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  1. #1
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    If the South won..

    If the south would have won the war at Gettysburg and gone on to accomplish victory and complete surrender from Gen Grant how would it all be different today? Where would the Capital be if there were to be a capital at all?

    Obviously slavery would have been abolished eventually, although this may have prolonged it more. I am talking mainly about the "United" States. I believe that the South was mainly about State Sovereignty and if they won there would be no democrats in the world today...

    Democrats need a Federal government to survive. If every state ran their own way Democrats would never come to power or ever be. (Obviously I am referring to modern day democrats, not the Lincoln ones). This is what I mean...

    Picture you are a hard working man in the state of Pennsylvania and are tired of the ridiculous taxes that go towards health care, welfare and what not. So instead of paying those taxes you move to Alabama where they are not as high and you can have more of a net income after paying. Or picture you need welfare to support yourself so you move to a state that gives money to welfare and has state-wide health care. Now if this trend caught on, of course the states with the jobs would survive economically and the states that tried the more liberal approach would be forced to change their ways. This is why Democrats are always for BIG GOVERNMENT.

    This is one change that I can think of right away.
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    Re: If the South won..

    Well...interesting I suppose.... I guess that I see that the United States of America would have still happened...certainly laws and other things would be different....(homosexuality would be illegal =]) and blacks most likely would not be as equal as they are today....

    America most likely would not have been the 'melting pot' it is and ..........let me make a list of my opinion

    PROS:
    Tighter border control
    Less Federal governement (without question)
    Affirmitive Action (certainly would not exist)
    America would be more concerned with American issues and not inter-national
    America would not be a melting pot

    CONS:
    Equality would not have came so far
    Might have been a second civil war
    Spitting in a canteen would be a national past-time

  3. #3
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    Re: If the South won..

    I am a huge advocate myself of Southern views and principles. DISCLAIMER: I am not for slavery...

    I think your "pros" def out weight the "cons." Affirmative action is completely racist and we could def do without. Borders would be tighter thus less crime.

    Although I believe that America being a melting pot is what has gotten us so far ahead of other countries. We have the best from all races and that is what makes America great.

    And I mean who can argue that being worried about internal issues is way more important than whether some third world country establishes a democracy at the cost of American lives and money.

    All in all I think we would be an even greater nation by far.
    I was anti-Obama before it was cool

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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by Veritas26 View Post
    I am a huge advocate myself of Southern views and principles. DISCLAIMER: I am not for slavery...

    I think your "pros" def out weight the "cons." Affirmative action is completely racist and we could def do without. Borders would be tighter thus less crime.

    Although I believe that America being a melting pot is what has gotten us so far ahead of other countries. We have the best from all races and that is what makes America great.

    And I mean who can argue that being worried about internal issues is way more important than whether some third world country establishes a democracy at the cost of American lives and money.

    All in all I think we would be an even greater nation by far.
    Yeah, that is certainly a possibility. This is more of a guess than anything. It is possible that we would have fallen apart too....who knows.

    There are certainly values that both sides brought to the table and if things would have been different, I think we would have been fine.

  5. #5
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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by Veritas26 View Post
    DISCLAIMER: I am not for slavery....
    Glad to hear it Veritas.

    Guess I don't really understand your premise.

    In the US today, states with high taxes and high levels of government procided services -- Califronia, Michigan, Illinois -- are some of the worse impacted by the recession. Conversely states with low taxes like Tennessee and New Mexico are two examples, are doing better than average to say the least.

    Had the South won -- they would have become a different country. Someone from the CSA could not just pick up and move to the USA to get better welfare benefits and vice versa. At least not without going through INS.

    Also in the 19th and most of the 20th century -- industry was in the north. When businesses beginning in th e70s and 80s began moving south in the US to take advantage of lower labor costs, they discovered that unlike in the north, there were not a lot of technically skilled people. Tool and die makers, millwrights, machinists -- plentiful and highly skilled in the north, could not be found in the south in many cases. It was this exodus of skilled labor from the north (to what was essentially their "old" jobs in the south) that is largely responsible for the south being what it is today - that and large government spending at Military bases and programs like NASA (Huntsville, AL is huge in areospace thanks to NASA for example).

    I would appreciate it if you could clarify your OP a bit. Guess I don't understand what you want to debate.
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    Re: If the South won..

    Interesting OP, there are a series of fictional books that describe a "what if" of this scenario by Harry Turtledove.

    The more commonly dealt with implications are international as the US wouldn't be the heavy weight it has been, interesting take on the internal view. Basically what we would be creating is a free market system for political ideas where people vote with their residences. Your hypothesis is borne out with California which has seen a remarkable exodus of people as it has moved farther and farther left.
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    Re: If the South won..

    ... that is largely responsible for the south being what it is today - that and large government spending at Military bases and programs like NASA (Huntsville, AL is huge in areospace thanks to NASA for example).
    Don't forget air-conditioning.

    ---

    The widespread changes this would have had over American and World history are hard to fully imagine.

    I think that there are a few interesting things to consider in regards to the question of slavery. It is obvious that the Confederacy winning the Civil War would have extended the lifetime of slavery in the South, I would have to assume for at least a decade or two. Something I'm unsure about here is what would happen to the non-Southern regions in regards to slavery. Would slavery have been legalized nationally? This would obviously set back some of the progress made for abolition in the North. It seems very likely that there would at least be some expansion of slavery in the Western region be it through a policy of new slave state's being created or by self-determination as Pierce tried.

    The reasonable idea that slavery would be extended raises another interesting question in my mind. Would the Civil Rights movement have been delayed so that we had MLK III marching for civil rights in the 90s? Or would we have seen a more rapid progression from slavery to equality?

    On the question of what the government would look like I think that the Confederate love of state supremacy over the federal government can be overstated. I agree with the theory that the idea of pushing for state's rights was primarily a more marketable way of pushing for slavery similarly to how it was later used on the issue of segregation. Based on this and the relative similarity between the Confederate Constitution and the US Constitution I would guess that the government would have become more similar than has been suggested thus far. I think it would not be a strong federal government like we have now, but not the extremely loose grouping of states that I think previous posts are putting forward.

    Immediately after the war it seems likely that the government would be dominated by Southern Democrats. The Confederates would certainly be very unhappy about the Civil War Era Republicans position on slavery. These factors seem like they would lead to an early change in the beliefs of the Republican party or perhaps even their destruction and replacement by a different party.

    With the changes to the racial situation and possible changes in the political landscape I have to wonder if the flip in the American political parties would have occurred as it did. It is possible that the Democrats would have remained the primary party of the South and would have been the more conservative party.

    Personally I think that the situation that would have resulted would have been negative. I support a relatively strong federal government. And the delays in civil rights that would have occurred in the racial arena and possible the sex and sexuality arena would be unacceptable to me personally.

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    Re: If the South won..

    Where would the Capital be if there were to be a capital at all?
    The South would not have occupied the North, they would have declared victory and returned home to the now officially independent Confederate States of America ( assuming they would have kept this name).
    I assume the capitals would have been Washington and Richmond.

    Obviously slavery would have been abolished eventually, although this may have prolonged it more.
    The South at that time had almost no manufacturing capability, and the economy of their newly formed country would have been dangerously dependant on cash crops. The end of slavery would have taken a much longer time, considering that slavery would have been the lifeblood of their economy ( which was in shambles by the end of the war), and it would have been each individual state's prerogative to decide to abolish it.

    I also think that more conflicts would have been inevitable. How would they have divided up the western half? Self determination clearly would not have worked, because when they attempted that for whether or not a new territorey would allow slavery, Southerners from other states would flood the polls.
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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by cdubs View Post
    The South at that time had almost no manufacturing capability, and the economy of their newly formed country would have been dangerously dependant on cash crops. The end of slavery would have taken a much longer time, considering that slavery would have been the lifeblood of their economy ( which was in shambles by the end of the war), and it would have been each individual state's prerogative to decide to abolish it.

    I also think that more conflicts would have been inevitable. How would they have divided up the western half? Self determination clearly would not have worked, because when they attempted that for whether or not a new territorey would allow slavery, Southerners from other states would flood the polls.
    I think it is also important to consider the ideological ties to slavery. A group of people who seceded, formed their own country, and fought a war with a main motivating factor of preserving slavery will likely have a large desire to hold onto it.

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    Re: If the South won..

    I think it is also important to consider the ideological ties to slavery. A group of people who seceded, formed their own country, and fought a war with a main motivating factor of preserving slavery will likely have a large desire to hold onto it.
    This is a common misconception. They fought a war for the right to have slaves, not because of the issue of slavery itself.

    Support for this seemingly ridiculous claim: Most soldiers who fought in the ANV were poor, small time farmers, who didn't own any slaves and would have had a lot to gain economically from the end of slavery.
    "I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President."
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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by cdubs View Post
    This is a common misconception. They fought a war for the right to have slaves, not because of the issue of slavery itself.
    According to the primary documents I've looked at and opinions of historians this is not a misconception. Also, what is the meaningful distinction between fighting to preserve slavery and fighting to be able to have slaves?

    Support for this seemingly ridiculous claim: Most soldiers who fought in the ANV were poor, small time farmers, who didn't own any slaves and would have had a lot to gain economically from the end of slavery.
    This part is true. But like I would think many wars the people who were fighting were not the same as those actually making the decisions that caused them to fight. When discussing why the states seceded and formed the Confederacy and then started a war it is much more important to consider the people who were constructing such policy rather than the soldiers.

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    Re: If the South won..

    Also, what is the meaningful distinction between fighting to preserve slavery and fighting to be able to have slaves?
    They fought the Civil War because they believed that the rights and power of the states were being infringed upon.
    "I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President."
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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by cdubs View Post
    They fought the Civil War because they believed that the rights and power of the states were being infringed upon.
    Exactly right. Exactly.

    A lesson to be learned: States take separation of powers serious.

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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by cdubs View Post
    They fought the Civil War because they believed that the rights and power of the states were being infringed upon.
    The very popular idea that the Southern states were just fighting for the more noble sounding ideal of state supremacy is contradicted by some of their complaints. For example a common complaint in relation to secession was what they viewed as the fugitive slave law being violated by the Northern states. Now if they had cared about state independence over the institution of slavery they should not have had such a large problem with Northern states going against federal law.

    ----

    I apologize for forgetting to post the primary documents that support my position here. Here they are.

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_missec.asp
    Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.
    ...
    It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.
    It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.
    It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.
    It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.
    It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_geosec.asp
    The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.
    ...
    The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery an to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.

    The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees it its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.

    With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers.

    The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_texsec.asp
    In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp
    General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.
    http://www.teachingamericanhistory.o...cumentprint=76
    Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition.
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_m042961.asp
    As soon, how ever, as the Northern States that prohibited African slavery within their limits had reached a number sufficient to give their representation a controlling voice in the Congress, a persistent and organized system of hostile measures against the rights of the owners of slaves in the Southern States was inaugurated and gradually extended. A continuous series of measures was devised and prosecuted for the purpose of rendering insecure the tenure of property in slaves.
    ...
    n the meantime, under the mild and genial climate of the Southern States and the increasing care and attention for the wellbeing and comfort of the laboring class, dictated alike by interest and humanity, the African slaves had augmented in number from about 600,000, at the date of the adoption of the constitutional compact, to upward of 4,000,000. In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with careful religious instruction. Under the supervision of a superior race their labor had been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of the wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South; the white population of the Southern slaveholding States had augmented from about 1,250,000 at the date of the adoption of the Constitution to more than 8,500,000 in 1860; and the productions of the South in cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable, had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourths of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to the wants of civilized man. With interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced.
    Don't be mistaken and think that I mean to state that the only factor was slavery. There were multiple factors that contributed to the conflict. But based on the sources I've looked at slavery was easily the dominating factor.

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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by YamiB. View Post
    The very popular idea that the Southern states were just fighting for the more noble sounding ideal of state supremacy is contradicted by some of their complaints. For example a common complaint in relation to secession was what they viewed as the fugitive slave law being violated by the Northern states. Now if they had cared about state independence over the institution of slavery they should not have had such a large problem with Northern states going against federal law.
    ...

    Don't be mistaken and think that I mean to state that the only factor was slavery. There were multiple factors that contributed to the conflict. But based on the sources I've looked at slavery was easily the dominating factor.
    I agree that slavery was the issue upon which the larger argument of States' Rights hinged. However, the truth of the matter is that even in the North, there were quite a few people that had no intention of giving up their slaves. Lincoln is on record as saying that if he could have ended the war without freeing a single slave, he would have done so.

    The slave trade was the backbone of the South's economy, and the sanctions being leveled against the South in the form of unequally enforced slave laws (which basically allowed slaves to run away to the North, where they were just as likely in some cases to be enslaved again once they got there) were crippling the Southern agrarian culture and economy. Couple that with heavy tax burdens on agricultural products, a failure to use tariffs to protect American agriculture, and high duties on industrial products needed in the South, and you had a recipe for disaster. It was like smoking near a grain silo.

    The above reasons are the things that made the South so bitterly opposed to the Northern position. Many Northern states still had slaves well after the Emancipation Proclamation, in fact... because the EP did not free the slaves living in the Union territories. It was not about human rights or abolition as much as it was about crippling the infrastructure of an opposing army.

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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by Veritas26 View Post
    If the south would have won the war at Gettysburg and gone on to accomplish victory and complete surrender from Gen Grant how would it all be different today? Where would the Capital be if there were to be a capital at all?

    Obviously slavery would have been abolished eventually, although this may have prolonged it more. I am talking mainly about the "United" States. I believe that the South was mainly about State Sovereignty and if they won there would be no democrats in the world today...

    Democrats need a Federal government to survive. If every state ran their own way Democrats would never come to power or ever be. (Obviously I am referring to modern day democrats, not the Lincoln ones). This is what I mean...

    Picture you are a hard working man in the state of Pennsylvania and are tired of the ridiculous taxes that go towards health care, welfare and what not. So instead of paying those taxes you move to Alabama where they are not as high and you can have more of a net income after paying. Or picture you need welfare to support yourself so you move to a state that gives money to welfare and has state-wide health care. Now if this trend caught on, of course the states with the jobs would survive economically and the states that tried the more liberal approach would be forced to change their ways. This is why Democrats are always for BIG GOVERNMENT.

    This is one change that I can think of right away.
    Very interesting theory, if the south had won, then I think the Civil Rights Movement would have never happened. I believe that slavery would still be alive and well in the US, unless a second Civil War would have stopped this. One interesting theory to go with this, would we have the problem we have today with illegal immigrants? If the south had won, then would we make slaves out of illegals? That's just a thought...
    "You can do anything you want, but be prepared to take responsibility for your actions."

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    Re: If the South won..

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    I agree that slavery was the issue upon which the larger argument of States' Rights hinged. However, the truth of the matter is that even in the North, there were quite a few people that had no intention of giving up their slaves. Lincoln is on record as saying that if he could have ended the war without freeing a single slave, he would have done so.
    Why is it that when I discuss this topic people always bring up the North? I was not trying to compare attitudes in the North and in the South. One side fighting for slavery does not necessitate the other side fighting for slavery. The Southern government was motivated primarily by preservation of slavery and the North was motivated by a desire to prevent unilateral secession.

    And honestly if we want to compare slavery or attitudes towards blacks in the North and South I do not think the South is going to come out favorably.

    The slave trade was the backbone of the South's economy, and the sanctions being leveled against the South in the form of unequally enforced slave laws (which basically allowed slaves to run away to the North, where they were just as likely in some cases to be enslaved again once they got there) were crippling the Southern agrarian culture and economy. Couple that with heavy tax burdens on agricultural products, a failure to use tariffs to protect American agriculture, and high duties on industrial products needed in the South, and you had a recipe for disaster. It was like smoking near a grain silo.
    Assuming that the idea that the decision to support slavery so strongly was largely a economic one, what difference does it make? It doesn't change the idea of whether or not the Confederacy supported slavery. I don't really think it makes much of a moral difference if people choose to continue an institution like this out of ideas of racism or economic gain.

    The above reasons are the things that made the South so bitterly opposed to the Northern position. Many Northern states still had slaves well after the Emancipation Proclamation, in fact... because the EP did not free the slaves living in the Union territories. It was not about human rights or abolition as much as it was about crippling the infrastructure of an opposing army.
    I would agree on your interpretation of the Emancipation Proclamation, but as I pointed out above the position of the North on slavery is largely irrelevant to the point of the Confederacy and slavery.

  18. #18
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    Re: If the South won..

    The Civil War was a major happening in United States history, no doubt about it. It changed the present and the future of our wonderful country.

    I have done my research on this and have found that Abraham Lincoln would have never won the election of 1860 had the Southern Democrats not been stubborn and just accepted Stephen A. Douglas, whom the Northern Democrats wanted to become their nominee; instead of nominating their own candidate, one John C. Brecknridge. Thus, this would have made the Civil War never happen.

    Now, let's say that the south did win the Civil War. If you ask me, I think that slavery was already on its way out of the United States. So, it would be removed very soon after the end of the war. I think that by 1890, slavery would be gone. I also believe that our country would be better today because the states would control themselves and not be controlled by a central federal government. I strongly believe, after all my research, that our founding father's did not want the country to be in the state it is in today, I think they wanted us to have strong local and state governments and a weaker federal government.

    I feel that if the South would have won the Civil War, the country would be more like the Founding Fathers meant it to be and less like the people who run it today want it to be. They even put a line in the Declaration of Independence that reads:

    "When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth"

    That line starts "When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth" When I read that I get this "When it seems that the national government is doing the wrong thing for a certain state, it is that state's responsibility to seperate themselves from the national government and to run that state the correct way." It would only take about twenty states to agree to this and it would force the national government to take action to fix this.

    (I'm sorry if I rambled, I just started typing)

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    Re: If the South won..

    I highly reccomend the mock-umentary movie, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, a 2004 UK film guaranteed to make you think.


    "The truth can always be questioned, it's falsehoods that don't withstand scrutiny"

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    Re: If the South won..

    The plot seems pretty weak. Why would the South invade and conquer the North?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


 

 
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