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uaskme

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Davis would be a far more reliable source then a 21st Century poster who has no primary sources.
Leftyhunter
Character assassination. You haven’t read the OPs book. Nor, I would guess any of the other Sources he has hand fed you. Your proud of your thread about the Yangtze River Patrol. You would of never hear about it, if not for the Thread about China and the discussion about Yankee Merchants and the Opium Trade. Maybe you should sent the 21st C poster, a Thank You Note!
 

OpnCoronet

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THE Lost cause, of post civil war defenders of the csa and its failed attempt at secession from the Union, was Southern Independence while, at the same time, denying the South's Peculiar Institution of Slavery had anything, or, very little, to do with them(Secession and Southern Independence).

Before and during the CW, the South's Leaders were mostly proud to proclaim the centrality of Slavery to their politics, economy and society(it wasI believe, what made/identified the slave states as, THE South)

Immediately after the war, there began a concerted effort by southern defenders of secession and southern independence, with as little or no reference to the centrality of slavery to those two goals. That particular defense has come down to us today I believe, as the Lost Cause Mythos.
 
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My Fellow Posters,

Relatively new to this very informative site, I have observed on numerous occasions that whenever anyone suggests an alternative to the primacy of slavery as a cause of the Civil War that such a debater is frowned upon with the stereotypical and vacuous sobriquet "Lost Causer." My own caption for those who resort to this kind of debate is "Lost Logicers." But I don't like the euphony of that response, even though I think the caption is correct. I find it intellectuallly feeble that the only argument against other causes is the simplistic, "Oh, so you are a 'Lost Causer,' are you?" which question is supposed to end all argument once and for all. It doesn't, of course, even though those who use it sail happily away, confident in their course of history.

That's not how I see it, and thus I characterize those who argue for the primacy of slavery as the cause as the true "Lost Causers." If anyone has a better neologism for responding to these advocates, I would like to find something better and more euphonic I prefer something in the 2-3 syllable range for some shorthand.

In this context let me add that those responsible for exalting slavery to a primary cause, i.e., those antebellum Seceshers who offered that sorry Saran-Wrap-thin and phony excuse for what they contemplated and then did, were actually joined in their hermeneutical gymnastics by Northerners AFTER the war. Those Northerners had to come up with something noble to explain to grieving mothers, fathers, sisters, and brother, and everybody else --like my spinster grade school teachers and other non-thinkers-- that their loved ones did not die in vain or for something as grubby as greed for western land and railroads. No, no, no! Good heavens, NO!! Gotta have a noble cause. Gotta extrapolate one! In fact, I think Northerners were probably even more responsible for the "Lost Cause of Slavery Primacy" argument, as it is so atypical for Northerners to take at face value the arguments of any Southerners, especially Southerners long since dead and their dead cause with them. Just a thought, not an argument --yet.

Will someone help me coin a useful and comprehensive neologism?

James
We have debated this subject so many times on this forum, it's hard to engage in it, again. But we do have new people coming here, and it is valid for them to raise these issues in their own voice, with their own questions. But there are many many many many other threads on the subject, and I hope that you will plumb the site to find those other threads.

RE: Those Northerners had to come up with something noble to explain to grieving mothers, fathers, sisters, and brother, and everybody else --like my spinster grade school teachers and other non-thinkers-- that their loved ones did not die in vain or for something as grubby as greed for western land and railroads. No, no, no! Good heavens, NO!! Gotta have a noble cause. Gotta extrapolate one!

As a matter of fact, the noble cause of Northerners was the preservation of the Union. They believed that Southerners were traitors who tried to annul a fair election because they didn't like the results, and they sought to protect themselves from the economic, military, and geo-political threats that was posed by those traitors.

They had a clear understanding of the noble cause, it was to preserve the Union, and not to end slavery. Many did come to see abolition as a noble cause in itself, no question. But at the time, preserving the Union was a glorious enough cause. Over time, the end of slavery has been seen as the more "fundamental and astounding result" of the war, and a good argument can be made that this was indeed the case.

RE: In this context let me add that those responsible for exalting slavery to a primary cause.

We get this wrong a lot on this forum, but much of it is because of the bad language we use.

When talking about war causation, two questions must be asked:
1) why did some states want to dissolve the Union?
2) why did some states want to preserve it?

The key cause of secession was the fear that the incoming Lincoln administration, in the words of the South Carolina secession declaration, wanted to "wage a war against slavery." That was prime among secessionists.

The "preservationists" sought to preserve the Union in the face of those traitorous insurrectionists. They were not fighting against secessionists because they were anti-slavery, they were fighting because they were pro-Union. I do know that many non-academics especially have alternative notions, but they are incorrect.

RE: In this context let me add that those responsible for exalting slavery to a primary cause.

It's interesting to note that during wartime and years thereafter, many Northerners did say that Southerners were motivated by the desire to protect the institution. US Grant would say that the Confederate “cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse." He also said "There will be people who will not be consoled for the loss of a cause which they believed to be holy. As time passes, people, even of the South, will begin to wonder how it was possible that their ancestors ever fought for or justified institutions which acknowledged the right of property in man."

Grant was not alone in this. The idea among era Northerners that Southerners went to war to protect slavery was widespread and prevalent, perhaps even close to universal. They got this idea from what Southerners themselves were saying.

- Alan
 
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unionblue

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Did you go back thru these threads and compile your list of these obnoxious, Lost Causers?

Nope.

Think that was something you said you were going to do.

Nope, never said that.

The Issue of the OP is, what to call people you have Weaponized the term Lost Cause. Term was used on the OP. Who happens to be an accomplished individual. Who has shared some of his experiences with us. Who has extensively studied this period from 1830s forward. And has also shared his views of this Study. For all his efforts, He has been branded as a Lost Causer.

I only take issue with the title of this thread.

So, we know people on the other side, reject any other Cause than Slavery. We need to Define these people with a term. This is the OPs desire and the Thread has run 22 pages. Soon the curtain will come down. He is looking for a Catchy Phrase.

He's looking for support for a theory and deriding those who oppose said theory.

That is beyond my ability.

And beyond my caring.

Mary others want to use the term Single Causer, which is defined by the Historical Theory of the way many review History. The Simple, and somewhat Lazy way. So, this is what we are trying to decide. Many others of us want to use the Term, Simple Causer, which is Historically Correct. Can you or others, help us out, with a catchier term.

Have at it.

If not, the prevailing Term for us you aren't Catchy Minded, Single Caused will be used.

If it makes all of you happy.

As always, Thank you for your Participation!
You are more than welcome.

Unionblue
PS Slavery brought on the Civil War.
 

Pat Young

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We have debated this subject so many times on this forum, it's hard to engage in it, again. But we do have new people coming here, and it is valid for them to raise these issues in their own voice, with their own questions. But there are many many many many other threads on the subject, and I hope that you will plumb the site to find those other threads.

RE: Those Northerners had to come up with something noble to explain to grieving mothers, fathers, sisters, and brother, and everybody else --like my spinster grade school teachers and other non-thinkers-- that their loved ones did not die in vain or for something as grubby as greed for western land and railroads. No, no, no! Good heavens, NO!! Gotta have a noble cause. Gotta extrapolate one!

As a matter of fact, the noble cause of Northerners was the preservation of the Union. They believed that Southerners were traitors who tried to annul a fair election because they didn't like the results, and the sought to protect themselves economic, military, and geo-political threats that was posed by those traitors.

They had a clear understanding of the noble cause, it was to preserve the Union, and not to end slavery. Many did come to see abolition as a noble cause in itself, no question. But at the time, preserving the Union was a glorious enough cause. Over time, the end of slavery has been seen as the more "fundamental and astounding result" of the war, and a good argument can be made that this was indeed the case.

RE: In this context let me add that those responsible for exalting slavery to a primary cause.

We get this wrong a lot on this forum, but much of it is because of the bad language we use.

When talking about war causation, two questions must be asked:
1) why did some states want to dissolve the Union?
2) why did some states want to preserve it?

The key cause of secession was the fear that the incoming Lincoln administration, in the words of the South Carolina secession declaration, wanted to "wage a war against slavery." That was prime among secessionists.

The "preservationists" sought to preserve the Union in the face of those traitorous insurrectionists. They were not fighting against secessionists because they were anti-slavery, they were fighting because they were pro-Union. I do know that many non-academics especially have alternative notions, but they are incorrect.

RE: In this context let me add that those responsible for exalting slavery to a primary cause.

It's interesting to note that during wartime and years thereafter, many Northerners did say that Southerners were motivated by the desire to protect the institution. US Grant would say that the Confederate “cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse." He also said "There will be people who will not be consoled for the loss of a cause which they believed to be holy. As time passes, people, even of the South, will begin to wonder how it was possible that their ancestors ever fought for or justified institutions which acknowledged the right of property in man."

Grant was not alone in this. The idea among era Northerners that Southerners went to war to protect slavery was widespread and prevalent, perhaps even close to universal. They got this idea from what Southerners themselves were saying.

- Alan
Here, Here.
 

Potomac Pride

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The noted historian, Bruce Catton, argued that the Lost Cause myth actually helped achieve national reconciliation between the North and South. In his book, Reflections on the Civil War (1981), he wrote:
"The things that were done during the Civil War have not been forgotten, of course, but we now see them through a veil. We have elevated the entire conflict to the realm where it is no longer explosive. It is a part of American legend, a part of American history, a part, if you will, of American romance. It moves men mightily, to this day, but it does not move them in the direction of picking up their guns and going at it again. We have had national peace since the war ended, and we will always have it, and I think the way Lee and his soldiers conducted themselves in the hours of surrender has a great deal to do with it."
 

unionblue

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The noted historian, Bruce Catton, argued that the Lost Cause myth actually helped achieve national reconciliation between the North and South. In his book, Reflections on the Civil War (1981), he wrote:
"The things that were done during the Civil War have not been forgotten, of course, but we now see them through a veil. We have elevated the entire conflict to the realm where it is no longer explosive. It is a part of American legend, a part of American history, a part, if you will, of American romance. It moves men mightily, to this day, but it does not move them in the direction of picking up their guns and going at it again. We have had national peace since the war ended, and we will always have it, and I think the way Lee and his soldiers conducted themselves in the hours of surrender has a great deal to do with it."
The Lost Cause myth in actuality has caused misery and suffering long after the war in it's denial of slavery as the cause of the war and the ignoring of white supremacy inflaming that suffering well past it's expiration date.
 

CSA Today

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The Lost Cause myth in actuality has caused misery and suffering long after the war in it's denial of slavery as the cause of the war and the ignoring of white supremacy inflaming that suffering well past it's expiration date.
But wouldn't that have left the perception that Lincoln lied when he exclaimed his intention to not interfere with slavery where it then existed if only the Southern States stayed in his union and that the war had nothing to do his supposedly constitutional duty to force them back into that union if they declined to do so voluntarily?
 
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The noted historian, Bruce Catton, argued that the Lost Cause myth actually helped achieve national reconciliation between the North and South. In his book, Reflections on the Civil War (1981), he wrote:
"The things that were done during the Civil War have not been forgotten, of course, but we now see them through a veil. We have elevated the entire conflict to the realm where it is no longer explosive. It is a part of American legend, a part of American history, a part, if you will, of American romance. It moves men mightily, to this day, but it does not move them in the direction of picking up their guns and going at it again. We have had national peace since the war ended, and we will always have it, and I think the way Lee and his soldiers conducted themselves in the hours of surrender has a great deal to do with it."
It seems to me as if this was true, but things have changed. Things have become explosive again, and with all due respect to Unionblue, I don't see the modern view of the war as healthy or contributing to peace. People have forgotten how to admire people despite their flaws, as we used to do with the Founding Fathers, or men like Lee and Jackson.
 

major bill

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Did the various royals of Europe recognize Maximilian I as a real emperor? In the royal pecking order, do not emperors out rank kings and queens? Would not King of Mexico been a more honest title?
 

Malingerer

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It seems to me as if this was true, but things have changed. Things have become explosive again, and with all due respect to Unionblue, I don't see the modern view of the war as healthy or contributing to peace. People have forgotten how to admire people despite their flaws, as we used to do with the Founding Fathers, or men like Lee and Jackson.
I think that that's an excellent point - but, is it not possible to learn from their mistakes as well as their more admirable qualities? Is it not possible for us as southern men to admire the sacrifice, courage and endurance of our forefathers while at the same time acknowledging that their cause was a terrible one?
 
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I think that that's an excellent point - but, is it not possible to learn from their mistakes as well as their more admirable qualities? Is it not possible for us as southern men to admire the sacrifice, courage and endurance of our forefathers while at the same time acknowledging that their cause was a terrible one?
I think "American mythology" served us well, and the more we tear apart the past and the people of the past, the more we tear ourselves apart as well. Just my opinion, looking around at the landscape. There's probably a better path than we've followed in the past and are following today, but we don't seem to have found it yet. I don't see people attempting to come to any sort of mutual understanding.
 

Malingerer

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I think "American mythology" served us well, and the more we tear apart the past and the people of the past, the more we tear ourselves apart as well. Just my opinion, looking around at the landscape. There's probably a better path than we've followed in the past and are following today, but we don't seem to have found it yet. I don't see people attempting to come to any sort of mutual understanding.
I disagree - I think you and I are trying to come to some sort of mutual understanding.
 

John Hartwell

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Maximilian's recognition by European royalty has nothing to do with Mexico per se,, but everything to do with his Hapsburg ancestry. Monarchy is not national, it is purely genealogical. That's why so many thrones have been occupied by monarchs with no connection at all with the people they rule.

Mexico, btw, first became an "Empire" back in 1821, when Spanish born caudillo (military leader) Agustín de Iturbide, proclaimed himself Emperor Agustín I. The people weren't interested, and he was overthrown in 1823. In 1864, Archduke Maximilian proclaimed the Second Mexican Empire (or, rather, conservative Mexican politicians and bishops proclaimed it, and invited Max to take the throne). Childless, he adopted Iturbide's two grandsons in order to, so he thought, secure the support of the Mexican people (who still weren't interested). Maximilian probably would have been satisfied as "King of Mexico," but the "Empire" idea was already there, so...
 

Potomac Pride

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The Lost Cause myth in actuality has caused misery and suffering long after the war in it's denial of slavery as the cause of the war and the ignoring of white supremacy inflaming that suffering well past it's expiration date.
Wow, UB that was kind of harsh. However, the Civil War ended over 150 years ago and some people have had enough time to get over it by now.
 
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It is way too simplistic to say that the common soldier of the Confederacy, the great majority of whom were not slave owners, risked their life solely to preserve the institution of slavery. The many reasons for the war have been discussed in great detail on this forum and many good points have been stated. Was the main cause of the war about slavery -- perhaps for the politicians and the wealthy landowners it was. However, I venture to say that if you asked the everyday citizen of the South during this time why he was going to war, I bet he or she would state something other than slavery as their main cause. For many, I think it was simply because they wanted to protect their homeland and wanted to govern themselves without Northern influence.

As to the so called "myth of the lost cause" it must be remembered that for many people in the South during this time period the ideas of the lost cause was no myth, for them it was everyday living reality. It was no salve to heal the wounds of a war they had lost. For them the nobility, bravery, and sacrifices of the people of the Confederacy spoke for itself.

It is what I like to refer to as "the myth of the myth of the lost cause."
 

ebg12

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Wow, UB that was kind of harsh. However, the Civil War ended over 150 years ago and some people have had enough time to get over it by now.
That's not true...a lot of black people economically still feels the affects of their ancestors being slaves because poverty can be inherited just like wealth.

As in 1932 when president Roosevelt asked for a study as to why the south was so economically poor, he was shocked when the report came back concluding that "the South in 1932, still after 67 years later, had not recovered from the disastrous effects of the civil war."

Then how do expect the overall black people's economic power today to have recovered from slavery in just 150 years.

Reconstruction was never the idea of "rebuilding the south from war damages"...reconstruction was the idea of integrating the former slaves into communities of American citizens (because as slaves they had no community...as their families were be sold apart, no rights to gather, no right to education).

Reconstruction failed because both Northern and Southern whites conspired to deny the integration of the black people into the American society for over 100 years or more after the civil war.

Slavery was not a myth, it was not a social experiment, it was a crime against human victims.
 
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Joan Waugh wrote this in her review of David W. Blight's 2001 book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory.

David Blight... demonstrates that a national memory based on reconciliation triumphed over at least several other competing and equally important "memories" of the war. By the early 1900s, Blight contends, sectional harmony had emerged as the dominant motif in many histories, commemorations, reunions, monuments, novels, and plays. Competing narratives were diminished or erased... Blight's argument, written in densely packed prose, is simply put: in the four decades after the Civil War southern and northern whites agreed that the deepest meaning of the conflict was to be found in commemorating the valor and courage of the soldiers of both sides. The "Union Cause" had transfigured into the "Lost Cause," lending credence to the saying "The North won the war but lost the peace."​
In the late 1860s, Decoration Days proliferated throughout the country. By the 1880s, "many a speech flowed with reconciliation as it honored the dead." Blight notes that African Americans increasingly occupied a "marginal place ... in white Civil War memory." How, and even more importantly, why, should African Americans remember the war? Blight takes this question up in chapter 9, "Black Memory and the Progress of the Race." Frederick Douglass's struggle to keep the freedom flame burning was aided by W. E. B. Du Bois's trenchant criticism of racist mythology that denied African Americans agency in history and justice in the present. Alternatively, the most important "race leader" in the late nineteenth century, Booker T. Washington, urged his people to forget and forgive past grievances, like slavery, and work hard for progress. Thus, African Americans faced complex dilemmas on how to reconcile the bitter legacy of slavery, with the freedom the Civil War delivered, and the promises of that freedom dashed by Jim Crow.​
Race and Reunion also offers a series of impeccably researched chapters on Reconstruction, veterans, war literature, and soldiers great and small. Familiar figures of the era--U. S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Jefferson Davis--are analyzed for what they contributed to "peace among whites." Each chapter unfolds a complex case study--of the "Soldier's Faith," or of the "Lost Cause"--that convincingly chronicles the way in which certain memories were privileged while others suppressed, sometimes brutally. Blight describes how the bitterly partisan politics of Reconstruction led to the withdrawal of northern support for black suffrage and economic independence. Many in the North, fearful of labor disturbances and popular anti-business movements, moved quickly to forge cross-sectional ties that emphasized reconciliation and downplayed the controversial issues that gave rise to the Civil War.​
White veterans gave emotional resonance to the drive for national unity when they met in carefully orchestrated "friendly" reunions throughout the 1880s and 1890s. The shared experiences of soldierhood was a theme that could bring former enemies together peacefully on the anniversaries of storied battles, such as Gettysburg. Ex-Confederate and ex-Union soldiers now celebrated the valor of both sides fighting for equally honorable causes. Organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and the Confederate Veterans lent considerable political and social influence to promoting the courage of Billy Yank and Johnny Reb. Reunions alone, however, could not erase the troubled legacy of slavery and the myriad complications of emancipation.​
Few accounts of the African American experience in the war found their way into the pages of the successful Century series {and other writings}. The works of southern writers such as Walter Hines Page and Joel Chandler Harris, on the other hand, popularized a romanticized image of the pre-war South, emphasizing faithful and loyal slaves. They demeaned the history of hundreds of thousands of black men and women who willingly embraced freedom and fought for their rights.​
Blight does not ignore opposition to reconciliation sentiment. Monuments, like the Shaw Memorial in Boston, and commemorations, like Du Bois's "The Star of Ethiopia" pageant, celebrated black participation in the Civil War. "Emancipation Day" remained important in the black calendar. Many, many northern veterans decried the heavy emphasis on blue and gray comradeship (as did southern veterans from the opposite point of view). Blight quotes one former Union soldier in 1879 as describing the Civil War as "a death grapple between right and wrong." He went on to denounce the southern cause saying that the treasonous actions deserved to be "so punished ... that it might never come to be eulogized as true loyalty" (p. 95).​
If anything, Blight underplays northern dissent, manifested in speeches, parades, and reunions, and in published accounts of the war. As Barbara Gannon has recently shown, there were more than a few interracial GAR posts, and black and white veterans joined together in various commemorative activities.[1] Nor did allegiance to country and freedom, the "Union Cause," disappear from the speeches and eulogies of prominent politicians, ministers, and ex-generals in the North. Known today primarily for its reconciliationist sentiment, Grant's Memoirs, published in 1885, also contained two strongly worded refutations of the Lost Cause ideology. "The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United States will have to be attributed to slavery," Grant wrote. And that cause, he noted in his chapter on Appomattox, was "one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse."[2]​
Despite notable and continued opposition, by the early decades of the twentieth century, the whitewashing of Civil War history had occurred. The cause of the Confederacy had been states' rights without slavery, and the cause of the United States had been union without freedom. Blight's epilogue on the semi-centennial of the Civil War summarizes powerfully the themes of sectional harmony and a "white only" version of the War that had been building for decades.​
- Alan
 
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