• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

North wins the Civil War, Quickly.

Aznavour

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#2
Let's say, I dunno, that the train bringing Confederate reinforcements under Johnston is late, Jackson collapses under the pressure, like a Stonewall being cannonaned, and by the time fresh troops get thee, the Army of the Potomac is routed, et cetera, so Richmond surrenders by August 1st. Virginia is out for the count. Do the other 10 states surrender as well? What about states' rights? Or do those guys in Blue have to keep stomping Confederate capitals like a game of whack-a-mole?
 
#3
Since the Emancipation Proclamation hadn't happened, and at the beginning of the war Lincoln didn't much care about the slavery issue, slavery would continue to last. A peacetime Lincoln administration is something to be contended, but I would guess that the highlight of Lincoln's presidency, or at least his first term, is the Homestead Act.

While the war wouldn't have much actual consequences for the South, it would prove that it had been surpassed by the North, and Lincoln would make sure that all US territories in the West would have abolished slavery.

Virginia probably would have kept West Virginia.

No war would mean a more powerful America in the 1860's, with more manpower. This might mean it becomes more active in world affairs 1-3 decades early, depending on who gets elected.

The Democrats would remain a national force, and depending on what Lincoln does, they might even be able to win in 1864.
 

Roger II

Well-known member
#4
How entrenched is Richmond as capital? If they have to leave Richmond and relocate the capital, this could affect how much it actually speeds up the war.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#7
A lot more people are alive and a lot more cities are intact, with a lot less bitterness between north and south as a result. America is richer and relatively better united - the South maybe blame their dead on their leaders rather than talk 'states rights' - and Napoleon III doesn't invade Mexico because the US isn't still distracted (so a great deal of change there). And Lincoln can carry out a peacetime domestic agenda.

The big downside is going to be:

Since the Emancipation Proclamation hadn't happened, and at the beginning of the war Lincoln didn't much care about the slavery issue, slavery would continue to last.
and no aid for free blacks down south either, most likely. There's probably some deal forced on the southern states to end the free states/slave states competition, maybe "no more slave states but you can keep doing slavery"; maybe a territory is set up for free southern blacks to move to (whether they want to or not). Whatever it is, expect it to fail within a generation or two and a whole new conflict start over slavery and racial inequality. Maybe a worse one.
 

zaffre

front-runner for Pantone Colour of the Year 2019
Location
Massachusetts
#8
This POD is tricky enough in itself - even if McDowell wins at Bull Run and the green Confederate army breaks and runs all the way back to Richmond (doable, I suppose) Union armies still have the whole western half of the South to conquer and military leadership (Frémont, Halleck, McClellan) and doctrine (trying to take cities as opposed to eliminate armies) that are going to severely handicap that.

But let's pretend that Richmond / Davis / the Cabinet are all taken by surprise and the leaderless CSA comes apart at the seams in under a year. What happens?


Lincoln makes some progress on slavery, but not a lot. The issue isn't that he "didn't much care", because checking the expansion of slavery was literally the raison d'être of the Republican Party, but in 1861 there simply isn't the political will for full-scale emancipation, especially in a world where the Confederates surrendered rather conditionally and their armies were essentially unharmed - and Dred Scott makes most solutions short of a constitutional amendment unfeasible. So Lincoln probably does what Southerners were afraid of pre-war, which is appoint minor Republican office-holders in the South and Republican Supreme Court justices.

We also *maybe* get constitutional amendments banning secession and protecting slavery where-it-currently-exists and nowhere else, although on the latter I dunno if Lincoln has the negotiating position to actually get a South that is being readmitted in under a year to agree to that. From there you get a (very) slow growth of the Republican Party in the South via patronage which, with the Southern fear that Republicans wanted the slaves to rise up and kill them all, is not exactly going to be calm and violence-free.

The Republicans get more and more frustrated at a Democratic minority that can stifle much of their legislative agenda in the Senate and is literally willing to murder southern Republicans, while a new generation of existentially-threatened white Southerners start telling themselves that if Davis and Granny Lee hadn't been such cowards they could have fought a "real" war.

And then they do fight a real war.
 

MAC88

Active member
#9
This POD is tricky enough in itself - even if McDowell wins at Bull Run and the green Confederate army breaks and runs all the way back to Richmond (doable, I suppose) Union armies still have the whole western half of the South to conquer and military leadership (Frémont, Halleck, McClellan) and doctrine (trying to take cities as opposed to eliminate armies) that are going to severely handicap that.

But let's pretend that Richmond / Davis / the Cabinet are all taken by surprise and the leaderless CSA comes apart at the seams in under a year. What happens?


Lincoln makes some progress on slavery, but not a lot. The issue isn't that he "didn't much care", because checking the expansion of slavery was literally the raison d'être of the Republican Party, but in 1861 there simply isn't the political will for full-scale emancipation, especially in a world where the Confederates surrendered rather conditionally and their armies were essentially unharmed - and Dred Scott makes most solutions short of a constitutional amendment unfeasible. So Lincoln probably does what Southerners were afraid of pre-war, which is appoint minor Republican office-holders in the South and Republican Supreme Court justices.

We also *maybe* get constitutional amendments banning secession and protecting slavery where-it-currently-exists and nowhere else, although on the latter I dunno if Lincoln has the negotiating position to actually get a South that is being readmitted in under a year to agree to that. From there you get a (very) slow growth of the Republican Party in the South via patronage which, with the Southern fear that Republicans wanted the slaves to rise up and kill them all, is not exactly going to be calm and violence-free.

The Republicans get more and more frustrated at a Democratic minority that can stifle much of their legislative agenda in the Senate and is literally willing to murder southern Republicans, while a new generation of existentially-threatened white Southerners start telling themselves that if Davis and Granny Lee hadn't been such cowards they could have fought a "real" war.

And then they do fight a real war.
Stephen W. Sears wrote an essay in What If? that discusses this very scenario, where the South surrenders after a Bull Run defeat and after Davis is captured while trying to rally the troops. While it doesn't really consider the military situation outside Virginia (just as if not more significant, as you point out), it does offer an interesting idea as to how the immediate postwar period would play out: the Committee of 13 steps in as an intermediary between Richmond and DC; Lincoln's terms of reunion, disarmament and restoration of all federal property are accepted; slavery prohibited beyond its "constitutional" 1861 borders; the Committee charged with developing a long-term, compensated emancipation program; no treason trials or severe punishments, due to Lincoln's "let 'em up easy" policy. The outcome's a tad rosy; Sears argues that the Southerners have to "play their hand without trumps", i.e. the threat of secession, during the negotiations in the wake of the failed "Rebellion of '61", which appears to discount the idea of future violence and rebellion over the slavery issue. Nevertheless, it is quite possible IMO that, along with sparing ~600,000 lives and avoiding the OTL Civil War's devastation, an earlier, more successful Reconstruction and civil rights/equality program would have resulted from a Union Bull Run victory.
 
#10
The question is, how would the economic policy of this reunited USA look like? The North wanted to protect its fledgling industry with high tariffs, the South didn't have much of industry and wanted free trade. If the North can dictate terms, many Southerners will lose money - which will go to Yankees. This was after all the other big question.

And what about Napoleon III and Maximilian in Mexico?
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#11
I'm assuming Napoleon can't do much in Mexico because America will loom over going "WHAT'S ALL THIS". (Of course, if I was writing an AH story, Napoleon would do it anyway because recently-blooded US and imperial France coming to blows with Mexico in the middle going "oh no :(" is sure a story!)
 

DaleCoz

Well-known member
#12
Interesting thread. I'm skeptical that the Confederates would collapse that easily, but Virginia was the economic/manufacturing powerhouse and losing that plus the capital and much of the leadership, plus a lot of the army in the east might do it. Assuming that the south does collapse, what impact does that have on settlement of the west? On the one hand, you have another 500,000 or more military age men around. Indians wouldn't get the free hand that they did some places during the Civil War. On the other hand, the Civil War produced a huge pool of men with military experience to help settle the west, which would not be the case to the same extent in this scenario. The Civil War also produced a large number of southerners who had lost everything and headed west to make a new life. Would that happen as much in this scenario?

Then there are the economic implications. The south was burned out wreck physically in many places by the end of the war, but it was economically a burned out wreck, with its paper currency worthless and a lot of southerners holding now worthless debt from the Confederate government. The North didn't have the same degree of physical destruction, and handled its finances much more effectively, but still ended up with internal and external debt that they paid back over decades. That debt was a continuing drag on the US economy. How would lessening that debt impact the US and world economy in the 1860s and 1870s?
 

Sulemain

Raise Your Fist, 95th!
Location
Coventry
#13
This POD is tricky enough in itself - even if McDowell wins at Bull Run and the green Confederate army breaks and runs all the way back to Richmond (doable, I suppose) Union armies still have the whole western half of the South to conquer and military leadership (Frémont, Halleck, McClellan) and doctrine (trying to take cities as opposed to eliminate armies) that are going to severely handicap that.

But let's pretend that Richmond / Davis / the Cabinet are all taken by surprise and the leaderless CSA comes apart at the seams in under a year. What happens?


Lincoln makes some progress on slavery, but not a lot. The issue isn't that he "didn't much care", because checking the expansion of slavery was literally the raison d'être of the Republican Party, but in 1861 there simply isn't the political will for full-scale emancipation, especially in a world where the Confederates surrendered rather conditionally and their armies were essentially unharmed - and Dred Scott makes most solutions short of a constitutional amendment unfeasible. So Lincoln probably does what Southerners were afraid of pre-war, which is appoint minor Republican office-holders in the South and Republican Supreme Court justices.

We also *maybe* get constitutional amendments banning secession and protecting slavery where-it-currently-exists and nowhere else, although on the latter I dunno if Lincoln has the negotiating position to actually get a South that is being readmitted in under a year to agree to that. From there you get a (very) slow growth of the Republican Party in the South via patronage which, with the Southern fear that Republicans wanted the slaves to rise up and kill them all, is not exactly going to be calm and violence-free.

The Republicans get more and more frustrated at a Democratic minority that can stifle much of their legislative agenda in the Senate and is literally willing to murder southern Republicans, while a new generation of existentially-threatened white Southerners start telling themselves that if Davis and Granny Lee hadn't been such cowards they could have fought a "real" war.

And then they do fight a real war.
A 2nd Civil War in the 1890s would be a fascinating TL.