Historical Ignorance and Confederate Generals

impala

Private
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
I want to know is *edited* Walter E Williams correct or does he engage in bad historical interpretation with equating the Confederate Secession with the American Revolution? I would like a good critique of his article. My last post was on August 2019 so it has been a while. I have noticed that this forum has changed a little.

http://walterewilliams.com/historical-ignorance-and-confederate-generals/
 
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Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Location
iowa
In trying to sort out the origin of a family fight between some of my cousins, my father asked; "What happened here?" Cousin Bradley replied, "It all started when he hit me back." Seems to me the same thing applies to the arguments regarding our topic. What did armed rebels think the response of a legitimately elected government would be to their depredations? It is an apples and oranges comparison. Confederate generals and revolutionary figures, such as Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr, took up arms against their government. The essential difference, and to me the main item of historical ignorance, is that winners win and losers lose.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
In trying to sort out the origin of a family fight between some of my cousins, my father asked; "What happened here?" Cousin Bradley replied, "It all started when he hit me back." Seems to me the same thing applies to the arguments regarding our topic. What did armed rebels think the response of a legitimately elected government would be to their depredations? It is an apples and oranges comparison. Confederate generals and revolutionary figures, such as Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr, took up arms against their government. The essential difference, and to me the main item of historical ignorance, is that winners win and losers lose.
But Williams isn't saying that one didn't win and that one didn't lose at all, just the intent for independence was the same....which it would be. The question would or should be is why do some try to ignore or deny that evident truth?
 
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Carronade

Captain
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
What did armed rebels think the response of a legitimately elected government would be to their depredations? It is an apples and oranges comparison.

How so? The response was the same in both cases, the same response most governments have made in that situation. Both sets of rebels knew their history and what they were in for.
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Confederates wanted Empire. Davis was a expansionists along with most of his Cabinet. With a majority Yankee Government, it wasn’t going to happen.

Americans wanted the same thing which brought on the Revolutionary War. Brits stopped the Patriots from going West at the Crest of the Appalachian Mountains. English used Natives and from Canada kept the important Fur Trade to themselves. The Yankee wanted to compete with the English Merchants. Boston Tea Party was with Chinese Tea. Brits had too much of it so they reduced the price but added the Tax. Morris was the first Yankee Merchant to go to China after Independence. But O, No, it was about Taxation without Representation. Spoon feeding the Sheep with a Nationalistic Narrative.
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
I read the Williams article and my first impression is that the writer is repeating a long held view about how the southern states justified secession. He has added no new information or analysis to what most folks who are knowledgeable about the CW and its origins already know; that the Southland believed they were undertaking a "second American Revolution" to free themselves of the "tyranny" of northern "oppression." There have probably been countless discussions on this forum and elsewhere as to the legitimacy of that claim. I'll simply point out one important difference between 1776 and 1861. The American revolutionists were fighting to secure independence for colonies that were ruled by an overseas nation, and for which the colonists lacked representation. In contrast, the Southern secessionists were fighting to separate themselves from a union of which they were a sovereign part, had representation, and because they were outraged at the results of a presidential election, duly held.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
I want to know is the libertarian Walter E Williams correct or does he engage in bad historical interpretation with equating the Confederate Secession with the American Revolution? I would like a good critique of his article. My last post was on August 2019 so it has been a while. I have noticed that this forum has changed a little.
http://walterewilliams.com/historical-ignorance-and-confederate-generals/





The aarticle is The Example of Historical Ignorance writing history. Much wing anf froth, signifying nothing(as far as historical accuracy, anyway).

The President of the United States of America is bound a most solemn Oath, to preserve, protect and defend the Contitution against all its enemies, both foreign and domestic and the Laws of the United States are the Supreme Law of the Land, state constitutionsand laws to the Contrary Notwithstanding.

All officers of the United Staates who resigned their commissions in order to fight against the United States and their Constitution, are by that fact alone, traitors.



P.S. Washington, et. al., were traitors under British Law, and all at the time knew it, including Washington, et. al.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Walter Williams is an economist by academic preparation *edited*. He has never let his academic background get in the way of banging the drum for the Confederacy, even when putting forward absolute and utter nonsense about tariffs. You'd think an economist would understand how tariffs work, but not in this case.

There's absolutely nothing new in the arguments he makes in the "Confederate Generals" essay, and no original research behind it. It's an opinion piece.

Williams is counting on the reader being shocked at the logical extension of applying the word "treason" to the leaders of the American Revolution. I suppose some people who haven't ever considered it might find that idea disturbing, but it shouldn't be a shock to anyone else. Remember the quote attributed to Ben Franklin, "we must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." He wasn't joking, or speaking figuratively. The Founders were absolutely committing treason. Period, full stop.

Let's take the quote from General Milley that Williams finds offensive and make some small edits:

The Confederacy, American Colonies, the American Civil War American Revolution, was fought, and it was an act of rebellion. It was an act of treason, at the time, against the Union United Kingdom, against the Stars and Stripes British Crown, against the U.S. Constitution the British Parliament.

Yup, I'm good with that.
 
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uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Patriots Won, Confederates Lost. Only difference I see. Slavery advances as the only cause of the CW is no different than the Revolutionary War being attributed To Taxation without Representation. Most here say Taxes didn’t cause the CW, but recognize that Taxes caused the Revolutionary War. Both sides wanted what the other side had. Territory and Empire. Confederates wanted Self Determination which was explicit in the Constitution. They knew that secession would cause War. So they immediately put themselves on a War Footing.

Black guy can’t express his opinion if it isn’t what would be Expected of a Black guy. Sad.
 

Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
I want to know is the libertarian Walter E Williams correct or does he engage in bad historical interpretation with equating the Confederate Secession with the American Revolution? I would like a good critique of his article. My last post was on August 2019 so it has been a while. I have noticed that this forum has changed a little.

http://walterewilliams.com/historical-ignorance-and-confederate-generals/

I am not sure knowledgeable folks waste time with Williams. If you use the search function for "Walter Williams" and click for search titles only, you will find many of his other articles discussed. Some may like his opinions, but his disregard for facts is well known.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Patriots Won, Confederates Lost. Only difference I see. Slavery advances as the only cause of the CW is no different than the Revolutionary War being attributed To Taxation without Representation. Most here say Taxes didn’t cause the CW, but recognize that Taxes caused the Revolutionary War. Both sides wanted what the other side had. Territory and Empire. Confederates wanted Self Determination which was explicit in the Constitution. They knew that secession would cause War. So they immediately put themselves on a War Footing.

Black guy can’t express his opinion if it isn’t what would be Expected of a Black guy. Sad.
What "Black guy" are you referring to? What evidence about censorship do you have in "Black guys" not being allowed to express their opinions?
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
P.S. Washington, et. al., were traitors under British Law, and all at the time knew it, including Washington, et. al.

Thats a rather odd statement as it would be true.......

So its a rather simple question then, can we celebrate treason or traitors then? Because one action was no more treasonous then the other. If we celebrate one we should be able to celebrate the other.......if one wishes to condemn one, they should condemn the other as well.........The only ones being hypocritical would be those claiming ARW as good treason, and the ACW as bad treason.......as treason is simply treason......
 

Belfoured

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Thats a rather odd statement as it would be true.......

So its a rather simple question then, can we celebrate treason or traitors then? Because one action was no more treasonous then the other. If we celebrate one we should be able to celebrate the other.......if one wishes to condemn one, they should condemn the other as well.........The only ones being hypocritical would be those claiming ARW as good treason, and the ACW as bad treason.......as treason is simply treason......
What's so hard to grasp about the proposition that one can only care about treason if it's against the United States? Do you get worked up about somebody who, for example, is a traitor against the DPRK?
 

lurid

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
What a ridiculous claim that author made stating, "if Lee was a traitor so was George Washington." Trying to use semantics in relation to treason to the United States of America is absurd. George Washington was the indispensable man to create the United States of America, without him there was no United States of America. Robert E. Lee was expendable to the United States of America, and it showed because he was in concert to destroy it. Awful comparison...
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
What's so hard to grasp about the proposition that one can only care about treason if it's against the United States? Do you get worked up about somebody who, for example, is a traitor against the DPRK?
No don't get any more worked up or not at all, same with Washington and Lee, don't get any more worked up or not over either of them as well......not being a hypocrite isn't hard to grasp at all.......

As I said it's the taking two men commiting the same action and trying to label one as good and the other doing the same thing as bad, that is harder to grasp.

But to be fair I don't see it when people try to pretend there was good/bad slavery, or good/bad murder, or good/bad ECT if it's the committing the same action........

We as a nation have often been hypocritical.....it's doesn't change I can see the hypocrisy at all though........

PS shouldn't forget another popular one, good/bad desertion
 
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GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
Patriots Won, Confederates Lost. Only difference I see. Slavery advances as the only cause of the CW is no different than the Revolutionary War being attributed To Taxation without Representation. Most here say Taxes didn’t cause the CW, but recognize that Taxes caused the Revolutionary War. Both sides wanted what the other side had. Territory and Empire. Confederates wanted Self Determination which was explicit in the Constitution. They knew that secession would cause War. So they immediately put themselves on a War Footing.

Black guy can’t express his opinion if it isn’t what would be Expected of a Black guy. Sad.

I think the fact that confederates had full representation and voting rights in the federal government while the colonists did not have anything approaching full representation and voting rights in the UK government is a striking difference. The founding fathers were fighting to secure political rights and only later turned to independence as the only redress to their grievances. The confederates, on the other hand, were mad that they lost in a free and fair election in which they were full participants. It’s the biggest case of “I’m going to pout, take my ball and go home” one can think of- except in this case taking the ball and going home included theft of federal property at gunpoint and eventually firing on United States soldiers.
 
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