Until Every Drop of Blood Is Paid: A More Radical American Civil War

The white civilian population of the South are approaching levels of paranoia and fear that I think hits the point of unsustainable emotional exhaustion. The spectre of race war is becoming so real to them that, surely, many of them would have to conclude that if it doesn't strike them by the end the fighting stops, then it would have to have been made up all along.

There's a lot of danger here, with a people so fearful and ready to lash out at people who do mean them no harm, but I think there is also opportunity in the exhaustion and desperation of said people once the fighting is over, but it requires a delicate touch.

One can imagine a leader of the African-American community starting to consider at this time what the peace is going to be like, and knowing that the South is full of people who know nothing other than a hierarchy of races and have contempt of black people as their inferiors, even those that are so poor that they have no actual reason to want to support slavery. She might hit on an idea; It isn't because of Reason that poor whites support slavery, they do so because of emotion and cultural context. Southern culture submerges whites from birth into a pot of rhetoric that constantly mocks, dehumanises, and vilifies black people as animals that need to be tamed. You can't rope something in that situation into a genuine philosophical argument where your presentation of facts and logic can get through to them. What might happen if you instead changed the pot, changed the context which they are forced to operate in regarding black people?

She might be able to appreciate in ways that the male-dominated Union government can't that the women of the South are at least as important to deradicalise as the men, because they are the ones that are raising the next generation, many of them doing so on their own because of the death of their husband in the war. These women likely already have their worldview shaken by the fact that, when there was at least nothing to stop "Lincoln's hoard of Negros" from committing every ravage on defenceless southern women like newspapers have hysterically warned about for years, they ended up...doing pretty much what would be expected by a white occupying force. This weakening of the ideology they've been raised on should have pressure gently applied to it. This leader, coming from a history of learning how to draw relatively openminded whites to support abolition, might come to think that she doesn't have to go on the offensive with rational arguments about why blacks and whites are equal; for many (not all, but many), as long as they agree to keep conversing with her and treating her as a person who deserves respect, a position of racism is eventually, through a change in their habits of thinking, going to become unsustainable.

A lot of poor white women are going to be in desperate straits as a result of the war, with an economy shattered and with hungry mouths at home to feed. If the federal government decides that investing into getting the South working again is crucial to papering over the worst of radical sentiment, she might make the suggestion that programmes for women to receive support can be made conditional on them having to work alongside black women. I suspect at this point that making former confederate men work with black men is too much of an ask, and is ripe to cause a violent incident. She might take charge in schooling the black women in these programmes on what she understands about rhetoric; keep a relaxed, friendly posture, don't get aggressive, don't argue with them directly, keep cool-headed if they start hurling insults, but always insist that they remain respectful on a basic level (in any case, they're free to leave and not receive assistance if treating black women as their equals is so intolerable for them). Those white women that stick with it are likely to get their upbringing ground down by having to daily work with, converse with, and even take orders from black women. Familiar small talk at work because conversations over lunch, conversation over lunch becomes invitations to dinner at home. Even as they try to stick to everything they were taught, it'll eventually hit them that continuing to do so in the face of all evidence before their own eyes would be ridiculous.

Of course, it won't work to deradicalise everyone, and we can hardly expect every black person to have the deep wells of patience needed for such a process. But so long as it can help to put white supremacy below the critical mass it needs to reassert itself back over the South, it is worth a try. And I can think of at least one person in the federal government who would be sympathetic to its goals and its methods.

"When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maxim, that a "drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall." So with men.

If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great high road to his reason, and which, when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause really be a just one.

On the contrary, assume to dictate to his judgment, or to command his action, or to mark him as one to be shunned and despised, and he will retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart; and tho’ your cause be naked truth itself, transformed to the heaviest lance, harder than steel, and sharper than steel can be made, and tho’ you throw it with more than Herculean force and precision, you shall no more be able to pierce him, than to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw.

Such is man, and so must he be understood by those who would lead him, even to his own best interest."
- Abraham Lincoln, address to the Washington Temperance Society in 1842.
 
She might be able to appreciate in ways that the male-dominated Union government can't that the women of the South are at least as important to deradicalise as the men, because they are the ones that are raising the next generation, many of them doing so on their own because of the death of their husband in the war. These women likely already have their worldview shaken by the fact that, when there was at least nothing to stop "Lincoln's hoard of Negros" from committing every ravage on defenceless southern women like newspapers have hysterically warned about for years, they ended up...doing pretty much what would be expected by a white occupying force.

I read "Lincoln's hoard of Negros" and my first though was why would Lincoln keep an extra supply of Negros on hand?
 
I read "Lincoln's hoard of Negros" and my first though was why would Lincoln keep an extra supply of Negros on hand?
For the off again on again Beauregard infestation that sometimes takes place outside of D.C. I hear Lincoln got the idea from General Doubleday. XD
 
Red_Galiray ,can you do a chapter in which you
cover confederate Arizona ?
Can you also do a POV on blockade raiding/warfare on the seas ?
In this TL,is the resistance of German Americans in the Texas Hill country more or do they flee and get massacred like in OTL?
 
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Not officially at least. But as IIRC there's been some discussion I wonder if there will be any circumstances where during a chaotic battle a small unit of white troops will get separated from its main body, and end up being forced to 'cooperate' with a nearby unit of black troops to avoid getting entirely isolated.

That's an intriguing idea. Also, sounds like a good topic for a Sabaton song.

Ah, I see, makes sense. This leaves me thinking about the fall campaign of 1863. Of course, Grant is going to have to root A.S. Johnston out of Vicksburg, but what does this leave the other armies doing? On the Virginian and Georgian fronts, both Federal armies, owing to casualties and detachment of troops, have been equalized with their foes. This may result in a Confederate offensive to kinda keep the Union force off-balance. Not necessarily to inflict casualties, but to delay the Union armies by having them moved in reaction to the Confederate offensive rather than move forward.

An example of this is the Bristoe Station Campaign: after Longstreet leaves to join Bragg, Lee attempts to cut Meade off from the rear with a wide turning movement. Lee hopes to inflict favorable losses on Meade, but when the opportunity fails to arise, Lee does not allow a general engagement. Outside the relatively small battle at Bristoe Station, neither side found favorable conditions for a battle, so an entire month is wasted waltzing around Virginia. In this case, I could see Breckinridge hoping to stall the Union armies via an offensive on the Thomas' overstretched army while Lee keeps Reynolds busy at Virginia.

Longstreet goes to join Joe Johnston for an ITTL version of Chickamauga or attack East Tennessee. In the meantime, Lee tries to lure Reynolds to the cross the Rappahanock River to the northern side of the Rapidan before trying to cut Reynolds' rear off. The only problem is that I don't think Joe Johnston would be approving of an offensive campaign, even one with limited goals. While I understood his desire for a Fabian strategy, he really does not seem to grasp the importance of sacrificing troops for the sake of political or military success. I think his style of war was far too simplistic, demanding that the enemy either does exactly what he wants them to or does something really stupid. If something ever went wrong with his plans, he does little to fix them and simply gives up with the plan.

This seems to be the only viable strategy. Trying to stall Reynolds and Thomas as long as possible and hoping for a good performance in Vicksburg. I can see future historians saying that after Union Mills there was no real chance of victory, and even hopes in a Copperhead victory in 1864 are bleak with the opposition to Lincoln so divided. Still, perhaps the only opportunity is keeping the Federals outside of Atlanta and Richmond with the offensive-defensive strokes you describe. Regarding Johnston, and especially after Bragg's failure, I don't see an actual offensive campaign taking place anytime soon. It'll be a grind as both Thomas and Johnston are bound to advance slowly.

Ok something is wrong with the alert system because just through sheer coincidence did I see this story at the top of the "Before 1900" forum page and would've continued to think the story is dead because I haven't been getting ANY kind of alert for this one even though I have it on watch and notifications enabled.

That bug (?) always saddens me because there must be many who think this story is dead, but in truth I'm committed to finishing it no matter what.

I've had that happen from time to time with this and a couple of other threads, it's annoying as hell. I just check the 'Watched Threads' tab every so often to see if anything updated without throwing an alert.

I do that as well, with the few TLs I follow.

I think it depends. A unit being mauled up enough that a black officer has to take over, and then the survivors like him enough to just keep him in command, that's possible, I think.

But out and out, well, that's not a easy thing.

Even if it happens the national debate that would follow would be fierce. I think a Union Mills style of victory that proved once and for all the Black man's capacity to lead would be needed for Black officers to be widely accepted right off the bat, but it's difficult to imagine a situation like this in a large scale battle.

A lot of poor white women are going to be in desperate straits as a result of the war, with an economy shattered and with hungry mouths at home to feed. If the federal government decides that investing into getting the South working again is crucial to papering over the worst of radical sentiment, she might make the suggestion that programmes for women to receive support can be made conditional on them having to work alongside black women. I suspect at this point that making former confederate men work with black men is too much of an ask, and is ripe to cause a violent incident. She might take charge in schooling the black women in these programmes on what she understands about rhetoric; keep a relaxed, friendly posture, don't get aggressive, don't argue with them directly, keep cool-headed if they start hurling insults, but always insist that they remain respectful on a basic level (in any case, they're free to leave and not receive assistance if treating black women as their equals is so intolerable for them). Those white women that stick with it are likely to get their upbringing ground down by having to daily work with, converse with, and even take orders from black women. Familiar small talk at work because conversations over lunch, conversation over lunch becomes invitations to dinner at home. Even as they try to stick to everything they were taught, it'll eventually hit them that continuing to do so in the face of all evidence before their own eyes would be ridiculous.

I must admit that this approach strikes me as somewhat anachronistic because it involves modern ideas of tolerance and diversity that seem slightly out of place in the 19th century. I do think women are perhaps the easiest people to "de-confederationalize", since most of the veterans are likely to resort to violence and be more bitter about the defeat, even if the Dixie women were just as fanatical sometimes. Still, and as a result of the bloodier war, there may be towns where only women are left and in that case some sort of Black and White women's work administration could arise, which would indeed help build tolerance and start off the rough and difficult road towards acceptance. Schools may be a good place for that, since the Federal government, even OTL, was not afraid of decreeing that schools could not be segregated. That would force White women with the choice of not educating their children or allowing them to be educated by Black women... or working alongside Black women to educate all Southern children. Textile industries and Freedmen's Bureau hospitals are other promising places to start.

Red_Galiray ,can you do a chapter in which you
cover confederate Arizona ?
Can you also do a POV on blockade raiding/warfare on the seas ?
In this TL,is the resistance of German Americans in the Texas Hill country more or do they flee and get massacred like in OTL?

There is not much to be said about Confederate Arizona. ITTL a bunch of soldiers tried to take the territory without Breckinridge's approval or support and ended up getting mauled. I do like the idea of the blockade raiding mini-story. As for Texan Germans, like other Unionists they have formed secret societies to oppose Confederate rule, resulting in a guerrilla war that has led the Confederates to massacres scores of them.
 
I must admit that this approach strikes me as somewhat anachronistic because it involves modern ideas of tolerance and diversity that seem slightly out of place in the 19th century.

In my opinion, things here in the TL are at a critical juncture. True, the late 19th Century saw the solidification of Social Darwinism, a worldview that saw nothing but conflict, either at pause or ongoing, between different groups of people, but that was encouraged in order to give a coat of seemingly scientific legitimacy to practices that had already consolidated (segregation and race-based colonialism, and the book that "scientific racists" would use to push Social Darwinism, The Origin of Species, is still only a few years old, a just recent arrival on the shores of America. Herbert Spencer first uses the phrase "survival of the fittest" (more charged and a bit more misleading than Darwin's preferred "natural selection") in 1864. A North that has much more experience with whites and blacks working together, is less likely to reconcile with intellectuals from the South, has four more years of Lincoln, and has the prewar Southern power structure more thoroughly shattered and discredited, could possibly roll down the other side of the hill, formulating notions about the capacity for populations to learn to tolerate each other that IOTL had to wait until the 30s or 40s, long after when segregation had embedded itself deep back into the South. What is important, in my view, is the measures adopted don't have to be particularly radical to create a snowball effect; it could be efforts so moderate (just intolerant of actively reimplementing subjugation of blacks under whites) that the effect of breaking down racism could be done unintentionally by people in power who don't particularly find the idea of racism to be a problem. Just putting people of different races into the same spaces, and making sure it remains reasonably civil, will be enough to start causing a change.

Schools have a lot of potential, but I think they'd need to be boarding schools to get full results if efforts aren't made to deradicalise adults as well. Otherwise, children with racist parents would still be able to go home at the end of every day to receive a "topping up" of the indoctrination they were given before they started school. Also, teenagers/young adults at the best of times still aren't the best at emotional maturity, and the ones in these schools would be dealing with either racist indoctrination or the trauma of having been human property from birth and until recently, so teachers would likely have to be mindful and interventionist to deescalate conflicts and stop the forming of gangs.

Another interesting issue is one of parasocial relationships. Contact between whites and blacks doesn't even have to be universally physical, it can also be by the connections a person forms to others without it being the other way around. Athletes, entertainers, politicians, even fictional characters are all persons of some kind that thousands or millions could form an emotional attachment with. This is part of why I think ensuring the maximum number of black elected officials while minimising racial tension (by having districts elect multiple seats so neither whites or blacks are stuck as local minorities with no chance of electing anyone) is so important; If a black politician finds success and gets his name attached to legislation that benefits poor whites, neo-Confederate rhetoric is going to wear thin for a lot of people. Even them just being living contradictions to decades of Antebellum propaganda of blacks being unintelligent, dangerous animals would force racists to make serious concessions in their worldview to not be taken as completely ridiculous.
 
Ok,thank you very much,
When can we see the next update ?

When it's ready. Should take a week or so more.

In my opinion, things here in the TL are at a critical juncture. True, the late 19th Century saw the solidification of Social Darwinism, a worldview that saw nothing but conflict, either at pause or ongoing, between different groups of people, but that was encouraged in order to give a coat of seemingly scientific legitimacy to practices that had already consolidated (segregation and race-based colonialism, and the book that "scientific racists" would use to push Social Darwinism, The Origin of Species, is still only a few years old, a just recent arrival on the shores of America. Herbert Spencer first uses the phrase "survival of the fittest" (more charged and a bit more misleading than Darwin's preferred "natural selection") in 1864. A North that has much more experience with whites and blacks working together, is less likely to reconcile with intellectuals from the South, has four more years of Lincoln, and has the prewar Southern power structure more thoroughly shattered and discredited, could possibly roll down the other side of the hill, formulating notions about the capacity for populations to learn to tolerate each other that IOTL had to wait until the 30s or 40s, long after when segregation had embedded itself deep back into the South. What is important, in my view, is the measures adopted don't have to be particularly radical to create a snowball effect; it could be efforts so moderate (just intolerant of actively reimplementing subjugation of blacks under whites) that the effect of breaking down racism could be done unintentionally by people in power who don't particularly find the idea of racism to be a problem. Just putting people of different races into the same spaces, and making sure it remains reasonably civil, will be enough to start causing a change.

Schools have a lot of potential, but I think they'd need to be boarding schools to get full results if efforts aren't made to deradicalise adults as well. Otherwise, children with racist parents would still be able to go home at the end of every day to receive a "topping up" of the indoctrination they were given before they started school. Also, teenagers/young adults at the best of times still aren't the best at emotional maturity, and the ones in these schools would be dealing with either racist indoctrination or the trauma of having been human property from birth and until recently, so teachers would likely have to be mindful and interventionist to deescalate conflicts and stop the forming of gangs.

Another interesting issue is one of parasocial relationships. Contact between whites and blacks doesn't even have to be universally physical, it can also be by the connections a person forms to others without it being the other way around. Athletes, entertainers, politicians, even fictional characters are all persons of some kind that thousands or millions could form an emotional attachment with. This is part of why I think ensuring the maximum number of black elected officials while minimising racial tension (by having districts elect multiple seats so neither whites or blacks are stuck as local minorities with no chance of electing anyone) is so important; If a black politician finds success and gets his name attached to legislation that benefits poor whites, neo-Confederate rhetoric is going to wear thin for a lot of people. Even them just being living contradictions to decades of Antebellum propaganda of blacks being unintelligent, dangerous animals would force racists to make serious concessions in their worldview to not be taken as completely ridiculous.

The idea of the US developing a counterpart to Social Darwinism is still fascinating to me and I hope to explore it more in the future. I do think it's important to prevent complete segregation either de jure or de facto, through forced integration in the law, government, education, labor, etc. But it'd make the road ahead much longer and difficult, but we all already knew racism would take decades to die out.

I think one of the biggest changes we could feasibly see now is the Federal government permanently taking over education. Perhaps not directing it themselves, but keeping permanent oversight over national education, which would do a lot to fight against racism impulses in the children. Now, you're sadly right that as long as the bitter, racist parents remain in the picture these effort won't be completely successful, but still would accomplish a lot.

Shoutout to @DTF955Baseballfan, who has already suggested integrated sports as a way to increase contact and thus tolerance between White and Black Americans. I completely agree with your idea regarding the districts. It would be far more palatable to whites if Blacks are represented by Blacks and Whites are represented by Whites. It would also ensure minority representation.
 
I think one of the biggest changes we could feasibly see now is the Federal government permanently taking over education. Perhaps not directing it themselves, but keeping permanent oversight over national education, which would do a lot to fight against racism impulses in the children.
I don't see that, because I don't see local school districts in the Northern states giving up control to the federal government. School districts were an extremely local affair in the 1800's; giving them over to state control would already be a huge step, let alone the Feds.
 
I don't see that, because I don't see local school districts in the Northern states giving up control to the federal government. School districts were an extremely local affair in the 1800's; giving them over to state control would already be a huge step, let alone the Feds.

Not permanent control, but permanent oversight. The Federal government would basically leave the North alone, but enforce its policies down South. Similar to how the Civil Rights Act included provisions that only applied to the South.
 
Not permanent control, but permanent oversight. The Federal government would basically leave the North alone, but enforce its policies down South. Similar to how the Civil Rights Act included provisions that only applied to the South.
Well, as long as the Federal Government isn't given too much power... at least not permanently.
 
Well, as long as the Federal Government isn't given too much power... at least not permanently.

In many ways it's too late for that. The Federal Government has expanded its power farther than IOTL into several realms. For example several of the insurrectionists were tried and executed by the Federal government; such a prospect would have been terrifying in the antebellum but it's now accepted. It's also engaging in confiscation and a more through Reconstruction that promises at least a degree of Federal oversight for years to come. As some have commented already, that bodes ill for the future since it's easy to apply this massive state power against, say, labor movements.
 
In many ways it's too late for that. The Federal Government has expanded its power farther than IOTL into several realms. For example several of the insurrectionists were tried and executed by the Federal government; such a prospect would have been terrifying in the antebellum but it's now accepted. It's also engaging in confiscation and a more through Reconstruction that promises at least a degree of Federal oversight for years to come. As some have commented already, that bodes ill for the future since it's easy to apply this massive state power against, say, labor movements.
Would you say that this US Federal government is even more powerful than that of OTL 2020? Even without an FDR and subsequent Presidents to expand it to such a ridiculous degree?

If so, yeah, I understand how that could be concerning to the average American citizen.

Well, ensuring that this one conflict doesn't just solve every American problem and make everything suddenly sunshine and daisies is good writing, most stories on this site get that wrong. I'm eager to see what all that looks like in the future.
 
I think one of the biggest changes we could feasibly see now is the Federal government permanently taking over education. Perhaps not directing it themselves, but keeping permanent oversight over national education, which would do a lot to fight against racism impulses in the children. Now, you're sadly right that as long as the bitter, racist parents remain in the picture these effort won't be completely successful, but still would accomplish a lot.

My mind goes to potential parallels to intervention by the French government into education in order to enforce secularisation, following the foundation of the Third Republic. It might secularise American education more thoroughly then OTL as a consequence; America's freedom of religion laws mean that if a church de facto implements exclusion of black people and preaches white supremacy to its congregation then there isn't much the government on any level can do about it, so the government might choose to mandate standard and secularised curriculums, saying to those churches "You might have them for one day of the week, but we'll have them for five!"
 
Would you say that this US Federal government is even more powerful than that of OTL 2020? Even without an FDR and subsequent Presidents to expand it to such a ridiculous degree?

If so, yeah, I understand how that could be concerning to the average American citizen.

Well, ensuring that this one conflict doesn't just solve every American problem and make everything suddenly sunshine and daisies is good writing, most stories on this site get that wrong. I'm eager to see what all that looks like in the future.

No, not yet at least. Republicans, though the "central power" party, still have some lines they won't cross. The Bureaus, for example, are still conceived of as temporal solutions, the long term goal being that Reconstructed states take charge of the freedmen instead of permanent Federal oversight. There will be a lot of conflict in the future, that's for sure.

My mind goes to potential parallels to intervention by the French government into education in order to enforce secularisation, following the foundation of the Third Republic. It might secularise American education more thoroughly then OTL as a consequence; America's freedom of religion laws mean that if a church de facto implements exclusion of black people and preaches white supremacy to its congregation then there isn't much the government on any level can do about it, so the government might choose to mandate standard and secularised curriculums, saying to those churches "You might have them for one day of the week, but we'll have them for five!"

Something like that. I can't see them going as far as the French, but greater involvement will be necessary and will probably happen. As Julian (I think?) said, there will be many schools with United States emblazoned at the doorstep, where equality and justice shall be taught.
 
Ok something is wrong with the alert system because just through sheer coincidence did I see this story at the top of the "Before 1900" forum page and would've continued to think the story is dead because I haven't been getting ANY kind of alert for this one even though I have it on watch and notifications enabled.
I'm now going to use the watch threads feature.

I'm getting tired of griping every time I miss something.

I'm loving the discussion on the last few pages btw.
 
Not my intent to pressurise you.
Aye, but you can and you did.

Look at poor Red, look what you've done to him.


I believe every day should start with a bad joke, most of the time that joke is just waking up, but today feels special.
 
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