Author Topic: Confederate Finances  (Read 268 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline besilarius

  • Landsknecht
  • *******
  • Posts: 5091
  • ringmaster at circus amateur night
Confederate Finances
« on: August 04, 2019, 06:52:52 AM »
Jack Greene of Quarterdeck Games posted the information below.  This is very revealing.
Never read this book.  Luraghi's book on the Confederate navy is pretty thin, so not sure about this.

Raimondo Luraghi info from the RISE AND FALL OF THE PLANTATION SOUTH.

• Confederate funded debt at the end of the war was $712 million.
• Cost to the Confederacy for the war was approximately $4 billion.
• Through taxes and duties, the Confederacy raised $207 million.
• Printed $$ (read inflation) $1,554,087,354 in Treasury notes.
o General price index went from 100 in January 1861 to 9211 by April 1865.
o Union went from 100 in 1858 to 177 in 1865.
• “In other words, whereas the main source of financing in the South was inflation, in the North it was loans.” (p122)

“Another way to raise capital was by taxation. But the Confederate Congress was unwilling to do this. To tax the poor would have been not only egotistical but utterly foolish and totally ruinous. To tax the rich would have alienated the ruling agrarian class, the class on which the Confederacy was founded.
Nevertheless, as President Davis insisted, the Congress did resort to taxation on imports.” (p120).

“And by the means of the most sweeping experience in state socialism to that time, it (the Confederacy) succeeded in keeping the new industrialism under the iron control of a political class sprung up from an agrarian planter civilization.” (p137).
“Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along”.  Terry Pratchett.

During filming of Airplane, Leslie Nielsen used a whoopee cushion to keep the cast off-balance. Hays said that Nielsen "played that thing like a maestro"

Tallulah Bankhead: "I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock. If I'm late, start without me."

"When all other trusts fail, turn to Flashman." — Abraham Lincoln.

"I have enjoyed very warm relations with my two husbands."
"With your eyes closed?"
"That helped."  Lauren Bacall

Master Chiefs are sneaky, dastardly, and snarky miscreants who thrive on the tears of Ensigns and belly dancers.   Admiral Gerry Bogan.


Offline WallysWorld

  • Viking
  • ****
  • Posts: 981
Re: Confederate Finances
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2019, 09:14:45 AM »
Interesting information.

Wikipedia also has a good section on the Confederate economy: Economy of the Confederate States of America

"January 1, 1864. … The prices of everything are very high. Corn seven dollars a bushel, calico ten dollars a yard, salt sixty dollars a hundred, cotton from sixty to eighty cents a pound, everything in like ratio.

November 16, 1864. Paid seven dollars [Confederate money] a pound for coffee, six dollars an ounce for indigo, twenty dollars for a quire of paper, five dollars for ten cents' worth of flax thread, six dollars for pins, and forty dollars for a bunch of factory thread.


— Journal of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge. Mrs. Burge, a Maine native, widow of Thomas Burge, lived on the Burge Farm near Covington, Georgia, about 40 miles east of Atlanta."
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 09:17:14 AM by WallysWorld »
"I used to be with it, but then they changed what *it* was. Now what I'm with isn't *it* and what *it* is seems weird and scary to me." - Abraham Simpson

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 16146
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: Confederate Finances
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2019, 11:24:15 AM »
I've seen similar economic theories about the Confederacy before, and I generally agree with them based on side data I've seen in many sources. (To pull a random example off the top of my head: (British) Lt. Colonel Freemantle's journal has similar economic asides, although he doesn't have any detailed explanations, just war hardship.)

This, incidentally, is why, when I'm playing the Confederacy in Forge of Freedom, I always try to concentrate on financial infrastructure as much as I'm able, which is very slow and difficult -- in the game it amounts to building up an internal banking system. Despite the difficulties, I have never regretted doing so, when circumstances allow.
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

The GROGPUBLIC OF ROME ongoing forum game thread

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline Sir Slash

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 10399
  • Co Butt-Kicker-For-Goodness of Minsc and Boo
Re: Confederate Finances
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 08:20:15 AM »
Sorry I got here late. I read a book that outlined a plan put forward by Confederate Secy. of State Judah Benjamin that rather than embargoing cotton at the beginning of the war, he advocated for shipping as much as possible to Europe while the northern blockade was still light and use the product housed safely in European warehouses as collateral to borrow against thus ensuring the Confederates a source of financing to rival northern funds. As cotton became more scarce, it's value would increase considerably adding even more to finance the war effort. Selling the cotton early would also not hurt the southern cotton growers the way embargoing it did. Also, if the ships coming into southern ports were European, to pick-up the cotton, the North would've been much less likely to seize them, but it they did it would cause a major breach between the North and Europe.

In the end Jeff Davis decided against this policy and so we'll never know how successful Benjamin's idea would have been. But it's a fascinating idea and I'd love to hear some current thinking on the issue.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Jarhead0331

  • Judge Advocate General
  • Administrator
  • Arquebusier
  • *
  • Posts: 12272
  • Global Moderator, General Counsel, Heavy Weapons
Re: Confederate Finances
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 08:26:31 AM »
Sorry I got here late. I read a book that outlined a plan put forward by Confederate Secy. of State Judah Benjamin that rather than embargoing cotton at the beginning of the war, he advocated for shipping as much as possible to Europe while the northern blockade was still light and use the product housed safely in European warehouses as collateral to borrow against thus ensuring the Confederates a source of financing to rival northern funds. As cotton became more scarce, it's value would increase considerably adding even more to finance the war effort. Selling the cotton early would also not hurt the southern cotton growers the way embargoing it did. Also, if the ships coming into southern ports were European, to pick-up the cotton, the North would've been much less likely to seize them, but it they did it would cause a major breach between the North and Europe.

In the end Jeff Davis decided against this policy and so we'll never know how successful Benjamin's idea would have been. But it's a fascinating idea and I'd love to hear some current thinking on the issue.

Judah Benjamin was a fascinating character. I read his biography when I was in highschool. He was the first Jew to be elected to the United States Senate, and was the first Jew to hold a Cabinet position in North America. In addition, he served as the Attorney General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State of the Confederacy and was a close friend and confidant of Jefferson Davis.
Grogheads Uber Alles
Semper Grog
"No beast is more alpha than JH." Gusington, 10/23/18


Offline Telemecus

  • Hoplite
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • Grognard Games Discord
Re: Confederate Finances
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 01:04:19 PM »
Confederate monetary economics has also been influential in changing Economics. Milton Friedman used the money supply and inflation rates of the Confederacy as one of the main examples for his monetary theory. An important part of it was what happened when the Confederacy stopped printing money - not because they chose to but because the Union army captured the city where it was at!