View Poll Results: Was the civil war worth it

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Thread: Was the civil war worth it all

  1. #1
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    Was the civil war worth it all

    IMO if the south had been allowed the right of secession slavery would have been abolished there very early in the 20th century anyway and what we would have now is two independent nations where we now have just the USA. I'm sure we would have been very close allies and quite possibly even become one nation again so I have to wonder if the civil war was really worth the carnage.

    "The approximately 10,455 military engagements, some devastating to human life and some nearly bloodless, plus naval clashes, accidents, suicides, sicknesses, murders, and executions resulted in total casualties of 1,094,453 during the Civil War. The Federals lost 110,100 killed in action and mortally wounded, and another 224,580 to disease. The Confederates lost approximately 94,000 as a result of battle and another 164,000 to disease. Even if one survived a wound, any projectile that hit bone in either an arm or a leg almost invariably necessitated amputation. The best estimate of Federal army personnel wounded is 275,175; naval personnel wounded, 2,226. Surviving Confederate records indicate 194,026 wounded.
    In dollars and cents, the U.S. government estimated Jan. 1863 that the war was costing $2.5 million daily. A final official estimate in 1879 totaled $6,190,000,000. The Confederacy spent perhaps $2,099,808,707. By 1906 another $3.3 billion already had been spent by the U.S. government on Northerners' pensions and other veterans' benefits for former Federal soldiers. Southern states and private philanthropy provided benefits to the Confederate veterans. The amount spent on benefits eventually well exceeded the war's original cost.
    Inflation affected both Northern and Southern assets but hit those of the Confederacy harder. Northern currency fluctuated in value, and at its lowest point $2.59 in Federal paper money equaled $1 in gold. The Confederate currency so declined in purchasing power that eventually $60-$70 equaled a gold dollar.
    The physical devastation, almost all of it in the South, was enormous: burned or plundered homes, pillaged countryside, untold losses in crops and farm animals, ruined buildings and bridges, devastated college campuses, and neglected roads all left the South in ruins."

    Cost Of The American Civil War

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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    We're talking about a couple of generations that were prevented from being born and dying as slaves.

    At the start of the civil war the slave population in the US was around 4 million individuals and made up nearly 12% of the total US population.
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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    Probably not worth it over time (.....but it was a political power struggle in Congress at issue, not slavery or states rights, or any of that non-sense)

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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    Better question, has any war ever been worth it?

    I think the answer is no.

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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    probably worth it. the nation, as a whole, came out stronger in the end and the war set the stage for the United State's ultimate rise to the status of super-power in the 20th century.

    it's safe to say that without the Civil War America, indeed the world, would probably look very different. I have little doubt that even without Ft. Sumter conflict between the USA and CSA was inevitable either over the border states or the western territories. also the "balance of power" that pit European states against each other would have come across the pond as well. even during the war France expressed strong sympathies towards the Confederates while Russia and Prussia favored the Union.

    Harry Turtledove does a pretty good, although pretty fantastical, series of books about how it may have played out. Although I do agree that with two major rival powers in North America the first world war would have looked very different.

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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    Of course it was worth it.
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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    Quote Originally Posted by Slateriesling View Post
    Better question, has any war ever been worth it?

    I think the answer is no.
    as an almost pacifist, i have to ask myself this question, and i try to answer objectively.

    the best i can come up with is this :

    military force is a bit like an immune response. when a rogue nation begins to significantly metastasize, sometimes an immune response is necessary to prevent the global body from becoming infected. the best example i can give is WWII. Germany was spreading all over Europe, and Japan was doing the same in other parts of the world. though i do dream about a time in which human society evolves past nations, violence, resource hoarding, and greed, i simply don't see a way we could have stayed out of that one. it was just too awful of a situation.

    most other wars, though, especially ones which had their root causes in failing colonialism and alliances, are much harder to defend. we should really study them, learn from them, and avoid situations like that in the future.

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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    IMO if the south had been allowed the right of secession slavery would have been abolished there very early in the 20th century anyway and what we would have now is two independent nations where we now have just the USA. I'm sure we would have been very close allies and quite possibly even become one nation again so I have to wonder if the civil war was really worth the carnage.
    You're making some VERY big assumptions. The first is that slavery would have been abolished. The value of slaves had grown to a point where their value to a plantation holder was second only to the value of his land. Now if that value went down over time, it would be abolished. However, the value increased greatly between 1820 and 1860. If it had increased at a similar rate between 1860 and 1900, there's no way until the 1930s.

    Your second assumption is that only 2 nations would exist. If the South had been allowed to secede, what would stop Vermont. Or say Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan forming their own Union. I also think it's very doubtful that the Confederacy stays together. That whole union was based on the idea that anybody could leave any time, so it's very likely that at least one of the States would have seceded from the Confederacy by 1920 if not before that.

    Then you build the "close allies" assumption on the other 2. Unless those other 2 assumptions played out, it's hard to say that the 3rd would


    So if you make a those assumptions, then no. If you make different assumptions, then maybe. I'd have to say yes because I'm not prepared to make assumptions, and things worked out OK.


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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    It was worth it given that civil war seemed to be what was required to end slavery.

    If they could have ended slavery without having war that would have been preferable, but the South decided to act like a little bitch. Obviously, I would prefer that over 600,000 people not had to die over some bull****.

    *Anybody who's planning on responding to me with some revisionist "but the war wasn't even about slavery" nonsense can move on. Most, if not all, of seceding states listed slavery as their primary concerns and all of the "other" reasons people give for the South wanting to secede from economics to states rights were based in slavery as well.

    **Anybody who's planning on responding to me with some "but the South tried to resolve their differences peacefully, the North got us into this" nonsense can move on too. The South wanted to keep its slaves and it also wanted to secede which isn't permissible, so the North had to shut that **** down. And for those who had to do a double take, you read it right: secession wasn't permissible. Read Texas v. White for more information and if you've got a problem with that, take it up with the Supreme Court.

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    Re: Was the civil war worth it all

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    You're making some VERY big assumptions. The first is that slavery would have been abolished. The value of slaves had grown to a point where their value to a plantation holder was second only to the value of his land. Now if that value went down over time, it would be abolished. However, the value increased greatly between 1820 and 1860. If it had increased at a similar rate between 1860 and 1900, there's no way until the 1930s.
    I think one reason the war happened was because King Cotton was starting to peak. The Southern economy was reliant on exporting cotton to the UK, France, and the North. If those countries started relying on other places for their cotton, like the UK did with India, than the bottom falls out on the Southern economy and the price of slaves.

    Geographically their economy was also limited. By the time of the civil war the plantation had reached the western and northern limits of its viability.

    I could easily see a major Confederate economic crisis in the 1870s or 80s...followed by large French and British loans to bail them out...followed by French and British naval bases and troops to protect their interests.

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