|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Thu Dec 27th, 2012 04:47 pm||
As I've said a number of times, history is always told from a point of view. Each of us has his own perspective, and so none of us can be completely objective.
For my part, I try as much as possible to be objective in my views of historical events and figures. I recognize that as far as the Civil War goes, I have: "Southern sympathies." (Though born and raised in the northeast). I try not to let my feelings interfere with an accurate assesssment of the facts.
As I said previously, I believe that the southern states had a right to leave the Union (for whatever reasons). Having said that, I will also say that it was in the best interests of the United States of America that the southerners lost the war.
If the CSA had won out, there would have been two countries and continued tensions along the common border. It is possible that the two sections would have reunited a generation later, but it is also possible that there would have been further fragmentation in one or both of the sections.
At any rate, there would have been less movement towards modernization and less progress throughout. For better or for worse, as a result of the war, the newly reunited country had a more powerful central government, and a more efficient one. (Though some of us are alarmed by how powerful it has become today).
As a result of the war, there was more infrastructure built in the northern states. There was more and more industrialization. New waves of European immigrants were attracted by opportunities here (As my predecessors were ) in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
These new arrivals provided a vast workforce of cheap labor, which helped to accelerate the growing industrialization. It also helped that both sections were rich in natural resources.
By the end of the 19th century, there was a growing sense of nationalism. For a short time, the U.S. became an imperialist power (Spanish American War and aftermath). There was a general feeling that the country was advancing to become a world power. This was certainly evident by the end of WW I.
In spite of the hardships caused by a nationwide and worldwide depression, the U.S. was able to produce and operate an industrial engine on a scale never before seen in order to win WW II. (As an aside, I greatly admire the: "Greatest Generation," and it was my honor to serve in the Army with some of them).
If the southern states had gained their independence, it is obvious that it would have put the former United States of America on a very different trajectory. Whether the two sections ever reunited or not, I don't believe that they could have achieved what was actually accomplished in making the 20th Century the: "American Century."
Last edited on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 06:17 pm by Texas Defender