In the discussion thread: How long would slavery had lasted if the South decided NOT to secede? [View all]
Response to MrScorpio (Original post)
Fri Oct 26, 2012, 10:34 AM
JackRiddler (24,461 posts)
28. Economically the South was in decline.
A war was inevitable because both the Northern and Southern economic systems required expansion. The North was the overwhelmingly superior system economically. The Civil War was as much about whether the Western states would be slave or "free," and saw a prelude with armed conflict in Kansas prior to 1860 over the question of whether the state would be slave or "free."
Culturally, the Southern elites would have denied the economics and would have never surrendered an inch on slavery without war. In the face of decline and slave rebellion they would have been capable of attempting an extermination policy.
Without the immediate perceived threat of Lincoln, I believe a war would have come inevitably within two decades of 1860, likely triggered by contests over Western territories but then necessarily enveloping the whole country in a total war. Assuming a united North - big assumption - such a conflict would have seen the South in an even weaker condition than in 1861.
Another possibility, however, would have been a Southern turn to conquest of Mexico, Cuba, and other Latin American territories as the field of expansion.
Finally, we can imagine that the slaves would have outnumbered the whites at some point... it's not completely out of the question that a widespread slave rebellion would have seen a Northern administration (if sufficiently racist) supporting the South in suppressing it!
So, in short, don't know, but we can probably agree on the likeliest scenario: War within 20 years of 1860, with the South defeated.
Correction to OP: Fort Sumter.
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|Spider Jerusalem||Oct 2012||#4|
|Egalitarian Thug||Oct 2012||#18|
Economically the South was in decline.
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