Restricted Debate Agree to define "Lost Cause"

byron ed

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#1
Have we all along been assuming that there's concurrence on what Lost Cause is? Let's find out. Here below is an outline based on dozens of discussions about Lost Cause in this forum. It's a living document not a credo -- simply advise if in your view something is not correct, or is missing, or should be missing, or what should be worded another way. We'll re-write it when we achieve concurrence.

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The “Lost Cause

- Term first appears in 1866 in Southern historian Edward A Pollard’s The Lost Cause: A new Southern History of the War of the Confederates.

- Writings by Jubal A. Early for the Southern Historical Society in the 1870s push the “Lost Cause” mentality as a cultural phenomenon.

- Historian Jason Phillips posed that the Confederate “culture of invincibility” evolved into the “Lost Cause,” whereby former Confederates used religious overtones to justify their defeat and eventual redemption.

Major Precepts of the Movement

- Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson represented white Southern nobility, contrasting that to Northern generals of lower moral standards; who subjected Southerners to horrific evils (Grant and Sherman are key targets).

- Confederate losses on the battlefield were inevitable due to Northern superiority in resources and manpower, advantaged by Industrialization and European refugee immigrants taken advantage of.

- Confederate losses can also be attributed to the betrayal or lack of conviction on the part of some of General Lee’s reports, in particular Gen. James Longstreet (per former Lt. Gen. Early).

- Defense of “states’ rights” was the primary catalyst that led Southerners to secede from the Union, meaning that preservation and expansion of slavery was never a main tenant of the Confederacy.

- Slavery was a benign institution, meaning slaves were for the most part loyal and faithful to their benevolent masters.

Relevance

- The movement was created in part for Southerners to cope with the dramatic political, social and economic changes that came after the war.

- The movement empowered white Southern animosity towards anything Northern, and provided the genesis for an alternate Reconstruction story, whereby groups such as the Ku Klux Klan were ennobled and empowered.

- The movement has been very effectively carried into the twentieth century by the United Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

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#6
...is that to say they did some contradicting post war? Sounds interesting, Where should we look for that?
Look at Davis’ Short History of the Confederate States of America. In the first paragraph of the first chapter he says that slavery was a “mere incident” in the list of causes leading to the Civil War.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

wbull1

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#7
...is that to say they did some contradicting post war? Sounds interesting, Where should we look for that?

In January 1861, soon-to-be Confederate President Jefferson Davis said his state had seceded because “she had heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence had been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races.”

During the war: Jefferson Davis - We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for independence and that or extermination we will have.


Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens similarly said that “slavery…was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution “ and that protecting it was the “cornerstone” the new Confederate government.

After the war: Alexander Stephens: In the beginning and throughout the contest the object of the Confederates was separate sovereignty of each state.

Note that, after early honest statements about the reason for secession, slavery is discounted as a cause or it disappears completely. Independence and state sovereignty appear later without mention that enslaving other people was the one specific thing the Confederates wanted to be free to do.
 
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Viper21

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#9
In January 1861, soon-to-be Confederate President Jefferson Davis said his state had seceded because “she had heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence had been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races.”

During the war: Jefferson Davis - We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for independence and that or extermination we will have.


Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens similarly said that “slavery…was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution “ and that protecting it was the “cornerstone” the new Confederate government.

After the war: Alexander Stephens: In the beginning and throughout the contest the object of the Confederates was separate sovereignty of each state.

Note that, after early honest statements about the reason for secession, slavery is discounted as a cause or it disappears completely. Independence and state sovereignty appear later without mention that enslaving other people was the one specific thing the Confederates wanted to be free to do.
That is certainly one interpretation of their contradictory statements. Another interpretation is, politicians saying whatever they feel is needed to achieve their political agenda, & later making more honest statements after the jig is up.

I always have a hard time with folks claiming one statement honest, while another disingenuous. Seems more times than not, the statements deemed honest, are the ones supporting ones own opinion or views. I would think the honest thing to do, would be to either disregard all of their statements, or put the same credibility into both.
 
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#10
I would add that Jefferson Davis. Alexander Stevens and others purposefully contradicted their remarks about why the war was fought (to protect and expand slavery) at the start of the war.
To save me, I just can't figure out why expansion of slavery is always mentioned today when at the same time Lincoln was working hard to colonize, which means get rid of the Blacks from America because they don't fit in.
 

GwilymT

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#11
Look at Davis’ Short History of the Confederate States of America. In the first paragraph of the first chapter he says that slavery was a “mere incident” in the list of causes leading to the Civil War.

Regards,
Don Dixon
This book by Davis is exhibit A in “Lost Cause” ideology. It completely contradicts what he and other confederate leaders were saying in the run up to the war and in the early years when they thought they might win. Good post.
 

uaskme

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#12
Southerners wanted Expansion. Whigs, Plucky Puritans did Not. If not for Jefferson, Andy Jackson and Polk. We wouldn’t of had Expansion. Expansion meant Empire. That is what Southerners wanted. If it was Slave or not. Republicans were against, Adding new Territory. So, Confederates thought they would have to fight for it. Which they did.

Republicans Never, had any intention of touching Slavery in the South. It was a money maker for them. Most Northerners were as afraid of Emancipation as was the South. Lincoln offered Slavery to the South at the Expense Of Independence. Offered the first 13th Amendment. Then offered 6 months to return to the Union before the fake EP. Even as late as Hampton Roads, offered them a gradual Emancipation, if they Returned.

Independence is something Davis pledged never to Negotiate.
 

archieclement

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#13
A couple of these do seem odd being attributed to "lost cause" two that jump out to me....

Criticism of Grant was well alive in North during the war and postwar....seems false to attribute it to lost cause.

As well as the southern losses were inevitable due to northern superiority in manpower and industry. That seems simply fact as there was a disparity in manpower and industry that any historian should acknowledge.
 

byron ed

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#14
To save me, I just can't figure out why expansion of slavery is always mentioned today when at the same time Lincoln was working hard to colonize, which means get rid of the Blacks from America because they don't fit in.
Lincoln favored re-colonization of blacks because he was against slavery. No inconsistency whatsoever. There it is, figured out.
 

CSA Today

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#15
In January 1861, soon-to-be Confederate President Jefferson Davis said his state had seceded because “she had heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence had been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races.”

During the war: Jefferson Davis - We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for independence and that or extermination we will have.


Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens similarly said that “slavery…was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution “ and that protecting it was the “cornerstone” the new Confederate government.

After the war: Alexander Stephens: In the beginning and throughout the contest the object of the Confederates was separate sovereignty of each state.

Note that, after early honest statements about the reason for secession, slavery is discounted as a cause or it disappears completely. Independence and state sovereignty appear later without mention that enslaving other people was the one specific thing the Confederates wanted to be free to do.
I doubt they thought Lincoln provoked a war to protect and expand slavery. Slavery was already protected by the Confederate Constitution any threat to slavery would have come only with a war with the US, the CS would have had no reason to do so. Any idea the Confederate States would have started a war to protect something already protected or even tried to expand it in April 1861 is nothing more than post-war TOV nonsense.
 

CSA Today

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#16
[QUOTE="byron ed, post: 2051730, member: 20002"]Lincoln favored re-colonization of blacks because he was against slavery. No inconsistency whatsoever. There it is, figured out.[/QUOTE]
So why didn't he colonized them in the so-called free states? With all the hundreds of thousands of white immigrant his government admitted into his union there was no shortage of low-wage jobs for them.
 

wbull1

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#17
That is certainly one interpretation of their contradictory statements. Another interpretation is, politicians saying whatever they feel is needed to achieve their political agenda, & later making more honest statements after the jig is up.

I always have a hard time with folks claiming one statement honest, while another disingenuous. Seems more times than not, the statements deemed honest, are the ones supporting ones own opinion or views. I would think the honest thing to do, would be to either disregard all of their statements, or put the same credibility into both.
My interpretation certainly fits my point of view. I consider both of Jefferson Davis' statements to be honest. I think he did want the CSA to be independent. My problem is that he explicitly denied his first statement in his second statement. Even if slavery was a secondary motivation for him personally, it was the primary motivation for many men, which he knew. He could have acknowledged both reasons or said something like, for me personally. Instead, he gave a flat denial.
 

byron ed

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#18
...Criticism of Grant was well alive in North during the war and postwar....seems false to attribute it to lost cause..
I don't think anyone would claim Lost Cause came up with the idea. As you point out there was criticism of Grant from many quarters before the Lost Cause was invented after the war. Still, Lost Cause did take up criticism of Grant as one of its precepts, so we can't leave it out of a depiction of Lost Cause.

As well as the southern losses were inevitable due to northern superiority in manpower and industry. That seems simply fact as there was a disparity in manpower and industry that any historian should acknowledge.
Yes, I think a lot of folks feel that the "overwhelming Northern superiority" thing is one of the weaker excuses that Lost Cause makes. It implies that in "a fair war" some referee should have called a foul. Still, Lost Cause did take up that excuse as one of its precepts, so we can't leave it out of a depiction of Lost Cause.
 
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19thGeorgia

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#19
I would add that Jefferson Davis. Alexander Stevens and others purposefully contradicted their remarks about why the war was fought (to protect and expand slavery) at the start of the war.
Here are the reasons Davis and Stevens gave for why the war would be fought. When did they say the war was to "protect and expand slavery?"

"An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of a commodity required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade which our necessities will permit. It is alike our interest, and that of all those to whom we would sell and from whom we would buy, that there should be the fewest practicable restrictions upon the interchange of commodities. There can be but little rivalry between ours and any manufacturing or navigating community, such as the Northeastern States of the American Union. It must follow, therefore, that a mutual interest would invite good will and kind offices. If, however, passion or the lust of dominion should cloud the judgment or inflame the ambition of those States, we must prepare to meet the emergency and to maintain, by the final arbitrament of the sword, the position which we have assumed among the nations of the earth."
-Jefferson Davis, Inaugural Speech, February 18, 1861

"The principles and position of the present administration of the United States - the republican party - present some puzzling questions. While it is a fixed principle with them never to allow the increase of a foot of slave territory, they seem to be equally determined not to part with an inch 'of the accursed soil.' Notwithstanding their clamor against the institution, they seemed to be equally opposed to getting more, or letting go what they have got. They were ready to fight on the accession of Texas, and are equally ready to fight now on her secession. Why is this? How can this strange paradox be accounted for? There seems to be but one rational solution and that is, notwithstanding their professions of humanity, they are disinclined to give up the benefits they derive from slave labor. Their philanthropy yields to their interest. The idea of enforcing the laws, has but one object, and that is a collection of the taxes, raised by slave labor to swell the fund necessary to meet their heavy appropriations. The spoils is what they are after though they come from the labor of the slave."
-Alexander Stephens, "Cornerstone" Speech, March 21, 1861
 

CSA Today

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#20
I don't think anyone would claim Lost Cause came up with the idea. As you point out there was criticism of Grant from many quarters before the Lost Cause was invented after the war. Still, Lost Cause did take up criticism of Grant as one of its precepts, so we can't leave it out of a depiction of Lost Cause.



Yes, I think a lot of folks feel that the "overwhelming Northern superiority" thing is one of the weaker excuses that Lost Cause makes. It implies that in "a fair war" some referee should have called a foul. Still, Lost Cause did take up that excuse as one of its precepts, so we can't leave it out of a depiction of Lost Cause.
No, they shouldn't and for good reason.
 



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