135

The Military Militarily, the south did not need to win the war by invading and defeating the north. Their belief was that they just had to hold on to what they had, hence their largely defensive strategy. Despite a marked numerical inferiority, the south believed (correctly, at least in the early stages) it had better leaders and better soldiers. Davis ...


43

The difference is that while Kosovo broke away from a country which had tried to exterminate its inhabitants, the slave states broke away so that they could continue to enslave some of their inhabitants. As some repondents have pointed out, whether a breakaway or revolutionary state is considered legitimate depends on only whether foreign countries are ...


33

Its not quite that simple. Since the process typically relies on evaporating out water from pools, it turns out you either need a somewhat reliably sunny climate to do this, or you have to set up a lot of extra large boilers. So some places are much better than others to set up shop. That being said, the South did in fact have large-scale salterns they ...


29

The vast wealth of the Southern plantations was intrinsically tied up with their ability to generate a fabulous annual income, at low risk. Once the Union blockade was established by autumn 1861 those income streams shrank, the associated risk rose, and the value of those plantations, dropped to a tiny fraction of the ante bellum value. For a perpetuity (...


25

'Precedent' is a more or less meaningless word in international relations. Don't make the mistake of thinking that international relations are governed by any kind of set rules or that international law is like law in any meaningful sense. Countries - some countries - may subscribe to international law, but that essentially amounts to mutual voluntary ...


22

Reconstruction was dead in some states almost as soon as it started, and it was completely undone nationwide by the compromise that led to the election of Rutherford B. Hayes as President in 1876. The lasting social damage that the song talks about should more accurately be associated with the demise of Reconstruction. Here are some legacies of the time ...


16

Yes, the secession of the Confederate states was illegal. It's important to understand that secession was not strictly, or merely, a “legalistic” matter. Secession was a hotly contested political issue that divided the electorate. It could not be settled by a judge. Any ruling in one direction or the other would be rejected by half of the population. ...


15

The majority of the economic and political elite of the Southern States were aware of the existential threat to their economy and culture—chiefly as these were the direct result of malapportionment so as to continue latifundia slavery. Existential threats are necessarily those which threaten the existence of an agent. The results of a lost war were ...


15

There were few more pretty important South advantages in addition to already listed in previous answers factors: 1. Far superior military education. It was only one northern-located military school - West Point military academy, federal institution, which was accepting students from all states, including South. There were at least three state-sponsored ...


11

Judah Benjamin, a US senator from Louisiana prior the war, and a personal friend of Jefferson Davis, served as the Confederacy Attorney General, Secretary of War and Secretary of State. However, as a Jew he was disliked by many confederate politicians. When the Confederate Congress discussed moving its capital to Nashville, Tennessee, one of the Tennessee ...


10

edit: this question originally asked if slavery was really the cause of the US civil war. I was able to reassure the OP on that point ;). The OP was not trying to claim tarrifs were the cause of the war, and refined the question to its current form. OP asked that this answer to the original question should stay, so here it is. No, tariffs were not the ...


9

We can go into these long winded discussions on Supreme Court decisions and the law about secession. A document that is more important than the Constitution is being overlooked. The Declaration of Independence. Does this not give a state the right to break away from a government that has become destructive to the people. What did we do when be declared ...


9

Probably this or a similar action. After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, there was increasing reluctance by the Northern states to help enforce this Federal Law, since no trial was held in the state where the purported slave had fled to. They saw it as a violation of states rights. This varied in extremity from time to time and place to place but ...


9

Nobody was interested in a court case. Those who thought it was undoable had no reason for a suit, and those who wanted secession needed it as a bold stroke to rally the more undecided Southern factions to their banner. Secession had failed in 1832 and 1850 once people took the time to consider the matter. Secessionists in 1860 needed for it to be a ...


9

The precedent the article talks about is that Kosovo was recognized as an independent state by major powers very soon. No country ever recognized the Confederacy as an independent country.


8

Without seeing data on salt imports versus domestic production before the war, I'm suspicious of the assertion that Wales was the primary source. If that was indeed the case, it was presumably because Welsh salt was much cheaper and/or of different quality then the salt produced domestically, for whatever reason. A lot of salt produced in the United States ...


8

There was a very similar war a few years earlier that was almost certainly considered a precedent by the South, and that was the American War Of Independence. In territorial terms, the two wars were very similar. One side declared independence, and the other side, to defeat independence, faced the task of invading and conquering the newly independent ...


8

Let's be clear about what happened with regards to Kosovo. In 2010 the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion at the request of the United Nations General Assembly. The key conclusion of this opinion was that "international law contains no 'prohibition on declarations of independence'." This is not based on any historical precedent, just ...


7

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun When NATO (led by US) started intervention against Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, they simply had no equal match in firepower and economic power, especially in that part of the world (SE Europe) . Although many countries and individuals doubted their reasoning and causes for war (and those doubts are ...


6

The main problem that secessionists would have faced in court is that the question had been settled over 40 years before the Civil War: secession was illegal. The only argument that supports unilateral secession, where a state just decides to leave and that's sufficient, is called "Compact Theory". The theory is that the US is not a single nation, but a "...


6

After Vicksburg and Gettysburg, the Confederacy had little hope of an ultimate military victory over the Union army. Their best remaining hope was for a political victory. They nearly achieved it. Grant's Overland campaign was very bloody, and closely covered by journalists (who had some antipathy toward General Meade). The subsequent siege of Petersburg ...


6

The poster wanted to know about the negative effects of Reconstruction, so I am answering that question. The only direct long term negative effect of Reconstruction era policy I know of is that the South still pays exploitative railway fees to ship goods to other sections of the nation. Following the Civil War, the US was divided into 5 freight rate ...


6

JimZipCode wrote a long and passionate answer which tries to debunk many of the other answers here and claim that the law was settled before the Confederate states seceded. He brings up some interesting points that should be debated. However, he also clearly goes too far. His choice of quotations is selective: I could just as easily come up with dozens of ...


5

The secession of the southern states was a violation of Section 10 of the US Constitution, to which all of those states had agreed. That part of the Constitution reads: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; .. By creating the Confederacy, they obviously were breaking this clause of the constitution to which they had previously ...


5

No, they didn't. From their point of view there was now a hostile anti-South majority in Congress. Any attempt by themselves to do things to protect slavery through US Congressional action was doomed to failure. So there was no reason to bother trying. The closest thing they had was allied Copperheads, Northern Democrats who felt the issue wasn't worth ...


5

Probably the most famous is Judah Benjamin who was the CSA Attorney General. There were also many that served fighting for the south, the article here mentions 10,000 and gives names of many of the Jewish officers with col ranks.


5

According to the answers to this essentially similar question on Skeptics:SE, it looks like the answer is no (although it seems Thompson did try to claim credit in his newspaper). In fact, P. G. T. Beauregard, who would become the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, independently advocated an essentially ...


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