Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Taking Dixie Down

Why did the Confederacy fall?

A new book suggests a structural problem:

From almost the moment its government was established, Eicher writes, the Confederacy began to bring itself down. Given that the country was founded by a group of men suspicious by nature of central government, some amount of infighting was inevitable. But Confederate leaders squabbled more than they governed. The Confederate Congress thought it should wield supreme power; the governors thought the states should. And Jefferson Davis, once an ardent states’ rights advocate, changed his tune when he became president. In March 1863 he wrote, “Our safety—our very existence—depends on the complete blending of the military strength of all the States into one united body, to be used anywhere and everywhere as the exigencies of the contest may require for the good of the whole.”

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