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LINK Lost Cause for the Confederacy For those who think the civil war has ended think again

The lost cause movement of the Confederacy [en.wikipedia.org] is still alive and kicking: The Lost Cause of the Confederacy, or simply the Lost Cause, is an American historical negationist ideology that holds that, despite losing the American Civil War, the cause of the Confederacy was a just and heroic one. The ideology endorses the supposed virtues of the antebellum South, viewing the war as a struggle primarily for the Southern way of life[1] or "states' rights" in the face of overwhelming "Northern aggression". ”The Lost Cause portrayed the South as more adherent to Christian values than the allegedly greedy North.” At the same time, the Lost Cause minimizes or denies outright the central role of slavery in the outbreak of the war.

One excerpt from the article ”The notion that slavery was beneficial to slaves was notably expressed by Jefferson Davis himself, in the posthumously published memoir he wrote at Beauvoir. Enslaved Africans sent to America were “enlightened by the rays of Christianity,” he wrote, and “increased from a few unprofitable savages to millions of efficient Christian laborers. Their servile instincts rendered them contented with their lot....Never was there a happier dependence of labor and capital upon each other.”

Here’s the kicker: state and federal taxpayers are paying to maintain these memorials and rhetoric.

A previous article explains the Kansas-Nebraska act and how it was the south that tried to influence other states rights.

By JackPedigo8
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I view it all as beating a dead horse.

davknight Level 7 Feb 26, 2019

Guess what, that is what is happening in the south. To them the horse is still very much alive and kicking.


This is just the kind of fear-mongering, irresponsible, exaggerated article that I abhor. The thesis seems to be that southerners are chomping at the bit to reopen hostilities. It is an idiotic idea with no basis. What I suspect is an effort to arouse political support for left-wing causes through stereotyping, scapegoating and demonization—not very liberal IMO.

Does anyone really believe that southerners sit around and talk about the Civil War? A few might, but what PERCENTAGE? I live in a rural part of Alabama, and in the ten years I’ve been back here I haven’t heard a SINGLE conversation about the Civil War in this neighborhood. There’s a war memorial a couple of counties over, set up circa 1900 to honor the soldiers, many of whom were still living at the time. It’s not hurting anything to sit there and I can’t understand why anyone would think it should be removed. There’s ONE Confederate battle flag flying in this county that I know of, and that’s mainly just an ornament, something like a football banner, having no serious import. The area is literally awash in US flags.

Balance and truth would be welcomed.

I am sorry this has become serious enough to be investigated and reported by the Smithsonian Institution. I value their research and reporting more than any individual.


OK, then where are the professional surveys that show such a serious looming problem? Cite those professional studies and reports please. Not some article concocted by a bigoted, hateful reporter.

In my experience, the only people who bring up the subject are people from other parts of the country, with a total ignorance of the South, and its history.

bigoted reporter? there are two reporters. brian palmer and seth freed wessler. since you were unaware of this, i question your knowledge of the reporters. read any of their other stuff? hardly seems like propaganda to ask people questions that are not leading and have them respond in a ingnorant/bigoted way. nor does it seem likely they wrote the latter below from ol' jwbinion addressing the crowd. are the writers not supposed to or allowed to go to these locations? seems to me a well written and factual article. is it a bigoted publication?

from the article here are two quotes from your miniscule percentage of southerners that are far more bigoted than anything your not so liberal authors wrote. --- "After a discussion of the window treatments and oil paintings, the other visitors left, and we asked the guide what she could tell us about slavery.

Sometimes children ask about it, she said. “I want to tell them the honest truth, that slavery was good and bad.” While there were some “hateful slave owners,” she said, “it was good for the people that didn’t know how to take care of themselves, and they needed a job, and you had good slave owners like Jefferson Davis, who took care of his slaves and treated them like family. He loved them.”

The subject resurfaced the next day, before a mock battle, when Jefferson Davis—a re-enactor named J.W. Binion—addressed the crowd. “We were all Americans and we fought a war that could have been prevented,” Binion declared. “And it wasn’t fought over slavery, by the way!” ---

so if a reporter asks a question, and the response is ignorant, the reporter is at fault? or they are questions that shouldn't be asked? in light of recent history, i don't follow.

also i don't mind light being shed, myself. lift all the rocks. "sometimes the children ask about it." let's everyone tell the children the truth. even in your un-bigoted south. make the article required reading for every school student.

by the way "A few might, but what PERCENTAGE? I live in a rural part of Alabama, and in the ten years I’ve been back here I haven’t heard a SINGLE conversation about the Civil War in this neighborhood" is anecdotal. what percentage of people are klansmen? should i care it is small? or does the sentiment not exist? what if it spreads... even a little?

@larsatrg Apparently you are in very strong disagreement with the sentiments expressed in the two quotes you gave. Neither statement was all that extreme. You might disagree with what was said, but to claim that, based on such statements,the Civil War is still being waged, as the title suggests, is nothing but hyperbole.

Both of those statements, in fact, can be supported, and they are not ignorant/bigoted, as you said. It sounds to me as though you are the one still fighting the Civil War.

You might consider reading the actual narratives of former slaves if you want to know what slavery was like. There are many such narratives, compiled by the government in the thirties, and they can be downloaded.

It is a matter of historical record that the war was fought to prevent secession—Lincoln himself said as much. The US Army did not go marching into the South to free the slaves. If that had been the mission wouldn’t they have freed the slaves in your own Maryland first? It is true that had there not been slavery there would have been no war. It is true that the South mistakenly clung to slavery, which motivated secession. Slavery was one of the conditions which led to war, but was not the cause.To illustrate, the cotton trade was a condition, but was not the cause.

You ask what percentage of Alabamians are klansmen. I don’t know but I do know that a person could spend their entire life here and never once have any contact with such groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center there are 23 hate groups in Alabama, and there are 21 in Maryland.
So far as the KKK per se, here’s a link that is revealing:



@WilliamFleming to state that "slavery is good" in any way is about the most ignorant thing i can think of. to say that the civil war was preventable may be in fact debatable, but the intimation seems to be is that would be a good thing. debate that? why. it happened and debating that it is a possible good thing to delay or have it remain status quote leaves the institution you seem to think on some level is justifiable or acceptable (as the first quote the woman implies) as a white southerner; intact. not racist? okay, your opinion, but not fighting the civil war so you can continue your agrarian economy on the backs of an enslaved people seems ignorant at best. seems like things a white person would think. and sigh, i don't care if you find a person of color to agree with you. i am not fighting anything. i reacted to what you wrote. i don't think about the civil war until i see hateful people crowding around their symbols of hate as heritage. we don't fly the british flag. know why? same reason we don't fly the confederate battle flag.

i did not bring up the south. i responded to your question about how many southerners sit around and discuss it. i think from the piece and other things i have seen, that it is enough of a percentage to discuss it. it is not the number of people as much as the lunacy of the idea "slavery good." i believe the splc is a wonderful organization lifting rocks and should continue to do so. all hate groups. left and right. i am just betting here, having not looked in a while. white/right hate groups far outweigh ones of the left. i was pointing out that i don't care how small the population is that thinks like that. the thought and utter ignorance should be exposed. both sides. just like the TWO writers did in the smithsonian piece. and read it again. i did not ask what perecentage of alabama residents are klansmen. i said what percentage of "people". i don't give a rat's ass about alabama.


@larsatrg You are right about that—slavery was a terrible institution and our country is much better off without it. But I don’t believe in absolutes. Much good often comes from what is adjudged to be evil. One good is that our country is blessed with descendants of the slaves, and they are creative, intelligent and robust people who are an asset in about every way.

In reading those slave narratives I get the definite impression that the life of a typical slave was not one of torture and unceasing toil. Many of the former slaves in fact looked back with pleasure on the old days. I know I shouldn’t let it needle me, but the left-wing media seems intent on re-creating history to stir up anger, violence, and a sense of grievance and victim-hood. “Your great-great-great grandparents were slaves and you are a victim” seems to be the line. There is that all-out effort to demonize the evil white southerners—to assume a pompous air of moral and intellectual superiority, and yes, to promote the false idea that southerners are still fighting, chomping at the bit to reopen the Civil War and reimpose slavery.

Thanks for clearing that up about the klan. I propose to move forward in an attitude of peace, harmony and mutual respect if possible. Sometimes I slip up.

@WilliamFleming i am no expert, but i believe your and other's 'slave-master relationship as agreeable' is flawed. you cannot deny a person an education systemically, deny a people education systemically; and any number of documented cases of ill treatment, rape, and break up of family by selling them, and complete attempt to strip them of all dignity then call their required subservience a symbiotic relationship. coercion at a minimum. my perception, you've made someone property by force for generations, probably feels like your station in life at some point for some people. smacks of necessity to me, maybe even apathy. had and has nothing to do with ability to perform... or you know, actual worth as a human. as granted by the white dude?

@larsatrg I haven’t done any of the things you say.


@WilliamFleming never said you did. you did however invite the response because you've invoked slave's testimony to justify their situation or at a minimum view it through rose colored glasses and i would dare say from your first post seem to have a sense of victimization incurred by the original poster's article. i wonder if the guy with the whip was in the room when the real victims were giving testimony. i am not saying he was. just wondering.

good bye.


@larsatrg What seems to be lost in the conversation is the apologetic's for the issue of slavery from a southerner. It was the south that fired the first shot and it was the southern legislators that tried to force congress to take away new states rights to chose slavery or not. The south was concerned about becoming a minority and losing clout when new states did not have slavery. The south was totally at fault and northern legislators tried to constantly mollify the south to no avail. The sickening thing is that they are still supporting a slavery attitude by saying benevolent dictators are good (even though these were few and far between) and an attitude of racism is still predominate in the south. All reputable historians agree the issue was slavery and just like today it is the wealthy pushing their propaganda on others to justify their selfish and greedy ends. One point I noted, was the idea of so called narratives from the slaves. Education was not allowed and very few did learn to read or write and the oral narratives were probably mostly coerced. If life was so great why did almost 190,000 blacks fight for the union during the civil war? [archives.gov]

@JackPedigo agreed. i tried to indicate that the narratives could be forced with my notion of the whip in the room, but i thought about it further and don't even think this is required. how many black families do you think had a "don't say anything bad about the master" policy? self preservation? maybe not, maybe i made the idea up just now, but it seems more plausible than "i would like to remain a slave because that guy is a good dude and i get three squares and he doesn't beat me or rape my wife and offspring." even if that is the case it doesn't justify the practice (slavery) or merit its continuation.

I also saw that someone noted that there was a desertion spike among the northern troops after the emancipation proclamation (see this proves the north didn't fight over slavery... ? no, it doesn't. Its a component of a pointless argument about again... what "slavery intact is good." ??? uh. no it's not.) plus, wow. people in the north were/are racist? who knew? I don't understand what that fact has to do with whether ending slavery was good or bad. i submit that those awol for that reason then are on the same wrong side of history as the folks who still fly the confederate battle flag.


My biggest problem with all the Confederate statues and monuments and such is not that they promote slavery (which they do); the North wasn't fighting to end slavery, and desertions spiked immediately after the Emancipation Proclamation.

My problem with them is that they memorialize traitors. These men took up arms against the country; that's treason, pure and simple. I don't know of any other country in the world that puts up statues and monuments to traitors, and we shouldn't either.

Elganned Level 8 Dec 4, 2018

The Germans tore all the Nazi symbols down and made a lot of Nazi propaganda illegal. The confederates lost pure and simple and their cause was slavery. Historians of any salt totally agree on that.

I guess if there had been some sort of insurrection and an attempt to illegally seize control of the government I’d agree with the “traitor” part.

That not the way it happened. One third of the country voted to go their own way. They thought they had that right. The Confederate soldiers were loyal to their states, to their families, and to the South. In my mind they were heroes.

I do think that the southerners were mistaken to cling to slavery, but the North did not fight to end slavery—they fought to preserve the federation. The war could have been avoided. Compare with Brexit.
No one is proposing to raise armies to keep Britain in the EU.

We have a right to honor whomever we wish. Polls show that a majority of Americans, both Black and White, favor leaving Confederate memorials in place. If those things bother you, look the other way, or better yet, analyze your thoughts and emotions.

One man's "hero" is another man's "traitor".
Had the British won, George Washington, Ben Franklin, et al would have been hung for treason instead of being lauded as heroes and founders of the nation.

It all depends on who wins.

The North won. The South lost. It's time they dealt with it.



Please explain what “deal with it” means to you. The parties came together after the war in a spirit of reconciliation and unity. It is only in modern times that left wing factions have tried to reopen the quarrel with their demands, accusations, and demonization.

It is political propaganda. Can’t we move forward with mutual respect and get along?

@WilliamFleming "It is political propaganda." Just like it's been for the last 150+ years: propaganda that the South didn't lose; propaganda that the war was about "states rights"; propaganda that the Lost Cause will Rise Again.

They need to be disabused of that notion. And if taking down Confederate monuments and flags will help, then I'm all for it.

We can't "move forward with mutual respect"; I have no respect for people who glorify a rebellion and the traitors who fought it.

Oh, and it's not "left wing factions" who reopen the quarrel, it's the closet rebels who've never let the quarrel die.



Why not honor and the respect the soldiers on both sides and let it rest? After all, no one alive today had anything whatsoever to do with that war. Demonization and name-calling will accomplish nothing.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

@WilliamFleming I honor the personal qualities of the Confederate soldier, whose toughness, courage, and loyalty were exemplary. I do not respect the cause for which they fought, and that serves as a major black mark against their memory.

"no one alive had anything...to do with that war." But there are those who, to this day, think that the cause was just and wish to carry it forward. Until there is repentance, there will be no forgiveness.

It's ironic that you quote King, who was murdered by one of the very people who refuse to accept the result of the war and what it meant, i.e., votes for blacks.



“But there are those who, to this day, think that the cause was just and wish to carry it forward. Until there is repentance, there will be no forgiveness.”

There are very few who wish to carry it forward. See my post above.

So far as repentance, just who is it that has sinned here? Who is it that is to forgive? Great-great-grandchildren on both sides? How ridiculous! How condescending! In what way have you been wronged?

I’ve said all I know about the subject. If you want to continue fighting the Civil War you’ll have to find another enemy.

@Elganned All I can say is that I totally disagree. The Kanses-Nebraske act showed how far the south would go to preserve slavery even in new states that should have a choice but the act took that away from them. I have read extensively and I find not a shred of evidence showing the south was justified. There are those today that still honor Hitler and Stalin and all the other scofflaws of the world (including tRump). My conversation on this is over because it is only about opinion not historical facts.

I cannot even think of another country where a Civil War did not end in mass executions, and southerners complain about the treatment they received

For which, they received full pardons. No further need to beat a dead horse, unless you harbor a chauvinistic dislike of Southerners.

@davknight No need, further or otherwise, to put up monuments to treason. Time to take them down. All of them.

@JackPedigo So did the Scottish Jacobites of 1745. However, no one in the UK demands that the Scots cease flying the St Andrews Cross, or the Lion of Scotland. Nor does anyone demand that they remove, or cover up monuments, statues, and historical markers commemorating Scottish heroes, or Scottish wars for independence. Nor would anyone in the UK consider doing that to the Welsh.

@davknight That was Scotland and this country (I have been there) is a lot more civil than parts of the US. It's not a matter of winning or losing but how one has acted afterward and there is still a lot of racism/tribalism in parts of the country and bringing up the past only makes matters worse. We have a WWI canon in one of our parks and people are upset by that. It is not the same thing as with some symbols from the civil war.


Seems many Americans learned nothing. Seems many Americans can not let go of needing to feel superior, needing to go to battle for the right to keep other Americans from equality, freedom and justice for all.


I know for a fact that it never truly ended nor was it ever meant to truly end. Those actually hold our country’s power and wealth have always pursued the means to divide us and to if need be turn us against each other.

And over the past twenty years I’ve seen a surge of rhetoric and propaganda being filtered in on both sides of the line.
Whether it’s a republican or a democrat in office the first thing we hear is they’re to take away our rights and freedoms so we better be prepared to fight.

I actually reached out to the secret service before the last inauguration because on three different sites I was DM invites to participate in an active act of violence there by both sides and one is being investigated to determine who sponsored it and the other has already resulted in several arrests.

And then we have Charlottesville where two people are on trial for their actions and one has already stated that he was motivated to come and participate by several groups online.

So with everything that I’ve seen and heard the Lynch pin will be if they go to impeach trump and mark my words there’s several thousands of men who are armed and ready to be in DC within hours.

Just saying that if more people spent time with both sides they’d hear the messages being repeated and would do more to prevent it but this is America where for every action there’s either too little or too much reaction.
And I hope that the pic will make of you laugh. Can’t be all negative

It would be nice if both sides would listen to each other but we need to get around big corporate and the wealthy who control the media. I agree both sides are culpable, the left just tends to be less racist.
I have almost reached the point where the states that can not seem to get over losing the Civil War still want to be separate from the rest of the United States then get out. Form your own country. The states that want to uphold the Constitution and Bill of Rights must get their acts together and make it so for ALL Americans.
I truly do think the big money people are a huge part of the divide and conquer problem we have in this country.

I see some merit in the comment but, to me, it goes deeper than just not talking to each other. Many people have a real conflict of interest issue and seek power. The south refuses to admit their cause was wrong and they lost. A mature society learns from their mistakes but some societies refuse to get it. Israel is one such society and a lot of people in the south have such low self esteem they feel the need to push their racist beliefs on those they feel are inferior.
The legislature prior to the civil way was bending over backwards to placate the south in order to avoid violence. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Hopefully, we won't back down from threats from a bunch of armed thugs with guns. They do not present a match against the U.S forces. But I can tRump playing on this to avoid justice.

@JackPedigo Yeah about that. We weren’t told the full truth about the civil war. It seems that shortly after the slave revolts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic they spread to Jamaica as well as other little islands here and there.

And since the French and Spanish had pretty much exhausted a lot of their resources fighting their wars that they requested that we go in and get their colonies back for them.
Most southern leaders were all for it especially considering that the news of the successful uprisings might reach back here.

But the U S government not declined to do so they actually were the first to recognize these islands as free nations and began to conduct business with them considering that they could now get raw materials for a lesser price and force the hand of the southern leadership.

Which led to several southern states offering their resources ( military and ships ) to go and reclaim those islands on behalf of France and Spain.
Therefore causing the blockades at Charleston and later New Orleans.

But anyway it does go further than the civil war but like I those who’d benefit from us having a rematch have chosen to it and race as a catalyst.
Oh and one more surprise for ya just how many of our troops do you think will stay loyal?

@Alshaytan I agree and I also see that this was a complex fight. Even the British helped the south for a while, by accepting their cotton to spin into cloth. The south was their main supplier and blockades hurt their cloth industry. A lot of side issues with the American Civil War.


The War of Northern Agression is not over.
We're simply at "half time".


Ive heard the supposed christian I work with, in 2018, bragging about how well his family treated their slaves, to the extent that they ate at his great grandfathers table and didnt "want" to leave when they were set free, "choosing" instead to be sharecroppers on the same land.

These people somehow don't realize what being institutionalized is, that stockholme syndrome exists, or that without education, literacy, livestock and a nestegg, moving wasnt a workable option. Lots of people would choose the devil they know over uncertainty in a wilderness, sure. But my mothers family were only slightly mixed race sharecroppers within the last century, and I can assure you that no one voluntarily stayed to keep that job if they had a better option. Even being white, they had no heat in their house and slept with my infant mother between them so she wouldnt freeze. The livestock had a heater in the barn.

My dads family was whiter and richer. I believe my sister in her geneology research found out that they owned slaves, maybe 8-13 at a time. Most people around my area of NE Tennessee werent plantation rich though. There was 2 or 3 plantations around here that Ive ever heard of, one of which was escaped by my great great grandfather on mom's side. Most everyone else was too poor to own slaves, and made up by of a lot of scotch-irish heritage mingling with native americans, so a lot of the poorer families like moms were thought of as little better than slaves.

As a result, a large contingency of east tennesseeas voted not to secede from the union, but to instead secede from Tennessee and wanted to form a new state, the State of Franklin. They fought a battle against the rest of the state and lost, being forced to become apart of the confederacy but still worked to support the Union underground.

But for all the ignoramuses around here who have never cracked a history book, siding with their own oppressors as usual, waving the rebel flag, and clinging to confederate monuments like they're the last self validating second place participation trophies they'll ever receive, you'd never know it.


There was a book published in 1998 by Pulitzer-Prize winner Tony Horowitz entitled "Confederates in the Attic", which details this very phenomenon. Recommended reading for anyone who thinks we live in a post-racial nation.

Elganned Level 8 Dec 3, 2018

Excellent book...

This is twenty years later. And it has gotten to the point that an institution like the Smithsonian is actually investigating the issue. This is not what they usually do.

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