What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Anyee

Diabloii.Net Member
What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

I'm dating a young woman from northern Louisiana. She's bright and articulate, MIT educated, and she's passionate about how the South is and was treated after the war. We sat down and discussed it a bit yesterday and it's pretty shocking how differently we were taught about the Civil War and Reconstruction.

In NY, we were taught that the war was all about slavery, that most of the South was plantations, that freeing the slaves was awesome, etc. We also learned (culturally) that the south is full of redneck uneducated hicks.

She says that at the time the South seceded, it was legal for them to do so under the constitution. The reason the South left was due less to slavery than due to the North's taxing the hell out of the South and giving them the raw end of the financial deal. She says that slavery was thrown in as a PR move because the war had gone on so long that it was losing support in the North; the war architects needed a boost, so they threw in slavery.

She then pointed out that after the war, the North had pretty much destroyed the South. Killed most of the working populace (able-bodied young men), destroyed their major industry (the South was agrarian and Sherman ****ing salted the earth, among other things), and released all the slaves...but had given the South no means to rehabilitate and employ the now free-men. And later, after the Civil Rights movement, when the law demanded desegregation, the South wasn't given money to bring the black schools up to speed. Instead, they stripped money away from all schools and catered to the lowest denominator, meaning that the education system was and is pretty awful down there.

Now, I'm no fan of slavery and I'm sure we're both biased, but we never heard about the injustices wrought on the Southern peoples, which are arguably long and many. After all, you don't destroy the only industry and are has and then wonder why they have no money for crap. We only heard about how bad the slaves had it.

I'm curious about what you learned, especially you Canucks, Swedes, and other non-us weirdos. :p
 

Johnny

Banned
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

I just feast on the juicy irony that america broke free from the british empire then celebrated that as a glorious victory for freedom but when the south wants to break free from the united states in the exact same maner then they are put down through violence and forced to remain a part of the country.

It had nothing to do with slavery. Only very few people in the south owned slaves. Saying that the civil war is about slavery is like saying that the second world war was about Germany building warships against the WW1 treaty.
 

Anyee

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Yeah, that's pretty close to her take on it, but we up north didn't learn that at all. Did you get that opinion from popular culture, school, etc.? I mean, even wikipedia is all blah blah slavery.
 

AeroJonesy

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Only very few people in the south owned slaves.
Percentage of families owning slaves as a fraction of total free households in the state in 1860:

Mississippi: 49%
South Carolina: 46%
Georgia: 37%
Alabama: 35%
Florida: 34%

Louisiana: 29%
Texas: 28%
North Carolina: 28%
Virginia: 26%
Tennessee: 25%

Kentucky: 23%
Arkansas: 20%
Missouri: 13%
Maryland: 12%
Delaware: 3%



 

Merick

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

In 10th grade our history teacher drove into everyone's heads that "The Civil War was about state's rights, of which slavery was but one issue".
 

Johnny

Banned
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

We had a very good history teacher in school who made a point to teach the less favored aspects of history rather than just the cookie cutter "good triumphs over evil" parts.


Other than that I think most schools over here also make it about slavery.


I liked that Pen and Teller show where they interviewed a black guy who dressed in a confederate uniform for events. He explained that it was about the south and the people in it wanting to be free. Not about preserving slavery.
 

Amra

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Wow Anyee. I am surprised that is what you learned. I too grew up in NY and what you learned is very different that what I learned.

It was made clear to me that slavery was a side issue. Or at least not the primary issue. We also learned that the South had to find a new way to live after the war (mostly regarding the labor force).

I will say that I did not learn a lot about Reconstruction. I know Sherman's march was very bad but I also thought it was fairly limited. Meaning to and around Atlanta and to the coast. I could be wrong about that.

I would wager Reconstruction would have gone differently had not Booth taken out Lincoln.
 

IntellectSucks

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Wow Anyee. I am surprised that is what you learned. I too grew up in NY and what you learned is very different that what I learned.

It was made clear to me that slavery was a side issue. Or at least not the primary issue. We also learned that the South had to find a new way to live after the war (mostly regarding the labor force).

I will say that I did not learn a lot about Reconstruction. I know Sherman's march was very bad but I also thought it was fairly limited. Meaning to and around Atlanta and to the coast. I could be wrong about that.

I would wager Reconstruction would have gone differently had not Booth taken out Lincoln.
I learned similar stuff, although it seemed to me that the South's main contention about state's rights was because slavery was going to be outlawed by the federal government. I also was taught that Sherman routinely attacked and destroyed civilian areas and pretty much destroyed anything in his path.

Reconstruction also made it clear that the south was pretty much screwed after the war, as they had a large chunk of property (slaves) taken away and a large part of their workforce (also slaves) taken away.


 

SaroDarksbane

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

I'm curious about what you learned
Pretty much your version. North good, south evil, north's valiant warriors free the slaves from the tyrannical Southern oppressors, etc.

Wasn't until much later that I learned the real primary reasons.
I just feast on the juicy irony that america broke free from the british empire then celebrated that as a glorious victory for freedom but when the south wants to break free from the united states in the exact same maner then they are put down through violence and forced to remain a part of the country.
Yup. Pretty disgusting, really.



 

Anyee

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Percentage of families owning slaves as a fraction of total free households in the state in 1860:

MANY NUMBERZ
All of those fractions are under 50% and most are in the 1/4-1/3 range, which is not a majority. Yet from what I learned up until, say, AP American History, you'd have thought that everyone had a huge plantation with many slaves. Plus, those numbers don't show how many people had just one or two and who were subsistence farmers themselves.

Amra: I remember learning about states rights and the use of slavery as a PR move, but the time dedicated to those ideas was far far less than the time dedicated to how bad slavery was and how evil the South was for seceding. Maybe it was the liberal school districts near me?



 

S Z

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

TBH, the American Civil War wasn't a part of the Curriculum at the time I was in compulsory education. Slavery in general was, but trafficking up to ~1770 and European efforts to stop the trade only. I dimly recall mention of slavery being invoked by the North in an attempt to dissuade the European Powers from entering the war on the side of the South, but if it was mentioned it was only in passing.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Yeah, that's pretty close to her take on it, but we up north didn't learn that at all. Did you get that opinion from popular culture, school, etc.? I mean, even wikipedia is all blah blah slavery.
That you even mention Wiki should help you realize you're on dangerous ground.

Slavery was a good slogan, quite like "WMD", that helped rally the North against the far more legitimate motivations of the South. Remember that the Northern armies weren't the heroes they're portrayed as; they had massive recruitment from inner cities and immigrant populations, and their conduct towards civilians was reprehensible. There's a reason that the bulk of decent military officers fought for the South, you know; what we view as libertarian concepts nowadays were easily viewed as threatened by the industrial North and the powers in Washington D.C. The Southerners were motivated by far greater degree patriotism and a belief in absolute freedom to the point of not having to comply with Federal decrees. This led to much higher morale, while the North was readily cleaving to the Whig's concepts which didn't exactly inspire the working stiff.

I hardly need to cite the private letter by Lincoln that so many people consider false (but I'll do it anyway, PDF).

What you learned probably contained a lot of bullcrap; did you ever learn about John Brown? If you were a contemporary Southerner, you very well might have thought of him as we think of Ted Kaczynski or David Koresh. Similar obfuscation can be seen when Democrats try to claim Republicans are racists who want to subjugate blacks. If there's any element of that, it's because there's Democrats who left for the Republican party; Republican Christians were amongst some of the most outspoken and unbending opponents of slavery.

Incidentally, for anyone itching to throw mud at me in this regard, Arizona had a single Civil War battle, so I really didn't have a dog in this fight during my (private school's) history class. But I see what public schools teach, and I'm amazed they discuss anything with any depth other than politically correct causes.



 

Gertlex

Banned
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Well the obvious answer is.... that it never happened.

[I think that counts as invoking Godwin's Law?]
 

BobCox2

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

John Brown was a Loon.
 

Hawkreborn

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Hmm...I don't recall much about the civil war.
I guess being in a border state allows us to learn nothing of the northern/southern views learned in school.
 

pancakeman

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

I didn't get taught too much of it, strangely, but in the schools I went to they probably wanted to stay as far away from it as possible, lest there be a riot and the one white kid be hanged or something.


However, my American History professors were pretty forgiving to the South, one of them to the point of even saying that the South was in the right. I personally don't agree with this at all, but that's just me.

Um, anyway, the take I have on it is not so black and white. The South did have a couple things worth fighting for, part of it being the way taxation and import/export whatchamacallsits were handled, but instead of using their (very large) influence in Congress to fight for their causes, they decided instead to start a horrific war that would ravage all half the country. Not quite the way to handle it.

Granted, some things the Union did were less than respectable. Sherman's men did not have to burn down Atlanta (Contrary to popular belief, Sherman himself did not have anything to do with it). They also didn't have to burn down Columbia (He was definitely involved in that one, though). But, on the whole, they did what that had to do to keep the country whole.
What you don't hear about Sherman, interestingly enough, is that he knew full well that South Carolina was where it had all started, and he let his men know that. Because of this, they were very harsh to South Carolinians, stealing what they needed, sometimes burning down plantation houses or fields of non-edibles.
However, we also let them know when they crossed the border that North Carolina was very reluctant to secede, and once again they acted accordingly. For instance, they were more inclined to pay citizens for goods taken than torch their homes.

Overall, I'd say that we are taught to be, as weird as it sounds, somehow thankful and forgiving to the North. Sure, they took some of our boys, but this is a state that would rather have sat things out, and we're grateful that the nation was held together, even if it took a war to do it. If we'd have broken away, we'd probably be even more screwed than are now, I guess. I don't know, it's complicated!

Man, I hate Civil War threads, I always wind up spawning the Wall O' Text™...
 

BobCox2

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

War is Hell
 

vdzele

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: What did you learn about the American Civil War? (North vs. South perspective)

Abraham Lincoln said this before the civil war:

"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it now exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.

My paramount objective is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it"
Well what was civil war all about then? Could it be these words that Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany, said few years later?

"It is not to be doubted, I know of absolute certainty, that the division of the United States into two federations of equal power was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe. These bankers were afraid that the United States, if they remained as one block and were to develop as one nation, would attain economic and financial independence, which would upset the capitalist domination of Europe over the world."
The war was all about these words, Abraham Lincoln:
"The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers... The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Government's greatest creative opportunity... By the adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. The financing of all public enterprises, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity."
And what were the Lords of the West thinking when they triggered American civil war. Here is a nice quote from London Times that describes their intentions against Lincoln.

"If this mischievous financial policy, which has its origin in North America, shall become indurated down to a fixture, then the Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous without precedent in the history of the world. The brains, and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That country must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe."
Right before he was killed Lincoln wrote this to a friend:

"The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed."
Yes he did see the black future, in 1913 US felt down. Some people at that time knew what all was about, like Bismarck Chancellor of Germany

"The death of Lincoln was a disaster for Christendom. There was no man great enough to wear his boots... I fear that foreign bankers with their craftiness and tortuous tricks will entirely control the exuberant riches of America, and use it systematically to corrupt modern civilization. They will not hesititate to plunge the whole of Christendom into wars and chaos in order that the world should become their inheritance.”
Vancouver Sun of May 2, 1934

"Abraham Lincoln was assassinated through the machinations of a group representative of the international bankers, who feared the United States President's national credit ambitions... There was only one group in the world at that time who had any reason to desire the death of Lincoln... They were the men opposed to his national currency program and who had fought him throughout the whole Civil War on his policy of Greenback currency."
Yes, this is what all is about. Creating a Matrix world:

Morpheus:

The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.

300 years of enslaving billions of people around the world with worthless paper that they call Money is The Essence of everything. That’s Matrix.

You are all poor debtors. You owe money to the Lords and they are controlling ALL of you that way. You owe more then 65 trillion $. System is fixed that this amount of money could never be paid back. Most of you cannot come to my place so I could explain you everything how the system works.

Why?

Because you have to work 2-3 jobs and pay your debts. And you think your life is normal. That your system is the best. Don’t ya?

Heh.

I know all your answers. They got your bal*s man.

I am a free man, living in a country that is resisting entering the Matrix. Counting the last days until we get swallowed. This is a last call for my American friends to wake up and help us all.
 
Last edited:
Top