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Django Unchained: What Wouldv’e Happened if we Had the Confederate States of America?

It was a blessing of late being able to do some more study of history and seeing the ways that the development of the U.S took place. Specifically, I’ve been fascinated learning on the issue of Secession’s impact. It’s a concept that has been present since the foundation of the history of our nation.

The reality of what occurred with the British was a concept of Secession – one that has been aggressively debated since many felt colonies acted improperly with Britain in breaking away since its origins came from the British establishing things/ having many parts of the South developed as PRISON colonies for others to pay off their debts  

Secession is something that seemed to be a present reality since the Revolution. And in 1860, it seemed that Secession took a different turn than before. For the focus was the issue of slavery. There were various reasons as to why the SOuth wished to secedd from the U.S – but slavery was paramount. Many groups that fled the Southern States – some by force (such as the Native Americas on the trail of Tears) while others by desire for freedom (as with Black slaves/seminoles) – wanted to go out West since that was a “No Man’s Land.” And for many Southern States, settlers from those areas started to go into the territories where free blacks/Native Americans were present and wanted to make those areas their own so that they could increase the business of slavery in those areas – with the US-Mexican War actually beginning over those issues  ). Some of the Founding Fathers had always been against slavery – although others actively supported it as a “necessary evil.” For those touched sharply by the curse of slavery, they often did what they had to do – even if it meant breaking the law to get justice.

There is a recent film on the issue which seemed to address the issue sharply- called Django Unchained. The film is a three-hour Quentin Tarantino film, a cowboy-style Western set in the American slave South of 1858. The film itself has been rather remarkable – and has generated a greater conversation about the enslavement of my ancestors than any that I have witnessed perhaps since Roots because our society has long been in denial about African American slavery–America’s original sin–since well-before its abolition. It’s something I glad broke A LOT of rules in Hollywood with the sterotypes of heros – and real/relatable ones at that. Historically – when it comes to what happened in the West/Southern culture with violence and gun-slingers who were people of color ( more shared here or here ) – you’ll not hear a lot of discussion on the subject. And for reviews:

Going back to the issue of slavery, the North, concerning slavery/racism, had just as many issues as the South – with the North practicing slavery via wage slavery where blacks were able to integrate/not be in chains and yet not have equal access to resources as whites did – increasing impoverishment.

The South would later allow Neo-Slavery in the form of Jim Crow after the Reconstruction -and many historians have pointed out where Lincoln was really only concerned with slavery in the sense of severe abuse toward slaves – but never had any remote concern for the slaves being seen as intellectual/moral equals to whites). He even noted directly that he would have sought to win the Civil War without freeing blacks if he could of – and thus, many blacks/whites felt it was about pragmatism on the part of the North more so than concern for the plight of blacks.

Nonetheless, the South was without excuse – following the American Revolution, slaves/blacks was an elephant in the room that would not go away.

The film “Amistad” does an excellent job on the issue, discussing a key issue precedding Civil War later. Amistad was the name of a slave ship traveling from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839. It was carrying a cargo of Africans who have been sold into slavery in Cuba, stolen/beaten and taken on board, and chained in the cargo hold of the ship. As the ship was crossing from Cuba to the U.S., Cinque, who was a tribal leader in Africa, lead a mutiny and took over the ship. They continued to sail, hoping to find help when they landed. Instead, when they reached the United States, they were imprisoned as runaway slaves. They didn’t speak a word of English, and it seemed like they are doomed to die for killing their captors when an abolitionist lawyer decided to take their case, arguing that they were free citizens of another country and not slaves at all. The case finally got to the Supreme Court, where John Quincy Adams made an impassioned and eloquent plea for their release

John Quincy Adams prophesied how the Civil War itself would indeed be the completion of the American Revolution if slavery could not be resolved properly…

John Quincy Adams Addresses the U.S. Supreme Court.wmv

Sadly his words were not heard – and many have long made it out as if the slavery issue was not a key issue behind the secession of the Southern States. For those against Confederates, there were MANY things at stake that caused a lot of reasons to be fearful. The secession made room for other nations to jump in and support an immoral practice on a global scale.

Many have no idea on how they were Confederate Slave owners who moved to Brazil (called the Confederados), as the slave trade was international and it opened up doors for commerce/business relationships throughout the Americas.

The history of the Conferados is truly fascinating..and for more, one can investigate a read entitled “The Deepest South: The United States, Brazil, and the African Slave Trade” ( ):

Having roots in Latin America, I’m aware of how the abuses in slavery were even worse there (and in the West Indies as well) than in North America….and I know there has always been strong racism present due to what the Portuguese and Spaniards did in coming over/setting up the systems they did. Thus, no surprise to see what happened with the active development of relationship between others in the American South and those in the Southern Hemisphere. The American Civil war even managed to spill into Brazil, as seen in the Bahia Incident ( a naval skirmish fought in late 1864 during the American Civil War where a Confederate States Navy warship was captured by a Union warship in Bahia Harbor, Brazil…and the engagement resulted in a United States victory, but also sparked an incident with the Brazilian government, which claimed the Americans had violated Brazil’s neutrality by illegally attacking a vessel in their harbor..nore shared here).

SOuthern States desiring secession wanted to create a new International Empire called the “Golden Circle” that would’ve taken slavery onto an entirely different level. For what occurred with the Golden Circle (proposed country) was the unrealized pan-Caribbean political alliance of the 1850s, organized chiefly by United States adventurers, and envisioned the incorporation of several countries and states of the Americas into a federal union similar to the United States…it would’ve forced the states in the U.S to really reconsider a lot of things.

The balance of power between the northern and southern U.S. states was threatened by the proposed Golden Circle since Federalists feared that a new Caribbean-centered coalition would align the new Latin American states with the slave states in the US..tilting the balance of power southward and weakening U.S. federalism in favor of the Pan-American confederalist union, whereas those Americans in favor of the Gold Circle believed that an alignment with the remaining slaveholding Caribbean territories would reinforce their political strength.

Some have noted where there were black slave owners and having them involved made a difference – as seen in Black slave owners in the Golden Circle | Southern Nationalist – and it’s amazing seeing how the narrative of all blacks being against the confederacy doesn’t line up with history.

A lot of the historical perspectives of the South are interesting. For more, one can study Chesteron’s 1922 work called What I Saw in America. What Chesteron noted is especially considering the timing of it being written in 1922. This was less than 60 years removed from the Civil War. That would be like someone writing about Korea and Vietnam right now. The memories and direct consequences of those wars are still very real to us today. Chesterton was born in 1874, only four years after Virginia itself was re-admitted to the Union (1870). The crushing of secession was ultimately written down in history as the “right” thing to do, only because, ultimately, most Southerners accepted it as simply immutable. …and to be clear, as many blacks fought in the Civil War on the side of the South for their own reasons (freedom being one of them (more here/here /here)as well as the fact that not all in the South endorsed slavery nor abuse as many in the North claimed—and for them, the North often didn’t have much to offer). The Reconstruction was to be the re-programming of the Southern mind. It worked, and now Lincoln is seen as great. If, as Chesterton alludes to with his Irish example, the Southern spirit had continued to buck against centralized government and the resistance had continued into the twentieth century, Lincoln would be viewed more like Cromwell than Bismark.

 To give more clarity on the issue and why it is on my mind, I was processing the Confederados after recently coming back from Central America – specifically Panama – on a family vacation…and the concept of diaspora/the reasons behind it was on my mind a lot. For slavery was a big deal in Panama (as the French had previously built a railroad through Panama, linking the Atlantic to the Pacific, an undertaking that relied heavily on slave labour and other nations such as Spain also utilized slavery in Panama repeatedly since Panama was a major distribution point for slaves headed elsewhere on the mainland – with many slave revolts occurring). The ways that the U.S worked with Colombia on gaining influence in the Isthmus of Panama is a trip when seeing how the Confederacy tied into it (more here). After its independence from Spain on November 28, 1821, Panama became a part of the Republic of Gran Colombia which consisted of today’s Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador. Consequently, the political struggle between federalists and centralists that followed independence from Spain resulted in a changing administrative and jurisdictional status for Panama. For under centralism Panama was established as the Department of the Isthmus and during the federalism as Sovereign State of Panama. In 1846 a treaty between Colombia and United States was signed – a treaty saying that the United States was obliged to maintain “neutrality” in Panama in exchange for transit rights in the isthmus on behalf of Colombia..as everyone wanted to develop things there. And with the Civil War of the States in the U.S, a lot of potential advantages that were planned may’ve been lost..or taken advantage of by the Confederate States.

Panama’s part of my ethnic heritage and my mother’s fromt here and our ancestry is in the West Indies/Latin America – and for me, it’s stunning thinking on some of the cultural dynamics there and the ways that even Latin America was connected to the South. An estimated 3 million Southerners abandoned their homes in the former Confederate States and moved all over – to Texas, out West and even to Northern states. Many left the United States altogether despite language difficulties, distance and expense..and they never to return. Many migrated to Mexico, Canada, England ( which was pro-Confederacy during the war), Venezuela or numerous other foreign locations. But the most popular country of Southern emigration was Brazil.

Many have no idea on how they were Confederate Slave owners who moved to Brazil (called the Confederados), as the slave trade was international and it opened up doors for commerce/business relationships throughout the Americas.

As another noted:

U.S. nationals – before and after Emancipation — continued to actively participate in this odious commerce by creating diplomatic, social, and political ties with Brazil, which today has the largest population of African origin outside of Africa itself.

Proslavery Americans began to accelerate their presence in Brazil in the 1830s, creating alliances there—sometimes friendly, often contentious—with Portuguese, Spanish, British, and other foreign slave traders to buy, sell, and transport African slaves, particularly from the eastern shores of that beleaguered continent.

Spokesmen of the Slave South drew up ambitious plans to seize the Amazon and develop this region by deporting the enslaved African-Americans there to toil. When the South seceded from the Union, it received significant support from Brazil, which correctly assumed that a Confederate defeat would be a mortal blow to slavery south of the border. After the Civil War, many Confederates, with slaves in tow, sought refuge as well as the survival of their peculiar institution in Brazil.

So many things happened following the Civil War – including the expansion of territory into the West Indies and Latin America…the Spanish-American War being prominent…and although many have said those things were necessary, it’s hard not to wonder if those negatives may’ve never occurred if the Confederates were able to succeed in their plans.

Had the Confederacy won, who knows the ways things would have turned out for others in the Caribbean. people on both sides were concerned for the welfare of minorities…and there were people on both sides who couldn’t of cared less about the plight of blacks. History is truly complicated…

There’s actually a very amazing mockumentary on the issue entitled C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (more shared here ) -as it explores the results of a Southern victory in the Civil War and posits the Golden Circle as a plan enacted after the war. One of the most wild and yet challenging critiques I’ve ever come across…

C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America

That said, if anyone has any thoughts, I’d love to hear. Do you feel the South should have won the Civil War? And do you feel winning would’ve been in the best interest for the rest of the world today – or do you feel that it was better for all of the events of the North winning/consequently developing the history of world involvement we got later (from the Spanish-American War to WWI-WWII and other things) was worth it? How differently do you think history would’ve gone had the South seceded and won?

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About Gabriel (G²)

Just another intelligent black man (a dying breed, mind you) living it up under pressure, giving it up to the game called life, taking the good with the bad, the pain with the gain, and still keeping it R.E.A.L (Relational, Enlightened/Effective, Authentic, and Lively) in the way I deal while bringing fame, not shame, to the Name... of Christ. In case anyone was confused as to what I just said/meant (most likely you were), I'm a teacher/educator. I graduated from the Masters of American Studies program at KSU ( http://amst.hss.kennesaw.edu/graduate/, http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/mast_etd/ and https://saved103.wordpress.com/about/ ) with my focus on History. As my degree is in Interdisciplinary Studies, I am very good at research and love study. I'm also a Youth Worker. I'm also an runner (though not at my prime, I intend to get back soon and have tried throughout the year...it's gotten better), a singer, and avid reader. Love history and studying it with other academics

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