The Civil War, America 's Bloodiest Conflict, By Robert E. Lee

2115 Words9 Pages
The Civil War, America’s bloodiest conflict, was lost not by Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson or Joseph Johnston. It was lost by a man named Christopher Memminger, the first Treasury Secretary of the Confederate States. Mismanagement of Southern economy was a signal that the South was doomed from the beginning. Money drives every aspect of life, and every aspect of politics. From fundamental beliefs about taxation to everyday life being made impossible by inflation, the Southern economic policy seemed designed to do as much harm to the Confederate States as possible. The Southern economic policy demonstrated that a war can be lost in the wallets and treasuries as easily as it can be lost on the battlefield. The foundations of the Southern tax policy were a clear statement on the South’s beliefs in a small government. A small government meant a small treasury and not much support from a central government. In Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephen’s “Cornerstone” speech, he highlighted the successes of state’s being independent from contributing to a common treasury when he commented on the construction of infrastructure in the South by saying “What justice was there in taking this money, which our people paid into the common treasury on the importation of our iron, and applying it to the improvement of rivers and harbors elsewhere?” A weak central government was the intention of the Confederate’s founding fathers when constructing their nation, and that
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