WI CSA cabinet had different opening assumptions in 1861?

What if Jeff Davis and Alexander Stephens anticipated that securing
independence for the CSA would be at least as difficult for the 11
states as the American revolution was for the 13 colonies.

IE, they would expect that the CSA would have to be ready for an
eight-year war, and would need foreign assistance to clinch the deal.

The basic assumption is that the USA will not fight any less hard than
Britain fought two generations earlier, and the CSA needs to be ready
to string it out.

The CSA leaders would acknowledge and be glad that the south would
have far more capable armed forces at their disposal from the
beginning compared to the rag tag Continental Army of Washington. At
the same time, they would acknowledge this advantage would be at
least offset because the USA would have access to similarly organized
land forces and superior sea forces---and the US would have the luxury
of concentrating on the CSA, lots of proximate bases and not having to
worry about factors that distracted Britain in the ARW: Vulnerability
of other colonial possessions in the Caribbean, concern of the
European balance of power.

So, armed with this insight, what could they have done differently,
and could any of it work. Getting back to OTL, why did they think the
USA would give up more quickly than the UK?
 

Chris

Banned
The best chance then, assuming they knew this, would be to take the innicivte and hope to negocatite from a postion of strenth.

Chris
 
What doomed the south was the exact reason for its birth. The southern states believed in a very loose federal government. But during the war they gradualy gave more and more power to Davis as well as congress because they had to. What the Confederates failed to realize is that history shows that ALL confederations have collapsed of have been steam rolled by their neighbors. Its just a weak form of government and leads to a weak nation.

The other damning idea of theirs was "King Cotton". They thought they were so high and mighty "controlling" the textile markets of the world. The fools thought that if they stopped all flow of cotton to europe that the europeans would come over and win the war for them. They failed to realuize a few things. First the years before the war had seen a very big bumper crop of cotton that the Brits and Euros bought and stored excess for a rainy day(smart fellows werent they :p ). The Brits had so much that in late 1862 they were selling new england textile factories raw cotton. Also the british were eager to break away their need for cotton grown by slaves and to encourage cotton growth in India and Egypt.

My two cents :p
 
Justin Green said:
What doomed the south was the exact reason for its birth. The southern states believed in a very loose federal government. But during the war they gradualy gave more and more power to Davis as well as congress because they had to. What the Confederates failed to realize is that history shows that ALL confederations have collapsed of have been steam rolled by their neighbors. Its just a weak form of government and leads to a weak nation.
Switzerland. And the Dutch confederation lasted until the French Revolution, which ran over plenty of autocratic monarchies as well.
 
Yes. But they were united by the fact that every one around them were hostiles most of the time.

This same thing is true with the confederacy. They were forced toward a stronger federal government because of the war but if it ended soon or their never was a war and the south just left in peace it wouldnt last too long. The reason they left was because they were sore losers. It wont take them long for a few to start squabbling over "pulling all the weight", or "paying more taxes" and it splinters into pieces.
 
Defense

Prepareing in the very first days for a more in depth defense,

Keeping the capital in Montgomery,
Putting more importance in holding the Mississippi.
More resources in building nessacary infrastructure.
Keeping the trade lanes open to Europe, Freedom of the sea, type talk.
 
DuQuense said:
Prepareing in the very first days for a more in depth defense,

Keeping the capital in Montgomery,
Putting more importance in holding the Mississippi.
More resources in building nessacary infrastructure.
Keeping the trade lanes open to Europe, Freedom of the sea, type talk.
Also, I would add that their idea that withholding cotton from the European market would bring the British in on their sides was a terrible idea. All cotton in warehouses and on the docks should have been immediately shipped out before the blockade could go into effect and when it was possible to buy war material and bring it back.

They should have enacted wartime censureship of newspapers, to stiffle critics and keep military movements and developments out of public (and Union) knowledge.
 
DuQuense said:
Prepareing in the very first days for a more in depth defense,

Keeping the capital in Montgomery,
Putting more importance in holding the Mississippi.
More resources in building nessacary infrastructure.
Keeping the trade lanes open to Europe, Freedom of the sea, type talk.
Keeping the capital in Montgomery is a good idea. Giving more importance to the Missisippi river means other areas are given less importance, such as the east coast. That is where most of the money to wage the war came from. Resources being used for infastructure means less resources for the army. Entire divisions would have to be scrapped to provide the manpower. Keeping the trade lanes open are good for as long as they can manage it. They would have to prepare for NOT being able to do so, though.
 
one would think that if they knew what was coming, they wouldn't secede in the first place. However, if the south prepares for a long war, and the north still keeps it's 'on to Richmond and the war will be over by fall' attitude, the south will kick butt at first. However, just as after Bull Run, the north will sooner or later be jolted into the notion that it will be a long war and they need to prepare accordingly. The south will be able to hold out longer with more supplies and cash ahead of time, but the blockade will go in sooner or later (even if the south builds more ships, the USN will simply outweigh them), and the north will still be able to grind down the south. The big question is if the north will be able to do it without war weariness bringing about a negotiated peace. The north can still undoubtedly win if their morale holds.....
 
David Howery said:
one would think that if they knew what was coming, they wouldn't secede in the first place. However, if the south prepares for a long war, and the north still keeps it's 'on to Richmond and the war will be over by fall' attitude, the south will kick butt at first. However, just as after Bull Run, the north will sooner or later be jolted into the notion that it will be a long war and they need to prepare accordingly. The south will be able to hold out longer with more supplies and cash ahead of time, but the blockade will go in sooner or later (even if the south builds more ships, the USN will simply outweigh them), and the north will still be able to grind down the south. The big question is if the north will be able to do it without war weariness bringing about a negotiated peace. The north can still undoubtedly win if their morale holds.....
True enough and some of the ideas could HELP the Union.
 
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