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Syria Following US Example?

Posted in Civil War

The news from Aleppo makes me wonder how different our own history might have been if Lincoln had just said to the six deep south states that had seceded by the end of January 1961, “Best wishes. You are no longer part of the Union. You are under a trade embargo with the United States and the Fugitive Slave Laws are repealed immediately.” It would have taken one heck of a wall to stop the flood of escaped slaves leaving those states, and the Underground Railway to Canada would have been out of business.

After all, our own Declaration of Independence declared that those states had a right to secede. War would have been avoided. Slavery would have survived a few years at most. I suspect that by 1900, the seceded states would have rejoined the Union.

Instead we ended up with 600,000 deaths, Sherman’s March to the Sea, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and 150 years of resentment, all to preserve the Union, Lincoln’s stated priority. Isn’t that what that killer in Syria is trying to do?

2 Comments

  1. Leonard Davis
    Leonard Davis

    I like it!! I hope there are “lessons” that we could learn that would guide us in future “difficult decisions” that would lead to better and less costly outcomes in other areas. What you have done is to examine the past and ask a simple question of “What might have been done to avoid the disaster of the past?” Such examinations are the first steps in “learning from our mistakes.”

    December 20, 2016
    |Reply
  2. Spike
    Spike

    It is always fun to play “What if…”. With a little imagination, other possible outcomes can be hypothesized. For example, the South would then have been an independent, sovereign country with its own foreign policy and capable of negotiating its own treaties. [At that point, the North did not have a navy capable of strictly enforcing a trade embargo. The Northern blockade of Southern ports was not terribly effective, especially at the start of the war.] England, still arguably the most powerful country in the world, might have come in on the side of the South because England needed Southern cotton for textile mills, a booming industry. Canada, which belonged to England and was still pissed at the US for invading during the War of 1812, might also have aided the British on the side of the South. France, under Napoleon also had economic interest in Southern cotton and might have sided with the South. Mexico, which was more than pissed about the recently ended Mexican-American War, might have sided with the South, although Mexico was engaged fighting off the French. Other Central and South American countries, although not very strong, might have joined on the side of the South, because they did not consider the Yankee, Gringo wheeler-dealers to be friends. The South, with its superior military leadership (that’s really not debatable), joined militarily by its new allies, would have quickly crushed the North and its inept generals. We would now be living in a country with slavery from coast to coast, with most likely with some kind of a fascist government ruled over by wealthy plantation owners. In the long run it might have been best to fight a civil war we could win than to fight and lose a world war.

    December 20, 2016
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