Which of the following best describes the Confederate cause?

I’ll spoiler why I am posting this thread so that you can vote first.

NOTE: I screwed up the poll. Options 1 and 2 are meant to be two sentences for the same option. If that’s the statement you agree with, please vote for #1.

Which of the statements in the poll best match your feelings about the Confederate cause, and the people who joined it?

[li]The Southern States were justified in their decision to leave the union. It was a matter of states’ rights, and the Federal government overstepped its authority.[/li][li]The South had some legitimate grievances with the North, but they were wrong to secede.[/li][li]It’s a complex issue and both sides were flawed. [/li][li]The Confederacy was open rebellion and full treason.[/li][li]Not only was the Confederacy open rebellion, the South seceded for one of the worst causes imaginable.[/li][/ol]

In another thread while talking to EscAlaMike I said the following:

He took issue with my description of the Confederacy. So, I thought I’d create this thread to see how people actually view the Confederacy.[/spoiler]

The south was a war fought by rich people trying to protect their property and lower class racists trying to protect an evil social system.

The north should’ve maintained reconstruction for 50+ years. The south never reformed after the war like Germany did after fighting for an evil cause.

I 100% agree and frankly find it ludicrous that anyone would give anything but the fifth answer. But the world is not as we wish it would be…

I took test like this before. The choices were “All, One, Some or None”.

Somehow this poll fails even that.

I vote “Splunge!”


Fuck the Confederacy. Ignorant yahoos.

They were traitors fighting for a completely evil cause, and one of the most purely one dimensional evil cultures that has existed in human history.

Anyone can avoid revisionist claptrap as to what the war was really about by reading the speeches that were being made by those leading the cause, at that time. There’s little room for revisionism or misinterpretation if you go back to the original words.

Regardless of how southerners want to frame it now, you’d be hard pressed to find an oration that doesn’t hinge on God ordaining that whites should have dominion over blacks, because blah, blah, blah, God intended it that way.

We are fortunate that they were so proud of their religious based racism that they published every speech in the local paper, where it would be saved for posterity! Leaving little room for revisionism, with the exception of those unfamiliar with what was actually said at the time, out of historical ignorance. Sometimes wilful ignorance.

Well said!

Here is the actual SC secession declaration. Notes:

  1. Slavery is abundantly clear as the only cause. No if’s, and’s or but’s.

  2. Regarding “states’ rights”. SC is objecting to other states invoking states rights to override federal law to interfere with fugitive slave recovery. (Section 8.)

Option 5 is the only one that fits the facts.

Well said indeed, elbows. The only difficulty I had with this poll’s options was choosing between 5 and 6, and I rejected the last option only because people could conceivably rally behind something even worse than slavery.

None of the choices really fit my views:

Slavery was a horrible thing, but the south had every right to succeed. I don’t believe in “once married, always married” laws making divorce illegal, why should I support laws requring states to remain in unions formed before almost everyone currently living was born? So when the South wanted to succeed, the North should have let it. (The same goes for any future states that want to leave the union.)

Really? Well I support letting states **succeed **but I do not support letting them **secede **and leave the union.

So if a regime next to your country had fully legalized slavery, how would you feel about your nation using armed force to end this practice?

Interestingly, the Confederates considered explicitly allowing secession in their Constitution, but gave it up as a bad idea (https://books.google.com/books?id=BqFw5YWt6S8C&pg=PT114&lpg=PT114&dq="but+shall+be+entitled+to+its+pro+rata+share+of+property+and+be+liable+for+its+pro+rata+share+of+public+debt+to+be+determined+by+negotiation."&source=bl&ots=njMwWSieX3&sig=kg8oxfWC1LaJJaWoh9CUzJ76eMg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjo74fL8P7eAhUI1oMKHQfeBg8Q6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q="but%20shall%20be%20entitled%20to%20its%20pro%20rata%20share%20of%20property%20and%20be%20liable%20for%20its%20pro%20rata%20share%20of%20public%20debt%20to%20be%20determined%20by%20negotiation."&f=false)

Read it again; watch for the phrase “. . .one of the. . .”

Option 6 is the obvious answer. But if you had asked me what I was taught in school, I’d have had to say 2 or 3.

My teachers were not racist @$$holes, far from it. In fact, many of them were African-American. They fell into the same trap our current press corps is stuck in; it is very difficult to find the line between presenting all the information on the one hand, and giving all sides equal weight on the other. I would argue that it is full-on impossible to lead human memories to give full weight to only one argument, having presented both.

So they are stuck. If they present all sides, human minds will remember each as having validity and even equal weight. If they fail to present all sides, then any future revelation will be received as “hidden truths” inspiring all the devotion of a conspiracy cult.

Only the arts can then provide the necessary shock needed to place history in its proper perspective. My generation had “Roots” and LeVar Burton’s stunning performance. The current generation has “12 Years a Slave” which I haven’t been able to force myself to watch, but which I understand is equally horrific with true-to-life performances.

We cannot “get it” without what the arts bring to bear.

Also, their ‘property’ was people.

I agree. The Nazis were worse than the Confederates; genocide is a worse cause than slavery. But I’ll accept slavery as one of the worst causes.

So the response is pretty overwhelming so far. We almost all agree that the Confederates were traitors and rebels, and most of us also agree that the cause that the South was fighting for was heinous.

But a few people went the other way in the poll. I’d be very curious to hear their argument… If you’re voting for an option other than 5 or 6, I’d love to know why.

If you’re voting for 5, I’d love to know why too, actually.

And of course this raises the question, so what should have been done about it? But that might deserve its own, GD thread.

If you didn’t vote 1/2, I hope you’ll all acknowledge that you’re all still British, and that the land you occupy belongs to the native Americans.

The north didn’t fight primarily for the sake of slaves, it fought for territory. Just as recent wars in Iraq or Afghanistan weren’t fought for the sake of the people there who were victims of the regime.

Sherman let the South off lightly. And Steophan is…well,what he always is. Wrong, for one.