Editor's note: The subject of the annual Dick
Crews Debate at the January, 2008 Roundtable meeting was: "The Southern
Victory of 1865: Was the Confederacy a Viable State?" Five
members made presentations on the topic; the article below was one
of those five presentations.
The “genesis” of the
Civil War may be found at the time of the American Revolution which
began in 1776. Therefore it might be construed by some to say that
the Civil War started in 1776.
“By the rude bridge that arched the
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled.
Here once the embattled farmer stood
And fired the shot heard 'round the world.”
The question that now begs the
answer is when was the second shot fired heard 'round the world? And
the answer of course is as night follows the day April 12, 1861 at
The concept of viability is caught
up in the concept of unity. I.E. the viability of all the people in
all the states since the power of the nation is derived from the
power of the people which is the underpinning premise of the
Constitution of the United States of America. Remember please we are
speaking unity not disunity. We are speaking peace not war. We are
speaking of conciliation and reconciling acts of kindness. We are
speaking of winning the peace as a greater factor than winning the
war. Wars are not won per se. Might is right. In 1813 the British
outlawed slavery because the British were doing everything in their
power to gain back their colonies in recognition of the greatest
blunder in history in losing the United States of America. E
The facts are:
President Abraham Lincoln never fully accepted the concept of
secession particularly from 1860 to 1865.
unswerving in his strict adherence to preserving the Union at all
costs maintaining the United States of America as a viable union
of peoples within the states as documented in the Constitution and
the ratification of the Civil War amendments. (13th Amendment)
President Lincoln believed that the “whole” of the nation states
and its people were greater than the sum of the parts and that the
needs of the many far outweighed the needs of the few.
as the United States was a gathering of the people so the United
States governmental system was predicated on the gathering of
states with the potential for westward and other expansion. And in
that sense all the people were learning to govern themselves and
it was this unification of the objectives and goals of these
people that made the South viable.
South never did succeed in seceding from the Union.
South and the north were bloodied and battered but still a viable
union of states of the people, by the people and for the people.
The South was still conceived as
part of the Union by Congress. Please refer again to the Civil war
amendments and the Constitution and therefore in the Euclidian
geometric context things equal to the same thing are equal to each
other. The Southern states were viable and capable of being
In conclusion, please permit me to
say that I think we can all agree that nobody really wins a war. War
is hell. But everyone can win the peace. Winning the peace is the
viable part of war and binding up the wounds of the nation so well
articulated by Mr. Lincoln who knew this fact intimately.
To deny the fact and argue the
viability of the Confederate states of America on the grounds of
their incapacity, etc. is to deny the basic tenets upon which this
great nation of, for and by the people was founded which includes
the fifty six signatories who pledged their lives, their fortunes
and their sacred honor. They shall not have died in vain.
RETURN TO THE GREAT DEBATE 2008 HOME>>
The CSA Was NOT Viable
Captain-Less Raft Floating On a Sea of Problems
for a Republic, Too Large for a Lunatic Asylum
The CSA WAS Viable
of a Weak Confederacy
Second Shot Heard 'Round the World