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Friday, April 1, 2011

Five Myths About Why the South Seceded

For those occasionally subjected to Southerners' views concerning the causes of the Civil War, you might want to take some notes from James W. Loewen.

1 comment:

Glenn Knight said...

This is a very good piece, Agim. I'm a little surprised that the author didn't mention the controversy that struck the National Park Service a while back when they reassessed their exhibits at a number of the Civil War battlefields. It seems that many of exhibits leaned to the Southern point of view, emphasizing, for example, the courage of Southern soldiers, without mentioning that such courage was at the service of maintaining slavery.

I personally like a little more nuanced view. Certainly slavery, and the economic and social system based on slavery, was the primary cause of the Civil War. The states' rights issue was important as well, because it gave a color of legitimacy to the secession movement. I think it was the combination of a powerful motive and a useful rationalization that provided the South a path to secession and civil war.