Another reason not to be a Civil War revisionist

As if you needed one:

Although southerners rebelled against growing centralization of the federal government, they had no qualms about establishing a strong national state of their own.  Scholars have classified the Confederate central government as a form of "war socialism."  The Confederacy owned key industries, regulated prices and wages, and instituted the most far-reaching draft in North American history.  The Confederacy employed some 70,000 civilians in a massive (if poorly coordinated) bureaucracy that included thousands of tax assessors, tax collectors, and conscription agents.  The police power of the Confederate state was sometimes staggering.  To ride a train, for example, every passenger needed a special government pass…Political scientist Richard Franklin Bensel writes that "a central state as well organized and powerful as the Confederacy did not emerge until the New Deal and subsequent mobilization for World War II."

That is from John Majewski's excellent Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation.

One implication is that the United States kept "small government" for an artificially long period of time, due to North-South splits and the resulting inability to agree on what a larger government should be doing.


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