Three (Extremely Belated) Alternatives to the Civil War


Dear readers, Abraham Lincoln was a wonderful president. However, he made a couple of rather disastrous mistakes; namely, the Civil War. What follows is a list of alternatives to said war, suggested by none other than yours truly, that would have been much less bloody and just as effective.

I think.


Quite a lot of the basic political, economical and social reasons for the Civil War ultimately stem from slavery and its distribution across the United States. While the North was vehemently opposed to slavery, the South relied heavily on slave workers to tend the cotton and tobacco and other agricultural products that made up most of its economy. Candidates from the North had been pressuring the South to let go of the inhumane practice almost since the end of the Revolutionary War, but no concrete alternative was proposed. At least, I don’t think a concrete alternative was proposed. I might have… sort of… you know, skipped a few pages in my APUSH reading.

Anyway! What the North should have done, in my illustrious (and mostly uninformed) opinion, is propose an industrialization program in the South. Though, of course, slaves could still be used in the factories, their numbers would be far fewer than agricultural workers, as evidenced by the industrialized North, where slavery had all but died out.


So the South seceded. So what? Their actions, before the 1869 Supreme Court case that decided the matter, certainly weren’t unconstitutional. In fact, the Constitution itself says, in its preamble, that one of its purposes is to “form a more perfect Union.” Not a larger Union. A more perfect one. Meaning that, if it benefits the country if a few states secede, so be it.

But – more importantly – wouldn’t the Confederate States of America have kept slavery if the North hadn’t intervened? Certainly slavery would have flourished for a longer period of time; but in the long run, it would ultimately have died out. Why? Three reasons. One – the South couldn’t stay heavily agricultural forever. At some point, it would have no choice but to industrialize – and with industrialization, at least in the North’s case, seems to herald the death knell of slavery. Two – the CSA had powerful supporters in both Britain and France, who were eager to see America split apart. The CSA, as a new nation, would probably need loans of money as well as trading partners – both of which Britain and France could easily provide. However, it is likely that before aiding the CSA, the two European nations would have ensured that slavery would die out quickly in the new country. After all, both were slave-free nations and hesitated to overtly support any country where slavery was still thriving. Three – the president of the CSA, Jefferson Davis, as well as Robert. E. Lee, the army’s most powerful general, were both confident that slavery would extinguish itself at any rate.


Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, as the new president of the United States of America. He was also elected with zero Southern electoral votes. Zero.

Is this fair? Is this democratic? Am I starting to sound like a Senatorial candidate to you? I think I am. It’s frightening, actually. Anyway, the point is, the South didn’t really have representation in the 1860 election. Perhaps if they had been able to vote for the candidate they wanted – even if he’d lost – a full-blown disaster could have been averted.

So you see, dear readers, how the Civil War could have been averted. We must take into consideration, however, that I am sitting on a chair 152 years after all this happened, clicking away at a MacBook Pro and eating yogurt. Perhaps if I had lived back then, I would have a different idea of things.

(Of course, if I’d lived back then, I wouldn’t be allowed to have very many ideas beyond cooking and sewing, seeing as I’m a girl.)

3 thoughts on “Three (Extremely Belated) Alternatives to the Civil War

  1. How interesting! You have converted me into a civil war fanatic too.I must admit that it was Margaret Mitchell’s ‘gone with the wind’ which in my teens introduced me to the turbulent period in American history.But I like your subtle humor. Teach us more history.

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