IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Victory or Repudiation? The Probability of the Southern Confederacy Winning the Civil War

  • Marc D. Weidenmier
  • Kim Oosterlinck

Historians have long wondered whether the Southern Confederacy had a realistic chance at winning the American Civil War. We provide some quantitative evidence on this question by introducing a new methodology for estimating the probability of winning a civil war or revolution based on decisions in financial markets. Using a unique dataset of Confederate gold bonds in Amsterdam, we apply this methodology to estimate the probability of a Southern victory from the summer of 1863 until the end of the war. Our results suggest that European investors gave the Confederacy approximately a 42 percent chance of victory prior to the battle of Gettysburg/Vicksburg. News of the severity of the two rebel defeats led to a sell-off in Confederate bonds. By the end of 1863, the probability of a Southern victory fell to about 15 percent. Confederate victory prospects generally decreased for the remainder of the war. The analysis also suggests that McClellan's possible election as U.S. President on a peace party platform as well as Confederate military victories in 1864 did little to reverse the market's assessment that the South would probably lose the Civil War.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13567.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13567.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13567
Note: DAE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Weidenmier, Marc D., 2000. "The Market for Confederate Cotton Bonds," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 76-97, January.
  2. Cumby, Robert E. & Pastine, Tuvana, 2001. "Emerging market debt: measuring credit quality and examining relative pricing," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 591-609, October.
  3. Willard, Kristen L & Guinnane, Timothy W & Rosen, Harvey S, 1996. "Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1001-18, September.
  4. Marc D. Weidenmier, . "Turning Points during the U.S. Civil War: Views from the Grayback Market," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-24, Claremont Colleges.
  5. Bordo Michael D. & Kydland Finn E., 1995. "The Gold Standard As a Rule: An Essay in Exploration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 423-464, October.
  6. Davis, George K. & Pecquet, Gary M., 1990. "Interest Rates in the Civil War South," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(01), pages 133-148, March.
  7. Douglas A. Irwin, 2001. "The Optimal Tax on Antebellum U.S. Cotton Exports," NBER Working Papers 8689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kim Oosterlinck & Loredana Ureche-Rangau, 2004. "Entre la peste et le choléra: le détenteur d'obligations peut préférer la répudiation au défaut," Working Papers CEB 04-021.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Brown, William O. & Burdekin, Richard C. K., 2000. "Turning Points in the U.S. Civil War: A British Perspective," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 216-231, March.
  10. Marc D. Weidenmier, . "The Market for Confederate Cotton Bonds," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-12, Claremont Colleges.
  11. Richard C.K. Burdekin & Marc D. Weidenmier, . "Inflation is Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon: Richmond vs. Houston in 1864," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-31, Claremont Colleges.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13567. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.