Is the Abbeville Institute a Reliable Source for Information Related to the Civil War?

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wausaubob

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Its a fun rhetorical exercise for Saturday. Instead of writing something that is generally accurate with a few misstatements, the technique is to crowd in distortions, artificial rhetorical constructs and deliberate misstatements that overwhelm the reader. If Mr. Wilson wrote the paragraphs above, his writing is not worth discussing.
 

jgoodguy

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Sorry, I just had to get it out there my surprise that the Abbeville Institute would be brought up in today's climate. I personally detest how things get, kinda turns me off and makes me hesitant to speak up.

While I haven't read any here lately, Abbeville Institute is always putting some kind of article on FB, I usually see one a day, but don't read them too much as their way too biased for my taste, and I apologize that I don't have an article off hand to put here for dissection, I will stand by what I said earlier on proceed with caution in regards to their reliability.

I haven't read anything they've put out in some time, before the great purge of anything pro-Confederate that began in 2015, I'd say some of their stuff was decent, but since, emotion has taken over.
My impression is that like a lot of folks, they started off on a mission to redeem the Confederacy in modern eyes only to find that redemption is only in mid-nineteenth century eyes. Charles B. Dew(unaffiliated), for example, set out to prove it was not slavery but after reading the record wrote Apostles of Disunion reminding us that race and slavery were at the center of the march toward secession after all.
 
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wausaubob

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Lawyers sometimes get the opportunity to ask simple leading questions that can be answered yes or no. If the witness speaks like a politician at a press conference the trier of fact may conclude the witness is being deceptive. The paragraphs cited above are an illustration of the concept.
 

CSA Today

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Its a fun rhetorical exercise for Saturday. Instead of writing something that is generally accurate with a few misstatements, the technique is to crowd in distortions, artificial rhetorical constructs and deliberate misstatements that overwhelm the reader. If Mr. Wilson wrote the paragraphs above, his writing is not worth discussing.[/QUOTE]
You can always turn to Edward Sebesta for an alternative version of "accurate history."
 
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thomas aagaard

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Frankly, until I joined the discussions in this Forum I had never heard of the Abbeville Institute. I am still largely ignorant of its views. I'd like to have a calm, reasoned, civil discussion on its value as a source of information about the Civil War, its causes and its effect on America.
Thanks!
No.
They are, in their own words about "southern tradition".
And traditions are closer to myths than they are to actual history.

One example. They like to repeat the "tradition" that the south paid most of the Tariff.
The historical fact is that:

"New Orleans was the southern port that collected the most in the tariff, and it was only $3.1 million. The total south only collected $4.0 million in tariff revenues, whereas New York City collected $34.9 million in tariff revenues and the total for northern ports was $48.3 million."
[Source: Douglas B. Ball,Financial Failure and Confederate Defeat, p. 205, Table 18, “Trade Figures by Port in 1860” and “Customs Collections by Major Port (1860)”]

And they base their whole understanding of traditions on a modern political view that centralization of power is bad.

A few years ago I asked them directly to show me any primary sources proving that just one free black man legally enlisted in the CSA army before 1865...
They first showed post war evidence of slaves serving their masters as cooks.

When I pointed that out they started to complain about how danish King Christian IV centralized power back in the 17th century... Pretty off topic and show what their main issue is.
 
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jgoodguy

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I hope this helps.

The Abbeville Institute was founded in 2002 by a group of scholars in history, literature, philosophy, religion, and other disciplines who conducted a conference on “Modernity and the Southern Tradition” at the University of Virginia. We were concerned that the Southern tradition is no longer taught in colleges and universities except as a function of the ideological needs of others. With few exceptions, the Southern tradition is presented as little more than the story of racism and slavery. Eugene Genovese, a distinguished historian of the South—a Northerner and a man of the left—has been a rare voice in criticizing this effort to purge the Southern tradition and its symbols from the American landscape. In the Massey lectures he gave at Harvard in 1994 he had this to say: “Rarely these days, even on southern campuses, is it possible to acknowledge the achievements of the white people of the South …. To speak positively about any part of this southern tradition is to invite charges of being a racist and an apologist for slavery and segregation. We are witnessing a cultural and political atrocity—an increasingly successful campaign by the media and an academic elite to strip young white southerners, and arguably black southerners as well, of their heritage, and, therefore, their identity. They are being taught to forget their forbearers or to remember them with shame.”

The Institute was formed as a response to this intellectual challenge. Its purpose is to critically explore what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition. To this end, we hold summer schools for college and graduate students as well as conferences for academics at colleges and universities. We also conduct educational conferences for the public.

Edited.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/principles/
 

thomas aagaard

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The mission of the Abbeville Institute is to preserve and present what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition.
Thanks.
that pretty much prove why they are not an organization about history... but one that is all about tradition...

Saved me the time of finding the quote about southern tradition.

Having read a number of articles from them over the last few years their core point is that states are sovereign and independent states. Slaves where happy being slaves.
And any sort of centralization of power in the federal government is evil.

And their whole interpretation of history is seen with this as their basic understanding.
 

jgoodguy

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How does the following work for you?

"Not long ago, a well-known conservative historian lamented that the American public had not been morally engaged to undergo sacrifice after the 9/11 attacks, unlike their heroic predecessors after Fort Sumter and Pearl Harbour.

Wait a minute. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were massive sneak attacks by foreign enemies. The reduction of Fort Sumter was preceded by a gentlemanly warning, was bloodless, and the garrison was allowed to depart with honour. It would not have happened at all if Lincoln had not dissimulated about re-enforcements. Think about this. Why should Southerners (free Americans) permit a fort that had been built with their tax money for their protection to be used as a base to conquer and extort taxes from them? When every other federal post in the South had already been peacefully surrendered pending a political settlement. One can become outraged at Fort Sumter only by placing a higher value on the will of the political party controlling the machinery of government than on the core purpose of a free regime to protect the people.

Nor did Lincoln’s call after Fort Sumter for 75,000 troops to suppress “the rebellion” at all evoke American unity and determination like that after Pearl Harbour. The call for troops was illegal and the 75,000 was either a deliberate deception or the most terrible mistake in American history, since over a million men were eventually required to complete the conquest of the Southern people and the destruction of their self-government. The immediate effect of Lincoln’s mobilization was to drive four more states out of the Union, put the Border States into bloody play, and require military rule in much of the North such as was unprecedented in American experience. And ultimately to require systematic terrorism against noncombatants that is still a source of shame for all decent Americans. It is true Lincoln got a temporary boost of morale from having forced the Confederacy to “fire on the flag,” but that did not last. The number of Northern men who evaded service in Mr. Lincoln’s war in one way or another was in the hundreds of thousands, and more Northerners voted against him in 1864 than had in 1860, even though the army was used to control the polls.

Edited.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/clyde-wilson-library/the-treasury-of-counterfeit-virtue/
I find this to be unreliable, being an opinion piece lacking footnotes or references and referencing a modern political ideology. It is humorous to those who understand the insider jokes.
 
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jgoodguy

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Thanks.
that pretty much prove why they are not an organization about history... but one that is all about tradition...

Saved me the time of finding the quote about southern tradition.

Having read a number of articles from them over the last few years their core point is that states are sovereign and independent states. Slaves where happy being slaves.
And any sort of centralization of power in the federal government is evil.

And their whole interpretation of history is seen with this as their basic understanding.
Agree. Note the emphasis on 'what is true' in "The mission of the Abbeville Institute is to preserve and present what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition." To be true is to be a reliable source.
 
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CSA Today

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I find this to be unreliable, being an opinion piece lacking footnotes or references and referencing a modern political ideology. It is humorous to those who understand the insider jokes.
Extraordinary, given your apparent preference for modern (post-1960) ideology and a hitherto indifference to a need for sources or references of any kind.
 

jgoodguy

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Extraordinary, given your apparent preference for modern (post-1960) ideology and a hitherto indifference to a need for sources or references of any kind.
Thanks for your observations, looking forward with great anticipation of articles from Abbeville Institute that are reliable sources. After all, it is not my historical reliability at issue, but your articles from Abbeville.
 
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jgoodguy

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And since the secession conference was brought up, there was representation there from a group of people that weren't just a bunch of bitter Southerners. As far-fetched as any successful secession movement may be, I think it does speak a lot to how this country is too big and too different for a one-size-fits-all style of government:

https://waitbutwhy.com/table/calexit
Thanks again for your observations, but let's discuss the Abbeville Institute's reliability. It took 10 years or more of bickering about black confederates threads before we stopped bickering about the threads and started gathering evidence. I do not want to repeat that experiences. I am looking forward to your contributions toward the objectives of this thread.
 

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“Causes of the “Civil War”

In a PBS interview seven years ago historian and Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust identified slavery as the cause of the Civil War. “Historians are pretty united on the cause of the Civil War being slavery,” she said before adding, . . . “when the various states announced their plans for secession, they uniformly said that the main motivating factor was to defend slavery.”

But she commits three errors. First, the American Battlefield Trust suggests that only four of the “various” first seven seceding states issued formal statements citing slavery as a prime reason for leaving. Second, the four upper-South states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas only joined the Confederacy after President Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to coerce the seven Gulf states back into the Union. They did, however, double the Confederacy’s white population and her territory east of the Mississippi River. Third, and foremost, Faust falsely equates the reasons the Northern states chose to fight a war with the reasons Southern states seceded.

Edited.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/causes-of-the-civil-war/




 
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