Education–What’s It Good For?

It use to be that in our schools we were taught civics…..learning how the government was formed and works was how one became a solid member of our great society….well those days are gone…..these days it is more important teach revisionism and pure horse manure than the workings of a good government.

I am proud that most of my historic schooling was taught all aspects of our history, (not completely but better than the crap they pass off as history these days) our students should be taught all aspects of our history, the good, the bad and the ugly.

We have two opposing thoughts on our great society…..

The fight today is not about what we want to achieve but, rather, how best to achieve it. Both sides claim to want a society in which people can live fulfilling lives. Both claim to adhere to the vision outlined in the Declaration of Independence and supported by our Constitution. Yet neither side has any sense of common ground on which to move forward.

Put generally, one side envisions improving our society through a highly involved federal government that provides greater support and greater regulation meant to benefit everyone. The other side believes that traditional American ideals of individual freedom, limited government, and free markets will lead to a better life for all.

Those who want to restrict government power and reach are depicted as greedy and without compassion for the disenfranchised and less fortunate. Those who desire larger government aid and controls are seen as ignorant of history and human nature. One side is judged heartless; the other, brainless. These polarizing caricatures quash any desire for a real understanding of how we as one nation can move forward.

https://www.realcleareducation.com/articles/2022/02/16/teaching_unbiased_american_history_110701.html

I think that Howard Zinn’s book should be taught in our schools, The People’s History of the United States….

Then there is the historian Maj. Danny Sjursen (Ret)…..his great series….”American History for Truthdiggers” is also a great look at our history….

This is his series…..

Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9; Part 10; Part 11; Part 12; Part 13; Part 14; Part 15; Part 16; Part 17; Part 18; Part 19; Part 20; Part 21; Part 22; Part 23; Part 24; Part 25; Part 26; Part 27; Part 28; Part 29; Part 30; Part 31; Part 32; Part 33; Part 34; Part 35; Part 36; Part 37.

This is the final part of the series…..

Below is the 38th and last installment of the “American History for Truthdiggers” series, a pull-no-punches appraisal of our shared, if flawed, past. The author of the series, Danny Sjursen, who retired recently as a major in the U.S. Army, served military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and taught the nation’s checkered, often inspiring past when he was an assistant professor of history at West Point. 

American History for Truthdiggers: A Once, Always and Future Empire

There should be a standard for teaching history….instead we have 1000s of school districts that try and control the history our students learn.

My question is….what are these revisionists afraid of our students learning?

Like the 16 GOPers that voted against teaching a sad part of our history…..

More than a dozen House Republicans on Wednesday voted against legislation to promote public education about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The bipartisan bill was authored by Republican Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.) and passed handily by a vote of 406-16. All of the no votes came from Republicans, including several members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

The Republicans who registered their opposition were Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Bob Good (Va.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Andy Harris (Md.), Clay Higgins (La.), Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Texas) and Van Taylor (Texas).

(thehill.com)

What are these spineless freaks afraid of in education?

Now I read that FOX News has declared war on teachers……

From Tucker Carlson to Laura Ingraham to Mark Levin, Fox News propagandists have declared war on public school teachers. The dangerous attacks follow the right’s misleading claims – fueled by Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation – about children inappropriately being taught about sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity starting as early as kindergarten.

Last month, just days after Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ spokesperson Christina Pushaw charged that anyone who opposed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was “probably” a “groomer” – essentially, a pedophile, pedophile enabler, or pedophile supporter, Fox News propagandist Laura Ingraham jumped into action.

“When did our public schools, any schools, become what are essentially grooming centers for gender identity radicals?” Ingraham asked, as Media Matters reported. The chyron was less ambiguous: “Liberals are sexually grooming elementary students.”

https://www.alternet.org/2022/04/fox-news/

Any thoughts?

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Blacks And The Confederacy

Since it is Black History Month I thought I would look into the myth that has been passed around especially down here in the South when the debate around the American Civil War rages.

That myth is that many free blacks and slaves fought for the Confederacy.

First of all this is a myth….it began in the 20th century to try and counter the slavery issue and what it meant to those in the South.

How and where this myth came about is unclear, but it gained prominence in the late 20th century. There exists little evidence of its truth and considerable evidence of its falsehood. The Confederate government forbade the enlistment of Blacks as soldiers. It did draft Blacks, both free and enslaved, to work for the army. These men and women served as laborers, cooks, teamsters, wranglers, and other jobs with the army, usually under guard of white soldiers. Other enslaved people worked in Confederate industries in support of the war effort, including in mines, on the railroads, and in factories. Slave labor had always been a part of the Southern industry, with slave owners sending people to work for pay, which went into the pockets of the owners. Some owners allowed their enslaved people to keep some, or even all, of their earnings.

Throughout the war, debates in the Confederate congress over the issue of arming enslaved men to serve as combat troops continued. Such ideas were voted down by the Congress until March 1865, less than one month before Lee’s surrender. Even after the Confederates allowed the enlistment of Black troops the concept drew resistance. Robert Toombs, former Secretary of State for the Confederacy, and a general with Lee’s army in early 1865, called the idea of Black troops “…the worst calamity that could befall us…” In June 1865, he wrote an article in the Augusta Chronicle which included a statement that “The day that the Army of Virginia allows a negro regiment to enter their lines as soldiers they will be degraded, ruined and disgraced”. By the time his opinion appeared in the Chronicle the Army of Northern Virginia had been disbanded following its defeat.

More on this myth……

Some black Southerners aided the Confederacy. Most of these were forced to accompany their masters or were forced to toil behind the lines. Black men were not legally allowed to serve as combat soldiers in the Confederate Army–they were cooks, teamsters, and manual laborers. There were no black Confederate combat units in service during the war and no documentation whatsoever exists for any black man being paid or pensioned as a Confederate soldier, although some did receive pensions for their work as laborers. Nevertheless, the black servants and the Confederate soldiers formed bonds in the shared crucible of conflict, and many servants later attended regimental reunions with their wartime comrades.

This is not to say that no black man ever fired a gun for the Confederacy. To be specific, in the “Official Records of the War of the Rebellion,” a collection of military records from both sides which spans more than 50 volumes and more than 50,000 pages, there are a total of seven Union eyewitness reports of black Confederates. Three of these reports mention black men shooting at Union soldiers, one report mentions capturing a handful of armed black men along with some soldiers, and the other three reports mention seeing unarmed black laborers. There is no record of Union soldiers encountering an all-black line of battle or anything close to it.

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/black-confederates-truth-and-legend

All in all the myth was inaccurate….basically it was an attempt to re-write history to try and illustrate some positivity of Blacks in the South.

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The Question Of Citizenship

Now here is a question for the day.

These days there will be all sorts of items in this debate….but since this is an civics post let’s look at the Founders and their chore of writing a document for all Americans.

Our politics is currently overwhelmed with identity. Rights, votes, participation, all understanding of one’s place in the country is said to be based on one’s “identity.” The one identity that people shy away from is that of the American citizen. Who precisely is this person?

The American Constitution speaks in the voice of “We the People,” but never defines who that people might be, even if they already existed in 1787, even before the establishment of a “more perfect Union.” Who are these Americans? Who, as an individual, is an American? On the one hand, this is a simple question to answer. There is a legal definition of citizenship based on birth or naturalization, and some people simply are Americans and others are not. It is a matter of paperwork.

On the other hand, it is not so easy to answer, as we can see from the history of this country. Whether someone is a citizen and how that might be defined has been the source of the most contentious controversies. For instance, Dred Scott appealed to his status as a citizen of Missouri to argue for his freedom from slavery. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, in his infamous decision, denied the possibility of citizenship to Scott and all those whose descendants were forcefully brought to this country – a denial Abraham Lincoln would ferociously challenge.

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2021/12/22/american_citizenship_caught_between_creed_and_clan_808724.html

About 4 years ago I wrote a post covering the phenom of the division of American into ‘tribes’….

Tribes

This country has been slowly dividing along tribal lines since 1980 and came to more pronounce with the emergence of the Tea Party in 2010 and this country has descending into chaos every since…..and nothing has occurred that would change the direction of our society….and it seems to be getting worse with each passing day…..fed by lies and disinformation

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Is The Constitution Still Working?

I plan of writing a series on our beloved Constitution….a common and popular political prop but with little understanding.

With all the turmoil and chaos in our political institution the question needs to be asked….is the Constitution still working as it was intended?

The Founders wrote a vague document with the intent that those in control would stay in control…..so from that view it is working.

But today is today.

My opinion is that it NO longer works….one reason is the vagueness which the Founders wrote into the document….but that is just me….

The U.S. Constitution is the sacred text of American government and civic life. But it’s time to face facts: The document, written in 1787, isn’t working. The signs are all around us. Just 38 percent of Americans in a recent Gallup poll expressed either a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the presidency, down from 48 percent in 2001. Congress, never high in the public’s estimation to begin with, fell from 26 percent to a mere 12 percent. The Supreme Court has also taken a hit, down from 50 percent to 36 percent during the same period.

One reason often cited for the failing Constitution are the people who inhabit its carefully crafted institutions. In Congress, serious legislators are scarce, as many members aim for viral recognition on social media. Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.)  freely admitted, “I have built my staff around comms [communication], not legislation.” Cawthorn is hardly alone: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) represent a new breed of legislators who seek recognition and are largely uninterested in passing actual laws.

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/587431-the-constitution-isnt-working

Now this brings up the question on whether the Constitution is democratic or not…..some thoughts on that question….

The Constitution, and the political order it made possible, defends “the honorable determination” of a free people to govern itself. But self-government, as the Founders understood it, demands constraints on the impulsive will of temporary—and often short-sided—majorities. Popular government is not democratic in a simply majoritarian sense, as thoughtfully designed institutions such as the Senate and the Electoral College make clear. Anything worth doing well is worth doing carefully and with the appropriate deliberation. As the authors write, “The trick in forming a government was to minimize the opportunities for mischief, while maximizing the opportunities” for republican virtue, or free and limited government “with numerous obstacles placed in the way of impulsive and short-sighted behavior.” And as the authors demonstrate, the constitution is not a machine intended to work automatically.

It’s hard not to notice that in the United States, political arguments frequently turn on questions that, in other democracies, nobody talks about. What are the powers of the legislature? What may the executive do? What can the states do without begging permission from the national government? Why can’t an idea popular with the public become a law?

For these and other questions, the answer will always involve the American Constitution, a document more than two centuries old that has been amended (not counting the Bill of Rights) only 17 times. In the wake of the 2016 election—in which, not for the first time, a candidate who lost the popular election entered the White House anyway—talk about the Constitution’s “defects” has become more insistent. Why can’t America be more like other countries?

The United States appears to have a government that makes it very difficult to accomplish anything, while other countries seem much more able to make desired changes—with a minimum of fuss and bother.

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2020/02/14/why_is_the_constitution_not_democratic_484132.html

The Constitution is a great document….sadly as great as it is it makes governing damn near impossible….especially in these days of ignorance, lies and misinformation….most of which is spread by the very people that we elect to govern this country.

Please watch for more on the Constitution….there is more to come.

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Mississippi Secedes–1861

This is for all my Civil War history buffs.

My state of Mississippi officially secedes from the Union on 09 January 1861…..I offer up this resolution for their actions on that day….this is the official statement…..

A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.

It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.

It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.

It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.

It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.

It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.

Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.

Our decision is made. We follow their footsteps. We embrace the alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of the justice of our course, and the undoubting belief of our ability to maintain it.

That is word for word the declaration for the cessation of the state of Mississippi from the United States……now you tell me what the reason for this was…..it is clear to me no matter what they narrative has become….there was NO ‘Lost Cause’ it was preserve the institution of slavery…..

I offer this up because the schools in the South are failing to teach what lead to the Civil War that killed so many Americans.

In social studies standards for 45 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, discussion of Reconstruction is “partial” or “non-existent,” according to historians who reviewed how the period is discussed in K-12 social studies standards for public schools nationwide. In a report produced by the education nonprofit Zinn Education Project, the study’s authors say they are concerned that American children will grow up to be uninformed about a critical period of history that helps explain why full racial equality remains unfulfilled today.

https://time.com/6128421/teaching-reconstruction-study/

The history lesson is done….you may now return to your normal drudgery.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Teapot Dome Scandal

The weekend begins and the news is damn boring…..so it is time for one of those darn history posts….

In case your history is a bit hazy….The Teapot Dome Scandal was during the Harding admin in the early 1900s…..

The Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920s shocked Americans by revealing an unprecedented level of greed and corruption within the federal government. The scandal involved ornery oil tycoons, poker-playing politicians, illegal liquor sales, a murder-suicide, a womanizing president and a bagful of bribery cash delivered on the sly. In the end, the scandal would empower the Senate to conduct rigorous investigations into government corruption. It also marked the first time a U.S. cabinet official served jail time for a felony committed while in office.

https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/teapot-dome-scandal

With the intro out of the way…..

Some historians are saying the 4 years of the Trump admin was worse and more scandalous the the Teapot Dome Scandal….

Scan over the past few years and the stench of corruption wafting from Trump’s orbit is staggering. Campaign chairmen who secretly worked for foreign officials while skimming millions on the side. Presidential lawyers defrauding banks and taxpayers alike, or ushering in whichever foreign patron they could find. All of this while Trump tossed open the doors of his business to any and all comers, regardless of sources of their funds, regardless of whether Americans ever learned any details of their payments. (In a depressing bit of historic resonance, Trump’s first interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, resigned in disgrace under a cloud of his own corruption allegations—a move that few will remember, given the cascade of ethics violations and conflicts of interest deluging the administration throughout Trump’s four years.)

Against the past few years, Teapot Dome appears almost quaint—a relic of a bygone, back-slapping era, a time when Americans paid off Americans, all for other Americans’ benefits, all in a neat, tidy circle of domestic graft. It’s not just the magnitude of the Trump-era corruption that challenges our notion of what an American president dedicated to financial misconduct can accomplish. It’s that now, the players are transnational in scope—crossing borders, crossing boundaries, taking full advantage of the financial secrecy tools wherever they may be, and the fecund opportunities that a president like Trump can provide.

Trump-Era Corruption Eclipses Even Teapot Dome

With a do nothing Congress will we ever see justice for the American people for the crimes committed by Trump and his cronies?

Any Thoughts?

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The Trial Of The Chicago Seven

NOTE:  This will be my only post today for Hurricane Ida is heading my way and I need to batten down the hatches and move stuff around to keep it from flying around….so my time will better spent doing precautionary work.

This is a seldom review by me…..this film interest me for I was around for the real trial….but before I go into the film maybe a little history for those that were not around for the actual event.

The film did do one thing….it illustrated what a clown show it was with the old fart Judge Hoffman (which illustrates why judges should be forced to retire at age 65).

The trial was held to punish the leaders of the protests of 1968 at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

The Chicago Seven (originally eight) were political radicals accused of conspiring to incite the riots that occurred at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. During the five-month trial, the prosecution stressed the defendants’ provocative rhetoric and subversive intentions, while the defense attributed the violence to official overreaction. The case drew national attention for the artists and activists that testified as witnesses, as well as defendant Bobby Seale’s actions, which earned him four years in prison for contempt of court. In February 1970, five of the seven were found guilty, but an appeals court overturned the convictions in 1972.

There were originally eight defendants: David Dellinger, a pacifist and chairman of the National Mobilization against the War; Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis, leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, leaders of theYouth International Party John Froines and Lee Weiner, local Chicago organizers; and Bobby Seale, cofounder of the Black Panther Party.

https://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/chicago-seven-1

Now that the history lesson is over…I will move on the the film…..

Netflix’s portrayal of the trial directed by Andrew Sorkin…..the film had an excellent cast…..the major characters of the trial……

If one watches this with the mindset of entertainment then it is excellent….but if one is looking for historic accuracy then it is lacking.

As someone who lived through those turbulent days I was disappointed in the film all together.

Sorkin seeks to tame these radicals, and the anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and revolutionary politics they represented (not, of course, without differences among them) by recasting them as boosters for liberal reform. The result is not only an inaccurate rendering of the group’s political visions but a tone-deaf affirmation of the American state, and specifically law enforcement, as fundamentally virtuous.

Since I am not the best reviewer on the web….I will let others give you the review this film deserves…..

https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/chicago-7-trial-film/

https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/aaron-sorkins-inane-history-lesson/

All in all the film was well acted but the character study it portrayed failed.

I recommend this film for entertainment reasons…..if you want historic accuracy then I would, if I were you, pass.

On a side note–I would like to see the same dogged determinism by the government when the leaders of this most recent insurrection against the government when they go to trial and the same sensationalism by the media as well during the trial.

Turn The Page!

To close out the day…..as with my tradition “Trying To Reason With The Hurricane Season by Jimmy Buffet……

The ‘Lost Cause’

I know that there are many of my international readers that are interested in the American history of the Civil War of the 19th century.

For years there has been this idealistic view that the South was engaged in some sort of ‘noble cause’…that view in my opinion is a romantic non-realistic view to that era of American history….

The Lost Cause was a historical ideology and a social movement created by ex-Confederates that characterized the Confederate experience and defined its value for new generations. By the twentieth century, the Lost Cause became enshrined as part of the national story of slavery and the American Civil War era, and it evolved through that century’s most important revolutions. It was never just about the Civil War, but about slavery, Reconstruction, southern race relations, the place of the South in national life, and Americans’ self-identity. Today, the Lost Cause’s historical and cultural claims have been rejected by historians and museum professionals as a narrow distortion of history at best and a lie at worst, but many of its cultural tropes and political assumptions occasionally thrive, not only in the American South, but across the country.

There are five myths surrounding this bastardization of American history…..thanks to the Battlefield Trust……

The first and most important myth is that secession, not slavery, was the cause of the war. Southern states seceded to protect their rights, their homes, and to throw off the shackles of a tyrannical government. To the proponents of the Lost Cause, secession was constitutional, and the Confederacy was the natural heir to the American Revolution. Because secession was constitutional, all those who fought for the Confederacy were not traitors. Northerners, specifically Northern abolitionists, caused the war with their fiery rhetoric and agitating, even though slavery was on its way to gradually dying a natural death. They also argued secession was a way to preserve the Southern agrarian way of life in the face of encroaching Northern industrialism.

Second, slavery was portrayed as a positive good; enslaved people, who were submissive, happy, and faithful to their masters, were better off in the system of chattel slavery which offered the slaves protection. Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens declared in 1861 “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.” Following the end of the war, these formerly enslaved people were now said to be unprepared for freedom, which was an argument against Reconstruction and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

The third tenet states that the Confederacy was only defeated because of the Northern states’ numerical advantage in both men and resources. The Confederate Army was less defeated than overwhelmed, as their lesser resources. Former Confederate officer Jubal A. Early justified the Southern defeat by stating that the North “finally outproduced that exhaustion of our army and resources, and that accumulation of numbers on the other side which wrought our final disaster.” Early went on to say that the South “had been gradually worn down by combined agencies of numbers, steam-power, railroads, mechanism, and all the resources of physical science.” The lack of southern manufacturing and the outnumbered population doomed it to failure from the start. Thus, the “Lost Cause.”

Fourth, Confederate soldiers are portrayed as heroic, gallant, and saintly. Even after the surrender, they retained their honor. At one reunion oration, Confederate General Thomas R. R. Cobb, who was killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg, was compared to “Joshua in his courage,…St. Paul in the logic of his eloquence and [St.] Stephen in the triumph of his martyrdom.”

Fifth, Robert E. Lee emerged as the most sanctified figure in Lost Cause lore, especially after his death in 1870. Lee himself became a symbol for the Lost Cause, and a “Cult of Lee” revered the Virginian as the ultimate Christian soldier who took up arms for his state. He was even called the second Washington. Lee was the most successful of all Confederate Army commanders, and after the war, Jubal Early and many former Southern officers placed Lee upon a pedestal—so much so that historian Thomas L. Connelly dubbed Lee “The Marble Man.” Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson became a saintly martyr, wounded by his men while defending the Lost Cause. Even the office building where Jackson died bore the name “The Stonewall Jackson Shrine” for decades. On the other hand, James Longstreet became a villain to Lee and Jackson’s heroes, blamed for the loss at Gettysburg and vilified for his newfound Republican affiliation and the temerity to question Lee’s wartime decisions. Even former Confederate President Jefferson Davis became a reverential figure, seen as the personification of states’ rights.

None of this is true….it is a fanciful revision of American history.

The whole “lost cause’ myth was an excuse and a justification for the war…..

The Lost Cause grew out of this postbellum context and eulogised the Confederate war effort as having been a just and heroic one – a struggle to protect “states’ rights” in the face of overwhelming Northern aggression. In presenting the conflict in this way, the Lost Cause both obscured and denied the principal role of slavery in leading to the outbreak of war.

Part ideology, part social movement, the Lost Cause of the Confederacy has promoted an ahistorical interpretation of the American Civil War.

Here are 10 key facts about the Lost Cause of the Confederacy:

10 Facts About the Lost Cause of the Confederacy

There was nothing romantic or noble about this conflict.

Today we have a ‘new’ Lost Cause….that of a ‘stolen’ election…..

Lies are a denomination of power. The bigger the lie, the more power it represents. Right now in this country, we are being treated daily to the Big Lie that Donald Trump was the true winner of the presidential election of 2020, and the only reason he’s not in the White House right now is because the election was stolen from him.

You may have noticed that the people pushing the Big Lie today are very good at it. This is because many of them have been pushing an even bigger Big Lie for most of their lives: the lie of the Lost Cause, that the Civil War wasn’t really fought over the disgraceful secession of the Southern states and slavery, it was instead a noble cause fought for the “honor” of the South, and that slavery itself wasn’t bad or immoral, because enslaved people were happy workers living much better lives than they would have lived where they came from in Africa.

https://www.salon.com/2021/06/19/donald-trump-and-the-new-lost-cause/

Yet more revisionist history to be taught to our children…..and that will help feed the BS of lies and revision for a generation or more.

More thoughts on the BS of the ‘Lost Cause’….

That “Lost Cause Myth”

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Why Not Diplomacy?

Yes more history!

Live and learn

This is for all those readers that are interested in the American Civil War.

Most people know the major players and the major engagements…..but what about before the first shots were fired in South Carolina?

Since I am a student of conflict and ways to try and avoid a disastrous war…..people have asked me why there was no diplomacy to try and avoid the deadly conflict…

Well there was diplomacy but it is just not interesting enough for the history books….plus it is not as romantic as the idea of a ‘noble cause’…..

Here is the look at diplomatic attempts during the war…..

February 2, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and his Irish valet sneaked out of Washington City and took a steamboat down to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The next day he met with three representatives of the Confederacy to discuss ending the Civil War. The Hampton Roads Peace Conference, as it’s known, is notable not for what was accomplished – nothing was – but for how, when, and why it took place at all.

In February, 1865, the Confederacy was clearly on the brink of collapse. The rebel armies were dogged but much diminished. General William Tecumseh Sherman had sacked Atlanta and was leaving a trail of devastation through Georgia. Ulysses S. Grant had Robert E. Lee pinned down at Petersburg, a rail center that was Richmond’s last defense. A Union naval blockade had cut off all supplies. Everyone knew the end was a few months away at best.

With the war all but won, why would Lincoln go out of his way, literally, to parley with the enemy? The simplest answer is that he was looking already to the postwar future, and how best to deal with the insurgents. Many hardliners in his Republican Party and his Cabinet thought they knew the answer: utterly crush the rebels militarily, hang their leaders, free all their slaves, confiscate their other property, and subjugate the South as a conquered, occupied enemy.

Lincoln believed that was no way to heal the nation. With the weight of more than half a million war dead on his soul, he “wanted to end the war quickly, peacefully if possible, not only to save lives, money, and property but also to build a stronger foundation for reconstruction,” writes James B. Conroy, author of a detailed book about the conference, Our One Common Country. “If the Confederacy could be persuaded to return to the Union voluntarily, enticed by reasonable concessions, the stage would be set for a more amicable, productive future than a military conquest could produce.”

https://www.wilsonquarterly.com/quarterly/conflict-resolution/the-road-not-taken/

Diplomacy is never a wasted energy….but did little during the American Civil War….

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Those American Wars

Most Americans learn of those wars fought on American soil….wars like the French and Indian War, revolution, the War of 1812….but have you ever heard of the Conojocular War?

Probably not.

The year is 1736 and Pennsylvania and Maryland are at odds over settlers….

The colonial governments of Pennsylvania and Maryland became embroiled in the dispute when settlers from each colony started crossing the Susquehanna River back and forth and creating settlements in what was perceived to be each other’s territory.  Questions about legal claims to the land, private ownership deeds, land taxes, and law enforcement in the disputed areas precipitated violence.

The first violence consisted of an incident where 2 Pennsylvanians taking a ferry across the river attacked the ferryman, Thomas Cresap (hence the name, Cresap’s War). Maryland had been infringing on the west side of the river into Pennsylvania territory based on a self serving interpretation of the charters for each colony.  Cresap had been given 500 acres by the Maryland government in land claimed by Pennsylvania.

Much of the conflict centered on Cresap, an obvious opportunist that engaged in bullying and thuggery among the settlers, using ruffians as his gang and rewarding them with land.

May 25, 1738: “Conojocular War” Between Pennsylvania and Maryland is Ended

Something your American History class left out…..and it is not the only historical event that is sadly under taught.

Americans have always been at odds with their neighboring states…..and the conflict continues today.

Class Dismissed!

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