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Old 05-03-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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Hi all, I hope this doesn't offend any southerners, but I'm a history teacher moving to North Carolina this fall. Thankfully I'm not teaching American history, but I got to wondering how Southern schools teach about the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Do they emphasize the Southern point of view, or do they present both sides? How do they deal with things like Lincoln, the KKK, and lynchings and such? I'm sure it's pretty sensitive.

So can anyone help a curious guy?

mackinac
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:13 PM
Status: "Semi-retired. On and off line interchangeably" (set 1 day ago)
 
9,820 posts, read 11,155,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
Hi all, I hope this doesn't offend any southerners, but I'm a history teacher moving to North Carolina this fall. Thankfully I'm not teaching American history, but I got to wondering how Southern schools teach about the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Do they emphasize the Southern point of view, or do they present both sides? How do they deal with things like Lincoln, the KKK, and lynchings and such? I'm sure it's pretty sensitive.

So can anyone help a curious guy?

mackinac
Hi Mackinac...

This opens up a huge can of worms...but you ask an honest question which deserves an honest answer. Even if, by the nature of the beast, the answers will always be subjective and "biased".

I will just say this:

It is my honest to gawd opinion that Southern history classes contain a much more "balanced" point of view than do those in the North. Some in the latter (and I have read them) actually present it as a righteous crusade to "free the slaves". When nothing could be further from the truth.

Anyway, I will just let it go at that for the time being. However...if you would like to talk a bit more in detail about it (I am a teacher myself), then feel free to DM me!

Last edited by TexasReb; 05-03-2009 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:13 PM
 
969 posts, read 1,874,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
Hi all, I hope this doesn't offend any southerners, but I'm a history teacher moving to North Carolina this fall. Thankfully I'm not teaching American history, but I got to wondering how Southern schools teach about the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Do they emphasize the Southern point of view, or do they present both sides? How do they deal with things like Lincoln, the KKK, and lynchings and such? I'm sure it's pretty sensitive.

So can anyone help a curious guy?

mackinac
Geez man, are you for real? Ask a fellow teacher!

Get ready for the crapstorm.....
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Central Austin
2,412 posts, read 3,869,699 times
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Where I am is on the edge of the South, so my example is most likely not representative of the whole South. I was taught by a Hispanic man, so I got an interesting perspective on the racial issues. I don't know how it is taught in the North, but here are some things I suspect would be different.

1. It is not taught as North=good, South=bad. It is not taught as South=good, North=bad. The two regions had different ideas and were going in completely opposite directions, and these differences sadly resulted in a bloody war.
2. It was about states' rights. Sure, slavery was one of the issues, but the average Southerner did not own slaves, and the soldiers (who were comprised of average Southerners) were NOT fighting for slavery.
3. The Emancipation Proclamation was a political stunt. It is a great and important document in our nation's history, but at the time it was signed to keep the European countries from siding with the South. Europe was heavily dependent on Southern cotton, but it frowned upon slavery. Signing the Emancipation Proclamation made the South look like it was fighting for slavery. It was about time the slaves were freed.
4. The North was not fighting for ethical reasons; it was for monetary reasons. The regions were dependent on each other, and by splitting up, there would be major economic repercussions. The North was the South's main market for cotton, and the South was the main market for manufactured goods. Trade would be much harder, and the taxes that resulted from this trade would be split between two governments instead of just one.
5. Robert E. Lee was a great general who was torn whether to be for the Union or the Confederacy.
One thing that I was taught was that the South made a critical mistake by not diversifying its economy like the North did. A war could have been avoided if it had because there would not have been the tension or difference in ideology. Lincoln is held in high regard. He is arguably the greatest president, and he is a morally outstanding man who kept the nation together (for the better) whether the South wanted it or not.

That's all I can think of. I'm curious as to whether people think it's biased or not. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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In Georgia and the other 49 states, we teach the facts of the Civil War exactly as we do with any war or historical event. We use textbooks and and other resources that help us in planning and teaching this particular subject - just like we do with all subjects.

I'm not sure if you're actually thinking that teachers in the South might decide to teach from a different point of view...but:

a. you won't be the first teacher here from another area of the country
b. most teachers understand how to teach without personal bias
c. if a teacher allows bias into a lesson, it's normally from a more liberal slant


The Civil War was a very long time ago. We aren't still angry about it down here...and I would say that most of us would have been on the other side of the conflict anyway.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
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Maybe 80+ years ago it was taught differently, but it shouldn't be any different than the way other parts of the country teach it.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Jersey
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As rescently as 10 years ago you might have had a lot students who believed in a a ret-conned version of history, but many Southerners are pretty objective when it comes to the Civil War nowadays.

Last edited by TylerJAX; 05-03-2009 at 08:59 PM..
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:54 PM
Status: "Semi-retired. On and off line interchangeably" (set 1 day ago)
 
9,820 posts, read 11,155,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconJ The Civil War was a very long time ago. We aren't still angry about it down here...[B
and I would say that most of us would have been on the other side of the conflict anyway[/b].
You are a good man, Deacon...but I totally disagree with you that many of us (meaning we Southerners) would have been on the "other side"

I know I could NEVER fight against my home state and region. Could you? To my way of thinking -- which I freely acknowledge don't mean jack sh*t -- it would mean turning my back on my own people. And this I could never do. Whether back then, today, or even in the 22nd Century...

"Winners history" (and I don't blame them...we Southerners would have written it with a same slant had we won) as concerns the War has turned it into a rebellious Southern states versus the United States.

But thing is? It was not the South against the United States. It was Southern states against Northern states. It really boiled down to young men and teenage boys going off to fight for what they knew best and loved most.

Exactly as I would have have done. And would do so today. Why would I fight for Iowa, New York, or Michigan, simply because they kept the name "United States" by default? No, I would have then, and would do so today, stand with my own. And make no apologies for it.

Last edited by TexasReb; 05-03-2009 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:59 PM
 
925 posts, read 1,582,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
Hi all, I hope this doesn't offend any southerners, but I'm a history teacher moving to North Carolina this fall. Thankfully I'm not teaching American history, but I got to wondering how Southern schools teach about the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Do they emphasize the Southern point of view, or do they present both sides? How do they deal with things like Lincoln, the KKK, and lynchings and such? I'm sure it's pretty sensitive.

So can anyone help a curious guy?

mackinac
They're pretty much dealt with in the same manner that they are in other regions, through subjective, politically correct, historical revisionist lenses.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:03 PM
 
925 posts, read 1,582,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
You are a good man, Deacon...but I totally disagree with you that many of us (meaning we Southerners) would have been on the "other side"

I know I could NEVER fight against my home state and region. Could you? To my way of thinking -- which I freely acknowledge don't mean jack sh*t -- it would mean turning my back on my own people. And this I could never do. Back then, today, or even in the 22nd Century...

"Winners history" (and I don't blame them...we Southerners would have written it with a same slant had we won) as concerns the War has turned it into a rebellious Southern states versus the United States.

But thing is? What was it? It was not the South against the United States. It was Southern states against Northern states...the latter which kept the name only by default. It really boiled down to young men and teenage boys going off to fight for what they knew best and loved most.

Exactly as I would have been and would be today. Why would I fight for Iowa, New York, or Michigan, simply because they kept the name "United States"? I will stand with my own...and make no apologies for it.
Agreed
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