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Author Topic: If the South never seceeded  (Read 2599 times)
kashifsakhan
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« on: July 25, 2006, 08:27:59 pm »
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If the south had never seceeded, which of the following, if any, from the Confederate cabinet do you think would have become president of the United States

Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederacy)

Alexander Stephens (Vice President)

Judah P. Benjamin (Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and Attorney General)

Robert Toombs (Secretary of State)

Robert M.T. Hunter (Secretary of State)

William M. Browne (Secretary of State)

Christopher Memminger (Secretary of Treasury)

George Trenholm (Secretary of Treasury)

Leroy Pope Walker (Secretary of War)

George W. Randolph (Secretary of War)

Gustavus Smith (Secretary of War)

James Seddon (Secretary of War)

John C. Breckinridge (Secretary of War)

Stephen Mallory (Secretary of Navy)

John H. Reagan (Postmaster General)

Thomas Bragg (Attorney General)

Thomas Watts (Attorney General)

George Davis (Attorney General)
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J. J.
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2006, 01:06:00 am »
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John C. Breckinridge
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kashifsakhan
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2006, 08:18:02 am »
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I always thought Jefferson Davis was a shoo-in for president.

Does anyone know if Robert E. Lee had any political aspirations?
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Ernest
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2006, 05:05:29 pm »

Whether any of these could have been president would have depended on why the South does not seceed.  I just don't see the possibility of how that could be avoided by 1860.  Even if Douglas somehow wins California, Illinois, and the 4 EV's from New Jersey he lostdespite have a majority of the vote in that state and Breckenridge wins Oregon so that the election can go into the House for John Bell to be elected President as a compromise candidate, that will only delay things until 1864.  Once a Republican is elected president, the lower South will seceed.

However, both Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens are good possibilities.  They were selected as President and Vice President respectively in large part because of their relative moderation on the heated issues of the day so as to reassure the upper South.  None of the firebrands on the list above could possibly win election as President
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2006, 05:07:15 am »
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None. It's really hard to picture a man less anti-slavery than, say, Douglas, winning after 1860.
Slavery would have survived longer than it did, of course, but it would have been a marked legal concept from 1860 onwards to its final abolution, probably in the 70s or 80s, possibly via gradual emancipation. (Of course, from an international perspective, it was just that from about the late 1830s.)
pace Ernest, it doesn't really matter why the South does not secede, whether it's a Douglas win or an abortive secession by SC and, say, GA with noone else following suit that is resolved bloodlessly, or any scenario in between.
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2006, 01:10:49 pm »

Suppose the United States includes in 1860 the slave states and territories of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Yucatan, and Cuba?  Suppose the Compromise Line of 1820 had been set farther north so that most or all of Kansas would have been slave territory without the need to invoke the politically volitile idea of popular sovereignity?  Both of these are plausible pre-1860 changes that would have made the South less likely to seceed.
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 07:44:11 pm »
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Both of these are plausible pre-1860 changes that would have made the South less likely to seceed.

Yes. But either would nearly guarantee the Northern secession.
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2006, 04:16:26 pm »
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I don't see the north seceding in almost any scenario(other than a different war of 1812 but that would still jsut be new england and not the entire north).
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2006, 04:28:53 pm »
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Well, those who speak of Douglas, it's doubtful that he would have tolerated the south any more than Lincoln. Douglas was, after all, the Little Giant, and he would have probably delayed, but not stopped sucession.
He would more than likely have done the same thing as Lincoln did.

But, of the men listed, Davis would have had a good chance at the Presidency, as Breckinridge did in 1860.

As for Robert E. Lee, he probably would have gone on to become a more celebrated General than he is today. Even a slightly different descision on his part would have dramatically altered history. If he had taken the Major Generalcy, and once again been at the side of Winfield Scott, it's doubtful that we'd hear much of Ulysses Grant, and Lee more than likely could have become President.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2006, 04:50:48 pm »
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Well, yeah, Lee might have become president if he'd chosen the North, I'll grant you that.
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Ernest
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 06:42:46 pm »

You have to wonder what would have happened had Arlington not been retroceded to Virginia.  If it has still been part of of DC, would that have been sufficient to cause Lee to fight for the Union, or at least not fight for the Confederacy?
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Diggs(D) Att. Gen.
Herbert(D) Comptroller Gen.
Spearman(R) Supt. of Education
DeFelice(American) Commissioner of Agriculture
Hutto(D) US Sen (full)
Scott(R) US Sen (special)
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2006, 10:26:36 pm »
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According to dual Lee/Grant biographer, Gene Smith, Lee only fought for the South because of the involvement of his beloved Virginia.

When Scott heard, he told Lee "You have made the greatest mistake of your life."
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2006, 01:11:29 am »
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Lee probably would never have become a general without the Civil War. He was already aging at that point and would have probably retired and have been pretty unrelavant to American History besides the wonderful coastal forts he helped design.
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