April 8, 2010

"The proclamation issued by this Office designating April as Confederate History Month contained a major omission"

"The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed."

Governor Robert F. McDonnell reacts to criticism with a nonapology: Sorry if you were offended — if you didn't get it.

140 comments:

buster said...

Not true. "The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake." That's what he apologized for.

Opus One Media said...

ahhh the republican voice of moderation....

how about also apologizing for treason....that would be a start.

Balfegor said...

Well, as buster says, he says it was a mistake, and "for that" (ah, those referents again) he apologises to the Virginians who were offended. I suppose he could apologise to the ones who weren't, but I don't see much point in that.

madawaskan said...

"The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake,

I think that part is pretty clear-and doesn't fit your formula as much as you might want it to.

This is a lot of the reason politicians don't apologize-it would be nice if we'd allow them that every once in a while.

Hey I was wrong.

Romney healthcare in Massachusetts.

Obama career inaugural fund raising in Ayer's living room.

Instead the press and others told everyone to shut up.

Now the wound of that never heals and Obama looks more guilty of what ever not less.

I imagine it has caused a lot of pain for some vets. You end up with people that don't trust him at all-because the press never asked him to explain himself or gave him the opportunity to apologize.

Instead they let him skate-and what's worse is that Obama took advantage of that-while pretending no one noticed.

McDonnell gets a chance to make amends-plenty of Democrats might be wishing to judge him and take that away.

It's too bad.

madawaskan said...

Yep, you've got three commenters immediately noticing the same thing.

You have an opportunity.....

Want to take it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

how about also apologizing for treason....that would be a start.

How about edumacting yourself on the definition of treason. That would be a good start.

Balfegor said...

How about edumacting yourself on the definition of treason. That would be a good start.

I think he's referring to the Rebellion. And they were, after all, traitors, and every man of them who took up arms against the United States could legitimately have been hung. From the crab apple tree, if necessary.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think he's referring to the Rebellion. And they were, after all, traitors, and every man of them who took up arms against the United States could legitimately have been hung.

I know what he was referring to and secession isn't the same as treason. The Confederacy was setting up a new nation, not overthrowing the existing one.

Scott said...

What a troll-bait topic.

Balfegor said...

I know what he was referring to and secession isn't the same as treason.

'S right there in the Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

They levied war against the United States. I don't see how this is even a close question. No one's saying they were traitors to the Confederacy. They were traitors to the United States.

Scott said...

Rich Lowry at National Review Online puts McDonnell in his place.

rdkraus said...

I don't get this.

Why poke a buncha people in the eye?

Why kick a wasps nest?

Seems stooopid.

Paddy O. said...
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traditionalguy said...

Me thinks McDonald is a smarter guy than we realise yet. He is in the news for forgetting to raise slavery as an issue. Blacks don't really like to hear about slavery, especially now that whites are their slaves in many real life encounters. It is the White Liberal Guilt Machine that is popping up again to recreate its clout that is now gone with the wind.McDonald can stand there and look strong and intelligent.

madawaskan said...

The Washington Post article that Ann links to also fails to include this part of Gov. McDonnell's apology:

The abomination of slavery divided our nation, deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights, and led to the Civil War. Slavery was an evil, vicious and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to property, and it has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation."

You can find it here at The Washington Examiner and MSNBC.


Why is it that they never want the wound to heal?

A.W. said...

I am sending a letter to him over lunch, saying, more or less, that even amended, this proclamation suchs. I'll cut and paste it here:

Dear Governor McDonnell,

I want to start this off by saying I voted for you and I don’t regret that. But even as amended this Confederate History month declaration is profoundly disappointing. It is incomplete, it is frankly the product of confused thinking (perhaps the result of multiple disagreeing authors), and it contains factual errors, although to be fair on the last point, I myself was taught to believe some of those misstatements were true as a child. So maybe the authors of this proclamation weren’t told the truth in the first place, and of course we cannot be faulted for repeating the lies we were told.

However, you can be unambiguously faulted for allowing to be released, under your name, a proclamation that on one hand declares that “it is important... to understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens” and then, with the recent amendment to your proclamation, to say on the other hand “it is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights.” That second statement is commendable in that it accurately states that the Civil War was caused by slavery and in recognizing it as an evil institution in direct contradiction of very own Declaration of Independence, not to mention George Mason’s immortal words in the Virginia Constitution.

But it also makes the first statement nonsense. Ordinarily when you call on people to remember the sacrifices of someone, you mean they should honor it. But to be blunt, there is no honor in fighting for evil. Let me give you a concrete example. I presume that you will put out a declaration related to September 11, 2001, around its anniversary. Do you plan to say that it’s important to remember the sacrifices of the nineteen men who attacked the World Trade Center, Flight 93, and the Pentagon? Of course not. It’s absurd. But I ask you what the moral difference is, between honoring those who died hoping to extend Islamofascism over the United States and honoring those who died to maintain the institution of slavery.

There are other problems with your proclamation. It begins by saying, “April is the month in which the people of Virginia joined the Confederate States of America.” Well, if you mean to imply that this was a democratic act, there is considerable doubt on that point. The State of Virginia held two referendums on the subject. The first time the people voted against secession. Then they held a second referendum and the Confederate Army, led by Robert E. Lee, occupied the state and each polling place. Bear in mind, voting was not done anonymously in that day. Lincoln commented on this with his usual wit, stating that “the result of an election, held in military camps, where the bayonets are all on one side of the question voted upon, can scarcely be considered as demonstrating popular sentiment. At such an election all that large class who are, at once, for the Union and against coercion would be coerced to vote against the Union.”

A.W. said...

(continued letter to McDonnell)

But all of that masks a basic philosophical problem I have with all of this. At a time of crunched budgets, why are we even wasting our time with this? Why are we straining our relationships with African American friends? I am a proud Tea Partier. I was down in D.C. protesting up until the day this health care monstrosity was passed, and I still work to oppose it. I am against big, bloated government. But these kinds of empty proclamations are exactly the kind of thing I don’t want to see. How much money did it cost the state of Virginia in terms of the salaries of whoever wrote this? If it was even a dollar, it was wasted money.

What purpose did this proclamation serve? To get people interested in history? Having been a history major in college, I appreciate the value of the study of history, but I don’t think the Civil War buffs need your permission or blessing to do what they do. And if a person doesn’t care about history, I highly doubt a declaration from the Governor is going to change anything. You stepped into this political minefield and I have yet to figure out what you had to gain from it, nor can I figure out what concrete good this does the people of Virginia. It’s an unforced error, plain and simple.

And I will add something else. I was down at the Capital the day before the Health Care bill was passed. I came home from it all to learn that some members of the Congressional Black Caucus were claiming that people from my group spat on them and called them an ugly racial slur repeatedly. I applied an appropriate level of skepticism to their accounts, given what I knew about the average Tea Partier and what I knew about the average politician (present company excepted, of course). Since then it has become obvious that this incident was almost certainly fabricated. So is this the best time to put out a proclamation that was less than racially sensitive, by a Governor who was supported significantly by the Tea Party movement?

That being said, I still don’t regret voting for you, and I still support you on topics like the economy, health care and jobs. But this was a needless error, and even if a staffer is responsible for the language, it was still your responsibility. Bluntly, I think the whole thing should be withdrawn, and replaced with a proclamation saying, more or less, “I am sorry I brought the entire thing up.”

I thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[real name], Manassas, Virginia.

Christopher said...

go here to read McDonnell's apology for yourself, so you will understand what our host inexplicably missed.

McDonnell's original proclamation was obviously a blunder. So among other things he apologizes to "any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed." But that's not all he says. He calls slavery an abomination, and in his official addition to the proclamation states the "institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights." This is a welcome rebuke to a remnant ideology that the war was primarily about states rights.

So this is the opposite of a non-apology. Sometimes we only see what we are looking for.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

... how about edumacting yourself on the definition of treason."

As Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama has ordered his troops to murder an American citizen.

That is treason.

Unilaterally disarming is treason.

Giving our enemies our atomic strategic war plan is treason.

Bowing to a foreign enemy leaders is treason as it gives them aid and comfort.

Barack Obama has committed all manner of treason; he has not been brought to justice yet because he is in control of the United States Department of Justice.

But that will not always be the case and there is no statute of limitations on treason.

Fen said...

They levied war against the United States.

No. The US levied war against the Confederacy. The south did not want war.

And Newsflash: those slaves came in on American ships flying the American flag. Yes, there are a few libtards who whine that we don't mention slavery when we celebrate Independece Day, but they are considered race-mongerers.

Same here.

A.W. said...

btw, yes, i will be cross-posting that on my blog tonight.

Fen said...

Really? its a common thing for white people to be forced to work for black people against their will?

Fannie, Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act.

Joe said...

The Governor should apologize for wasting tax payer dollars for issuing an empty proclamation.

A.W. said...

Fen

What part of "against their will" do you not comprehend?

No one puts a gun to your head and forces you to work for any of those companies.

Fen said...

Fen: "Fannie, Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act."

Libtard: What part of "against their will" do you not comprehend? No one puts a gun to your head and forces you to work for any of those companies.

Wow. That went right over your head.

Hint: taxes

madawaskan said...

Criticizing McDonnell in the first place is one thing but The Washington Post criticizing the apology or causing others to do that who at the same time fail to provide the apology in its complete form-that is something else.

It reduces slavery and trivializes it into a game of gotcha! politics.

It's the reason Al Sharpton finds himself less and less relevant.

A.W. said...

Fen

> No. The US levied war against the Confederacy. The south did not want war.

In fact, they so didn’t want it, that they shot first. *rolls eyes*

You “War of North Agression” types are amazing in your stubborn refusal to see the truth.

A.W. said...

Fen

ask around. i am not a liberal. not by a long shot.

I mean shit, this war of northern agression doesn't even divide evenly on party lines. i mean Ted Turner is very much in your camp, would you call him a conservative?

Fen said...

In fact, they so didn’t want it, that they shot first. *rolls eyes*

In self-defense.

You need to consider that the history you've been taught has been whitewashed by the victor.

Fen said...

Libtard: I completely understand the desire to avoid these unpleasant truths. The average modern Southerner gets that slavery was evil, and who wants to believe their ancestor died for evil?

Again, just WOW. You are completely clueless about slavery in the south and why southerners fought the war to begin with.

So why should we entertain anything you have to say on the topic?

traditionalguy said...

A W...Do you get out often? You are the one stuck on the vision of the abuse of blacks by whites. That is old news. The Americans born after 1975 or so have no emotional investment in the old war for freeing blacks memes. They want everybody to know that they have always been free and equal, and those folks have. The only slavery today is the Government Growing itself as a nanny state that has the citizens in its clutches and is proud of that power. We are quickly returning to kings ruling thru ministers who never miss a chance to show us that they own the citizens.

traditionalguy said...
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Paddy O. said...

"In self-defense."

In self-defense of preventing Fort Sumter, a Federal installation, being resupplied?

The South didn't want war. It just wanted to take property and weapons and form its own country without anyone worried about it. Don't mind us, we're just going to take all the stuff you left down here and kick you all out. No big whoop.

You need to consider that the history you've been taught has been simply whitewashed to help yourselves feel better about a mostly indefensible situation.

Fen said...

Libtard: a very human desire to avoid the truth about your ancestors... But what you should really do is liberate yourself from the attitude that what your ancestor did means a damn about you

My ancestors fought for the Union.

Please, take your pop-pysche and do something useful with it.

MadisonMan said...

You know, it's not against the law to offend someone, and it's not in the Constitution that there's some freedom from being offended. I wish to God that people would stop apologizing if someone was offended, as if someone expects to go through life without being offended.

Just apologize because what you said was wrong, or incomplete, and that you screwed up. Why is that so hard?

Fen said...

In self-defense of preventing Fort Sumter, a Federal installation, being resupplied?

It was no longer a Federal installation. And they were asked to leave, to go back to the US, on several occasions.

"in the autumn of 1860 work was nearly done, but the fortress was thus far garrisoned by a single soldier, who functioned as a lighthouse keeper. However, it was considerably stronger than Fort Moultrie, and its location on a sandbar prevented the sort of land assault to which Fort Moultrie was so vulnerable.

Under the cover of darkness on December 26, 1860, Anderson spiked the cannons at Fort Moultrie and moved his command to Fort Sumter. South Carolina authorities considered this a breach of faith and demanded that the fort be evacuated."

Balfegor said...

Again, just WOW. You are completely clueless about slavery in the south and why southerners fought the war to begin with.

Really? In the Cornerstone Speech, the VP of the Confederacy set out the key principle upon which the new government was founded:

The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails
.

True, many years later, he attempted to recant, in part, though his point remains more or less the same even then, and he admits he even edited the reporter's notes of the Cornerstone Speech before they were published. He also admits frankly that the slavery issue was the cause of secession.

Michael said...

A.W. I agree with your views, but would suggest that we have come so far only to find ourselves in a new and horrible predicament. It can best be framed in the form of a question: should white people encourage their children, or nephews and nieces to join the Black Student Union at their college or university? What lesson(s) would they learn if they tried?

A.W. said...

Fen

> In short, banks were forced to make risky home loans to inner city blacks with bad credit. Or be called racist and be punished by the US government.

Right. Okay, first, lending money is not slavery.

Second, they were not forced to do it. They were incentivized to do that. it was a colossal f--- up, going back at least as far as carter, but the banks didn’t HAVE to do this. They were just paid to do it, and chose short term profits over long term stability. And subsidization is not slavery.

Oh, but then they would call them bad names! Sheesh, so if I call you bad names you will do free work for me?

> Please, no more talk of reparations.

You’re the first person in this thread as far as I can tell who even brought it up. My view is that reparations would have been great around 1865 or so, but doing it today is necessarily a racist act.

> In self-defense.

In the sense that the Yankees at Ft. Sumter were sitting there and bothering no one when the Confederates open fired. I suppose if I came down to where you lived and started throwing bombs at your house that is self-defense, too? Sheesh, what a maroon.

Preemptive war is justified in many situations. Hell I justify it in Iraq, as unfashionable as that is, and wish we applied the principle to Iran. But the fact is that but for the aggressive actions of the South, there would have been no war. They seceded because the north chose a president they didn’t like. And when the Yankees refused to leave federal land, the South attacked. No shock this happened in South Carolina first. With two thirds of their population being black, South Carolina in 1861 they were in a constant state of terror that they would be the “Haiti” of the United States. So they lashed out, because they were scared, that the karmic debt built up by all the rape, murder and cruelty would be paid in full.

> the history you've been taught has been whitewashed by the victor.

Actually I was taught in North Carolina public schools the pro-southern version of history.

This whole line about “history is told by the victors” is bull anyway, at least in a free nation. Seriously, have pro-southern writers been jailed for writing their BS? No. Indeed, they have been free to even make movies supporting their POV, starting with Birth of a Nation.

Seriously what a drama queen. Yankee troops sitting there and minding their own business is “attacking” the south in your mind, justifying self defense. Being incentivized to make a bad loan is forcing a person into slavery. And here you are crying, “my side is being censored” while proclaiming the so-called censored views while presumptively a free man.

Can we dial it down a little bit?

Balfegor said...

It was no longer a Federal installation. And they were asked to leave, to go back to the US, on several occasions.

This analysis only applies if you believe that states legitimately have the right to remove themselves from the Union and expropriate the federal government.

garage mahal said...

A.W. and Balfegor creaming this thread.

A.W. said...

Traditional

> You are the one stuck on the vision of the abuse of blacks by whites.

Um, excuse me are you saying I am stuck on the past? We are arguing about a proclamation for Confederate History month. The whole thing is about the past.

> The Americans born after 1975 or so have no emotional investment in the old war for freeing blacks memes.

If you mean that a person born in the 70’s bears no responsibility for slavery, even if they happen to be white, even if their family actually owned slaves, I wholly agree, and have already said that.

> The only slavery today is the Government Growing itself as a nanny state that has the citizens in its clutches and is proud of that power.

I am against big government (well, I like biggovernment.com, but that is different). If you read my letter, you would learn I am a proud Tea Partier. But big government is not slavery... yet.

Of course it can get to that point. I likened the abduction of Elian Gonzales, and the delivery back to cuba to returning a fugitive slave. Seriously, in what was is Cuba not like a big plantation? But we aren’t there yet.

But then you would probably love the writings of George Fitzhugh. I mean that truthfully. He once declared that slavery was the perfect embodiment of the ideals of socialism. He meant that as a compliment, to slavery. I think that was in his book “Sociology for the South.” His books were the closest thing to Mein Kampf ever produced on American soil.

Fen

> You are completely clueless about slavery in the south and why southerners fought the war to begin with.

I know better than you do. At first, slavery existed in America wholly for economic reasons. But then after a while two things happened simultaneously and fed off of each other. First slavery apologists had to explain why slavery was a positive good. Second, more and more anxiety began to arise due to the fear that all the evil that they did to the slaves would be repaid. So the argument soon became that if black people were suddenly freed, they would go on a blind murderous, rapacious rampage (to get revenge on us for the cruelty we did to them), so we “have” to keep them enslaved to control them. It’s a combination of people believing their own propaganda, and simple racist terror and racist guilt.

A.W. said...

Michael

To be very blunt, i am not generally talking about the present, except to say that as a Tea Partier, this couldn't have come at a worse time, and i can't imagine what possessed him to do it.

Oh, and to say that our government has not enslaved us... yet.

But i ain't talking about modern reparations, anti-white discrimination or anything like that. That is a long, involved discussion with me, and i want to keep us focused right now.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This analysis only applies if you believe that states legitimately have the right to remove themselves from the Union and expropriate the federal government.

I believe that the States do have the right to leave the Union. Texas certainly does have that right. I also believe that Counties and sections of the States have the right to seceed from the State and form their own State.

I'm not sure about the expropriation of federal property. That seems like stealing. Perhaps payment arrangements could be made for the portion of the investments and improvements that had been made at the expense of taxpayers in other parts of the Union if a State were to separate from the Union.

A.W. said...

Balfegor

Well, I look at it more simply than that. now there are typically two “causes” named to the civil war: states’ right and slavery. But it is exceedingly clear that the south supported states rights when states right supported slavery, and supported federal power when federal power supported slavery.

The two most glaring examples are secession and the fugitive slave act of 1850.

The fugitive slave act of 1850 was nothing less than an outrage upon the constitution. Let’s start with a basic question. Where does the federal government gain a right to capture slaves? Read the original fugitive slave clause. all it says is that no state may free a fugitive slave. It doesn’t say that federal marshals can chase them; it doesn’t say catching them is any business of the federal government at all.

Further, the act said that no only can federal marshals pursue slaves, but they can conscript anyone they want into the pursuit. Again, where in the constitution does it say that?

And then you ask, well, how do they know who is and isn’t a fugitive slave? Well, a free black person could be declared a fugitive slave based on nothing more than an affidavit, before a special federal judge called a commissioner. At the hearing, the accused slave was forbidden from being heard, either personally or by counsel, not allowed to object, cross examine witnesses, nothing. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the act contained a bribe. The judges were paid by the decision: $10 if they declared a person to be a fugitive slave and $5 if they declared that person free. I think it is elementary that under the due process clause you have a right to an unbribed judge.

So what did they do in the north? They tried to intercede between the alleged fugitive slaves and the federal government. They passed laws saying that the accused had a right to a fair hearing before being declared a slave, etc. Shouldn’t that have been applauded in the south as a sound exercise in the doctrine of state’s rights? Well, the south didn’t see it that way, and they cheered when justice Taney invalidated these laws and outrageously claimed that the fugitive slave act was constitutional.

Meanwhile, as outlined above, Tennessee and Virginia were abducted out of the union. Forced secession should be seen like forced abortion should be seen—something everyone decries. Anti-secessionists would opposed forced secession because it is secession, just as those who are against abortion are also against forced abortion, and while those who are pro-choice on either question should be appalled by it being forced, either way.

So when you are hypocritical on one principle, but consistent on another, it becomes plain which one really motivates you.

Which is not to say the Yankees weren’t hypocritical on states’ rights, too. they were every bit as much hypocritical. But they were hypocritical on that, while being consistent on freedom, while the south was only consistent in its support for slavery.

edutcher said...

Secession was not treason. Firing on Fort Sumter was and the North was perfectly happy to see the South go until then. As for the South wanting or not wanting the war, keep in mind that the first shot was fired in a county which contained, according to the 1860 census, 25% of all the slaves in the country by a rabid fanatic who draped himself in the Stars and Bars when he heard about Appomattox and blew out what passed for his brains.

The war itself was about a lot more than slavery. Slavery was the emotional excuse on both sides.
The average slave had it no worse physically than the poor white farmer, north or south and the condition of factory workers (whose employers were prominent among the Abolitionists, in many cases) was far worse and wouldn't be addressed for another 50 years (Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, etc.). As far as I know, no one has ever disproven Joe Johnston's estimate that 90% of the slaves were owned by 5% of the Confederate Army.

The US was two nations, one mechanized and one agrarian and each wanted different tax and trade policies. There was also the issue of the South's diminishing voice in national affairs (witness creation of the Oxbow Route by Jefferson Davis in 1853), all the immigrants were coming to the North and it's population was swelling. They had been drifting apart for some time and states had been seceding through most of late 1860.

Bottom line, a lot of good men wore the gray or butternut, including one named Lee, and they should be recognized as such. The National Socialists will call this racism, of course, but their party is the one not only of slavery, but segregation and welfare and they seem to have no problem with that.

A.W. said...

Dust

What I would say is that there is an inalienable right to revolution. But its not something written in the constitution. Instead it is a natural right, embodied in extra-legal documents like the Declaration of Independence.

But the right to rebel then has to pass that natural law test, and the cause of the confederacy fails it. They fought to keep other people in chains, to violate the very right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is supposed to be inalienable.

But once you meet that test, then any part can break away. So if that southern dangle of Florida wants to become its own country, despite bringing up images of Monty Python’s classic “Walker Brigade” skit, if they passed the natural law test, they would have the right to secede. And even the federal government would have the right to try to stop them, but I am saying that it would be morally right to secede at that point.

Christy said...

And here I thought the war was over tariffs.

Interesting that Althouse neglected to include in her post the paragraph deploring slavery.

I'm just wondering why McDonnell thought a Confederate History Month was a good idea.

Synova said...

I think that saying "it was a mistake" makes the apology an actual apology instead of a "sorry you were offended" non-apology. The non-apology avoids admitting that anything was actually wrong.

Chris said...

Would be nice to have acknowledged the illegality of secession too.

A.W. said...

Edutcher

Oh, for the love of God, now we are minimizing slavery?

> The average slave had it no worse physically than the poor white farmer, north or south and the condition of factory workers (whose employers were prominent among the Abolitionists, in many cases) was far worse and wouldn't be addressed for another 50 years.

As you note pretty soon after that, the free part of this country was awash in immigration. I ask you, if it was so awful for the average yankee, why was there a line around the block to become one? If slavery was just about as bad, then you would expect a whole bunch of immigrants to volunteer to be slaves, right?

Even if the conditions were comparable (and they weren’t), I suppose there are a few sticking points for any white on the subject: being someone’s property, being forced to work against your will, seeing your wife get raped, seeing your children (to the extent that your wife’s children even are your children) sold off, being beaten without cause, and being murdered with impunity. But aside from all that slavery was every bit as bad as being a free man. *rolls eyes*

> As far as I know, no one has ever disproven Joe Johnston's estimate that 90% of the slaves were owned by 5% of the Confederate Army.

You don’t have to own a thing to defend another’s right to own it. I don’t own a house, but I would fight for your right to own yours.

In the white southern mind, slavery was vital as a method to control the black people, for reasons I already outlined. And in their mind owning a slave was like the American dream to them.

> The US was two nations, one mechanized and one agrarian and each wanted different tax and trade policies.

Actually the north and especially the west which sided the north, was largely agrarian, too. the industrialization of the north is largely exaggerated.

> There was also the issue of the South's diminishing voice in national affairs

And the fact that they had more of a voice than they deserved, under the 3/5 provision.

> including one named Lee,

Who bravely fought to keep people enslaved! Even abducted his home state out of the union!

> The National Socialists will call this racism, of course,

Um, there is a nazi party to speak of?

In case you missed it, I am against socialism, against big government and in favor of telling the truth. Slavery was evil, it was the cause of the south, and no its not racist to misunderstand those facts. Hell there is an entire industry devoted to making you misunderstand the facts. But the truth is not the fairy tale you are repeating.

Der Hahn said...

I want to stay away from the whole who-started-it-argument but I do stand firmly in the secession is not treason camp. Secession does not necessarily mean the levying of war. Taken to an illogical extreme as an illustration, if secessionism is treasonous then nearly any desire to change or remove the current government, even without the use of force, could be considered treason.

The Southern states constituted themselves as an independent Nation, and acted as such. Whatever other aims the war had, overthrowing the government of the states that remained in the Union were not among them. (Similarly, despite what we call it, the American Revolutionists weren’t particulaly interested in deposing George III).

As far as I know, only soldiers in the CSA and officials in Confederate governments (the people who actually levied war on the United States) were required to submit to loyalty oaths to restore their citizenship. I think that’s a pretty good indication that there is a dividing line between secession and treason.

Meade said...

You want an apology? Now this was a real apology:

"Titus apologizes to Reid for remark"

traditionalguy said...

A W...The current politics in the America has moved on from a knee jerk white need to prove that it is sorry about slavery. This has happened in large part because of the self image of 40 and under blacks. There was guilt that was clear to all in 1865 because slavery had only been falsely justified as a benefit to a semi-human and retarded race of Africans. Believe me, that is no longer a popular history for blacks to remember. They despise "Driving Miss Daisey" images too. We need to let that part of history go. The Virginia area between Richmond and DC is loaded with battlefields that attract tourists today, but only because of military interests and not because of slavery history. We need to find a better way to re-run our public guilt and expiation plays. Maybe we can specialise from here in guilt over Indian Tribes, who really did get ripped off.

Big Mike said...

@Professor Althouse, I agree with buster and the others who have noted that McDonnell has acknowledged having made a mistake, fixed it, and issued an apology.

If he was a Wisconsin Democrat in good standing, I'm perfectly certain that you, Professor, would take the position that "everyone knows" that slavery was a root cause of the Civil War, and that it scarcely needed stating. Since McDonnell's a Virginia Republican, you cut him no slack. But I argue that McDonnell was surprised at the vehemence of the reaction -- which extended to African-American supporters of his candidacy -- precisely because no educated American could fail to understand the relationship between the Confederacy and slavery.

At any rate, he amended his proclamation, he publicly apologized, and he personally called African-American friends and acquaintances to apologize personally.

Can you point out any other politician of either party who has done as much when they made a mistake?

Big Mike said...

And, as a Northern Virginian, let me add to what traditionalguy says. Famous battlefields such as Cedar Creek and New Market in the beautiful Shenandoah valley, as well as Manassas -- just barely outside Washington, DC -- have been very well-preserved and reenacters can give you an excellent feel for what the battles were like, not to mention houses. (Just one small point, as a "for instance": Cotton may have been king in the South, but Confederate troops wore wool, even on hot summer days.)

Ya'll come.

A.W. said...

Traditional

> The current politics in the America has moved on from a knee jerk white need to prove that it is sorry about slavery

Honestly, it wasn’t the non-inclusion of slavery that bothered me so much as his call for us to honor the sacrifice of the confederates. Yes, they sacrificed. So did, for that matter, the attackers on 9-11. They gave their all in the cause of evil, and I am not terribly interested in honoring them.

> We need to let that part of history go.

And you know, if McDonnell didn’t issue a proclamation at all, I would be the happiest. Seriously, why do we need the government to tell us be civil war buffs? But since we are on the subject, slavery was evil, and those who fought to preserve it deserve to be despised, not honored, and proclamation telling us to remember their sacrifice, without remembering their cruelty, is morally wrong.

Seriously, do you think the Germans should have a Nazi history month, where they honor the sacrifices of great people like Hitler?

On the other hand, a nazi history month, where germans are encouraged to learn about the nazis and to therefore learn from the mistakes of history, well that could be a net positive.

Btw, you don't have to praise confederates to highlight a military battlefield. you can equally praise the brave yankees who gave their lives for this nation and to free others.

Big Mike

That is not fair to Althouse. I have never known her to show any southern prejudice and any claim that she has a political bias is just silly.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm just wondering why McDonnell thought a Confederate History Month was a good idea.

I'm wondering why you think it isn't.

History is history and we need to know what happened in all of its ugly glory. The good and the bad. The consequences of our actions. If we don't know history, or whitewash history, we are doomed to repeat it.

Slavery was a big part of the Confederacy and no one can possibly argue that slavery was a good thing. However, it was what it was and that particular type of slavery is history. Unfortunately, we have modern current slavery right within our country and people don't want to face up to that fact.

There were also, as has been pointed out, other economic reasons for the War Between the States that had nothing to do with slavery.

A.W. said...

okay, riddle me this, folks. if it is just about tourism, etc. then why wasn't it "Civil War History Month."

Why single out the confederates?

Why talk about how the confederates were ready to live in peace after the war?

and for all the small government types, how on earth is this a wise use of public resources? what exactly benefit do you think we are getting from this?

Balfegor said...

Re: A.W.:

Which is not to say the Yankees weren’t hypocritical on states’ rights, too. they were every bit as much hypocritical. But they were hypocritical on that, while being consistent on freedom, while the south was only consistent in its support for slavery.

I don't see this as in any way inconsistent with the long quote from Stephens I excerpted up there. And in any event, he flat out admitted the impetus for the Rebellion pretty much came down to slavery, in the second link I put up there (to his memoirs). You can put historical context in there, and that is helpful, but I think it's more impactful coming right out of the mouths of the men who led the Confederacy.

Balfegor said...

Why single out the confederates?

Richmond was the Rebel capital and Virginia was on the Confederate side (by hook or by crook). The Confederacy is, for better or for worse, part of Virginia's distinctive cultural legacy, and that regional distinctiveness is obscured when you talk about the "Civil War," which focuses attention (a) on the war aspect, rather than the separate and distinct identity of the Confederacy, and (b) on the national level picture, again, rather than the regional role. It's the difference between focusing on "America" and the "War of American Independence." One focuses on America itself -- the land and people or whatever -- and the other pulls attention back up to America and the colonies' role in the Empire.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

They levied war against the United States. I don't see how this is even a close question.


Ok. I'm not going to rehash the whole ACW to debate the differences between secession and outright treason.

Althought its a sign we have evolved from the Constitution and don't hang traitors anymore since Jane Fonda and Johnny Lindh would are still wasting oxygen.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why single out the confederates?

Um...because Virginia was a part of the Confederacy. Do you expect Virginia to have a month on Early Spanish Missions in California? A month about the immigrantion patterns and industrialization of New York State?

Why talk about how the confederates were ready to live in peace after the war?

Why not? Were they? I imagine many people in the Confederacy were damned sick of the whole thing and ready to get back to living in peace. If they weren't and continued to fight they should talk about that also.

and for all the small government types, how on earth is this a wise use of public resources? what exactly benefit do you think we are getting from this?

The only possible benefit is that some of the propaganda that has been inserted into our Federally controlled and extremely liberal/left leaning public school system could be corrected by presenting (hopefully) both sides of the story and (hopefully) and accurate historical information.

Other than that....probably a huge waste of money. However, it is the money of Virginia. If you don't like it and you live there....do something about it.

traditionalguy said...

A W...Old Blue Light was one CSA general that made us Scots-Irish proud to be associated with his Presbyterian ways. Spend some time in Lexington Virginia, and then do a study of Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign using his foot calvary tactics. Then check out Jackson's contributions at Antietam, Second Manassas, Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville. That stuff is too good to sweep it under the rug out of guilt for Great, Great Granddaddys culture. Besides one half of my ancestors were newly from England and ran a book and music store in Atlanta. No slaves were needed. He paid 10,000 confederate dollars to a man that took his place in the draft. A recent book called The BonFire, The Seige and Burning of Atlanta quotes extensively from his diary (S. P. Richards). Time moves on, but the 1861 to 1865 war brought out many stories that are still worthy of being remembered.

Balfegor said...

Althought its a sign we have evolved from the Constitution and don't hang traitors anymore since Jane Fonda and Johnny Lindh would are still wasting oxygen.

Oh, I wouldn't have had a problem with their being hung. Note, though, that we didn't hang traitors even after the Civil War. Old Jeff Davis was not, in strict point of fact, hung from the crab-apple tree, widespread popular threats to do so notwithstanding.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You are completely clueless about slavery in the south and why southerners fought the war to begin with.

Most are clueless about the ACW to begin with. Go figure that the vast majority of Southerners who fought in the war were not slaveowners.

I find it amazing that those enlightened individuals who disparaged the previous president for his inability to do nuance think the events that led to the ACW was all about abolishing slavery.

Hoosier Daddy said...

A.W. and Balfegor creaming this thread.

Can you clarify that garage? I mean with your usual references to conservatives being teabaggers and all.....

Opus One Media said...

edutcher said...
"Secession was not treason. ...The National Socialists will call this racism, of course, but their party is the one not only of slavery, but segregation and welfare and they seem to have no problem with that."

naw...we will skip over the racism stuff...we'll go right to stupid and revisionist...you've heard of revisionist history haven't you? the stuff stalin et all undertook? you know? that commie stuff?

boy are you the joke of the week.

edutcher said...

Chris said...

Would be nice to have acknowledged the illegality of secession too.

Wrong. Secession was legal. A great point was made of it in the Federalist Papers as the final guard against tyranny.

A.W. said...

Edutcher

Oh, for the love of God, now we are minimizing slavery?

I'm not minimizing anything. I merely point out that their lot was physically no better or worse than other poor people working the land. The fact a man could be beaten or sold for trying to get away is another thing, of course, but "Uncle Tom's Cabin" devoted much space to the physical hardships involved. This was a struggle over money and the fact that Northern manufacturers stood to make vast fortunes if the tariffs went their way can't be ignored. Also remember, most of the world still countenanced slavery, including most of the Euros

As you note pretty soon after that, the free part of this country was awash in immigration. I ask you, if it was so awful for the average yankee, why was there a line around the block to become one? If slavery was just about as bad, then you would expect a whole bunch of immigrants to volunteer to be slaves, right?

Wrong. I hope you know there was a famine in Ireland at the time and persecution in Germany. At least you wouldn't starve in Pennsylvania. BTW, things were that bad, witness the Draft Riots.

You don’t have to own a thing to defend another’s right to own it. I don’t own a house, but I would fight for your right to own yours.

In the white southern mind, slavery was vital as a method to control the black people, for reasons I already outlined. And in their mind owning a slave was like the American dream to them.


You're talking more about the Klan in 1920 (in Indiana) than the South in 1860. Most Southerners fought because they felt thy had been invaded.

There was also the issue of the South's diminishing voice in national affairs

And the fact that they had more of a voice than they deserved, under the 3/5 provision.


Wrong. Women and children were also barred from voting, IIRC, as well as slaves. The South wanted all of its population counted, voters and non-voters and, again IIRC, the North had plenty of slaves at the time the Constitution was written. The 3/5 clause was agreed to by the Northern states at the Constitutional Convention. In any case, even with the inclusion of slaves as full citizens, the South was losing out.

> including one named Lee,

Who bravely fought to keep people enslaved! Even abducted his home state out of the union!


As an officer, Lee had no say in politics. The first thing Robert E. Lee did when he became an officer in the Confederate Army was to write a memo to the civilian leadership to free the slaves and enlist them in the Confederate Army if they wanted to win the war. Lee was against slavery and secession, but your loyalty was to your state in those days.

> The National Socialists will call this racism, of course,

Um, there is a nazi party to speak of?


The Zero's industry takeovers are classic economic National Socialism

Opus One Media said...

Well Hoosier....you got quoted the constitution on the definition of treason and I've looked everywhere for your illiterate comeback to that...figured you were on the john and you left your comment there.

Balfegor said...

I find it amazing that those enlightened individuals who disparaged the previous president for his inability to do nuance think the events that led to the ACW was all about abolishing slavery.

I think there's a subtle difference there. From the Northern side, while there were some fervent abolitionists, Lincoln et al. were not among them, at least early in the war. Even the Emancipation Proclamation was limited only to slaves in states in open rebellion against the United States government. So from the North's perspective, it wasn't about abolishing slavery, as such.

Same cannot be said from the South's perspective. The man on the street (or rural dirt road), with no slaves, may not have cared one way or the other. Perhaps he simply felt more attachment to their state than to the US, so he stuck with his state after it entered a state of rebellion. But the decisionmakers who drove the Rebellion itself clearly were motivated by the desire to ensure that slavery could continue, and weren't particularly shy about saying so publicly.

Balfegor said...

Can you clarify that garage? I mean with your usual references to conservatives being teabaggers and all.....

Yes . . . I was sort of taken aback by that too. Is that . . . complimentary? Or, uh, really, really dirty?

A.W. said...

Balf

> on the war aspect, rather than the separate and distinct identity of the Confederacy

Well, that is my point. If this was just about battlefields and tourism, you could leave the confederacy out of it. So its not really about that, but doing a little sucking up to the neo-confederates out there.

Dust

> Um...because Virginia was a part of the Confederacy.

Actually, about a third of the state was not. We call it West Virginia, now. That is right, they seceded from secession.

> Why not?

Because if its just about the battlefields, its off topic.

> Were they?

Sure, as long a the Yankees didn’t want to, you know, end slavery, which was the cause of the whole fight.

> If they weren't and continued to fight they should talk about that also

Well, some did stop fighting, obviously, but many others didn’t.

> The only possible benefit is that some of the propaganda that has been inserted into our Federally controlled and extremely liberal/left leaning public school system

The feds don’t control it that much. I was taught pro-southern propaganda, and apparently you were, too.

> However, it is the money of Virginia. If you don't like it and you live there....do something about it.

I do, and since governors only serve one term, I am doing all I can about it, by complaining.

Traditional

> Old Blue Light was one CSA general that made us Scots-Irish proud

Sorry, but ethinic or racial pride is a form of bigotry. You should not be proud or ashamed of what you are. Jackson was a skilled general, is the service of an evil cause. Neither his skill nor evil is imputed to you because of genetic happenstance.

> his Presbyterian ways.

As a Presbyterian I would ask you not to slander my faith by claiming he was following it. I suppose he was asleep when the minister mentioned the golden rule.

> then do a study of Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign using his foot calvary tactics.

Jackson was skilled. So was Rommel. And it is fair to say that Jackson’s death at Chancellorsville might have been the moment the South lost. I personally think it was more like when the emancipation proclamation was issue, but rational minds can debate.

> That stuff is too good to sweep it under the rug out of guilt for Great, Great Granddaddys culture.

You can admire the skill without endorsing the cause.

> No slaves were needed.

Well, even if he did, I wouldn’t blame you. I mean, I am cousin to a direct blood descendant of Robert E. Lee. And I think Lee fought for evil and practiced evil on his plantation. But that has nothing to do with my cousin or his father.

I mean especially if you met them you would see how silly it is to hold their ancestors against them. They are New Jersey yankee intellectuals, and my cousin mixes with all races and ethnicities freely. Old Bobby Lee probably spins in his grave thinking about it all.

This generation doesn’t owe anything to past generations, except the truth.

Christy said...

DBQ, I submit that the scab has yet to heal over. Obviously. Why rub salt into it? The entire issue just reconfirms existing prejudices about Southerners among those who don't read the full apology.

A.W. I disagree. I've long observed Althouse's prejudice against the South. Subtle, but there.

God help us if future historians look to Joe Biden's pronouncements as a clue to the mind of Americans of our generation!

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think there's a subtle difference there. From the Northern side, while there were some fervent abolitionists, Lincoln et al. were not among them, at least early in the war

Indeed. My point was regarding contemporary understanding of the causes of the war.

I won't argue the driving factor in the Southern leadership was continuation of slavery but it was also about new states admitted to the Union being able to determine it as well. The state's rights argument was an issue of sovereignty with slavery being the catalyst but not the sole reason.

Keep in mind that at the time of the ACW the Federal government wasn't even remotely as powerful and pervasive as it is today and the slavery issue was seen in those southern states as a state matter and not a federal one.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I've looked everywhere for your illiterate comeback to that...figured you were on the john and you left your comment there

Keep looking moron. You're just jealous I can use the john and you're still shitting in your depends.

Fool

Balfegor said...

Well, that is my point. If this was just about battlefields and tourism, you could leave the confederacy out of it. So its not really about that, but doing a little sucking up to the neo-confederates out there.

I guess it depends on how you look at it. I think the confederacy is part of many Virginians' heritage, and, well, your ancestors are your ancestors, warts and all. I don't begrudge the Japanese, for example, their slanted view of history, even if my own ancestors were born Korean subjects under the yoke of the Empire of Japan. There are people who get awfully exercised about that kind of thing, but I am not one of them.

You can call pride in your ancestry, or the history of your people or community, a form of bigotry, and I suppose it is. But the recollection of that shared history is also what binds a society together. Properly caveated, I don't see anything wrong with it.

All that said, my own ancestors played no part whatsoever in the war, since none of us were in the US before 1900. I don't think any of us were even in the South before the 60s. So it's not my history. But others are entitled to remember theirs.

Hoosier Daddy said...

All that said, my own ancestors played no part whatsoever in the war, since none of us were in the US before 1900.

Same here but for my great-great grandfather who came here in 1891, the rest were still scratching a living in Eastern Europe for the most part.

Let me say I am not a southerner and am not a 'lost cause' advocate. There is nothing in the Constitution that expressly denies or allows for one or multiple states to secede from the Union. That said I think there is a pretty solid argument that the secession can't be considered treason in the Constitutional sense of the word. Now if we want to get into whether or not the subsequent acts were treason then that's another story.

The very fact that no Confederate officer or government official (other than Henry Wirtz) was tried and executed (and that was for his brutality at Andersonville) it stands to reason that the Union didn't consider it treason either. In point of fact, up until about 1864, prisoners were routinely paroled.

Keep in mind the Confederacy was about starting a new nation, not overthrowing the existing one. It may be a grey area but I think when you compare say, Robert E. Lee with Johnny Walker Lindh, the colors tend to be a bit more black and white.

/please ignore my rant to Opus/hdhouse. I don't suffer fools

traditionalguy said...

A W...You are fighting all comers today. That maybe your Presbyterian heritage trying to come out. I would quit restraining it if I were you. Thomas J Jackson was 100% Presbyterian and determined to take on all comers trespassing on his land. Before the 1864 re-election of Lincoln and the Radical Republicans post war work in Congress, all made possible because Sherman was the best General of them all, there were States like Virginia (the first English settlement) that easily exercised sovreign power outside of the exclusive Federal powers enumerated in the Constitution.

jpr9954 said...

Does this mean that Virginians can have Lee-Jackson-King Day back?

A.W. said...

Hoosier

> the ACW was all about abolishing slavery.

Actually I didn’t say the war was about abolishing slavery. I said it was caused by slavery.

For the south, it was all about slavery directly. As stated above, even whites who didn’t own slaves, were afraid of what would happen if slaves were freed. They favored slavery as a method of race control.

As for the north, it was about democracy and slavery. The south had cowed the north for years with threats of secession, and they were sick of being pushed around. For a lot of Yankees, the election was about seeing if the south could lose for once.

And one should not underestimate the power of the fear of a slave power conspiracy. Many irish and german Americans were terrified that they would be the next to be in chains.

And of course for many it was simply abolition.

And even that is a thumbnail sketch over simplifying the situation. But for the south it was not simply a case of slave holders fighting for their own property, but it was still about slavery. And for the north it was not about freeing the slaves—but it was still about slavery.

A.W. said...

Edutcher

> I merely point out that their lot was physically no better or worse than other poor people working the land.

Right, except for random beatings, murders and rapes, no better or worse. And the fact that a poor free man could someday hope to stop being poor.

> The fact a man could be beaten or sold for trying to get away is another thing

“for trying to get away”? are you under the impression that they were only sold or beaten as a punishment for attempted escape?

> This was a struggle over money and the fact that Northern manufacturers stood to make vast fortunes if the tariffs went their way can't be ignored.

Yes, which is why evangelical Christians led the fight against slavery. *rolls eyes* please spare me your junior Marxist analysis.

> Also remember, most of the world still countenanced slavery, including most of the Euros

Well, in case you missed it, we never cared very much about following their lead. I mean most of the world also countenanced dictatorship.

> Wrong. I hope you know there was a famine in Ireland at the time and persecution in Germany.

Not all of those immigrants were from Ireland, or germany. And it doesn’t explain why they didn’t go volunteer to be slaves, given how you think the other option was about equal.

> You're talking more about the Klan in 1920 (in Indiana) than the South in 1860.

Not if you actually study what they really thought about slavery.

> Most Southerners fought because they felt thy had been invaded

Ridiculous. They were invaded because they seceded. No secession, no invasion.

Seriously, how were they invaded when Lincoln was elected?

> Wrong. Women and children were also barred from voting,

Wow, so much that is wrong, so little time...

First, voting is not the issue. The issue is apportionment. And excluding women from the vote, but counting them for apportionment, doesn’t typically distort apportionment. And ditto with children.

By comparison, the south would have had 13 less seats in the House, but for the counting of slaves. So literally the bodies of slaves were used to increase the political power of those who kept them in chains. That was an outrage upon democracy.

> The 3/5 clause was agreed to by the Northern states at the Constitutional Convention.

Doesn’t make it right.

> In any case, even with the inclusion of slaves as full citizens, the South was losing out.

Well, yeah, because slave labor depressed the wages of everyone else, driving free poor whites out of the south. That is why the immigrants were not interested in the south.

> As an officer, Lee had no say in politics.

What complete and utter bullshit. When secession started, he was an officer in the United States army. He had sworn to uphold and defend this constitution and to serve in that military. He RESIGNED THAT POSITION, in order to join the Confederacy and then worked diligently to help created that confederacy by abducting him home state out of the union. Don’t pretend this man was just a puppet on a string.

> Lee was against slavery and secession

In the sense that he personally kept slaves and personally resigned from the union army to fight for secession.

> but your loyalty was to your state in those days.

Is it loyalty to your state to intimidate its citizens at the polling booth, so that they vote for secession?

Well, I suppose it makes sense in this way. Maybe Lee thought Virginians were too stupid to know what is in their best interests. Wouldn’t be hard to imagine since most slaveholders thought that about their slaves.

> The Zero's industry takeovers are classic economic National Socialism

Its socialism generally, but I will go out on a limb and guess that Obama is not a nazi. *sigh*

See what you are making me do? You are forcing me to defend that idiot in the white house.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The feds don’t control it that much. I was taught pro-southern propaganda, and apparently you were, too.


Actually, I wasn't. I grew up in California and got a good dose of State history regarding the Missions, Indians, Gold Rush, Russians Etc. Very little on the Civil War other than what I have read and from documentaries.

In fact I'm distantly related to US Grant (some sort of 8th cousin). Like most Americans today the family history and ethnicity are tangled and diverse. The American side of my family history is, Pennsylvania Dutch Quakers and Scotch Irish. The rest of more recent family history of immigration (around the 1900's)on my father's side is Welsh/Basque.

So I don't have a vested interest in picking one side Confederacy over Union in the historical battles. I do have a vested interest in historical accuracy and in not vilifying an entire group of people based on erroneous or distorted history. This is why I don't have a problem with a Confederate History Month. There is a lot of misinformation and purposeful distortion. It could be an educational opportunity if people would stop being so flipping emotional and irrational.

Woah. I think I got Titus's word verification: fablesse

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually I didn’t say the war was about abolishing slavery. I said it was caused by slavery.

AW I didn't mean you personally, I was referencing many contemporaries including the schools who think the war was about freeing the slaves.

That's all.

howzerdo said...

AW: Great letter. Bravo.

LarsPorsena said...

Next up..Daniel Shays Days in Massachusetts and Whiskey Rebellion
Month in PA

edutcher said...

AW, since blogger is throwing up on me due to my attempt to answer you point by point, I'll do it long form.

First, you know very little about slavery as practiced in the 1850s. Slaves were considered, for good or ill, valuable property and not beaten or maltreated capriciously. Nor were they often sold. Usually, it was to pay outstanding debts or if an estate was to be broken up.

Second, money was the issue. The protective tariff was a source of considerable friction in the 1850s and even Karl Marx was right once a decade. Those evangelical Christians, in many cases, were also the ones who owned the factories. (you never heard the saying, "They came to do good and did well"?)

John Brown told the story of the people who backed him in a farm for fugitive slaves in upstate New York and came by to see how things were going. Brown marveled at how his backers were astounded at how he worked and ate with them, and called them Mr. This and Mrs. That, just like they were real people. Limousine liberals never change.

When I say the Southerners fought because they were invaded, that is what the Confederate soldiers said, not me.

Your nonsense about secession in Virginia being voted upon in polling places is just that. Secession was voted upon in the State House.

And the slaves belonged to Lee's wife, not him. I have no idea what you mean by abduction, but I don't think you do, either. Lee's actions had no influence on the policy of the US or CS governments, prior to First Bull Run.

On a few things, however, we agree. There was sexual abuse of slaves, particularly female house servants. That the Constitutional Convention adopted the 3/5 clause doesn't make it right. No problem, there. Also, as I pointed out earlier, immigrants opted for the North because conditions were better there, if not by much. No Irish Need Apply was better than being hired at $.50 cents a day to drain a malarial swamp because the owner didn't want to risk his slaves doing it (Horace Greeley).

TallBill said...

You can call pride in your ancestry, or the history of your people or community, a form of bigotry, and I suppose it is. But the recollection of that shared history is also what binds a society together. Properly caveated, I don't see anything wrong with it.

I guess I am one of those people who gets worked up when I hear sweeping views of history that are grossly divorced from the facts. I grew up in the south and attended one of the most traditional southern universities. A significant portion of the kids I went to high school with believed that black kids shouldn't be attending our public school with us, and weren't shy about saying as much. Some of the guys I went to college with were fond of saying that some blacks were better off during slavery. To me, a lot of what I hear from folks from "my neck of the woods" is grossly counter-factual, offensive to non-whites, and head-scratchingly immature.

It is, as I think someone pointed out, the same everywhere. Societies that have been grossly abusive historically usually have a segment of traditionalists who are deeply committed to an "alternate history" that denies what they did. It's also, to the extent that it's widespread, a deeply immature and irrational element of our culture.

Basically, I second what A.W. said above. We need not carry guilt for what our ancestors did, but the one thing we owe one another, when we reflect on the past, is the truth. The story-telling and whitewashing is so much cultural pollution that gums up our ability to consider things fairly and equitably.

reader_iam said...

I wonder if perhaps some of you might find the following of interest: Link. It's a long post (not one of mine, to be clear), but it touches upon a host of topics which folks here have brought up, in one way or another.

Here are a couple of posts, written by the same author (: here and here.

Interesting discussion here in this Althouse comments section today. I've enjoyed following it, though I don't have anything of value to add. Nice to see the different angles being covered. Thanks.

reader_iam said...

In the second graf of my previous comment, the ( is an accident--a typo--and NOT intended to be an emoticon, etc. *Sigh*

TallBill said...

Slaves were considered, for good or ill, valuable property and not beaten or maltreated capriciously.

You feel comfortable making blanket statements about the way thousands of people acted in regards to something that was their own property? You realize there probably aren't any kind of neat patterns that such behavior fell into -- what people did with something that belonged to them.

Just out of curiosity, how often do you suppose female slaves -- living their whole lives as the property of men -- were raped?

Nor were they often sold. Usually, it was to pay outstanding debts or if an estate was to be broken up.

Even if you consider the slaves of famous people, and only the cases I happen to know off the top of my head -- I would point out that Thomas Jefferson's slaves were sold. Dolly Madison's slaves were sold. One of them, who she had promised freedom (but was unable to follow-up because her son spent all her money) was sold, subsequently bought his own freedom, and stepped in to help Dolly in her elder years when she was destitute.

George Washington had to make it explicit in his will, and emphasize the point using language he applied to nothing else in the document, that his slaves not be sold.

Mencius Moldbug said...

Perhaps Governor McDonnell, along with his nonapology, should have recommended that the television audience turn off their TVs and hie directly to Google Books.

Whereupon they might read the Defence of Virginia by R.L. Dabney (1867). Or possibly The Abolition Crusade and its Consequences, by Hilary Herbert (1912). Or even The Southern Tradition at Bay, by Richard Weaver (1943).

"Forget Confederate History Month," the Governor could say. "This year, we'll have a new event - Confederate Book Club Month. It'll be new! It'll be different! It'll be exciting..." But sadly, no.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@A. W.

My hat's off to the Duke. I agree with you generally, but with a couple excpetions.

Secession = treason: Moot, because treason doth never prosper. What's the reason? If it prosper none dare call it treason. For example, there is still a Jacobite Pretender--though he doesn't claim the title, modern-day Jacobites claim it on his behalf, using your logic.

Confederates saw themselves as Americans, the TRUE Americans. I don't think it's fair to use the same word for them that you'd use for Benedict Arnold or Lord Haw-Haw.

Another point: I do honor the memory of men like Erwin Rommel and Robert E. Lee. They fought for an evil cause, true, but I think career soldiers fighting for the armies of their homeland, who fight bravely and chivalrously, get a pass.

@edutcher:

The colored schools, bus seats, and drinking fountains might have been every bit as good as the white ones, but segragation by race was still evil. And slavery is evil, even if it is between the kindest of masters and most willing of slaves. The evil is in treating another human being as your property. Even if Southern slavemasters were as kind as you say they were, they still had the unquestioned right to treat their slaves as they saw fit, because they were property. There is no way to sugar-coat it and you should be ashamed to try.

I'm sure it was great comfort to slaves to know that they wouldn't be GENERALLY ABUSED for NO REASON, and wouldn't GENERALLY sold away from their families unless their masters REALLY NEEDED THE MONEY.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@the people who think slavery isn't so bad as long you are nice:

Roman slavery, you may know, was not race-based. According to Galen, Hadrian (one of the Five Good Emperors, generally accounted wise and just) lost his temper one day and struck his slave in the eye with a pen, and the slave lost his eye. Hadrian felt terrible and asked the slave to name anything he wanted, but the slave remained silent. After prodding, the slave finally said that the only thing he wanted was his eye.

This is the difference between a slave and free person. You can treat a slave as an object and nobody has any right to say anything to you about it, and the slave has no recourse.

Your arguments about kind masters and valuable slaves are analagous to arguments about vesting absolute power in an enlightened despot. They are just as obviously bankrupt. A despot may do great things that a democracy would never do, but there's no way to prevent his abusing his power. It's the same with slaves.

You ought to be ashamed.

TallBill said...

Slaves were considered, for good or ill, valuable property and not beaten or maltreated capriciously.

Most of the scholarship on slavery suggests a different story -- that owners realized they could only really control slaves with violence. Below is the wikipedia entry on the treatment of slaves:

Treatment of Slaves

Of course, wikipedia can be wrong, but the length of this piece and the sourcing suggests, at least, the historical evidence accumulated on the other side of that issue.

Big Mike said...

@AW, the Professor does not need you to defend her. And IMAO she certainly does have a political bias, as it would be almost impossible not to have a bias living and working in the Peoples Republic of Madison.

@DBQ, it's Scots-Irish. Scotch is what you drink, Scots is who you fight in bars.

@everybody, I'm a Civil War buff and I'm positively stunned at the misinformation on this thread. I heartily recommend that everybody go and read a good book such as McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom or Catton's famous trilogy.

As a "for instance," numerous people certainly were hung for treason during the Civil War -- to my knowledge all of them executed in the South for being loyal to the Union. In fact a number of East Tennessee civilians were in jail awaiting execution when they were saved by the Union Army capturing Knoxville. Balfegor is quite right that the North would have been legally justified in hanging every man, woman, and child in the South for treason. But would that have been the smart thing to do? Lincoln, thankfully, had more wisdom than that, leaving the US of A as the only country I'm aware of where the people captured in rebellion against their government were not executed wholesale. When I've praised American Exceptionalism in past threads, and support it again in future threads, that's part of what I'm proud of as an American. The US of A is profoundly different from every other nation on earth, and people who don't recognize that are simply mistaken.

@edutcher, suggesting to the Richmond government that slaves be inducted into the Confederate Army so that they could fight for the Confederacy was virtually the last thing Lee did, not the first.

No, I have no idea what the people who pushed that idea were thinking. I do know that many who supported the idea of arming slaves to fight for the Confederacy thought that their slaves would blithely resume being slaves afterwards.

@AW, your lenthy post at 2:02 is mostly right. Lee had the standing to be more assertive in politics than he was. Not only did he avoid involvement in politics, his example discouraged it everywhere else in the armies of the Confederacy. But I see it as a personal choice bound up in his sense of duty. Lee is one of the most complex individuals I've ever read about.

And for everybody, some time ago PBS ran a special on Colonial Williamsburg which featured a slave auction. Several Black activists were interviewed ahead of time, and every one of them thought it was degrading to African-Americans and in terrible taste. But watching a woman weeping and screaming "No"! as her husband was being sold (the man was a household servant and as a deal sweetener the auctioneer was offering to throw in the man's nice clothing) did more to bring home the inhumanity of slavery as an institution than 1000 textbooks ever could.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As an aside to slavery and the Civil War.

I once had a client 18 years ago (1992) who at the time was 89 years old (born in 1903)and grew up on a farm in Missouri. His father was in his 70's when he (my client) was born and died when he was about 100yrs old. His father was born about 1833. The father owned slaves and fought in the Civil War on the side of the South.

The stretch of time represented in the lives of these two men was awesome. Here I was, talking to someone who had a parent who fought in the civil war and who's Grandparent was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Living history. I really enjoyed getting him to talk about his life and his father's life. It was like touching living breathing history.

My client tells this story: When the Civil War was over and the slaves were freed, the slaves who had been in his family, working on the farm, stayed there. A couple of the slaves went to St Louis and came right back because they didn't like the city and were afraid to be on their own. The slaves/now freed were a couple of families with children and three single men. In all he thinks about 9 to 12 people. His father split off some of the land and gave it to the slaves so they would have a place to live and farm for themselves. His father considered them to be family, because he had grown up with most of them all of his life, and didn't want them turned out on their own and they didn't want to go anyplace else. Although most of the land was lost during the depression, some of their descendents still live on the land in Missouri.

When my client was a young child he remembers that a child (ex-slave) of one of the original slave families lived in their home and helped with the housework. She was in her mid to late 60's (he thinks)when he was about 8 years old and was eventually in the 30's was buried in the family plot near his mother, father and other family members.

So.. yes. Slavery was a terrible thing. But, not all slaves were mistreated.

Still doesn't make it right, but neither is tarring everyone who held slaves as cruel.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@TallBill:

Most of the scholarship on slavery suggests a different story -- that owners realized they could only really control slaves with violence.

Alexander Severus considered introducing a law that would require all Roman slaves to wear a distinctive dress. He reconsidered when it was pointed out that slaves were about half of all people in Rome and maybe they shouldn't be aware of their numbers.

Black people, of course, can't dress to hide it and if all slaves are black, they can't help but know when they are in the majority, as in South Carolina.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@DBQ, it's Scots-Irish. Scotch is what you drink, Scots is who you fight in bars.


Why...that's true!! Scotch IS what I drink. Glenmorangie or Glenlivit preferably.

vw: palinfe

Gabriel Hanna said...

@AW, TallBill:

From the Wikipedia article TallBill cited:

During the War of 1812, British Royal Navy commanders of the blockading fleet, based at the Bermuda dockyard, were given instructions to encourage the defection of American slaves by offering freedom, as they did during the Revolutionary War. Thousands of black slaves went over to the Crown with their families, and were recruited into the (3rd Colonial Battalion) Royal Marines on occupied Tangier Island, in the Chesapeake. A further company of colonial marines was raised at the Bermuda dockyard, where many freed slaves, men women and children, had been given refuge and employment. It was kept as a defensive force in case of an attack.

These former slaves fought for Britain throughout the Atlantic campaign, including the attack on Washington D.C.and the Louisiana Campaign, and most were later re-enlisted into British West India regiments, or settled in Trinidad in August, 1816, where seven hundred of these ex-marines were granted land (they reportedly organised themselves in villages along the lines of military companies). Many other freed American slaves were recruited directly into existing West Indian regiments, or newly created British Army units. A few thousand freed slaves were later settled at Nova Scotia by the British.


AW, were these slaves traitors? I'd say legally yes, morally no.

Big Mike said...

@DBQ, we're going to have to meet some day.

Opus One Media said...

Gabriel Hanna said...
"Another point: I do honor the memory of men like Erwin Rommel and Robert E. Lee. They fought for an evil cause, true, but I think career soldiers fighting for the armies of their homeland, who fight bravely and chivalrously, get a pass."

THAT is the point Gabriel. Lee was every ounce a traitor the the United States. Read the constitution and what defines treason...taking up arms against.... You can call a pig an eagle but you can't make it fly.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@educther:

The law in Virgina:

. . . [E]very assemblage of negroes for the purpose of instruction in reading or writing, or in the night time for any purpose, shall be an unlawful assembly. Any justice may issue his warrant to any office or other person, requiring him to enter any place where such assemblage may be, and seize any negro therein; and he, or any other justice, may order such negro to be punished with stripes.

Tell us again how humane slavery was.

Big Mike said...

@Opus, legally you are right. Practically, you are unbearably moronic. Grant was within his legal rights to march Lee from the McLean house in Appomattox, but there was a reason why he was too intelligent to do that. Hanging Lee would have induced every Confederate soldier, and every person of either gender who was physically capable of aiming a musket for that matter, to fight on as guerillas for decades afterwards. As I said upthread, there never has been a country like ours when it comes to humane treatment of our enemies.

Big Mike said...

Oops. I meant to write "march Lee from the McLean house in Appomattox directly to a gallows or firing squad ...

Damn cut and paste

A.W. said...

Traditional

> You are fighting all comers today. That maybe your Presbyterian heritage trying to come out.

In the sense that I am offended by injustice and people defending it, maybe so. Though I am more stubborn than most Presbyterians I know, indeed most people I know period.

> Thomas J Jackson was 100% Presbyterian

A man who keeps slaves is not even properly Christian.

> determined to take on all comers trespassing on his land.

There was no threat to his land in 1860.

> there were States like Virginia (the first English settlement) that easily exercised sovreign power outside of the exclusive Federal powers enumerated in the Constitution.

And?

A.W. said...

edutcher

> First, you know very little about slavery as practiced in the 1850s. Slaves were considered, for good or ill, valuable property and not beaten or maltreated capriciously.

That is a rationalist surmise, not based on actual accounts. The actual accounts, such as the autobiography of Frederick Douglas tell a different tale. His master did beat and even kill capriciously.

> Nor were they often sold.

How often is too often in your book?

> Second, money was the issue.

Bullcrap. Democracy was the primary issue—could the north elect a president of its own choosing?

> Limousine liberals never change.

If your point is that many abolitionists were racists, you are correct. So? And?

I never held them up to be perfect, only better than the southern bigot. Take for instance Owen Lovejoy. In his twin pillars of barbarism speech, he said, paraphrase. “it is said that the black man is infirm. But is it right to enslave a man just because he is infirm.” Lovejoy didn’t have to believe in the equality of the races to oppose slavery. I mean seriously, otherwise we would enslave the retarded.

> that is what the Confederate soldiers said

And its crap.

> Your nonsense about secession in Virginia being voted upon in polling places is just that.

Read Ralph Korngold’s masterful biography of Thad Stevens. Or was Lincoln lying about it?

> And the slaves belonged to Lee's wife, not him.

Bwahahahaha. So Lee wanted to end slavery on his plantation but his wife wouldn’t let him?

> Also, as I pointed out earlier, immigrants opted for the North because conditions were better there, if not by much.

Sure, if not seeing your boss rape your wife is considered only a minor improvement.

edutcher said...

Your answer is, apparently, no matter what the mass of history says, if it doesn't fit your view, it's nonsense. Elections were democratic; frankly, I don't think you know what you're talking about. The last Southern President, I believe, was Polk; Pierce and Fillmore came from New England and Buchanan was a Pennsylvanian.

What Frederick Douglass saw was his experience, but it's anecdotal and doesn't translate to everyone else. OTOH, you reject the word of the majority of Confederate soldiers because you don't like it.

As for Lee, his wife did have her rights, you know - or perhaps you don't.

Not having read much about Thaddeus Stevens, except that he was one of the most poisonous of the Radical Republicans, I can only reiterate that Virginia seceded by vote of a convention called by the State House. Lincoln, of course, was not above a little propaganda once in a while.

Fen said...

Libtard: In the white southern mind, slavery was vital as a method to control the black people, for reasons I already outlined. And in their mind owning a slave was like the American dream to them.

As it was in the north. Its amazing how all these libtards who express moral outrage over slavery in the south have NOTHING to say about indentured servitude in the North.

Golly gee, you would almost have to admit that the Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture us about. Because they obviously ONLY care about slavery when they can leverage it into politics.

Hey Libtards, how come all the north-eastern states omit indentured servitude during their history months? And where's your faux outrage over that?

Hypocrites.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Fen:

First, you're not arguing with liberals. Try to wrap your tiny mind around the fact that people who disagree with you on ONE thing don't necessarily disagree with you about OTHER things.

Second, your point about indentured servitude is stupid. Both the North and South practiced it, and both the North and South gave it up. But the South held on to black slavery long after the North had given it up, and fought a war to continue to do it.

Bluster all you like, but nobody is fooled.

Tammy said...

The South left the Union on the issue of State's Rights, something we do not fully understand in this day and age, because the war changed things. The country was founded to be a loose confederation of states, that would come together when necessary for larger issues, such as defending each other if attacked. Slavery was one of the issues that the southern states resented being lectured to about, but it certainly was not the only one, and it certainly wasn't the reason the south seceeded.

Nor was it the reason the North went to war. Lincoln was trying to reunite the country, not defeat slavery. Slavery became a rallying cry after two years, and thank God it did, but the slavery issue was a tactical one for Lincoln; he knew it would drain the south of resources if they lost their slaves.

Lincoln didn't even free the slaves in the border states, and some of Louisiana. Read The Emancipation Proclamation for yourself.

The vast majority of Confederates never owned slaves, but didn't think the other states had a right to tell them what to do.

The vast majority of Unionists didn't believe in slavery, but certainly didn't want the black folks up there living right next door to them.

Both sides over-romanticize their history.

Slavery was not common in the North becasue itw as not economically viable, but a quick glance at the child labor and immigrant labor situations in the North during those times right up until the early part of the 20th centruy shows that they ought not to be trying to occupy any high ground on morality issues.

There is shame enough to go around on both sides.

traditionalguy said...

A W...I checked the calendar. It is not 1865. Slavery then was more evil than you have asserted here, but that is a red herring issue today. Who is in slavery today? Immigrant and American born sex slaves are. Fight those forces and they fight back. Women in Muslim cultures are slaves. Fight those forces and they fight back. Christians in Muslim countries are slaves. Fight those forces and they fight back. You have a lot of fighting to do, so I would not waste any more time doing WWF fake wrestling with 1865 chattel slavery in the ante-bellum South.

A.W. said...

Traditional

> I checked the calendar. It is not 1865. Slavery then was more evil than you have asserted here, but that is a red herring issue today.

I don’t know why you guys keep thinking it is a viable argument to say “get over it, it was a long time ago.”

We are talking about a proclamation of confederate history month. The subject is ancient history and what we are going to say about it as a society, if we say anything at all.

> Who is in slavery today? Immigrant and American born sex slaves are. Fight those forces and they fight back.

Agreed, and?

> Women in Muslim cultures are slaves. Fight those forces and they fight back.

Well, slave is a bit of a strong word in most cases, but yeah sufficiently badly mistreated as to justify violent overthrow of the settled order. Agreed.

> Christians in Muslim countries are slaves. Fight those forces and they fight back.

I haven’t heard of widespread enslavement of chistians in Muslim countries. Persecution, but that is a different word.

> You have a lot of fighting to do, so I would not waste any more time doing WWF fake wrestling with 1865 chattel slavery in the ante-bellum South.

Well, in case you missed it, all told, I think we’d be better off if Mr. McDonnell drank a huge pint of shut the fuck up.

traditionalguy said...

A W... That is your point, that McDonnel should shut up. My point is that McDonnel is saying and acting post racially and he needs not fear speaking what people his age are thinking. The White Guilt Trump Card that ruled over all in the 1960s needs to be retired now. You are a master player of that card, so that makes me your opposition when I say that its days are over. Yes we can get over it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We are talking about a proclamation of confederate history month. The subject is ancient history and what we are going to say about it as a society, if we say anything at all.

I thought you said somewhere that you were a History Major or specialist?

Do you only want us to know and study the history that you approve of? Do you want to cover up and slide under the rug the historical happenings that you find uncomfortable? I suppose you approve of political correctness in history classes and retroactively changing history?

What are we going to say about it (the Confederacy) as a society? Well, that would be hard to say if you don't want to talk about it or don't want to review it.

It's also hard to say what we are going to say if we only talk about PART of history.

The fact that they have added back the slavery issue should be a good thing, I would think, in your mind.

Isn't it.

Even 'ancient' history is worth studying, discussing and yes even celebrating in certain parts. There is always the good AND the bad in history. We need to accept BOTH.

A.W. said...

Traditional

> That is your point, that McDonnel should shut up.

You know what? I’m done with you. Anyone who read what I wrote will understand that I am not trying to suppress his every political position. I voted for the guy. And I don’t regret it. But I am opposed to these stupid proclamations from the get-go. And I mean on any subject. I don’t care if tomorrow he issues a proclamation declaring that sunshine and lollipops are wonderful, I will say, “stop issuing stupid proclamations and get to work, you dumbshit.”

That’s all I am saying, you dipshit. And if you weren’t so obsessed with trying to turn me into some kind of liberal race baiting scarecrow, you might realize that. You might figure out that I am none of the things you have tried to claim I am. And if you can’t debate me as me, and not your hallucination of my positions, then fuck the hell off.

A.W. said...

Dust

> I thought you said somewhere that you were a History Major or specialist?

BA, history. And lawyer, which is beside the point.

> Do you only want us to know and study the history that you approve of? Do you want to cover up and slide under the rug the historical happenings that you find uncomfortable?

First, McDonnell isn’t making a study sheet. But he is sliding under the rug a lot of stuff that isn’t complementary to the south.

> I suppose you approve of political correctness in history classes and retroactively changing history?

Well, to be exact, it was the “lost cause” people who were changing history. Then people like Kenneth Stampp changed it back. But as far as the political correctness, where they barely cover Washington, but have five pages on Marilyn Monroe, yeah, I think its all a travesty. What we have done to history in the last few years has been a travesty.

But that doesn’t mean we suddenly pretend that the South wasn’t about slavery, or that the root problem in the north wasn’t also slavery.

> Well, that would be hard to say if you don't want to talk about it or don't want to review it.

I think it isn’t good government to waste anyone’s time with silly proclamations.

> It's also hard to say what we are going to say if we only talk about PART of history.

Well, that is what McDonnell was doing. He was only talking about part of history. He was talking about how the Confederates suffered, etc. Later to his credit, he mentioned slavery. But we still haven’t talked about the Unionists, including those who eventually seceded from secession. Indeed, when I suggested we talk about more, by calling it “Civil War History Month” everyone here pretty much objected.

> We need to accept BOTH.

We can accept both, but celebrating both is another matter.

Study Jackson, study Lee. They teach us an important lesson, about man’s ability to perpetuate and fight for evil. Really one of our biggest problems today is our inability to recognize the existence of evil, though practically speaking, it’s a bigger problem when the average liberal can’t recognize the evil that exists in iran, or in al Qaeda.

William said...

It is a testament to the power of literature and art that the Old South was able to hold such a sympathetic place in the popular imagination for so long. Southern writers were excellent propagandists for their cause. There are no good things to be said for slavery, but Margaret Mitchell said them. Tennessee Williams was perfectly attuned to the sorrows of the dispossessed planter class and oblivious to the miseries of the sharecroppers. The south that exists in literature is no more real than Middle Earth, but for all that it's a fine place to read about.......I read AW's posts with approval and interest. It's significant that a southerner of conservative bent can judge the Confederate cause with such hostility and accuracy. Bravo for him.

reader_iam said...

!

Revenant said...

The South left the Union on the issue of State's Rights

Oh, please. The South cared about states' rights only inasmuch as that protected the institution of slavery. When slavery was best protected through egregious violations of states' rights by the federal government -- as with the fugitive slave laws -- the South cheerfully supported violating states' rights. They supported states rights like Obama supports fiscal responsibility.

Let's put it this way: were it not for the existence of slavery, the states would never have seceded, the Confederacy would never have formed, and the Civil War would never have happened.

Revenant said...

Why is it considered "politically correct" to paint the Confederacy as evil? It was founded and run by traitors and slavers. Who cares if Robert E Lee thought he was doing the right thing? That doesn't change the fact that, legally and morally, he deserved execution for what he did. The same goes for the rest of the Confederate military and government.

At least when we say the Italian fascists made the trains run on time, we say it with a sense of bitter irony. Anyone who speaks in defense of the Confederacy or in praise of its leaders had better never even think of criticizing the ANSWER crowd, the Weathermen, or the folks who spit on troops returning from Vietnam.

Because you're their moral equals.

traditionalguy said...

A W...The only thing I accused you of was being Presbyterian. You are clearly a lawyer, because you want to control what questions are before the Court. That is how we lawyers mysteriously win. I don't know or care how conservative politically you may be. But in our discussion I took the more liberal approach and said slavery is no longer a worthy dead horse to beat. The Evil you talk of is always the result of one conquering group agreeing to see and treat the other group's members as sub-humans and not vested with human rights. The arguments to get there from here are multiple and creative, but may NEVER be disobeyed. Hitlers abuse of Jews (rats), Andy Jackson's abuse of Cherokees( savages), communists abuse of capitalists (robbers), the Japanese army's abuse of Chinese civilians in Nanking ( not of the Emperor's race) Protestant Presbyterians abuse of Catholics ( anti-christ cult members) Muslim men's abuse of women (cattle)....and the list goes on. Then one day we awake to the untruthfulness of these group attacks and liberally say let's treat them as humans vested with rights of respect. The young get there first. McDonnel and myself say the time has come for the history of white southern confederate soldiers (98% of which had no slaves) be treated as respected humans. The dominant group (who won) will think that is a dangerous heresy that could cause the end of their world. But it is simply truth once again popping its head up and overcoming the Evils of another group misidentification. The value of free speech comes front and center here and you found that quite unsettling.

Revenant said...

white southern confederate soldiers (98% of which had no slaves)

100% of whom were traitors and would-be killers of loyal Americans.

Fen said...

Well, first off, indentured servitude was rare by 1860.

Replaced by slavery and then share-cropping. America also enslaved children and immigrants. But you want to damn an entire culture by conveniently choosing 1860 as your focus.

How is it that the south is "evil" but the north is not?

Second, there is an important difference. You choose to be an indentured servant.

Much the same way that women "choose" to be sex workers.

were traitors and would-be killers of loyal Americans.

I'm sure King George said the same.

Fen said...

It's significant that a southerner of conservative bent can judge the Confederate cause with such hostility and accuracy. Bravo for him.

Its cowardly. And not too far removed from bashing the Founders for not including animal rights in the Constitution. Cultures evolve. Judging them by today's standards is as fair as damning America because we treated the Indians as savage and sub-human.

And lets not forget, its today's Left that still treats human life as sub-human. Maybe thats why they like to talk so much about slavery.

A.W. said...

Traditional

> The only thing I accused you of was being Presbyterian.

Liar. Here are your own words:

> The White Guilt Trump Card that ruled over all in the 1960s needs to be retired now. You are a master player of that card,

So that makes it official. You are actually lying, for reasons I can’t quite fathom. We’re done.

Fen

> But you want to damn an entire culture by conveniently choosing 1860 as your focus.

Okay, and I am through with you, too. How dishonest is that? For the fifth time, we are discussing a CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH PROCLAMATION. We are talking about the 1860’s as our focus because guess what? That is the subject of the proclamation. And it is dishonest to pretend that I chose that subject.

And here is more dishonesty.

> How is it that the south is "evil" but the north is not?

I didn’t say the whole south was evil. In fact I pointed out repeatedly that West Virginia seceded from secession. I said slavery was evil, holding people in bondage is evil, and fighting for slavery was evil. That does not describe every southerner, even in 1865.

> Cultures evolve.

Right, you just spouted a belief in moral relativism, and I am the liberal? No, some things are right and some things are wrong, absolutely so, and eternally so. (you'll see more on this in a moment)

A.W. said...

William

> It's significant that a southerner of conservative bent can judge the Confederate cause with such hostility and accuracy. Bravo for him.

Ah, well, I have perhaps given an incorrect perception. As my sister-in-law said the first time I met her, “you’re a big ol’ yankee, like your brother.” (and yeah, that was the moment I started to like my sister-in-law as a person, and not just in the polite way you make nice with your in-laws.)

I was born in PA and raised by New Jersians. But I have spent probably around 2/3 of my life in some southern state, today I sound (mostly) southern, and use a lot of their idioms.

That being said, I like to think I don’t look at either section with prejudice. I have learned a long time ago that most regional stereotypes are 90% BS and aside from sounding different, people are pretty much the same across America.

Yeah, a lot of southerners believe a lot of propaganda about the civil war, okay, but what is more significant is that they can only believe in the Southern “cause” if they are completely lied to about what it was. They can’t support what the Confederacy actually stood for, so they support a fairy tale version. While that is not ideal, it beats a few of the alternatives.

A.W. said...

Revenant

> Let's put it this way: were it not for the existence of slavery, the states would never have seceded,

I would take that even further and say you can’t say the reverse on state’s rights. If they didn’t have so-called state’s rights, I think they still would have found some justification, probably in a profound perversion of the doctrine of the declaration of independence (think something like what Taney did in Dredd Scott).

> Why is it considered "politically correct" to paint the Confederacy as evil?

I think nothing could be more conservative than to say that there are inalienable rights, that there are values that exist outside of time and space. Like I have always considered this sermon from Dr. King to be one of the most conservative things I have ever read:

> But I’m here to say to you this morning that some things are right and some things are wrong. (Yes) Eternally so, absolutely so. It’s wrong to hate. (Yes, That’s right) It always has been wrong and it always will be wrong! (Amen) It’s wrong in America, it’s wrong in Germany, it’s wrong in Russia, it’s wrong in China! (Lord help him) It was wrong in two thousand B.c., and it’s wrong in nineteen fifty-four A.D.! It always has been wrong, (That’s right) and it always will be wrong! (That’s right) It’s wrong to throw our lives away in riotous living. (Yeah) No matter if everybody in Detroit is doing it. It’s wrong! (Yes) It always will be wrong! And it always has been wrong. It’s wrong in every age, and it’s wrong in every nation. Some things are right and some things are wrong, no matter if everybody is doing the contrary. Some things in this universe are absolute. The God of the universe has made it so. And so long as we adopt this relative attitude toward right and wrong, we’re revolting against the very laws of God himself. (Amen)

Of course that is sort of conservative in the sort of conservative revolutionary fashion that Americans specialize in. Our own Declaration of Independence was not a break in the past so much as taking the values of the English Glorious Revolution and throwing it right back in Parliament’s face. And Lincoln, too, was a revolutionary, but again by going back to first principles in our Declaration of Independence. Indeed the very name “Republican” was a reference to the original incarnation of the Democratic party, when they were known as Republicans under Jefferson. And MLK, in his I have a Dream speech, was clearly in that tradition. He wasn’t rejecting America, he was saying, “live up to the ideals that were written down in your own Declaration of Independence.” Now later he went beyond that, but that part of the argument isn’t liberal. Its profoundly conservative, which is why I think the vast majority of modern conservative thinks that opposition to actual racism (as opposed to playing the race card) is a bedrock moral imperative.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

AW: How dishonest is that? For the fifth time, we are discussing a CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH PROCLAMATION. We are talking about the 1860’s as our focus because guess what? That is the subject of the proclamation. And it is dishonest to pretend that I chose that subject.

No. I asked how can people like you be so "righteous" about this issue without demanding other states include their sins in their celebration of their history. Your response is that you want to limit the bashing to 1860.

Thats the dishonesty.

Fen said...

Fen: Cultures evolve. Judging them by today's standards is as fair as damning America because we treated the Indians as savage and sub-human.

AW: Right, you just spouted a belief in moral relativism -

You dont understand the term. When I say "cultures evolve" I mean that its cowardly of you to judge the past based on the standards of the present.

Look at the American Revolution - intitially only for the merchant class until Shay's rebellion. And then still, only applying to White men. Gradually, those rights were read to include children, blacks, and finally in 1919...women.

The NINETEENTH Amemdment to our Constitution. So yes, cultures evolve and its hardly relativism to say so.

But you're the guy at the cocktail party parroting the same tired provincialist bashing to impress the hostess and her party guests. So you can all feel a little better about your own present sins. How "brave" of you to take a stand against something that was widely accepted over a 100 years ago.

Fen said...

Libtard: In the sense that the Yankees at Ft. Sumter were sitting there and bothering no one when the Confederates open fired. I suppose if I came down to where you lived and started throwing bombs at your house that is self-defense, too? Sheesh, what a maroon.

To be more precise: I suppose if I occupied your house and refused your requests to vacate, and even fortified myself against you in your own house, you would be wrong to use force to throw me out?

Libtard to mirror: Sheesh, what a maroon with your fairy tale revisionist history.

A.W. said...

Fen

Twist and turn all you want, but you are constantly dishonest here. Complaining that i am focusing on 1860, when the subject was a declaration of Confederate History Month, specifically referencing the civil war, is dishonest.

We're done.

traditionalguy said...

A W...I respect your debate skills. Man sharpens man as iron sharpens iron. The Althouse salon permits political debates and flavors life with The Professor's wit, art and cultural commentary. Hang around here and you will experience some excellent minds sharing a wide variety of views on many subjects. We all seem to have different pieces of the puzzle. And we enjoy a game of spotting Mobys hard at their work. But you seem to be a sincere man standing by your own hard argued points.

William said...

The Pharaoh sent the first slaving expedition to the land of Kush about two thousand years BCE. For the next four thousand years the unhappy continent of Africa was ravaged by slavers. The white man certainly participated in this grand crime, but heed this: It was white Christians who put an end to this horrible and age old practice. It was not the great kings of Africa or Islamic scholars or French salon intellectuals who buried the institution of slavery. The abolitionists were not a favored cause of the left. The left viewed them with much of the contempt that they later viewed the Temperance Movement. (In fact, that movement was the progency of the abolitionists.).....It was Wellington who insisted on the abolition of slavery in the French Empire. He did this over the objections of the egalitarian Bonapartists at the Congress of Vienna. In America was the Republicans who insisted on carrying on the war over the objections of the Democrats who claimed that nothing the Union could win was worth the sacrifices entailed in that struggle....The Civil War and the Union cause is something that conservatives should embrace and liberals should be ashamed of.

Don said...

Speaking of Unacceptable Omissions, Barry O's little rant unacceptably omitted to include recognition that slavery endured in certain northern states (New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland, Missouri as well as Washington, D.C.)until adoption of the 13th amendment (authored and sponsored primarily by Republicans) in December 1865 long after the surrender at Appomattox in April of that year. The Emancipation Proclamation (EP)did not free all of the slaves, only some of those in the seceded states. Barry O needs to read the EP and then maybe he wouldn't say stupid stuff and come off as such an ignorant tool.

A.W. said...

William,

You are being inexactly, but getting at an essential point. Slavery existed from time immorial. British and American abolitionism represents the first time, to my knowledge, that the a significant class of people not subject to slavery concluded that it was wrong, and convinced society to end it. In other words, it was the first time that slaves had been liberated by the significant efforts of those who were not themselves enslaved--as opposed to rebellions like that of Sparticus or the Exodus story. that is a significant achievement of which we can be rightfully proud. I consider it a profound credit to christianity, to be blunt.

Revenant said...

"were traitors and would-be killers of loyal Americans."

I'm sure King George said the same.

And he would have been correct. The founding fathers were absolutely guilty of treason... against the British crown.

The difference, as I see it, is that Washington, Jefferson et al betrayed England, a country I don't give a rat's ass about. The traitors you support betrayed the United States of America.

But you are welcome to explain the subtle distinction between, say, John Walker Lindh and Robert E. Lee. The main difference that I can detect is that the latter was responsible for the deaths of more Americans than the former.

reader_iam said...

Slavery in Delaware

Issob Morocco said...

Sounds eerily like Sen Dick Durbin before he Dicks You's comments in his non apology to our troops over his comments comparing them to Nazis.