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|-+  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
| |-+  Election What-ifs?
| | |-+  Past Election What-ifs (US) (Moderators: Bacon King, Dallasfan65)
| | | |-+  1864: McClellan President
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Author Topic: 1864: McClellan President  (Read 2486 times)
PASOK Leader Hashemite
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« on: December 29, 2006, 09:21:58 am »
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What if McClellan had actually won in 1864?
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 09:45:37 am »
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Then the time period immediately afterward would have been different, and the history leading up to the election would have had to have been different.  If McClellan had won, there probably would have been some kind of compromise with the Confederacy that would (1) recognize the independence of the CSA; (2) cause hostilities to cease and readmit those states to the Union while allowing for slavery; (3) open the West to slavery unopposed or through popular sovereignty; or any combination of the above.

The Union would have been losing the Civil War in the Eastern theater to warrant a McClellan election; either the South must have won at Gettysburg and created a Northern front or there was just massive stalemating in the Southeast.  The main thing that swung the Election of 1864 in Lincoln's favor was the March to the Sea, in which General William Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground, then marched across and pillaged interior Georgia, finally arriving at and capturing strategic Savannah without a fight.  That was the beginning of the end of the Civil War, since Sherman was now in a position to move north toward other strategic cities, like the capital at Richmond, Virginia.

I hope that helps!  By the way, welcome to the board, fellow newbie!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 09:58:19 am by rcnj3890 »Logged
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 10:06:28 am »
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Could McClellan have won even with the March to the Sea? Could he like change his platform seeing victory was getting closer?
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sldhfwrt87345
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 10:19:58 am »
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It would have been a struggle.  It was a possibility, if there were no great military victories in the coming time.  The March to the Sea, though, really clinched it.  If I recall, even McClellan repudiated his platform somewhat.
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006, 11:04:05 am »
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Then the time period immediately afterward would have been different, and the history leading up to the election would have had to have been different.  If McClellan had won, there probably would have been some kind of compromise with the Confederacy that would (1) recognize the independence of the CSA; (2) cause hostilities to cease and readmit those states to the Union while allowing for slavery; (3) open the West to slavery unopposed or through popular sovereignty; or any combination of the above.

The Union would have been losing the Civil War in the Eastern theater to warrant a McClellan election; either the South must have won at Gettysburg and created a Northern front or there was just massive stalemating in the Southeast.  The main thing that swung the Election of 1864 in Lincoln's favor was the March to the Sea, in which General William Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground, then marched across and pillaged interior Georgia, finally arriving at and capturing strategic Savannah without a fight.  That was the beginning of the end of the Civil War, since Sherman was now in a position to move north toward other strategic cities, like the capital at Richmond, Virginia.

I hope that helps!  By the way, welcome to the board, fellow newbie!

There is an alternative possible scenario that requires less change to War history. If McGovern hadn't been encumbered with a Copperhead platform he himself didn't like and a Copperhead runningmate, and if Republicans had been stupid enough to replace Hamlin not with someone more moderate, but someone more radical (think Thad Stevens or Ben Butler), then the war would probably still have to go less well than it did to put a McClellan victory within the realm of possibility, but not to the extent you describe. Of course, the consequences would then also be somewhat less dire.
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006, 01:42:40 pm »
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Lewis, what do you think would happen though if McGovern were elected in 1864?
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Lol Winfield.  This quote is from a thread entitled "what do the following proceed to do if they are not nominated?"
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2007, 09:05:43 am »
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Lewis, what do you think would happen though if McGovern were elected in 1864?
He would be declared ineligible since he was not yet born.
Lewis, what do you think would happen though if McClellan were elected in 1864?
It depends on why and how he was elected. If it's a ticket of two popular War Generals w/o a Copperhead platform, defeating Lincoln/Thad Stevens, then the war probably continues much as before. Radical reconstruction might actually have happened just as before, if there's a Republican Congress after 1866. There's also the question of what Lincoln does.
With McClellan President and actually calling the shots after the end of the war... one actually wonders whether the South's alignment with the Democrats would ever have happened.

If McClellan totally owes victory to copperheads, yeah, the confederacy would make a getaway for the time being. Of course, slavery was moribund by 1864, as a result of the war more than anything else. And of course, the North would not have given up on the aim of reunification for good. Expect more wars, slave risings, and a much poorer and less important US today. Possibly even a Western secession if Southern independence continues too long. (The spectre of a Mormon secession, which would have certainly happened had there simply been no war, probably had passed by then.)
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"The secret to having a rewarding work-life balance is to have no life. Then it's easy to keep things balanced by doing no work." Wally



"Our party do not have any ideology... Our main aim is to grab power ... Every one is doing so but I say it openly." Keshav Dev Maurya
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