About our Nation's history, I copied this from another forum.

P304X4

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When it comes specifically to Confederate statues, we are dealing with a current reassessment of a past reassessment of what was the history of the period.

Most of the Confederate statues that were found throughout the states of the former CSA in front of every county courthouse and state capitol were monuments to soldiers and, occasionally, to the women who endured wartime and post-war conditions without those men or with only mangled versions of them. Many of the generic soldier monuments (they were mass-produced in the 1890s to meet demand) have an inscription on the front about soldiers and one on the back about women.
Notable figures of the CSA (Jeff Davis and well-known generals in particular) sometimes had statues in the state capitols of their home states as well as in their home towns, but were vastly outnumbered by generic soldier statues.

There were three concurrent reasons why those statues went up when they did. First, there was the matter of unmarked graves. Whichever army retreated away from a battlefield typically had their dead soldiers either left to the buzzards or tossed into unmarked mass graves. The CSA lost most of the major battles, especially those that produced the most casualties, and even though most of those battles were within the CSA, most of the troops dying in most of them were not from the local area or were even from out of state. Due to the lack of a transportation system analogous to the USA, soldiers who died in CSA hospitals were typically buried on site instead of shipping bodies home, and the destruction of records in state capitols at the end of the war and afterwards meant that the memory of burial locations went by the wayside (the undestroyed state archives of South Carolina seized by occupation forces in the summer of 1865 were not returned until the Jimmy Carter presidency). The combination of those factors resulted in a very large number of southern families who, even if they knew what had happened to a family member, had no idea of where they were buried. Those soldier monuments acted as the gravestones for soldiers who never came home. While nearly all of the Confederate politicians and some of the high ranking Confederate officers were slaveholders obsessed with preserving slavery, neither of those characteristics were true of most of the rank and file soldiers, so those who saw the monuments as gravestones tended to see no connection between the monuments and slavery or civil rights issues.

The second reason those monuments were erected involved political symbolism. The Democratic Party spent the early 1860s as the government of the CSA, the late 1860s as persecuted criminals, the early 1870s as the KKK and equivalent paramilitary insurgent organizations (Red Shirts, White Rose, etc.) opposing northern occupation troops, and the late 1870s as the political opposition to the groups who had gained power during Reconstruction (Republicans, black people, bankers, railroad holding companies, carpetbaggers, etc.). In the 1880s the Democrats promoted the New South model, in which political power was exclusively in the hands of white Democrats, black people who worked their way out of sharecropping would be allowed to own small farms and small businesses, and white investors would be encouraged to pursue industrialization. In the 1890s there was a backlash within the Democratic Party against what was seen as too much liberalization in the 1880s, resulting in the Jim Crow laws, enforced segregation, suppression of black voting rights, and a renewed push to reduce black people to a status as close as possible to slavery. The 1890s erection of most of the Confederate monuments outside courthouses and capitols was an in-your-face statement that the south had been returned to one-party rule by the same Democrats who defended slavery, and that black people and anyone sympathetic to them must accept that situation. In that regard, the monuments were a blatantly anti-civil rights message.

The third reason those monuments went up when they did was as a function of human lifespans. By the 1890s, most of the high ranking politicians and generals of the CSA were dead and gone or on the verge of that. The bulk of the soldiers had become old men. With most of the fire-breathing pro-slavery voices from the war gone, and most of the soldiers made up of poor people who (regardless of their racial attitudes) had never been able to afford a single slave, it was easier for northern and southern soldiers to meet for happy reunions at old battlefields. Much as veterans of other wars since have, several decades after the fighting ended, gone on nostalgic trips to Vietnam or Korea or wherever, the improved transportation systems and media of the 1890s made trips to reunions both possible and popular. There was a push to commemorate the deeds of northern and southern soldiers before they all dropped dead, similar to the later push to build the WW2 monument before all those veterans died.

The complicated part is that there was significant overlap between the three different groups of people who wanted the monuments built. That overlap was primarily found in southern women. The southern soldiers were much more willing than southern women to compartmentalize aspects of the war, to separate the slavery issue from the war, to separate the government from the soldiers, and to see the northern soldiers as just men like themselves following orders and defending their homes. Just as "waving the bloody shirt" was an effective northern political tactic (Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison & McKinley were all northern officers in the war), southern women were the true keepers of the "lost cause" mythology and actively shamed men publicly whom they perceived as too willing to compromise with or accommodate northerners and northern ideas, including both civil rights and industrialization. That was a major transformation from the antebellum era, when women generally played little public role in southern politics and were seldom vocal about "men's issues" like commerce in a society as segregated by gender as it was by race. The psychology behind the actions of post-war southern women was widely studied because it was so new and controversial; the first true blossoming of women as active participants in American politics happened out west in the late 1800s, mostly among women who migrated from the south during that time frame. The most common conclusion, accurate or not, was that southern women were most likely to face rape, robbery, extortion, arson and murder as their homes were conquered by northerners and looted by occupation forces; likewise, they blamed their losses of lives, homes and possessions on faceless northern strangers and generalized a hatred for all things northern. The fundraising drives to purchase and install the monuments were typically done by women who then shamed the men into going along. The influence of those grudge-holding women lasted about another generation, which is why the 1920s is when the KKK had its largest membership and greatest activity among women who proudly marched in white robes with their faces uncovered.

The result is that Democrat politicians, their political opponents, and black people saw the monuments as political statements; former soldiers saw them as non-political remembrances; and southern women saw them as both as well as a reminder of the reason for their unending rage. As complex as the intentions of the people were who put those monuments up, it should come as no surprise that people today should argue over competing narratives of what those statues represent and whether they should be removed.

The most ironic thing about those statues is that they were erected by Democrats while Republicans disdained them as falling somewhere between sedition and bad taste. These days Democrats want the removal of statues they think should have never been erected while Republicans oppose rewriting history to appease people who constantly complain regardless of any compromise.
 



Limited Out

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All I have to do is recite our country's "Pledge of Allegiance" to get the necessary clarity on the issues of confederate flags and monuments. Real simple for me!!! It still rings as true today as it did when I was in the third grade. For the many that will disagree with me, suggestion, say the Pledge of Allegiance right now! It will take about fifteen seconds.
 

Common Sense

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How about some clarity on the issue of Latino's who fly the Mexican flag???????
 

Common Sense

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Is it okay to celebrate St. Patrick's Day or Cinco de Mayo?
 


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