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The Case Against The Confederacy

Why “Libertarian” Defenses of the Confederacy and “States’ Rights” are Incoherent
There is a strain of libertarian contrarianism that holds that the Confederate States of America were within their “rights” to secede from the Union. Such contrarianism on this particular topic is detrimental to the larger cause of liberty because the logic of this argument relies upon relinquishing individual rights to the whim of the state. Indeed, as there is no legal or moral justification for supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War, it is impossible that there could be a libertarian one.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 21, 2013 - 349 comments

The Austerity Kitchen

The Great Hog-Eating Confederacy
Early Southerners ate a rather limited and unvarying diet. At table the famished guest seldom found more than bacon, corn pone, and coffee sweetened with molasses. Pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau complained that “little else than pork, under all manner of disguises” sustained her during her visit to the American SouthFor the most part, slaves observed the same diet as poor white farmers. Though many kept gardens, and thus supplemented their rations of pork and corn with a wide variety of vegetables, they had otherwise little opportunity to augment their diet.. Another traveler griped that that he had “never fallen in with any cooking so villainous.” A steady assault of “rusty salt pork, boiled or fried … and musty corn meal dodgers” brought his stomach to surrender. Rarely did “a vegetable of any description” make it on his plate, and “no milk, butter, eggs, or the semblance of a condiment” did he once see.
Christine Baumgarthuber is a writer for The New Inquiry and runs the blog The Austerity Kitchen. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 22, 2013 - 58 comments

Civil War hero Robert Smalls seized the opportunity to be free

Robert Smalls sat at the conference table next to Frederick Douglass as they tried to convince President Abraham Lincoln that African Americans should be allowed to fight for their own freedom. He served five terms in Congress. He ran a newspaper and helped found a state Republican Party.
But first, he had to win his freedom.

posted by Blasdelb on Feb 15, 2013 - 14 comments

Interesting aspects of the American Civil War

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, recently touched on a couple of interesting aspects of the American Civil War. First, Racism Against White People briefly looked at how Southern intellectuals argued that Northern whites were of a different race. Then a subthread in the comments on that post spawned an investigation of American Exceptionalism in History and the notion of preserving democracy in the context of the American Civil War. After all, "if a government can be sundered simply because the minority doesn't like the results of an election, can it even call itself a government?" Definitely check out the comments of both posts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 8, 2012 - 49 comments

Not the Wilhelm Scream

What Did The Rebel Yell Sound Like? (video): 'From the early 1900's through the 1940's, Civil War veterans were filmed, recorded and interviewed at reunions, parades, and other patriotic events where, as the century advanced, they came increasingly to seem like ambulatory trophies from some distant age of heroes.'
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 27, 2012 - 50 comments

The Whitewash

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) has proclaimed April to be Confederate History Month in his state, without referencing slavery or civil rights. The move has angered civil rights leaders and revived a controversy that has lain dormant for eight years. FireDogLake is reporting that the neo-confederate group which lobbied Governor McDonnell to make the proclamation has ties to white supremacists. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 7, 2010 - 245 comments

Hunting Rebel Gold

A man seeking Confederate gold and his own family's hidden history uncovers a cryptic trail that may stretch back to a secret society and Jesse James.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Dec 5, 2007 - 13 comments

The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves

Lost Cause [WaPo, bugmenot] History museums are a repository for public memory, but also a nation's mirrors, reflecting self-image. When our views of history shift, museums that fail to change are likely to fail in general. Today's Washington Post reports on the struggle and decline of the Museum of the Confederacy, contrasting it with the American Civil War Center, nearby geographically, worlds away in philosophy.
posted by Miko on Apr 4, 2007 - 18 comments

CSA Constitution

The Constitution of the Confederate States of America. The author did a line by line comparison of the US constitution and the CS constitution. It's no surprise that the constitution of the CSA includes specific clauses regarding slavery, but some of the other changes are quite interesting. For instance, the CSA constitution included a "line item veto" for budget measures.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste on Jun 23, 2006 - 45 comments

Found something cool on the web and want to share it with everyone else

Peruse The Geographical Reader for Dixie Children and contemplate the manner in which the greater body of man has improved his intellect these past seven-score years and two.
posted by thirteenkiller on Dec 8, 2005 - 27 comments

Shouldn't it be

"If the Sons of Confederate Veterans can't oppose a statue of President Lincoln, we can't do anything," said Bragdon Bowling, Virginia division commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He then added, "You don't build monuments to conquerors."

Ah, life in the modern South... it is so nice to see how far we've come, eh?
posted by grabbingsand on Apr 6, 2003 - 68 comments

Not Just Whistling Dixie

The neo-Confederacy movement is a potent force in the Republican Party in today's South, as Trent Lott's comments about Strom Thurmond demonstrate. Trent Lott has neo-Confederate ties, as does John Ashcroft who praised Jefferson Davis in an interview with the Southern Partisan magazine. Associated with the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, adherents of the neo-Confederate movement can even buy T-shirts gloating transforming the Republican Party into Abraham Lincoln's worst nightmare.
posted by jonp72 on Dec 15, 2002 - 71 comments

The Confederate Submarine HL Hunley

The Confederate Submarine HL Hunley and some background on the controversy surrounding its discovery. Turns out it was not discovered in 1995 as originally thought, but in 1970 by Dr. Lee Spence.
posted by ebarker on Oct 16, 2001 - 2 comments

Mississippi Reaps What it Sews?

Mississippi Reaps What it Sews? Mississippi votes overwhelmingly to keep the Confederate flag as part of the state flag design. Is this democracy in action? This type of issue is usually decided by a state legislature. I understand the idea of heritage but surely there are ways to preserve it without having a banner on every corner widely seen as a symbol of slavery and racism. Even if you don't view the Southern cross as representing this, why hurt the people who do? The Nazi's built their power on the nationalistic idea of German "pride and heritage", but you don't see swastika flags flying today over Berlin. Does anyone think there should be an economic boycott of the State, like the one that was effective in getting North Carolina to remove the confederate symbol from its capital building? (Public buildings here in Texas now display the official Confederate State's flag when flying our "six flags" - not the Southern cross which was actually a battle flag.)
posted by sixdifferentways on Apr 18, 2001 - 41 comments

.... AWAY, AWAY

.... AWAY, AWAY - site for what looks like an interesting film on the Confederate flag debate. Be sure to check out the video clip.
posted by subpixel on Mar 8, 2001 - 4 comments

Georgia approves a new state flag,

Georgia approves a new state flag, which should displease just about everyone (historians, civil rights leaders, residents that call it "the war of northern aggression"). It looks like design-by-committee, in which everyone compromises to the point of utter pointlessness. It's certainly hideous, redesign contest anyone?
posted by mathowie on Jan 30, 2001 - 47 comments

Norton's a racist.

Norton's a racist. So now if you even mention the Confederacy in a less than evil light, you're a racist. I am really sick of people using the charge of racism to oppose those with other viewpoints. (More inside)
posted by CRS on Jan 11, 2001 - 50 comments

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