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Old 09-18-2017, 07:37 PM
 
1,918 posts, read 737,405 times
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So full disclaimer to get my background where I'm posting from.... I have a "northern perspective and education"

So I've really become interested in the civil war lately and the more I've been learning the more interested I've become.

I remember in school basically being told more or less the war was about slavery and related issues and that's the way it was. Never gave a 2nd thought about it and just thought that's that.

The more I read and learn I'm really challenging what I thought I knew. And I'm curious to get some more opinions on this topic or get some more books or documentaries recommended to me.

I also just visited Gettysburg this year and that's what really got me down the rabbit hole of the civil war.

Looking at everything I've learned so far it seems the cause of the civil war is so much more complex than I realized. Even reading Lincoln's inaugural address in 1861 he specifically mentions not trying to stop slavery in the South and its not his intention (I'm paraphrasing)

And that most people in the South readily admitted that they feel slavery would have naturally ended on its own.

The union still allowed border states like West virginia, Delaware, Kentucky to stay in the union and support the union cause AND remain slave states. That right there says the war did not originally start as a means to end slavery when the union allows its own states to continue on with slavery.

Like 97% of southern soldiers were far to poor to ever have slaves. Even some of the more aristocratic ones, for example Thomas Jackson actually went out of his way to teach slaves to read and write and helped build a Sunday school for them. I couldn't believe when I learned one of the confederates most famous generals was teaching slaves to read and write and with respect. It was quite a surprise for me to learn.

Lincoln only gave the emancipation proclamation addrssing slaves in confederate territory deliberately to undermine the south's economy, and to sow discontent and unrest.

Definitely didn't learn these things in school.

It's really changed how I look at the war.

I am really thinking that American civil war Was the South being angry and feeling mistreated over states rights issues. It's far more complex than I realized. And I am now viewing the confederacy differently than I did before. The North invaded to beat the South back into submission to preserve the union not to stop slavery, that became a method to inflict pain on the southern economy.

I've read/watched all the usuals...the killer angels, God's and generals, gettysburg, glory, (still have to read the last full measure) and I think It's called blue and grey? And others Etc..

If you guys have any interesting points or feedback let me know. I'm always willing to reevaluate and learn.

If you have any book or movie / mini series recommendations let me know
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:46 PM
 
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Man, I see where this thread is headed already.

But I agree on pretty much everything you've mentioned. High school history teaches a very simplistic "good guys vs bad guys" retelling of US history.

There was an iPad app called "The Civil War Today" which came out on the 150th anniversary of the bombardment of Fort Sumpter and read like a modern newspaper covering all the events of that day 150 years ago, everyday for the whole 4 years of the war. It also had a lot of letters written by various soldiers on both sides, actual newspaper articles from the time, trivia facts, etc. It's a huge read, but you get a pretty well rounded view of the whole thing and it pretty much leaves no stone unturned.

The best resource is to actually do battlefield and historical tours. They have a lot of tidbits of info like interviews from former slaves, soldiers, and civilians that fill in a lot of gaps.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:58 AM
 
1,918 posts, read 737,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy100 View Post
Man, I see where this thread is headed already.

But I agree on pretty much everything you've mentioned. High school history teaches a very simplistic "good guys vs bad guys" retelling of US history.

There was an iPad app called "The Civil War Today" which came out on the 150th anniversary of the bombardment of Fort Sumpter and read like a modern newspaper covering all the events of that day 150 years ago, everyday for the whole 4 years of the war. It also had a lot of letters written by various soldiers on both sides, actual newspaper articles from the time, trivia facts, etc. It's a huge read, but you get a pretty well rounded view of the whole thing and it pretty much leaves no stone unturned.

The best resource is to actually do battlefield and historical tours. They have a lot of tidbits of info like interviews from former slaves, soldiers, and civilians that fill in a lot of gaps.
Thanks. I definitely am going to try and plan more battlefield tours



From your response "I can see where this is headed" i can't help but wonder what you mean. Did this thread just open up a can of worms?
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,618 posts, read 10,151,973 times
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No, it reopened a can of worms that has been debated ad nauseam. There are dozens of threads already on this topic. You are not uncovering anything new and not proving any kind of new narrative. Your interpretation of these 'new' revelations simply deny that the south seceded because they feared the eventual end of slavery, and by doing so, they hastened its end by decades.

The usual suspects will be along to agree with your revisionist OP. If few people post to point out your lack of understanding and why you are wrong, it is because they are tired of doing so.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkthekoolaid View Post
Thanks. I definitely am going to try and plan more battlefield tours



From your response "I can see where this is headed" i can't help but wonder what you mean. Did this thread just open up a can of worms?
Usually these threads turn into South bashing and any alternative perspectives of the war get labeled as racist or "neo Confederate".
People don't like hearing the narrative they've been taught for generations may not be entirely accurate. It does not go over well.

It's not just the Civil War but all US History leaves out a few key details here and there that can change the entire perspective.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
No, it reopened a can of worms that has been debated ad nauseam. There are dozens of threads already on this topic. You are not uncovering anything new and not proving any kind of new narrative. Your interpretation of these 'new' revelations simply deny that the south seceded because they feared the eventual end of slavery, and by doing so, they hastened its end by decades.

The usual suspects will be along to agree with your revisionist OP. If few people post to point out your lack of understanding and why you are wrong, it is because they are tired of doing so.
And there you go just as I was typing my response....
BTW the OP hasn't listed anything that is wrong, so prejudgment alert.

Last edited by Ziggy100; 09-19-2017 at 06:03 AM..
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:27 AM
 
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I learned almost everything you mentioned in high school. That said, I took AP American History from 1619-1876 (also took second course for "modern" American History).

I also agree that this has been written about in this forum before.

Will note that K-12 is not supposed to give you an in depth lesson in every subject. It provides a brief synopsis IMO on particular periods/events so it is always odd to me that people are surprised or get upset that they didn't learn XYZ in school.

If you get interested in the synopsis, you go and read/learn more about it yourself. Life should be about exploring and learning things that interest you or benefit you in some way.

On the North vs South thing - the basic review of the war being "about slavery" is correct. So not sure why you think you were somehow unlearned on the subject. Even in the OP you mentioned slavery various times about the "new" information you have learned.

As you stated - Lincoln (repeatedly) stated prior to becoming president that he wasn't going to end slavery. During the war, the border states that were slave states remained so. For the union it was about bringing the country back together. For the south - it was about slavery and their fear of having their economic situation and traditional social structure fractured due to them believing that slavery would be ended.

So in its simplest form, it was about slavery because the south instigated the war. It is interesting to me that many people want to act like this is not the case but it was. No matter what the southerners and southern apologist say about it being a "war of northern aggression" it really wasn't. It was a war started by the south attacking and seeking to dismantle the union over their stance regarding slavery.

Off shoots and stories of the war and politics surrounding it though are interesting. I focus a lot of research and study on the black American perspective of the war and the influence of free blacks and black abolitionist in particular. They were a huge influence on Lincoln and on politics/positions that lead up to the war. They also were an issue in southern states just because their presence made white southerners uncomfortable and they feared free blacks would encourage enslaved blacks to revolt.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:14 AM
 
7,395 posts, read 4,069,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy100 View Post
Usually these threads turn into South bashing and any alternative perspectives of the war get labeled as racist or "neo Confederate".
People don't like hearing the narrative they've been taught for generations may not be entirely accurate. It does not go over well.

It's not just the Civil War but all US History leaves out a few key details here and there that can change the entire perspective.
This is the key true statement. There is a certain perspective being taught that isn't true. You are starting to see the whole picture. Which many hate because it doesn't fit the narrative theyve built up.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:51 AM
 
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Of course it's much more complex, how much time do they have to cover The Civil War in school?

The important thing is to read up via OBJECTIVE sources, you can very well get misinformed once again by radical/revisionist viewpoints, particularly from internet sources.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 732,809 times
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@tnff --- Too much FOX News in your Post-4.

The founders grappled all summer over slavery. Their first need was to get a new constitution ratified, so they kicked a lot of cans down the road. That saved the union for a while, but the chickens eventually came home to roost.
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