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Southeners vs the Confederacy

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  • Southeners vs the Confederacy

    This website (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...VillainUpgrade) has something interesting to say about the Confederacy (last entry of top chapter "several media":
    The Confederate States of America gets treated as an entire nation of racist hillbillies in popular media and history, with one or two individuals (like Robert E. Lee) considered rare exceptions, like Erwin Rommel to the Nazis. This portrayal tends to ignore the fact that a vast majority of Confederates did not hold slaves, or the large population of freed blacks who supported their nation both as soldiers and by aiding the war effort.

    However, a great deal of the political pressure that lead the Southern States to secede came from the plantation owners. Because of this, many Southerners did not support the Confederacy. Some 100, 000 Southerners fought for the Union because they could not support the Confederate cause. Furthermore, because the majority of the citizens of northern Alabama and eastern Tennessee were sympathetic to the Union, they tried (and failed) to secede from the Confederacy. Many were tortured or imprisoned. The citizens of western Virgina did secede and created West Virgina. So, while many Confederates did not own slaves, many Southerners who did not own slaves chose to stay loyal to the Union.
    I, too, thought that the Southeners and quite some Northeners resented the Civil War as an oppressive central authority trampling over state rights. The Southeners fighting AGAINST the Confederacy apparently thought otherwise, So my question what about those who took arms against "their" Confederacy? How many of them were there, and most importantly, what was their motivation?
    Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
    Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
    USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

  • #2
    I think that quote is a bit ironic as in reality it may have been the active Unionists who were the "hillbillies" (at least I've read somewhere that those in Northern Alabama were referred to in that way during the ACW, maybe in Grant's memoirs). Here is something on them
    http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org....jsp?id=h-1415

    And on the other hand Lee was of course not the only the only plantation owner (or with connections to such) among the CSA leadership (although maybe one of the more aristocratic). What West Virginia, Northern Alabama and Eastern Tennessee seem to basically have in common is that they are mountainous and less suitable for cotton (and maybe have also some Native American population).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by suntzu View Post
      And on the other hand Lee was of course not the only the only plantation owner (or with connections to such) among the CSA leadership (although maybe one of the more aristocratic). What West Virginia, Northern Alabama and Eastern Tennessee seem to basically have in common is that they are mountainous and less suitable for cotton (and maybe have also some Native American population).
      Yes. The suitability of the land to produce cotton had a lot to do with it. If you notice on the American map, eastern Tennessee, Western Virginia and western North Carolina are very close geographically.

      That said, Kentucky only barely stayed in the Union and was a decidedly mixed bag in terms of seeking secession. Geographically, again bordering western Virginia and Tennessee. Tobacco (very labor intensive to grow like cotton (from what I'm told) and horses were its primary contributions to the GDP.

      To Acheron's question, I think many Southern pro-Unionists did not want to see the Union dissolve, others saw the forming Confederacy just as another government from which they would become disenfranchised. Others still just didn't want to (or didn't see the need to) fight (for either side). A good movie which touches on this attitude was an old Jimmy Stewart movie, Shenandoah.
      Last edited by TomDeFranco; 14 May 10, 08:47.
      I come here to discuss a piece of business with you and what are you gonna do? You're gonna tell me fairy tales? James Caan in the movie "Thief" ca 1981

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TomDeFranco View Post
        Yes. The suitability of the land to produce cotton had a lot to do with it. If you notice on the American map, eastern Tennessee, Western Virginia and western North Carolina are very close geographically.

        That said, Kentucky only barely stayed in the Union and was a decidedly mixed bag in terms of seeking secession. Geographically, again bordering western Virginia and Tennessee. Tobacco (very labor intensive to grow like cotton (from what I'm told) and horses were its primary contributions to the GDP.

        To Acheron's question, I think many Southern pro-Unionists did not want to see the Union dissolve, others saw the forming Confederacy just as another government from which they would become disenfranchised. Others still just didn't want to (or didn't see the need to) fight (for either side). A good movie which touches on this attitude was an old Jimmy Stewart movie, Shenandoah.
        I would just add that the matter of Kentucky was seemingly touch and go as the pro-Confederate lobby was very vocal and lead by Gov. Magoffin, even Lincoln- a son of Kentucky was worried at first, BUT when the people of Kentucky had to make a choice- the campaign became heated and many in Kentucky seemed to repeat the theme that Lincoln had done nothing to justify what South Carolina did- that it was the 'Aristocratic Elite' dragging the South to destruction (Louisville Journal June 19th, 1861 headline one day before the Congressional Vote) well- they gave the CSA a huge 'middle finger'.

        The elections in the summer of '61 were amongst the most passionate and energized in the history of the state. In Congressional elections in June Unionists won ALL of the seats- except one in the southwest corner of the state. In the August elections- 76% of the State House was pro-Union and 75% of the State Senate as well- Magoffin became 'The Invisible Man'- his position was useless.

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