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What If Jefferson Davis Had Won?

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    It's always interesting to sit back and think of what might have been if certain periods of time wound up going a different way. The American Civil War is one of the things I tend to think about when wondering where the country would have gone if the South had won the war. Would our country look similar to the way it does in this day in age, or would our countries destiny have wound up an entirely different way? One person that would have definitely had a big say in that was Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

    After resigning his seat in the Federal Government back in January of 1861, Jefferson Davis was selected as provisional President of the Confederate States and was then unanimously elected to a full term shortly thereafter. His tenure as President was entirely consumed by the war and he was eventually captured in May of 1865, shortly before the war ended. Many historians attribute his sub par handling of the war effort to the South's demise. Davis was charged with high treason and was confined in jail for two years, but was never tried and released on bail. He publicly stayed out of politics for the remainder of his life, but didn't shy from letting his opinions about "the Yankee and Negroe rule" be known to anyone who would listen.

    Any thoughts on Jefferson Davis and what our country might have looked like had the South defeated the North in that terrible war?
  • Independent
    Louisianna
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    The war didn't have to happen.
    The South tried to peacefully secede ...but lincoln just had to have his war.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    What I find interesting is how after 150 years, the "South" still has not forgotten. For many they still are bitter that Lincoln freed the slaves. They tried to secede from the Union in 1861 outraged by the election of Abraham Lincoln and his views on slavery, and 150 years later some southern states again have been talking secession...outraged that a black man is serving as president.

    If the South had won, just how long do they think they would have been able to maintain slavery? That's what secession was about wasn't it?
  • Independent
    Louisianna
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    Schmidt Wrote: What I find interesting is how after 150 years, the "South" still has not forgotten.
    When your homeland is wrecked and ancestors murdered by federal troops for wanting to peacefully secede...it leaves a lasting impression.


    Schmidt Wrote:For many they still are bitter that Lincoln freed the slaves.
    Really? You believe lincoln "freed the slaves"?
    Go read the proclamation again.

    besides, lincoln's "proclamation" had no weight in the south, which was no longer part of the union.

    Who are these people you allege are "bitter" about that?


    Schmidt Wrote:,They tried to secede from the Union in 1861 outraged by the election of Abraham Lincoln and his views on slavery
    They didn't "try" to secede..they did secede.

    Explain lincolns "views on slavery"..Post some of his quotes.

    Schmidt Wrote:If the South had won, just how long do they think they would have been able to maintain slavery?
    Not much longer. Everyone at the time knew it was a dying practice. The industrial revolution was beginning and machines could do far more work with less upkeep/overhead than a pack of slaves could.



    Schmidt Wrote:That's what secession was about wasn't it?
    ummmm...no..not at all. You think 500,000 poor southern white men were out there fighting for the "right" of wealthy people to own slaves?

    No..they were fighting for their homeland against hostile invaders who were trying to kill them.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I don't normally use Wikipedia as my sources for controversial topics like this, but for expediency I'll do that now as I cannot see anything here that contradicts the consensus thinking of historians.

    Wikipedia: America Civil War

    Yes the southern "slave states" did secede to form the Confederate States of America, but Lincoln intervened to preserve the Union, and in the end of the Civil War that confederacy no longer existed. The Confederate States of America were not recognized by any foreign countries and had no legitimacy.

    But why did they secede in the first place if slavery was not the issue? From Wikipedia:

    "The causes of the Civil War were complex and have been controversial since the war began. The issue has been further complicated by historical revisionists, who have tried to offer a variety of reasons for the war. Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election. After Lincoln had won without carrying a single Southern state, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option, because they felt as if they were losing representation, which hampered their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies."

    Historical revisionists in the Southern states have tried to make this more about states rights than slavery.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    One of the reason the South lost the war was the fact that after two years of war, the European allies pulled their support from the South because of the slave issue. Europe needed the South because of their ports for commerce for trade throughout the United States and also the expansion of the west became another issue for secession as it pertained to states rights, President Lincoln decreed that the West would be slave free and those Southern States said it would a violation of states rights if those particular areas were settled by southerners and their tradition of slave ownership would then be denied, there were many other issues that caused this Nation to enter into a Civil War, if the European allies hadn't pulled their support from the confederacy ,would the North still have been victorious? Up to that point in time the North were not very successful on the battlefields, The North had the Industry but the South had the fuel to spur the Industries, foodstuffs, cotton for the textile Industry, cold water ports for trade with other Nations, so I feel that Jefferson Davis would have won had he not lost the support of those Allies, I can't envision the track this Nation would have been on had he won, I suppose we would have been more involved in agriculture with the expansion of the West, maybe as a punishment to the North, they would been allowed to flounder and be charged( Taxed) more for the cost of the war ( which is what the North did via carpetbaggers),perhaps we would not have become the Industrial giant that we did become, and of course the Legislation that subsequently followed the North's victorious campaign against the secessionist movement would not have occurred. So it is a difficult thing for me to wrap my head around on the theory of What if Jefferson Davis had won?
  • Independent
    Louisianna
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    Schmidt Wrote: I don't normally use Wikipedia as my sources for controversial topics like this, but for expediency I'll do that now as I cannot see anything here that contradicts the consensus thinking of historians.
    gawdalmighty..wikipedia???seriously?

    LMAO...



    Schmidt Wrote:Yes the southern "slave states" did secede to form the Confederate States of America, but Lincoln intervened to preserve the Union, and in the end of the Civil War that confederacy no longer existed. The Confederate States of America were not recognized by any foreign countries and had no legitimacy.
    but lincoln lied..He said in Congress that;

    "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can may revolutionize and make their own of so many of the territory as they inhabit."


    So he was in favor of the colonies "seceding" from england...he was in favor of texas "seceding" from mexico..and his statement above, taken at face value, shows he pretended to believe in freedom of the people to secede if they chose to......
    ..but he was obviously a liar.



    Schmidt Wrote:But why did they secede in the first place if slavery was not the issue? From Wikipedia:

    "The causes of the Civil War were complex and have been controversial since the war began. The issue has been further complicated by historical revisionists, who have tried to offer a variety of reasons for the war. Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election. After Lincoln had won without carrying a single Southern state, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option, because they felt as if they were losing representation, which hampered their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies."

    Historical revisionists in the Southern states have tried to make this more about states rights than slavery.
    wikipedia...sheesh...speaking of "revisionists"..

    lincoln couldn't have cared less about negroes or slavery...


    Lincoln in HIS OWN WORDS first inaugural address.....not some "wikipedia" nonsense...


    "Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that—

    I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.

    Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

    Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes."


    I like direct lincoln quotes a lot better than rehashed, revisionist public school "history".
    Here are a few more direct quotes you may enjoy.


    "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union."
    -- Abraham Lincoln
    -From, Letter to Horace Greeley
    August 22, 1862

    "Negro equality! Fudge!! How long, in the government of a God great enough to make and maintain this Universe, shall there continue knave to vend, and fools to gulp, so low a piece of demagoguism as this?"
    -- Abraham Lincoln
    -From, Fragments: Notes for Speeches
    Sept. 1859 (Vol. III)

    "But what shall we do with the Negroes after they are free? I believe that it would be better to export them all to some fertile country with a good climate, which they could have to themselves."
    -- Abraham Lincoln
    -From, Letter to General Benjamin F. Butler
    March 1865 (Vol. VII)

    "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, (applause from audience) that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people. I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."
    -- Abraham Lincoln
    -From, 4th Debate with Stephan A. Douglas in Illinois
    Sept. 1858 (Vol. III)

    "Judge Douglas has said to you that he has not been able to get an answer out of me to the question whether I am in favor of Negro citizenship. So far as I know, the Judge never asked me the question before. (applause from audience) He shall have no occasion to ever ask it again, for I tell him very frankly that I am not in favor of Negro citizenship. (renewed applause) If the state of Illinois has the power to grant Negroes citizenship, I shall be opposed to it. (cries of "here, here" and "good, good" from audience) That is all I have to say."
    -- Abraham Lincoln
    -From, Speech at Sringfield, Illinois
    June 1857 (Vol. II)

    "In the course of his reply, the Senator remarked that he had always considered this a government made for the white people and not for the Negroes. Why, in point of mere fact, I think so, too."
    -- Abraham Lincoln
    -From, Speech at Peoria, Illinois
    Oct. 1854 (Vol. II)

    "I think your race suffers very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason why we should at least be separated."
    -- Abraham Lincoln
    -From, Address on Colonization to a Deputation of
    Africans in Washington D.C.
    August 1862 (Vol. V)


    If you care to, we can go on and discuss the reasons for the war of northern aggression, but you're going to need to do a lot better than "wiki" if you hope for credibility.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    pr Wrote: This country would be a lot better off without the South and the Southwest, for that matter. Let's give Texas, New Mexico and Arizona back to the Mexicans we stole it from for a few pennies as it was. I say let the Southerns wallow in their own bigotry and hate and live life like the poor white trash most of them truly are. There is a good reason why successful and wealthier society's flourish in the Northern parts of the world and the ignorant, poor live in the more temperate zones. It's not just a matter of luck!
    Labeling every person who lives in the southern states as hate fills white trash does nothing to further the discussion of race and politics in this country. It is true that many racist people live in the south. It is also true that many racist people live in the north. Racial prejudice knows no boundaries.

    Rotagilla Wrote: If you care to, we can go on and discuss the reasons for the war of northern aggression, but you're going to need to do a lot better than "wiki" if you hope for credibility.
    I would love to have this discussion with you. I have studied Lincoln extensively throughout the years and have come to far different conclusions about the 16th President than you have.

    Cherry picking some of his quotes that can be easily found with a simple Google keyword search is no different than using Wikipedia as a source. It is easy to approach a subject from a set viewpoint and find selected information to back up your preconceived biases. The fact you copy and pasted a series of quotes from the Racial Nationalist Party of America doesn't help your case much either. Quotes spoken during the tumultuous times of the 1850's are hardly a harbinger of how someone would conduct a Presidency facing down the separation of the union over a decade later.
  • Independent
    Louisianna
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    Rotagilla Wrote: If you care to, we can go on and discuss the reasons for the war of northern aggression, but you're going to need to do a lot better than "wiki" if you hope for credibility.
    I would love to have this discussion with you. I have studied Lincoln extensively throughout the years and have come to far different conclusions about the 16th President than you have.
    jaredsxtn Wrote:Cherry picking some of his quotes that can be easily found with a simple Google keyword search is no different than using Wikipedia as a source.
    You presume a lot. I've studied lincoln, too.
    Regardless..the man said/wrote those words. It doesn't matter if I found them out in the front yard...and seriously..wikipedia?...weak....

    jaredsxtn Wrote:It is easy to approach a subject from a set viewpoint and find selected information to back up your preconceived biases.
    What "set viewpoint"? What "preconceived biases". I posted direct quotes. This has nothing to do with me..Attempted diversion noted, though.

    jaredsxtn Wrote:The fact you copy and pasted a series of quotes from the Racial Nationalist Party of America doesn't help your case much either.
    You presume a lot. I've had those quotes for years.I went and found them myself.

    Those quotes can be found in the books and papers listed...Anyone can find them....nothing to do with the link you posted...your (weak) attempt to demean and marginalize is noted, though.

    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Quotes spoken during the tumultuous times of the 1850's are hardly a harbinger of how someone would conduct a Presidency facing down the separation of the union over a decade later.
    No..go read them again. They're very specific...He said exactly what he meant to say..

    Read his first inaugural address...Look at the part I quoted earlier...Nothing ambiguous about it.

    So you opine that the 1850's were more "tumultuous" than the 1860's?...and even IF they were, it means your favorite politician can lie to the country and his constituents and it's ok?

    I think I'm beginning to see your agenda.
  • Independent
    Louisianna
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    pr Wrote: This country would be a lot better off without the South and the Southwest, for that matter. Let's give Texas, New Mexico and Arizona back to the Mexicans we stole it from for a few pennies as it was. I say let the Southerns wallow in their own bigotry and hate and live life like the poor white trash most of them truly are. There is a good reason why successful and wealthier society's flourish in the Northern parts of the world and the ignorant, poor live in the more temperate zones. It's not just a matter of luck!
    Very classy.

    I think you just revealed a lot more about yourself than you meant to, though.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Rotagilla Wrote: You presume a lot. I've studied lincoln, too.
    Regardless..the man said/wrote those words. It doesn't matter if I found them out in the front yard...and seriously..wikipedia?...weak....
    For starters, I didn't quote anything from Wikipedia. I was pointing out that you copy and pasted quotes from the website I provided.

    Rotagilla Wrote: What "set viewpoint"? What "preconceived biases". I posted direct quotes. This has nothing to do with me..Attempted diversion noted, though.
    Rotagilla Wrote: You presume a lot. I've had those quotes for years.I went and found them myself. Those quotes can be found in the books and papers listed...Anyone can find them....nothing to do with the link you posted...your (weak) attempt to demean and marginalize is noted, though.
    You may claim you 'had those quotes for years,' but every single one of those quotes was lifted from the site I provided. It is one heck of a coincidence if every single quote you provided, applause breaks and all, was documented verbatim on another site. That's called plagiarism.

    It's just as easy for me to find Lincoln quotes in favor of racial integration and against slavery to back up my point of view:

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." Letter To Henry L. Pierce and Others (April 6, 1859)

    "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln Volume II, (August 1, 1858)

    "I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal." Chicago, Illinois (July 10, 1858)

    "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Gettysburg Address on (November 19, 1863)

    "Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." Speech to the One Hundred Fortieth Indiana Regiment" (March 17, 1865)

    "You think slavery is right and should be extended; while we think slavery is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us." Letter to Alexander H. Stephens" (December 22, 1860)

    If you wish, I can provide dozens more directly contradicting your point of view that "Lincoln couldn't have cared less about negroes or slavery..."

    Rotagilla Wrote: I think I'm beginning to see your agenda.
    To the contrary, I think I'm beginning to see yours.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I'll leave it to Jared to argue all the historical points with Rotagilla. I think they are well documented in history books and articles. Lincoln is remembered for saving the Union and freeing the slaves...and no southern revisionism can change that.

    My original comment was focused on large segments of the South as harboring almost institutional biases and prejudices that have lived before and after the Civil War...up to the modern days. One would have thought that after 150 years that somehow the Southern States would have shed many of those biases but they live on, generation after generation. Revisionist history is a necessary part of maintaining the ideological stands on issues including the reasons for the Civil War.

    Revisionist history is nothing new. It's always been a part of every culture to embellish and/or diminish...a sort of cognitive bias that selects what should remembered and what should be forgotten...a selective cherry picked story passed onto the next generation. The Ronald Reagan legacy is a more recent example of revisionist history as conservatives have held him up to almost saintly status. Right now conservatives are working on rewriting George Bush's image as well.

    And at the same time there are those today that are seeking to diminish President Barack Obama's presidency. Those that believe he is a secret Muslim born in Kenya have 100 percent certitude in their beliefs. That's just the way their minds have been conditioned...much the same as those in the South who are still fighting the ideological battles of the Civil War today and are living in a bubble of misinformation.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Charlotte, NC
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    Rotagilla AND pgr:

    There is no need for slander towards a whole portion of the country, or group of people. There are racist people everywhere, including the north. I'm not sure how someone could be unaware or ignorant of that fact. There are successful people all around the world/ country. Not just the North. Iv'e spent years in the northern part of the country all over, and grew up in Texas. I can honestly say, I have seen more impressive people and places in the south. Being just that is my opinion, it's not a fact. But I would never go as far as to classify a whole portion of the country as "white trash". That is extremely close minded.

    And there is nothing wrong atall with getting sources or quotes from Wiki.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    I remember the time traveling by car to Key West for a grand summer in 1965. We stopped for pee break and refreshment at truck stop in Mobile, Alabama. Being from Kansas City growing up ignorant of the race issues, but seeing such events on TV, I was shocked to see two water fountains and two doors for rest rooms. One was for "Negro" and the other for "White". Yes Sir I was in the South and I just grew up fully aware of the hatred and hostility between Americans on the basis of color. Now if you all want to labor on Lincoln's intent, than I suggest you dig him up, revive him and ask him about freeing those slaves. You just might get a mouthful of Lincoln wisdom informing you how stupid you are rehashing the Union and Confederate War and the outcome of keeping America together and freeing human beings from slavery. I see Jefferson Davis no different than McConnell (KY) attempting to keep Obama to a one term presidency. Both of these politicians have contempt for America and no respect for humanity. I'll even go as far to say that Texas's Governor, who professed to succeed from the Nation, as being so misplaced in this nations interest that he would place his Dear Texas in peril. Even Texas could not survive for long without American aid.

    To say Jefferson Davis had a vision for a confederacy separate from the United States, is like saying someone let the lunatics out of the asylum. Jefferson Davis was sick with grandeur and had no honor other than maybe his slave mistresses and some sweet tea listening to banjo music from his slaves picking cotton. Jefferson Davis was just raised differently thus a bit strange in what a honorable Lincoln would think. Lincoln tried to negotiate but the eventual outcome was war. Sorry, Jefferson Davis, may you continue to roll in your grave, because America has a Black President, courtesy of Abraham Lincoln and other Presidents that sponsored rights to all Americans............as our Constitution.........."WE THE PEOPLE.......". That includes black people, Jefferson Davis, now continue to lie in your grave and sip your sweet tea. Oh, by the way Jefferson Davis, I will vote for Obama again if America allows a third term.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Rotagilla Wrote:
    pr Wrote: This country would be a lot better off without the South and the Southwest, for that matter. Let's give Texas, New Mexico and Arizona back to the Mexicans we stole it from for a few pennies as it was. I say let the Southerns wallow in their own bigotry and hate and live life like the poor white trash most of them truly are. There is a good reason why successful and wealthier society's flourish in the Northern parts of the world and the ignorant, poor live in the more temperate zones. It's not just a matter of luck!
    Very classy.<br /> <br /> I think you just revealed a lot more about yourself than you meant to, though.
    Not at all. I meant every word I wrote and sadly, it's a very accurate definition (I was describing white Southerners, of course) and actually you are the one who has revealed a lot more about yourself than you meant to! I'll pray for you and the South also though so don't worry God will bless you no matter what ;)