Clash of two elites and two economic orders
The North-South War was a clash between two American elites. The northerners claimed dominion over all of North America, then all of America (North and South), then world domination. Whites and blacks were just "cannon fodder" in this war. The southern elite formed a fairly established way of life, they did not pretend for more. When the North began to exert too much pressure, the South decided to fight for their freedom and their way of life. For the overwhelming majority of southerners (large planters, slave owners were no more than 0,5% of the population of the southern states), this was a war of independence and freedom. Southerners saw themselves as a threatened nation. Therefore, they decided to make a secession, secession from the federal state. It is a completely legal process within the legal framework of America. It is not surprising that many modern southerners still believe that their ancestors fought for a just cause.
Thus, America had two paths: the path of further industrialization and centralization, with the reduction of the rights of individual states and the creation of a great power, or the preservation of decentralization, the autonomy of the agrarian southern states. Therefore, already at the beginning of the 1820th century, contradictions were identified, which led to the war. The balance of power, after much debate in Congress, was secured by the Missouri Compromise of XNUMX. According to him, slavery was prohibited in territories that were not converted to states. The state of Missouri was adopted in the United States as a slave state. In the future, the states decided to admit to the state in pairs - one slave and one free from slavery.
South and North were arguing over export tariffs. The North, in order to continue industrialization, needed protectionism to protect the American market from British goods. On the other hand, the South, due to high duties on foreign goods, was forced to purchase various machinery, equipment and goods from the industrialized northern states at an exorbitant price. Such a policy of the northern "hucksters-shopkeepers" made the southerners very angry. The South was interested in agricultural exports and free trade with Europe, it did not need high tariffs. Southerners quite rightly feared retaliatory actions by Britain and other powers in relation to American goods (primarily raw materials).
Also, the federal government controlled the export of cotton, forcing it to be sold to the US light industry. The government got involved in state taxation. That is, in essence, the federal authorities in a certain respect repeated the policy of the British metropolis, which earlier caused the American Revolution. Now the North played the role of the metropolis (the developed core of the empire), and the South played the role of the colony.
Therefore, a new increase in tariffs in 1828 caused great discontent among the agrarian states. Especially South Carolina. This led to the crisis of 1832. South Carolina said state laws were superior to state laws and threatened to exercise the constitutional right to secede. President Jackson has pledged to use military force against the obstinate staff. The southerners conceded, and a compromise tariff was adopted in 1833. He exempted a number of commodities supplied by the South from duties. At the same time, Congress recognized the president's right to use military force against the rebels.
In 1842, the bloc of the southern and western states achieved the adoption of the "Black Tariff," more protectionist than the 1833 tariff. Then the free and slave states were temporarily reconciled against the backdrop of external expansion. In 1846-1848. The union received from England in the north the lands of the future states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. In the south, the Americans took more than half of all land from Mexico, including Texas (slave), future Arizona, New Mexico and California. After that, American politicians debated violently for several years about the future of the new states. Finally, the Compromise of 1850 was adopted. Texas renounced its claims to the territory of New Mexico, in exchange, the federal center undertook to pay off the state's external debt. California was recognized as a free state. Southerners pushed for a stricter fugitive slave law and a referendum to decide whether Utah and New Mexico would be slave-owning.
The compromise lasted only 4 years. In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He created new territories in Kansas and Nebraska, opened them up for settlement and allowed the population of these territories to independently resolve the issue of formalizing or banning slavery. As a result, the Missouri Compromise, adopted by Congress in 1820, was canceled, according to which in the territories west of the Mississippi River and north of 36 ° 30 'N. sh., ceded to the United States after the purchase of Louisiana, slavery was prohibited. The balance between South and North was upset.
An 1856 U.S. political map showing the free states (red), the slave states (gray), the U.S. territories (green), and Kansas in the middle
In Kansas, turmoil broke out, a conflict between supporters of farming and plantation economy, which lasted for several years. In 1859, the Kansas Constitution was voted to ban slavery in the state.
It is worth noting that the war was held back for a long time by the fact that the southern states had an advantage in the highest authorities and could lobby their interests at the federal level. So of the 12 presidents of the Union, between 1809 and 1860, 7 were southerners (Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor), who did not seek to oppress their fellow countrymen. And Northern presidents such as Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan tried to be friends with Britain and not break off relations with the South.
In December 1860, Abraham Lincoln, a staunch supporter of the centralization of the States, was elected president. South Carolina announced the secession. Let me remind you that the laws of the Union did not prohibit secession from the United States. Considering that the political program of the new president threatens the South, in early 1861 South Carolina was followed by 6 states - Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Georgia. The breakaway states called a convention in Montgomery, Alabama. On February 4, 1861, they created the Confederate States of America (CSA). Jefferson Davis, a Mississippi planter, became President of the Confederation. Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee also joined the CSA.
President Buchanan did not prevent Southerners from seizing federal property in their states until Lincoln's inauguration in March 1861. Southerners occupied arsenals, forts and other military facilities without a fight. The only exception was Fort Sumter, located in the harbor of Charleston (South Carolina). This happened on April 12, 1861. The commandant refused the offer to surrender: the shelling began, to which the fort responded with its fire. After a 34-hour battle, the garrison shot all the ammunition and laid weapon... Only one person died (in an accident). However, the events at Fort Sumter were perceived in the North and South as the beginning of a war.
President Abraham Lincoln (center) with the founder of the Secret Service and later the famous Pinkerton Agency, Alan Pinkerton (left) and General John A. McClernand. October 3, 1862
In the North, public opinion was being prepared for quite a long time, they were waging an information war. They created the image of "damned plantation slave owners" who oppress blacks (although the situation of blacks in the "free" states was no better). The northerners were made "good guys". This stage was so successful that these images were accepted by the then world community. The progressive public in Europe as a whole supported the North. On the side of the North, fought recent emigrants (up to a quarter of the entire army), Germans, Irish, British, Canadians. The Swiss Riflemen, Garibaldi Guards, Polish Legion and Lafayette Guards were noted in the war, but the Irish were the best fighters. Their bodies (white migrants) were the masters of the North and they bombarded the desperately fighting southerners.
As a result, the countries of Europe did not dare to provide large-scale assistance to the Confederation, although it was economically and politically beneficial for them. It was "ugly" to help the slave traders. As a result, until now in the public consciousness of the West, especially in the United States itself, the opinion prevails that the valiant northerners fought "for the freedom of slaves." Although Lincoln first freed not all American slaves, but only in the states of the Confederation: the northerners were waiting for a massive uprising of blacks in the rear of the southerners, which, however, did not happen. However, there was an increase in the flight of slaves from the South to the North, which hit the KSA economy. Black criminality rose sharply as white men were mobilized to the front.
Lincoln himself said during the Civil War:
"My main task in this struggle is to save the Union, not to save or destroy slavery."
The masters of the North, led by Lincoln, did not believe in the equality of races. Lincoln said openly:
“I do not and have never advocated giving blacks the right to become voters, judges or officials, the right to marry white people; and, furthermore, I will add that there are physiological differences between the black and white races, which, in my opinion, will never allow them to coexist in conditions of social and political equality. "
The position of the superior and inferior races must remain. The highest position belongs to the white race. Slavery was condemned for economic inefficiency, and slaves were to be freed for ransom.
Back in 1822, under the auspices of the American Colonization Society (established in 1816) and other private organizations in Africa, a colony of "free people of color" was created. In the North, several thousand blacks were recruited and taken to West Africa. The colony was named Liberia. Interestingly, the American-Liberians have already embraced the values of America and did not want to go back to the "roots." They captured the coast of modern Liberia, then developed an expansion in the lands of modern Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire. The Liberians considered themselves a superior caste and wanted to dominate the natives.
Then a loud information campaign "for the rights of blacks" began in the Union. For a long time Negroes did not succumb to provocations. They did not want to return to distant and unfamiliar Africa. But in the end, the situation in the South was shaken. A wave of Negro riots swept through. Naturally, they were easily suppressed. At the same time, the movement for the emancipation of black slaves in the United States (abolitionism) expanded. Abolitionists arranged for slaves to flee from slave states to free states. This issue has repeatedly undermined peace between the South and the North.
As a result, the North won the information war even before the start of the war. During the war, the Confederation found itself in diplomatic isolation, although it hoped for help from England and France. The South could not get loans for the war. Also played a role in the fact that Spain, France and England at this time bogged down in the war in Mexico. The great European powers got involved in the civil war in Mexico.
Russia's American mistake
The government of the Russian Emperor Alexander II fully supported Lincoln's policies. The United States, while weak, skillfully used Russia to neutralize the British threat. Petersburg supported the united USA, sent squadrons of Popov and Lesovsky to the shores of America. Russian ships arrived in New York and San Francisco in 1863 and showed the whole world that Russia and the United States are allies. Russian ships, in the event of England's action on the side of the Confederation, could threaten the sea communications of Britain. As a result, England never dared to support the South.
To further strengthen the United States as opposed to Britain, St. Petersburg was sold to the Americans of Russian America in 1867. It soon became clear that this was a strategic mistake. We have received a new enemy on the world stage in the person of a united United States. America began to lay claim to world domination. The US masters set Japan against Russia (the war of 1904-1905), became the organizers of three world wars, including the so-called "cold" (in fact, the third world war).
American financial capital fostered Hitler, pushed Germany into Russia. Now the United States is again trying to solve its problems and the crisis of capitalism at the expense of the Russian world.
Thus, the government of Alexander II the Liberator made a huge mistake when it decided to support the "progressive" North. The weakening of the United States and its disintegration into the North and South were beneficial in Russia's national interests.
Northern artillery near Yorktown, Virginia. 1862 year