What if Lincoln had not decided to invade the South?

Discussion in 'History' started by jwoodie, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. jwoodie
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    jwoodie Gold Member Supporting Member

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    President Lincoln took office on 4 March 1861. At that time, seven states from the Deep South had seceded from the Union, but four other slave states (Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee) had voted to remain. In mid April Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter, but the bigger economic threat was converting southern ports to duty-free zones. This would have put Northern Ports out of business and deprived the federal government of a primary source of revenue.

    In response, Lincoln called for northern troops to put down (i.e., invade) the rebellious states. This unprecedented action outraged the remaining southern states and caused them, led by Virginia, to secede in short order. Virginia was now the most populous and important state in the Confederacy, which quickly moved its capital to Richmond.

    What if Lincoln had not taken this precipitous step and Virginia had stayed in the Union? Without it, the Confederacy would have consisted of a collection of backward agricultural states with little manufacturing capacity, almost entirely dependent on imports from foreign countries. Instead of invading these states, Lincoln could have ordered a trade embargo and blockaded their ports. These actions would have been ruinous to the seceding states and, without Virginia's manpower and manufacturing capacity, they would have been forced to capitulate and rejoin the Union.

    What do you think of this scenario? Could we have avoided the carnage and destruction of the Civil War if more moderate steps had been taken? Slavery was already a dying institution. (It had completely disappeared in the Western Hemisphere by 1888.) Was it worth 600,000 lives to end it 25 years sooner?
     
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball Unobtanium Member Supporting Member

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    How do you know for sure that the embargoes and blockade wouldn't have also caused those states to join the confederacy?
     
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  3. gipper
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    gipper Libertarian/Anarchist

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    We’d be far better off today.
     
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  4. aaronleland
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    aaronleland Platinum Member

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    I wouldn't have to hear people say, "Oh, you're from Western Virginia? I love your beaches."
     
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  5. JGalt
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    JGalt Platinum Member

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    California would have joined the Confederacy as it was leaning to, and there wouldn't be so much poop on the sidewalks today.
     
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  6. SobieskiSavedEurope
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    SobieskiSavedEurope BANNED

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    The North would be like a richer version of Canada & the South a more English speaking version of Brazil.
     
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  7. ReinyDays
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    ReinyDays VIP Member

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    The Royal Navy would have busted right through the Union blockade ... easy peasy ... the Union would have utterly collapsed and returned to English control ... California would be Swedish right now ... Soviets in western Canada ... Germany wins WWI ... Ottomans in Brazil ... British Raj in China ...

    Did you know Robert E. Lee V is a direct descendent of George Washington ... oldest son to oldest son? ...
     
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  8. ReinyDays
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    ReinyDays VIP Member

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    California joined as a single state (in part) to avoid the Missouri Compromise ...
     
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  9. jwoodie
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    jwoodie Gold Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know for sure. That is why I called it a scenario. But it is clear that Lincoln's call for (Virginia) troops to invade southern states caused the pro-union delegates to the Virginia Convention to change their votes from union to secession.

    Virginia Secession Convention of 1861 - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
  10. SobieskiSavedEurope
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    I support Southern secession.

    Just think that wouldn't have to waste a ton of money & ton of American lives on the silly wars, and military adventures the USA South supports.

    We wouldn't have to pay more in taxes, to pay for their higher levels of welfare, and general benefit needs.

    Illegal Immigrants would have to cross 2 borders to get to the North, and African Americans & LGBTQ's fleeing the South for the North would have to cross a border too.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019

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