Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Civil War and Today.......

The following is from an e-mail I get. Some interesting bits are brought up and they make sense. When I look at it I see issues from 150 years ago still being discussed today and it will probably not change over the centuries.

The Civil War arose from the radically different cultures that had developed across the American landscape. The South, comprised mostly of tenant farmers, had developed a loose culture that allotted them more personal freedoms. Additionally, the South, wanting to give their states the leeway to set policy which best fit their residents, supported strong individual state sovereignty. In the more densely populated North, the people preferred a strongly centralized government. Something had to give, and the mounting tension brought about the Civil War.



Though the importance of the Civil War has not been lost by history, many of the important facts have been forgotten or distorted with time. The Emancipation Proclamation, championed as a shining example of the moral superiority of the Union, has long been represented incorrectly in the annals of history. Devised as a propaganda tool that would also keep foreign countries from intervening on the Confederate’s side, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free any slaves in the North, or in any Confederate states occupied by Union troops. The document declared that these areas should be, “left precisely as if this Proclamation were not issued.” As Confederate President Jefferson Davis predicted, the North did indeed re-write history in its favor.

During a political debate in 1858, President Lincoln himself was quoted as saying, “I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the White race.” General Ulysses S. Grant’s wife had personal slaves whom she kept until after the end of the War, when the 13th Amendment gave them their freedom. Though these facts don’t discount the many positive contributions that Lincoln and Grant made to both the rights of African Americans and America as whole, it remains amazing to see just how differently we remember them in contrast to our memories of their Confederate counterparts.

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