View single post by Kernow-Ox
 Posted: Wed Mar 12th, 2008 06:32 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 26th, 2008
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Posts: 142

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HankC wroteIt is an interesting point that the section of Tennessee longest under firm union control (the west) was the most secessionist part of the state, and the most pro-union region (the east) was the last to be conquered. 
Hi Hank,

That's a fascinating point.

The political scientist in me is itching to construct a model to illustrate what I think might have been going on. Forgive the indulgence (I had a really boring day at work).

Imagine a border state with four counties (A, B, C, and D). The unionist vote/sentiment is 80%, 60%, 40%, and 20% respectively. With limited resources with which to assert union authority (troops, loyalist politicians, bribes, etc), it makes sense to mostly apportion them to counties D and C, with perhaps a little bit B just to keep the waverers in line.* People in A might be cheered by an occasional parade  but it's not going to be very difficult to assert union control in this county. Political force needs to be concentrated in places where the people aren't consenting to union rule

Now, I do not know how this model holds up in relation to Tennessee (or anywhere else for that matter). However, if the purpose of the war was to re-assert federal control in states in rebellion, then to my mind it has a ring of truth about it. The aim, after all, is to get people to assent to the rule of a government. There is little point in using the force of government among those who are content to be governed by it in the first place.

Anyhow, I guess I now need to test my arguments against some evidence. How annoying.

* For the sake of this model I am ignoring any military necessities and concentrating solely on political factors.

Last edited on Wed Mar 12th, 2008 06:33 pm by Kernow-Ox

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