Thursday, 13 August 2015

Q: Why the continuing controversy over the American Civil War?

Q: Why the continuing controversy over the American Civil War?

A: Because, says Colonel Ty Seidule, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, “many people don’t want to believe that the citizens of the southern states were willing to fight and die to preserve a morally repugnant institution.”

That’s it right there.

3 comments:

  1. I suspect most basic soldiers then had little idea of what the issues were so I'm not convinced that they were defending a system they understood to that level of detail. WW1 was the same - what the heck are we doing here must have been a common thought in the trenches. Guy Sajer relates this concept in his book "The Forgotten Soldier" when the older, experienced and fatigued soldiers debated the war with the fresh ideological Hitler Youth. Sajer's colleagues in WW2 fought on because it was simply the thing to do even though they knew the war was lost. They had little idea of any bigger picture or concepts dictating the war and orders were followed. They knew good commanders from the bad but that didn't extend beyond the battlefield.

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  2. Too radical, Anonymous, for me. Most basic soldiers might act that passive and uninformed but in truth they gave their moral sanction to the fight they were in and the side they were on.

    More to the point of the post though, it's perfectly insulting to the ongoing debate about the Civil War to simply call it a controversy. The other side doesn't qualify has having arguments to be addressed, no. They, we, I, "don't want to believe" your truth. It's some kind of malfunction of desire, not wanting to believe the right thing, not a conclusion attributable to reasoning. No arguments, then, shall be heard!

    Why? Because the top history brass at the top military school of the inheritors of the blue uniform victors-- so quite disinterestedly(?) and objectively(?)-- pronounces as such in favour of those who pay him and film him and publish him to do so.

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  3. Well, yes, sure. And their role as heroic liberators fitted them so well, that on they went to cheerfully liberate the next oppressed people: native americans...

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