During America's Civil War (or the War Between the States, if you prefer) European nations were tempted to recognize the Confederacy. England especially had two reasons: first, trade: second revenge against the North for having defeated them in the Revolutionary War. Abraham Lincoln, understanding that his goal to preserve the Union wasn't generating much support abroad and aware of England's "perfidious Albion" reputation, announced Emancipation as a war aim. How could any civilized nation not support freeing the slaves? It worked, even though it extended the war and cost lives.
How would the world have been affected had the Confederacy become another country is summarized in the following passage from a paper by Dr. Ed Ayers, president of the university of Richmond. (Readers may remember that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy.)
"The Confederate States of America would have been one of the most economically and geopolitically powerful nations on earth, and explicitly based on perpetual bondage. American slavery had never been stronger than it was in 1860. The South, by itself, stood as the fourth richest economy in the world. Its enslaved population accounted for 80 percent of all American exports. The Confederacy's success would not only have fractured the world's largest, most dynamic, and most open democracy, but it also would have established a model of economic development and industrialization based on forced labor. If the model had been instead the perpetual enslavement of millions of people, the course of world history would likely have been profoundly different." (emphasis mine).
Frank Versagi is the editor of Versagi Voice.