Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Keeping Politics Out of History - Yeah, It's a Little Too Late For That

The history of the American Civil War hasn't changed very much at all in Europe. It continues to be one of ambiguity, balance, and, if anything, a slight tilting to the South. Compare this to America in which the analysis of the conflict (not to mention, Reconstruction) has changed from one of complexity and nuance to an almost 1970s wrestling style paradigm in which slavery isn't just one of the factors but the overriding factor and the South is consistently portrayed as the bad guy. My theory is that as the academies became more and more infested with Marxist and progressive professors, so, too, the story-line (more and more one of the government as savior with the enlightened North dragging the recalcitrant and Neanderthalish South into modernity). Thankfully, we still have a lot of the more vintage analysis available (Dunning, Coulter, Corwin, Bowers, etc.) and a spate of revisionists who haven't completely guzzled the Kool-Aide yet.

4 comments:

dmarks said...

If you want politics driving history accounts, you need look no further than Howard Zinn.

Rational Nation USA said...

Irrespective of the real and oft discounted reasons for the War Between the States it remains a net positive that one of the most reprehensible and immoral practices ultimately came to and end.

It is unfortunate that the practice of treating the Negro race like sub human beings continued well into the 20th century.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Zinn is a perfect example, dmarks, a PERFECT example.............Les, even Tom DiLorenzo admits that "the one unequivocal good that came of Lincoln's war was the abolition of slavery." But he also goes on to say (quite correctly, in my estimation) that it was easily the worst and most divisive emancipation in all of human history (the cost in blood and treasure, the fact that Reconstruction completely eviscerated any possible healing between the races, etc.). The fact of the matter here is that literally every other country on the planet (save for Haiti and including the British empire) was able to get rid of slavery without a war and the fact that Lincoln never even attempted this strategy is a damning indictment indeed.

Rational Nation USA said...

Acknowledged and agree.