property and consign you to a residence and equality with the african but that destiny certainly awaits your children – and you must quietly submit or we will force you to submission – men who can hesitate to resist such aggressions are slaves already and deserve their destiny. " - Florida Declaration of Causes for Secession

    "Wealth is timid, and wealthy men may cry for peace, and submit to wrong for fear they may lose their money: but the poor, honest laborers of Georgia, can never consent to see slavery abolished, and submit to all the taxation, vassalage, low wages and downright degradation, which must follow. " Open Letter from the Governor of Georgia

    "What Southern man, be he slave-holder or non-slave-holder, can without indignation and horror contemplate the triumph of negro equality, and see his own sons and daughters, in the not distant future, associating with free negroes upon terms of political and social equality, and the white man stripped, by the Heaven-daring hand of fanaticism of that title to superiority over the black race which God himself has bestowed? -Letter of the Commissioner from Alabama to the Governor of Kentucky

    In response to the Law of the Free Womb, poor Confederate whites would riot. Planters who accept the compensated emancipation would be lynched. Politicians who signed the treaty would be assassinated. This being a future, gradual emancipation will result in less violence than immediate emancipation, but there will be violence. Large numbers of poor whites will flee the states with the most blacks and may flee the Confederacy altogether.

    Then there's the current slaves. They're a full third of the population, as opposed to Brazil, where slaves were about 1/10 of the population. Their future children will be free, but that newborn son could still be given the death sentence of being sold to a malarial swamp of a plantation to grow rice, that newborn daughter could still be sold to the "fancy" trade. Slaves were already more than half of the population of Mississippi and South Carolina and white flight could easily give them majorities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. At some point the slaves will have enough of a majority that they and their free children will declare themselves free.
     
  20. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    Dec 31, 2016
    All of those quotes were from relatively elite slave owners or at the very least, modest slaveholders (who were sometimes even more extreme than the big ones) - essentially the people behind secession. The Governor of Georgia is a rather poor spokesperson for poor Georgians. Part of the Lost Cause mythology was Southern elites trying to convince everyone in the South (especially poorer whites) that stuff like Reconstruction was purely an us vs. them thing. With regards to slave-owning, the 30% of Confederate family that "owned" slaves also includes yeomen families that rented a slave out from larger slaveholder (and aspired to be real slaveholders one day), so that's where you often had the Confederate rank-and-file.

    The 1/3rd who were very disconnected from slaving society was the section that disproportionately produced Southern Unionists. And although they generally did not favor emancipation, they didn't violently resist it. Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri came close to passing their own compensated emancipation schemes, although they failed from like a 40-60 perspective.

    Fear is one thing, but it's a dramatic escalation to suggest mass assassinations and revolutions for a hypothetical 20-to-30 years down the line, especially for poor people worried about next week's bread. In those circumstances for those people, fear probably manifests in skipping a few meals every week to squirrel away extra money for an extra gun and ammo.

    If anyone's super-pissed off, it's probably almost entirely the smaller slaveholders. Not rich enough to get a huge windfall, but rich enough to well, get pissed off and worry about things besides feeding their family. Probably around 20% of the white population. Having 20% of the population absolutely outraged at you is greatly non-optimal, but countries have been run like that. Albeit not well. Which is kind of the point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019 at 3:21 PM
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