Why do present-day Southerners have such passion for the 'Lost Cause?'

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

larry_cockerham

Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
10,181
Location
Nashville
Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. It's not just knowing the names, and dates. You have to obtain a birth certificate, a marriage license, and a death certificate for each individual, and the military record of your confederate ancestor (all in triplicate) If they were born, married, & died before vital records were being kept you have to find other sources. Census records, wills, family bibles, pictures of headstones, etc. Death certificates and headstones can be used for birth and death only if the complete date is there, month, day, year. If it isn't you have to find another record. And they don't accept a headstone inscription of military service as proof. It has to be an official record. I just got my great-grandfather's from the National Archives, $25. But it's nice to have, includes everything from the day he enlisted to the day he was paroled at Appomattox.

So there's a lot of genealogy work involved in joining the UDC. Which many women aren't interested in doing, as it can take months to find and obtain the proofs.
You are being quite clear, and pardon my rambling please; it's just that I'm interested because I 'work' with all these groups. I still contend the genealogy you describe for the UDC is basic stuff that everyone "should" be capable of and by all rights, ought to be doing anyway. Our SCV reviews as to the soldier's service are reasonably rigid as to documentation of service. We tend to perhaps go a tad too easy on the linking of generations, having a tendency to somewhat take a man's word for it. (Taking one's word, now there's a concept from the past that is unfortunately fading from our landscape. The past was a simpler time, one of trust. Wasn't all bad.)

The "visits" I've had with the official records of my own ancestors' service has been one of the most rewarding experiences of this hobby. Yes, I'm talking records, the ones with the signatures and real folks names, the folks who were actually there and walked this earth with my ancestors. Pension and service files often are literal interviews with the ancestor, the guys who helped make my stay on this earth possible. It's a shame it ain't audible and we can't ask our own questions.....

Months are nothing. Shame on 'em. I started this about 1963. Do the math.
 

sf46

Corporal
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
461
Location
Pointe Coupee Parish, LA
Don't know why the women made it so difficult. The membership requirement states blood descendant, so if you're adopted can't join unless you can prove your biological line. The Union ladies are even stricter in that they only allow direct descendants. The UDC does allow collateral relations. And let me tell you, if a prospective member states "the SCV..." a member will interrupt and say "We don't care how the SCV does it".
Which is why you see UDC chapters closing down all over the place as their membership dies off. They will eventually snob their way out of existence.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
69
Location
Alabama
This is a new one for me as I have been pretty content to sit back and wait for Oldreb to put forth his ideas on secession, etc. and then try to slap them down.

I know it has entertained and amused most of you and may have caused some distress with a few of you on this board.

But now I put a serious question to all who find sympathy with the cause of the South during the War of the Rebellion. Why?

Why such passion and such a fervent belief in that the cause of the South was somehow right? Why do you think secession was proper and just? Especially when it was so long ago and is so remote from your present day life. And why do you have such deep passions about the subject?

Unionblue
I’ve never had any objection to the planter aristocracy being (suitably) lumped with the other ruthless ruling classes of that era. It’s the selective demonization of it, rather, that I, for both academic/intellectual and sentimental reasons, consider objectionable. (After all, selective outrage has always been the very life force of ideological-cultural diseases like jingoism and other forms of self-justifying nationalistic arrogance.)

The imperialist powers of that era practiced genocide (I include here aggressive warfare in the definition of genocide.) and merciless exploitation. In fact, the Second Opium War ended only months before Southern secession. What I question, then, is why the mere expectation of having the Southern government realistically measured against those governments is sometimes interpreted as an attempt to heap high praise on the Southern regime. Also, given the character and motivations of those imperialist governments, I further question how any sound theory of international law could’ve invested in them the (moral) authority to legitimize any state (i.e., “grant” it sovereignty via “recognition”).

It was never necessarily a matter of secession having been a positive development: As I just indicated, I think one could objectively look at all of the major states of that time and form an across-the-board perspective, such as would immediately reject any attempt to morally isolate the Southern plutocracy from the others as an exercise in self-serving, self-justifying chauvinism.

The educational systems of the South need to be radically improved… across the board. Actually, the South’s (cultural) emancipation from anti-Southern mythologizing would depend on that very thing. (An ignorant population is much easier to indoctrinate, in other words.)

As far as Confederate heritage is concerned, students would both need to be able to make realistic comparisons with the other plutocracies of that time and have some knowledge of the upper-echelon Confederates who were prepared to trade away slavery for independence. I don’t think a pro-Confederate consensus would be the inevitable outcome there. My reasons, in any case, have more to do with undoing the effects of the South’s demonization than building a pro-Confederate consensus.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

OpnDownfall

Cadet
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
2,871
Why do present day Southerners have such passion for the 'Lost Cause'?

The passion for the 'Lost Cause' stems from the fear of being demonized by having to defend the south participation in the CW by defending (or appearing to defend) slavery.
That the csa, the south and slavery could be compartmentalized, with each having very little connection with the other, was a post-war creation , given little credence in the south before and during the war.
The recognition of the centrality of slavery, to sectionalism, secession and war, in American history, is not, of itself, demonization.
The Lost Cause syndrome, is, in fact, the attempt at deflecting the demonizing influence of slavery on the souths participation in the Civil War.
 

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
14,817
Location
California
Duncan, when you include "Aggressive warfare" as "genocide", you render your arguement on that score so...um...dramatic..as to be impossible to take seriously.

Speaking as someone with no fondness on the whole for Imperialism or the Old South (the four years of the Confederacy being one aspect of that).

But in regards to the legitimacy issue of "recognition", which can be addressed seperately - that's a matter of law, not morality. You can be moral and unlawful (Robin Hood), amoral and unlawful (the list is very long), amoral and lawful (the list is also very long), or moral and lawful (the list is pretty short).

Where one is morally has no bearing whatsoever on the issue, unless refusal of recognition is done as a sign of moral disapproval - and that has no bearing on why the Confederacy wasn't recognized.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
69
Location
Alabama
The recognition of the centrality of slavery, to sectionalism, secession and war, in American history, is not, of itself, demonization.

I said that selective outrage amounts to demonization.

Lincoln endorsed the Corwin Amendment, a constitutional entrenchment that could've extended the life of slavery by generations. He also, even after his first proclamation of selective emancipation, proposed a gradual emancipation to 1900 and voluntary colonization of the Southern blacks. He also stated in a speech of 1858 his prefernce for denying to "emancipated" blacks virtually every right of citizenship.

Of course, I'm willing to allow the for context in which Lincoln's policy statements were made because historical facts taken out of context can be as deceptive as outright fabrications. The problem, however, is that the forces of anti-Southern bigotry refuse to put the actions and perceived interests of the Southern ruling class into the larger context of a world dominated by ruthlessly exploitive and murderous elites.

Davis was plainly willing to trade away slavery for independence, as were other Confederates. Therefore, to emphasize slavery to the complete exclusion of all other issues would be no less intellectually dishonest.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
69
Location
Alabama
Duncan, when you include "Aggressive warfare" as "genocide", you render your arguement on that score so...um...dramatic..as to be impossible to take seriously.

I couldn't disagree more strongly. In fact, present-day international law sets the bar a good deal higher.

But in regards to the legitimacy issue of "recognition", which can be addressed seperately - that's a matter of law, not morality.

It depends on the legal theory you have in mind. It certainly wouldn't, for example, be considered outside of the realm of natural law. Natural law theory aside, however, there's a well-established school of thought that rejects foreign recognition as a condition of national sovereignty.

Needless to say, the imperialists' rejection of the Confederate emancipation-recognition offer was a strictly "might makes right" determination.
 

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
14,817
Location
California
I couldn't disagree more strongly. In fact, present-day international law sets the bar a good deal higher.
War for conquest may be all kinds of wrong. Its not the same as genocide.

It depends on the legal theory you have in mind. It certainly wouldn't, for example, be considered outside of the realm of natural law. Natural law theory aside, however, there's a well-established school of thought that rejects foreign recognition as a condition of national sovereignty.
Natural law is unfortunately without any well established jurisdiction or authority, and is a vague concept at best.

As for the other school of thought - it has been discussed elsewhere on this site, I do not believe repeating the arguements on it here would be a good idea.

Needless to say, the imperialists' rejection of the Confederate emancipation-recognition offer was a strictly "might makes right" determination.
Not at all. The Confederacy had to demonstrate that it was capable of existing as a viable nation for recognizing it as a "viable nation" to make any sense whatsoever. The only "might makes right" determination at work was that inherent in the "trial by combat" of rebellion.
 

Will Posey

Retired User
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
1,207
Location
Knoxville, Tennessee
Why such passion and such a fervent belief in that the cause of the South was somehow right? Why do you think secession was proper and just? Especially when it was so long ago and is so remote from your present day life. And why do you have such deep passions about the subject?

Unionblue
Neil, For many of us, it's not a matter of thinking secession was proper and just, nor is it a matter of thinking slavery was worth fighting for. Rather, our direct ancestors experienced the war and its aftermath, so those experiences are part of our collective family heritage. We grew up hearing from our parents and grandparents about the hardships their parents and grandparents endured. Being ingrained in our being, we are naturally interested in our ancestors' involvement.

None of us believes slavery is a good thing, and very few would wish that the Confederate secession had prevailed, considering the events of the ensuing 140+ years.

However, we do feel somewhat the pain of our forbears' suffering and we feel bound to honor them by remembering their sacrifice. In my case, as in Larry's, as well as many others, there are Union ancestors to also honor. They were our family back then. Now, in a sense, we are them.

Regards,

Will Posey
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
33,492
Location
Right here.
The recognition of the centrality of slavery, to sectionalism, secession and war, in American history, is not, of itself, demonization.

I said that selective outrage amounts to demonization.

Lincoln endorsed the Corwin Amendment, a constitutional entrenchment that could've extended the life of slavery by generations. He also, even after his first proclamation of selective emancipation, proposed a gradual emancipation to 1900 and voluntary colonization of the Southern blacks. He also stated in a speech of 1858 his prefernce for denying to "emancipated" blacks virtually every right of citizenship.

Of course, I'm willing to allow the for context in which Lincoln's policy statements were made because historical facts taken out of context can be as deceptive as outright fabrications.
I take it then you are making a point by making those statements, knowing that they really don't tell the story they seem to tell.


The problem, however, is that the forces of anti-Southern bigotry
"forces of anti-Southern bigotry?"

Davis was plainly willing to trade away slavery for independence, as were other Confederates. Therefore, to emphasize slavery to the complete exclusion of all other issues would be no less intellectually dishonest.
But doesn't that ignore the context as well? Davis most certainly wasn't willing to give up slavery until very, very late in the war. Making that statement about him in isolation from the nationalizing effect of the war itself on him is no less intellectually dishonest, no?

Regards,
Cash
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
29,906
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Neil, For many of us, it's not a matter of thinking secession was proper and just, nor is it a matter of thinking slavery was worth fighting for. Rather, our direct ancestors experienced the war and its aftermath, so those experiences are part of our collective family heritage. We grew up hearing from our parents and grandparents about the hardships their parents and grandparents endured. Being ingrained in our being, we are naturally interested in our ancestors' involvement.

None of us believes slavery is a good thing, and very few would wish that the Confederate secession had prevailed, considering the events of the ensuing 140+ years.

However, we do feel somewhat the pain of our forbears' suffering and we feel bound to honor them by remembering their sacrifice. In my case, as in Larry's, as well as many others, there are Union ancestors to also honor. They were our family back then. Now, in a sense, we are them.

Regards,

Will Posey
Will Posey,

Thank you very much for answering the questions I asked my fellow forum members so long ago.

Your views and your reasons are much appreciated and go a long way with helping me understand the ground and history those of Southern heritage base their feelings and views on.

Again, thank you for taking the time to help me understand.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
69
Location
Alabama
I take it then you are making a point by making those statements, knowing that they really don't tell the story they seem to tell.




"forces of anti-Southern bigotry?"



But doesn't that ignore the context as well? Davis most certainly wasn't willing to give up slavery until very, very late in the war. Making that statement about him in isolation from the nationalizing effect of the war itself on him is no less intellectually dishonest, no?

Regards,
Cash
Of course I wasn't downplaying the significance of what amounted to policy statements on the part of Lincoln. Had the South, for example, accepted a regime based on the Corwin Amendment the consequences for future generations of black Southerners would've been very severe. However, if those statements were to be understood completely without consideration of the political culture in which Lincoln lived, the likely result would be a distorted image of Lincoln.


Let's not take my comment about context out of context. Of course I wasn't suggesting that in every single discussion pertaining to this conflict every single relevant fact has to be acknowleged. That's a totally unrealistic standard. What I was referring, of course, is the need to incorporate Confederate emancipation efforts into things like school history curricula. The alternative, of course, would be the continuation of the practice of not including those facts. How intellectually honest would that be?

As for Davis, he appears to have been willing to consider emancipatory policies from around November 1864 ( I believe this was the date that NW Stephenson gave in his aforementioned analysis.) "Last ditch" is somewhat misleading, however, in so far as Davis favored a continuation of the conflict under conditions in which institutionalized slavery would've been unenforceable.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
69
Location
Alabama
Obstructive sophistry, IMO.

"Bigotry" is too much word for that sentence.
It's not too much word for that sentence. However, I would agree that it was an overly encompassing label.

Let students be educated to the point where they can determine for themselves the degree to which the Southern oligarchy wasn't morally distinguishable from the political classes of the major powers. I think the only alternative would be to not educate them to the point where they could think independently regarding such subjects.

In which of those two environments would sophistry thrive?
 

larry_cockerham

Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
10,181
Location
Nashville
Will Posey,

Thank you very much for answering the questions I asked my fellow forum members so long ago.

Your views and your reasons are much appreciated and go a long way with helping me understand the ground and history those of Southern heritage base their feelings and views on.

Again, thank you for taking the time to help me understand.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Thank you both for your efforts in this regard.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

OpnDownfall

Cadet
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
2,871
Why do present day Southerners have such passion for the 'Lost Cause'?

This thread is questioning the reason why, for many southerners, the simple desire memoralize their ancestors tends to be tied so tightly to the 'Lost Cause' mythos?
The Corwin Amendment, promised and would deliver Nothing that the South did not already have and, that was not enough for the csa.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
33,492
Location
Right here.
Duncan, when you include "Aggressive warfare" as "genocide", you render your arguement on that score so...um...dramatic..as to be impossible to take seriously.

I couldn't disagree more strongly. In fact, present-day international law sets the bar a good deal higher.
I will assume that by "aggressive warfare" you mean war started by one nation to seize territory from another nation. Is that accurate?

If so, that is not genocide. In fact, IIRC, the term didn't even exist in the 19th Century. Genocide's definition is the systematic extermination of a national group, a political group, or a cultural group. A war to seize territory does not do that. Those groups would still exist, though under the control of another.

Needless to say, the imperialists' rejection of the Confederate emancipation-recognition offer was a strictly "might makes right" determination.
Why could it not have been a recognition that such an offer was illegal by the confederates' own constitution, and thus of no legal value? Why could it not have been a recognition that the confederacy was going to lose and was thus going to fail a fundamental test of independence as a nation?

Regards,
Cash
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
33,492
Location
Right here.
Of course I wasn't downplaying the significance of what amounted to policy statements on the part of Lincoln. Had the South, for example, accepted a regime based on the Corwin Amendment the consequences for future generations of black Southerners would've been very severe.
It would have been exactly the same as if nothing happened. The Corwin Amendment did nothing more than codify what was the accepted constitutional interpretation of the time. It did nothing about the extension of slavery into the territories, which was the crux of the argument. The prevailing belief was that without territories to expand into, slavery would perish. Lincoln's goal was the peaceful extinction of slavery. And it doesn't completely rule out a national consensus, to necessarily include some of the slave states, to abolish slavery.

The Corwin Amendment was supposedly itself unamendable, but scholars cast considerable doubt on assertions that anything in the Constitution is really unamendable. All it would take is another amendment repealing the Corwin Amendment and then a follow-up amendment to abolish slavery.

What I was referring, of course, is the need to incorporate Confederate emancipation efforts into things like school history curricula. The alternative, of course, would be the continuation of the practice of not including those facts. How intellectually honest would that be?
School histories as a whole tend to be incomplete and watered down to virtual uselessness. If we're going to make them complete, why stop at the confederacy's emancipation debate? In 180 days per year, with history taking less than 150 minutes per week on the average, there isn't enough time to fill in all the gaps that need to be filled in. What exists today is the bare minimum to ensure a very basic historical literacy. Nothing more. If you want more, then accept the higher taxes that go with an extended school year and extended school day and paying teachers more for advanced history education.


As for Davis, he appears to have been willing to consider emancipatory policies from around November 1864 ( I believe this was the date that NW Stephenson gave in his aforementioned analysis.) "Last ditch" is somewhat misleading, however, in so far as Davis favored a continuation of the conflict under conditions in which institutionalized slavery would've been unenforceable.
November of 1864 was very, very late in the war, and it was indeed a last ditch attempt. I disagree that continued slavery would be unenforceable.

Regards,
Cash
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

OpnDownfall

Cadet
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
2,871
Why do present-day Southerners have such passion for the 'Lost Cause'?

For one to claim that one can be proud of blood and sacrifice of ones ancestors in a war and yet, profess that the cause of that war was unworth of that sacrifice and blood, is not a particularly good reflection on those ancestors. Thus the 'Lost Cause'.
As noted by many, even in 1860, the pervasive power of slavery to taint even the good, continues to this day.
 

Glorybound

Major
Retired Moderator
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
9,060
Location
Indiana
For one to claim that one can be proud of blood and sacrifice of ones ancestors in a war and yet, profess that the cause of that war was unworth of that sacrifice and blood, is not a particularly good reflection on those ancestors. Thus the 'Lost Cause'.
I can't quite agree with that. I don't see a contradiction in the pride one would have in an ancestor who left home/family/land to fight what they perceived as an invading force, threatening their very way of life, their homeland, their kin, even though most of them were not slave-owners, and many probably even disdaining this "peculiar institution". It is possible and not hypocritical to be proud of one's ancestors who fought for the south, yet still consider slavery an abhorrent wrong. (ok here we go)

I don't see many of these later generation folks posting on this board, descendants of these same ancestors, projecting the "lost causer" image either. My opinion, of course.



Lee
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top