In Reply to: Re: Sad times posted by Rocky on March 30, 2003 at 13:08:36:
Glad to see you picked that up. Yes, the economic difference between both factions was overwhelming. Some people were even surprised that the south could fight for 4 years. Maybe you are even right that slavery was the main issue but there was more, Georgia had already passed a legislative resolution to secede as early as 1850 (hence the Lincoln speech you quote).
I had a typo of saying 620 million when it was only a mere 620,000 people who died, significantly small but still the largest number of casualties in any war fought by the United States. It was still a tragedy no matter what angle people give it. That some people died due to plagues or anything like that is also a product of the war condition, even if not a direct result of battle.
There was no doubt as to the long term results of the invasion of poor peasants by the most powerful war machine of the day (similar to those armies mustered by any empire expanding their borders of influence: Greece, Rome, and other before and after them.) What is to expect when the most modern equipment meets some old farmers? 97% of the weapons were made by the north, 96% of modern transportation equipment (railroad) was produced in the north. The south didn't have a prayer but their desire to be free from what they considered government intrision. For similar reasons, there were strong forces to secede from the union all throughout New England at the beginning of the 1800s. This timee, in 1861, many states acted on it.
Well, at that time, starting a long sad tradition of pushing their will onto others, the central government in the north decided to exercise their might on an empoverish population who would have probably came back to the fold a few years later had them been left alone. They started at home what later would become a norm when dealing with other people, if you don't do it our way we will invade you.
The good thing is that, judging by the reconstruction of Japan and Germany, their after war state is not that terrible. Irak might still have a good chance after all (and some of the people behind of the million-dollar contracts already assigned for its reconstruction).