RF wrote: ... The South would find a leader, and with very similar economic and political interests a strong, charismatic figurehead could pull the South along. And there would be a strong Confederate national identity born of the Civil War struggle, which would continue against a resentful and vengeful north. It is the external threat that provides the best chance of survival for the South. And that means expansion.....or die. Survival is the most powerful motive of all.
I'm not at all sure this would hold. Certainly there was some considerable conflict within the South in this regards. They were after all fighting for "state's rights" and the primacy of the state over the national government. Davis had a hard time from what I recall even getting a reasonable national budget to fight the war. And some states held back troops from national control until quite late in the war. I seem to recall that the CSA constitution allowed only a single 6 year term for president as well. I certainly don't see the momentum for a strong national government in the South.
The main motivation for the CSA has to be survival, and one of the reasons for the Confederacy failing was the lack of urgency in prosecuting a national war as you relate.
Winning a long and costly war is a ''nationbuilding'' function as I said in my previous post. With the war won the CSA has to win the peace, in the face of a hostile and resentful northern neighbour. I would imagine that if the CSA was able to pull itself together to win such a Civil War then after it, as in the Revolutionary War, there would be a conference or gathering to thrash out the future of the Confederacy along the lines of the conferences of the mid 1780's when the newly established USA had to thrash out a constitution and come to terms with King George III and the British territories in Canada.
From this I think effective leaders would emerge, particulary with the next generation. A six year presidential term does allow a leader to act boldly as in the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and both the Adams to pursue agressive policies of expansion that would be needed - south-westward against Mexico, southward against Spain and possibly France, and, most importantly, to race the North to the Pacific. Such a policy would involve annexation of much of northern Mexico, including the Baja California. Such policies would require a very strong navy, as the North would also have strong naval forces.
In time an identity of ideology - small government, free trade and big business - could be the driving force for reapproachment between North and South. I could imagine a charismatic president such as Theodore Roosevelt bringing North and South back together, gradually, into one bigger USA than we have now. This could be particulary so if the CSA held Panama as a bargaining counter.
In that way the USA would have been far more powerful and dominant in the twentieth century.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.