I’m reading Gone With the Wind, and my most salient thought is that the US should have let the South secede.
That war was expensive in terms of lives and dollars, and proved nothing.
The war was not fought to end slavery. It was fought to keep cotton affordable for Northern clothing factories. If those factory owners had looked at the cost of the war and compared it to the cost of cotton, they’d have happily paid more for the cotton.
It’s the same story today. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost a fortune in lives and dollars, and they’ve done nothing to keep oil affordable.
The South would have learned the economic failure of slavery soon enough. And without the war, they could not have resented the North for destroying their lifestyle and their land.
Plus we would not have the Tea Party / pseudo-Republicans now trying to push pre civil-war Southern philosophies on a country that has new and complex problems that cannot be solved by going back to a world run by a few wealthy plantation owners, who currently call themselves “job creators.” These Tea Party folks even want to go back to the pre civil-war problems of no birth control and no unions. If plantations and slavery had been allowed to self-destruct, nobody would be idealizing that lifestyle today.
I know – there are no time machines – and GWTW does play with facts in order to make a better story. For example, Governor Bulloch was white, not black. But I get the sense that the basic philosophies and attitudes are presented fairly. This war killed more Americans than any other war. We’re still fighting it.
The Tea Party may as well be called The Confederates. War doesn’t prove who is right – just which side has the more successful army. I hope it’s not too late to resolve the issues of that war without fighting another one. The problems of that era and that war are not gone with the wind.