Removal of Confederate statues and flags?

Jun 2018
112
Philadelphia, PA
I regard the failure to destroy the traitor culture in the "Old South" after the Civil War as one of the worst mistakes America has made.
I probably would not go so far as to call it "traitor culture". The South had one feeling about how the country should go while everyone else had another, this was the deciding factor in the election of 1860. When the South lost, they decided to try and establish their own nation so that they could run a country the way they believed it ought to have been, just as had happened in the Revolution. Essentially they were fighting for they believed in, and there is the old adage "one person's traitor is another's freedom fighter". "Traitor" can, of course, be argued to define the South, but to accept this one must be prepared to establish that the Civil War was only ever about slavery.

Let's Face Facts. The Confederates Were Traitors!
 
Aug 2012
785
Washington State, USA.
I probably would not go so far as to call it "traitor culture". The South had one feeling about how the country should go while everyone else had another, this was the deciding factor in the election of 1860. When the South lost, they decided to try and establish their own nation so that they could run a country the way they believed it ought to have been, just as had happened in the Revolution. Essentially they were fighting for they believed in, and there is the old adage "one person's traitor is another's freedom fighter". "Traitor" can, of course, be argued to define the South, but to accept this one must be prepared to establish that the Civil War was only ever about slavery.
I agree, breaking from the Union really wasn't unAmerican. at all. We originally broke with Britain, and the Declaration of Independence asserts that this sort of thing is necessary in the course of human events. Also, the way Lincoln reunited the country was in many ways tyrannical by how the word is classically defined. He brought in hordes of people from Europe to help bring the South to heel. If Lincoln didn't free the slaves, history would have not been very kind to him I don't think. We can be honest and say that the South and Robert E. Lee were defending the institution of slavery, but we can also be as honest and say that war was a choice made by the North. The South only wanted to break away. They didn't choose war, although they knew they would have to fight a war, which is almost the same thing.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,379
Scaeva
"The Confederates themselves declared it in the speeches given at their secession conventions and in the ordinances of secession that they drafted["

Code Blue reply:
Six States, a majority of the 11 - Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia - did not cite slavery as a cause. One could argue that 8 out of 13 did not, if one includes the occupation governments of Kentucky and Missouri, whose ordinances were written by "Confederates."
While not all states that seceded went into detail on why they were seceding in the ordinances of secession they drafted, slavery remained the primary cause for secession for all the seceding states. Slavery dominated the debates at the secession conventions. It was the primary issue of complaint with the federal government for all the seceding states, to the extent that there would not have been secession or a civil war without it.

A few examples:

"Sir, the great question which is now uprooting this Government to its foundation---the great question which underlies all our deliberations here, is the question of African slavery..."

---Thomas Goode, delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention, in a speech to the same

"I say, then, that viewed from that standpoint, there is but one single subject of complaint which Virginia has to make against the government under which we live; a complaint made by the whole South, and that is on the subject of African slavery....But, sir, the great cause of complaint now is the slavery question, and the questions growing out of it. If there is any other cause of complaint which has been influential in any quarter, to bring about the crisis which is now upon us; if any State or any people have made the troubles growing out of this question, a pretext for agitation instead of a cause of honest complaint, Virginia can have no sympathy whatever, in any such feeling, in any such policy, in any such attempt. It is the slavery question. Is it not so?"

---John B. Baldwin, delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention, in remarks made at the same

""The area of slavery must be extended correlative with its antagonism, or it will be put speedily in the 'course of ultimate extinction.'....The extension of slavery is the vital point of the whole controversy between the North and the South...Amendments to the federal constitution are urged by some as a panacea for all the ills that beset us. That instrument is amply sufficient as it now stands, for the protection of Southern rights, if it was only enforced. The South wants practical evidence of good faith from the North, not mere paper agreements and compromises. They believe slavery a sin, we do not, and there lies the trouble."

---Henry Rector, governor of Arkansas, in a speech to the Arkansas Secession Convention


"What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction, a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North-was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery. This conviction, sir, was the main cause. It is true, sir, that the effect of this conviction was strengthened by a further conviction that such a separation would be the best remedy for the fugitive slave evil, and also the best, if not the only remedy, for the territorial evil. But, doubtless, if it had not been for the first conviction this step would never have been taken."

---Henry L. Benning, commissioner from Georgia to the Virginia Secession Convention and future Confederate general, in remarks made at the same


"The people of Louisiana would consider it a most fatal blow to African slavery, if Texas either did not secede or having seceded should not join her destinies to theirs in a Southern Confederacy. If she remains in the union the abolitionists would continue their work of incendiarism and murder. Emigrant aid societies would arm with Sharp's rifles predatory bands to infest her northern borders. The Federal Government would mock at her calamity in accepting the recent bribes in the army bill and Pacific railroad bill, and with abolition treachery would leave her unprotected frontier to the murderous inroads of hostile savages. Experience justifies these expectations. A professedly friendly federal administration gave Texas no substantial protection against the Indians or abolitionists, and what must she look for from an administration avowedly inimical and supported by no vote within her borders. Promises won from the timid and faithless are poor hostages of good faith. As a separate republic, Louisiana remembers too well the whisperings of European diplomacy for the abolition of slavery in the times of annexation not to be apprehensive of bolder demonstrations from the same quarter and the North in this country. The people of the slaveholding States are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery. The isolation of any one of them from the others would make her a theatre for abolition emissaries from the North and from Europe. Her existence would be one of constant peril to herself and of imminent danger to other neighboring slave-holding communities. A decent respect for the opinions and interests of the Gulf States seems to indicate that Texas should co-operate with them. I am authorized to say to your honorable body that Louisiana does not expect any beneficial result from the peace conference now assembled at Washington. She is unwilling that her action should depend on the border States. Her interests are identical with Texas and the seceding States. With them she will at present co-operate, hoping and believing in his own good time God will awaken the people of the border States to the vanity of asking for, or depending upon, guarantees or compromises wrung from a people whose consciences are too sublimated to be bound by that sacred compact, the constitution of the late United States. That constitution the Southern States have never violated, and taking it as the basis of our new government we hope to form a slave-holding confederacy that will secure to us and our remotest posterity the great blessings its authors designed in the Federal Union. With the social balance wheel of slavery to regulate its machinery, we may fondly indulge the hope that our Southern government will be perpetual."

---George Williamson, Commissioner from the state of Louisiana to the Texas Secession Convention, in remarks made at the same
 
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Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
2,998
Dispargum
...we can also be as honest and say that war was a choice made by the North...
I can accept this with the understanding that it was a choice of one, ie, that the North really had no choice. If states can secede anytime they disagree with national policy, then pretty soon, every state will find a reason to secede. Or, the federal government could only preserve the union by avoiding any and all controversial decisions. Only policies supported by all of the states could ever be implemented. We had that once, under the Articles of Confederation. It didn't work. Sometimes you have to force people or states to go along with policies they don't like. It's the nature of compromise. It's rare in life that we get things our own way. We never get things our own way all of the time. Any government that is unwilling to fight for its survival will not survive long, and does not deserve to. It was unrealistic of the South to expect secession without a fight.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,533
Caribbean
While not all states that seceded went into detail on why they were seceding in the ordinances of secession they drafted, slavery remained the primary cause for secession for all the seceding states. Slavery dominated the debates at the secession conventions. It was the primary issue of complaint with the federal government for all the seceding states, to the extent that there would not have been secession or a civil war without it.
It is an improvement from you earlier unqualified statement
"The Confederates themselves declared it in the speeches given at their secession conventions and in the ordinances of secession that they drafted["
when, in fact, most of the States did not make such declaration in their ordinances.

A few examples:
To be precise again, with your permission, those are examples of individuals expressing individual opinions, not official State proclamations. I didn't try rebut the part your claim that referred to individual speeches. That part was factually accurate.

FWIW, the states that "went into detail" provide good information for us to use, but at the same time, there is something to be inferred about those States who provide no details. That is, absent any Constitutional impediment, it follows that a "free State" (borrowing a term from the Constitution) can withdraw from a compact in the same unilateral process it used to join the association. The State doesn't need a reason.

So, with this in mind,
"I regard the failure to destroy the traitor culture... as one of the worst mistakes America has made."
how much is the opposition to CSA memorials really based on opposition to a slave society that (virtually) no one wants to bring back, and how much is just opposition to federalism.
 
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May 2018
335
Michigan
P. T. Beauregard became a civil rights activist after the war, promoting civil equality and the black vote. Why are we advocating taking down the statue of a Civil Rights activist?

Longstreet did the same, and General Joseph Wheeler rejoined the U.S. Army and fought for the United States in the Spanish-American War.

We easily praise anti-slavery activists such as John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace. Newton was a notorious slave ship captain before he became an abolitionist, shipping as many as 20,000? slaves from Africa to the Americas.
 
Feb 2013
4,180
Coastal Florida
The majority those statues were erected mainly by women organizations. The main organizations behind the erection of most confederate monuments was the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), an organizations that had an aggressive political agenda to vindicate the Confederacy. The UDC publicly disseminated "Lost Cause" theories, expressed strong support for the Ku Klux Klan and were supported by Segregationist politicians. The UDC had their objective to define southern identity around images from an Old South that portrayed slavery as benign and slaves as happy and a Reconstruction that portrayed blacks as savage and immoral. That constructed narrative - that literal rewriting of history - was an important tool for the legitimization of racial segregation and white supremacy in the South during the "Jim Crow Era", without even saying that this organization that erected most of those monuments clearly expressed support and empathy for a rebellious and traitorous entity against the United States of America.
Therefore it is certain that most of those monuments were erected in a specific historical context that nowadays would not be accepted.
While absolutely correct, it's not necessary to make an inference about the UDC's intentions. For example, the printed minutes of contemporaneous UDC conventions contain floor speeches in which direct reference is made to the monuments and the intentions behind erecting them. Contained within are very explicit affirmations that a primary motivation was to promulgate the Lost Cause agenda.

Bad reply, not what I asked for. Name a specific statue. Name who built it. Its quite simple. If you think there is a conspiracy, then you need to do more then speak in generics, you need to prove the conspiracy.

It wont even be hard, the evidence for what you are suggesting is readily available to find. But if you don't know of its existence, how can you discuss a conspiracy? Its seemingly as if you actually aren't nearly as knowledgeable about this subject as you attempting to perpetuate. If that's the case, how can you feel so strongly on an opinion founded on ignorance, and how can you lecture others on what to think?
If you're aware of the evidence, why argue about the issue?

Personally, I don't think the monuments should be destroyed. Rather, I think they should be rounded up and presented in their proper historical context: as pieces of political propaganda explicitly intended to indoctrinate us with big fat lies about the Confederacy and the cause it fought for. As a child of the south who was indoctrinated with this garbage myself, I think all school children, particularly in the south, should take class field trips to these museums in order to counter the false dogmas they're force-fed about this issue at home. I know for certain that many of my own relatives would benefit greatly.
 
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Likes: Edric Streona

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,533
Caribbean
Personally, I don't think the monuments should be destroyed. Rather, I think they should be rounded up and presented in their proper historical context: as pieces of political propaganda explicitly intended to indoctrinate us with big fat lies about the Confederacy
Propaganda wasn't always a bad word.
https://www.amazon.com/Propaganda-Edward-Bernays/dp/0970312598

I think Alpin Luke articulated part of my position well when he raised the question of - who gets to decide? The other big issue for me would be - who gets to be the arbiter of truth? Figuratively speaking, what is more American than due process?

I seem to recall an implacable insistence in your posts that despite the fact that no one was tried and no one was convicted that the secessionists were somehow officially guilty of treason, rather than just guilty in your personal opinion. I don't find that to be absent propaganda. I am wondering if I could be entitled to see both sets of propaganda in the same museums at the same time.
 
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Feb 2013
4,180
Coastal Florida
I don't know about it being a bad word but it's certainly anathema to the pursuit of knowledge, no matter how well-intentioned it is.

I think Alpin Luke articulated part of my position well when he raised the question of - who gets to decide? The other big issue for me would be - who gets to be the arbiter of truth? Figuratively speaking, what is more American than due process?
The subject has had its appropriate "due process" already. There is no great groundswell of professional historians who believe slaves actually were happy living in bondage or that slavery wasn't somehow at the root of every reason that's ever been put forward to explain the causes of the war. Good Lord! Have you even read the foundational texts of this ideology? Are we really supposed to lend credence to Edward Pollard's explanation of slavery as a great blessing to the world under which slaves were happy and content with their enslavement? Just because someone says the moon is made of cheese, we're not obligated to give him serious consideration.

I seem to recall an implacable insistence in your posts that despite the fact that no one was tried and no one was convicted that the secessionists were somehow officially guilty of treason, rather than just guilty in your personal opinion.
I would ask that you stop making false statements about things I've said. You are well-aware that I and others only pointed out that Confederates were officially pardoned for acts of treason. IIRC, no one even claimed they had been found guilty of the offense and you continued to insist they were never pardoned for this even after the citation of primary sources conclusively demonstrating that they were.

I don't find that to be absent propaganda. I am wondering if I could be entitled to see both sets of propaganda in the same museums at the same time.
I would welcome museum exhibitions showing the difference between the actual facts and the falsehoods of the Lost Cause.
 
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