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Thread: Suppose this happened after the US civil war ended. Northernize the South!

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    Contributor Crocodylus's Avatar
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    Suppose this happened after the US civil war ended. Northernize the South!

    The US government not only has Union troops occupying the post-Confederate South during Reconstruction, but a massive social and economic program is undertaken to subvert the culture of the antebellum South and make Southerners think like their Northern counterparts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodylus View Post
    The US government not only has Union troops occupying the post-Confederate South during Reconstruction, but a massive social and economic program is undertaken to subvert the culture of the antebellum South and make Southerners think like their Northern counterparts.
    so they were going to wipe Southern agriculture off the map removing the region's dependance on that and instead build mass-scale industry down there?

    how?

    The best thing that ever happened to the South and its economic development was the invention of air conditioning. (I'm not kidding either.)

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    Pretty tough to change cultural thinking... it takes generations. I doubt that the North could have affected things more if they wanted to.... and the Northern occupation (and retribution) was unbelievably gentle when the bullets finally stopped flying.

    Others may disagree. Sure there were carpetbaggers, dirtbaggers, and some heavy-handed dealings, but overall, it was more like "Let's just be the USA again, minus slavery." In theory, there could have been thousands of trials and hangings, but there weren't. Thank Lincoln for much of that.

    Plus - there are aspects to the South I find much more appealing than the Northern counterparts. I wouldn't want to Northernize something like Southern hospitality, for example, and courtesy. They are very real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rj1 View Post
    so they were going to wipe Southern agriculture off the map removing the region's dependance on that and instead build mass-scale industry down there?

    how?

    The best thing that ever happened to the South and its economic development was the invention of air conditioning. (I'm not kidding either.)
    mechanized cotton picking..... Mechanization finnally and forever broke share cropping and made Jim Crow untenable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    mechanized cotton picking..... Mechanization finnally and forever broke share cropping and made Jim Crow untenable.
    Which wouldn't come for decades. Share ripping existed well into the 20th Century....as did Jim Crow.

    What was against the south for 19th Century mechanization was lack of raw materials lack of skilled labor lack of effective rail transportation networks and most importantly lack of working and investment capital.

    The North had the money and it was better spent on the West.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Which wouldn't come for decades. Share ripping existed well into the 20th Century....as did Jim Crow.

    What was against the south for 19th Century mechanization was lack of raw materials lack of skilled labor lack of effective rail transportation networks and most importantly lack of working and investment capital.

    The North had the money and it was better spent on the West.
    No surprise because the South didn't appreciate what the North had to offer or teach. they were still stuck in their backward economic ways and social way of thinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    No surprise because the South didn't appreciate what the North had to offer or teach. they were still stuck in their backward economic ways and social way of thinking.
    Partially but it was also they had the wrong kind of land for 19th century manufacturing. The waterways were too wide and meandering to provide efficient waterpropulsion. The water wheel was critical to 19th century production.

    By 1860 New York and Pennsylvania had 50% more miles of rails than all the Confederacy. And all of the lines in the North were iron....while in the South many of the lines were made of strap track...wooden rails with an iron top strap. And by the end of the war it was only worse.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
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    the South was just starting a period of industrialization when hostilities started. had the war been delayed 10 years it would have been very very bad for the North-- not just in terms of firearms (breechloaders favor the defense) but in terms of railroads and production capability. the South would still have been nowhere close to the North but they would have benefited significantly more from even a modest increase in capacity.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Eric, while some improvements were coming where was the capital coming from? That would have been cut off.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    right, this is assuming the war was delayed 10 years. most of this capital came from the North or from the UK. the war effectively destroyed southern industrialization for 60-70 years.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    OK. Delay 10 years. How much of that capital bleeds off from investment in the South vice the emerging West? The Transcontinental Railroad is in place opening up a LOT of markets and investment opportunity.

    What does that do for the South?

    And more and more wheat and cod gets exported to feed hungry Europeans...and the British and Continental antislavery forces get more time to work on their governments.

    Also Northerners in Congress would grow tired of compromising to keep the South happy.

    And the population of the North just grows with more and more immigrants.

    Delay is death for the Confederacy.

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    OK. Delay 10 years. How much of that capital bleeds off from investment in the South vice the emerging West? The Transcontinental Railroad is in place opening up a LOT of markets and investment opportunity.
    there's no doubt in my mind that the West (plus the North) would have gotten stronger in 10 years. however, the South would have gotten stronger, too; and because the South was coming off a smaller base, it would have benefited more, relatively.

    and the British and Continental antislavery forces get more time to work on their governments.
    really the British, the French weren't going to intervene unless the Brits came in. as for them, i think there's a tendency to exaggerate the strength of the anti-slavery force in the UK at this time. most of the elites in the UK wanted to knock the North down a notch to begin with, and in fact Lord Palmerston came within a week or two of recognizing the CSA (thank God for the Battle of Antietam going the way it did).

    the British reform act of 1867 would have helped, though. not sure if it would have been enough at the time to conclusively change policy.

    Delay is death for the Confederacy.
    i think this would be true after 1880, when the North underwent its second Industrial Revolution. but the 1870s would have been a "good" time for the South, I think. can you imagine the Civil War with all the soldiers armed with breechloaders and repeating rifles, not just cavalry units and a few select units? gatlings and breech-loading artillery and indirect fires? more common use of the observation balloon for indirect fires?

    all of this were occasionally used in the Civil War. if they were commonplace it seems to me that all of this would really relatively favor the defense.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    The Confederacy would have been crushed, just like Nazi Germany. A 10-year delay in the Civil War would have the body count skyrocket due to more advanced weaponry accessible by the south. The industrial might of the north would win in the end. The only difference was body count.
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    its difficult to see how large scale industrialization of the South would have been allowed to proceed. The threat that slave labor would pose to northern industry would almost force the northern industrialist to force the issue and thus the war occurs but the North starts from a anti-slavery footing which cuts English and French support off from the south from the start.

    The USN can simply blockade the South into submission. Long term, the South is the one that has to take the offensive and is the on facing the power of the breech loader in the defense. Plus thanks to immigration the North's advantage in numbers is even larger, and its supply of gold/ silver area larger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    its difficult to see how large scale industrialization of the South would have been allowed to proceed. The threat that slave labor would pose to northern industry would almost force the northern industrialist to force the issue and thus the war occurs but the North starts from a anti-slavery footing which cuts English and French support off from the south from the start.

    The USN can simply blockade the South into submission. Long term, the South is the one that has to take the offensive and is the on facing the power of the breech loader in the defense. Plus thanks to immigration the North's advantage in numbers is even larger, and its supply of gold/ silver area larger.
    It may be the what if in a what if,but there was little thrill to free the slaves by force of arms.There is no preservation of the Union if the North attacks first.
    Also,in the 70's and 80's there is no more France,but Germany,as the main power in Europe.So in effect,only Britain can intervene in America,but they have even less incentive without the French.

    Also,if the war starts later,many of the Generals that rose to power during the actual war may not have the chance.So the likes of Longstreet,Emory Upton,Forrest,Jackson may play an even bigger role.In terms of lessons learned,it's quite likely they'll notice the new wars in Europe and give up the old school tactics much earlier.Asty has a point,imo.
    Regarding the migrants,who's the dumb one to volunteer to die for the industrialist,when there are ranches all over the West and the Sioux gold?
    Last edited by Mihais; 30 Jul 13, at 20:55.
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