20 September 2003

A victorious South and a fragmented North America

Jake Belder quotes from the League of the South's position statement: "If the South were its own nation, its GNP would rank it in the top five nations of the world." It is always a tricky business to second-guess historical events -- to judge what might have happened if things had worked out differently. This is certainly true of the American Civil War of 1861-1865, or what southerners tend to call the War Between the States or even the War for Southern Independence.

However, I rather think that, given the centrifugal tendencies besetting the United States at that time, if the South had won, the Confederate States of America eventually would themselves have broken up either into two or more confederacies or into the component states. The same thing would likely have happened to the so-called Union states. And if there were several independent federations in the territory of what is now the US, there would have been less incentive for the British North American colonies to form the Dominion of Canada, simply because the threat from the other side of the Great Lakes would have been that much less.

Anglo-North America might today look more like Latin America: a large continental land mass with several countries all speaking the same language.

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