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November 29, 2006

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Wow. All this time I've considered him so disingenuous, but maybe he's just an idiot.

Note that Postrel, by elision (and linked by Insty), spouts the same BS. No wonder life seems so simple to the Reds; they just excise the tough stuff from history.

The two are not mutually exclusive.

My comment was directed to Katherine's.

The side that loses takes longer to get over it. I had a college prof who innsisted on calling the Civil War "The War for Southern Inndepenndence". He was my microbiology professor but some how the war was a recurrent topic of lecture. This was in 1978 or 9.

lily: At least he didn't call it the War of Northern Aggression...

Or The Late Unpleasantness.

"American southerners know something that apparently a lot of other people seem to have trouble with: how to lose a war and not hold a grudge."

1. As a son-in-law of the South, I can assure him that this is not true.

2. But if it were true, it would be unsurprising, as the South surely won the peace.

In hilzoy's transformation from a scholar to a polemicist, she has gotten very ugly in her accusations about her blogosphere enemies. She doesn't know squat about East Tennesse history, about the sympathies of the town in the battle of Knoxville in the Civil War, why Alex Haley hung out at the Museum of Appalachia, where I met him at my fake wedding. She doesn't know the support that Bob Booker got from Republicans, particularly John Duncan, in the sit-ins nor was she present at integrated Boy Scout activities in the early 60's before the civil rights act.

Her pictures are there to inspire hate.

Because you all are ignorant and will listen to anything she says. Glenn Reynolds dad, a Methodist minister, organized protests when Richard Nixon spoke at a Billy Graham revival meeting. Glenn's sister-in-law is a black African.

How low can you get, it is just disgusting.

This is ugly down to the bone.

I have seen a lot of hate filled stuff from FireDogLake, Americablog, etc, but I didn't expect from ObWi, not against a single person, ayway. The Katrina stuff was bad enough, and now this. Hey, didja vote for teh black guy in the Maryland elections? No, I didn't expect you did, seeing as he's an Uncle Tom and all per Gilliard.

DaveC
What is so hate filled?

It seems to me Hilzoy is merely saying that Glenn is rather obviously wrong in saying that the south acted without any lingering bitterness after the war. She provides some well known examples of some very bitter things to support that. Are you denying that these things happened or are you suggesting that it is unfair to expect Glenn to be aware of them?

She does not, as far as I can see, accuse anyone in the Reynolds extended family of being complicit in those things.

What puzzles me is why Reynolds would endorse this weird view of US history, when doing it deprives him of a good rhetorical instrument. I mean, if you want to keep the US in Iraq as Reynolds does, one thing you could do would be to appeal to the way in which the US government abandoned the reconstruction and occupation of the Southern states. Here's how you'd paint it: just as the North should have stuck around the South to block the rise of the Klan then, so too must the US stay in Iraq now to disarm the militias and death-squads. It's a bad argument in all kinds of ways, but it's there for the picking.

julian: Here's how you'd paint it: just as the North should have stuck around the South to block the rise of the Klan then, so too must the US stay in Iraq now to disarm the militias and death-squads. It's a bad argument in all kinds of ways, but it's there for the picking.

But the US isn't going to stay in Iraq: it can't, and even Bush is admitting that now, with his "We've never been 'stay the course'" comment. And naturally enough, Bush and his supporters will want to blame other people for this. Any rhetoric that lays any responsibility for the chaos in Iraq on the Bush administration that invaded and then bungled will remain unspoken.

Or else Glenn Reynolds may have the same kind of general knowledge of history as DaveC does.

We love you too, DaveC.

Srsly.

DaveC: Unlike most readers here (I assume), I like Reynolds and read him every single day. He links to some interesting stuff I might otherwise miss. I also have some libertarian viewpoints and find some political kinship with him.

With that said, I did not take hilzoy’s post as being hateful or ugly (the linked Sadly No piece is another story). At best, Glenn was ignoring some history he should be well aware of and hilzoy called him on it.

one sliver--leeetle sliver--of truth to Instamoron's claim about the lack of bitterness:

if you read accounts of the armistice at Appamattox, it is impressive how little bitterness there was between the white troops of Grant's army and the white troops of Lee's army.

They very quickly went from a war-time footing to friendly and benevolent sharing of food, clothing, etc. And of course it made a huge difference that Grant was magnanimous in his terms.

But that just reminds us that the major bitterness and resentment of the defeated in the Civil War was not aimed directly at the Northern troops, but rather at the former slaves.

i.e. hilzoy is right on all important counts here.

If the Reconstruction went perfectly, there is no lingering resentment in the South, etc, etc, how come a presidential-vice presidential candidate team MUST have "geographic diversity", and specifically must have a southern candidate, in order to win? As an ex-Southerner myself, I can tell you that resentment against the North is not competely dead even now, nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War. Remember the energy crisis in the 1970s? Remember the Texas slogan "let them freeze in the dark"? No lingering resentment there, eh? Of course, blacks got the worst of white Southern resentment, but (white) Northerners aren't let off completely either.

Re: second picture.
It's not that I don't want to believe that a 12 year old white girl can really get into a good lynching, cuz, Lord knows, I really do, but none of the onlookers seems to really be looking at the lynchee, if you know what I mean.

DaveC: The point was Glenn Reynolds' ignorance of history. There was a minor subtheme about how that history might prove useful in trying to understand Iraq. That was all.

I'm not sure what, exactly, the 'accusation' you think I'm making is -- the one that is 'ugly', and that is falsified by Glenn's family history -- since you don't actually say what it is you take me to have been saying. But if (just guessing) it was something like: that Glenn is racist -- show me where I said that, and I'll take it back, since it was no part of my point to say any such thing.

The point was Glenn Reynolds' ignorance of history.

Isn't ignorance letting him off too easily? It's not really possible for someone of his educational level to be 'ignorant' of the facts you allude to, or of the century and a half of post-Civil War bitterness. 'Willingness to grossly misrepresent history in the service of a polemical point' seems more accurate.

And Dave, I join everyone else in wondering what was hateful about this post. Do you think Reynolds was accurate in characterizing post-Civil-War Southerners as not holding a grudge? Do you think that's a reasonable mistake to make? What is hateful about correcting him?

If DaveC comes back, I'd kind of like to know about the fake wedding.

wow, DaveC fouled that one clear out of the park.

DaveC, you couldn't carry hilzoy's metaphorical bookbag. Thanks for proving that.

I went and read the "article" (more of a column) by Reynolds. Interestingly, it's *not* about a comparison of the occupation of the South vs. our occupation of Iraq. It's about the potential for an actual civil "war" between right and left, arising from the "divider not a uniter" atmosphere we've had for the last six years (which I blame on Gingrich, Delay and the President, but sensible centrists blame on everyone).

And Reynolds very clearly makes the point at the outset that the South didn't hold much of a grudge after the Civil War.

If you click through to his longer post ("as I noted before") he makes the point even more strongly. He does discuss the resentment felt by Northern soldiers coming through and stripping places bare, but argues strongly that one of the great things about America is how the South was defeated but got over it. (I noted he put some blame on Northern soldiers but didn't say much about any blame for disquiet for Southerners).

Hilzoy's point is that this is breathtaking nonsense. The *premise* of both Reynolds columns is that the South pretty easily, with a few bumps fomented by bad Northerners, lost without holding a grudge.

What hilzoy is pointing out, pretty forcefully, is that the South did not get over it, and in many ways still isn't over it. The voter suppression that was so violent in the 1870s continued in less violent and obvious forms through the 1950s and 1960s and can even be found today (the felon purge in Florida and other states in this decade).

It wasn't so long ago that George Allen was still sporting confederate flag pins and nooses. The Confederate flag debate goes on today, with many southerners anxious to preserve it as part of their heritage.

140 years later and some people still haven't quite gotten over it. What is Reynolds thinking?

What is Reynolds thinking?

There's something wrong with the premise to this question.

I grew up in Tennessee and heard garbage like that spouted by Glenn all the time, often from people who wouldn't have seen themselves as racists and maybe weren't, in any obvious way, but all the same, they couldn't face up to the really ugly side of Southern history. When I was in school we were still being taught the sanitized version of Reconstruction, the version that left out the white terrorism that wiped out most of the civil rights that Southern blacks enjoyed for a few brief years following the Civil War.

DaveC, I was about to say something harsh about your little temper tantrum, but perhaps it's best you rant and rave about something hilzoy didn't say, rather than try to defend what Glenn did say.

He was almost certainly referring to the lack of hangings/imprisonment of the leaders (civilian and military) of the Confederacy after surrender, something that was quite new at the time.

And hate crime statistics in America portray the South as a much better place to live if you are a minority than, for example, Minnesota.

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/

Was there bitterness of Reconstruction? Yes, and also bitter suppression of Southerners. Was the Klan spawned in the South? Yes, and it died out, too. The "new" KKK of the 20th Century was chased out of Alabama in the '20's and was stronger in the Mid-West than the South (where it was actively opposed by local politicans and lawmen, usually) from the '30's on.

DaveC,

East Tennessee was largely pro-Union. Glenn Reynolds is not a racist.

But that does not make him right on this point. I lived in the South many years. Believe me, the idea that Southerners lost without holding a grudge is complete nonsense. That Reynolds, a professor at a southern university, can make such an ignorant claim is mind-boggling.

I was about to mention one of the common responses to criticism of the South was to point out that the North was also racist. No s***. The northerners also profited from the slave trade and most were unsympathetic to the abolitionist movement during the decades leading up to the war. And they pretty quickly abandoned the cause of black civil rights after the war was over.

And yes, Glenn probably did mean something like "whites got along fine after the Civil War." That's the point--they got along fine because most either opposed black civil rights or couldn't be bothered to support it.

Gee, the post-reconstruction South of Deep Thought's (whitewashed) history lesson sounds like such a magnificent place for us neegros to reside: no lynchings, no race riots, no Dixicrats, no Jim Crow - almost Edenic in its perfection.

One wonders why adulterous Commie agitators like MLK made such a fuss...

Was the Klan spawned in the South? Yes, and it died out, too. The "new" KKK of the 20th Century was chased out of Alabama in the '20's and was stronger in the Mid-West than the South (where it was actively opposed by local politicans and lawmen, usually) from the '30's on.

Not so.

The Klan was active in Alabama and elsewhere throughout the civil rights era, andDavid Duke, for example, enjoyed great popularity even later than that. Nor did public officials and lawmen oppose the Klan. In fact, for many years, political campaigns in the South often consisted of contests to see which candidate could establish himself as the more fervent racist.

As for the lackof hangings, I fail to see why that demonstrates that southerners didn't hold a grudge. Wasn't it the north that was forgiving?

And hate crime statistics in America portray the South as a much better place to live if you are a minority than, for example, Minnesota.

hate crime stats are actually here.

and as always, crime statistics show what was reported. and hate crime stats show what was classified as a hate crime. and of course, what counts as a hate crime differs from state to state.

for example, Alabama reported 0 hate crimes in 2005. CA, on the other hand, reported 252. does anyone think those two states use the same set of standards and criteria for reporting and classification ?

according to this site, "Barely 10% of Alabama’s population is covered by these statistics".

And then there's this.

I'm guessing Reynolds is thinking of the racial aspect, if he's thinking of it at all, as something completely independent of how amicable the North/South postwar relations were. The notion that somehow Reynolds is making a case for that all problems in the US were suddenly solved after the cessation of Civil War hostilities is...well, I have to wonder where that came from. Ditto for the notion that the North and South were bosom buddies ever after.

Slarti:

Read Reynolds original column (the one where he links to himself in the post above):

http://instapundit.com/archives/012576.php

How do you read that? He sounds like he's minimizing the ill will after the Civil War, and talks about the "spirit of reconciliation".....

zmulls, note that George Allen's Confederacy fetish started when he was growing up in California. I'm not sure how much the South (or Virginia) is to blame for it.

How do you read that?

Look, I think Reynolds can be fairly pinged for the "and not hold a grudge" part of that piece. I lived in south Georgian in the late 1960s and there was everyone else, and then there was the Damned Yankees. It was pervasive, or at least very pervasive at S.L. Mason Elementary School. OTOH, southerners weren't driving wagons full of explosives into northern cities and blowing up crowds of civilians, so I guess there's a certain degree of getting along there. I was shocked at the amount of grudgy-ness at the time, but it was relatively civil, meaning I wasn't getting my ass kicked on a daily basis for being a damned yankee.

And we hardly ever had gunfire coming in through the windows.

But I don't see Reynolds making a case for that the Civil War cured all manner of social ugliness outright. If you can point out exactly where you think he's saying that, it might speed us to the conclusion of this discussion.

In my home state of NC there's been a lot of talk recently of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, in which white supremacist Democrats violently overthrew the democratically-elected biracial Republican local government. One reason this didn't re-ignite civil war was that the federal government did absolutely nothing about it, setting the precedent that race-based rule-by-terror would be tolerated in the southern states.

Is this is the kind of forgiveness Reynolds refers to as a "great American accomplishment"?

But I don't see Reynolds making a case for that the Civil War cured all manner of social ugliness outright.

actually, i don't see anybody making that case.

I'm guessing Reynolds is thinking of the racial aspect, if he's thinking of it at all, as something completely independent of how amicable the North/South postwar relations were.

As are you, with your personal anecdote of not taking gunfire through the windows. (Black southerners who in any way stood up for their rights did, as did white southerners who fought segregation, not to mention the reception meted out to "outside agitators".)

Hilzoy's post is about pointing out that this is a rather glaring omission. She is not inflating Reynolds' claim into your straw version.

Quoth Dianne:

Remember the Texas slogan "let them freeze in the dark"?
I do, and I also remember that had at least a little to do with the attitude of those up North who, because of its oil production, viewed Texas the way Kipling described the average British person viewing Tommy Atkins: useful as long as it was doing something that directly benefitted them, but otherwise unwanted. And it almost certainly had a little to do with how people back then loathed Texas as "the state that kiled Kennedy", too.

As for the bitterness in the South - and it most certainly did exist - its root took their deepest hold in the poor whites who, in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, found themselves having to compete with freed slaves for work, and not always successfully (because employers could get away with paying blacks less than white, and all). It's no coincidence that they were the ones who wound up becoming the backbone of the Klan. The leaders may have been the landed gentry, but their footsoldiers were the ones who'd lost the only position of superiority they'd ever had to cling to, and resented the hell out of it.

Well, if we go with the revisionism that the Civil War "really" had very little to do with slavery, then we can certainly go with the revisionism that the use of terrorism by Southerners to prevent their fellow American citizens from participating in American life is but a minor bagatelle. One that doesn't really "count" when assessing how well the South adjusted to being part of the Union again.

This is the same sort of thinking that dismisses Democratic electoral victories as illusory, because Democratic voters (people of color, women, etc.) are by definition marginal and unimportant.

Hilzoy: But if (just guessing) it was something like: that Glenn is racist -- show me where I said that, and I'll take it back, since it was no part of my point to say any such thing.

By Instapundit standards, Reynolds is racist.

That revisionism is bad, CaseyL, but the revisionism that the Civil War was only about slavery does have the flaw that you have to explain the presence of slave states on the Northern side, various statements by Lincoln saying it wasn't about slavery, and the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in those places where the US government wasn't actually in control of things.

I definitely agree with you about the statistics we hear all too often about who would have won in some election if Indian reservations hadn't voted, or if only whites had voted. I don't remember hearing much about how elections would have gone if only Indians or nonwhites or women had voted. It does seem like there's an underlying assumption that white males are "real" voters (much as those in the "heartland" are the "real" Americans, as opposed to us abnormal coastal and urban types).

Hilzoy's post is about pointing out that this is a rather glaring omission.

Everything's a glaring omission of everything else.

I've probably left out something crucial by saying that.

As are you, with your personal anecdote of not taking gunfire through the windows.

By not mentioning racism, I'm denying that racism exists?

I know a guy who had a fake wedding.

I gave a fake toast as the fake best man.

Fake promises were made, witnessed, and sanctioned by state and church.

I had one hell of a fake hangover the next day.

Gradually, as the years passed, things became very real. Way too real. Guerilla warfare, snipers, carbombs, ambushes, aerial bombing, phonetapping, nuclear blackmail, water torture, and innocent bystanders, even children, damaged beyond recognition. And that was just the honeymoon. Refugees, shellshocked, emerged from foxholes and now wander the blasted landscape.

And Kid Rock thinks he has it bad.

I hope DaveC. didn't have that kind of fake wedding. I'd ask him, but he has a fake email address.

Alex Haley didn't make it to the fake wedding I participated in. I thought I spied Philip Roth having a drink at the bar. And was that Cormac McCarthey cutting in on the dance floor, when he wasn't surveying the scene and jotting down notes for "Blood Meridian"?

Unlike the rest of you ignoramuses (sic), the only time I've listened to everything Hilzoy has said is that time she posted about designer bras. Then I sat up at full alert and was all ears. I read every word of that post 12 times and memorized all links. The mouse I click with was thrumming with intellectual certainty.

Otherwise, my ignorance is so vast, all-encompassing and complete that it subsumes and dissolves all else Hilzoy the pointy-headed elitist writes about, from Kant to plates of paralyzed Chinese noodles, or from the travails of poor Barbie to the ethical conundrums she (Hilzoy, not Barbie) tweezers open for examination.

It whizzes right over my head. Hilzoy might as well be spitting down a bottomless well for all the good it does me. I leave here each time just as dumb as I was when I arrived, with only a big bruise on my forehead where Hilzoy whacked me with a fence post (an object I compete with for dumbalicious dumbalocity).

At this point, I think we all need to take a break for one of these: ;-) because now I'm insulting myself and I might take myself the wrong way.

I often ask myself: "Is Hilzoy a shibbolith? Or, is she a juggernaut? If she is a shibbolith, what the heck is she, because I do not know for whom the shibbolith signifies? Maybe she's a distant pileus cloud, caught in an updraft and encased in some pillowy ravioli dough and served in a bowl of cream of bookshelf soup with a dollop of organic sage-green paint.

I know not.

Like Socrates, I know only thyself, whom I refer to as myself, and, believe me, I don't like what I see.

`

But I don't see Reynolds making a case for that the Civil War cured all manner of social ugliness outright. If you can point out exactly where you think he's saying that, it might speed us to the conclusion of this discussion.

No, I don't hear him saying that. I do hear him saying:

I've noted before that one of the great American accomplishments was to get over the Civil War without the kind of lingering bitterness that often marks -- and reignites -- such conflicts elsewhere

Not only saying we avoiding the "lingering bitterness" but echoing that thought in both his current column and in the column he self-links to. When it's pretty obvious that the bitterness lingered, virulently, for more than 100 years, and arguably lingers today.

That's what I think Reynolds said, that was what Hilzoy reacted to and responded to.....from where I'm standing. Everything outside of the "was there or was there not lingering bitterness, and to what degree" discussion is just added on.....

Slart- I'm not sure what you're arguing about.

This, from one of your comments:

Look, I think Reynolds can be fairly pinged for the "and not hold a grudge" part of that piece. I lived in south Georgian in the late 1960s and there was everyone else, and then there was the Damned Yankees. It was pervasive, or at least very pervasive at S.L. Mason Elementary School. OTOH, southerners weren't driving wagons full of explosives into northern cities and blowing up crowds of civilians, so I guess there's a certain degree of getting along there. I was shocked at the amount of grudgy-ness at the time, but it was relatively civil, meaning I wasn't getting my ass kicked on a daily basis for being a damned yankee.

looks to me like you agree with Hilzoy's point, that characterizing the post-Civil War South as not characterized by lingering bitterness or holding grudges is pretty remarkably far from the mark.

Who are you disagreeing with, and what do you understand them to have said about Reynolds?

Something I forgot to ask myself:

How do you spell "shibbolith"? Everyone else spells it "shibboleth".

he revisionism that the Civil War was only about slavery does have the flaw that you have to explain the presence of slave states on the Northern side, various statements by Lincoln saying it wasn't about slavery, and the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in those places where the US government wasn't actually in control of things.

Yes, KC, there were other frictions between North and South, but it seems plausible to me that, absent the slavery issue, they would have been dealt with more or less peacefully. In that sense the war was "only about slavery" in that this was the only problem big enough to set off the Civil War.

Many/most frictions were probably traceable to the slavery issue. For instance, businesses in the Southern states had lots of free labor, while businesses in the Northern states had to pay wages, leading to an "unfair" advantage in the South. Etc.

The general sense was it was between strong federal authority and "states rights." There must have been some issues where "states rights" was not a euphemism for how to treat slaves, but the hottest ones (I'm guessing) were the slave-related ones.

Can anyone name issues causing North/South tension that were *not* traceable to issues (moral and economic) related to slavery?

Not only saying we avoiding the "lingering bitterness" but echoing that thought in both his current column and in the column he self-links to. When it's pretty obvious that the bitterness lingered, virulently, for more than 100 years, and arguably lingers today.

Of course I haven't spent a whole lot of time and energy thinking about this, because, well, I'm not a historian, and I'm not writing a history paper. Nevertheless: absent some sort of case to the effect that violent racism was the result of the South losing the Civil War, I'm not sure what the point is. It's not as if blacks had it all that cushy before the war.

On the other hand, I think if you can make a case that the Klan was simply the result of misplaced animosity toward the North (as opposed to, for instance, Southerners simply continuing to refuse to grant equal rights to blacks), that may be a reasonable viewpoint. I know the Klan maintained that it was directed against carpetbaggers, etc, but I have no idea how many white people the Klan was irked at wound up being lynched, so I'm unsure how much to believe that.

On the gripping hand, you could posit that the Civil War was simply the South against black people, and that the North had nothing whatever to do with it, and so the continuing postwar animosity between the combatants directly refutes some idle thought of Reynolds or other. But my memory says a hell of a lot of northern people of all shades died in the war, and so I'm not seeing the point.

Who are you disagreeing with, and what do you understand them to have said about Reynolds?

Well, I'm thinking that hilzoy's post had quite a few lynchings of black people in it. Conflating that with north/south animosity doesn't seem to be well done.

And of course I could be completely wrong about that, or that I've somehow failed to understand. Both high-probability events.

Slart- I'm not sure what you're arguing about.

I'm not arguing about anything, I'm discussing. Hopefully that's not against the rules.

The animosity of the South over losing took various forms of which the attacks on African Americans was one and the snobbish faux victim damn yankee outsiders-don't-understand-us pose is another. A third is the cult of the confederacy, the sanctification of of the flag, the re-enactments, the ancestor worship.. I see all of this as aspects of the same social pathology, a pathology which is finally fizzling out.

Well, I'm thinking that hilzoy's post had quite a few lynchings of black people in it.

Are you taking the position that lynchings had nothing to do with the outcome of the civil war?

"I'm not arguing about anything, I'm discussing. Hopefully that's not against the rules."

Modulo the second sentence, an important point to be aware of in reading Slart (and sometimes me, for that matter).

Lizardbreath writes "It's not really possible for someone of his educational level to be 'ignorant' of the facts you allude to, or of the century and a half of post-Civil War bitterness."

Growing up in California, it's possible to get a 5 (top score) on the American History AP test and still have no clue about all that east-coast nonsense. Personal experience. (And educational level PhD, although in science/engineering so it "doesn't really count")

OTOH, southerners weren't driving wagons full of explosives into northern cities and blowing up crowds of civilians

Slarti: put the goal posts down and step away from the flawed analogy machine, please.

Nevertheless: absent some sort of case to the effect that violent racism was the result of the South losing the Civil War, I'm not sure what the point is. It's not as if blacks had it all that cushy before the war.

I think one possible point is that violent racism after the war can be understood as a refusal to accept the military loss, and an attempt to roll back Southern society to its prewar state (in which murdering black people was a private matter, rather than something the state would concern itself with). When the North won the Civil War, part of the way that victory was understood at the time was that it now had the power to declare black Southerners legally equal citizens. Southern resistance to that position (Jim Crow, lynching, etc.) can be construed as a committed refusal to accept and move past that military loss; lingering bitterness and grudge-holding.

And of course, there's plenty of non-racial Southern hostility toward the North generally (not saying that all the blame for this is necessarily on the South, just that over a hundred years after the War, the grudges aren't gone yet). You mention feeling it as a schoolkid in Georgia; my father has funny stories about being badly treated by local police because he was a Yankee when he was a young soldier in Georgia in the early 60's... for Reynolds to say that the South is an example of how not to hold a grudge after a military loss is bizarrely divorced from any reality I recognize.

Glenn's statement said it was a great American accomplishment to get over the Civil War without much animosity or bitterness. Now if only relations between white people count here, then the statement is roughly true. If you include white-black relations as part of the picture, then the statement is completely ridiculous. Slarti thinks Glenn was only thinking of white-on-white relations. Well, yeah, that's exactly right. Glenn looks at the aftermath of the Civil War and touts the harmony among white people as a great national achievement when it was obtained at the expense of black civil rights (including the right not to be lynched.)

Can anyone name issues causing North/South tension that were *not* traceable to issues (moral and economic) related to slavery?

IIRC there were issues around tariffs. Northern industrialists were protected by tariff barriers which hurt the south by driving up prices for manufactured goods. I think in general there probably were the sorts of tensions that arise between agricultural regions and areas that were industrializing.

my father has funny stories about being badly treated by local police because he was a Yankee when he was a young soldier in Georgia in the early 60's...

That reminds me, LB, your story about your father's idea for a memorial commemorating Sherman's March still cracks me up.

Further, this:

On the gripping hand, you could posit that the Civil War was simply the South against black people, and that the North had nothing whatever to do with it, and so the continuing postwar animosity between the combatants directly refutes some idle thought of Reynolds or other. But my memory says a hell of a lot of northern people of all shades died in the war, and so I'm not seeing the point.

Seems misstated. For photographs of lynchings to be relevant, Hilzoy doesn't have to believe that white Northerners weren't party to the Civil War. She just has to believe that black Southerners were a party -- that they were perceived by white Southerners (of course, limited to those implicated in lynchings and related behavior) as affilated with the victors to the Civil War.

Reynolds, to fail to consider racial relations in his consideration of the non-bitter, non-grudgeholding aftermath of the Civil War, has to define black Southerners as not a relevant party to the war.

(And of course, Slart, neither discussion nor argument is out of line. You just seemed to be in disagreement with something, and I wasn't sure what.)

That reminds me, LB, your story about your father's idea for a memorial commemorating Sherman's March still cracks me up.

The William Tecumseh Sherman Memorial Eternal Flame in the shape of Georgia? Yeah, that was pretty much what I was thinking of when I said that the blame for continuing animosity isn't all on the South. Some of it is Dad's fault.

"The William Tecumseh Sherman Memorial Eternal Flame in the shape of Georgia?"

That's the best way to put the idea, but shouldn't the flame really be march-shaped? Say a pedestal in the shape of Georgia with a path of fire crossing it?

Also I've been meaning to try Doctorow's recent book on the subject - has anybody here read it?

You just seemed to be in disagreement with something, and I wasn't sure what.

Not so much that as that I see a lack of connection. Sure, you could say: "oh, but the rest of US see the connection", but that doesn't do much for my continuing inability to determine why Pin A doesn't seem to fit into Slot B.

She just has to believe that black Southerners were a party -- that they were perceived by white Southerners (of course, limited to those implicated in lynchings and related behavior) as affilated with the victors to the Civil War.

I can see that figuratively speaking, you could think of the Civil War as the South's war on black people, but I think that's not exactly what most people would put in the answer box. I think that as far as Southerners were concerned, black people weren't combatants, they were the prize. They were a commodity.

I think one possible point is that violent racism after the war can be understood as a refusal to accept the military loss, and an attempt to roll back Southern society to its prewar state

Yeah, I think I suggested something like that. I wasn't sure (and still am not) that this is widely held as true. Is this a historical fact, or psychoanalysis?

IIRC there were issues around tariffs

I was talking this over with a friend of mine one day, and if I remember correctly he proposed that the real reason that the war started was that the federal government had the audacity to suggest that it was the arbiter of international trade, not the individual states. The issue of slavery was, he claimed, introduced as leverage. Not that there weren't abolitionists prior to that time, just that the government wasn't especially predisposed to press abolition, and so it was used as a lever. I didn't ask for cites, though, and wouldn't recall them now if I had. Still, the notion that the government could hijack an issue like that and use it to its own ends...nah, they'd never have done that.

Is this a historical fact, or psychoanalysis?

I'm not getting you here. Before the Civil War, blacks in the South had essentially no civil rights. After the Civil War and as a result of the military victory of the North, blacks in the South were legally equal to whites, some white Southerners attempted to continue to treat blacks as having no or lesser civil rights, and actually managed to change the laws to reflect that. They did refuse to accept the results of the military victory, and did partially roll back Southern society to its prewar state. I'm not sure where psychoanalysis enters into it.

Are you drawing a distinction between rolling back Southern society to its prewar state with regard to race relations out of resentment over the defeat, and doing the same thing out of racism? Because I don't think the two can be separated -- either one qualifies, in my book, as a refusal to accept defeat, and so either contradicts Reynolds' bizarre contention.

Cory Doctorow is writing about the Civil War?

Now that I'm back from lecturing about AZT trials in sub-Saharan Africa: LizardBreath has (not surprisingly) said what I meant to say quite well:

"I think one possible point is that violent racism after the war can be understood as a refusal to accept the military loss, and an attempt to roll back Southern society to its prewar state (in which murdering black people was a private matter, rather than something the state would concern itself with). When the North won the Civil War, part of the way that victory was understood at the time was that it now had the power to declare black Southerners legally equal citizens. Southern resistance to that position (Jim Crow, lynching, etc.) can be construed as a committed refusal to accept and move past that military loss; lingering bitterness and grudge-holding."

Yep. I meant to say: The white South did not accept its loss with good grace, as Reynolds says; it tried to roll back that loss as fully as possible. It did not succeed in rolling back the 13th amendment, though one could argue (I chose to duck this issue) that the sharecropper system, as implemented in large chunks of the South, wasn't that far removed. But it did succeed in preventing he 14th and 15th amendments from being enforced, and in so doing ensured that white Southerners could continue to live under a government that they and they alone selected, and enforce only those laws that white sheriffs were willing to enforce, and white juries to convict people under.

I also agree with Donald J:

"Glenn's statement said it was a great American accomplishment to get over the Civil War without much animosity or bitterness. Now if only relations between white people count here, then the statement is roughly true. If you include white-black relations as part of the picture, then the statement is completely ridiculous. Slarti thinks Glenn was only thinking of white-on-white relations. Well, yeah, that's exactly right. Glenn looks at the aftermath of the Civil War and touts the harmony among white people as a great national achievement when it was obtained at the expense of black civil rights (including the right not to be lynched.)"

I don't think that the South's acceptance of defeat looks all that extraordinary when you factor this in. If we followed Jonathan Chait's advice and reinstated Saddam, or some other Sunni strong man, and allowed him to do what he wanted to, and didn't protest when Shi'a were lynched, deprived of civil rights, etc. I bet Anbar would quiet down quite a lot, and display a similar degree of "magnanimity". Except for all those lynchings of Shi'a, which, however, we would all agree politely not to notice.

Side note about Civil War revisionism (something I know a little bit about):

Revisionists have a way of overstating a point in order to make it, and that has happened when the claim is made that the Civil War was not about slavery. The correct point is that the war did not start in order to end slavery, but it definitely started because of it.

Many in the North wanted to prevent slavery from spreading into new territory (which the Kansas Nebraska Act threatened as well as the implications of Dred Scott), with the expectation that the institution would wither as time passed. In 1860, anti-slavery feelings were strong in the North, but abolitionism was also a minority and discredited view in the North. It was not about having sympathy for black slaves -- rather it was viewing slavery in the same nimby fashion as modern day concerns about allowing low-cost housing in suburbia.

Even then, Lincoln won in 1860 only because the race was split four ways. The Democrats would have won (and war postponed?) had the party not split into north and south factions.

The South was fearful of being marginalized if slavery was excluded from the new territories, and they were aware that the non-slave states were continually growing in power. The South feared the long term future. Lincoln made it clear when elected that he did not seek to disrupt slaveholding in the South, but the South withdrew from the Union anyway. Initially, the war was about preserving the Union and not about ending slavery.

But the dispute only existed because of slavery, and could not as a practical matter be ended without, over the long term, threatening slavery. It is impossible to remove slavery as a root cause of the Civil War, even if ending slavery was not the cause that ignited the war.

Later, the war aim morphed into ending slavery (though even that was tepid for a while, as Lincoln did not want to annoy the border states), and sloppiness has led to saying the war was about freeing the slaves. Revisionists seek to correct that ahistorical view, but the point should be limited to the specific disputes that triggered war. And even then, it is impossible to ascribe a more significant cause to the war than differences over slavery.

courtesy of delong

http://americancivilwar.com/documents/williamson_address.html

always worth reading this when you're trying to remember what the Civil War was about.

I'm not getting you here.

Probably it'd be more clear if I'd responded to this passage:

Southern resistance to that position (Jim Crow, lynching, etc.) can be construed as a committed refusal to accept and move past that military loss; lingering bitterness and grudge-holding.

I think possibly we're talking past each other, here. I think it's certainly plausible that postwar violence against blacks could be attributed to misplaced resentment against the North: you can't beat them up, so pick on someone you can, and (conveniently, possibly) someone who you don't see as quite human. I thought this kind of thing was what you were talking about; possibly it wasn't.

And now I'm getting to the point where I'm uncomfortable taking this apart into smaller pieces*. Characterizing the racially-motivated killing of blacks as obstinate foot-dragging in the face of change is depressing in the extreme.

*Not saying I'm any good at it, mind you.

Are you drawing a distinction between rolling back Southern society to its prewar state with regard to race relations out of resentment over the defeat, and doing the same thing out of racism?

No, I'm saying that the racism existed with or without the war.

p.s., Reynolds is disingenuous.

Even if his point is limited to white North/white South reconciliation, that was rather ugly too. It took Hayes/Tilden in 1876 to finally end the military occupation of the South. There was nothing amicable at all about the process of reconciliation between North and South.

dmbeaster wrote: "Even then, Lincoln won in 1860 only because the race was split four ways. The Democrats would have won (and war postponed?) had the party not split into north and south factions."

This turns out not to be the case; Lincoln won an outright majority in enough large Northern states to win in the Electoral College. See the Wikipedia article at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1860

Can I just say I'm amused when LG&M refers to Confederate Yankee as Treason-in-Defense-of-Slavery Yankee?

Thanks.

LG&M?

Slartibartfast: I think that as far as Southerners were concerned, black people weren't combatants, they were the prize. They were a commodity.

So the black people who lived in the South of the US were not, in your view, Southerners?

Slarti: I think it's certainly plausible that postwar violence against blacks could be attributed to misplaced resentment against the North: you can't beat them up, so pick on someone you can, and (conveniently, possibly) someone who you don't see as quite human.

And moreover, on people who see themselves as quite human, and who see themselves as having benefited enormously from the defeat that you see yourself as having suffered. People who were legally the inferior of all Southerners and legally assumed to be (in many Southern states) the property of some Southerner (taking your position that no black person who lived in the South was a Southerner) who now were legally the equal of all Southerners, and the property of none. So these people (not Southerners) were, in a practical sense, the victors in the war in which the Southerners were defeated - and they were living right there among the people they had defeated.

Psychologically, assuming you're right about the black people who lived in the South not being Southerners, the lynchings and burnings would have been the war carried on by other means - the defeated taking it out on the people living among them who were the victors in the war.

LG&M?

Lawyers, Guns, & Money.

Is this a historical fact, or psychoanalysis?

Those are the only two options? (Much of the study of history doesn't fall neatly into either one of those categories...)

"No, I'm saying that the racism existed with or without the war."

[comment in what turned out to be a lecturing tone to Slart excised - dang that's easy to slip into]


Anyway, does Reynolds's comment make sense in the context of the English Civil War? Any other civil wars? Don't they tend to be final?

So the black people who lived in the South of the US were not, in your view, Southerners?

Yes, that certainly could have, even should have, been said differently. Probably it would be a tough case to make that southern whites regarded southern blacks as much other than property, which is more or less what I intended to convey. But I'm not going to restate it.

So these people (not Southerners) were, in a practical sense, the victors in the war in which the Southerners were defeated

Sure, that's a good point.

I also have to say that this is the first time in a long time that I remember seeing Slarti's comment in (multiple) full paragraphs. ;-)

"I think that as far as Southerners were concerned, black people weren't combatants, they were the prize. They were a commodity."

Jes: "So the black people who lived in the South of the US were not, in your view, Southerners?"

It is standard English in America to refer to a polity in this way, excluding the disenfranchised. "The Athenians decided to attack Syracuse" is by your standard a judgement that women and slaves weren't Athenian.

Ehh, if Slart's not for himself, why should I be?


(That was a joke.)

Characterizing the racially-motivated killing of blacks as obstinate foot-dragging in the face of change is depressing in the extreme.

What, then, was the purpose of the terrorism inflicted on the black southern population after the war?

And sorry, I can't tell if you're agreeing with the assertion and find it depressing, or disagreeing and finding it depressing that someone would characterize it as such.

You're going to set a bad precedent, rilke, excising those lecturey bits. And I'm not just saying this to turn Ugh's right paren into a left one.

"You're going to set a bad precedent, rilke, excising those lecturey bits."

Just recalling that no one likes the sound of my voice as much as I do.

And sorry, I can't tell if you're agreeing with the assertion and find it depressing

Depressing, dpu, that something so awful can be reduced to what amounts to petty obstinacy. I'm not sure I can explain it any better than that, but I'm not disagreeing with anyone, saying it that way.

Jim Parish:

More info about your point, which is literally correct.

Votes Electoral (152 wins) Popular

Lincoln 180 1,866,452
Breckenridge 72 849,781
Bell 39 588,879
Douglas 12 1,376,957

Breckenridge and Douglas were the Democratic candidates, South and North respectively. Bell captured border states (Va, Ky, Tenn). Douglas took Missouri and part of New Jersey.

The vote totals by state support your assertion, but note how close it was in many northern states between Lincoln and Douglas. The question has been would Lincoln had done as well against Douglas if the Democratic Party was united -- the division of the party presaged the war and probably influenced plenty of northerners to vote for Lincoln instead of Douglas.

For example, Lincoln carried the following states with the following percentages -- a loss of 29 electoral votes leaves him with only a plurality:

California 32.3 % 4 electoral votes
Illinois 50.7 11
Indiana 51.1 13
New York 53.7 35
Ohio 52.3 23
Oregon 36.1 3
Pennsylvania 56.3 27

California and Oregon were clearly won due to split votes. Would Lincon have beat Douglas if he was running against only Douglas in 1860? Not if he also lost Ohio, or lost Illinois and Indiana. The Republicans lost Penn, Ohio and Indiana in 1856.

>...that something so awful can be reduced to what amounts to petty obstinacy.

People do things like that not because they're simply obstinate, but because they are trying to preserve a social, economic, and political structure that they fear losing. It's hardly petty when you fear for the future of your people, culture, and well-being of your children.

NB - not justifying this in any way. But it's worthwhile keeping in mind what's behind political upheavals.

Correction: Republicans lost Illinois, Indiana and Penn in 1856, but took Ohio.

dpu: "they are trying to preserve a social, economic, and political structure that they fear losing."

I take it you'd class "not wanting to admit you[r parents or grandparents] were wrong and lost" as part of "social" above? Because that's my sense of what was involved. I don't really see why the [white, for Jes] South couldn't have jettisoned the bad stuff back in the day. Maybe it would have been too painful to call it "petty obstinacy", but saying "we can't give up x because x is part of our culture" seems inadequate to me.

I don't really see why the [white, for Jes] South couldn't have jettisoned the bad stuff back in the day.

They didn't want to do it for the same reason that we here in the west do not jettison our excess wealth and political power in order to have a more equitable distribution of global wealth — we fear the consequences of doing so.

Ineresting ...MY

"But, on the other hand, when the relevant identifier is anti-black answers to survey questions (such as whether one agrees "If blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites," or choosing whether blacks are "lazy" or "hardworking"), an untoward result jumps out: white Southerners are twice as likely than white Northerners to refuse to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. Schaller's writes: "Despite the best efforts of Republican spinmeisters ... the partisan impact of racial attitudes in the South is stronger today than in the past.""

...MY quoting Rick Perlstein on Tom Schaller bout Sears and Valentino aw read to understand attribution

I might contend that the "partisan impact" is not only racism in itself but ressentiment toward a Party(?) identified as the enduring enemy and champion of integration. Whatever. Still strong after 150 years;"stronger today than in the past"

Good post;I think, as might be expected, that the thread has gotten hijacked. The thread at Yglesias and much blogosphere discussion on the Schaller project is about what should be done about, or to, the recalcitrant, intransigent, revanchist, racist remnants of Dixie and the political party that represents its deepest values.

dmbeaster: Yes, it's possible that Lincoln would have lost had he faced a united Democratic Party - but it's not certain that he would have done so, as the word "only" in your original comment suggests. (Sorry. I'm a mathematician, and I take questions of necessity and sufficiency very seriously, and occasionally obsessively.)

I think it's certainly plausible that postwar violence against blacks could be attributed to misplaced resentment against the North

The urge to say "That's mighty white of you" here is so overwhelming that I'm almost ashamed of it. Almost.

I don't hate you for that, Phil. Unless you want me to, in which case, well, I'd have to think about it.

You can just call me names and make me write bad checks. I think that will about do it.

"They didn't want to do it for the same reason that we here in the west do not jettison our excess wealth and political power"

I can understand them wanting to maintain slavery - but having lost it, to not accept it as lost (and well lost), to refuse to look forward, to enforce separation and inequality as a way of not admitting having been wrong before - that is what is hard to not call "petty obstinacy raised to the condition of tragedy".

Jim Parish:

I appreciated the clarification. It is so common to read historical analysis that attributes Lincoln's victory to the split (without going into the details) that it was interesting to revisit the numbers. It was also popular wisdom at the time based on the experience in 1856 between Fremont and Buchanan and the perceived effect of the division amongst Democrats in 1860.

Plus imagine if the vote totals were unchanged, and all of the votes for Breckenridge and Bell went for Douglas (a reasonable assumption -- the question is whether Lincoln would have held all of his votes against only Douglas). Lincoln would have still won the electoral college with only 40% of the popular vote -- the nightmare electoral college scenario in which Lincoln ekes out wins in big northern states while being wiped out in the South.

I can understand them wanting to maintain slavery - but having lost it, to not accept it as lost (and well lost), to refuse to look forward, to enforce separation and inequality as a way of not admitting having been wrong before - that is what is hard to not call "petty obstinacy raised to the condition of tragedy".

If the masses of the world arose and took our wealth and prestige from us by force, would we all then admit that the wealth we had was undeserved and the suffering invoked to support it unjust, and that we wrong to have held it so long?

Or would a significant number of us take the position that while there was injustices in the previous system, it served a greater good, and that attempts to change our political status misguided or downright evil? And, feeling that way, would they not then try to hold on to that wealth and power?

"If the masses of the world arose and took our wealth and prestige from us by force"

Don't think that's parallel - enslaving a people and not helping the whole Third World enough (in the absence of agreement on a clear practical path to equality) aren't the same. Even granting inequality is immoral wouldn't mean forceful redistribution was right. And according to my limited understanding of economics slavery was inefficient for all concerned. If the Third World wants to rise up and achieve our level of prosperity, more power to them.

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