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Tue Jun 18, 2019, 03:18 PM

The Myth of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy

Wikipedia. The Lost Cause of the Confederacy, or simply the Lost Cause, is an American historical negationist ideology that holds that the cause of the Confederacy during the American Civil War was a just and heroic one. The ideology endorses the supposed virtues of the antebellum South, viewing the war as a struggle primarily for the Southern way of life or "states' rights" in the face of overwhelming "Northern aggression". At the same time, the Lost Cause minimizes or denies outright the central role of slavery in the outbreak of the war. Lost Cause ideology emerged in the decades after the war among former Confederate generals and politicians, as well as organizations like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Particularly intense periods of Lost Cause activity came around the time of World War I, as the last Confederate veterans began to die and a push was made to preserve their memories, and during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in reaction to growing public support for racial equality. Through activities such as building prominent Confederate monuments and writing school history textbooks, they sought to ensure future generations of Southern whites would know of the South's "true" reasons for fighting the war and therefore continue to support white supremacist policies, such as Jim Crow. In this manner, white supremacy is a key characteristic of the Lost Cause narrative.

- George Washington Custis Lee (1832–1913) on horseback in front of the Jefferson Davis Monument in Richmond, Va., June 3, 1907, reviewing Confederate Reunion Parade. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Custis_Lee

Though it synthesizes numerous ideas, proponents of the Lost Cause primarily argue that slavery was not the main cause of the Civil War. In order to reach this conclusion, they directly ignore the declarations of secession by the seceding states, the declarations of congressmen who left Congress to join the Confederacy, and the treatment of slavery in the Confederate Constitution. They also deny or minimize the wartime writings and speeches of Confederate leaders in favor of postwar views. (See Cornerstone Speech.) Supporters often stress the idea of secession as a defense against a Northern threat to their way of life and say that the threat violated the states' rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

They believe that any state had the right to secede, a point strongly denied by the North. The Lost Cause portrayed the South as more adherent to Christian values than the allegedly greedy North. It portrayed slavery as more benevolent than cruel, alleging that it taught Christianity and "civilization". Stories of happy slaves were often used as propaganda in an effort to defend slavery; the United Daughters of the Confederacy had a "Faithful Slave Memorial Committee," and erected the Heyward Shepherd monument in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. These stories would be used to explain slavery to Northerners. Many times they also portrayed slave owners being kind to their slaves.

In explaining Confederate defeat, the Lost Cause says that the main factor was not qualitative inferiority in leadership or fighting ability but the massive quantitative superiority of the Yankee industrial machine. At the peak of troop strength in 1863, Union soldiers outnumbered Confederate soldiers by over two to one, and financially the Union had three times the bank deposits of the Confederacy. Lost Cause narratives typically portray the Confederacy's cause as noble and its leadership as exemplars of old-fashioned chivalry and honor, defeated by the Union armies through numerical and industrial force that overwhelmed the South's superior military skill and courage.

Proponents of the Lost Cause movement also condemned the Reconstruction that followed the Civil War, claiming that it had been a deliberate attempt by Northern politicians and speculators to destroy the traditional Southern way of life.
In recent decades Lost Cause themes have been widely promoted by the Neo-Confederate movement in books and op-eds...Read More, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cause_of_the_Confederacy

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Reply The Myth of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy (Original post)
appalachiablue Jun 18 OP
Aristus Jun 18 #1
appalachiablue Jun 18 #3
appalachiablue Jun 18 #2
keithbvadu2 Jun 18 #4

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 03:44 PM

1. One rarely-cited factor in the Confederacy's loss is the fact that they starved their troops.

Right up until the end of the war, the Confederacy used its agrigcultural prowess to grow cash crops (tobacco, cotton, indigo, etc), instead of food crops which which they could feed their soldiers.

Granted, they needed the cash to purchase war materiel from overseas suppliers. But once it sank in that the Union naval blockade was not going to allow that to happen, they should have switched to planting food crops instead. Lee's troops were eating grass and acorns by the time of the surrender. One thing Grant gave to the Confederate troops after Appamatox, other than their paroles, was large amounts of foodstuffs to save the rebels from starvation.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #1)

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 03:56 PM

2. Descendants of Confederate Generals Are OK with Moving Statues

Vox, Aug. 2017. The descendants of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson are speaking out about statues of their notorious Confederate ancestors. And they’re all just fine with moving the statues out of public parks. In the wake of this weekend’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, cities across the country have been removing Confederate memorials. Some — including the president — argue that these changes attempt to erase history.

Lee’s great-great-grandson Robert E. Lee V told CNN that it actually might be better to remove the statue from Charlottesville and put it in a museum. “If they choose to take those statues down, fine,” he said. "Maybe it's appropriate to have them in museums or to put them in some sort of historical context in that regard."

Bertram Hayes-Davis, the great-great-grandson of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, also spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon. Hayes-Davis called for moving the statue of Jefferson Davis into a museum: "In a public place, if it is offensive and people are taking issue with it, let's move it,” he said. “Let's put it somewhere where historically it fits with the area around it so you can have people come to see it, who want to understand that history and that individual."

Even Stonewall Jackson’s great-great-grandsons wrote an open letter published in Slate addressed to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. They requested the removal of all Confederate statues from the Virginia city’s Monument Avenue. “They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display,” they wrote. The relatives, William Jackson Christian and Warren Edmund Christian, wrote that another one of their ancestors, Laura Jackson Arnold, would be a better fit for a memorial than the Confederate general:

In fact, instead of lauding Jackson’s violence, we choose to celebrate Stonewall’s sister — our great-great-grandaunt — Laura Jackson Arnold. As an adult Laura became a staunch Unionist and abolitionist. Though she and Stonewall were incredibly close through childhood, she never spoke to Stonewall after his decision to support the Confederacy. We choose to stand on the right side of history with Laura Jackson Arnold.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 10:02 PM

4. Thank God you republicans won that war.

Thank God you republicans won that war.

Be sure to praise today's Southrons.

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