Is Lost Cause a real thing or not?

byron ed

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#1
It's been posed a few times here the phrase "supposed Lost Cause"

Is Lost Cause a real thing or not? Only a real thing in history, but not now? When did that happen?

It's also a fair question that if you're compelled to defend every single precept of the Lost Cause in detail how is that different that being Lost Cause? And if so, why not proudly and boldly identify as Lost Cause today in public venue? Since there's nothing to be ashamed of; nothing "wrong" or questionable about it...
 
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matthew mckeon

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#2
If by "the Lost Cause" you mean the ideology developed and established postwar by figures like Jubal Early and Miss Rutherford, and widely adopted among white southerners, and to a degree by the national culture, yes it is a real thing.

If you mean its current validity among historians, in explaining the Civil War, I think most of its premises and conclusions have been abandoned.
 

byron ed

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#3
...If you mean its current validity among historians, in explaining the Civil War, I think most of its premises and conclusions have been abandoned.
...by professional historians, we have to assume you mean. As we all know, it sure as shootin' has not been abandoned by amateur historians, not by a long shot. Hence the questions.
 

Ole Miss

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#6
The "Lost Cause" in my humble opinion was a real visceral feeling and belief but no longer.

Yet people of the former Confederate States are proud of their ancestors who fought for their beliefs and values BUT we do not hold the same beliefs such as splitting from the Union, upholding Slavery or killing Yankees who came South. We are one nation and one people the past has passed and we all need to move on, respectfully.

Regards
David

Edited; modern politics
 
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jgoodguy

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#7
The "Lost Cause" in my humble opinion was a real visceral feeling and belief but no longer.

Yet people of the former Confederate States are proud of their ancestors who fought for their beliefs and values BUT we do not hold the same beliefs such as splitting from the Union, upholding Slavery or killing Yankees who came South. We are one nation and one people the past has passed and we all need to move on, respectfully.

Regards
David

Edited; modern politics
Good summary IMHO.
 
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Potomac Pride

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#9
At the conclusion of the Civil War, the Lost Cause was originally used as a term to describe the military defeat of the South but not the defeat of its values and belief system. After the end of the Reconstruction era, the regional interest in the Lost Cause increased significantly during this time period. Today, the Lost Cause is an important topic of study for historical research.
 

byron ed

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#12
...After the end of the Reconstruction era, the regional interest in the Lost Cause increased significantly...Today, the Lost Cause is an important topic of study for historical research.
...and a living, vibrant cause still, by all accounts. If we can wish that away, is it no longer real?
 
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byron ed

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#13
it is unreal, because it was lost in 1865
Well somebody found it, because we really do still get "the War wasn't about slavery" or "Lincoln was a dishonest scheming politician" or "The South was invaded." Same 'ole same 'ole from the Lost Cause list. Perhaps there's a new name for it? (Lost Cause Lite?)
 
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jgoodguy

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#14
Generally speaking for every 'cause' 1/3 like it, 1/3 oppose it, 1/3 don't care. If less than one third like it, then it is a new 'cause' in assent or an old one in decline.
 

WJC

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#15
Well somebody found it, because we really do still get "the War wasn't about slavery" or "Lincoln was a dishonest scheming politician" or "The South was invaded." Same 'ole same 'ole from the Lost Cause list. Perhaps there's a new name for it? (Lost Cause Lite?)
I suggest that many of the reasons given by the 'Lost Cause' writers persist but that doesn't mean that those who hold them today are 'Lost Causers'. It's simply a difference in opinion.
 

wbull1

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#16
The term Lost Cause first appeared in the title of an 1866 book by the Virginian author and journalist Edward A. Pollard, The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates. Pollard promotes many of the aforementioned themes of the Lost Cause. In particular, he dismisses the role of slavery in starting the war and understates the cruelty of American slavery, even promoting it as a way of improving the lives of Africans:

We shall not enter upon the discussion of the moral question of slavery. But we may suggest a doubt here whether that odious term "slavery" which has been so long imposed, by the exaggeration of Northern writers, upon the judgement and sympathies of the world, is properly applied to that system of servitude in the South, which was really the mildest in the world; which did not rest on acts of debasement and disenfranchisement, but elevated the African, and was in the interest of human improvement; and which, by the law of the land, protected the negro in life and limb, and in many personal rights, and, by the practice of the system, bestowed upon him a sum of individual indulgences, which made him altogether the most striking type in the world of cheerfulness and contentment.​

I'm not saying current Lost Cause supporters agree with this at all, but it was the founding philosophy.
 

Jimklag

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#17
The main tenets of Lost Cause are:

1. The south never had a chance - the North only won because they had overwhelming advantages in everything that could be counted.
2. The war was about anything except slavery.
3. The south only wanted to be left alone.
4. Southern men could beat almost any number of Yankees, but see #1 above if they don't.
5. The south only fought because they were "invaded" by the Yankees - Rebels firing 1st on April 12, 1861 is a d***ed Yankee lie.
6. Secession is absolutely, positively allowed by the U.S. Constitution.
 
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#18
The main tenets of Lost Cause are:

1. The south never had a chance - the North only won because they had overwhelming advantages in everything that could be counted.
2. The war was about anything except slavery.
3. The south only wanted to be left alone.
4. Southern men could beat almost any number of Yankees, but see #1 above if they don't.
5. The south only fought because they were "invaded" by the Yankees - Rebels firing 1st on April 12, 1861 is a d***ed Yankee lie.
6. Secession is absolutely, positively allowed by the U.S. Constitution.
Dont think there are many full blown lost causers. Here is my opinion of the tenents.
1.the csa did have a chance, but there is truth that the union did have some serious advantages that would make it difficult. More men, better artillery and ordinance, higher tech weapons.

2. Slavery did play a major role, other issues had some importance as well, but were more minor

3. On one hand the csa would have liked to expand, however if they could win and be mostly left alone, I think they would have been ok with that. Independence first.

4. Nah

5. If they had been left alone there would not have been a war. Since the north eventually did invade, they were attempting to repel invasion. I do not believe the csa wanted to take over the United States.

6. Secession the question of questions, throughout our nations history people have been on both sides of this debate.

Lastly, dont care how any of you respond. I make up my own mind on these issues and I'm not debating, this is simply my opinion. Peace.
 

Ole Miss

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#19
Elaborate on "no longer." We are all still seeing that same real visceral feeling and believe in Lost Cause precepts. Is it just that we're not supposed to call it Lost Cause anymore to protect and shield...who?


Allow me to preface that the contents of this are my thoughts only. The Lost Cause was a conscious effort to deflect criticism of Lee or ordinary Confederate soldiers as to the causes of the ACW being lost by the South. The majority of those who celebrate their Confederate ancestors as heritage are not advocating for the Confederacy to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.

One can respect his elders for their actions and yet not support their cause. A far smarter man than I expresses my thoughts much better than I
Regards
David
“Man and his deed are two distinct things. Whereas a good deed should call forth approbation and a wicked deed disapprobation, the doer of the deed, whether good or wicked, always deserves respect or pity as the case may be. ‘Hate the sin and not the sinner’ is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world”
Mohandas Gandhi







 

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