Restricted Debate Agree to define "Lost Cause"

unionblue

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WJC

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The Single Causer can’t grasp the fact that Lincoln and the Republicans had no desire to end Slavery in the South.
That's partially true. Lincoln did not want to interfere with any of the States' prerogatives and recognized that the decision to allow or prohibit slavery was reserved to the States.
However, a sizeable number of Republicans wanted slavery abolished. Most were content to see it abolished in the Territories, but some wanted to find a way to abolish it nationally. These positions shaped two planks in the Republican Platform:
4. That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of powers on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.​
8. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; That as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished Slavery in all our national territory, ordained that "no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States.​
<Republican National Platform Adopted at Chicago, 1860. http://eweb.furman.edu/~benson/docs/repplat6.htm >
Suggesting that Lincoln and the Republicans had no desire to end Slavery in the South ignores the changes in opinion forced by the war. What started out as purely an attempt to put down a rebellion and reestablish the Union over time came to include another objective: emancipation.
 

WJC

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In fairness, @uaskme 's assertion that Northerners agreed with and perpetuated the Lost Cause myth has merit. Chief among those responsible were New Jersey native Archibald Dunning, founder of the 'Dunning School' interpretation of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and his colleagues at Columbia University. Eric Foner has characterized the Dunning School as "not just an interpretation of history. It was part of the edifice of the Jim Crow System."
< https://www.thenation.com/article/how-radical-change-occurs-interview-historian-eric-foner/ >
 

uaskme

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Please give you references for the statements Yankees agreed with it and perpetuated it. Southerners both created and manipulated the myth. Evidence has been cited in this post. If you have sources that demonstrate northerner did and southerners did not, share them with us. A portrayal of history without any references appears to be what most people call an "opinion."
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/is-lost-cause-a-real-thing-or-not.155372/page-2#post-1999839

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Can't help to define it. Wish I would never hear it again.

I think the term "Lost Cause myth" is a put down of the South who fought a very good fight. I personally never hear Southerners use the term unless they were arguing with anti-South people who brought it up.

Maybe a discussion about the (a paraphrase of John Milton's work) "Paradise Won myth" of the North would be more interesting.
 
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Can't help to define it. Wish I would never hear it again.

I think the term "Lost Cause myth" is a put down of the South who fought a very good fight. I personally never hear Southerners use the term unless they were arguing with anti-South people who brought it up.

Maybe a discussion about the (a paraphrase of John Milton's work) "Paradise Won myth" of the North would be more interesting.
It could be more interesting, you are welcome to start such a thread. This thread is an effort to come up with some sort of working definition of what “Lost Cause” entails. Do you have an opinion on that, other than to say you can’t help? (This isn’t a place to argue if the Lost Cause is right or wrong, but rather what people mean when they say it)
 

unionblue

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Every time I see the label "Yankee" as an excuse or to lay blame on a post or source, I immediately almost always tend to disregard it as a serious answer. It is a shortcut that bypasses any factual effort, any attempt to garner factual evidence to refute views about just how prevalent the Lost Cause attitude is among present-day advocants.

In fact, I consider it's continued use proof that the tenants of the Lost Cause are alive and well and still consider themselves still locked in a continuing war that was decided long ago, fighting for the "right," not historically accurate account of the war, but against evil Yankees who are bent on dishonoring their long ago ancestors and who wish the Confederacy had won their war for "independence" at the expense of 4 million people.
 

unionblue

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Can't help to define it. Wish I would never hear it again.

I think the term "Lost Cause myth" is a put down of the South who fought a very good fight.

Funny, I view the term applied to those who continually fight the war from Appomattox on, with the sincere hope that their "side" will finally win. As for the South who fought a very good fight, if they had fought for any other cause than slavery, they would have my full admiration instead of only admiring their courage and sacrifice for one of the worst causes a people ever fought for.

I personally never hear Southerners use the term unless they were arguing with anti-South people who brought it up.

You've been fortunate, but the definition is here and is sound when applied to those who cannot bring themselves that the worst idea in American history failed and was tossed on the ash heap of history.

Maybe a discussion about the (a paraphrase of John Milton's work) "Paradise Won myth" of the North would be more interesting.
Maybe an honest and full appreciation of the primary documentation and paper trail of the seceding states and the still born Confederacy would be more productive.

Unionblue
 

uaskme

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Every time I see the label "Yankee" as an excuse or to lay blame on a post or source, I immediately almost always tend to disregard it as a serious answer. It is a shortcut that bypasses any factual effort, any attempt to garner factual evidence to refute views about just how prevalent the Lost Cause attitude is among present-day advocants.

In fact, I consider it's continued use proof that the tenants of the Lost Cause are alive and well and still consider themselves still locked in a continuing war that was decided long ago, fighting for the "right," not historically accurate account of the war, but against evil Yankees who are bent on dishonoring their long ago ancestors and who wish the Confederacy had won their war for "independence" at the expense of 4 million people.
Lost Cause should be replaced by Northern Lost Argument! Just another way to hide Bigotry towards the Southern Section. Blaming the South for things the North Obviously did themselves. Don’t like that, Big Picture? Oh, Well!
 

unionblue

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Lost Cause should be replaced by Northern Lost Argument!

Still don't see a Confederate Battle Flag over US Post Offices, US military bases, and over Washington DC. If the North lost the argument, there has been no evidence worthwhile to make it so.

Just another way to hide Bigotry towards the Southern Section.

Bigotry towards the Southern Section? Who has ever claimed such on this forum? The Southern Section as you call it, is a part of the United States, filled with a diverse section of people who had nothing to do with the Civil War or slavery. What is debated here is HISTORY, not blame. It is the somewhat twisted desire to change history to a more comfortable myth that seems to be the biggest area of conflict.

Blaming the South for things the North Obviously did themselves.

Fight to keep a fair election being implemented? Formenting rebellion to keep four million people in slaves? The North did those things too? What book or source can you give me on this opinion?

Don’t like that, Big Picture? Oh, Well!
Let's get it straight, once and for all.

Just as you believe I am not the Gatekeeper of History, I do not believe you are a Keeper of the Faith.

I don't like your Big Picture, the continuing saga of personal opinion over actual, recorded, historical fact.

Problem is, we're stuck with each other and we're going to have to keep viewing each other's views on this period of history.

Oh, Well! :wink:

Unionblue
 
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I find it oddly satisfying that a thread dedicated to defining “Lost Cause” ideology has turned into a venue for several posters to promote “Lost Cause” themes and tenants. There’s no need to define “Lost Cause”, one only has to read several of the posts and it will reveal itself. It’s almost as if my list above is the instruction book.
 
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So let us look at some of the main tenets of "Lost Cause" as discussed in previous posts and try to determine if there is justification in Confederate "Lost Cause" ideology.

1.) The South fought for self-governance, states rights, and economic freedom. The preservation of slavery was not a primary cause
of the war.

Perhaps slavery was the primary cause for the 25% of Southern families that owned slaves. However, I believe that for the great
majority of Southerners that causes other than slavery played a greater role in their support of secession. It was not just one
cause, but a combination of causes that led to war.


2.) The South was defeated because of both the larger population and industrial superiority of the North.

So let us look at the numbers to see if there is any validity to this:
2.1 million - the number of Northerners mobilized to fight for the Union Army.
880,000 - the number of Southerners mobilized to fight for the Confederate Army.
The population of the 11 Southern states (including slaves) in 1860 - About 9 million.
The population of the Northern states in 1860 - About 22 million.

By 1860, 90% of the nation's manufacturing output came from Northern states. Only about 40% of the Northern population
engaged in agriculture as compared to 84% in the South.


3.) Confederate Generals such as Lee and Jackson represented Southern nobility and chivalry, while Confederate soldiers in general
were better than their counterparts from the North.

I suppose that the ideas of nobility and chivalry are a matter of one's own interpretation. I do know that most Southerners
did, and many still do, believe that Lee and Jackson embodied the very best characteristics of both traits.

The question of who had the best fighting men is also highly subjective. It is a matter of record that Southern armies, for
the most part, performed very well in the war and often against great odds.

4.) Men such as Sherman and Grant are to be despised because of their brutality and unwarranted destruction of private property.

If you had your property burned to the ground, your crops destroyed, and all of your possessions pillaged, then anyone might
feel justified in harboring at least some ill will toward those who committed such acts,

5.) Reconstruction was a means of Northern political control and punishing the South.

Surely military rule, carpetbaggers, loss of land, unscrupulous government, and for some the loss of citizenship and the right
to run for office were no reasons for Southerners to look at Reconstruction in an unfavorable light? Right

6.) The "Lost Cause" was used as a salve to help heal the wounds of the defeated South and provide justification for the war.

The bravery and sacrifices of the citizens of the Confederacy speaks for itself. The people of the South did not feel that
justification was necessary nor apologies warranted for fighting for a cause they believed was just.

So is "Lost Cause" ideology a myth? I guess it really depends on your point of view.
 

wbull1

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Okay, I have reviewed the references to northerners and lost cause. Thanks for the references. So one, and perhaps a few more, northerners supported the lost cause mythmaking. That is not evidence that northerners played a major role in pushing forward the ideology. The major mythologizers were southerners. One or a few northerners hopped on board to fleece the unwary. And a number of newspapers used the phrase "lost cause" in reporting. There was nothing I read in the articles that indicated the phrase had any meaning beyond the failed attempt at secession. I saw nothing in the articles that supported the reimagining of history we now associate with that phrase. In addition, one historian now thinks the Lost Cause had some validity.

Ladies and gentlemen, I call that slim picking. It's like how to interpret the evidence that a small number of blacks voluntarily fought for the Confederacy or that the 1860 census revealed that a tiny number of slaves lived in northern states. Yes, there was more than zero. And that was less than 1% of the total of Confederate soldiers; less than 1% of the total number of slaves.

Only 99.9+% of the Lost Cause fantasy was generated by the South.
 
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Every time I see the label "Yankee" as an excuse or to lay blame on a post or source, I immediately almost always tend to disregard it as a serious answer.
That's as reasonable as disregarding the ones that use the label, Neo Confederate. I take it, since you want your answers regarded as serious, you don't use such labels.
 
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That's as reasonable as disregarding the ones that use the label, Neo Confederate. I take it, since you want your answers regarded as serious, you don't use such labels.
I’ve always understood the term “Neo-Confederate” to mean a person who not only thinks the Confederacy was right, but also would like to see a modern secession and the implementation of a “southern nation” a la League of the South. In most cases, such as the League of the South version (much like the original confederates) this would be a strictly white supremacist society. Is that understanding incorrect?

I would add that I think there are very few Neo-Confederates on these boards (hopefully) and I haven’t seen many accusations of such (thankfully).
 
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WJC

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Perhaps slavery was the primary cause for the 25% of Southern families that owned slaves. However, I believe that for the great
majority of Southerners that causes other than slavery played a greater role in their support of secession. It was not just one
cause, but a combination of causes that led to war.
Don't be misled by these statistics. The slave economy and the need to protect slavery went far beyond the actual owners. Cotton, other agricultural production and manufacturing were performed using slaves so that what one ate, wore or bought was often produced by slavery.
For a young Southern man coming of age, the road to riches was acquiring a piece of land, building a small house and buying a slave. Fortunes were made for those who followed this simple recipe. For those who aspired to 'make it', it was the southern equivalent of the 'American Dream'.
Every male adult was required to serve on Slave Patrols, to guard against and capture slave escapes. Virtually every Southerner feared possible slave revolts or attacks by escaped slaves, giving them reason to support the system.
So even though ownership was not universal, dependency on and commitment to maintaining slavery was.
 

unionblue

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That's as reasonable as disregarding the ones that use the label, Neo Confederate. I take it, since you want your answers regarded as serious, you don't use such labels.
All the real "Yankees" and "Confederates" are sleeping quietly in a graveyard and have no concern for us armchair types calling ourselves anything.
 



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