When slave states seceded, if ever. (Click on map to enlarge.) You can see three distinct tiers from south to north, with Virginia (which still included WV in 1861) the great anomaly, the only state to secede north of 36'30". If Virginia doesn't secede in April 1861, then neither do VA's tag-along followers NC, TN, and AR.
From my new Taki's Magazine column:
Perhaps to celebrate the Battle of Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary, liberal Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson announced on June 25th that, in effect, it’s too bad Pickett’s Charge of July 3, 1863 failed.
From Meyerson’s “Start the border fence in Norfolk, Va.”:
Until that day, though, if the federal government wants to build a fence that keeps the United States safe from the dangers of lower wages and poverty and their attendant ills — and the all-round fruitcakery of the right-wing white South — it should build that fence from Norfolk to Dallas. There’s nothing wrong with a fence, so long as you put it in the right place.
This is another manifestation of what John Derbyshire calls the Cold Civil War: “good old American sectionalism—two big groups of white people who can’t stand the sight of each other.”
One reason that America’s internal animosities have become so virulent is that since the Soviet Empire’s collapse two dozen years ago, we lack worthy external foes.
I go on to explain how a more experienced Lincoln could have headed off the Civil War in 1860-61.
Read the whole thing there.
By the way, here's a long article documenting the bizarre disdain of most Civil War historians for Secretary of State William Seward's brilliant April 1, 1861 memo to Lincoln (which Lincoln tragically brushed aside) explaining the most plausible plan anybody came up with at that late date for heading off the Civil War.
And it's not like Seward was some weirdo crank outsider. He was a great man. While Lincoln wasted time during those crucial weeks, Seward came up with a plan that might have worked, or at least bought time.
Perhaps it's just the déformation professionnelle of Civil War historians to be irrationally averse to anybody and anything that might have made their profession needless, even if it would have saved 750,000 American lives.