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The South Still Lies About the Civil War & Slavery

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by glynch, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    As a Missouri Yankee (the state was divided) I find it amazing what some native Texans and Southerners think about the Civil War. I think we see a sort of neoconservative lingering on even on the bbs with bigtexx, basso and some of the other posters.


    Excerpted from "The New Mind of the South"
    In the course of our conversation, Yacine Kout mentioned something else—an incident that had happened the previous spring at Eastern Randolph High School just outside Asheboro. On Cinco de Mayo, the annual celebration of Mexico’s defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, a lot of Hispanic students brought Mexican flags to school. The next day, Kout said, white students brought Confederate flags to school as a message: This is our heritage.

    The Civil War is like a mountain range that guards all roads into the South: you can’t go there without encountering it. Specifically, you can’t go there without addressing a question that may seem as if it shouldn’t even be a question—to wit: what caused the war? One hundred and fifty years after the event, Americans—at least the vast majority who toil outside academia—still can’t agree. Evidence of this crops up all the time, often in the form of a legal dispute over a display of the Confederate flag. (As I write, there are two such cases pending—one in Oregon and the other in Florida, making this an average news week.)

    Another common forum is the classroom. But it’s not always about the Stars and Bars. In 2010, for instance, Texas school officials made the news by insisting that Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address be given equal prominence with Abraham Lincoln’s in that state’s social studies curriculum. The following year, Virginia school officials were chagrined to learn that one of their state-adopted textbooks was teaching fourth graders that thousands of loyal slaves took up arms for the confederacy.

    At the bottom of all of these is one basic question: was the Civil War about slavery, or states’ rights?[/SIZE]

    Popular opinion favors the latter theory. In the spring of 2011, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, pollsters at the Pew Research Center asked: “What is your impression of the main cause of the Civil War?” Thirty-eight percent of the respondents said the main cause was the South’s defense of an economic system based on slavery, while nearly half—48 percent—said the nation sacrificed some 650,000 of its fathers, sons, and brothers over a difference of interpretation in constitutional law. White non-Southerners believed this in roughly the same proportion as white Southerners, which was interesting; even more fascinating was the fact that 39 percent of the black respondents, many of them presumably the descendants of slaves, did, too.


    We pause here to note that wars are complex events whose causes can never be adequately summed up in a phrase, that they can start out as one thing and evolve into another, and that what people think they are fighting for isn’t always the cause history will record.

    Yet, as Lincoln noted in his second inaugural address, there was never any doubt that the billions of dollars in property represented by the South’s roughly four million slaves was somehow at the root of everything, and on this point scholars who don’t agree about much of anything else have long found common ground.

    “No respected historian has argued for decades that the Civil War was fought over tariffs, that abolitionists were mere hypocrites, or that only constitutional concerns drove secessionists,” writes University of Virginia historian Edward Ayers. Yet there’s a vast chasm between this long-established scholarly consensus and the views of millions of presumably educated Americans, who hold to a theory that relegates slavery to, at best, incidental status. How did this happen?

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/16/the_south_still_lies_about_the_civil_war/?source=newsletter
     
  2. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    The South? Didn't that go away in 1865?
    Geographic immutability? Isn't that a lot like saying Germans are inherently evil?

    Or do they not teach history and philosophy and such to y'all up there in Missoura?
     
  3. LCAhmed

    LCAhmed Contributing Member

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    Interesting. I vaguely remember what I learned in my Social Studies classes in grade school, but from what I can gather, I was taught (in AliefISD and CCISD) that it was a mixture of slavery and state rights. They kind of went hand in hand as the South still believed in having slavery which were southern states rights (Farmers wanted the free labor) where as the Northerners who were "more sophisticated" believed it to be inhumane and unnecessary. It really felt like 2 separate countries from how the school was teaching us. Growing up in Houston and reading how the South was back then, it felt like the South were evil-doers. I always thought the Confederate flag was almost nazi like, which may have come more from watching American History X and "White Supremacy"
     
  4. CCorn

    CCorn Member

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    From what I remember, less than 2% (it could have been more or less, going completely from memory) of the South owned the majority of Slaves. While the majority of the population might have thought they were fighting for states rights, it was the influence of this "aristocracy" that powered the South's cause.
     
  5. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    Texas was never really a strong supporter of the confederacy and Texans don't identify with that part of history. We have have to Texas flag to cling to and the fact that we were our own nation after we stole the land from the Mexicans.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. smr6

    smr6 Member

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    Born and raised in Texas, sat through all the Texas history classes, including one in college, and I consider myself a history buff. However, I couldn't even tell you anything about Lincoln's innaugural address. So giving Jefferson Davis' equal footing isn't saying much.
     
  7. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    link?
     
  8. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    Never realized you were over 150 years old.

    You need to get on the news, since I'm pretty sure that is a record.
     
  9. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    The primary reason was states rights versus the Union but why the states rights was an issue was for the states to have the right to own slaves. Even the language of Lincoln up until the Emancipation Proclamation had a lot more about preserving the Union rather than freeing the slaves. Early on in the Civil War Lincoln even considered allowing the South to keep slaves or at least compensating them for freeing the slaves if they would remain in the Union.
     
  10. RocketRaccoon

    RocketRaccoon Contributing Member

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    LOL...doesn't anybody stand up for anything anymore besides standing up to give a beatdown.

    Are we going to hear about how we stole from Mexico forever and ever. :rolleyes:

    You know, you only think that moving forward by dragging the past with you is progress.
     
  11. droopy421

    droopy421 Member

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    Lincoln to Horace Greeley
     
  12. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    It's cowardly of you to call me out by name without providing even a shred of evidence to support it.
     
  13. bobrek

    bobrek Person, woman, man, camera, TV
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    Interesting that Salon titled the article:

    The South Still Lies About the Civil War & Slavery

    And it contains this statistic:

    White non-Southerners believed this in roughly the same proportion as white Southerners, which was interesting;
     
  14. Realjad

    Realjad Contributing Member

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    It's my belief most all the letters written by Civil War participants from the South said they fought mostly because of Tariffs and such

    Whilest the Northern Civil War participants write it was about slavery

    WHen trying to figure out what caused it, reading letters from first hand participants I'd say should paint you the picture of answers your after.

    SO saying that it is really just how you look at it, as it was both plus a number of other more minor issues.

    I would go along and say it was much more about the Tariffs and the like then about slavery though. As that is really the big instigator in starting it all from the revolters. Most northerners probably didn't know what all was really going on and some propaganda was probably afoot in making it all about slavery. In that respect while the south was really losing their asses in a bad deal for them.

    However, as noble the causes of the southerners in why they were angry.. I'm really happy that there isn't anymore slavery.
     
    #14 Realjad, Mar 19, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  15. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    Considering a small fraction of southerners actually own slaves, I don't believe it was about slavery. The politicians and wealthy no doubt encouraged the war to preserve their wealth in slavery.

    The north went to war to preserve the union.
     
  16. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    "The blacks" and smelly Indians say enough.
     
  17. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    both examples are taken out of context by you

    you know you're reaching and fabricating
     
  18. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Articles like this one look to me like a cudgel to beat upon the Southerner with. Slavery is a Southern problem. The South is to blame for the Civil War. The North is the righteous white knight to the antebellum black. You will be ashamed of your heritage. You may not celebrate the culture or traditions of your forebears because it is tainted by slavery. You cannot be proud of the great men or anything in the history of the South because it it tainted by slavery.

    And the Southerner reads the subtext and says **** you. So, I think these kinds of articles, these reproaches for not conforming and not admitting to the truth, just makes the whole thing worse. Because people who want to condemn the Southerner-in-denial give the Southerner no space in which they can condemn slavery and yet still be proud of their heritage. And you see the same phenomenon internationally all over the place -- Germans wanting to embrace their heritage but reminded always of the Nazis; Muslims looking for respect but always embarassed by terrorists; China proud of its ancient power disgraced by the Rape of Nanking while the Japanese are likeways shamed by the Rape of Nanking despite being internationally benign since the war. Always there's someone to look down on you and shake their finger for something that happened decades ago. And it makes people upset and makes them sometimes posit irrational positions.

    But, maybe a little more browbeating will get those Southerners to shape up.
     
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  19. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Just like majority of Americans respect Muslims who denounce the acts of extremists most have respect for Southerners who do not embellish the Civil War and make excuses for slavery such as "Africans enslaved other Africans"
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Unless you were being sarcastic it wasn't taken out of context.
     

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