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What if The Union had lost The US Civil War?


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#1    Beren Erchamion

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 12:59 AM

What if The Union had never found Robert E Lee's Special Order 191? It was that order that had all the information on the CSAs troop deployments and alot of other strategic information among other things. If we (The North) had NOT found that in all likelyhood the Confederate States would have won and stayed an independent nation. And then If the Union had lost who would they have allied with during WWI & II? Just think about it. (If you like this kind of thing there is a book by a guy called Harry Turtledove called How Few Remain) While slavery most likely still would have been abolished in the CSA it would have taken ATLEAST another generation if not two.And we would have probably fought the south again within a generation anyway.....

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#2    Princess Serenity

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:02 AM

Everything would be different. And I don't think we would be talking about it. The current history would be so flippin different!

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#3    questionmark

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:07 AM

Holy cow...

But thinking about it... slavery would have lasted 50 more years and ultimately abolished because of the trading embargo imposed by England (in those days world power #1) and the rest of Europe. Lincoln would have been hanged instead of shot. The industrial development of the USA would have been retarded by 75-100 years. Britain would still be world power #1 if they could have won WWI without the USA (very plausible because at the time the USA entered the war Germany was blowing out of the "last hole").



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#4    Siara

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:31 AM

There's an author, Harry Turtledove who publishes books dealing with alternative history.  One of his series involves the premise of the South winning the Civil War.  I think that the "what if" premise in these novels is that someone goes back in time and gives the Confederacy 20th century gun technology.  

But the emphasis is not on time travel.  It's on the psychological consequences of this time warp for various historical figures.  For example, I think Robert E. Lee ends up freeing the slaves because after seeing them in combat he can no longer morally justify slavery.  He (ie- Turtledove) interjects one huge quirk into history, then goes back to reality and tries to project a logical future.  The bizarre irregularity isn't his focus. The focus is an extremely realistic examination of what various people would do under alternate circumstances.

see wikipedia entry  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Turtledove

Edited by Siara, 19 July 2007 - 01:33 AM.


#5    Bear's Quest

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:32 AM

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Holy cow...

But thinking about it... slavery would have lasted 50 more years and ultimately abolished because of the trading embargo imposed by England (in those days world power #1) and the rest of Europe. Lincoln would have been hanged instead of shot. The industrial development of the USA would have been retarded by 75-100 years. Britain would still be world power #1 if they could have won WWI without the USA (very plausible because at the time the USA entered the war Germany was blowing out of the "last hole").



The big question would the confederates in WWI and/or even a WWII sided with Germany? Hmmm. I don't know?


#6    Siara

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:43 AM

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The big question would the confederates in WWI and/or even a WWII sided with Germany? Hmmm. I don't know?


Well... the Confederacy was an agriculturally-based society.  If they persisted on that track for an extra 90 years, they would have been a third world country by 1940.  

Maybe the question is, "Would Germany have allied with them?  What would they have had that Hitler would want?"   Another parallel question is, "Would the Union States be a significant military force if they hadn't benefited from the proceeds of the South?"  

Maybe if the North and South had split, North America wouldn't be of much interest to European countries and wouldn't be a player in WWII.



#7    Bear's Quest

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:13 AM

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Well... the Confederacy was an agriculturally-based society.  If they persisted on that track for an extra 90 years, they would have been a third world country by 1940.  

Maybe the question is, "Would Germany have allied with them?  What would they have had that Hitler would want?"   Another parallel question is, "Would the Union States be a significant military force if they hadn't benefited from the proceeds of the South?"  

Maybe if the North and South had split, North America wouldn't be of much interest to European countries and wouldn't be a player in WWII.


IF...  the agriculturally based Confedarcy defeated the industrial North and continued to develop, the British would look to them as a threat.  While Germany was a growing threat in Europe.

Would Germany allied with them? a good question...  If Hitler combined forces scientifically and joined militaries. They would threatened the world, and I don't think Russia or China would of stop them. IMHO and taken with a grain of salt.


#8    Sgt._Love

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:24 AM

I have no real idea what would have happened but it would surely have been different  good or bad well lets just say im glad it happened like this

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#9    jaylemurph

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:28 AM

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IF...  the agriculturally based Confedarcy defeated the industrial North and continued to develop, the British would look to them as a threat.  While Germany was a growing threat in Europe.

Would Germany allied with them? a good question...  If Hitler combined forces scientifically and joined militaries. They would threatened the world, and I don't think Russia or China would of stop them. IMHO and taken with a grain of salt.


A German/Southern alliance? The Science and Precision of the Germans meets the Culture of the South:

  Ve haff created die Perfekte Food, ja? Die Uber-Grit.*

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*Although it's a well-known fact the perfect Southern food is barbeque.

Edited by jaylemurph, 19 July 2007 - 03:29 AM.

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#10    Bear's Quest

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:38 AM

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A German/Southern alliance? The Science and Precision of the Germans meets the Culture of the South:

  Ve haff created die Perfekte Food, ja? Die Uber-Grit.*

--Jaylemurph

*Although it's a well-known fact the perfect Southern food is barbeque.


  laugh.gif   How about a German with a Southern accent. Can you imagine.

Edited by Bear's Quest, 19 July 2007 - 04:05 AM.


#11    Teej

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:33 AM

Well, the immediate ramifications would have been a possible British and French military/logistical intervention, especially the French, who were eager to play a role.  Also, Copperhead Democrats would have seen a big boost in numbers during the 1862 election.  Lincoln and the Repubs would've tried to continue the war as best as they could, but they would have been severely handicapped.  I don't think Lincoln would have been hanged, but it would have been nearly impossible to win re-election in 1864 barring any miraculous victories by the north between late 1862 and 64.

Although, while a Union victory after a defeat at Antietam (or wherever the armies ended up fighting in this What If scenario) would have been difficult, it would not have been impossible.  Lincoln wasn't happy with McClellan, and, after another defeat, would have had enough support to replace him.  Lincoln would have seen the need to move quickly, as Lee would still be in the north and somewhat weak and tired after the fight.  If Lincoln wasn't too distressed after the defeat, he would have immediately replaced McClellan with one of the more aggressive generals, like Hooker or Burnside, who could organize reinforcements quickly and march fast (Hooker and Burnside were excellent at both, and Hooker was a good general who gets a bad rap for Chancellorsville).  It's reasonable to assume that the What If defeat at Antietam would be due to McClellan withdrawing after a brief engagement thus giving Lee the field, so it's likely that the casualties would not have been as bad as the real Antietam and most of the Army of the Potomac would still be intact (I'm gonna go with this outcome, but even if it's wrong and the casualties were similar to Antietam, the North would have had to lose something like 40,000 men with minimal damage to the Southern army in order for the south to have the numerical advantage afterwards).

Let's say Hooker avoided his wound at the real Antietam and was given command.  I'd say that if the above is correct, which I think it most likely is, Hooker (who always aimed to impress and show-up everyone) would have reorganized the army quickly, used the cavalry effectively like at Chancellorsville to attack Lee's exposed supply and stragglers, and then collided with a tired, undersupplied southern army as soon as he could.

Albeit the stars would have had to allign pretty well for this to happen and if it did I'm giving Hooker a pretty favorable prediction.  But I'd say no matter what, the chances of a significant Union victory after the What If loss at Antietam would be about 4 to 1 against.  Not that far off, though.

I dunno, I've always thought about this.  Let me know what you guys think.

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#12    questionmark

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 10:50 AM

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The big question would the confederates in WWI and/or even a WWII sided with Germany? Hmmm. I don't know?


I doubt it, you have to remember that the US entered the war after the sinking of the Lusitania, which was transporting manufactured goods from the US to England. Industrialization in the US would have had a severe drawback if slavery would have been upheld. Slaves don't make good industrial workers.

So, I doubt it.

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#13    questionmark

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 12:52 PM

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IF...  the agriculturally based Confedarcy defeated the industrial North and continued to develop, the British would look to them as a threat.  While Germany was a growing threat in Europe.

Would Germany allied with them? a good question...  If Hitler combined forces scientifically and joined militaries. They would threatened the world, and I don't think Russia or China would of stop them. IMHO and taken with a grain of salt.


The point you are not getting is that there would have been no Hitler. Germany would have eventually surrendered in WWI, but a year or so later. The Versailles treaty would have been totally different with both the allies and the Germans being on the ground. There would have been no occupation of the Rhineland due to lack of forces/will. All that would have kept the Kaiser in Power. Instead of Hitler there would have been a Wilhelm III after Wilhelm II. Given the political spectrum under the Kaiser the NSDAP would not have a chance- much less absolute power.

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Edited by questionmark, 19 July 2007 - 12:53 PM.

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#14    Harmon-E Cherry

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:25 PM

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I doubt it, you have to remember that the US entered the war after the sinking of the Lusitania, which was transporting manufactured goods from the US to England. Industrialization in the US would have had a severe drawback if slavery would have been upheld. Slaves don't make good industrial workers.

So, I doubt it.


The sinking of the Lusitania was a pretext for the United States to enter the war.  The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, was the pretext that precipitated the war in Europe.  The real cause was that the world changed so rapidly during the 19th century.  Countries relationships to each other were drastically altered by the increased ease of transportation.  Industrialization had drastically changed the lifestyles of the middle class (mass production allowed them to own more).  Old political alliances no longer made sense because the commercial needs of the various countries had changed.

The western world was headed for war, and the specific incidents that triggered it aren't the true causes of the conflict.  The Union had gone through these changes too.  They were connected to Europe on all sorts of levels and it was inevitable that they'd be dragged into the war.  It's hard to know what would have happened in the case of the Confederacy.  Their society worked on the medieval feudal system, so they wouldn't have experienced the psychological trauma of modernization (assuming that they continued with their agricultural system).  The Confederacy would not have had much to offer Germany.  The fact that they were next to the Union and would be transporting their goods across an ocean would have been a huge problem.  Northern airplanes could have easily taken their ports out.  They didn't have the materials (metal) to have an airforce.

Edited by Harmon-E Cherry, 19 July 2007 - 01:27 PM.

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#15    Harmon-E Cherry

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:30 PM

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laugh.gif   How about a German with a Southern accent. Can you imagine.


LOL.  I lived in Bavaria for a while and took Berlitz German courses.  Before that, I lived in South Carolina.  The result was an auditory train wreck.

Edited by Harmon-E Cherry, 19 July 2007 - 01:31 PM.

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