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Southerners Not Happy to Have Lost Civil War

So, some bright people are surprised at new polling showing that a significant minority of Southerners have not enthusiastically embraced their ancestors’ loss in the Civil War.

The Civil War may have come to a close almost 150 years ago but Republicans in three Southern states still aren’t sure its outcome was a good thing. Less than half of GOP voters in Georgia, North Carolina, and Mississippi are glad that the North won the Civil War:

-In Georgia 47% of Republicans are content with the Union victory, while 31% wish the South had won. Democrats (58/17) and independents (54/19) are both strongly supportive of the North, making the overall numbers 53/23.

-In North Carolina GOP voters are almost evenly divided on the outcome of the war with 35% glad for the North’s victory, 33% ruing the South’s loss, and 32% taking neither side. Democrats (55/15) and independents (57/14) have similar numbers to Georgia but due to the greater ambivalence of Republicans about the northern victory, overall less than half of Tar Heel voters (48%) are glad the Union won to 21% who wish the Confederacy had.

-In Mississippi no group of the electorate seems all that enthused about the North having won. Republicans, by a 38/21 margin, outright wish the South had won. Democrats (39/22) and independents (49/15) side with the North but compared to those voter groups in North Carolina and Georgia they’re pretty ambivalent. Overall just 34% of voters in the state are glad the Union prevailed to 27% who wish the rebels had been victorious.

Matt Yglesias is befuddled by the numbers and terms the notion that any of this remains controversial “absurd.” Mike Tomasky doesn’t “know what to say” but assumes it has to do with racism, which recent polls confirm still exists.

Jamelle Bouie terms these “simply crazy numbers,” with Southerners effectively  saying “the Confederacy is cool!” But, he figures, the figures would be different if the questions were rephrased, “Are you happy with the Union victory and the end of slavery?”

This isn’t actually all that complicated: A significant number of Southerners continue to feel a deep attachment to the region and its culture. This is especially true of those who have generations-long attachments to the South. It’s hardly shocking, then, that they would fail to celebrate their ancestor’s loss in a bitter war.

And Jamelle’s right: Almost none of those ambivalent about the Southern defeat have any fondness for slavery, much less a desire to re-institute it. Additionally, these people are some of the most patriotic Americans, seeing zero contradiction between loving America and her flag and also celebrating an insurrection against it several generations ago.

Then again, for today’s Southerners, the Civil War wasn’t about slavery.

Don’t misunderstand: There’s simply no debate that slavery was  sine qua non for the South’s secession and the onset of war. All of the political debates and pronouncements surrounding the Election of 1860 and the run-up to secession make that crystal clear. Other justifications were calculated myth created by a Lost Cause movement shortly after the war.

But the political cause of a war seldom has much to do with why individual people fight.  Only a tiny fraction of the soldiers of the Confederacy owned or had any prospect of owning slaves. Mostly, they fought because there was a war on and they chose their homeland over a mythical nation-state that wouldn’t come to exist in its modern sense for another several decades.

So, it’s quite easy for Southerners to distinguish between the Civil War and slavery. In their minds, their ancestors weren’t fighting to preserve a wicked institution but rather for some combination of independence, “state’s rights,” and clan loyalty.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. ponce says:

    That’s a surprise?

    Heck, a recent poll showed 46% of Mississippi Republicans thought interracial marriage should be outlawed.

    http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2011/04/barbour-bryant-lead-in-mississippi.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  2. Michael says:

    and your silly point is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  3. Axel Edgren says:

    and your silly point is?

    That the South has yet to learn its lesson, and is unwilling to admit the secessionists were evil idiots who should have been shot at and had their belongings burned until they submitted to their better, more wiser American brethren?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  4. mantis says:

    Can’t we just let them secede now? The U.S. would be better off, if you ask me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  5. JKB says:

    Of course, it isn’t really that simple. Yes, the initial states seceded over slavery but not simply due to the election Lincoln. Wealthy Northerners had been funding the terrorist campaign of John Brown. But Lincoln took the North to war over the secession. He then, adroitly lured Davis into a misguided attack on one of the four strategically unimportant federal forts the in the seceded states. This provoked war and the other Southern states joined the South in regional solidarity, with the border states occupied and held by force. So the slavery issue was quickly overcome by pride on both sides. It should be noted that slavery was legal in all the states under Union control for the duration of the war and slaves were in use in Washington, DC during this period.

    In war, the incipient event is generally overcome by pride and honor once the drums of war start. Or are we to presume the thousands that died everyday in the trenches of WWI even knew who Archduke Ferdinand was?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  6. Herb says:

    This isn’t actually all that complicated: A significant number of Southerners continue to feel a deep attachment to the region and its culture.

    Why this deep attachment to the Confederacy though? I can understand being proud of one’s region and culture, but A) the Confederacy was nothing to be proud of and B) it ended long before anyone currently alive could form such a deep attachment to it.

    So what gives?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  7. PD Shaw says:

    I’m befuddled that Yglesias is befuddled. He, as much as anybody on the left, has expressed ambivalence about the war, the North’s purported goals, and whether the outcome was entirely salutary. I could pick out quotes like this all day:

    I’ve always thought there was something about the Lincoln administration’s determination to fight and win the Civil War that was a bit odd. . . . In an interesting new paper (PDF), Zachary Liskow suggests economic motives were at the root.

    If a white southerner with a handlebar mustache waiving a holy book said this, we would be looking for a rebel flag patch on his jean jacket.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Neil Hudelson says:

    Why this deep attachment to the Confederacy though? I can understand being proud of one’s region and culture, but A) the Confederacy was nothing to be proud of and B) it ended long before anyone currently alive could form such a deep attachment to it.

    This has always befuddled me as well. I am deeply proud of being a Hoosier, and love my state fiercely, but I am not proud and completely condemn the history of the KKK and white supremacy in my state.

    You can be proud of your state, region, or culture’s history and still condemn the uglier aspects of its past (of course to the wignuttia, this is “constantly apologizing”).

    Just as you can be proud of your current region/culture and still condemn its current ugliness without being hypocritical. So when I recognize that racism still exists in my state (*cough* including a commentor here who used to post at stormfront), that does not mean I do not love my state.

    The stance of southerners who can’t quite seem to realize that pride in the Confederacy is pride in an atrocity is astounding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  9. PD Shaw says:

    This poll has 29% of Georgians identifying themselves as “very liberal” stating that interracial marriage should be illegal. There’s a bit of a reverse bell curve effect with very conservative and very liberal being less supportive than moderates.

    Also, 11% of African-Americans in Georgie wish the South had won.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. mantis says:

    Why this deep attachment to the Confederacy though? I can understand being proud of one’s region and culture, but A) the Confederacy was nothing to be proud of and B) it ended long before anyone currently alive could form such a deep attachment to it.

    I don’t understand that either. You can love and value southern culture such as food, music, architecture, hospitality, and so on without holding on to the Confederacy. The Confederacy is not a culture, and it’s not the South. It was a political movement, and an immoral and treasonous one at that. Why anyone wants to hang on to that, I have no idea. Bunch of bitter clingers, if you ask me.

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  11. It’s a little surprising how un-nuanced perceptions of Southerners can be. Much easier to just accuse them of being idiots and racists, kind of like everyone else who doesn’t agree with the coffee house commisars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  12. Mithras says:

    JKB-

    He then, adroitly lured Davis into a misguided attack on one of the four strategically unimportant federal forts the in the seceded states.

    He was a crafty one, that Abe. How did he manage to do that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  13. PD Shaw says:

    Herb, I disagree that it was that long ago. There are people alive today who met people alive then. There is marked difference in the polling between over and under 65. They no doubt know stories of love and affection about someone in their family who fought, or may have even died, sending the family into dire straits.

    David Blight argues that reconciliation was only made possible by mutual agreement between Northern and Southern Whites to remove the causes of the war from point of discussion. He traces the removal of blacks from the story of war, replaced by a focus on the nobility of the soldier, for whatever cause he fought, we may never know. The implication of said agreement was the removal of the “black problem” from debate.

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  14. wr says:

    I’m quite fond of German music, literature and food, but I’d never say I wished the Nazis had won. Or even the Germans in WW 1.

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  15. Bleev K says:

    It’s a little surprising how un-nuanced perceptions of Southerners can be. Much easier to just accuse them of being idiots and racists, kind of like everyone else who doesn’t agree with the coffee house commisars.

    And this coming from the guy who calls Obama a marxist… Welcome to bizarro world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  16. Axel Edgren says:

    I’ve always thought there was something about the Lincoln administration’s determination to fight and win the Civil War that was a bit odd. . . . In an interesting new paper (PDF), Zachary Liskow suggests economic motives were at the root.

    If a white southerner with a handlebar mustache waiving a holy book said this, we would be looking for a rebel flag patch on his jean jacket.

    Who cares? The south wanted to have slaves (because they were too weak and lazy to accomplish the same economy without slavery) and were ready to go to war to defend it. That means that we root for the people that invaded them and shot at them. This is not rocket surgery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  17. JKB says:

    Mithras, by maintaining the forts that absent war with then new Confederacy were of no value to the Union, Lincoln left a provocation, an affront, to the Southern leaders. Jefferson Davis, thinking that Lincoln would be seen as the aggressor due to this provocation, ordered the firing on Ft. Sumpter. It was a serious misjudgment on Davis’s part.

    Yes, Axel, you root for the side that simply didn’t want slavery expanding into the new territories to preserve them for white settlers. During the election and until Lincoln needed something other than a fight against rebels seeking independence, the Republican position was the maintenance of slavey where it was, the prohibition of its expansion and keeping new territories for whites only. Lincoln even tried to establish a colony for blacks escaping the South during the war. So there is whole lot of blindness to slavery going on on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. JKB says:

    A colony for the escaped slaves outside the United States and territories, that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Highlander says:

    Yea, it kind of makes you wonder how the “oh so noble” North could have done such a wonderful thing as freeing the negros(could it be they needed more cannon fodder for the Union Army?).

    And then, in the next 30 years conducted atrocity after atrocity against the remaining native american population in order to claim their lands.

    The Union Army provided the former slaves job opportunities, by using a goodly number of former slaves as soldiers in this multiy decade genocidial campaign against the American Indians, and pioneered the use of biological warfare and planned massed death by induced famine. Nice guys.

    Life is very complicated isn’t it, and so are cultural clashes. Like the current one we are in with Islam( and are possibly losing). I would be a little more concerned about that one, than the one that occurred 150 years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  20. ponce says:

    Looks like this post rubbed some crackers the wrong way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Southern Hoosier says:

    Slaves in the South constituted a sizable economical investment for their owners.

    In the North the industrialist had no such investment in their workers. A worker gets hurt, fire him, replace him, and let his family starve. Got a trouble maker in the factory? Not only do you fire him, but you blackball him and he’ll never find another job. Labor market getting tight? Send recruiters to Europe and flood the market with cheap labor. Still have labor troubles? Just bring in the Pinkertons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  22. mantis says:

    Thanks to Southern Hoosier for coming forth to represent the “slaves had it better than everyone else” contingent of the United States of Totally F*cking Insane.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  23. Southern Hoosier says:

    mantis says: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 17:19

    Thanks to Southern Hoosier for coming forth to represent the “slaves had it better than everyone else” contingent of the United States of Totally F*cking Insane.

    Two sides to each story. The North was hardly a workers paradise at that time. I know you don’t want to admit it. Just attack the messenger if you can’t refute the message.

    “slaves had it better than everyone else”

    What makes you say that? I sure didn’t say it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  24. Jib says:

    Only a tiny fraction of the soldiers of the Confederacy owned or had any prospect of owning slaves.

    This is misleading and as far as a southerners prospect of owning a slave, it is wrong. Slave ownership was more dynamic than we think today. It is true that very small number could hope to own a big plantation but big plantation owners was a small number of slave owners (although they owned a lot of the slaves). Most slave owners were smaller farmers and business men who owned one or two slaves. Slaves were capital goods and as people financial fortunes went up and down, the bought and sold slaves. As a result, the number of people in the south who belonged to a family that either owned slaves or had one time owned a slave was as high as 30%. Maybe they were the children of slave owners and they themselves never owned slaves nor would they but they thought of themselves as slave owners and slavery as their institution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. Southern Hoosier says:

    Of the total southern white population of 8,099,760 in 1860, only 384,000 owned slaves.

    There were also Blacks and Indians that owned slaves as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. Jib says:

    Of the total southern white population of 8,099,760 in 1860, only 384,000 owned slaves

    Yes, individuals who actually owned a slave in 1860. But how many of those slave owners had children and wives and other relatives living with them? They dont count in the 384,000 number but they damn sure grew up in a slave owning household. And how many individuals who did not actually own a slave in 1860 HAD own a slave at some time in the past. And how many wives and children and relatives lived with them?

    Total population of southerners who had lived in a slave owning household at some time was almost 30%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  27. Southern Hoosier says:

    Jib says: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 17:52

    Yes, individuals who actually owned a slave in 1860. But how many of those slave owners had children and wives and other relatives living with them

    I understand what you are saying, even though the wife and children did benefit from slavery, they were not slave owners. Children didn’t own property. And many wives did not own property independent of their of husbands. It would be more accurate to say that there were 384,000 or whatever the number was, slave owning households.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. wr says:

    Southern Hoosier — So are you saying you’re in favor of the progressive labor laws that eliminated so much of the difficulty of the working person’s life? Are you really a Democrat?

    Oh, and by the way, even if employers in the North were not angels to their workers, they could not legally sell, rape or kill them. All of which slave owners had the legal right to do to their slaves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  29. steve says:

    The numbers are generally thought to be, in 1860, 1516000 free families, 385000 owned slaves and there were a total of 4,000,000 slaves, which had quadrupled from 1,000,000 in 1800. Since the slaves were the equivalent of farm tools or animals, like a mule, or in the modern era a tractor, I think you need to look at it by family ownership. Few single men lived alone back then (no gays yet). Also, then as now, there was turnover in family fortunes so that the 25% in 1860 would not be the same as those in 1850.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Southern Hoosier says:

    No, I’m not a Democrat, but I’ve been a member of the CWA for the past 17 years.

    Oh, and by the way, even if employers in the North were not angels to their workers, they could not legally sell, rape or kill them.

    True, but they could always throw them out on the streets to starve. Black ball them. Turn the Pinkertons loose on them. Things were rough all over for the working class, free or slave,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  31. ponce says:

    “I’ve been a member of the CWA for the past 17 years.”

    Crackers With Attitude?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  32. Southern Hoosier says:

    steve says: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 18:31 Few single men lived alone back then (no gays yet).

    The sexual orientation of Abraham Lincoln is a topic of debate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexuality_of_Abraham_Lincoln

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  33. Southern Hoosier says:

    ponce says:
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 18:42

    “I’ve been a member of the CWA for the past 17 years.”

    Crackers With Attitude?

    LOL!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Southern Hoosier says:

    BMW

    Bubba Made Wheels, Greenville, SC

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  35. Jib says:

    Like most people I see these things through my own history. My family owned slaves and land in Kentucky in the early 1800’s and sold them to raise money to buy a new farm in Arkansas around 1835. At the time of the war they owned no slaves and I dont think they had since leaving Kentucky. But they considered themselves part of the slave owner class, even if it was long in their past. I have no doubt they knew exactly why the war was being fought.

    One of my relatives marched with Price when he moved on Kansas City. But another relative in a another branch of the family left southwestern Missouri to join a Union calvary regiment that was raised in Memphis. Which is just to say it is complicated when you honor your past. What we owe them all is to tell the truth.

    Besides, the confederates in my family would frankly be disgusted by any weak attempts I made to make excuses for them. They were unabashed white supremest, unashamed of their belief. They would make no excuse for them and so I will not either

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  36. Southern Hoosier says:

    Jib says:Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 18:56
    They were unabashed white supremest, unashamed of their belief.

    Most people were at that time, both North and South, even the abolitionists, Lincoln was a white supremest. I’m not making excuses for anyone, that’s just the way life was in those days.

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  37. An Interested Party says:

    …by maintaining the forts that absent war with then new Confederacy were of no value to the Union, Lincoln left a provocation, an affront, to the Southern leaders.

    Considering these people were traitors, they deserved whatever provocation or affront that the president could give them…by the way, JKB, your argument directed towards Axel still doesn’t cleanse the Southern traitors of any of their sins…

    Slaves in the South constituted a sizable economical investment for their owners.

    Two sides to each story. The North was hardly a workers paradise at that time.

    People shouldn’t be considered property and it is neither legal nor noble to turn traitor just to protect slavery, period…it really isn’t complicated, you know…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  38. Jib says:

    Most people were at that time, both North and South…, Lincoln was a white supremest

    No, there is a difference between believing whites are superior and white supremacy. White supremacy is a political ideology that believes white should rule over blacks. That blacks inferiority means there are should not have the same rights as whites. A form of social Darwinism, that some races are inherently superior and should have special rights.

    Lincoln believed that whites were superior to blacks which made him a racist as most people were. But he also very much believed that blacks should have the same political rights as whites. This made him a radical and his election meant war for white supremacist.

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  39. Sam Penrose says:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2011/04/the-civil-war-isnt-tragic-cont/237919/

    “But the political cause of a war seldom has much to do with why individual people fight. Only a tiny fraction of the soldiers of the Confederacy owned or had any prospect of owning slaves. Mostly, they fought because there was a war on and they chose their homeland over a mythical nation-state that wouldn’t come to exist in its modern sense for another several decades.”

    You seem to imply that the war was started by a small ideological minority of Southerners, and then the majority decided to fight with them. My understanding is that the South’s identity was formed by slavery (see http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393312887 ), and that from the Constitutional Convention forward the South considered the vitality of the slave system to be its single most important issue — hence the compromises of 1820 etc. To say that Southerners on the one hand understandably fought for their “homeland” while not feeling much connection to its professed ideology defies plausibility.

    That people will twist their thoughts willy-nilly to avoid conclusions that make them feel bad about themselves is news to no one, but that doesn’t make it admirable or defensible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. PD Shaw says:

    These things are not true, or at least need defined:

    “The sexual orientation of Abraham Lincoln is a topic of debate.”

    It’s a topic of debate among historians who write their work directed to the History Channel, next to conspiracy theories involving the untold history of Knights Templar and Big Foot.

    “Lincoln believed that whites were superior to blacks which made him a racist as most people were.”

    Lincoln believed that blacks in their condition at that time were not equal to whites, that they were nonetheless equal in the right to the fruits of their labor, and non-committal about whether that situation could be changed. His late friendship with Frederick Douglas is seen as a modernizing influence on his attitudes, though by and large he remained pessimistic about white attitudes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. wr says:

    SH: “True, but they could always throw them out on the streets to starve. Black ball them. Turn the Pinkertons loose on them. Things were rough all over for the working class, free or slave,”

    And that’s true today. And getting truer every day, as your people work to wipe out all protections for workers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  42. Southern Hoosier says:

    wr says: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 20:35
    And that’s true today.

    LOL!!! You are really serious about people being black balled today. Pinkertons beating people in the streets. Working condition no better today than they were in the mid 1800s and getting worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. Southern Hoosier says:

    Took me awhile, but I found the name of the picture at the top of the page, its called Birthers and Truthers Agree.

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  44. JKB says:

    Considering these people were traitors, they deserved whatever provocation or affront that the president could give them…

    Please, elaborate on how secession from a voluntary union is treason? In what way is it levying war or adhering to enemies? If there was no treason, there can be no traitors. After the hostilities began the issue gets a bit murkier.

    It is good to see you have your modern sensibilities to guide your righteousness and have no understanding of earlier times in history. I’m sure you made your progressive professors proud.

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  45. Southern Hoosier says:

    Just for clarifaction, an example of treason would be what John Brown did at Harpers Ferry in 1859.

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  46. matt says:

    @JKB : Holy revisionist history. Lincoln lured the south to attack a northern fort? That’s hilariously wrong. They CHOSE to attack the fort just like they CHOSE to secede from the union. Seriously how far should Lincoln of force the union to pull back? Those forts belonged to the union and the south had no legit claim to them. In essence you’re claiming that since Lincoln didn’t surrender Northern territory when attacked he was provoking and engaging in a war of aggression. That doesn’t even remotely make sense.

    Slavery in DC was abolished in April of 1862. Since the emancipation proclamation only applied to those states that were in open rebellion against the union you are technically correct. Naturally the north consisted of free states which is the opposite of what you tried to imply. At the end of the war all of the southern states were required to ratify the 13th amendment and such..

    As for Lincoln and his relationship with blacks I’ll just leave you with a quote from Frederick Douglas. “all the friends of negro equality and negro citizenship to rally as one man around Abraham Lincoln.”

    “I have said that President Lincoln was a white man, and shared the prejudices common to his countrymen towards the colored race. Looking back to his times and to the condition of his country, we are compelled to admit that this unfriendly feeling on his part may be safely set down as one element of his wonderful success in organizing the loyal American people for the tremendous conflict before them, and bringing them safely through that conflict. His great mission was to accomplish two things: first, to save his country from dismemberment and ruin; and, second, to free his country from the great crime of slavery. To do one or the other, or both, he must have the earnest sympathy and the powerful cooperation of his loyal fellow countrymen. Without this primary and essential condition to success his efforts must have been vain and utterly fruitless. Had he put the abolition of slavery before the salvation of the Union, he would have inevitably driven from him a powerful class of the American people and rendered resistance to rebellion impossible. Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.”

    Lincoln himself said ” Slavery is an unqualified evil to the negro, to the white man, to the soil, and to the State.”

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  47. matt says:

    Frederick Douglass
    April 14, 1876
    Delivered at the Unveiling of The Freedmen’s Monument in Memory of Abraham Lincoln
    Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C.

    GIve it a read sometime..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  48. JKB says:

    You might want to find some contemporary statements rather than a speech 11 years after the rapidly changing events of the war and talking about an assassinated president who did press for the abolition of slavery in the prosecution of the war. That Lincoln might have had an ultimate goal of abolition was the fear that prompted secession. It is quite easy in a conflict, especially one so disruptive, to have the pre-war sensibility overrun by wartime events and post-war revision.

    Well, Jefferson Davis thought that the presence of the forts would be viewed as aggression but he thought wrong and lost the momentum for foreign support. The states as sovereign republics left the association known as the United States. The continued presence of foreign troops on Southern territory was a provocation. I will admit, I am not briefed on the terms in which the territory the forts occupied was transferred to federal use by the states.

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  49. My ancestors mostly came primarily from the Bavaria region of Germany. I’m proud of my heritage, and this means I do the whole polka music/sausage/octoberfest thing.

    It doesn’t, however, mean I am nostalgic about the Third Reich or feel conflicted about which side should have won WWII.

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  50. Rick Almeida says:

    Please, elaborate on how secession from a voluntary union is treason?

    Please point me to the Constitutional provision that lays out the secession process.

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  51. Rick Almeida says:

    In what way is it levying war or adhering [sic] to enemies?

    Sorry to multi-post, but attacking American military property and killing American soldiers isn’t “levying war”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  52. matt says:

    Shorter JKB : Stop using facts from the period and start relying on modern day revisionist history!!!! Lincoln was racist the north attacked the south and blahblahblahblah

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  53. Bleev K — Please provide a reference for me claiming Obama is a marxist or retract your statement and apologize. Your choice.

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  54. Dangerous Dean says:

    The Founding Fathers proposed a constitution in 1787 that was a big risk to states. The states had all suffered to some degree under a despotic English government that had imposed (seemingly) high taxes and hadn’t listened to their complaints.

    So when they crafted the US Constitution, they did so knowing that if they made the central government in the federal system strong enough to FORCE a state to stay in the union, most states would have not joined the new government.

    Rick asked for a Constituional reference for the secession procedure. He’s right that there isn’t one. And if you believe that the central government can do anything NOT forbidden in the Constitution then he has a point. The 10th Amendment to the Constitution says otherwise, though. While it doesn’t specificially mention secession, it does give the states any right not granted to the central government or denied to the states. I think southern states were justified to think that this meant they could leave the union whenever they thought that the government had gotten despotic or tyrannical.

    For the sake of full disclosure, my family moved to Texas from Germany in the 1870s, so we never owned slaves or had any involvement in a Nazi regime. I don’t have a dog in this fight. But I am convinced that our founding fathers pitched the Constitution to nervous states as being weak enough to not force them into staying in a bad marriage. And there is no doubt in my mind that Lincoln acted treasonously in trying to force them back in at gunpoint.

    While I am glad that slavery ended, I think it could have been done much more cheaply through negotiation than through a war that ruined the South’s economy and killed hundreds of thousands of our bravest men.

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  55. I seem to recall from the Ken Burns’ The Civil War series some sentiment expressed that there was no way some of the states would have ever joined the Union if they thought they coudn’t just as easily have gotten out of it. Sometimes it is easy to forget how radical the founding documents were.

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  56. An Interested Party says:

    I think southern states were justified to think that this meant they could leave the union whenever they thought that the government had gotten despotic or tyrannical.

    Indeed…who did the members of the federal government think they were to try to infringe upon the spread of that cherished right to hold other human beings as property? So despotic and tyrannical…

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  57. Southern Hoosier says:

    Dangerous Dean says: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 11:47
    I think southern states were justified to think that this meant they could leave the union whenever they thought that the government had gotten despotic or tyrannical.

    Not just Southerns.

    New England Federalists, briefly considered withdrawing from the Union at the Hartford Convention in 1814.

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  58. Well, at least we know An Interested Party will put his ideas of justice du jour in front of the Rule of Law whenever he see fit. Sorry that the whole utopian experiment doesn’t roll out of the box as a completed product but stupid reality, history, human nature and all that just keep getting in the way.

    Now I suppose you’re going to claim that I support slavery?

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  59. Whitehall says:

    The current survey is really a poll on how badly the Yankee liberals have screwed up the current federal government.

    I wouldn’t read anything more than that into it.

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  60. An Interested Party says:

    Now I suppose you’re going to claim that I support slavery?

    Not really, as I’m too busy digging through all the straw in your argument…oh wait, you’re arguing that the Rule of Law went against what Lincoln did? Better he should have let traitors take part of the country out of the Union? I wonder under what part of the Rule of Law should they have been allowed to do that…

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  61. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 19:21

    Better he should have let traitors take part of the country out of the Union?

    Another fact for you to ignore.
    How many Southern leaders. military and civilian, were tried for treason? How about none? If these men were traitors as you keep ranting about, why weren’t they tried?

    Read your history.

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  62. Southern Hoosier says:

    There are things in this life that are worse than slavery.

    Of these, an estimated 645,000 (slaves) were brought to what is now the United States.

    Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days.

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  63. An Interested Party says:

    If these men were traitors as you keep ranting about, why weren’t they tried?

    Lincoln and Johnson were much more interested in reconciliation…

    By the way, you really aren’t helping your position by arguing that genocide is worse than slavery…

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  64. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 20:05

    Lincoln and Johnson were much more interested in reconciliation…

    By the way, you really aren’t helping your position by arguing that genocide is worse than slavery

    So there were no Southern traitors, other than the ones that assassinated Lincoln. Good, glad that is settled.

    You are saying that you would rather be dead than be a slave? Tell that to the 6 million Jews that died during the Holocaust.

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  65. An Interested Party says:

    Please do continue your delusional apologies for the Confederacy…it is quite interesting to observe…

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  66. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 20:35

    Please do continue your delusional apologies for the Confederacy…it is quite interesting to observe…

    I will, as long as you promise to ignore facts. That shouldn’t be hard for you.

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  67. An Interested Party says:

    Your delusions continue, as I have ignored no facts…

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  68. Southern Hoosier says:

    So there were no Southern traitors, other than the ones that assassinated Lincoln. Good, glad that is settled.

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  69. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 20:05

    By the way, you really aren’t helping your position by arguing that genocide is worse than slavery

    And you ignore the fact that genocide is worse than slavery?

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  70. matt says:

    You had me up till this part.

    And there is no doubt in my mind that Lincoln acted treasonously in trying to force them back in at gunpoint.

    SO the south attacking northern forts wasn’t treasonous but responding to this aggression was treasonous….

    How many Southern leaders. military and civilian, were tried for treason? How about none? If these men were traitors as you keep ranting about, why weren’t they tried?

    Read your history.

    There was at least one confederate commander who was executed for crimes against humanity. He was the commander of an infamous prisoner of war camp that systematically starved prisoners to death and such. I cannot remember the name of the camp off the top of my head but feel free to look it up.

    Many southerners were upset when Lincoln was assassinated because they knew full well that Lincoln was a severely moderating influence on the republicans and northerners in general.

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  71. Southern Hoosier says:

    matt says: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 22:32
    There was at least one confederate commander who was executed for crimes against humanity.

    Andersonville was the name pf the prison.

    Heinrich Hartmann Wirz better known as Henry Wirz (November 25, 1823 – November 10, 1865) Born in Zürich, Switzerland,

    Finally, in early November, the commission announced that it had found Wirz guilty of conspiracy as charged, along with 11 of 13 counts of murder. He was sentenced to death.

    Eleven days after the execution of Wirz, it was revealed that the star witness from the trial had perjured himself. He was not Felix de la Baume from France, but Felix Oeser, born in Saxony, Prussia. He was actually a deserter from the 7th New York Volunteers.

    Henry Wirz was one of two men tried, convicted and executed for war crimes during the Civil War (the other being Confederate guerrilla Champ Ferguson).

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  72. matt says:

    Thanks 😛

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  73. Barry says:

    James: “So, some bright people are surprised at new polling showing that a significant minority of Southerners have not enthusiastically embraced their ancestors’ loss in the Civil War.”

    Please note that this article, and your interpretation of it, seem to regard ‘Southerner’ as meaning ‘white Southerner’.

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  74. Southern Hoosier says:

    Southerners Not Happy to Have Lost Civil War and Census shows more blacks moving South. I wonder if these two stories are related?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41606015/ns/us_news-life/

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  75. Cargosquid says:

    We KNOW what the cause of the “Civil War” was.

    The United States of America illegally blockaded the port of a peaceful country. When said peaceful country tried to run off the occupying force, the US used that as a deceitful premise to invade.

    That recent unpleasantness is rightfully called, “The War of Northern Aggression.” It wasn’t a “War of Secession” as the new country had already formed PEACEFULLY from a RIGHTFUL secession. The Confederacy was its own nation, SEPARATE and FREE, from the war mongers of its former northern neighbors. The HATEFUL and GREEDY politicians of the NORTH, wished to DOMINATE the rest of the nation, and so, as provided in any contract, the people of the Southern States, exercised their right of self-determination.

    That’s why, in the eyes of all TRUE and FAITHFUL Southerners, the United States of America is only, now, as of April 9th, 146 years old, the Union having conquered the territory to its south.

    The South WILL Rise Again!

    And THUS! NASCAR became the fastest growing sport in America!

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  76. Rufus says:

    I am an African American who grew up in the south. I have never wanted to leave, this is my home. As far as the Civil War, I do believe it is more nuanced to say the least, than Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves and then everything was better. I think that there were stories of solidarity across racial and class lines in the North and the South. There were also stories of race persecution in the North and the South. I really don’t think most people are interested in hearing each other’s stories plainly and simply without an agenda behind them. My family grew up out of share-cropping in the south which was oppressive, and also moved and worked in industries in the north which were oppressive. When I talk to a neighbor’s be it white or black, and ask them about their history, land, and family stories, I listen and do not talk. Do not try to push my way through the conversation. Stories/ history are usually more complicated than we expect. So, all the neo-liberals and neo-conservatives on this thread really are trying to push their agenda, and afraid to look into their own history to gain some political and cultural analysis. As far as
    2011 politics, Corporations 100 > People 0 = 1859 politics Corporations 100 > People 0

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  77. Sam Penrose says: