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Old 06-11-2020, 12:54 PM
 
2,072 posts, read 535,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post
But not everyone serving the Confederacy did so for the sake of slavery primarily or even at all.
Secondary reasons don't really matter; the argument that most soldiers fought "because you're on my land" has nothing much to do with the reasons for the war.

The leaders are accountable, and for the reasons as well as the actions. The reason for the war was slavery, with almost no other issue of real significance that didn't stem from that. Lee was fighting to preserve slavery. That stain will not wash off his sterling character.

FWIW, if there is one (1) exception to all these arguments, it might indeed be Lee. But he still expended 250,000 men on his side to kill 360,000 on the other... to preserve slavery. Disqualified for adoration, IMHO.

 
Old 06-11-2020, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
FWIW, if there is one (1) exception to all these arguments, it might indeed be Lee. But he still expended 250,000 men on his side to kill 360,000 on the other... to preserve slavery. Disqualified for adoration, IMHO.
Lee commanded only the Army of Northern Virginia. Above you are crediting him for all the deaths in the Civil War.
 
Old 06-11-2020, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Lee commanded only the Army of Northern Virginia. Above you are crediting him for all the deaths in the Civil War.
He was the general in chief of the CSA, effectively the sole 5-star rank, before assuming command of by far the most significant of the armies for the remainder of the war.

No, all the deaths weren't his, but he's not distanced from them, either.
 
Old 06-11-2020, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
1,646 posts, read 621,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
Secondary reasons don't really matter; the argument that most soldiers fought "because you're on my land" has nothing much to do with the reasons for the war.

The leaders are accountable, and for the reasons as well as the actions. The reason for the war was slavery, with almost no other issue of real significance that didn't stem from that. Lee was fighting to preserve slavery. That stain will not wash off his sterling character.

FWIW, if there is one (1) exception to all these arguments, it might indeed be Lee. But he still expended 250,000 men on his side to kill 360,000 on the other... to preserve slavery. Disqualified for adoration, IMHO.

You can have that opinion, but I disagree. He's been summarized as the perfect embodiment of the Southern gentleman with all his virtues and flaws. In that capacity, I believe he is perfectly appropriate as someone to be honored to this day as a representation of one long phase of Virginia history.


I think any grand view of history needs to look beyond the ideological quarrels of its time. Looking at Julius Caesar we could find plenty of fault, looking at Alexander the Great no less so, and the list goes on. I know for a fact there's some quotes from Lincoln that would 'cancel' him today. Great men of history did a lot of stuff we may deem wrong, but our views are just snapshots of the moment.
 
Old 06-11-2020, 01:37 PM
 
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Even if I am Canadian, I want to weigh in with my idea.



To compromise, I say remove the statues and put them all in a huge museum to be viewed and studied. But clean off all the bird **** first. The states/counties that want them removed could shoulder the cost?
 
Old 06-11-2020, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
46,361 posts, read 19,964,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
He was the general in chief of the CSA, effectively the sole 5-star rank, before assuming command of by far the most significant of the armies for the remainder of the war.

No, all the deaths weren't his, but he's not distanced from them, either.
He was made General in Chief, an office he utterly neglected, in February of 1865. The war ended two month later. Lee had not wanted the position, but accepted it as the will of the Confederate Congress. He took no actions associated with the office, instead deferring to the commander in chief, Jefferson Davis.

Before taking command of the Army of Northern Virginia in June of 1862, Lee had been an adviser to Davis, commanded the coastal defenses in the Carolinas, and commanded the armies attempting to retake western Virginia.

There was never a point in the war where Lee exercised overall command. Lee famously concentrated strictly on the Virginia theater and had nothing to do with the battles in the west.
 
Old 06-11-2020, 01:43 PM
 
12,635 posts, read 17,690,113 times
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But it is OK to vandalize and ruin and blast statues of military and political figures in Europe, as far as they have "Russian" tag on them, right? If it's OK to do there, it is Ok to do here. A principle is a principle.
 
Old 06-11-2020, 01:45 PM
 
2,072 posts, read 535,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
There was never a point in the war where Lee exercised overall command. Lee famously concentrated strictly on the Virginia theater and had nothing to do with the battles in the west.
Okay.

As with most CW threads, there is no bottom to the depth of discussion/argument/facts, but nothing really takes away the oily toxic layer floating on top of it all.

I completely agree that all monuments and namings in the US memorializing Confederate figures (and to a large extent, events, especially when they are selective) should be removed from general public view, and housed only in specific museums or — very selectively — in figures' home towns. There are no good general arguments to the contrary, and only a handful of specific ones which, IMHO, don't win. Nothing else to add.

Except: Statues aren't history.
 
Old 06-11-2020, 02:23 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
4,003 posts, read 1,567,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Staying on point and the actual topic (regardless off how broadly some WANT to extend it)...
such noble motives are NOT in evidence as regards the CSA statues.

Be very clear on these points and what (Jim Crow etc) was actually behind it all.
What honorable traits some of the historic subjects may have once possessed ...were squandered.

People should be judged by the standards of the times in which they lived, not by the standards of the present.


American Indians, for instance, commonly ate dogs...Were they barbarians? Were they inhumane? Were they evil people?...Only to the shallow minded looking back on the situation.


Should the Coliseum in Rome be torn down because it once housed brutal gladiatorial games?
 
Old 06-11-2020, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
26,478 posts, read 17,099,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
I understand exactly what youre saying. But I believe that they shouldnt be destroyed, but rather relocated. Statues that are in the public and represent things we no longer agree with should be put away and used for teaching, at the very least for preserving history. Not only the history in which they lived but also the history in which they were memorialized and the history in which they were removed. All of those are not insignificant to history and create a very linear path to what we now consider appropriate and moral. But beyond the statues themselves is the issue of holding historical figures to contemporary ideals. Imposing our belief systems on historical people is not a fair metric to use. Yes we now know that slavery is wrong. It has been collectively outlawed for ~200 years. But for the preceding ~2000 years it was not only acceptable it was standard behavior. So we pull down statues of Columbus, Lee, Davis but do not remove all the statues and busts of Caesar and Cleopatra. Those statues/busts/artwork are in museums all over the world in their Egyptian and roman rooms but they built their cities and economies on slavery just as we did. I am also certain that they fought wars with and about slavery.

Sidenote, all children are taught about Benedict Arnold as the great traitor. I grew up in NC and was not once taught a single word about Robert E. Lee. So disappearing any mention of him will undoubtedly make him disappear from history and its a history we are better served to not forget
As previous poster noted, the statues honor and memorialize. They don’t so much teach history. If they represent great art, then I could see them in an art museum. But most of them aren’t really in that category.

The issue of Columbus is different. I think images of him are symbolic, but he himself would be odious to native peoples, I would think. I think his beheading is odd.

In terms of holding people to modern ideals, I think we could all agree that rebelling against one’s country, leading armies against it, and invading it are treasonous actions. Just because most of the generals got pardons, doesn’t make them heroic.
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