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Confederate leaders were nothing if not dreamers. They did not merely want to maintain slavery in a quiet corner of the world and hold onto antiquated traditions. They saw themselves as true progressives that would lead a neo-feudal order, becoming massively wealthy with trade, and dominate the Western Hemisphere.
In the antebellum era, leading Southern politicians, diplomats, clerics, planters, farmers, manufacturers, and merchants preached a transformative, world-historical role for the Confederacy, persuading many of their compatriots to fight not merely to retain what they had but to gain their future empire. Impervious to reality, their vision of future world leadership provided a vitally important, underappreciated motivation to form an independent Confederate republic.

Today’s guest is Adrian Brettle, author of Colossal Ambitions: Confederate Planning for a Post-Civil War World. We explore how leading Confederate thinkers envisioned their postwar nation—its relationship with the United States, its place in the Americas, and its role in the global order.


While some Confederate commentators saw wartime industrialization as pointing toward a different economic future, most Confederates saw their society as revolving once more around coercive labor, staple crop production, and exports in the war’s wake.

We can’t know what would have happened if the Confederacy had a chance to implement their plans. But when we put ourselves in their shoes, seeing how they drew up plans for a future that was extremely plausible, we understand better the mindset of the leaders of the Confederacy at one of the most important moments in American history.

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"The Confederacy Had Colossal Plans After the Civil War For Spreading Slavery Across the Globe And Becoming Fabulously Wealthy" History on the Net
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