The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865, killing close to 6300,000 men and wounding  400,000 more. Countless homes were destroyed, lives and families ruined, cities devastated, and the social structure of the South dramatically altered. Not to brag, but we Americans know how to party.

"That was AWESOME! Let's shoot Ted out of the cannon next."

 This conflict did have long reaching effects that lasted for decades, most of them not good. Politically, the nation was still divided, and assassinating the president never really helps anyone except the undertaker, and the newspaper man, and the vice president, and…okay it helped a few people, but they don’t count in the grand scheme o’ things. Let us not forget the plight, segregation, and degradation of an entire race of people a century after the end of the war.

Not to mention the sterotypes they must combat against.

 The thing that gets to me the most is that people claim the American Civil War was not fought over slavery. The argument is that the Conferderacy was formed and fought for a way of life (to own slaves), to protect states’ rights (that owned slaves) and to stand in defiance of the federal government (when they didn’t want you to have slaves). There really isn’t any middle ground on this, or room for grey area. Either you’re for enslaving an entire race of people or against it. It’s pretty much black and white.

                                                                                                                                                              

What bothers me is how each side is portrayed in this conflict. Unlike the rest of the world, we Americans tend to view conflicts in terms of “good-guy”/”bad-guy”. The rest of the world tends to view things in a more practical sense. For example, at the beginning of World War II, Americans didn’t like the Germans because they were being oppressive to their conquered peoples. Great Britain didn’t like Germany simply because they were becoming too powerful on the continent and upsetting the balance of power.

Because Britain has a long tradition of caring for its conquered peoples...or colonies. Whatever.

So why is it that America views the Confederacy with a kind of admiration? We view the colonists as saintly and the British as evil overlords during the American Revolution, even though we weren’t really justified in our rebellion. We tend to view the Southern rebels as a sort of American spirit, led by gentlemen, followed by honest, noble county-boys.

With the 150th anniversary of the start of the war behind us, it seemed that everyone wanted to weigh in on the Civil War. The descendents of Confederates, people who are in the same state the Confederates were, and the descendents of slaves. The white people remembered it as a time their great-grandfathers fought for honor, statehood, and their homes. Black people remembered it as when their ancestors were no longer  dragged around in chains having their asses whipped to pulp.

People who have the Confederate flag on their trucks seem to not remember how all these little houses got all over the South.

The point of the matter that I’m trying to get at is is that history is there for us to learn from, not change so we as a nation can feel good about ourselves. The Civil War was fought for America’s soul…and to keep America’s penis as part of the Union (yep, that’s you Florida).  We need to remember that although the war was fought at the start to keep the Union together, it started over slavery and became the war to end it. If you think I’ll trying to fuel flames here or am trying to portray the South as delisional, I’m not. They are doing it all on their own. The main example I point to is the name the South refers to the Civil War. The Civil War is what it’s called in the north. The south calls it “The War Between the States” and “The War of Northern Aggression.”

"Look how agressive they are in that Fort Sumter. Get every gun known to God and blow it up."

 Obviously this entry will solve nothing: Northerners will eat at IHOP and Southerners will eat at the Waffle House. That, and the memories of the Civil War will always be biased. At least we can rest knowing that today we are united as a nation…

Oy...

        Leave a comment folks. More entries to come.

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