What if the southern lose was not so bitter

It took me some time to realise that most of those who are interested in the ACW are supporting the south. It seems the civil war exists in the southern memory and daily life much more than it does in the north. I was wondering why that is so and what if the war didn't carry such a heavy price for the south in human lives, economics,destruction and even vengence of the union, what if the union would have been wise enough to help the south rehabilitate after the war. Do you think the sentiment and memories would have been differet?

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blueshawk1 avatar
2 months ago #2
blueshawk1
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Jade, I'm guessing that first sentence came out wrong, or was incomplete, because you wrote "most of those who are interested in the ACW are supporting the south", which may be true in this forum, but not generally speaking. I could name another forum, one which is quite active, where you would not want to go if you support the south. Their general collective attitude seems to be the south was wrong, southerners were traitors, and totally deserve any and all devastation and hardships they suffered during and after the war.

But getting to the question your post poses, we of course can never truly know the answer to that question, but I am inclined to think it might have softened the resentment not completely, but to some degree. Although any of that might have gone completely out the window now that the south is under attack once again.
There would naturally still be the resentment one side that loses a war would harbor towards the other side that won, but if that's all there was to it, that might have dissipated and faded with time and generations, but that wasn't all there was to it.
Besides the total devastation that madmen like Sherman enjoyed engaging in, after it was all over, not only did the federal government not help rebuild, but continued to keep their boot on the neck of the southerners and twisting it. Then it becomes more than just about losing the war, then it becomes personal.

jade avatar
2 months ago #3
jade
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That is what I thought. It seems that most the resentment and a lot of the sentiment about the old south is because the union didn't allow it to be and therefor it seems it is always a kind of a dreamland for southerners.
I believe I wrote it right because this was my impression. I guess I spend more time here than anywhere else but still, it seems most films and stories are either the Afro American story or the Southern story. I guess it is expected because stories about the victims are much more interesting than about the rich and prosperous brother who won the war.

Taylor avatar
2 months ago #4
Taylor
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Jade:

"What if the union would have been wise enough to help the south rehabilitate after the war. Do you think the sentiment and memories would have been differet?"

Therein lies the problem - the lack of Northern vision with respect to the post war South. The 'climate' was merely shifted from the battlefield to the political arena. To have their country invaded, and then 'reconstructed,' spawned additional Northern corruption and the likes of carpetbaggers etc. who took further advantage of a crippled South. The South was brought to her knees and instead of being allowed to leave a government that no longer suited their needs, they were beaten into submission, economically devastated, and politically subjugated. And if that wasn't enough, Southern people were then forced to swear loyalty oaths to those who had just conquered them.

Confederate soldiers returned home to find their homes/farms in ruins, transportation (railroads) demolished, families wiped out, women raped, and the economy destroyed.

Along without the above, there was no responsible plan to assimilate four million black people into American society, so 'reconstruction' was bound to fail. I think if the Federal government had been more transparent and accountable, perhaps there would be less residual anger/resentment felt by many Southerners today; but to now have the pc crowd attempt to eradicate every symbol honouring the Confederacy and what it stood for; is at the very least, another slap in the face.

blueshawk1 avatar
2 months ago #5
blueshawk1
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they were beaten into submission, economically devastated, and politically subjugated.

And it became even more evident after the war, this quote, to me, gives an idea of how badly they felt the result;
"Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me. Had I foreseen the results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox, with my brave men, my sword in my right hand."
Robert E Lee peaking to Governor Fletcher S Stockdale of Texas, in September of 1870.

now have the pc crowd attempt to eradicate every symbol honoring the Confederacy and what it stood for; is at the very least, another slap in the face.

And while in their attempt to eradicate the Confederacy, while removing many of the symbols, they are only serving to build and strengthen the resentment, and not only of southerners.

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