Oops, big lump of your posts....

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James Lutzweiler

Sergeant Major
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Mar 14, 2018
Without engaging any specific comment here, I would note that it is commonplace for cruel war to be justified, rationalized or idealized after the fact by both by the losers and the winners. It's an unfortunate defect of the human character.

The tragedy of this defect is that it always encourages the beginning of new wars.

Well spoken!
 

James Lutzweiler

Sergeant Major
Joined
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"Phony and useless as a football bat" describes Leigh's argument.

Historians, particularly academic historians, look for the causes of the war, not the reasons that individual soldiers choose to fight. The reasons that individuals fight is, in some sense, irrelevant to the causes of the war.

I love the image of a "football bat." Can't thank you enough for this post!
 

James Lutzweiler

Sergeant Major
Joined
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Phil Leigh likes to use the term "Righteous Cause Mythology" as a counter to Lost Cause Mythology.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/righteous-cause-mythology/

Since the cause declarations of some of the seven Cotton States in the first secession wave cite the protection of slavery as a prime reason for leaving the Union, Righteous Cause historians conclude slavery was the only cause of the Civil War. The paragon example is Battle Cry of Freedom author James McPherson who said, “Probably…95 percent of serious historians of the Civil War would agree on…what the war was about . . . which was the increasing polarization of the country between the free states and the slave states over issues of slavery….” McPherson and his acolytes dismiss all other issues even when such factors are evident by comparing the US and Confederate constitutions. For example, the Southern central government was prohibited from (1) imposing protective tariffs, (2) spending taxpayer money on public works, and (3) subsidizing private industries. Although Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas joined the Confederacy and doubled its White population only after the Federal government required they provide soldiers to invade the Cotton States, Righteous Cause historians insist that the four upper-south states also fought only for slavery.​
The Righteous Cause also dismisses the fact that two-thirds of Southern families did not own slaves. Acolytes spill oceans of ink arguing that non-slaveholding Southerners willingly left their homes and risked their lives chiefly – if not exclusively – to promote the “slavocracy.” Although tens-of-thousands of Union volunteers rose up spontaneously to defend their homes in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania when Rebel armies approached those states, Righteous Cause historians don’t credit Southerners with the same instinct, evidently because of endemic Yankee moral superiority. Of course it’s illogical and a lie. As the venerable William C. Davis writes:​
The widespread northern myth that the Confederates went to the battlefield to perpetuate slavery is just that, a myth. Their letters and diaries, in the tens-of-thousands, reveal again and again, that they fought and died because their Southern homeland was invaded and their natural instinct was to protect their home and hearth.​
Righteous Cause Mythology falsely equates the reasons for secession with the reasons Southerners chose to fight. But they are not the same. Southerners fought to defend their homes. The more pertinent question is to ask why Northerners fought. After all, the Northern states could have let the Southern states leave in peace, without any War at all. It was precisely what prominent abolitionists frequently advocated prior to the War. Examples include William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Beecher, Samuel Howe, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Clark, Gerrit Smith, Joshua Giddings, and even Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner who would become a leading war hawk. For years Garrison described the constitutional Union as “a covenant with death and agreement with hell.”​
The Righteous Cause Myth is a natural consequence of the false insistence that the South fought for nothing but slavery. Thus, if the South waged war only to preserve slavery, then it logically follows the Yankees waged war for the sole purpose of freeing the slaves. It is a morally comfortable viewpoint for historians who came of age during and after the twentieth century civil rights movement. But it’s as phony and useless as a football bat.

Very useful. Thank you for posting this.
 

demiurge

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"Some historians differentiate between a first Great Migration (1916–1940), which saw about 1.6 million people move from mostly rural areas in the south to northern industrial cities, and a Second Great Migration (1940–1970), which began after the Great Depression and brought at least 5 million people—including many townspeople with urban skills—to the north and west."

Interesting. So, 50-75 yrs later, some folks moved to other areas (like lots of people), & the majority of those who left, waited 75-100yrs to leave. Appears to be mostly future generations, not folks who grew up in the antebellum era, or those who suffered through the war.

Doesn't sound to me like anything abnormal, or driven by social exercises. Appears to be normal migration of folks looking for better jobs, etc. Plenty of folks grow up, & move away to experience something different in life, & or to spread their own wings.

The majority of the US Black population still lives in the South today

There was no migration prior because of the black codes and their harsh vagrancy laws.

If a black wasn't employed in most places in the South in the years following the war, that individual was bound to be arrested. The punishment? Forced labor.

And sharecroppers had to keep their sharecropping papers on them or chance being arrested for vagrancy if they left the farm. Mississippi's laws had a version of the fugitive slave act - a sharecropper who left the farm would be captured, returned to the farm, and their wages for the year would be forfeit.

With 1/4 of the white male population dead, there was vast need for labor, and as usual they weren't particularly moral about how they handled that.

Within a few years, the cycle of debt that the sharecroppers were forced into meant they lacked the resources to leave.

You'll find that the South has had a long history of making things illegal to profit from others labor. It continues to this day.
 

James Lutzweiler

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
"Phony and useless as a football bat" describes Leigh's argument.

Historians, particularly academic historians, look for the causes of the war, not the reasons that individual soldiers choose to fight. The reasons that individuals fight is, in some sense, irrelevant to the causes of the war.


Will truth die, if academic historians die? Is there not a lot of academic incest among historians, as there is in almost any groupthink people?

If the strictly academics are to be trusted so much, why do we see so many revisionist essays by other historians?
 

CSA Today

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Location
Laurinburg NC
sigh... both were decided on delegate votes, regardless of the popular count by county. Democratic Republics are what both the Union and Confederacy were. You may personally feel that the popular vote was the only valid one to consider here (and I'm somewhat with you on that) but we just can't go back in history and make that happen.

Sigh, and yet you say: "There's no question Western Virginians used the democratic process"
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
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A further thought... Astronauts often remark that national borders are invisible from space (actually not true in some cases, where different agricultural patterns make for a sharp dividing line, but I digress), and boundaries exist primarily in the legal sphere and in the emotions and opinions of people. But that doesn't make them any less real, as countless soldiers can attest.
 

Kelly

Corporal
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Founding Father James Wilson of Pennsylvania, an ardent nationalist, also weighed in on the subject of suspension of Habeas Corpus in 1791. He stated that suspending Habeas Corpus was “restrictive of the general Legislative Powers of Congress.”.

I got a shiny new quarter for anyone who can find a pre-1861 source giving the power to suspend Habeas Corpus to the president.
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
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Location
Midwest
...and yet you say: "There's no question Western Virginians used the democratic process"

I affirm that. Western Virginians did use the democratic process. Through their delegates they elected to form a new state of the Union. It was not an armed uprising. It was not a coup. It was not a religious revival.

We'll not be put into the position of denying the democratic process then had its faults, as it does now. But there was no evil overlord / black legion involved. Western Virginia needed to defend itself from the Confederacy and it did so via an effective civic method.
 
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Lost Cause

2nd Lieutenant
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Sep 19, 2014
There's no question Western Virginians used the democratic process -- perhaps you mean that they abused it, at which point we resume discussion about how politics took place generally at that time. So short of murder, treason, or wife-beating you'd have to demonstrate that the western Virginians' democratic process was more of a stretch than any other vote cycle of the era. Did we mention how Texas came into the Confederacy?
The what process ?

“On October 24, 1861, residents of thirty-nine counties in western Virginia approved the formation of a new Unionist state. The accuracy of these election results have been questioned, since Union troops were stationed at many of the polls to prevent Confederate sympathizers from voting. At the Constitutional Convention, which met in Wheeling from November 1861 to February 1862, delegates selected the counties for inclusion in the new state of West Virginia. From the initial list, most of the counties in the Shenandoah Valley were excluded due to their control by Confederate troops and a large number of local Confederate sympathizers. In the end, fifty counties were selected (all of present-day West Virginia's counties except Mineral, Grant, Lincoln, Summers, and Mingo, which were formed after statehood). Most of the eastern and southern counties did not support statehood, but were included for political, economic, and military purposes.....

The United States Constitution says a new state must gain approval from the original state, which never occurred in the case of West Virginia. Since the Restored Government was considered the legal government of Virginia, it granted permission to itself on May 13, 1862, to form the state of West Virginia.”


http://www.wvculture.org/history/archives/statehoo.html

There may not have been a “black legion” involved, but a blue one. “Murder, treason, and wife-beating” would likely be secular on a case by case basis.
 

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
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Answered the Call for Reinforcements
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Perhaps an understanding of the term 'Lost Cause' is in order.
Eric Foner briefly describes the 'Lost Cause' as having three elements:
1. Slavery was a fairly benign institution, which probably should have been ended eventually, but it was good for Blacks who were well treated and introduced to Christianity;
2. The Civil War was about States' Rights and local self-government, not slavery; our soldiers fought gallantly and we should respect them all;
3. Reconstruction was a disaster because Blacks were given the right to vote. It was a tremendous mistake to give Blacks the right to vote: therefore, the violent campaigns to take away their right to vote was justified.
"The Lost Cause is a glorification of the Confederacy, but it's also a glorification of White Supremacy."
From Uncovering Reconstruction, a January 21, 2019 interview. Comments appear at the 43-minute point. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/uncovering-the-civil-war/e/58309163?autoplay=true
 
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