What if the South Had Won the Civil War? Part 3

About what might have happened if the South had on the American Civil War, an alternate history of the United States.

WHAT IF . . . ?

What If the South Had Won the Civil War?

The question of slavery in the Confederacy and in the new Republic of Texas was soon to be decided by international developments. As country after country abolished slavery, Texas and the South discovered they were hanging on to an economically and politically outmoded institution. Gradually, individual states began manumitting their slaves, and by the 1880s the number of freed blacks in the South nearly equaled the slave population. In 1885 the Confederacy passed the Liberation Act, and a similar resolution was passed by the Republic of Texas that same year. Although the issue of slavery was at last settled, the position of blacks within Southern society was to remain unresolved for decades to come.

During the end of the 19th century, a new popular leader emerged in the South--Robert E. Lee "Rel" Stuart, son of Jeb Stuart. When the Confederacy declared war on Spain after an attack on the Confederate battleship Mississippi, Rel Stuart resigned from Congress to accept a commission in the army. As divisional commander, Stuart led his men in a series of decisive attacks on Spanish forces in Cuba and was largely responsible for Spain's defeat. After the Spanish ceded Cuba on Dec. 10, 1898, Stuart stayed on as territorial governor and later served as governor of the state of Cuba after it was admitted into the Confederacy. Stuart is credited with the new state's rapid economic and political development and is also remembered as one of the first proponents of Consolidation--a movement to reunite the three American republics.

By 1910 Consolidationist parties had won the support of Woodrow Wilson, a Virginian who served as president of the Confederacy from 1910 to 1922. Wilson spoke out repeatedly for the goal of the Consolidationists and set the stage for a radical change in American history. The republics' simultaneous entry into the war against Germany in 1917 knitted them more closely together, and their shoulder-to-shoulder fight against a common enemy in W. W. II further strengthened their ties. The growing threat of the Soviet Union in the postwar world--and in particular the sharp upswing of military activity in Russian America--required a strong and united America. In 1959 resolutions were introduced in all three national legislatures to form one republic, and on Dec. 20, 1960--the centennial of South Carolina's secession from the Union--a three-way conference was scheduled to decide upon the issue of reunification. The wounds of the Civil War were healed at last, and the peoples who had established themselves as a nation nearly 200 years before were ready to reaffirm their original commitment.

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