Can we avoid the southern "lost cause" mythology?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by NHBL, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Kerney defender of low probability atls everywhere

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    Yeah, and they don't talk much about WW2 in Japanese schools. MacArthur put the same bunch of criminals back in charge who started WW2. The Japanese think Hiroshima was a real tragedy but as far as they were concerned they liberated Asia from colonialism in WW2. Those Koreans and Chinese should be grateful to them!

    Yeah, they surrendered, much like Lee, but they have never been sorry. In terms of being reformed they make lost cause advocates look penitent.
     
  2. CountDVB Well-Known Member

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    Because the US did not do much to punish the Japanese on that front
     
  3. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    I think you mean December 6th 1865. Slavery was very much legal in the US until then.
     
  4. Maeglin Lómion

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    "Sure things are tough now, but it's all the fault of the goddamn n****rs. In the old days, they knew their place."
    "Your grandfather was a hero. He didn't fight for slavery, he fought for state's rights..."
    Et cetera.

    Plus, the elites were the ones who dictated the way the history was getting taught in the decades after.
     
  5. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

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    Not in areas in rebellion. Emancipation Proclamation.
     
  6. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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    No matter what you do, there will be racial divisiveness, and open conflict. The best way to ameliorate, not remove, the problem is economic and educational advancement and opportunity for all. Poor whites and poor blacks are equally advantaged. Otherwise, you end up with OTL style racial animosity. This will take money and long term commitment. Neither is in great supply from the government in the 1870's.
     
  7. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    But why bother doing any of this?

    The purpose of Reconstruction was primarily to reconstruct the Union. Changes within the South were a means, not an end, to ensure that the Southern states would in future be loyal members of that Union.

    Once it became clear that even the South's existing ruling class had accepted the outcome of the war as final, and that any future rebelliousness would be confined to a bit of Lost Cause romanticism, then any kind of punishment became at best irrelevant, at worst counter-productive. It would have made no sense to pursue such a course.
     
  8. Thoresby Well-Known Member

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    As others have said I would strongly dispute that. I would argue in 2019 among white Southerners Lost Causism is less popular than similar sentiments among Japanese.
     
  9. piratedude Pirate Lord of the Great Lakes

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    I know OP was shooting for outright preventing lost cause-ism, but its probably easier to let the first round run its course and focus on snuffing out any second wind it might get
     
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  10. Scott Washburn Active Member

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    My wife's nephew married a Japanese woman and until she came to the US she had never even heard about the Pearl Harbor attack. Hiroshima yes, but Pearl Harbor no.
     
  11. zhropkick a swell guy

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    Wouldn't this just make people in the south angrier?
     
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  12. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    What about a successful Fusionist movement. What if the Wilmington Fusionists were able to successfully resist the racist mobs that tried to destroy them.
     
  13. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    The Emancipation Proclamation did not make slavery illegal anywhere. It merely declared that all persons held in bondage in the rebellious states (except Tennessee, West Virginia, portions of Louisiana) shall henceforward be free. There's nothing in it outlawing slavery, which in 1863 would have been outright unconstitutional. Lincoln pursued the 13th Amendment because he realized that the EP could be questioned in court, while a full out constitutional amendment could not.

    Ding. For all that people nowadays want the Union in 1865 to torch the plantations and salt the Earth, they seem to underestimate the public feeling at the time. Even Lincoln wasn't willing to go as far as Radicals like Thaddeus Stevens, and even Stevens wasn't interested in hanging rebel leaders. It sets a bad precedent and makes reconciliation harder.

    I think TheKnightIrish's TL handles a harsher Reconstruction about as realistically as possible.
     
  14. zhropkick a swell guy

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    Is it possible that Americans on this site and elsewhere think reconstruction should have been way harsher than it was because wrongly they think of it as their country's version of denazification?
     
  15. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    I can only comment from an outsider's/historical perspective. I think there's people who look at it akin to denazification, and they're going about it the wrong way in that case. It's putting the cart before the horse, not really seeing the objectives of Reconstruction in the context of the Civil War rather than the context of slavery.
     
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  16. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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    The Southern elite did not accept the outcome of the war. They changed tactics. Slavery may have been eliminated, but semi-slavery in the form of share cropping, voter intimidation, terrorism, and ultimately Jim Crow laws show the elite's power remained alive and well. After 'victory', the Unionists needed to address the issue of large populations of freedmen in the South. These people needed security, access to education and economic development. The Southern elites were not going to provide for these newly freed slaves. The Southern elites, and many other American whites, considered the negro as sub-human. How are you going to change that mind set?
     
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  17. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

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    Sure, but holding a free person in bondage could be prosecuted IIRC even in states where slavery per se was legal, or could be construed as obstruction of justice even since it interfered with the writ of habeas corpus. Furthermore, there is the crime of treason to deal with...
     
  18. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    I'd quibble the Southern elite accepted the outcome of the war, they just changed what the war meant once it became clear they could reinstall the old power structures and the North had no lasting interest in 'uplifting' the freedmen beyond political expediency. Slavery was done, but so long as the freedmen and blacks were second class citizens they could accept the outcome of the war.

    Habeus Corpus was suspended when the Emancipation Proclamation was proclaimed. So far as I'm aware it was never respected by the military governments in the wartime South when the Union was imposing order. Holding a person in bondage, when it wasn't done by the government was illegal, but holding slaves, until 1865, was perfectly legal in loyal states and Tennessee. You'd never be able to prosecute someone for it.

    The whole treason problem was too slippery for the government to handle, and so long as 'unreconstructed' persons like Robert Toombs couldn't pursue office again why waste time on trials?
     
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  19. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    They accepted that aspect of the war's outcome which the North really cared about.


    Why should they bother to do anything about it. Many of them agreed with it.

    As recently as Nov 1864, over 44% of Northern voters cast ballots for a party which was willing to let the South keep Slavery (never mind trivia like Jim Crow) if only it returned to the Union. And even many of those who voted for Lincoln probably did so as they had more confidence in him than in Mac to bring the war to a successful conclusion. IOW they voted for him despite his views on slavery, not because of them.

    The North got everything it fought for. No breakup of the Union, no slavery in the territories, no slavecatchers hunting down runaways in northern streets. Why should they object to the South's elite remaining in power, now that it had conceded everything they really cared about?
     
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  20. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Like I said they put in more money than they took out. The governments was taken over because the previous governments committed treason, the railroads were rebuilt on Northern money as in no Northern money= defunct railroads, at the end of the day it didn't matter if the old plantation owners or Yankees owned the plantations the Poor Whites and Blacks were screwed either way but at least the Yankees were more likely to have enough money to get it up and going. What opportunities were there for middle class and poor Whites at the end of the ACW? The war left the entire South a mess. They weren't "elbowed away" as much as didn't have the money and skills Northerners had.

    The KKK rose mainly because Poor Whites wanted to make sure "The nigger kept his place", nothing more and nothing less. It would have happened whether or not Yankees came down. If anything it would have been stronger as Poor Whites would have been even poorer.
     
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