US and CS National Identities After CS Victory

In an argument I had with Snake about how easy it would be to integrate the CSA back into the United States after an extended period of independence, he said the CSA and USA would both define new national identities for themselves after a successful Confederate secession.

I can easily imagine the Confederates claiming to the true heirs of Founding Fathers like Jefferson, Washington, etc. and claiming the federal government had lost its way and grown tyrannical. Heck, the CS national emblem featured the image of George Washington on it.

What kind of identity would the North develop? I'm thinking a successful Confederate secession would be something that promotes bitterness and desire for revenge rather than "we're the true heirs of the Revolution and good riddance." It would be massive blow to the image of an ever-growing, ever-improving free nation.

I really can't think of any no-war-of-revenge Northern identity appearing unless the U.S. gets really socialist and concludes that the secession of the CSA was an important step on the historical dialectic by reducing "reactionary" influence on the United States.

(And even then, there'd be the desire to spread the blessings of liberty/the revolution/etc to the oppressed blacks and the manipulated poor whites of the CSA.)
 
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First, I can see both countries having ampted up militerism: that's probally going to be a given.

For the CSA, I can see them linking thier country to the old Greek and Roman Republics, along with a good smattering of Anglophillia. They'll probally take up more British spelling and phonics, to distance themsevles from the "immegrent polluted" yanks, and they'll either be into proventialism, or else statocratic, depending on how the goverment turns out. It will in most events be a very orthadoxly conservative nation, of a more Jeffersonian/maybe Jacksonian flavour(depending on how the goverment turns out)

For the North, I see a more unionized labour, probally more socialistic since the labour leaders can't quite as well explote the racial differences; depending on how the war is lost, the US may try to go farther away from their British ancesrty, and try to culturally adopt more Germanic customs. The US will probally aslo become more imperialistic, either towards the south or in general. Being deprived of the most conservative region, the country will probally either turn more liberal or centeralist, with my personal bet being on the latter; and expect a mildly more centeralistic leaning state.


That's my two cents. Really, the only way to tell how different the cultures go depends on how long the countries are seperated.
 
I really can't think of any no-war-of-revenge Northern identity appearing...
I can, quite easily. Replace "NO more Viet Nams!" with "No more Richmonds!"

Consider in our timeline: Every time someone fuels up the cargo planes outside Ft. Bragg, there is a howl of "Thousands of body bags." Now, in a CSA Victory TL: Any time some Northern politician starts saber rattling, a huge shout goes up about more blood being spend for a lost cause. (So tempting to say Lost Cause or "Lost Cause." ;) ).
 
What would they call themselves? That topic has been brought up before in other threads but I still think its interesting.

More than likely the people of the Union will still be called Yankees for generations to come but what else is possible? I personaly like the idea of calling them Unionites.

When it comes to the citizens of the CSA I don't believe that rebels would stick like it did in TL-191. I remeber seeing the term Dixiecan on another thread but I prefer Dixien since its shorter. Then there is also Southron or simply Confederate.
 
What would they call themselves? That topic has been brought up before in other threads but I still think its interesting.

More than likely the people of the Union will still be called Yankees for generations to come but what else is possible? I personaly like the idea of calling them Unionites.

When it comes to the citizens of the CSA I don't believe that rebels would stick like it did in TL-191. I remeber seeing the term Dixiecan on another thread but I prefer Dixien since its shorter. Then there is also Southron or simply Confederate.
Probably American and Confederate.
 
Probably American and Confederate.
I think that they'd both clame the title American since both counties have the word America in there titles. So it would be pretty hard for one to clame that they are the true Americans over the other and win in that fight. Thats why there need to be names that provide a greater distinction.
 
I think that they'd both clame the title American since both counties have the word America in there titles. So it would be pretty hard for one to clame that they are the true Americans over the other and win in that fight. Thats why there need to be names that provide a greater distinction.
I think most members of the CSA Army called themselves Confederates or Rebels. They wouldn't be able to call themselves rebels after the war so they would stick with Confederate.
 
CS nationalism is always going to be strongest in the Confederate army, because that will be the only institution with a tendency to link all the classes in a heavily caste-dependent society. In this sense the CS concept of nationalism will resemble that of the wealthier South American and Latin American states more than general Anglosphere concepts. The CSA will be the most heavily militarized English-speaking society on the planet, something it will no doubt be proud of.

While the USA's national identity orients itself away from many of the dichotomies that spilled over in the wake of the ACW into a set of new forms into something more akin to a European democratic society of the time. That is that while it, too, is more militarized, its political system orients itself into a capitalist-socialist dichotomy far moreso than the more nebulous system of OTL, developing some regional differences, and having a great deal more overall European influence due to the greater number of immigrants.

So you see the CSA orienting itself in a fashion that resembles more Latin American society (due to a class system that far more resembles it) and the USA developing more akin to European democracies of its time. It'd be Kipling's East Is East and West is West with the other directions.
 
All this presupposes that neither the USA or CSA experience any further disintegration in the wake of a sucessful secession and that both survive as large and important federal republics (which is presupposeing a lot!).

To some extent, I think the USA and CSA self image will be defined by how other powers (particularly Britain and France) define them. Probably more than in the US, Europeans defined citizens of the USA as "Americans". My suspicion is that the term "Americans" will stay with the USA, with citizens of the CSA called "Confederates" or perhaps "South Americans (!)".

No doubt the CSA will see itself as the true heir of the original USA and continue to revere Southern slaveholding Founders as their own Founders. Southeren reverence for people like Jefferson and Washington may cause problems the USA. I could almost see an abolitionist and industrializing USA making an emotional break from the original "United States" as an experiment that failed due to inappropriate compromise with the "evil" Southern slaveholding elite. Although retaining the same name ("USA") even northerners may come to see their republic as a truer break with the antebellum USA than the "reactionary" CSA, and develop a national mythology that they are not a continuation of the old USA, but the vanguard of an entirely new nation just as much as the secessionist CSA. Maybe even a new constitution and new name for the republic ("American Union" or some such) may happen.
 
I think most members of the CSA Army called themselves Confederates or Rebels. They wouldn't be able to call themselves rebels after the war so they would stick with Confederate.
My guess is they'd call themselves Floridian or Virginian or somesuch.
 
Maybe the US will embrace the likes of John Adams and Alexander Hamilton from the original Founding Fathers?
Thats pretty much my thoughts on the manner. Although both sides will continue to embrace the founding fathers, they will quickly set to work reimagining the American dream to better reflect the current state of their respective nations.

The South will seek to establish a national historiography of gentlemen planters and Jeffersonian farmers. Virginia will be presented as the crucible of the American revolution, both Davis and Lee will be presented as the later day heirs of Washington and Jefferson. The South is also likely to rapidly embrace the pseudo-scienctific hierarchy of races. The brave and martial southern yeomanry are the blood descendents of both the cavaliers and Norman lords. Consequently they easily defeated the mongrel Irish-Saxon northerners. Slavery will be seen as an act of mercy, bringing Christianity and civilization to lesser races.

The North will turn to the pilgrims for the foundation of their national mythology. "America" will be redefined as a pluralistic nation of immigrants and frontiersmen. Thrift, Industry, and Commerce will be held up as cardinal American virtues, in contrast to the cruel indolence of the southern plantation economy. If the south got any significant amount of European aid, there will likely be a variant of the "stabbed in the back mythology"
 
If the south got any significant amount of European aid, there will likely be a variant of the "stabbed in the back mythology"
Well, that wouldn't exactly be 'mythology', would it? I mean hating whatever nation did the hateful act of backing the CSA would be pretty reasonable... The USA wouldn't have a stab in the back myth in that scenario--it would have been actually stabbed in the back.

Which is not to say that such ill feelings wouldn't lead to problems, unreasonable stances, and general unpleasantness--but that USA would be starting from a reasonable position.
 
Maybe the US will embrace the likes of John Adams and Alexander Hamilton from the original Founding Fathers?
That is possible, but neither Adams nor (especially) Hamilton had the mythology around them that Washington, Jefferson, and other slaveholding founders and early presidents did. My guess is that the USA will adopt the ideologically pure founders, but possibly consider the constitution itself a flawed document that compromised too much to secure unity - even if the constitution itself is retained in acknowledgement of its other benefits. This might lead to a more easily amendable constitution that is not held up as next to the Bible in US national mythology.
 
The North will turn to the pilgrims for the foundation of their national mythology. "America" will be redefined as a pluralistic nation of immigrants and frontiersmen. Thrift, Industry, and Commerce will be held up as cardinal American virtues..."
This sounds a little too optimistic to me. Creating a national mythology around the religiously extreme pilgrims and puritains, rugged frontiersmen, thrift, industry, and commerce, sounds like it could easily lead to theocratic dictatorship combined with the absolute worst effects of capitalism and environmental exploitation. All those "immigrants" and pilgrims did not come to America to live in pluralistic harmony with others, but to go somewhere where they could set up and live in isolated settlements that excluded eveyone else (including of couse the people who happened to be living in the Americas before they showed up).
 
This sounds a little too optimistic to me. Creating a national mythology around the religiously extreme pilgrims and puritains, rugged frontiersmen, thrift, industry, and commerce, sounds like it could easily lead to theocratic dictatorship combined with the absolute worst effects of capitalism and environmental exploitation. All those "immigrants" and pilgrims did not come to America to live in pluralistic harmony with others, but to go somewhere where they could set up and live in isolated settlements that excluded eveyone else (including of couse the people who happened to be living in the Americas before they showed up).
Do you rally think they would point that out or even think about it much? A theocratic dictatorship is unlikely in the extreme. The country had freedom of religion since the Bill of Rights was adopted. Americans were quite used to it. Also who would head the theocratic dictatorship? The Lutherns? The Methodists? The Baptists? That is the problem. I don't think you would have too many people who would want that much infighting.
 
This sounds a little too optimistic to me. Creating a national mythology around the religiously extreme pilgrims and puritains, rugged frontiersmen, thrift, industry, and commerce, sounds like it could easily lead to theocratic dictatorship combined with the absolute worst effects of capitalism and environmental exploitation. All those "immigrants" and pilgrims did not come to America to live in pluralistic harmony with others, but to go somewhere where they could set up and live in isolated settlements that excluded eveyone else (including of couse the people who happened to be living in the Americas before they showed up).
Which is why I noted the immigrant myth.

Its a little too late for a Yankee theocratic dictatorship, especially given that New England was for the most part spared the lesser great awakening and its importance had long ago been superseded by the more mellow Mid Atlantic region.

Anyway Industry, Commerce, and thrift had little to nothing to do with "fairness" or "economic justice" Although the North will view itself as a nation of immigrants, said immigrants will be in intense competition with each other. The robber barons will be more than happy to exploit said divides, and anything else which will bring them a profit.
 
This sounds a little too optimistic to me. Creating a national mythology around the religiously extreme pilgrims and puritains, rugged frontiersmen, thrift, industry, and commerce, sounds like it could easily lead to theocratic dictatorship combined with the absolute worst effects of capitalism and environmental exploitation. All those "immigrants" and pilgrims did not come to America to live in pluralistic harmony with others, but to go somewhere where they could set up and live in isolated settlements that excluded eveyone else (including of couse the people who happened to be living in the Americas before they showed up).
psh. historical accuracy :rolleyes: when has that EVER mattered when crafting a national identity :p
 
Southerners-- Freedom-Loving men from the counrty, phisiclly tough and ready for war, very colonialistic. Maybe a french-influenced C.S.A..

North-- Unio n of Irish, Jews, and Italians. Dominated by the Anglo-American elite, heavily industrialeised and Progressive or socialist.
 
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