Civil War

Download Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and by David Goldfield PDF

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By David Goldfield

Rookies to the South frequently comment that southerners, not less than white southerners, are nonetheless combating the Civil War-a unusual preoccupation given that the struggle officially ended a couple of hundred and thirty-five years in the past and less than a 3rd of southerners at the present time can declare an ancestor who really fought within the clash. yet no matter if the battle is much got rid of either in time and family tree, it survives within the hearts of some of the region's citizens and infrequently in nationwide newspaper headlines pertaining to conflict flags, racial justice, and non secular conflicts. during this sweeping narrative of the South from the Civil warfare to the current, famous historian David Goldfield contemplates the roots of southern reminiscence and explains how this reminiscence has formed the trendy South either for solid and sick.

He candidly discusses how and why white southern males formed the myths of the misplaced reason and the Redemption out of the Civil struggle and Reconstruction and the way they formed a faith to canonize the heroes and reify the occasions of these fated years. Goldfield additionally recounts how blacks and white ladies finally crafted a unique, extra inclusive model of southern heritage and the way that new imaginative and prescient has competed with extra conventional views.

As Goldfield indicates, the conflict for southern historical past, and for the South, continues-in museums, public areas, books, country legislatures, and the minds of southerners. Given the region's becoming fiscal strength and political impact, the end result of this conflict is greater than a historian's preoccupation: it's of nationwide significance. Integrating background and reminiscence, faith, race, and gender, nonetheless scuffling with the Civil warfare can assist rookies, longtime citizens, and curious outsiders alike reach a greater realizing of the South and every different.

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Extra resources for Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History

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35 The irony was that this tradition was a recent construct, scarcely out of the cradle when General Archibald came home from the war; it was no real tradition at all but rather a manufactured history woven from wishes, lies, and necessity and passed off as gospel. Those who dared to break the spell, or merely to question it, suffered. Newspaper editors, preachers, teachers, or anyone who voiced dissent found that his business mysteriously dropped off, or her neighbors grew cold, or he suddenly became expendable at the bank or the school.

Union armies had destroyed two-thirds of the South’s assessed wealth, two-fifths of the livestock, and one-quarter of the white men between the ages of twenty and forty. The invasion ruined half the South’s farm machinery, destroyed many of its railroads, and shattered its industry. Northern wealth rose by 50 percent between 1860 and 1870; southern wealth declined by 60 percent. 8 When the young Confederate soldiers—many were boys, really—hobbled home, some broken, a few relieved, many with a sense of ruined dreams and lives askew, they came to a familiar place, a homestead, a town; but the time was unfamiliar.

Neither Avirett’s memoir nor Dixon’s stories should be dismissed as the idle musings of reactionaries. The forward-looking publicity agents for a New South of great cities, industries, and commerce also paid homage to a sanitized Old South. This was not merely lip service to calm the doubts of 22 Still Fighting the Civil War those who feared the impact Yankee-style economic development on their traditional way of life. New South boosters avidly made the connection between their programs and their foundation in the Old South.

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