Support for Southern Separatism

One of the characteristics of American politics in the North in the 1850s was the rivalry between the Republican party and the Know Nothing movement to position themselves as the prime opponent to the Democratic party.  Both movements agreed that Democrats supported a threat to values deemed important.  Republicans spoke of a “slave power conspiracy,” aided and abetted by Democrats such as Stephen Douglas, to promote the interests of slavery; Know Nothings warned of a “papal plot,” identifying the Democratic party as the party of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church, which they believed endangered American values (yes, Know Nothings pointed to the influx of immigrants from Ireland and Germany as a threat, but this was in part due to their religious affiliation: many prominent German Protestants, such as Carl Schurz, found their political home in the Republican party).

Lately a particular website has reminded me of this relationship and highlighted the ways in which people use claims about heritage to further political agendas.  The blog in question is called The Catholic Knight.  Several months ago this blog became very interested in the concept of southern independence.  As one post declared:

There are multiple peaceful secession movements across the United States, however the one I am particularly interested in is the American South (Dixieland).  The time has come for all of the sons and daughters of the South, and their descendants, who now live in other parts of the United States, to come home.  When the American empire crumbles, you don’t want to be caught in an area where the culture is not your own.  If you’re a Southerner by culture, then you know who you are.  You want to be in an area that is ready and eager to rebuild according to the Christian culture and values you hold dear.  Start getting your things in order.  It’s time to move back home.

If you’re neither a Southerner, nor descended from the South, but you share the values of the Southern people — Faith, Family and Christian Culture — then you may want to consider a relocation to the South (Dixie).  Catholicism is growing at a rapid rate in the South.  In fact, it’s the only part of the United States where dioceses are building parishes and schools instead of closing them down.  You will also be pleased to know that the Southern states of Dixie are still vigorously fighting gay-marriage, while many states in the North and West have given in to it.  My home state of Missouri has passed a constitutional amendment banning gay-marriage outright.  Many other Southern states have done the same.  This makes the South more hospitable to Catholic Charities while other states in the North and West are causing them to shut down.  Homeschooling is protected in the South as well, encouraging family-based traditional education.  Housing is very affordable and so is Catholic school tuition.  The only advice I would give you is this.  When you come to live here, leave your Northern and Western mentalities behind.  With a little help, you will assimilate into this region easily, and you’ll be glad you did. 

After all, statistics show that Catholicism is on the rise in the South.  The blog’s author has joined the League of the South.  As he explains:

I do confess to having a strong biological connection to Southern culture through my mother, both in Southern English, Irish and Scottish descent, as well as a strong Cherokee ancestry which is deeply connected to Southern history.  My ancestors on my mother’s side fought for Dixie in the War for Southern Independence (American Civil War).  None of them were slave owners.  (Contrary to what is taught in America’s public schools, the overwhelming vast majority of Confederates did not own slaves.)

Someone ought to fill him in on who advocated the removal of the Cherokee Nation.  But never mind.  Why?  As the blogger tells us:

If you want to learn the real history of the Civil War, and the real story behind the culture of the Old South, it should be told from the perspective of a man descended from Southern black slaves — a man who knows his history and isn’t afraid to tell it like it was. His name is H.K. Edgerton and his website is SOUTHERN HERITAGE 411.

I believe I’ve heard of this fellow.

That post also includes a heartwarming picture of Susan Hathaway, the head of the Virginia Flaggers movement.

Lest you think this is a popular democratic uprising of the people, however, you might be interested to know that The Catholic Knight believes that monarchy is the way to go.  And you should also know that the League of the South has opened its arms to this sort of thinking.

Make of this what you will … but here’s another case of someone using claims about so-called southern (read “Confederate”) “heritage” to justify a current political agenda.

At least John Surratt’s happy now.

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54 thoughts on “Support for Southern Separatism

  1. Michael lamb April 16, 2012 / 1:52 pm

    No need to post, but fyi, but do as you please, even ridicule me publically.

    While the political parties were bickering over picking the democrats bones their followers were burning copies of the US Constitution in the streets of many Northern cities and areas. The activist Northerners were livid at anything Southern. The question is; Do you know why? (It was more than just slavery, much more.)

    Nevermind that a large, if not a majority of the immigrants coming to the US in the 1840’s and 50’s were the “defeated” Marxists whose failed attempts at taking over European governments had forced many of them to flee to the US.
    (Maybe you should read the book, “Lincoln’s Marxists.” But wait, the authors are bigoted, biased and prejudiced…. Certainly their writtings carries no merits or truths because of such..)

    How many generals in Lincoln’s army can you name that immigrated here from Europe in the 1840’s and 50’s? How many politicians in the Northern States did likewise? How many politicians of such were working directly for Lincoln? How many were Republicans and how were Democrats, roughly speaking? Do you have a clue?

    For all intents and purposes the Republican Party by 1860 was composed largely of Marxists and ex-Whigs.(businessmen and those who actually supported Hamilton’s principles of aristocracy.) In short the Republican Party was the first socialist party in the US to gain substantial power.

    As for the Catholics; Do you now have something against them? Is your writting concerning the Catholics even remotely true in regards to the 1860’s time period? Is this the best you can do?

    Michael-Deo Vindicabamur

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 16, 2012 / 3:32 pm

      If you can’t post under your own name, then you won’t be able to post here. Why is an advocate of southern nationalism so cowardly?

      I think that when you assume bigotry that you project your own sentiments. Clearly you know nothing about nativism. Moreover, historians writing about nativism and Know Nothingism do not endorse the perspectives of those organizations. That you imply otherwise tells us that this is the best that you can do, and that isn’t very good … especially given your grasp of American history, which seems to be non-existent.

      That said … I don’t need to ridicule you publicly. That’s accomplished by approving your post.

      • andyk304 April 16, 2012 / 11:07 pm

        “… especially given your grasp of American history, which seems to be non-existent.”

        Well, Doc, I don’t think it’s his non-existent grasp of American history in particular, but- given Mr. Manning’s stab at European history in his comment- his non-existent grasp of history in general. That he believes that the Revolutions of 1848 were generally Marxist in nature (there’s a case to be made for that argument as it pertains to the uprisings in the Rhineland, but not elsewhere in Germany, or at all in France, Italy and the Empire) had me rolling on the floor.

        • Brooks D. Simpson April 17, 2012 / 12:17 am

          Teaching “Mike Lamb” anything about history, European or American, is akin to teaching a pig how to sing. He’ll have to display his ignorance elsewhere from now on.

  2. Connie Chastain April 16, 2012 / 2:03 pm

    Ah, so the self-appointed civil-war thought policeman has been jack-booting — I mean “tiptoeing” — through the Internet again, since his favorite target (my group) has gone closed.

    Perfesser, a great many people use history to justify a current political agenda.– including (and maybe especially) leftists and other enemies of Southern heritage. Why do you wish to make it a big deal when Southern heritage advocates sometimes do it but remain silent when others do?

    Actually, what the League embraces is disapproval of Obama’s advocating that the government force Catholic medical care providers to violate their faith, re: distributing birth control. Lots of people all over the country feel the same disapproval, not just League members.

    You say, “Someone ought to fill him in on who advocated the removal of the Cherokee Nation.”

    Are you saying *you know* he doesn’t know who advocated removal? How do you know? He probably does know, and it probably doesn’t change things for him any more than it does for me. I have ancestors on several of the feds’ Cherokee census rolls — The 1817 Emigration Roll; the 1835 Henderson Roll; the 1851 Siler Roll; the 1852 Chapman Roll; the 1883 Hester Roll; and the 1909 Guion Miller Roll, and perhaps others. My grandmother is listed on the last two named here. She received payment from the feds in compensation for some offense or other it committed against her and her Cherokee ancestors. Twenty dollars in gold. She bought a sewing machine with it. Her relatives and descendants all self-identify as Southerners. It’s a Southern thang. New Yawkers can’t understand.

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 16, 2012 / 3:37 pm

      Thanks for admitting that you fashion a version of southern heritage to fit your own political agenda.

      Your ignorance of Indian removal, something instigated in the case of the Cherokee first by white Georgians seeking to make money from a gold strike, is stunning but not surprising. So in this case you confess you know nothing about your own heritage. Let’s keep that in mind the next time you tell people about the need to defend southern heritage … because you can’t remember your own.

      • Robert Baker April 16, 2012 / 4:53 pm

        Also, last time I was in Cherokee, N.C. the put more of a emphasis of being Appalachian and less Southern.

      • John Foskett April 17, 2012 / 7:34 am

        Well, Connie is as confused about the Cherokee Removal as she isabout Confederate history. As you point out, the Cherokees were ultimately forced to leave as a result of the Georgia Gold Rush, which saw white Georgians grabbing Cherokee ancestral lands. So what’s the “Southern Heritage” here – that of the Cherokees who ended up in present-day Oklahoma or that of the folks who drove them out and who stayed home in Georgia? Ironically, the most vociferous opposition to the removal came from the North. Must be a case of “Northern Heritage”.
        .

        • Brooks D. Simpson April 17, 2012 / 9:12 am

          As we now see from this post, Connie may be even more confused. She seeks heritage fantasy as a refuge from historical reality.

  3. Charles Lovejoy April 16, 2012 / 3:25 pm

    Maybe these people leave out of the loop, I have never meet a person in the south or north that thinks modern day secession is a good idea or realistic.( Maybe an exception a drunk at a bar) Given the state of our present day econometric situation, the secession of a state or a region is not going to happen. People that believe otherwise live in a fantasy world.

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 16, 2012 / 3:38 pm

      Or they live on the internet. See how quickly they replied.

      • Charles Lovejoy April 16, 2012 / 4:12 pm

        Dr Simpson, as I had stated before ,most of this “modern day secession” is an internet phenomenon and not very well thought out. I have as deep of Confederate ancestral roots as anybody but the war is long over and we are at a much difern’t time in world history at present time. I don’t apply what my ancestors did a 150 years ago to my present day world view or philosophy. Just as I don’t apply what my father did in WWII to my present day world view or philosophy.

        • Charles Lovejoy April 16, 2012 / 4:21 pm

          As my father use to say, “The only reason I was in the United States Army Air Corps in WWII and not the Japanese military is”, I happened to be born in the United States and not Japan” . That would be true of most of us being around in 1860, it would have depended on where we were born and what culture we were raised in as to if we supported secession or union, slavery or non-slavery,

          • Brooks D. Simpson April 17, 2012 / 9:10 am

            I think it’s worth remembering that none of us were around in 1860. That is, unless Shirley MacLaine’s reading this blog.

        • Mark April 16, 2012 / 10:10 pm

          Not well thought out definitely, and I agree that it is the loud voices of a few confused people. What gets me is that it is like kidnapping your parents to escape a curfew. The states and their citizens have all manner of recourse to federal encroachments that they could exercise very, very, very far short of secession. And there is no chance in Hell there would be armed suppression of any such. The term “secession” is used here as a confused synonym for “pushback” against federal encroachment, but it is highly misguided no matter what one’s politics.

  4. Charles Lovejoy April 16, 2012 / 3:28 pm

    IMEHO, the LOS, the Tea Party, the Nation of Islam, even many native American activist ect ect all live in fantasy worlds

    • Mark April 17, 2012 / 11:49 am

      If you intended this to be a list of similars, you’re in a fantasy world too.

  5. Michael lamb April 16, 2012 / 8:14 pm

    Really; I have no grasp of history?
    You seem to overlook the fact that it was you who failed to answer and even post my last responses and questions to you from another thread. You simply ignored my statements and questions when you could not answer reflecting your actual beliefs and opinions. I wrote respectfully with no sarcasm, insults or flaming. You simply failed to respond when it was not favorable for you to do so. And I can repeatedly do the same thing to you, almost at will. You will simply ignore my posts and or ban me from posting when you can no longer defend your position in a positive way.

    The reason I can do this to do, as can any true history professor, is that I have no underlying motive for my actions except to bring forth the truth and let ALL the people judge for themselves on an equal basis as to what and whom is right and wrong. People can judge for themselves, right from wrong, without you leading them. (Just the facts please.)

    I do not need any crutches such as race cards or name calling as that is the Marxist ideology of how to appeal to people’s feelings instead of their reasoning. And how many times have we seen you in your posts “insinuate” or disparage others for their beliefs, most for simply trying to support their heritage, culture and way of life? But oh, I forgot, to you Southern heritage and culture only exists in the minds of those that are of lesser understanding, or who has some type of mental problem.

    If people ever gives our POV and and understanding of history an equal and fair share of their thoughts they would realize that what you teach and espouse is nothing but repackaged Marxism. They would understand that to be truly free one has to have the ability to walk away and leave.(Same applies to the States.) How many people do you think would marry if they knew they could never end their union?

    And the same can be said for this thought concerning a business contract. Let’s let the people decide if they would want to enter such a contract…..

    Pretend and claim you are a businessman/woman/nurse…whatever. Say, you and others were trying to make an agreement. There is this business venture that requires two or more people to sign a contract that they arrange between themselves. Near the end of the contract, it would read as follows:

    The undersigned do agree that we will forever stay in said contract with no recourse to ever withdraw. There are NO provisions for ever withdrawing from this contract and it is forever bound and too include ALL your children and heirs, including ALL of society that may be born within the territory of this contract when accepted.

    So, let me get something straight; You are going to sign away the inheritance(power of withdrawing) of not only yourself, but all your children and they will never have a say as to being released from that contract. No mater what happens to them, they MUST follow that contract or be classed as traitors and subject to the courts for punishment. That is EXACTLY what you are claiming Lincoln is claiming and saying the US Constitution is saying the same thing, and it does NOT! Besides that would be foolish to sign into a contract that you could never get out of…. Do you wish enslavement on everyone through the government and them not have a say?

    Remember: The States created the Federal Government. The Federal Government did not create the States in the beginning. Remember: The Federal Government “supposed” to be restricted from any actions EXCEPT those “SPECIFICALLY” granted it by the US Constitution.

    Or how can one claim freedom and sovereignty when they are stuck in a contract and can’t leave? Or stated, one can’t be free unless they can choose to leave…—-

    In reality it is you Mr Brooks and all your cohorts that are deceiving the public. You are teaching Marxist revisionism. In this process the central government has the only real power as Inalienable Rights are replaced by civil rights. ONLY a government that owns its’ people can grant civil rights Mr Brooks, as the government is claiming it is bestowing such rights among people. This would not be necessary if one simply followed and accepted Inalienable Rights. It also means the government has assumed ownership of the people by granting something it otherwise had not the power to grant. (Try reading up on this in the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. You know their works, “Das Capital”. Only 30 some volumns.) And this is what you are teaching the younger generation… how sad…

    In closing I ask you Mr Brooks, the same question that was asked of Mr Lincoln many years ago; “Why not let the South go in peace?” Why can’t you just leave it alone? Why must you feel you must play a part in forcing or helping people, forcing others to remain in something they do not wish? Is it because you have underlying motives? Money maybe? I don’t think it is money, but I do think it has to do with the deepest innermost philosophy that lies within you. You simply do not trust people to do the right things on their own, plus being a person of ego, you know there is greater power and more chance redistributing the equality of man as the area and population becomes greater. You simply want the US to be as large as possible so as to benefit the most people as possible with socialistic programs. And in order to do this you have to work very hard in training new people, young adults, in how to go about keeping the status quo. And one of the very most important things for this to remain true is that the truth about secession, the South, their heritage and culture can NEVER be allowed to flourish in the public without opposition, lest people mite actually begin to think for themselves and realize that they are actually slaves of the government today.

    Michael-Deo Vindicabamur

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 16, 2012 / 9:06 pm

      As I said, you have no grasp of history. You also have no guts, because you continue to post under this fake name. I gave you a chance to reveal your true self, but you didn’t accept the opportunity. Farewell to you and your nonsense (at which you excel).

    • Mark April 17, 2012 / 11:57 am

      >> Or how can one claim freedom and sovereignty when they are stuck in a contract and can’t leave? Or stated, one can’t be free unless they can choose to leave . . .

      This is actually a useful analogy. Because married persons have freely entered into a binding contract. The terms of the breakup are a legal matter because the state set the terms. Where is the secession clause in the constitution? Was that enumerated somewhere that I missed? What are the terms of dissolution of a union? They are arbitrated by force in cases of dispute. Even the Confederate Constitution didn’t allow for it.

      The South had a moral right to revolution, not a legal right. And they lost the revolution. There was no legal right to secession, nor could there be anywhere or anytime. Who would arbitrate the terms when sovereignty is in dispute? God? Wars are extra-legal by definition.

    • MikeD April 17, 2012 / 11:30 pm

      M. Lamb: “In closing I ask you Mr Brooks, the same question that was asked of Mr Lincoln many years ago; ‘Why not let the South go in peace’?”

      I would say that Mr. Lincoln’s questioner was being just a tad obtuse considering who it was that actually broke the peace.

  6. Patrick Young April 16, 2012 / 10:21 pm

    The catholic knight should understand that much of the growth by the Catholic Church in the South has been fueled by the influx of Latino immigrants. These modern incarnations of the 19th century Irish have met modern Know Nothings in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

    • Hunter Wallace April 17, 2012 / 5:00 am

      This is a poor analogy: Southern Democrats were generally supportive of Irish immigration. The Know-Nothings were based in the North, not the South.

      • Patrick Young April 17, 2012 / 7:58 pm

        Actually, the Know Nothing American Party was quite strong in places like New Orleans and received much higher vote totals in the South than in the North during the 1856 election. In any event, I was comparing the experience of Irish in America in the 1850s to that of Latinos in three states that have passed particularly heinous anti-Latino laws. The analogy was entirely apt if you read what the catholic knight wrote.

        • John Foskett April 18, 2012 / 8:01 am

          Patrick: I’d add that the irish Catholic population in the South was very much restricted to a few cities – Savannah and Charleston come to mind. The immigration in the late 1850’s and during the War, as we know, was almost entirely aimed at New York and certain other northern cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston. This was for a host of socilogical and cultural reasons. There was never any large emigration from Ireland to the South on a scale that would have remotely tested “support”..

  7. andyk304 April 17, 2012 / 12:44 am

    “I do confess to having a strong biological connection to Southern culture through my mother, both in Southern English, Irish and Scottish descent, as well as a strong Cherokee ancestry which is deeply connected to Southern history. My ancestors on my mother’s side fought for Dixie in the War for Southern Independence (American Civil War). None of them were slave owners. (Contrary to what is taught in America’s public schools, the overwhelming vast majority of Confederates did not own slaves.)”

    The more pesky nit in this paragraph, IMO, is at the end. There’s an easy explanation as to why non-slaveholders would support secession: Economic self-interest (they were part of an economy dependent upon the slaveholders), and a weighted vote (due to the Three-Fifths Clause of the Constitution) which made it easier to bring the bacon back home, to protect and indulge that economic self-interest.

    • Connie Chastain April 17, 2012 / 5:07 am

      While we know for certain, andyk304, that the textile mill owners of the north who grew rich having their wage-slave workers process Southern slave-grown cotton did so from absolutely ZERO economic self interest and were not part of an economy dependent on slaveholders.. They were totally philanthropic, right? Didn’t make a DIME off of it. And we know for certain that New England’s maritime interests who grew rich first shipping slaves to the New World and then shipping slave-grown cotton to Europe, did so from absolutely ZERO economic self interest were not part of an economy dependent on slaveholders.. Didn’t make a DIME off of it. They were totally philanthropic, right? Ditto the northern bankers who financed slaves and plantations and northern insurance companies who insured slaves — they were not part of an economy dependent on slaveholders and did it totally from philanthropic reasons, no economic self-interest in play there at all. Not one whit. Didn’t make one red cent off of it, right? Right?

      • John Foskett April 17, 2012 / 7:44 am

        This is pretty simple for anybody who can read for comprehension. Who was willing to go to war in order to protect and preserve the “institution”? “Confederate Heritage”.

      • khepera420 April 17, 2012 / 8:00 am

        No intelligent person says that economic entities in the north had no vested interest in slavery. That would be simply ridiculous.That’s another one of your talking-point straw men. In any case, it wasn’t the north who threw a hissy fit and started a war to perpetuate and expand it.

        I’ve seen you post, from time to time, selective entries from the WPA slave narratives; you take great delight in posting the ones that meet your “happy darky” criteria. I’ve done quite a lot of reading in that material myself, so the disingenuousness of yourself and others in cherry-picking quotes is transparent.

        In the context of your need to finger point at the north in defense of southern slaveholding, I recalled one of my own favorite quotes from the narratives: “Slavery was a bad thing, and freedom, of the kind we got, with nothing to live on, was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lying with his head pointing north, the other with his head pointing south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake called slavery lay with his head pointed south, and the snake they called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit the n****r, and they was both bad.”

      • Marc Ferguson April 17, 2012 / 8:07 am

        “the textile mill owners of the north who grew rich having their wage-slave workers”

        Connie’s analysis extends no deeper than to invoke the slaveowner’s own terms and accusations toward “Northerners,” in their/her attempts to blame the textile mill owners and bankers for the institution of slavery (which, as we all know, had nothing to do with the Civil War). 😉

        As the secessionists all argued in their secession documents, it was the tariff that was at the heart of secession:

        http://civilwarcauses.org/plat.htm

        • Mark April 17, 2012 / 9:42 pm

          Where does it say that about the tariff?

          • John Foskett April 18, 2012 / 8:11 am

            As your question implies Mark, it doesn’t. Even in the documents culled by the linked website there are references to concepts of “negro fanatacism”. The “Apostles of Disunion” compliation of correspondence and speeches shows that the tariff was at most an occasional stalking horse used by the secession commissioners for the real concern – “Black Republicanism”, protection of the South’s “institutions”, etc. It’s called “reading for comprehension”. Anybody who reads those documents and comes away with the spin Professor DiLorenzo has put out there is wearing blinders..

      • andyk304 April 17, 2012 / 11:29 am

        There’s nothing I can write here that hasn’t been written already in the replies from Marc, khepera and John, but for this: You’re attempt at historical misdirection doesn’t fool me.

        • andyk304 April 17, 2012 / 12:08 pm

          Uh…”your”. 😀

    • Mark April 17, 2012 / 12:03 pm

      True, but the honor culture in the South has been largely forgotten. Even aside from economics there were strong reasons for non-slaveholders to hang with the plantation owners. I’m not saying they were good or justifiable, but they make sense inside the honor mentality and stand apart from economics. It’s just that that way of thinking is so foreign to us, whereas economic understanding is very familiar. Even the Southerners for decades have acted as though it were a myth, perhaps because they don’t want their ancestors to be seen as so different and other. Today “honor” is most commonly associated with a Dad killing his daughter and the family members participating.

      • andyk304 April 17, 2012 / 1:07 pm

        Honor culture, huh?

        Please explain this in the context of the Southern Unionists of Appalachia. Did they not widely share the same culture- Scots and Scots-Irish- with the Confederates?

        • Mark April 17, 2012 / 9:31 pm

          Andy, cultural determinism isn’t any less fallacious than economic, regional, or familial determinism. You know it was common for families to be split on the issue, right? If family does’t determine one’s disposition on the war, how could one’s culture, region, or economic concerns? Your question has no force.

          Explanations of the causes for going to war are about those who do join the effort to make war, which obviously doesn’t include those that don’t. Those that did were highly motivated by the redress of perceived challenges to their honor, real or imagined.

          As far as honor culture, it was the way of the Old World. It wasn’t the South that was unique, it was that New England and the Midwest that had moved on from it. Thank heavens. Remember tar and feathering in Colonial times?

          • andyk304 April 18, 2012 / 2:55 am

            I’m not buying it, Mark.

            The culture of honor of which we’re speaking is itself rooted in economics- protecting your stuff from being stolen because there is no effective law or law enforcement.

            Now of course there were effective laws and law enforcement in the nation, and they were working quite well for the future Confederates right up until the time of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. At the federal level, they usually got favorable tariffs, they got the Fugitive Slave Act, they got the Dred Scott decision, they got the Federal government clearing out the Indians and fighting wars to expand into territory that was favorable to the slaveholders. At the state level, around different parts of the future Confederacy, they used the law to suppress abolitionist sentiment and the education of slaves. They benefited from the strength of the law…Until the massive waves of immigration threatened to undo the Three-Fifths Clause: All of a sudden, the law was weak, or so they- those who had benefited from the laws passed while Three-Fifths kept them powerful- seemed to have claimed.

            But it’s a weak argument, and involves no honor whatsoever on their end. The fact is that they were welching on a deal- the Constitution, amendment processes and all- which they claimed to support, even after seceding.

          • Mark April 18, 2012 / 8:30 am

            >> I’m not buying it, Mark. The culture of honor of which we’re speaking is itself rooted in economics- protecting your stuff from being stolen because there is no effective law or law enforcement.

            You’re leaning into economic determinism. I guess you’re not into Southern culture. Ever read Faulkner or any other Southern writer? I learned this from those born in the South who should know. It isn’t in dispute that the South was an honor culture. It is one of the most widely written about topic among Southern writers.

      • Khepera April 17, 2012 / 2:11 pm

        While so-called honor culture may explain some of it, there’s also the fact that just because someone was not a slaveholder didn’t mean that they didn’t aspire to that state. Lower classes in most societies long for the privileges of the upper class. In defending the way of life and culture built on slavery some were defending their own future prospects of “making it.”

        Of course, that doesn’t mean that was everyone’s reason for fighting. But just because one was neither a slaveholder nor aspired to be doesn’t mean that men didn’t go to war to defend slavery. Slavery was part and parcel of the culture and way of life. Woven into the fabric of the society. White men were still on top of the social heap regardless of their socioeconomic status. Not to mention the fact that most of those people were damned scared that freed, non-subdued blacks would kill them in their beds and rape their wives and daughters. It was in their best interests to preserve the slaveocracy.

        By the way, despite what the apologists say about slavery being low key and on its way out, there were items from local newspapers and broadsides at the time that give the lie to that. Like this one from the Richmond Daily Dispatch, dated November 1, 1860:

        “Owners of Slaves.
        –It appears from returns in possession of the Auditor of Public Accounts that there are at the present time, in Virginia, 53,456 slave owners over 24 years of age. This is about one-fourth of the entire portion of the population who have arrived at years of maturity. The statement refutes the oft-repeated assertion of the Northern journals that a comparatively small proportion of the inhabitants of Virginia are interested in the institution of slavery. The irrepressible conflict will find the Old Dominion ready to defend slavery, in which she is so materially concerned.”

        • Mark April 18, 2012 / 7:11 am

          >> Lower classes in most societies long for the privileges of the upper class. In defending the way of life and culture built on slavery some were defending their own future prospects of “making it.”

          Absolutely. Making it has many aspects, some economic and some not.

        • John Foskett April 18, 2012 / 8:21 am

          This is another great myth perpetrated by the “Southern/Confederate Heritage” crowd. Only X% of souherners owned slaves so protection of slavery wasn’t the driving factor. Recent studies have shown that a much larger percentage viewed preservation of slavery as an important objective than actually owned slaves themselves. I’ll leave to others the explanation[s] for this, but them’s the facts.

          • Mark April 18, 2012 / 8:44 am

            Great point. My only reason for introducing the “honor culture” was that though (as Khepera rightly pointed out) non-slaveowners may have aspired to be slaveowners since those were the one who had “made it,” upward mobility wasn’t as common as now and in any case many who had no prospects of ever “making it” fought for the protection of slavery nonetheless. For that demographic who did fight, we need to find non-economic reasons for their actions, whatever the percentage of them their were.

            Different groups had different reasons to supported the preservation of the old order, and they were mutually supporting culturally. There were several reasons for supporting the Confederacy, depending on who you were. It bound the rich and poor together in the fight. If that were not the case there would have been no war, or at least certainly not a long and protracted one.

          • Andy Hall April 18, 2012 / 10:36 am

            This is another great myth perpetrated by the “Southern/Confederate Heritage” crowd. Only X% of souherners owned slaves so protection of slavery wasn’t the driving factor.

            An online friend of mine once described that argument as “a small truth papering over a big lie.”

            No analogy is perfect, but it might be useful to look at a modern expensive capital investment, automobile ownership, as having some parallels. If you were to look only at the names that appear on car titles, you could argue that relatively few people own cars in the United States — very likely, a minority of adults. But that entirely ignores the degree to which we all are caught up in, and dependent on, access to privately-owned vehicles. One doesn’t to own a vehicle to derive direct and immediate benefit of one, nor do I hear many people who don’t own cars complaining that having good roads and low gas mileage are unimportant.

            That argument about X% of Confederate soldiers owning slaves is simply deflection, a way to assuage the listener that he or she needn’t worry that his or her ancestor had the slightest interest or involvement with the peculiar institution.

          • Mark April 18, 2012 / 8:17 pm

            >> “a small truth papering over a big lie.”

            That is the basic strategy. Deconstruction by parts. “What? That wouldn’t apply to group X. This wouldn’t apply to group Y.” And on and on. It leaves one wondering why did a large group of people go to war at all. Each group would have had differing reasons, but those reasons were not contradictory and even mutually enforcing. That’s why I brought in the “honor culture” issue. It is a part of it.

  8. Bob Pollock April 17, 2012 / 7:16 am

    Missouri is emphatically NOT a Southern state; particularly not in the sense being claimed by Michael or Tim or whoever he is. Despite their best efforts, secessionists were not able to carry Missouri out of the Union because most Missourians were deeply devoted to the United States. More than 100,000 Missourians served in blue uniforms. B. Gratz Brown, who like many Missourians had come to Missouri from Kentucky, and became a State legislator, a U.S. Senator, and later Governor, proclaimed in 1861:

    “Though slavery has tended to associate Missouri with the South, she owes no debt of gratitude to that section. She cannot be identified with the South either by geographical position or by natural association. Three fourths of Missouri’s exports go to northern seaports, and two thirds of her imports come from the North.”

    Then there is Julia Dent Grant, born in St. Louis and raised in a slave-holding household. When confronted during the war regarding her loyalties she was asked:

    “You are Southern, are you not?”

    “No,” she replied, ” I am from the West. Missouri is my home state.”

    • Khepera April 17, 2012 / 8:29 am

      I think Missouri is “the one that got away” for these folks. I live in Missouri and was at a public festival last October where there was a guy selling CBFs, tacky CBF-emblazoned novelties, and CBF variations. One of the variations had the confederate states outlined on it and included Missouri!

      I’m employed by an institution that, because of its nature, is quite involved with various elements of Missouri history. Currently, of course, we’ve a major emphasis on Civil War history in Missouri. Anyone who wants to include Missouri in either the south or the Confederacy needs to research some *real* history. I’d be more than happy to point them to a wealth of material, including primary source documents.

      • Bob Pollock April 17, 2012 / 9:03 am

        I also live in Missouri and am employed by an institution that is quite involved in Missouri and Civil War history. If nothing else, a quick look at a U.S. map will show, as Gratz Brown pointed out, that Missouri is not geographically in the “South.” I was born and raised in California and moved to Missouri in 2003. Funny thing: I had to move “North” to get here!

        • Khepera April 17, 2012 / 10:41 am

          I’m also a California transplant. By the way, I just realized who you are. I *very* much enjoy “Yesterday…and Today.”

        • John Foskett April 18, 2012 / 8:25 am

          Bob: That brings to mind the Mark Twain line about the little girl who learned that her family was moving from Nebraska to Missouri. According to Missourians, her reaction was “Good, by God, we’re moving to Missouri!” Nebraskans heard it differently: “Good bye, God, we’re moving to Missouri!”

      • Bob Pollock April 18, 2012 / 8:15 am

        Mark,

        Marshall’s book is excellent, but Kentucky’s experience doesn’t exactly mirror Missouri’s. Marshall herself wrote: ““Kentuckians charted a political path unique among border states. While Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri each had strong proslavery, antifederal factions, they all, for various reasons, came under Republican control by the end of the war. Even when the Democratic Party later revitalized in these states, Republicans had strong enough footholds to be an effective minority party.”

        • Mark April 18, 2012 / 6:11 pm

          I understand Kentucky’s experience wasn’t the same as Missouri. Given that I probably shouldn’t have brough it up.

  9. Buck Buchanan April 18, 2012 / 1:20 pm

    As a Catholic who has lived in the South since 1971, much of that in Georgia and Virginia, I would say the Catholic Knight is full of crap.

    The growth of Catholic populations in the South has more to do with the immigration of Latinos.

    I never heard the term mackerel snapper until I moved South. I have been told on many occasions that I am not a Christian because I am a Catholic. My Catholic church in Georgia was graffitied on a regular basis.

    This Catholic Knight is what is wrong with some members of my Church.

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