Page 1 of 1

How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-11 07:08pm
by Megabot
This Vox video goes into detail about how the Lost Cause of the Confederacy's historical revision to portray the Confederate side of the US Civil War as a noble cause, totally about "states right" and not about slavery at all, the CSA was the right side of the war, etc., owes its success to the United Daughter of the Confederacy, a post-war southern women's organization:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOkFXPblLpU



And to think, they did all that without having the right to vote or hold political office, as the end of the video says! This video was the first I had heard of the UDC, and I wasn't surprised to find out that they're still around today! But that's not the end of their mission, little does anyone know they are now insidiously dabbling in AI technology...Evidence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMfbHw3xgjw


:P

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-12 01:57am
by LaCroix
Yeah. They lost the war, but their push for a culture victory is still going strong...

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-12 02:11am
by Gandalf
Most losers of wars do things like this. There are loads of people who try to rewrite things like WW2 and Vietnam.

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-12 01:11pm
by Lord Revan
We should also remember that in this case it's not as simple as "during the war CSA was openly fighting only for slavery and the 'states rights' is a post-war invention".

The "states rights" was a rallying call to get the masses to join as the people for whom slavery mattered one way or the other made fraction of the total population, common folk simply couldn't afford slaves, so anyone with any signifigant number of slaves were the big plantation owners and obviously the only "right" they were worried preserving was the "ability to keep slaves".

That said the CSA leaders weren't total idiots and knew that telling the poor illiterate farmer or cowboy that he has to lay down his life so that rich plantation owners could keep having slaves would not give many recruits and what they'd get would have poor morale, but saying it's for "state's rights" (which saying what those rights were) would give them a lot more recruits and recruits who had better morale.

So "state's rights" wasn't a post-war invention but also what the CSA was truly fighting for wasn't really all that noble either.

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-13 02:15pm
by Civil War Man
When it came to getting non-slave owners to sign on to fight, the Confederacy relied less on inspiring calls to protect "states' rights" and more on conscription. The Confederacy started conscripting soldiers in April 1862, about a year before the Union started, and frequently altered the eligible age ranges to include more people, and sometimes even changed the exemption laws (ie how many slaves you had to own to get out of the draft). By the end of the war it's estimated that as many as a third of all Confederate soldiers east of the Mississippi were conscripts, which is comparable to the percentage of American soldiers who were draftees during Vietnam, maybe a little higher.

Granted, Vietnam had more volunteers than depicted in pop culture (draftees made up a much larger percentage of American soldiers in WW2 than in Vietnam), but being comparable to Vietnam is still not a good sign in the inspirational value of your cause.

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-13 02:19pm
by Zixinus
Out of curiosity, was there ever even one "state right" in question that did not revolve around slavery?

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-13 02:32pm
by Lord Revan
Civil War Man wrote:
2018-06-13 02:15pm
When it came to getting non-slave owners to sign on to fight, the Confederacy relied less on inspiring calls to protect "states' rights" and more on conscription. The Confederacy started conscripting soldiers in April 1862, about a year before the Union started, and frequently altered the eligible age ranges to include more people, and sometimes even changed the exemption laws (ie how many slaves you had to own to get out of the draft). By the end of the war it's estimated that as many as a third of all Confederate soldiers east of the Mississippi were conscripts, which is comparable to the percentage of American soldiers who were draftees during Vietnam, maybe a little higher.

Granted, Vietnam had more volunteers than depicted in pop culture (draftees made up a much larger percentage of American soldiers in WW2 than in Vietnam), but being comparable to Vietnam is still not a good sign in the inspirational value of your cause.
Well you need something to keep your recruits from running to the hills the moment things start to go south, so it's not just to get the troops but also to keep them in the field.
zixinus wrote:Out of curiosity, was there ever even one "state right" in question that did not revolve around slavery?
From what I've read in-theory "yes" (basically the argument of just how much autonomity the states had) but in practice the "no" the only right the CSA leaders care about enough to fight over was maintaining the slavery based economy they sunk so much wealth into.

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-14 12:49am
by The Romulan Republic
One of the more successful campaigns to rewrite history, and proof that the phrase "the winners write the history books" isn't always right.

I saw a "joke" once that listed Donald Trump as the second President of the Confederacy. There's more truth to that than I care for.

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-14 02:47pm
by Raw Shark
Zixinus wrote:
2018-06-13 02:19pm
Out of curiosity, was there ever even one "state right" in question that did not revolve around slavery?
I imagine it was something of a slippery slope argument: "If we allow them Damyankees to push us around on one thing, what's next?"

Re: How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

Posted: 2018-06-15 04:00pm
by Steve
It also had to do with views on the construction of the Union. Southern statesmen argued that the ultimate sovereignty wasn't with the Federal government but with a singular state's convention, with the Federal Union's authority derived from a Constitution ratified by said conventions. And that a state convention could legally and morally withdraw their consent to be governed from the Union.

I must highly recommend William W. Freehling's "The Road to Disunion", a two volume work that examines the cultures and societies of the South (the South was not one monolithic bloc, although over slavery it could seem so), how the slavery institution was written about and ultimately defended by Southern thinkers and politicians, and how slavery itself influenced Southerners (things like how the ever-present tension of master vs. slave, in terms of "Did the slave break that tool on accident, or on purpose? Are they really sick or are they faking?", led many slaveholders to become suspicious individuals toward others as well). The second volume in particular delves deeply into the mechanics of how things developed toward secession and how it happened.

And, of course, the legal and extralegal means employed by the slaveholders and their allies to protect slavery from perceived threat, resulting in violent reaction to even perceived anti-slavery sentiment and poisonous loyalty politics in the South.

The link on Amazon if anyone wants it: Volume 1 and Volume 2.