20 February 2011

The Independent Confederacy--a novel idea

Reading about the “celebrations” in Alabama this week of the anniversary of the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederate States of America got me thinking, and that’s always a dangerous thing. Rather than present my ideas as a political statement, however, I’m going to suggest an idea for a novel. Since I’m not much on writing historical fiction, feel free to grab it and run with it. I might even read the book when it comes out!

Suppose Lincoln had let the South secede. No Civil War. Now, I’m not saying there would have been no war, because the North would have remained a haven for run-away slaves and there would have been a war over it and continuing tensions along the Mason Dixon line. There would also have been a war over California, but I’m not going to change history too much. There would be a continuing line of connection from the North all the way across to California, while the South would not have been able to push enough people westward to colonize California. As for Texas, of course, it would be a nation independent of either of its parents, comprising Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona, and it would still be at war with Mexico.

Wait. Is that part fiction or history?

Well, knowing what we know now of the ultimate demise of slave states, we could assume that sometime (probably within the last 50 years) there would have been a revolution in the South and ultimately it would have become a black fundamentalist state. I don’t know if it would have been fundamentalist Christian or Islamic, and I don’t think it makes much difference. You pick.

Of course, the United States would likely not have been quite such a world power or influencer during the World Wars, and it is likely that under Kaiser Wilhelm, a united Europe would have fended off the advance of communism.

So, what we would have today would be a world very much different than the one we currently live in, or not so much, depending on your perspective—all because preserving the Union was not a priority for Lincoln.

Take this novel idea and run with it.