What if the Confederacy Won?
The United States, the Confederate States, and Black people in America might all be better off if the South was allowed to secede from the Union.
Now I'm gonna go way out there for a minute, so just bear with me. I have no proof for my hypothesis nor do I necessarily believe it's true...I'm just thinking out loud. History is written by winners, so we've always been taught that the Yankees were the good guys and the Rebels were the bad guys and that slavery was the main reason for the American Civil War. As usual we were taught wrong, and many of us now know that even Lincoln didn't really care about freeing the slaves (he actually was in favor of shipping us all back to Afrika) and the war was more about state's rights and economic power than anything else. But let's challenge the other assumption that the North was right in preventing the South from leaving the Union.
Sure the southern states had different values, but slavery was just one part of their society. They also believed in state's rights, individual independence (for whites at least), and little federal government interference. Sounds a lot like modern day Republicans to me. Their whole economy revolved around slavery, and without the benefit of modern economic and management theory I guess they just weren't smart enough to figure out how to make it work without slaves (they later came up with the concepts of share cropping and Black Laws to keep slavery going after the Civil War). But the North still benefited from slavery and the agricultural output from the South, so who's to say one side was right and one side was wrong. Yes, slavery was wrong, but I believe it still would have ended if the South was allowed to secede. We'll come back to that in a minute.
Let's pretend that slavery never existed in America and the South still wanted to secede from the Union. Is this such a bad thing? Technically, the United States seceded from Britain. Taiwan seceded from China. Ireland seceded from Britain/Northern Ireland. If two groups of people have irreconcilable differences, why can they not have separate governments? To this day we see a clear divide between the South and the North a.k.a. the Red states and the Blue states. People might argue that we're stronger together than we are apart, but nobody can prove that without seeing what would happen if they were allowed to separate. Sure, we have more people and more land, but that doesn't necessarily make us stronger. This election year shows us how divided we really are. I say let the Red states go because we're just slowing each other down.
First, some issues can't be resolved with compromise so the society gets stuck in a situation where no progress is made, or progress is made for one side at the expense of the other, and the issue continues to rear it's head. Second, states have become entirely too reliant on Federal assistance and the Federal government has grown too large and inefficient to be effective on issues like healthcare and energy independence. You've got states like California that step up and try to fix problems on their own, but even they are suffering from a budget crisis. Just look at your paycheck. Who get's more money from you, Federal or State? Don't forget that social security counts as Federal so add that in there too. So I said all that to say, we may or may not be better off with all 50 states in the Union.
Now let's think about a hypothetical scenario where the South won the war and Black people were still enslaved. Since the remaining states in the Union would all be free states, slaves could run away from the South and not have to be returned (before the war runaway slaves in the North could still be returned back into slavery). The effect of mass runaways and revolts would put a heavy strain on the Confederacy's economy. Also, without the North and other anti-slave nations buying goods from the South, they would have been further weakened. Rather than relying on white folks in the North to "save" them, Black people would have to fight for their own freedom and build alliances with other nations on their own. This would have been more difficult, but we might have been stronger for it. Contrary to popular belief, slave revolts were a very common occurrence in antebellum South and all throughout North and South America. Being a slave master or overseer was one of the most dangerous jobs one could have, even more so than actually being a slave. Of course they fail to mention this in most text books. When we finally did free ourselves, we would be more self-reliant and independent. We might have even taken over one of the states in the South and seceded from the Confederacy since the Confederates themselves would have set the precedent for secession.
Instead, we achieved freedom with heavy reliance on Northern white people and we've remained reliant ever since. Most of us cannot even fathom having our own government. We're trapped on the "assimilationist treadmill" going nowhere. And when someone mentions reparations, many of us revert to our slave personalities and act like some weak-minded, tap-dancing, coons.
Obviously there could be dozens of other likely outcomes for Black America if the Confederacy had won the Civil War. The point is to get you to re-think conventional wisdom about the history of slavery and the Civil War as it is currently written in hopes that maybe we can make history now by reversing past mistakes.
Finally, I'll leave you with two quotes from Dr. Amos N. Wilson
Our reason for being in America is to serve white folk and to generate wealth for them. There has been no change at all in terms of our relationship to these people.
We have a leadership that has sought to get us to accept the status quo: the control of the world by the European. You errantly hear some of us conceding that it's the white man's world so we may as well learn how to live in it or just get along. The assimilationist often accepts, consciously or unconsciously, the idea that the white man will continue to rule the world...This leadership wants us to accept this sickness as normality and to follow these pathological beings into self-destruction.