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A Divided America in 1860 (or so)

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  • #31
    A more realistic possibility

    Peacefully breaking the United States into four separate countries doesn't seem like a realistic possibility to me; however, I think that there is a scenario where the North would have grudgingly let the South leave the Union.

    The South made a really big mistake in going to war to achieve their independence. Had they put their case before the Supreme Court, they most likely would have won it. The Supreme Court would have had to resort to incredibly tortured, legal gymanastics to declare otherwise. If your state has the freedom to join, then it has the freedom to leave. Secession has to be Constitutional! Any other intrepretation, makes a mockery of everything this country stands for. Secession was legal then and it is legal now.

    The great myth is that the Civil War proved that Secession is illegal; however, that is what it is: a myth. All the war proved was that the North was stronger than the South. To my knowledge: the Supreme Court has never ruled on the question of a state's right to secede.

    If the South had placed their "Cause" on the docket rather than the battlefield, they most likely would have won for three reasons. First, the Court was dominated Southerners and Southern sympathizers. Secondly, people didn't think of this country as "THE" United States until after the war. Prior to the conflict, it was "THESE" United States. Finally, they would have won, because secession is constitutional. It has to be. If your state doesn't have the freedom to leave, then you are not truly free!

    Assuming that they adopted the strategy of suing their way out of the union, the picture is not a rosy one. The most likely cause of friction would be the division of the spoils from the Mexican War. In order to avoid war with their new neighbors, the Confederacy would have to abandon most, if not all, of its claims on the West. How likely is that?

    Secondly, if they did release all claims to the West, it is well documented that the Leaders of the South entertained designs on territorial expansion on Cuba, Mexico and Nicauraga amoung others. That also would be likely to cause friction with the United States.

    I'm afraid that North America would have seen a heck of a lot more warfare on this continent than it actually did. The sole reason for continental peace has been that the victory over the South in the Civil War reduced the number of competitor states in North America.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Whiterook View Post
      The 4 nations would not, in my estimation, cooperated with each other to any beneficial degree to create the Super Power status the United States attained.

      World War II probably would have turned out much differently for this part of the continent.

      I'd be living in Deseret with my 7 wives.
      White Rook, this is Check Mate King Two! Do you read me? Over?
      White Rook! This is Checkmate King Two! Come in! Over!

      (Caje! Littlejohn! You're on me! The rest of you, spread out!)

      LOVE THAT SHOW! HAVE ALL ON DVD's!

      First of all, I don't see a WWII without the hellish Reconstruction we placed upon Germany, after WWI, and giving the Little Corporal an excuse to quote Lincoln from MEIN KAMPF at all those speeches!

      According to my grandfather, a corporal (also) in WWI, "Woodrow Wilson got us into WWI. He told Kaiser Bill, "If I had that army of your's, I could whip the world!"

      That is the only political/historical statement my grandfather EVER made to me. I was seven, and clueless, but I remember it, to this day!

      COMBAT was still in black and white, in those days!

      TJ
      Last edited by Th. Jefferson; 23 Jan 08, 23:51.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by dangunner View Post
        Peacefully breaking the United States into four separate countries doesn't seem like a realistic possibility to me; however, I think that there is a scenario where the North would have grudgingly let the South leave the Union.

        The South made a really big mistake in going to war to achieve their independence. Had they put their case before the Supreme Court, they most likely would have won it. The Supreme Court would have had to resort to incredibly tortured, legal gymanastics to declare otherwise. If your state has the freedom to join, then it has the freedom to leave. Secession has to be Constitutional! Any other intrepretation, makes a mockery of everything this country stands for. Secession was legal then and it is legal now.

        The great myth is that the Civil War proved that Secession is illegal; however, that is what it is: a myth. All the war proved was that the North was stronger than the South. To my knowledge: the Supreme Court has never ruled on the question of a state's right to secede.

        If the South had placed their "Cause" on the docket rather than the battlefield, they most likely would have won for three reasons. First, the Court was dominated Southerners and Southern sympathizers. Secondly, people didn't think of this country as "THE" United States until after the war. Prior to the conflict, it was "THESE" United States. Finally, they would have won, because secession is constitutional. It has to be. If your state doesn't have the freedom to leave, then you are not truly free!

        Assuming that they adopted the strategy of suing their way out of the union, the picture is not a rosy one. The most likely cause of friction would be the division of the spoils from the Mexican War. In order to avoid war with their new neighbors, the Confederacy would have to abandon most, if not all, of its claims on the West. How likely is that?

        Secondly, if they did release all claims to the West, it is well documented that the Leaders of the South entertained designs on territorial expansion on Cuba, Mexico and Nicauraga amoung others. That also would be likely to cause friction with the United States.

        I'm afraid that North America would have seen a heck of a lot more warfare on this continent than it actually did. The sole reason for continental peace has been that the victory over the South in the Civil War reduced the number of competitor states in North America.
        Here's my alternate history idea! We, the South, wearing blue, and waving a Betsy Ross flag, storm DC and throw out the Liberal party, in toto! We quote Jefferson as we show Lincoln the way back to Springfield...

        "it is our right, and our duty to OVERTHROW SUCH GOVERNMENT!

        Amen, and Selah!

        Comment


        • #34
          Well one of the factors Lincoln was balancing was that failure to respond to Southern secession would have likely led to the secession of New England as well. They had been strong movement in that direction over the previous two decades so we would have likely had at least 6. The question then would have been which way NY and PA would have gone, with New England or with the Nutmeggers of the Old Northwest.
          Boston Strong!

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          • #35
            Originally posted by dangunner View Post
            The South made a really big mistake in going to war to achieve their independence. Had they put their case before the Supreme Court, they most likely would have won it. The Supreme Court would have had to resort to incredibly tortured, legal gymanastics to declare otherwise. If your state has the freedom to join, then it has the freedom to leave. Secession has to be Constitutional! Any other intrepretation, makes a mockery of everything this country stands for. Secession was legal then and it is legal now.
            Actually, I don't see that at all. There are certainly people who argue that, but they are consigned to folks like the League of the South. There were good arguments on both sides of the matter....I tend to agree with the side that says it was not right. I cannot show you anything in the Constitution that says it is ILLEGAL, but neither can you show me anything that specifically states that it IS. And using the 9th & 10 amendments as crutches to defend the notion are outweighed by the fact that the Constitution specifically says that the states cannot enter into treaties or alliances with other states & such.

            Originally posted by dangunner View Post
            The great myth is that the Civil War proved that Secession is illegal; however, that is what it is: a myth. All the war proved was that the North was stronger than the South. To my knowledge: the Supreme Court has never ruled on the question of a state's right to secede.
            Incorrect. They did rule:
            Did the Supreme Court ever rule on the legality of secession? (U.S. Civil War: The beginning)
            Yes, it did-- after the war. Perhaps the clearest statement is in
            the case Texas v. White (74 U.S. 700). Chief Justice Chase, writing
            for the court in its 1869 decision, said:

            "The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible
            Union, composed of indestructible States. ... Considered, therefore, as
            transactions under the Constitution, the Ordinance of Secession, adopted
            by the convention and ratified by a majority of the citizens of Texas, and
            all the Acts of her Legislature intended to give effect to that ordinance,
            were absolutely null. They were utterly without operation in law. ... Our
            conclusion, therefore, is, that Texas continued to be a State, and a State
            of the Union, notwithstanding the transactions to which we have referred."

            The entire decision is available on the Web at
            http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/cases/historic.htm
            The Civil War did decide the matter. At best you can say that it was a matter of interpretation-both sides disagreed on it. The Civil War decided the outcome on the battlefield. The icing on the cake was the ruling made by the Supreme Court afterwards.

            Originally posted by dangunner View Post
            If the South had placed their "Cause" on the docket rather than the battlefield, they most likely would have won for three reasons. First, the Court was dominated Southerners and Southern sympathizers. Secondly, people didn't think of this country as "THE" United States until after the war. Prior to the conflict, it was "THESE" United States. Finally, they would have won, because secession is constitutional. It has to be. If your state doesn't have the freedom to leave, then you are not truly free!
            What does a state trying to leave the Union have to do with personal freedoms? Then again, I guess leaving in the face of a legally elected President is ok when you want the rules to apply when you want them to......
            The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Janos View Post
              Let's really get out far on the limb here.

              What if the North had allowed the South to secede? Moreover, what if there were more secessions? It has been argued that were the South to be successful, there may be other secessions from the US so let's explore that.

              Let us say for the purposes of discussion that the US split into four nations peacefully.
              • The United States (generally in what is now the northeast across to Minnesota and down to Kansas and Maryland)
              • The Confederacy (11 or 13 states, as you prefer -- I don't see how it makes a difference here)
              • The Pacific Nation* (California, Oregon, Washington) and
              • Deseret (the Mormon State encompassing Utah, northern Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho)

              What about the middle territories (Colorado, for example)?
              And more importantly, what is the impact on the world?
              What's the future for these four nations?

              *Extra points for a good name for this country.
              The funny thing is, this is exactly what I said would happen if Lincoln let the South go without doing anything. Chaos & anarchy. Why? Because if one section could do it, why not everyone else? Everytime a decision is made at the top of the pile that you don't like, simply leave! Forget compromise. Forget trying to sort things out. SImply divide up until you are happy. Personally, I think it woulda split a lot more if the South was let go......4 parts is not nearly enough IMHO.
              The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

              Comment

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