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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Is there hope for the Bible Belt?
Mere Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by Hiro's Leap: IIRC New Yorker moved to New York from one of the southern states.

Oh, ok.

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Mere Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
There are more important things and frankly the exaltation of regionalism and preoccupation with ancestor worship have been divisive forces in this federal union of 50 states; the celebration of the past has not helped advance social justice and harmony in the body politic.

"Exaltation" and "preoccupation" seem a bit of an overstatement, and castigation isn't very unifying, either. Celebration of the past is usually a good thing. It helps to inform us of who we are. Living in the past, though, is different.

--------------------
"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

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Leaf
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In the "Outliers" chapter I cited, the theme was cultural legacy. Surprise, surprise: we have different cultural legacies.

From my POV, the emphasis on "long, long memories", honour and its defense, attachment to place and importance of extended kinship networks, is not as important to me. But that of course is because my POV is shaped by a different cultural legacy. The motto of my ancestors would be more like, "Shut up, work hard, move on." No attachment to land or kinship is sentimentalized or fostered in this pragmatic approach. But this might seem alienating to someone raised in the context of a different cultural legacy.

To turn the US map sideways for a moment, compare these two mottos from Western and Eastern Canada: Multibus E Gentibus Vires
("From many peoples, strength") from Saskatchewan, and Je me souviens ("I remember") from Quebec. One emphasizes history, the other diversity. Being from the West, the one about diversity reflects my cultural legacy and the values of the people I see around me. If I were from Quebec, the other would feel more natural.

I was struck by something in Janine's post:
quote:
The only way to have it not matter at all is to not know or care about it at all. So far, cultural ignorance/illiteracy have not wiped our long, long memories -- and no TV or internet or other homogenizing factor has whitebreaded it away. (italics mine)

Cultural legacy + grief at unwanted change = "cultural ignorance/illiteracy". But cultural legacies do change. Before Christianity, my ancestors would have worshipped in sacred groves. No doubt a few centuries after the arrival of Christianity, people were still lamenting the change, but by now there seems to be no lingering fondness for oak groves. That cultural legacy has changed permanently. Note the words "grief" and "lament" -- they convey the emotional impact of change in cultural legacy.
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Seraphim
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quote:
Honour them but don't get so hung up on them.
That's part of the problem we really aren't allow/encouraged to honor them anymore.

When was the last time you saw a president on his inauguration send a wreath to the confederate memorial in Washington. That was done by every president for over 100 years, until it became unfashionable.

When was the last time you saw a southern state or city host a big celebration of Robert E. Lee's Birthday or Confederate Memorial day. They used to.

Consider how MLK day was mapped on top of many state holidays of confederate remembrance. His name was also used to erase any number of street names in municipalities all across the south that were once named for Confederate heroes.

When was the last time school teachers were even encouraged to decorate their classrooms in honor of Confederate memorials, but they will do it for MLK day in a trice.

Consider how the battle flag is under assault labeled as something hateful, a notch less offensive for many than a German Swastika, with which it is effectively equated.

When every public message that you get is that your whole heritage is evil and should be confined to a dark corner of a small museum in a thinly populated state, and you know that message is a lie, but no one can hear you...it tends motivate you to not get over it, because to get over it from the other perspective is to spit on your ancestors, to deny your roots, to surrender the narrative of your own history to those who hate you.

It time it may well prove to be a losing battle. What it will never be is surrender.

And that ongoing cultural battle of which the divide of the Civil War has huge symbolic importance to the region and people of the South today.

"Hope for the South" seems to have as a foundational premise that the South in all points is and has been wrong, deserves to be shamed, punished, and censured until such time as she hates her past as vigorously as her cultural enemies.

Hope for the south is not in forgetting, but in persisting and enlarging her remembrance.

What is hard to understand for those outside our culture is that the lost but still glorious cause of yesteryear, is for us second only to Golgatha in its effect. Forgetting it, breaking faith with our historical forebearers is not far removed from being asked to forget Jesus and the Christian faith. "The South shall Rise Again" was for a long time, and still is for a great many every bit as much a creedal statement as "I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come."

The form of that resurrection has been long debated, the hope of it has been longer cherished. If America ever crashes and burns as a nation, it will be out of places like the South that it will be reborn if it is to live at all.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
There are more important things and frankly the exaltation of regionalism and preoccupation with ancestor worship have been divisive forces in this federal union of 50 states; the celebration of the past has not helped advance social justice and harmony in the body politic.

"Exaltation" and "preoccupation" seem a bit of an overstatement, and castigation isn't very unifying, either. Celebration of the past is usually a good thing. It helps to inform us of who we are. Living in the past, though, is different.
"Celebration of the past" is not a good thing when it means glossing over corporate sin that needs to be acknowledged. I hear a lot of that in Southern preoccupation (yes, I think it's a fair word) with "celebrating their heritage". Of course, the same could be said of Northern denunciation of the South (i.e. failure to acknowledge our historic contributions to the sin of slavery and the oppression of the South).

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RuthW

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Seraphim, you're still talking as if all Southerners were white. How many of the black people in the South want to see the Confederate flag displayed? How many of them were unhappy about MLK Day becoming a national holiday?

And out of interest, what Confederate day of remembrance used to be held on the third Monday of January?

[ 08. May 2009, 22:46: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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Beeswax Altar
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I'm white and could care less about flying the stupid flag. I understand why people want to do it. It's just not particularly helpful.

I'm not sure why anybody would have a problem with an extra day off from work. It does bother me that MLK's feast day is sometimes treated like a major feast. Then, I have problems with Independence Day and Thanksgiving being treated as major feasts and they actually are.

[ 08. May 2009, 23:08: Message edited by: Matins ]

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:
When every public message that you get is that your whole heritage is evil and should be confined to a dark corner of a small museum in a thinly populated state, and you know that message is a lie, but no one can hear you...it tends motivate you to not get over it, because to get over it from the other perspective is to spit on your ancestors, to deny your roots, to surrender the narrative of your own history to those who hate you.

What I find intriguing is the insistence that the "whole heritage" of the South is confined to four years during the mid-nineteenth century. It's as if they insist that the South produced no historical persons of note outside that generation, no significant battles ever took place there other than in the Civil War, that its native sons never served in their nation's armed forces except during the Late Unpleasantness, that the South produced no great literary minds or musical geniuses or other artists which could constitute a "heritage" beyond those four years of warfare. In short, they assert that aside from four years of treason in defense of slavery nothing noteworthy ever happened in the southern United States.

Quite frankly, this view that the Confederacy is the only notable thing to come out of the American South is a harsher judgment on that region than anything her supposed critics on this thread have said so far.

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Seraphim
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Seraphim, you're still talking as if all Southerners were white. How many of the black people in the South want to see the Confederate flag displayed? How many of them were unhappy about MLK Day becoming a national holiday?

And out of interest, what Confederate day of remembrance used to be held on the third Monday of January?

They aren't but most of the ones who still honor the memory of the Confederacy are white. If they didn't do it who would?

With respect to the battle flag I don't know how many blacks support it, my guess is relatively few, though it should be noted that a recent public referendum to change or retain the Mississippi state flag, which has the battle flag in its canton won, and that could not have happened without at least some black support.

Nor are blacks unhappy with celebrations of MLK day, nor am I suggesting they should be. What I am suggesting is that his name/celebration is being used to erase /silence confederate memorials. That is not an accident. Any day could have been chosen for MLK day, but the day that was chosen was a date otherwise significant to many white southerners...but I guess our history, our narrative must be excised from the public square and public consciousness. There are no riots over it, but the intended slight is definitely noticed.

The day it was meant to replace was Robert E. Lee's Birthday, which was/is a state holiday in many southern states. And as your own post demonstrate, to even mention this is to invite censure. It is meant to make you choose between the Civil Right legacy or the Confederate legacy...but its a rigged game because if you chose the Confederate legacy then you are cast as a defacto racist or hatemonger or some such.

It would be nice if all the voices of tolerance and enlightenment might join in and celebrate with white southerners their confederate heritage, encourage blacks to celebrate it too because it is not just a white heritage and their ancestors often fought shoulder to shoulder with white confederate soldiers...the only one who remembers them anymore are white. Their own descendants aren't even aware of them, or if they are aware are shamed by the memory. Who know it might go a long way towards lowering some of the defenses and MLK day can be the kind of day of remembrance it should be and not a stick in the eye of white southerners

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Seraphim
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quote:
What I find intriguing is the insistence that the "whole heritage" of the South is confined to four years during the mid-nineteenth century. It's as if they insist that the South produced no historical persons of note outside that generation, no significant battles ever took place there other than in the Civil War, that its native sons never served in their nation's armed forces except during the Late Unpleasantness, that the South produced no great literary minds or musical geniuses or other artists which could constitute a "heritage" beyond those four years of warfare. In short, they assert that aside from four years of treason in defense of slavery nothing noteworthy ever happened in the southern United States.
You don't quite understand. No one that I know of is trying to erase or demonize our artistic or literary heritage. Those four years of our national heritage and what they meant and what they mean...that is trying to be demonized and erased. That is why it figures so prominently in discussions such as these.

We would be happy to leave it alone, not have to make so much of it...but outsiders won't leave us alone about it and keep wanting to take it from us, to demean and diminish it.

There was a lot more to Chirst's ministry than a few hours He spent on Golgatha....but those few hours loom very large in salvic history. Similarly our nation went to its golgatha in a sense during those 4 years, thus no matter how small they seem to outsiders, they are not small to us....they shape us and how think still. The Civil War and Christianity are the Warp and Woof of traditional southern culture. It is all interwoven.

Indeed the literature and music you say we should celebrate would not exist without those 4 years.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:

(responding to question re: how many Southern blacks honor the memory of the Confederacy):

They aren't but most of the ones who still honor the memory of the Confederacy are white. If they didn't do it who would?

Doesn't that perhaps tell you something?

[ 08. May 2009, 23:29: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:
[QUOTE]Nor are blacks unhappy with celebrations of MLK day, nor am I suggesting they should be. What I am suggesting is that his name/celebration is being used to erase /silence confederate memorials. That is not an accident. Any day could have been chosen for MLK day, but the day that was chosen was a date otherwise significant to many white southerners...but I guess our history, our narrative must be excised from the public square and public consciousness. There are no riots over it, but the intended slight is definitely noticed.

The day chosen for MLK day was not "any day" it was MLK's birthday, which is pretty much the norm for these sorts of celebrations. I hardly think MLK chose to be born that day so that one day he could grow up, be martyred, and trump your confederacy celebration.

Do you have any evidence to support your conspiracy theory that the date was chosen deliberately as an intentional slight?

[ 08. May 2009, 23:34: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:
[QUOTE] You don't quite understand. No one that I know of is trying to erase or demonize our artistic or literary heritage. Those four years of our national heritage and what they meant and what they mean...that is trying to be demonized and erased. That is why it figures so prominently in discussions such as these.

We would be happy to leave it alone, not have to make so much of it...but outsiders won't leave us alone about it and keep wanting to take it from us, to demean and diminish it.

Who are these "outsiders" and how exactly are they demeaning and diminishing your heritage? We have all seen the ways
contemporary Southern culture is wrongly stereotyped, demeaned and belittled-- but how exactly is Southern "heritage" demeaned? Who is "taking it away from you" and how exactly are they doing that?


quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:
[QUOTE]
There was a lot more to Chirst's ministry than a few hours He spent on Golgatha....but those few hours loom very large in salvic history. Similarly our nation went to its golgatha in a sense during those 4 years, thus no matter how small they seem to outsiders, they are not small to us....they shape us and how think still.

Wow. You really wanna go with that analogy, huh? It seems appropriate to you to make that comparison? Really?

Wow. Just... wow.


quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:
[QUOTE]
The Civil War and Christianity are the Warp and Woof of traditional southern culture. It is all interwoven.

Yes, it is. But not necessarily in a good way (for either side).


quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:
[QUOTE]
Indeed the literature and music you say we should celebrate would not exist without those 4 years.

You had no literature, no music, before those 4 years?

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:
When every public message that you get is that your whole heritage is evil and should be confined to a dark corner of a small museum in a thinly populated state . . .

quote:
Originally posted by Seraphim:
You don't quite understand. No one that I know of is trying to erase or demonize our artistic or literary heritage.

Possible conclusions:

1) Seraphim doesn't know the meaning of the word "whole".

2) Seraphim doesn't really consider artistic achievements to be "heritage".

And yes, I'm quite aware that without the Civil War Scott Joplin would likely not have composed much of anything or, if he had, we wouldn't know about it. It seems an odd way of "honoring" the Confederacy to regret that his compositions exist, but to each their own.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Janine

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Seraphim:
(responding to question re: how many Southern blacks honor the memory of the Confederacy)...

Prolly about as many whites as celebrate Juneteenth. There will be some. And there will be others who don't go out of their way to observe it, but who are glad that it is there to be observed.

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Crœsos
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Just so Seraphim doesn't feel like I'm piling on, I'm more than willing to help emphasize her heritage. Here's something from Seraphim's home state, sort of a "statement of principles" for her Golden Age:

quote:
A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery -- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

There. Honoring the Confederacy in its own chosen words!

[ 09. May 2009, 00:02: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
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quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras: There are more important things... the exaltation of regionalism and preoccupation with ancestor worship have been divisive forces... the celebration of the past has not helped advance social justice and harmony in the body politic.
"Exaltation" and "preoccupation" seem a bit of an overstatement, and castigation isn't very unifying, either. Celebration of the past is usually a good thing. It helps to inform us of who we are. Living in the past, though, is different.
Precisely.

I have never, ever touted "the good old days". They were never as "good" as anyone thinks they were.

But -- I live out, I support, I look for signs of, I proclaim, I enjoy, I spread about as much as possible, the taking-to-heart of the foundations and basic principles that made those good ol' days worth reminiscing about.

Like, the simple fellowship of the breaking of bread and singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with other Christians.

Such as, when possible, supporting a business, a merchant, a provider of a service, by patronizing them (in a good way! [Big Grin] ). If the owners and managers and workers are members of my immediate area, I want to deal with them when I can. Just like in the "good old days", when your butcher and baker and candlestick maker were your neighbors and pewmates.

Also, there's the basics of self-sufficiency. The ability to take care of your self, your family, your neighbor, if (-- when, God forbid, but ya got to think about the when --) everything falls apart and you no longer have any infrastructure around you. That surely counts as a harking-back to elder days, 'cause there ain't too many around me on a daily basis now, equipped with skills like that.

Would this nebulous thing I'm so awkwardly describing -- this foot firmly planted in the past, whether it be 100 or 200 or 2000 years ago -- could it be that this concept explains some of the difference between the B-i-b-l-e Belt and the Great Spare Tire?

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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The last several posts have been interesting and edifying. I just wanted to clarify a couple of minor points. Much much earlier in this thread someone (possibly RadicalWhig) had confused the Stars and Bars with the Confederate Battle Flag. To clarify for those who don't know better, the Stars and Bars is properly the official civil national flag of the CSA, combining a blue field with a circle of stars and "bars" of red and white. The battle flag was used strictly by the Confederate Army from 1863 onward, combining the Cross of St Andrew in which the stars for each of the member states is shown, surmounted against a red background. The battle flag was adopted due to confusion in battle of the Stars and Stripes with the Stars and Bars.

The Confederate Battle Flag, though most popular as a Southern symbol in the last 60 years, carries the most negative conotations of racism and rebellion against the federal government. By contrast, the Stars and Bars - the symbol of the civil authority of the CSA - has been a relatively benign symbol.

I'd just suggest that the Stars and Bars supplant the Battle Flag as a regional symbol of the South.

The recognition that Americans of African ancestry, first brought to these shores in bondage, fully built this country along with whites and are equals in the nation's history, has only just been brought to some fruition with the election of our current President of the United States (even though he doesn't personally fit that ancient heritage). Seeing African Americans in the South as Southerners in their own right was something advanced by MLK and even figures before him, but is a truth that should increasingly come into its own right over the next couple of decades. When both whites and blacks are equally seen as true "sons" of the South, then perhaps the legacy of the Civil War will have been largely redeemed.

The redemption of America has been and will be to hold and synthesise all these tensions within herself. Like the other great North American federation, Canada, the USA has been more successful than the UK or any nation-state in Europe in achieving a nationality that is based not on race or origin but on subscription to a national ideal and a shared mythos that transcends and ultimately abolishes the primacy of identity and prejudice that predate the New World. Among the further tasks of this reconciliation of North American identity is the assimiliation of the identity and ethos of the First Nations, the "Native Americans" who inhabited these lands before the coming of immigrants from abroad, into the national identity of those immigrant-descendent North Americans who arrived on these shores in the past 500 years.

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Bullfrog.

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Is it worth pointing out that the ***** Belt is a lot bigger than the old Confederacy?

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Yes, I think that's worth re-emphasising, though this thread seems to have got focussed on the Southern states very early on. It might be worthwile to look at the stylistic differences and nuances that differentiate ***** Belt Christianity in different bits of the country. Earlier on I related some aspects of the situation in the extremely ***** Belt Lubbock Texas which is very puritanical and conservative but not very Southern.
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
The last several posts have been interesting and edifying. I just wanted to clarify a couple of minor points. Much much earlier in this thread someone (possibly RadicalWhig) had confused the Stars and Bars with the Confederate Battle Flag. To clarify for those who don't know better, the Stars and Bars is properly the official civil national flag of the CSA, combining a blue field with a circle of stars and "bars" of red and white. The battle flag was used strictly by the Confederate Army from 1863 onward, combining the Cross of St Andrew in which the stars for each of the member states is shown, surmounted against a red background. The battle flag was adopted due to confusion in battle of the Stars and Stripes with the Stars and Bars.

As I mentioned earlier, the Confederate battle flag actually has two "extra" stars, symbolically representing the Confederacy's intention to wrest at least two non-secessionist states from the Union. The most common interpretation I've heard is that the represent Missouri and Kentucky. Campbellite insists that Maryland, not Missouri, is represented by the thirteenth star. Since the documentation on this is scant for obvious diplomatic reasons, the precise answer is largely unknowable, but the larger point of implied expansion by conquest is there in the stars.

You may be observing that the Union had a single, all purpose flag, so why did the Confederacy need two? The main driver for a battle flag separate from the national emblem was practical rather than symbolic. The Stars and Bars bears a superficial resemblance to Old Glory, especially on a battlefield full of noise, smoke, and general confusion. The main advantage of the Battle Flag is that it is almost impossible to mistake it for a Union standard.

quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
The Confederate Battle Flag, though most popular as a Southern symbol in the last 60 years, carries the most negative conotations of racism and rebellion against the federal government. By contrast, the Stars and Bars - the symbol of the civil authority of the CSA - has been a relatively benign symbol.

I'd just suggest that the Stars and Bars supplant the Battle Flag as a regional symbol of the South.

The main problem with this is that the Confederacy itself was institutionally dedicated to "racism and rebellion against the federal government", so any of its symbols would carry those connotations regardless. As I noted earlier, there is a lot more to Southern identity than the Confederacy so I'm not certain that a regional symbol must necessarily be adopted out of those four years. In fact, I'm not entirely sure a regional flag is entirely necessary. The Mountain West, the Great Plains, and the West Coast seem to get by fine without one. New England has one, but I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone flying it.

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
As I mentioned earlier, the Confederate battle flag actually has two "extra" stars, symbolically representing the Confederacy's intention to wrest at least two non-secessionist states from the Union.

As a point of clarification. The so-called "Confederate Battle Flag" was not used throughout the South. It was, in fact, the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. However, since about half of all battles in the War took place in Virginia, that was the flag associated with the whole of the Confederate armies.

My paternal grandfather's uncle, a corporal in the 30th Tennessee Infantry, Co. F, served under the Stars and Bars, as did my maternal great-grandfather, private, 28th Mississippi Cavalry, Co. F.
Southerners do not forget their history.

quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
The Confederate Battle Flag, though most popular as a Southern symbol in the last 60 years, carries the most negative conotations of racism and rebellion against the federal government. By contrast, the Stars and Bars - the symbol of the civil authority of the CSA - has been a relatively benign symbol.

I'd just suggest that the Stars and Bars supplant the Battle Flag as a regional symbol of the South.

Agreed!

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Well, I think it would be fine for the Deep South to do without a regional flag of any kind, but the Deep South does seem to have this particular identity as a region. This could be contrasted with Texas, where historical identity and nostalgia tend to look back instead to the ten years in which the state was an independent republic. It's only about the eastern 20% of Texas that even feels geographically a part of the South. Somewhat similarly Virginia, notwithstanding the number of Civil War battles fought there, has a state identity looking all the way back to colonial times that tends to dilute the regional identificaiton. The regional identity tied up with the Antebellum South, the CSA and with the mutual trauma of Reconstruction seems to be a matter of degree, with the strongest regional identity based in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Louisiana has a competing Cajun/Francophone cultural identity in the southern third of the state. Tennessee, much of which was occupied by Union troops early in the War (to the extent that the Emancipation Proclamation didn't apply to a large portion of the state that was in federal hands; same for southern Louisiana)seems oddly to have a rather strong regional identification. The Appalachian culture of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee forms a regional identity within a larger region (and slave-holding in the mountain areas was rare and small-scale since agriculture in these areas was carried out on a small scale -- hence the northwestern counties of Virginia not going along with the rest of the state at the time of secession). I suppose Arkansas must be up there in the secondary tier with Tenn and NC. I'd propose that in terms of regionalism Virginia brings up the rear, as the northern portion of the state especially is increasingly populated by people who've moved there from elsewhere and work in DC and it suburbs and because of the strong colonial and early federal period aspects of its history. Florida and Texas are culturally split and all over the map demographically.

Pointless pedantry perhaps, and I'm sure that others will take issue with this taxonomy. It is in any case informed by having lived in three of the states in question and having travelled a good deal in the others, save Florida (never been there).

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Actually, the Stars and Bars was the first civil national flag. A second version was adopted that placed a square version of the battle flag in the upper left corner of a plain white flag. That did not go over well so a third version was adopted that added a red bar in the fly. The Sons of Confederate Veterans uses this flag.

Read all about it here.

(When your country is being overrun by an aggressive imperialist despotic neighbor, why not fiddle by changing the flag around?)

(Just joking!)

I don't see any reason to have a regional flag for the South. If someone wants to fly the Battle Flag or the Stars and Bars or the Jolly Roger he or she is free to do so.

If the Klan waves the Battle Flag it roils my blood, but they have the right. They also have the right to wave Old Glory. And they do that a lot, too.

I have owned and do own several Confederate flags. (And a Union Jack and other oddities.) Do I fly them? No. Never have. I don't see the point. Although flying one out the window of my midtown Manhattan apartment does appeal to the naughty side or me!

I would prefer that the Southern States maintain regional holidays for Lee, Davis, etc., but I dare say that my generation is the last to feel that way. So maybe all this nostalgia for the Old South and the Lost Cause is dying out.

Finally, I don't think a large percentage of fundamentalist Christians who constitute the ***** Belt pay any attention to the nostalgia of the antebellum South although they do rant on about "states rights."

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Apropos of New Yorker: Texas still maintains a Confederate Heroes Day, but the only reason I know this after having lived so many years there is that I knew state employees who got the day counted as a flexible state holiday. I'm sure the Sons of the Confederacy or like groups held some observations for the day but those were pretty invisible.

I wasn't suggesting any official status for a Southern regional flag, just that the Stars and Bars would be preferable to the Battle Flag for those who feel a need to use a flag to proclaim their Southerness.

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Considering how divided the U.S. is now between hard-core laissez faire, states' rights conservatives in the South, the Border States and the Mountain States, and European-style Social Democrats in the Middle Atlantic States, New England, and the West Coast, do we really need a regional flag to accentuate those differences? Where might that eventually lead? Best not go there.

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+ Irl Gladfelter
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quote:
Originally posted by New Yorker:
I don't think a large percentage of fundamentalist Christians who constitute the ***** Belt pay any attention to the nostalgia of the antebellum South although they do rant on about "states rights."

In my experience, you are right.

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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But isn't the Battle Flag already doing duty as a regional flag in the South -- decals on rear windows of cars and pickem-up trucks, etc? I've already argued that regionalism can be seriously divisive; I was actually thinking of the Stars and Bars as a more benign substitute for the Battle Flag. However, maybe Texas exemplifies the way things are trending, though there are also historical reasons that the state's Southern identity wasn't so robust (no real military action there, though the state remained under reconstruction for a long time because wouldn't comply with federal conditions for readmission). Anyway, I think in my parents' generation there was still a sense of Texas being part of the Old South and having an identity with the Confederacy. But these days there's very little of that left, save perhaps in bits of the East Texas piney woods and amongst some fraternity twats at SMU and Baylor. The state has become much more hispanic demographically and culturally, and hence more Southwestern, and apart from that the Lost Cause has just sort of shot its wad there. I just think Texas may be ahead of the curve that other Southern states are possibly on.
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Truthfully, while honoring all the South's glorious dead, I am glad we lost the War.

OTOH, Reconstruction (so-called) only succeeded in exacerbating he divide and preventing reconciliation to happen between the regions. If you want to ponder alternate histories, what if Lincoln survived Ford's Theatre and his policies towards the South were carried out, rather than the draconian measures the Radical Republicans imposed on us?

Dollars to doughnuts there would never have been a Klan and ANV Battle Flags would be long since relegated to museums.

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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I realise this is a complete tangent, but Campbellite, do you think that Lincoln would have been able to maintain control of the congressional Republicans? Obviously they ate Andrew Johnson for lunch. I know it's conventional wisdom that Reconstruction wouldn't have been so harsh if Lincoln had not been killed, but should that be questioned in terms of the ascendency of the Radical Republicans and Lincoln's ability to control his own party in Congress?
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Of course this is all pure speculation. But Lincoln, while not especially popular during his lifetime, had actually led the North to victory, which means something politically. While the South, for the most part, hated him passionately*, they were shocked by his death, and knew that the loss of Lincoln was seriously Bad News™ for us.

Andrew Johnson was obnoxious and deeply disliked. His actions and attitudes only served to further inflame the Rad Reps. He went out of his way to annoy them. Lincoln would have been far more able to keep them in check.

I suspect that has he lived, Lincoln would have welcomed Lee and made peace with him. Lee was still held in the highest regard as a man of honor. Lee's support of Lincoln (and visa versa) would have made the reunification of the country far easier than it was.

*The South tends to do everything passionately

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+ Irl Gladfelter
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As I recall my History, didn't Lincoln have the opinion that there would never be a place for the freed African slaves in the U.S., and favor sending them, involuntarily, if necessary and using U.S. Naval vessels or federally chartered ships if necessary, back to Africa?

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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
I realise this is a complete tangent, but Campbellite, do you think that Lincoln would have been able to maintain control of the congressional Republicans? Obviously they ate Andrew Johnson for lunch. I know it's conventional wisdom that Reconstruction wouldn't have been so harsh if Lincoln had not been killed, but should that be questioned in terms of the ascendency of the Radical Republicans and Lincoln's ability to control his own party in Congress?

Yes.

And about the Confederate Battle Flag, arguably it has become less of a regional flag than a flag of racist elements and opposition to "creeping Socialism?"

Growing up in a strongly Southern / Confederate-oriented part of a Border State, where many are still "fighting the War of Northern Aggresion," what I always heard was that the "Stars and Bars" was the "national flag," while the Confederate Battle Flag was "a fightin' flag." (!) (sigh . . .)

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+ Irl Gladfelter
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I have also heard and read it argued by some historians that while slavery was certainly a major factor leading to the Civil War and kept the somewhat pacifist-tending New Englanders on board with the war effort, that once the Constitution went into effect among all the states without the ratification of the Southern States, the Civil War was inevitable. One theory.

(As usual, please excuse any typos in my posts. Proof reeding is not my long sooot, and the time allowed for edits is sometimes too short for me to catch and correct the typos.)

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+ Irl Gladfelter
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Incidentally, as a child, I was taught to stand at attention with my hand over my heart whenever any Confederate flag passed by in a parade.

(I have not done that as an adult.)

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+ Irl Gladfelter
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A friend who is a Southern Baptist Pastor explained the popularity of his "muscular" brand of Christianity by waying that it was "free-enterprise religion." One's salvation was between the individual and God on his own, with no intermediaries, and Southerners liked that.

The liturgical, sacramental denominations on the other hand, were "socialized religion" in which there were "big-government" denominations in which a "spiritual welfare program" - "cradle-to grave" was administered by the denomination's "big-government bureaucrats (priests/pastors who were priests in all but name. He felt people in the Northeast, on the West Coast and in parts of the Upper Midwest liked that.

The former focused on personal autonomy and independence, the latter on community, mutual responsibility and interdependence.

An over-simplification for sure, but an interesting one . . .

[ 09. May 2009, 15:07: Message edited by: + Irl Gladfelter ]

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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quote:
Originally posted by + Irl Gladfelter:
A friend who is a Southern Baptist Pastor explained the popularity of his "muscular" brand of Christianity by waying that it was "free-enterprise religion." One's salvation was between the individual and God on his own, with no intermediaries, and Southerners liked that.

The liturgical, sacramental denominations on the other hand, were "socialized religion" in which there were "big-government" denominations in which a "spiritual welfare program" - "cradle-to grave" was administered by the denomination's "big-government bureaucrats (priests/pastors who were priests in all but name. He felt people in the Northeast, on the West Coast and in parts of the Upper Midwest liked that.

The former focused on personal autonomy and independence, the latter on community, mutual responsibility and interdependence.

An over-simplification for sure, but an interesting one . . .

This sounds like late 20th Century revisionism to me, and quite frankly as bullshit. I don't think the origins of anabaptism in the ***** Belt can be traced - in some perversely Marxian fashion - to an ideology of laissez faire capitalism. Indeed, if anything, this would dictate that anabaptism should be the preferred religion historically of the industrial, non-***** Belt North. It just isn't the case.

[ 09. May 2009, 15:17: Message edited by: Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras ]

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Dumpling Jeff
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I'm not sure that was Lincoln's idea Irl, but the plan we did adopt was pretty bad too. Instead of moving freed slaves (who never did fit in BTW) we simply sent carpetbaggers to loot the south and take advantage of the slaves, their former masters, and the majority of southerners who weren't slave owners.

It wasn't until we needed their great grand children's help in WWII that things began to improve for the former slaves. I'm not sure there is a good solution to helping free those in bondage. Freedom has many duties as well as benefits. Former prison inmates often commit crimes just so they'll be sent back.

I spent some time in a juvenile facility as a teen and I still miss the sense of security it gave. It goes beyond not having to worry about my next meal. I also didn't have to worry about making bad choices about -- well almost anything. I learned to be dependent and I feel even that short stay (about a year) was crippling for me as a free person.

Sending the slaves back to Africa would have been cruel. Without extensive (and expensive) support it would have been a death sentence for most. But leaving them as we did turned out to be a sentence to generations of sharecropper enslavement.

Given that crooks were in charge of congress and the money, I don't think there was a good solution. I also doubt Lincoln would have made a big difference in quality of outcome, though the form might have been different. He wasn't the best loved man until after he died. Living heros are so undependable.

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+ Irl Gladfelter
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:This sounds like late 20th Century revisionism to me, and quite frankly as bullshit. I don't think the origins of anabaptism in the ***** Belt can be traced - in some perversely Marxian fashion - to an ideology of laissez faire capitalism. Indeed, if anything, this would dictate that anabaptism should be the preferred religion historically of the industrial, non-***** Belt North. It just isn't the case. [/QB]
I didn't say I believed this. I agree with you. But the point is that there are those in a major Evangelical denomination which are putting that out and tying their brand of the Faith to politics and economics, which is not good.

Incidentally, historically, most American Baptists did not come out of the European Radical (Anabaptist) Reformation. They are an ofshoot of the New England separatist Puritans. They ended up with similar positions but got there by a different route.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by DmplnJeff:
Living heros are so undependable.

One of the relatively few times I totally agree with DmplnJeff

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Bishop, I didn't mean to imply you bought this Southern Baptist story, just that it impresses me as a form of historical revisionism that probably wouldn't have been offered as a theory prior to the Reagan years. Interesting about American Baptists -- but did you mean Baptists living in the USA or the denomination called American (aka Northern) Baptist?
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by + Irl Gladfelter:
As I recall my History, didn't Lincoln have the opinion that there would never be a place for the freed African slaves in the U.S., and favor sending them, involuntarily, if necessary and using U.S. Naval vessels or federally chartered ships if necessary, back to Africa?

No, you do not recall correctly. He certainly didn't advocate anything like that during his presidency.

quote:
Originally posted by + Irl Gladfelter:
I have also heard and read it argued by some historians that while slavery was certainly a major factor leading to the Civil War and kept the somewhat pacifist-tending New Englanders on board with the war effort, that once the Constitution went into effect among all the states without the ratification of the Southern States, the Civil War was inevitable. One theory.

Also incorrect. When the Constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788 Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina had all ratified it. Virginia finished its debate and ratified four days later on June 25, possibly before news from New Hampshire had reached them of that state's ratification. That left New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island as the only non-ratifiers left, and since only one of those is a "Southern" state, I think that pretty soundly demolishes your thesis. Finally, since Article VII of the new Constitution clearly spelled out that it only had authority over the states that ratified it, it certainly didn't go "into effect among all the states without the ratification of" any state.

Honestly, where did you learn history?

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Lyda*Rose

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You know, for a good perspective of the plight of the former slaves, you might read Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters First Hundred Years. It is their autobiography as daughters of a former slave. Those African American families who had the advantage of some education (usually "house slaves" and freedmen) often felt it was a responsibility for them to do right by their less fortunate brethren. The state of a good number of former slaves, often "field slaves" who had been almost totally isolated from much experience of society at large with all its ins and outs, was a particularly tough one. While they prized their freedom and made use of it, they were often in culture shock. The young Delanys could still see the after shocks of this first hand.

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Listen, I attended 8th grade in Monroe, Louisiana where I still recall the text for Louisiana state history that year proclaiming that during Reconstruction "organizations such as the Knights of the White Camelia and the Ku Klux Klan did much good until they fell under the influence of vengeful leaders".

There is some Piss Poor history taught in various places in America.

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quote:
What is hard to understand for those outside our culture is that the lost but still glorious cause of yesteryear, is for us second only to Golgatha in its effect...
For Christ's sake (literally) -- are you serious?

Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm the one with the odd idea that history is larger than our own provincial histories and goes in a forward, not a backward, trajectory.

Maybe instead of living into the future I should be sitting here reliving the 30 Years' War over and over and over and over and over again.

[Killing me]

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Actually, after the Barnes flag debacle in Georgia, I am actually rather pleased with their new state flag. It simply replaces the Battle Flag with the Stars and Bars. Looking at it proudly waving one can almost imagine a different outcome after the Late Unpleasantness! I tend to see the Battle Flag in many strange places. I have already alluded to Ohio. I've seen it in shops in Toronto. I've seen it in Germany and France of all places. I don't necessarily think its symbolism is restricted to racial oppression. I think it also has connotations of honor and duty, as well as of independence and self-reliance. Unfortunately, it has all three connotations which leads to its mixed message.
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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Well, isn't one connotation simply that of being a rebel? In that truculant sense it could surely be found attractive to certain persons anywhere.
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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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# 11274

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I agree RE the Georgia state flag, New Yorker. The one with the battle flag bit was obnoxious (intentionly so, I think) and the current banner reverts largely to an earlier one based on the Stars and Bars. The silly thing they had for a few years at the beginning of the present century was completely insipid -- the state seal (I guess) inside a blue field. That's a popular but unimaginative solution for state flags, of course, but other states have more interesting seals, like Virginia ("Sic Semper Tyrannis") and Delaware with its little men and animals!
Posts: 7328 | From: Delaware | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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# 9826

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German-Americans, even those several generations removed from the boat, are known for frequently indulging in bouts of Heimatskrankheit -- sappy songs of longing for the good beer, verdant landscapes and fair maidens of the Fatherland -- but most of us don't choose to live in that fantasy romance 24/7.

--------------------
Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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Myrrh
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# 11483

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by + Irl Gladfelter:
As I recall my History, didn't Lincoln have the opinion that there would never be a place for the freed African slaves in the U.S., and favor sending them, involuntarily, if necessary and using U.S. Naval vessels or federally chartered ships if necessary, back to Africa?

No, you do not recall correctly. He certainly didn't advocate anything like that during his presidency.
Oh yes he did.

([url=]AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY[/url])

And the link from that page to his infamous exposition on the subject:

(Lincoln Address to Black Americans)



quote:
Originally posted by + Irl Gladfelter:
I have also heard and read it argued by some historians that while slavery was certainly a major factor leading to the Civil War and kept the somewhat pacifist-tending New Englanders on board with the war effort, that once the Constitution went into effect among all the states without the ratification of the Southern States, the Civil War was inevitable. One theory.

Also incorrect. When the Constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788 Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina had all ratified it. Virginia finished its debate and ratified four days later on June 25, possibly before news from New Hampshire had reached them of that state's ratification. That left New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island as the only non-ratifiers left, and since only one of those is a "Southern" state, I think that pretty soundly demolishes your thesis. Finally, since Article VII of the new Constitution clearly spelled out that it only had authority over the states that ratified it, it certainly didn't go "into effect among all the states without the ratification of" any state.

Honestly, where did you learn history?
[/QUOTE]


What happened then? If the new constitution only had authority over those ratifying it, did they then decide to attack those who didn't?

Hmm, now that the Czechs have ratified the Lisbon Treaty I think Ireland's on its own in rejecting it, should we be preparing for an attack I wonder?

Myrrh

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