There are always those historians who will try to theoretisize what the world, the war, and the country would have been like had the South won. I tend not to join in on such conversations because I find it foolhardy to engage in such things because God has had a plan for history since the beginning of time and everything will work out according to his plans, but on this occasion I think I will give my views on the subject.
There would have been many changes to this once great country had the war gone in a different direction. I think it would have started like this. The election of 1864 between Lincoln and McClellan would have been won not by Lincoln but by McClellan. This in and of itself would have had a great impact upon the war torn United States. If McClellan had been elected he would have lobbied for a stoppage of the war. McClellan was an antiwar Northern Democrat, he was already lobbing for a peace treaty with the Southern politicians. I think this would have gone through because at this point in the war the South was just looking to finish it I think rather then win it. So this would have been a big what if.
Another what if and a very popular one at that is the subject of what if Chamberlin had not held his line on Little Round Top during the battle of Gettysburg. My opinion and the opinion of many others is that the army would have been almost completely lost. Chamberlin was on the extreme left of the entire army. Had he been removed the flank would have been rolled up like a cigar and the army could have been routed on their own territory. This would have caused major demoralization in the army and also in the hearts and minds of the people. If the Union Army had suffered such a defeat on their own home soil they would have been more then likely willing to lay down their arms. The North also would have lost a great deal more men then they already had in the fierce fighting of the previous two days.
These are just two of the many what ifs discussed in most historical circles and I have given my honest opinion on them. Feel free to comment!!