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Happy Confederate History Month, people!

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proclamation declaring April Confederate History Month notes that in April 1861, “the people of Virginia joined the Confederate States of America.” I guess it depends on what you mean by “the people.”

The 1860 Census counted about 1.6 million people in Virginia. Of these, 58,000 or so were "free persons of color," and roughly 433,000 were enslaved African Americans. I think it’s safe to say that this 31 percent of “the people” did not support a rebellion spearheaded by slaveholders. In fact, thousands of black Virginians flocked to Union military bases at the first opportunity.

And support for secession was hardly unanimous among the white 69 percent of the state. A state convention delayed and debated for months in early 1861 before approving a secession ordinance rather than honor President Lincoln's request for troops following the firing on Fort Sumter. But even after that, about 22 percent of eligible white males voted “no” on a secession referendum. The vote took place in May 1861, when rebel sentiment was at a high and voting for the Union was both practically futile and personally risky.

Anti-secession sentiment was concentrated in present-day West Virginia, which was still a part of the Old Dominion in 1861. Most whites in this part of the state did not own slaves or depend on the slave-based economy. Accordingly, they had little interest in supporting a pro-slavery rebellion.

To be sure, some white West Virginians backed the rebellion, and the vast majority of white "eastern" Virginians were, indeed, in favor of it after Fort Sumter. I suppose you could argue that this means the “people” -- at least the white people -- of what is now Virginia wanted to secede.

But if you take the 15 percent of the total population who voted "no" in the secession referendum as a rough estimate of statewide pro-Union sentiment among whites, and add to it the 31 percent of Virginians who were black, you get 46 percent -- i.e., nearly half of "the people" within the boundaries of the state as they existed at the time.

McDonnell’s proclamation has been called an affront to the state’s African-American population, past and present, which it is. But it’s also an insult to the not-insignificant minority of white Virginians who remained loyal to their country and their flag.

By Charles Lane  | April 7, 2010; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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Comments

Boy, talk about insensitivity. The Confederacy was primarily a rebellion of the wealthy, slave-holding few fought by the poor schnooks with neither slaves nor money. And, a lot of them died on both sides because of it. A whole generation of young men from everywhere in America made the supreme sacrifice. If that's something Virginia's governor wants to glorify, so be it. But, it was a shame for many reasons, not least because it was meant to perpetuate human bondage.

Posted by: rob15 | April 7, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell is a goof. Nothing like embarrassing your state to the rest of the nation (except for the die hard conservatives and tea party nuts). He really is going to have his hands full when Obama implements his offshore drilling program full force. Since McDonnell was screaming at the top of his lungs in his rebuttual to the state of the union speach about how unfail it was that there wasn't offshore drilling how about we put a drilling platform about 10 miles out every 20 miles along the Virginia coastline. I bet those conservatives living in those million dollar beachfront homes will be screaming at the top of their lungs to the Governor.

Posted by: nonsuch1 | April 7, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

So, that means 54 percent approved... about the same percentage that you claim makes Obama overwhelmingly the choice of Americans.

My ancestors fought and died for States Rights, not Slavery... as sharecroppers, they were little better than slaves themselves. The 31% who were black have a History Month. So, why should Confederate ancestors be denied a History Month when every other group seems to have one? Your Liberal BIAS is showing!

Virgina and the other Confederate States seceded from the Union, as was their right under the U.S. Constitution; so they WERE being loyal to their Country and their Flag... and to the principles of Federalism and States Rights this nation was founded on; those same principles that the present regime seems to disparage and ignore.

Posted by: BoKnows | April 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Human Bondage...I believe Michael Steele declared April was Human Bondage Month, so that dovetails nicely with this.


Bada-bum.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | April 7, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone say "pandering"?

Shame governor! Don't forget who really elected you.

Posted by: jshuey | April 7, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Secession was such a success!

Why not just call this "Celebrate How Stupid We Were Month" ??

Then in May, McDonnell can declair "Celebrate How Stupid We Still Are Month"

Posted by: plaza04433 | April 7, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his reactionary attitudes continue to amaze me.

Having lived through the ordered desegregation of Virginia's schools in the 1950's and remembering the abhorrent “Whites Only”, “Colored Only” signs of those times
I am repulsed by this man’s seemingly constant playing to the baser instincts of whatever voters elected him to office. (how on earth that happened is matter any Virginian should be ashamed of)

This isn’t the 1950’s anymore than it’s the 1860’s. This country should be beyond the divisiveness of racism. That fact that people like McDonnell and other elected officials are encouraging this attitude is simply disgraceful.

Posted by: CTG46 | April 7, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the newspaper men attempt to rewrite history. The only states in the U.S. that EVER owned slaves were located south of the Mason-Dixon line? And, slavery was the only reason for the Civil War? Permit me to quote Lincoln's famous letter to Horace Greely "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union."

Posted by: cholliet | April 7, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This kind of petty political revisionism is not clever, it's pathetic....an insult to Virginian, American & World history.

Now Bob McDonnell is on the same level as Ahmajinedad, when he denied the Holocaust.

Hope you're proud to be in such good company, Bob.

Posted by: TruthFairy | April 7, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: BoKnows

"Your Liberal BIAS is showing!"

You say this like it's an insult. Guess what, we're liberal, we're loud, and we're proud!

"...those same principles that the present regime seems to disparage and ignore."

God save you if you ever had to live under a real regime. Pick up a history book, or just look at the world news (if you can stop following Sara Palin's twitter feed long enough) and you will see what it's like to not live in a such a great country and enjoy the freedoms you claim your ancestors fought for. Besides, as was always said to me when I complained about Bush: if you don't love it, leave it!


Posted by: CSp1 | April 7, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

What is really disgraceful is that most natural born citizens of the United States don't really understand their own history. The civil war was never about racism. It was, as all wars always are, about economics.

Posted by: cholliet | April 7, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Personally I find Confederate History Month a refreshing change. I'm tired of heritage and soldiers being ignored and forgotten. It will also make people aware that slavery was not only NOT what the war was about, but barely an afterthought. The War Between The States was as much about slavery then as the next will be which is nil. It's about States right to choose, and Federal Involvement in day to day issues of each state. There's another coming let there be no doubt, though the lines may not be as clear as the Mason Dixon this time. You don't need to be a southerner "this time" to see what Federalizum has done to this country nor to see your rights vanishing one by one.

Posted by: dlpartyka | April 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

PBS Special, "Judgment Day", re. the Civil War:

"While economic, cultural, and political differences between the North and South all played a role in the Civil War, the underlying cause was slavery. The increasingly violent clashes between North and South over the issue of slavery, such as the bloody altercation at Harpers Ferry, proved that a compromise between the two sides could not be reached.

"The raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, organized by militant abolitionist John Brown, was a precursor to the Civil War. Brown's audacious plan was to raid a federal arsenal and use the arms to lead a slave revolt. His attack on the federal government became his last stand, as Frederick Douglass had prophesied

Posted by: TruthFairy | April 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Some of you, including Charles Lane, need a Confederacy month since you obviously don't have a clue about the reasons behind the Civil War. The war was really about State's Rights and Northern aggression. Slavery was a very small part of it. I agree with BoKnows...my children know everything there is to know about Rosa Parks and MLK, but can't tell you about the Civil War or WWII, since Black History month lasts all year. Is THAT fair?

Posted by: tarheelgirl1 | April 7, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The former Vice-President John C. Calhoun put it this way:

"The North had adopted a system of revenue and disbursements in which an undue proportion of the burden of taxation has been imposed upon the South, and an undue proportion of its proceeds appropriated to the North… the South, as the great exporting portion of the Union, has in reality paid vastly more than her due proportion of the revenue."

In March 1861, the New York Evening Post editorialized on this point:

That either the revenue from duties must be collected in the ports of the rebel states, or the port must be closed to importations from abroad, is generally admitted. If neither of these things be done, our revenue laws are substantially repealed; the sources which supply our treasury will be dried up; we shall have no money to carry on the government; the nation will become bankrupt before the next crop of corn is ripe. There will be nothing to furnish means of subsistence to the army; nothing to keep our navy afloat; nothing to pay the salaries of public officers; the present order of things must come to a dead stop.

Given the serious financial difficulties the Union would face if the Southern states were a separate republic on its border engaging in duty-free trade with Britain, the Post urged the Union to hold on to its custom houses in the Southern ports and have them continue to collect duty. The Post goes on to say that incoming ships to the "rebel states" that try to evade the North’s custom houses should be considered as carrying contraband and be intercepted.

Observers in Britain looked beyond the rhetoric of "preserve the Union" and saw what was really at stake. Charles Dickens views on the subject were typical:

Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this, as of many other evils. The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel.

Karl Marx seconded this view:

The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty.

Posted by: jcknight007 | April 7, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Reverand Wright was a pretty nasty black guy and his race-defined group has it's own month.......wait a minute.....I guess not all back guys are as disgusting and hate filled as reverand Wright and maybe not all confederates were slave owners and racists.

Posted by: luncheaterguy | April 7, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"My ancestors fought and died for States Rights, not Slavery... as sharecroppers, they were little better than slaves themselves."
_________________________________________

No, they did not. The issue they fought for was slavery. The argument they made was that they had the right to own slaves because the federal government had no jurisdiction over states' rights to promote slavery.

Look, this isn't rocket science. You and I and everybody else in this country knows that the states rights nonsense had no meaning, except in the context of the argument over slavery. There would never have been a civil war at all if there had not been slavery because, without the slavery argument, there wasn't a southerner to be found who would have supported secession.

In short, it's more than obvious that the civil war was about a real issue (slavery), not a theoretical one (states rights).

Posted by: Martel1 | April 7, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Like it or not, Virginia and the rest of the U.S. do in fact have a "Confederate History". Slavery was indeed one of several issues that fueled the engine of southern secession, but that does not mitigate the fact that over 600,000 Americans died in the Civil War. Present attempts to distill this history into nothing more than a racism issue are both intellectually dishonest and small-minded.

Posted by: bubba31138 | April 7, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

It saddens me that issues like these are still prevalent in the 21st century. During my time in the military I was stationed in Germany and can say I never saw sign of them holding on to their troubled past. You didn't see any "keep the Reich alive" bumper stickers, nor were their any Nazi war re-enactments. There were no Nazi flags flown over capitols or any swastika addorned bandanas worn. I never saw or heard sign of them being proud of their ancestors participation in the events that took place. I'm not saying that any of us should completely disown our great great great grandpas, but we can be proud of our heritage without acting as if they did no wrong. If the South had won, there probably never would have been this great country we call The "United" States of America.

Posted by: KC37 | April 7, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Gotta make everything a race issue, huh?

The civil war wasn't all about slavery. Anyone can twist facts and figures to support their own argument. Who cares. If people choose to celebrate Confederate History, so be it. There are stories of real interest from that period that shouldn't be forgotten or overwritten in the history books. There were men of noble character and countless selfless acts of bravery that deserve respect and tribute.

I could care less about Black history month, or Latino history month, and even Confederate History Month but I'm not throwing a big hissy about it. They all have good and bad alike.

If you don't care for it, change the channel. There's plenty else to watch.

Posted by: bsharpless | April 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

So, PBS is the best source of history and not the letters of the men that lived it? Sure, slavery was part of the cause. But what really was slavery? It was economics. The fact that the farmers of the south were getting ripped off by the northern factory owners whoe purchased raw materials from the south for a pittance meant nothing? The fact that the government of the north levied outrageous tariffs on sourthern crops meant nothing? All humanitarian considerations aside, slaves were property, plain and simple. That people of the north wished to take away that property was merely the final straw to the southern plantation farmer. It was time to get a gun.

Posted by: cholliet | April 7, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"not all confederates were slave owners and racists."

They fought for slavery. That is the point. It was THEIR point, as well as the reason for the existence of the 'confederacy' and the war.

Whether or not they were slave owners OR racists is irrelevant in the absolute. You didn't have to be a slave owner to want slaves, or to think that slavery was otherwise good for you. You didn't have to be a racist to believe that either. (It helps, but wasn't necessary.)

Posted by: Martel1 | April 7, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Permit me to quote Lincoln's famous letter to Horace Greely "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery..."

Which does not prove your point at all. He didn't start the war or cause secession. Those were actions of the confederacy. HIS point was to restore the union. The point of the confederacy was to secede because they wanted to retain slavery and were afraid that Lincoln would abolish it.

Posted by: Martel1 | April 7, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Please, what else is there to say on this subject? Lets be honest THE CONFEDERACY LIVES!!! You say "what is this loonie talking about?" Excuse me, I meant the CSA, The Confederate Senators of America. You know who they are:
!. Owned lock, stock and bagel by Toyota, Hyundai, Studebaker, etc.

What else is there to say except they are
the Grand Old in The Way Yahoos.

I Love Jack Daniels!!!

Posted by: ernieneverleftyahoocom | April 7, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we have "Celebrating Slavery" month or "...Third Reich" month (in Germany) or "The Crusades" month at the Vatican, too.

Posted by: ladylaw1 | April 7, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Freaking yokels.....

Posted by: Mighty7 | April 7, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, ya'll! Like it or not, many Americans have ancestors who participated in this war and it (SHOCKER) still has relevance to American History in general.

Shall we drop Holocaust Remembrance Day, too?

What's the problem with raising awareness of our American History?

Posted by: newmomma1 | April 7, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, like many who are too lazy to actually read a book, you have believed your high school history teacher in believing that the American Civil War was all about slavery. If you read the literature prior to the war, our nation was refered to as "the United States are" and after "the Uniited States is". While this seems like a minor gramar issue, to people who can read, this means that we were a loose collection of states with a weak central government prior to the war. Mr. Lincoln did a great deal more that was a great deal worse the George Bush, including fighting an "illegal war".
Furthermore, your assumption that all Americans or African descent were anti-slavery shows that you don't do research very well. In Virginia, there were many Americans of African descent who were slave owners.
While the Confederate Flag offends me, arrogent ignorance offends me more. While the American Civil War was a blight on our short history, but the events that caused people who didn't want their Freedoms (whether you agree with them or not) assaulted to leave a country that they loved (George Washington's great nephew-in-law, Robert E. Lee, love this country).

Posted by: CharlieR2 | April 7, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

This should not about "holding on to a troubled past." This should be about knowing and understanding your own history. So what if the Germans want to deny their history? Do you think Jews will forget about it because the Germans don't want to hold on to it? It's like covering up your eyes and trying to convince the person standing in front of you they can't see you.

Robert E. Lee was a billiant military strategist, period. Forget the re-enactments. Those battles are still studied in military academies. This was the first modern war.

There is so much at stake when people choose to throw the truth down the memory hole. No, we don't want to relive those times but we needn't forget lest we repeat. And the repetition does not have to be identical. Look around you, slavery is still alive. Our sheltered lives are so full of denial. Sadness overcomes...

Posted by: cholliet | April 7, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Martel1 Sorry to inform you but You are Wrong. Slavery was coming to an end ANYWAY as it was not economically feasible to house cloth and feed a slave for 12mos. out of the year when for Cheap wages they could be hired and let them worry about their essentials! Just like you and I today.

Posted by: dlpartyka | April 7, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The idea of poor white sharecroppers fighting to maintain the institutions that benefited only rich white slave owners sounds eerily reminiscent of working class white people today that claim to be conservative Republicans. They are fighting for ideas and principles that are of absolutely no benefit to themselves. Idealism is kind of charming except when it is downright stupid.

Posted by: mscarborough | April 7, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

A great illustrated pamphlet from the National Parks/Dept of the Interior, "Slavery & the Civil War"....lots of historical detail, very well-written...

"Today, most professional historians agree with Alexander Stephens (Vice President of the Confederate States of America) that slavery & the status of African-Americans were at the heart of the crisis that plunged the US into a civil war from 1861 to 1865. Not to say that the average Confederate soldier fought to preserve slavery or that the North fought to end it....the North's goal in the end was preservation of the Union, not emancipation.

"The roots of the crisis over slavery go back to the nation's founding. European settlers brought a system of slavery with them in 1500's...white settlers increasingly turned to slaves from Africa..etc, etc

Why I said earlier...slavery during the Civil War is written into US and World history books, and for a US State to deny its role is, on the one hand, petty political theater at its worst but, on a much bigger scale, a major insult to this country's history, role in the world, the 200,000 African-Americans who fought in the Civil War and, presumably an insult to the President and the First Lady was also intended.

Posted by: TruthFairy | April 7, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

About half of the time, I fervently wish the 'Union' would secede from the south. The only thing which prevents me from feeling that way all the time is that I feel sorry for the southerners who don't appreciate having to live under the oppressive hypocrisy in which they've been steeped from birth.

Posted by: Martel1 | April 7, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Those who support this administration, effectively enslave themselves (or turn themselves into serfs) all 12 months of the year.

Something to think about. Slack-jawed thralls to government.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | April 7, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I urge everyone to write to the governor, a heinous human being. See this blog post on how to do it quickly and easy. Virginia isn't for Lovers now, It's For Racists.

http://nyliberalstateofmind.blogspot.com/2010/04/virginias-confederate-history-and.html

As to bright eyes cholliet who writes about tariffs. The tariffs that caused conflict were not levied on the South by the North, an idiotic idea prima facie. The tariffs were levied against Europe to prevent them from undermining the burgeoning industries of all states. Europe - England and France - retaliated and supposedly hurt the South. But, since the the crops the South raised were primarily tended by slaves, what's the fuss about? we should have backed the South's slave owning? Do the work yourself. Smarten up.

Posted by: rdl114 | April 7, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Now all we need is Native American Genocide Month, and Germany might increase tourism with a Third Reich History Month. Scratch any supporter of Bob McDonnell's celebration of treason, and you'll surely find a racist bleeding.

Posted by: WitnessToInsanity | April 7, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

With General Cuccinelli's drive to prove that Pres. Obama wasn't born in Hawaii, and now Gov. McDonnell's version of the 'south shall rise again', Virginia's GOP's only needs a cartoon of Sarah Palin with an Alaska bull moose sitting on an oil platform to set that Party's political standard for the next decade. Jim Hopewell

Posted by: jbhopewell | April 7, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

My father used to defend the whole "states rights" jargon that I'm reading in the aforementioned comments. Have you ever thought about the rights they were fighting for??? The right to do things the way they saw fit (including slave labor). Seriously, there is no argument concerning states rights! But, that reason is so flawed. And if you cannot see that, you are living a life based on nostalgia, not reality. I'm from the South, and I'm sooooo glad the South lost.

Posted by: waxwing35 | April 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The Civil War started with South Carolina seceeded. In 1861 South Carolina declared the caused of secession. First they listed states' rights as what justified them making their own decisions. Then they listed slavery as the specific decision that the Union was interfering with. It's true that in trying to hold the union together, Lincoln played down his abolitionist views, and in trying to justify their secession the south claimed State's Rights as why the north shouldn't interfere with slavery, but they were pretty clear that slavery was the big issue. Read it the "South Carolina Declaration of the Causes of Secession" (1861):

These ends it [the people] endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

Posted by: hscom | April 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Its like right out of "Isle of Dogs" By PATRICIA CORNWELL

Posted by: LAIR | April 7, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Good thing that certain hatreds are still acceptable--liberals hating conservatives, and vice-versa; all Americans (except a few Southerners) hating Southerners; and, maybe, quite a few on this board hating white people (especially if they're white themselves). As a white Southern male, feel free to hate me all you like. I don't care. I'll get the fun started: I hate you.

Hey, non-Southerners: If you hate the South so much, STOP MOVING DOWN HERE. Seriously. I speak for quite a few of us when I say WE HATE YOU AND WANT YOU TO STAY OUT. Period.

I couldn't care less about the Civil War, Confederate History Month, or anybody's "history month."

I cannot wait for the shooting to start when this country finally, finally breaks up as it should have done long ago; at least killing will be fun for someone other than gang members.

Posted by: sambogni61 | April 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

For those who claim the war was not primarily about slavery, but was about economics, or taxation, or states' rights, or whatever, do yourself a favor and read the very words of the secessionists themselves.

Declaration of Causes of Seceding States
http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html

Message of Jefferson Davis to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America
http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/jdmess.html

Virginia's Ordinance of Secession
http://www.wvculture.org/HISTORY/statehood/ordinanceofsecession.html

Over and over, the secessionists list these reasons for leaving the Union:
Anti-slavery sentiment in the North.
The Northern states not fulfilling a duty to return captured fugitive slaves back to the South.
The disallowal of future slaveowning states in western territories.
Northern interference in Southern property rights, where the "property" is human beings (slaves).
The threat of the North outlawing slavery in the South.
The "unnatural" desire to treat blacks as fully human, which, according to Texas, went against the Divine order.

The South left in order to preserve slavery, folks. Doesn't matter what myth you wish to believe, the very people who revolted from the USA spelled it all out clearly.


Posted by: hitpoints | April 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"Permit me to quote Lincoln's famous letter to Horace Greely "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery..."

"Which does not prove your point at all."
Au contraire. The point was that slavery was not the ONLY cause of the civil war. It was just the final straw for the southerners. But it is the only aspect anyone wants to focus on.

"He didn't start the war or cause secession."
Yes, the southern states seceded but that was not an illegal action. It was only considered a rebellion by the political leaders of the north.
The newly formed Confederacy attacked Ft. Sumter because that was their property.
Read about nullification.

"HIS point was to restore the union."
Yes. And my point was that even he did not really care about slavery.

"The point of the confederacy was to secede because they wanted to retain slavery and were afraid that Lincoln would abolish it."
The point was states rights. The point was that every state had the right to declare federal laws null if the laws were deemed unconstitutional.


Posted by: cholliet | April 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

cholliet wrote:
"But what really was slavery? It was economics. ... All humanitarian considerations aside, slaves were property, plain and simple."

Yup, methinks you yearn to be the massa in dem simple times.

Posted by: amaun | April 7, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Truthfairy: John Brown's raid on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry was put down by U.S. Marines led by an American officer, a West Point graduate named Robert E. Lee. Brown was a delusional homicidal maniac who had already slaughtered unarmed settlers in Kansas, and who hoped to raise a slave rebellion. No slaves joined, he was captured, tried and hung. Most Cofederate troops, like Union soldiers, fought honorably for what they believed in and their descendants are justly proud of their sacrifice. If the war was about slavery then Lincoln would have freed the slaves in 1861. He didn't, and when he did, it was only in those areas in rebellion, not in slave states on the Union side.

Posted by: dkaag | April 7, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell is evidently proud of his own brand of Anti-Americanism – a politic of Racism and Hate in support of the “good ol’ days” of Slavery and Oligarchic Elitism.

The “GOP,” and its redheaded stepchild the “Tea movement,” today eschew the universal strength of the Greatest Republican President – Abraham Lincoln – in favor of unnecessarily divisive, inflammatory, and hurtful posturing. There was once a time when the Republican Party was the party that took a stand for human rights and strengthen the United States Government as the beacon of Justice and democracy that it remains today. How sad it is that such a legacy is in the hands of Neanderthal pundits and self aggrandizing bigots such as McDonnell.

It’s just one more step in a dark procession into obscure impotence and irrelevance.

Posted by: DDP2 | April 7, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The constitution does not endorse the right of states to secede: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20041124.html

And if it did, that would be dumb. Why would a state need a constitutional right to reject the constitution?

In other news:
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28559

Posted by: seraphina2 | April 7, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

So awesome, can't wait till Germany makes September National Socialism Month. As the Confederacy was more complex than just slavery and anti democratic. So was National Socialism far more complex that just hating Jews, and anti democratic. Americans never simply seen people for who they are by what they do.

Posted by: syclone7 | April 7, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

It really makes you mad as hell to see some misguided person like the author(lane) attempting to give his own opinion as fact. and fact it is mr lane. yuo don't have a clue as to what the civil war was about. and unless somethuing is done about this govt, it's lawyers and politicians yuo could soon be living in the confederate states of america. only this time around it would include some norther and western states. we have had enough of this govt and we the people like yuo

Posted by: otherworldtrader | April 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Virginia should be proud that it elected the first black governor in American history and went for Obama in 2008. The Republicans have obviously decided that the best way to get it back into the GOP column is to remind its white citizens of their heritage. The subtext of this is that Obama is black and that ought to be enough to turn them off. One can only hope that this insult to the intelligence of Virginians will fail. McDonnell concealed his true nature during the campaign and Virginians fell for it. He should concentrate on the traffic problems. But if he is intent on going ahead with Confederate History Month, he should at least adopt as its theme song "The Night The Drove Old Dixie Down."

Posted by: cummings01 | April 7, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Alexander Stephens, the VP of the Confederacy admitted it was founded on racism.

Thomas Jefferson and most of the other Founding Fathers felt “that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically….,” Stephens said. “”Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea. Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”


http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2010/04/07/if-you-talk-confederate-history-you-must-also-speak-of-slavery/?cxntfid=blogs_jay_bookman_blog


In this context, the phrase "states rights" seems to be code for slave holder's rights aka, racists rights.

Posted by: sceptical1 | April 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It really makes you mad as hell to see some misguided person like the author(lane) attempting to give his own opinion as fact. and fact it is mr lane. yuo don't have a clue as to what the civil war was about. and unless somethuing is done about this govt, it's lawyers and politicians yuo could soon be living in the confederate states of america. only this time around it would include some norther and western states. we have had enough of this govt and we the people like yuo

Posted by: otherworldtrader | April 7, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Good thing it's in April so we can reenact and remember the surrender at Appomattox every April 9th. Also, the NAACP ought to set up renactments of slave auctions at every historical courthouse in the state.

Posted by: birnam | April 7, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

The idea of poor white sharecroppers fighting to maintain the institutions that benefited only rich white slave owners sounds eerily reminiscent of working class white people today that claim to be conservative Republicans. They are fighting for ideas and principles that are of absolutely no benefit to themselves. Idealism is kind of charming except when it is downright stupid.

Posted by: mscarborough | April 7, 2010 4:49 PM
***

My thoughts exactly and an excellent point you made!

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | April 7, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

personally it amazes me that newspapers support black america month but not white america month. disney support and has an entire gay pride month but refuses to have a christian even hour.
black leaders can steel from a church and give hundreds of thousands to his girlfriend hooker and stand in front of the camers and beg forgiveness, but not return the money and (unlike a white) stay out of jail for this felony offence. i 've never hear dof this reporter demanding justice for african slaves now in africa or enslaved muslim women.

Posted by: otherworldtrader | April 7, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Rdl114 - you are not nearly as smart as you think. But you are as smug as I think.

TruthFairy - I don't think the governor is "denying" Virginia's role in the Civil War. Who said he was? Isn't that the point of his proclamation?

I think most all of you forget the point of this proclamation is to honor Virginia's Confederate History.

It is not to try and make amends for slavery. Not to apologize for all the evils in that period. Not to explain that Northeners trafficked in the slaves that Southeners bought.

At any rate, the bottom line for people who do not like the recognition of Confederate History Month in Virginia is that if a person wants to, in any way, remember, revere, recall, or honor in any way those who fought for or supported the Confederacy, you are automatically a racist, reactionary, and bigot.

So I ask rhetorically - why if I want to acknowledge my great(x4) uncle who died at Vicksburg, or the other Confederate Soldiers who fought hard, suffered, were injured or died - I cannot do it, unless privately, without being labeled a racist or "old South" revivalist?

I doubt most of the people here have actually even read the Governor's proclamation. It says what it says. It can't say everything that everyone wants it to say.

The governor is not a racist because he wants to recognize something that is part of history. It is ironic to me that those who object to this proclamation essentially just want to have all of us ignore history and write off those who fought or supported the South as rascists and slave supporters.

-16% of Southeners owned slaves.
-Slavery was not the only reason for the war.
-After the war, Confederate Soldiers (@400) were buried in Arlington National Cemetary in recognition for their sacrifice and for reconciliation
-there were no "traitor" trials after the war. Southeners were not considered "traitors" and not even Robert E. Lee went to a trial.

To all you supporters of this proclamation - didn't you get the memo: you cannot honor your ancestors or state history because others will say you you are a racist. It could have never been that simple.

Posted by: DimWit | April 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

While I understand your sentiment and even your facts, I don't fully agree with your conclusions. Unless I missed something in this proclamation, I don't necessarily presume that because there is a History Month on a certain topic, that the purpose is to endorse or support it - after all Holocaust Remembrance events are not to glorify the Holocaust. Properly structured, perhaps this is a "learning opportunity" where students can gain some more complete knowledge of the facts and insights you cite in your article. I assure you the average Virginia high school student is probably unaware of most of the background you use in your argument. Should not this be the approach rather than trying to get tqo camps of people - for and against - and labeling each of them?

Posted by: NYOBSERVER | April 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Ya'll chill ..... it's a Southern thing.

Posted by: msmith7894 | April 7, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke! The southerners/baggers that so love states' rights also don't want to teach Jefferson for his unreligious stance on the rule of law & the separation of church & state! Give the south it's independence & let Mexico gobble it up. We'll take all the African Americans in the north. White, black, native, immigrant, they'll all be welcome in the north. See how far the southern states' education systems & productivity take them. They are imbeciles!

Posted by: crossroadsnow | April 7, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Let me see. Wealthy, land owners incite and start a war that is fought by impoverished whites, that if won, will only benefit the wealthy land owners...maybe it should be What's Wrong with Virginia" day instead of "What's Wrong with Kansas." Funny, how history repeats itself.

Posted by: jerry_straut | April 7, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

To the dimwit that wants a white history month, every month is white history month, where have you been? As far as black ministers & hookers, there is a whole church that protects & assists child abusers to avoid capture, the Catholic Chuch & they're also the largest private landowner in the world. Tax them into oblivion, they have no Constituional right to not pay taxes do they?

Posted by: crossroadsnow | April 7, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sorry, forgot to mention:

with regard to Mr. Lane's "analysis", the same could be said for Obama's health care. The majority would have voted against it - but we still got it.

This is to say your analysis and reasoning were unconvincing, at most.

Oh, and one more point: don't you find it ironic that there was a war when Southern states tried to succeed from the federal government, but Congress approved West Virginia splitting away from Virginia because most Western Virginians did not support the Confederacy?

Posted by: DimWit | April 7, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH!!!!!NEWS FLASH

Gov. McDonnell today announced a "Tea Party", restricted to white descendants of slaveholders, to be held at the Virginia Governor's home each of the three days of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. While details are still being finalized, attendees will be asked to bring a hand-made white hood or cloak as a symbol of Republican solidarity.

"What a great weekend this will be", remarked McDonnell, "bringing together those who fondly remember the glorious days of the Confederacy, where the slaveholders, in the best entrepreneurial and capitalist sense, could demand work for no pay, healthcare or decent housing".

"Memorial Day will take on a whole new meaning once Governor McDonnell is finished", intoned a RNC spokesperson. He declined to say how RNC Chairman Steele, an African American, felt about the planned festivities.

In another surpise, McDonnell announced that his new program to get Virginian's back to work would include elimination of child labor laws, stating that, "if children expect to get free healthcare, they'd better generate tax revenue to pay for it."

During the "Tea Party" celebrations, white cake will be made available to colored descendants of slaveholders at a nearby park.

Posted by: joachim1 | April 7, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Man, there is this quote that keeps bugging me.

"But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other -- though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution -- African slavery as it exists amongst us -- the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact."

Who would say such a thing!? Oh, right... the Confederate Vice President, Alexander H. Stephens in his cornerstone speech made a couple weeks after the secession. Probably not enough evidence for you, right? He goes on to say...

"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."

Sorry, just thought I would share some good old American history, since it is Confederate History Month and all. Well, I also wanted to prove a few people wrong.


Posted by: Rylin | April 7, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

to all,

pardon me, but most of what the majority of comments above are based on is, to be frank,FICTION.

President Lincoln himself (and in his own "hand") said that:
1. the war was NOT about slavery,
2. the war was ONLY to "preserve the Union"
and
3. that he cared NOTHING whatever for "the plight of the slaves".

want proof: Lincoln could have freed the slaves, right outside his door, of the District of Columbia, on his inaugeration day but waited MORE than a YEAR to do so & only freed them then because it was becoming "embarrassing" to him politically.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 7, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

@texasnative46

That makes no sense. Lincoln was the president of the remaining Union, and the confederate state seceded just right before his inauguration. Why did the confederate states secede if it was not for Lincoln's opposition to slavery?

Posted by: Rylin | April 7, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

The Civil War was fought by the South for several reasons, and the issue of slavery was right at the top of the list. Lets not kid ourselves, the Confederacy was ENSLAVEMENT of Africans and their descendants in the South. To try to sugarcoat the intentions of the Confederacy is ignorant. Only an IDIOT would say the Civil War had NOTHING TO do with the enslavement of Africans in the south. The Confederates committed treason and STARTED a war in order to ENSURE their way of life and economic means. Confederates soldiers may have fought and died believing they were defending their homes and lands from an “invading” army. And they may have been unaware of the REAL cause that led the southern political leaders to commit treason. However today, the real reasons for the Civil War are known, and for southerns to try and defend the Confederacy makes them look pathetic. And lets not forget, it was the southern states that WANTED the legal enslavement of Africans to be allowed in other areas in the country outside the south. The Confederacy was not and is not a noble cause.

I am in my late 40s, I am a Virginian. I remember history books in grade school glorifying the Confederate cause and with NO MENTION of the cruelty or suffering of the African slaves in the south. I remember as a small child seeing “Whites Only “signs, I went to segregated schools, and I had white teachers in HIGH SCHOOL use the N word in class w/o any thought to the black students. I say shame on the Gov McDonnell for HONORING a cause that was unjust. Imagine what Virginia would be like today if the Confederates had won?

Posted by: Rush63 | April 7, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

BUBBA31138:
You see your own reflection in the mirror - YOU are "distilling this history into nothing more than racism", revealing your own bias. Think of it this way - Slavery triggered Secession & Secession caused the war. To celebrate the Civil War, without American pride for the thousands of black Americans who fought alongside Whites, their ultimate emancipation, a freedom which changed slavery around the world.. would be like Europe celebrating World War II and ignoring USA.

MARTEL1:
Lincoln wrote more than one letter on the intertwined, multifarious & inalienable role of slavery in the Civil War - and the statement you reference was somewhat "political", since he needed to retain the loyalty of the border states but after that, and throughout the war, he constantly spoke to the role of slavery, equality of man & the events of the war:

ONE EIGTH OF THE WHOLE POPULATION WERE COLORED SLAVES, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. ALL KNEW THAT THIS INTEREST WAS, SOMEHOW, THE CAUSE OF THE WAR
--March 4, 1865 Inaugural Address

THE RESTORATION OF THE REBEL STATES TO THE UNION MUST REST UPON THE PRINCIPLE OF CIVIL AND POLITICAL EQUALITY OF BOTH RACES; and it must be sealed by general amnesty.
--January 1864, Letter to James S. Wadsworth

We are in civil war. In such cases there always is a main question; but in this case that question is a perplexing compound -- UNION AND SLAVERY. It thus becomes a question not of two sides merely, but of at least four sides, even among those who are for the Union, saying nothing of those who are against it.
--October 5, 1863 Letter to Charles Drake et al

FELLOW CITIZENS, WE CANNOT ESCAPE HISTORY. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. THE FIERY TRIAL THROUGH WHICH WE PASS, WILL LIGHT US DOWN, IN HONOR OR DISHONOR,TO THE LATEST GENERATION.
--December 1, 1862 Message to Congress

Posted by: TruthFairy | April 7, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"it amazes me that newspapers support black america month but not white america month."

Don't fret. Pretty soon white folks will be just another minority in this country. Then they'll all be getting those fantastic minority benefits persons of color enjoy. Just hang on there for another couple of years.

Posted by: fzdybel | April 7, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

every time I go back to look at Lincoln, I understand why he is President Obama's hero and I see how Obama is trying to govern with Lincoln's principles.

More African-Americans lived in Virginia than in any other state at the time of the Civil War - 490,000 slaves and 59,000 free blacks. Almost all actively participated in "the single most dynamic event to shape the American consciousness".

If Joachim1 is accurate - just celebrating the Civil War anniversary as a white only Confederate History Month, launched with "Whites only" Tea Parties & pure white descendants "wearing white hoods", plus the other things said...sounds like McDonnell wants to go backwards, even impose his peculiar social vision on Virginia, complete with child labor, exploitation and segregation.

Is Secession to follow?

Plainly, the central idea of SECESSION, IS THE ESSENCE OF ANARCHY.
--March 4, 1861 Inaugural Address

May our children and our children's children to a thousand generations, continue to ENJOY THE BENEFITS CONFERRED UPON US BY A UNITED COUNTRY, and have cause yet to rejoice under those glorious institutions bequeathed us by Washington and his compeers.
--October 4, 1862 Speech at Frederick, Maryland

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.
--February 27, 1860 Cooper Union Address

Posted by: TruthFairy | April 7, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how a person can KNOW what was in the mind of one's ancestors, more than 150 years ago... By your statement, a bunch of 'near slave' sharecroppers became all fired up about the esoteric concept of 'States Rights', and decided to fight to preserve the very system that kept them poor, uneducated and downtrodden.
Get real, your ancestors were sold a bill of racist goods by the few rich plantation owners and my ancestors (who served in the Union Army) stomped all over the south, burned Atlanta and kicked your ancestor's a***s.

Posted by: RKCampbell63 | April 7, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

My ancestors (white)lived around Mt. Sidney, VA. This area was known as the Little Union due to its support of the Nation as opposed to the Confederacy. Even after the war, this area sent a petition to Washington asking for the return of troops as their pro-Confederacy neighbors continued to persecute them.
A good place to learn of how the Civil War came to be, was lived, and its aftermath is the University of Virginia's website "The Valley of the Shadow" (http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/). My family came from the area represented by VA in this website.
Due to the persecution, plus the loss of economic prosperity in the area, my family eventually moved to Kansas. The next generation produced Dwight Eisenhower, who helped to free the remaining Jews from the Holocaust.

Posted by: stpauljackson | April 7, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

In the hissy fits that people fall into in defending their version of the causes of the Civil war, it might be good to review a few points. The non-expansionist Whig Party was supplanted by new expansionist Republican Party to face the southern Democratic Party.
The south had to expand to maintain its agricultural base as land wore out under cotton production. But the thing people seem most to neglect was the Federal government was made up of railroad men. Lincoln was a railroad lawyer. McClellen was a railroad company engineer and president.
The south’s expansion was within 5 years of beginning to reaching the Pacific Coast which was the key to California, the mineral wealth of the west, and the trading wealth of the Orient through railroad construction, which the South was doing very well at via rented slaves.
It is obvious in hindsight that the North was fearful of this expansion. One of its earliest campaigns was to claim the Mississippi, thus dividing the South. The North then proceeded to start construction on its own transcontinental railroad up the valley of the Platte.
The North and the corporations of the North won. Slavery was abolished on paper, but truly the end affect of the war was not to perpetuate a nation of the people, by the people, for the people, but to make slaves of us all.
Why else would this government save banks and corporations while tens of millions of us have to pay taxes and go without jobs?

Posted by: wombel | April 7, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

The Confederacy was an abomination against humanity, as were the ultimate goals of its corrupt and disgraced leadership. We have the often-touted inspirational leaders of the Confederacy, men whose true motives were masked in delicate prose, fallacious chivalry, and gentile sensibilities, men, who upon winning the war, intended to invade and spread slavery into the Western States, Mexico, throughout Central America and Brazil. Governor McDonnell is right; a celebration for these fine historical figures is most definitely in order, but how to do it?
If we must honor such great men and lofty ideals, perhaps the Governor can sponsor a ‘Jeff Davis Day’ where all of Virginia’s school age boys wear cotton dresses or women’s cloaks and hide in tents across the state. The women can play the part of the Union Calvary and unmask the boys as they pretend to slip away to Mexico, Central American and Brazil to renew the great cause of state’s rights on the backs of the African slaves there. This will certainly garner nationwide publicity and increase tourism as visitors flock to record the exciting historical reenactment. Why not staff historical plantations with furloughed African American state workers, i.e., volunteers to act as slaves. Governor McDonnell can advertise the event as a means to understand and study slavery, yet another tourist bonanza for the state. Clearly, logic dictates the Confederacy’s desire for state’s rights required the expansion of slavery internationally, so let’s show folks what a great idea it was in practice.
The fact is, one does not have to celebrate historical events to understand or study them and I do not honor my relatives disposed to such actions against our Constitution anymore than I would a relative who committed sabotage and murder at a current Federal facility using the same twisted logic and gentile prose as justification. The attacks against the Federal Government, which instigated the Civil War, were acts of sedition by individuals whose primary purpose was to protect and ultimately expand an economy based on slavery. No matter how you decorate it with grand discussions of State’s rights and duty to one’s home, the fact remains that it was a coordinated act of terrorism against the legitimate power of the Federal Government for the sole purpose of enslaving human beings under the self-aggrandizing and romantic guise of States rights and a misdirected loyalty to geography.
I have to ask myself if Governor McDonnell would also be willing to support a newly formed group with exactly the same philosophical aims and finely worded justifications for its violence and sedition against the Federal Government, perhaps this June at the height of the tourist season. We can call it, ‘Celebrating Sedition Month’. Governor McDonnell can wear a woman’s cloak, a cotton dress and CSA Calvary boots.

Posted by: denn942 | April 7, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

To Tarheelgirl1 and the others blathering on that the Civil War was not about slavery but about states' rights:

The Confederacy raised the banner of "states rights" because it sounds a lot better than saying "the war to protect slavery." The right to own slaves was the main right the war was fought about, and their fear that that right would be restricted was the right they really cared about and went to war for. "States' rights" was just a euphemism for slavery (protecting the "Southern way of life" was another one).

And Tarheelgirl, the "war of northern aggression" was started by the Confederate attack on US troops at Fort Sumter, not by the North.

You lot are the ones that need the history lesson. But that being the case, why not just declare "American History Month" instead of "Confederate History Month"?

For more on the Civil War (and modern parallels to it), check out http://newsericks.com/tag/civil-war.

Posted by: RayinDC | April 7, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Denn92, aside from your obviously slanted opinion, at least you have a few ideas and facts to discuss.

If, as seems to be one of your main points, the Confederates were all seditious and traitors, why then were not ANY of them, tried for sedition and taken out and executed? Put in prison?

It seems that you would know that the question of the Union and whether states could secede from it, was one reason the war was fought. As as is the case in all war, the winner decides the question and writes the history. But to make a black and white statement that, per se, all Confederates were traitors can be totally dismissed and a rather uninformed argument.

Did you know after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee sued because Arlington House and grounds had been taken by the Union Army and that the Supreme Court ordered that he be paid restitution? Look it up. Why would the Supreme Court order that he be paid the value for what the federal government confiscated? That does not happen to traitors.

Your argument fails. Try using real facts to support your opposition to the proclamation.

And I would also ask you - why was it ok for West Virginia to succeed from Virginia? Would that also be seditious and traitorous for a part of a state - that has a state consitution - to secede from another part? Probably not in your view because you start from a conclusion and work your way back, rather than the other way around.

Another historical fact for you regarding your "traitor" argument: most leaders of the Confederacy simply had to sign a pledge of loyalty reaffirming their allegience to the government to have every right restored to them. Sound like the federal government thought they were all traitors in the sense that you do?

General Longstreet, Gen Lee's second in command for much of the war, became surveyor of customs for the federal government under President Grant, his former enemy

Sound like President Grant viewed his former enemies as nothing more than traitors to you?

The rest of your suggestions to Governor McDonnell are ridiculous and merit no response. In fact, because you go to such ridiculous extremes to try and make a point, it is hard to take you comments seriously.

Posted by: DimWit | April 7, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

RayinDC; all,

you really need to read WHAT actually caused the firing on Ft Sumter: Lincoln intentionally sent a ship to START a war. - that was his premeditated INTENT & he openly said so.

also, all this SILLINESS about the war being PRIMARILY caused by slavery is just that: SILLY & UNeducated foolishness.
(and in the case of many academics, KNOWINGLY FALSE.)
Lincoln said that he would assure that a Constitutional Amendment would be passed/ratified to PERMANENTLY allow slavery in the USA, if the south would return peacefully to the Union.
(the handwritten/signed letter from President Lincoln to CSA President Jefferson Davis still exists.- of course, "preservation of the peculiar institution" was far from the only reason that war came to America.)

further, when i was in grad school over 35 years ago, my major professor of history said that there were TWO sorts of people, who believe that slavery was THE cause or even one of the top five MAJOR causes of the war:
1.the terminally ignorant/uneducated
and
2.the "wishful thinkers".

had Lincoln CHOSEN to accept southern separation/secession from the USA & traded with the new republic, about a MILLION LIVES (counting all casualties, both direct & indirect) would have been saved.
(btw, MANY slaves were among those persons, who were NEEDLESSLY killed by the invading Northern military forces. MANY more slaves died as an indirect result of the war, to causes like starvation & disease.- during the war, the poorer you were the more likely you were to be killed/raped/tortured/assaulted/abused.- despite the "family legends" that abound, FEW "landed aristocrats" suffered anything but property loss as a result of the war.)

let me ask you all a question (and you get to be President of the USA for this):
IF tomorrow, AZ/CA/CO/OR/NM/NV/WA decided/voted to "peacefully withdraw from" the USA to become LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS de AZATLAN,
(this may well one day happen, as those states are rapidly becoming Hispanic-majority states.)
how many MILLION Americans, Mr/Ms President will you WILLINGLY KILL to keep those seven states IN a "union of the unwilling"?
(my answer, btw, is NOBODY. not even ONE person should be "sacrificed" to "preserve the union".)

just my opinion.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 7, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

to all,

frankly, i'm saddened, but not surprised, that "The Washington COMpost" editorial page writer reinforced (by his/her simplistic/hackneyed scribbling), rather than educated, the Post's readers about the complicated/difficult issues relative to the USA-CSA war in today's Post.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 7, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Want to make a bet how many Stars and Bars are waved at the armed gun toters rally next week? The rally at which the other idiot Virginian rednecks elected will be a key speaker. Hey Kooky Ken have you invited Backtracking Bob to attend with you? Would make a great campaign picture for 2013. Ken and Bob and the Stars and Bars and armed tea-bag idiots waving Fox News banners in the background. Priceless.

Posted by: army164 | April 7, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

The Confederacy was a bunch of freedom fighters who defended the US Constitution agginst an uppity Muslim Lincoln who wanted to give them health care.

Posted by: ottoparts | April 8, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

The Virginia governor needs remedial coursework in English Language Arts.

The proclamation is poorly written, with terrible word choice.

With the 150-year anniversary of the war nearing, I can certainly understand a desire to honor soldiers on both sides, as well as consequential battles, etc.. But the governor foolishly equates the Confederacy with "the people of Virginia." As other posters have clearly pointed out, this wording clearly ignores blacks (33 percent of Virginia's 1860 population) and the issue of slavery.

Your words reveal your mind. As one in a position of leadership, I must daily consider the different peoples under me, including their perspectives and attitudes. How the Virginia governor can issue a proclamation on the Confederacy without addressing the matter of slavery--a historical truth that still touches everyone of a dark skin color--is unbelievable.

Sorry to say, it reveals a lot about this man and his thinking. He does not represent "the people" of Virginia today--apology or no apology. A sad day for that beautiful state.

Posted by: Lascivo | April 8, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

The Virginia governor needs remedial coursework in English Language Arts.

The proclamation is poorly written, with terrible word choice.

With the 150-year anniversary of the war nearing, I can certainly understand a desire to honor soldiers on both sides, as well as consequential battles, etc.. But the governor foolishly equates the Confederacy with "the people of Virginia." As other posters have clearly pointed out, this wording clearly ignores blacks (33 percent of Virginia's 1860 population) and the issue of slavery.

Your words reveal your mind. As one in a position of leadership, I must daily consider the different peoples under me, including their perspectives and attitudes. How the Virginia governor can issue a proclamation on the Confederacy without addressing the matter of slavery--a historical truth that still touches everyone of a dark skin color--is unbelievable.

Sorry to say, it reveals a lot about this man and his thinking. He does not represent "the people" of Virginia today--apology or no apology. A sad day for that beautiful state.

Posted by: Lascivo | April 8, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Excellent quote, RayinDC.

States' rights was the hook with which the secessionists' leadership baited their argument to goad the poor southern whites to their cause. Same thing is happening today, straight from that same playbook to a very slightly modified demographic.

Posted by: dbeebe831 | April 8, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

NewsBusters: Washington Post Assaults Bob McDonnell With Seven Hit Pieces In One Day
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/candance-moore/2010/04/07/washington-post-assaults-bob-mcdonnell-seven-hit-pieces-one-day

Posted by: StewartIII | April 8, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

army164,

can you DESCRIBE The Stars & Bars, without looking it up?
(my guess is that you cannot, as people who make the sort of comments that you made, above, usually know little or nothing factual about the war between north & south.)

btw, did you know that:
1. between 100,000 - 150,000 Black volunteers fought FOR southern freedom & against the northern invaders.
(ONLY white males were drafted.- the "non-whites" volunteered.)

2. that far more Black women (both slave & free) were assaulted/raped/abused by northern soldiers than white women were
(soldiers were HANGED for raping white women & were generally NOT punished at all, for the same crime against Blacks/Indians/Jews/Hispanics.),

3. there were over 30,000 American Indians in the southern military forces
(one was my g-g-grandfather, a Private from Indian Territory/OK)
and

4. the poorer you were, the more likely you were to be raped/robbed/abused/tortured/raped/murdered by "the war criminals in blue"?
(you really should find/read the book: THE UNCIVIL WAR. it's an eye-opener & the unvarnished/uncomfortable truth.)

as i said, earlier, the war between north & south was much more complicated than most Americans have been told.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Bob McDonnell only regards white, beautiful, and healthy people as worthy human beings. I have cerebral palsy, and I know how he'd react to me. He'd either turn his head or look right past me. He slashed funding for people with disabilities to live in the community. Therefore, he thinks only the fittest and most beautiful have a rightful place in society.

Posted by: Invirgina | April 8, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I can't think of anything better than Abraham Lincoln walking into Richmond Virginia to celebrate the victory over the Confederacy. Virginia can celebrate that everyday.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/abraham-lincoln/abraham-lincoln-richmond.htm

Posted by: evandoMissouri | April 8, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

I can't think of anything better than Abraham Lincoln walking into Richmond Virginia to celebrate the victory over the Confederacy. Virginia can celebrate that everyday.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/abraham-lincoln/abraham-lincoln-richmond.htm

Posted by: evandoMissouri | April 8, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

evandoMissouri,

the vast majority of Virginians, of all groups, would sooner have a root canal (without painkiller), than celebrate the defeat of the southland & the needless slaughter of TENS of THOUSANDS of unarmed civilans.

btw, an ignorant comment, posted twice, doesn't magically become smart.- you really should do some reading about the truth about the war, rather than believing "fairy tales" & propaganda.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Last week during a conference in South Asia, I listened to a U.S. lawyer colleague explain erroneously that US Constitutional powers—Federal powers—are only those that the states choose not to exercise. I, momentarily, felt as if I had been snatched back to pre-Civil War America. We have already fought that war; yet, despite the defeat of the concept of “These United States” by “The United States”, many disgruntled continue to hold steadfast to the belief that we are not one nation. Indeed, we are a nation of one sovereign and not a nation of 50 sovereigns. However, with the epitome of Confederate defeat now sitting in the White House, our nation’s memories are mistaken to be too short and its peoples’ knowledge misjudged too base. We are too great a nation and people to allow previous defeated battle grievances that once ripped our nation apart and amounted to treason to creep back into our current lives and those of our children. We are in truth one sovereign, one nation, the United States.

Posted by: Awareness | April 8, 2010 2:49 AM | Report abuse

"I will say, then, that I am not, nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races ... I am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race." --- Abraham Lincoln

Posted by: g55rumpy | April 8, 2010 5:05 AM | Report abuse

The South started the war to preserve slavery, pure and simple. The North reacted in order to preserve the Union, but as the war progressed the stakes got higher.

Can you imagine what the world would be like had the Confederacy made good its secession? We'd all be living under Kaiserism or Naziism or Communism or some other European ism, because when those threats arrived, there would be no strong power in the Western hemisphere to stand against them. Indeed, the Civil War might have been fought on these shores when the CSA allied itself with Germany against the USA, as it might very well have done.

I'm a Southerner born and bred, but the boys in Blue saved us. More to Mr. Lane's point, Luray, Va., has two civil war memorials, adjoining each other. One to the Union soldiers, another to the Confederates.

Posted by: sirach | April 8, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell was supposed to represent the "Moderate" wing of the Republican Party. If "Moderates" celebrate secession and slavery, what does the rest of the party look like?

McDonnell could have achieved the same result without the inflammatory racism and anti-Americanism simply by declaring it "Civil War History Month". Instead, after already attacking Virginia gays, he has to show his contempt for Virginia blacks.

All he has to do is insult women and he will prove that his Master's thesis did indicate his racist, homophobic and sexist world views.

Posted by: AxelDC | April 8, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Instead of deciding what should and should not be part of Civil War history, we should be more concerned about the Post's charges of racism being used -- once again -- to slam political opponents.

From Colbert King's labeling of all Tea Party members as racist to the Post's race-baiting of McDonnell, the powers that be at this "newspaper" have cheapened racism to a political strategy.

Does anyone in their right mind think that the Post was motivated to slam McDonnell in order to promote racial healing? This was a blatant cheap shot that shows, once again, that the Left *needs* racism to keep its base in check.

Posted by: diehardlib | April 8, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I hear Virginia will proclaim May Human Bondage Month, to provide some balance. www.eightfits.blogspot.com

Posted by: Baxter24 | April 8, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

First I'm a Black man. I have no problem with Virginia trying to illuminate their Confederacy history. But, this should be an honest representation of history and not a revisionist version. If people what to celebrate their Confederacy ancestry fine. But also realize the pain and hardship that it caused. When I see the Confederate flag my first thought is of racism! To me their is no difference in the Confederate flag and the Nazi Swastika! And if people want to celebrate the Nazi Swastika that is fine with me too!

On to another subject, this rampant racism that is hidden within the Tea Party is due to one reason and one reason only. The color of the Presidents skin! Years ago I had respect for the Republican Party, I didn't agree with them on most things but I respected their point of view. And I agreed with them on many fiscal matters! But today, the Republican party is a JOKE. This dishonesty that is coming from the Republican party is hurting the nation! And Blood will be on their hands sooner or later! We have major problems as a nation and this once great party is playing games!

Posted by: noneckmd | April 8, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks

I find it disingenuous for those who say that the Civil War was about anything but slavery: 'Economics' you say sure it was but it was based on the work the slaves did /or/ 'States Rights' you say sure the right to have slaves. Regardless I think there is only one real answer.
So which is it?

Posted by: rog1 | April 8, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Mr. McDonnell is trying to finesse his way through the eye of the needle.

We all know he can't have it both ways;

for Virginia

..to be proud of its ugly history of slavery to appeal to the far right in issuing the Proclamation.

...and to be ashamed of it's ugly history of slavery to appeal to the rest by apologizing for the Proclamation.

He wants to have it both ways.

let's watch how it turns out.

Posted by: vigor | April 8, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who argues the Civil War was not, at heart, about slavery is either a liar or a fool.

Read the Southern states' articles of secession which each state issued when they voted to secede in order to explain to the world why they were leaving the union. The word "slavery" (or version thereof) appears throughout the documents. Economics? Yes -- the economics of owning people as property. States rights? Yes -- The state's "right" to legally protect slaveholders' property rights. Without slavery neither of those issues would have existed.

Here's a helpful link (Texas' and S. Carolina's articles especially interesting):

http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html

http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html

Posted by: truly1 | April 8, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The Civil War was about States Rights?

Yup - The right of the States to continue slavery as a legal practice. They called it "acting independently", which isn't a false argument. The problem was they argued this valid point for the sake of slavery.

The Civil War was about economics?

Yup. - The South's economy was primarily plantation farming. Mostly cotton. A large labor pool was needed --> Slaves.

The arguments are legit. Indeed it was about economy and States Rights. But the arguments were made for one reason: for the south to continue owning slaves.

Posted by: trident420 | April 8, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

To those who emphasize the importance of honoring our ancestors who fought, I'd like you to consider that it is our world no longer breaks down into simple categories.

I am the descendant of Franklin Riley, Company B, 16th Mississippi. He volunteered in May of 1861 and fought in every major battle in Virginia, from Bull Run to Petersburg. He survived the Union assault of Ft. Gregg and went to Point Lookout, a Union prisoner of war camp. Afterward he returned to his hardscrabble life in Mississippi and had 8 children.

I am also the proud adoptive mother of a very fine young black man, the descendant of Virginia slaves. My son serves his country in the U.S. Army and is fluent in 3 languages. He is smart, kind, honest and loving. I am blessed to have him in my life.

This month I'll remember my ancestor as a product of his time. But every day I honor my son as a manifestation of the best principles of our nation and the best hope for our future.

Posted by: truly1 | April 8, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

For those who question whether the Civil War was prompted by slavery I ask, what was the rhetoric of the people who lead the South into that disaster? Were they accusing Lincoln of being a tariff monger? Not in any books I've read. Did Lincoln take great pains in his inaugural address to try and calm fears that he was not going to impose unfair tariffs? Can't find that either. It was all about Slavery. John Brown, Dred Scott, Fugitive Slave Act, Bloody Kansas, were the incendiary events of the decade preceding hostilities. The election of the "Black Abolitionist" Lincoln was merely the final straw.

Posted by: trk113 | April 8, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"

What is really disgraceful is that most natural born citizens of the United States don't really understand their own history. The civil war was never about racism. It was, as all wars always are, about economics.

Posted by: cholliet"

True, as far as it goes. But the economy of the Old South was wholly dependent upon the preservation of slavery.

Posted by: thrh | April 8, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Right!

PostPartisan makes an important point absolutely and totally forgotten in the 'Lost Cause' fantasy that the governor published -- WEST VIRGINIA.

The division of WV from VA - absolutely and totally over the issue of secession and slavery -- was one of the most important events in the all the centuries of Virginia history.

The state was split in two -- SPLIT IN TWO -- over the issues driving the U.S. Civil War.

That's a huge thing, especially for anyone who truly wants to study and understand the history of Virginia.

McDonnell's little sugar-packet history lesson is notable only for what it left out.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | April 8, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

If he had called it "Civil War History Month", everyone would have backed him and no one would be offended.

Posted by: AxelDC | April 8, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Dear TN 46: I find it ironic that a Texas native would try to correct my supposed history shortcomings? Yeah Stars and Bars is a tough one. Red field and diagonally crossed blue stripe with seven stars in each cross. Try McPherson's Battle Cry for Freedom instead of the slanted crap you refer to for a more balanced treatment of the war. The point of this discussion wasn't a one side was pure and virtuous and one side wasn't my friend --- the point is the Governor of my state is an idiot. The second point was that I find it offensive that he would claim to speak for me and my family and millions of other Virginians in honoring what was when all is boiled down to essentials --- an armed rebellion against a legitimate elected United States Government. The more important point is that Confederate history is American history and has no shortage of coverage, no squashing of honor to ancestors (you can go to virtually any town/burg/holler/ and the capitol of Richmond and see monuments and statues and museums honoring the Confederacy. As if the history of the confederacy is some long suppressed thing. It's laughable, or at least would be laughable, except those that most support this revisionist treatment of the south's secession are the very folks who are spreading baselesss fear and anger towards the current legitimately elected United States Government and I think they should be called on their blustering lies. I call yours.

Posted by: army164 | April 8, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Bingo Bob tried to ignore Slavery and the atrocities that occured is shameful. Those whom argue that their support of the Confederacy is a matter of pride and tradition and not slavery is sadly mistaken. Even if their support of the Confederacy was because of money and the states' rights to conduct business as they see fit without the federal government's intereference and nothing more. Then they do indeed acknowledge and openly support the states' right to be slave holders.

Slavery and States' Rights are one in the same during that time period. It is my opinion that if you support The Stars and Bars and the Confederacy then you're a racist and support the idea of social inequality and racial injustice.

The thing that trips me out about this country is that, people whom are racist are damn sure afraid to say so. If you believe it to your core, then why be afraid to openly admit it? If you can't admit it openly, then, why not change your ways and begin to think more progressively?

Lastly, States Rights died at the end of the Civil War when the South lost. Despite what the Constitution says, it's dead and not coming back. I can't cry about reparations, about the south can't cry about States' Rights anymore.... Let's call it truce.

Posted by: Debonair31 | April 8, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Funny how the neo-confederates and Lost Cause mythology proponents claim the war was about States Rights. What States Right? Slavery. Mississippi born Civil War historian Jack Davis in his book "A Government of their Own" states that all the other causes all trace back to slavery.
There is no right to secession in the Constitution. But there are clear statements on conducting an election under the Federal system. The South lost. They decided to take their ball and go home. Or actually the rich and powerful decided this and brought the poor along (sort of like the Republicans today).
In Virginia there was voter intimidation of pro Union supporters. This is well documented in David Williams' book "Bitterly Divided" so Bo Knows don't give me that nonsense of the same percentage of voters as Obama got.
Bottom line, confederates shot at the United States flag, killed United States soldiers, supported a morally bankrupt system. From Colonial times with the slave patrols through the Civil War where everyone white and black had to have a pass ("Rebel Watchdog" by Kenneth Radley) to the 1980s, the South was a police state.

Posted by: roscym1 | April 8, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Given the proclamation by Gov. McDonnell to honor confederate history, while totally ignoring the incorrectness and horror of the true consequences of the confederacy, and the recent actions of AG Cuccinelli to fight every move of the federal government in court gives one the sense that secession is once again on the minds of Republican leaders in the Old Dominion. This administration is trying to tap past resentments to stir up fears that somehow our sovereignty is being challenged. The actions of this administration are misplaced, delusional and ignorant by completely ignoring racial equality, civility and the past sacrifices this country has made. VA has decided to take a huge step backward into ignorance and become the laughingstock of the nation. Thank you Gov. McDonnell for making us look like fools. As a VA citizen, I demand a better vision and direction for our state.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | April 8, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I think this is very good reporting on the real reason Virgina joined the Confederacy. Imagine the reverse today: a southern controlled government that was forcing something on the New England and Mid-Atlantic states. Is it treasonous to refuse to send troops to attack your fellow countrymen?

Virgina would not have left if it wasn't for this fact. Despite the main point of contention the Civil War WAS a war of northern aggression when viewed in the climate of the day. Back then people veiwed themselves as citizens of their state not U.S. citizens and the legal theory that a soverign state could leave the U.S. was well founded (They had to vote to decide to join) and the reason it was called the "Union" was because it was considered a union of states more than one national entity.

The confederates stance was foolish and preserving the Union was in the best interest for them in the long run, but to marginalize their views does nothing but to strengthen their sentiment. I live in Maryland and a number of the burial plots in my church have the iron cross signifying that they fought for the confederacy. Denying that these men fought for more than to keep slaves (those in Maryland could not stand to win and most of the people, according to church records, did not own slaves)is insulting to their ancestors.

Many of the people who now support the confederacy do so because they support the legal theory that The U.S. Congress should be limited to its enumerated powers in the constitution with the majority of the day-to-day laws and regulation provided by the states. Under this theory if you don't like the laws you could pack up your stuff and cross the state line. Or people who like me, a transactional lawyer, can't figure out how it is treasonous to decide to leave the constitution by vote in the state house when there is no method for dissolving or leaving set forth.

Posted by: RJlupin1 | April 8, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Uh, BoKnows? Your ancestors died defending States' rights ... to own other people. I think you left the last part out. And, if you think you need a month to celebrate that, they should elect you head of your local tea party chapter - the highest award in "loondom".

Posted by: chert | April 8, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Political correctness now forces us to remove our caps and bow our heads during the month of February. My suggestion for some of you Stalinist revisionist is to simply avert your eyes while a considerable proportion of Virginia's population enjoys a rousing rendition of "Dixie".

Posted by: slim2 | April 8, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Heres something to think about when contemplating the legality of seceding from the Union:

There is nothing in the constitution about leaving the U.S. but the 10th amendment does reserve all rights not given to national government reserved to the states. If this is the case then the right to leave the Union should rest with the states and it would make sense that the method would be the same as admission to the union - a vote in the state legislature.

Posted by: RJlupin1 | April 8, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Wow how quickly the ever hypocritical & intellectually dishonest Lane,Capehart,and racebaiter Colby King and their lemming liberal sycophants- as well as the rest of the associates at the Washington "We Have Always Hated Bob McDonnell" Post forget about this:

"Webb has suggested many times that while the Confederacy is a symbol to many of the racist legacy of slavery and segregation, for others it simply reflects Southern pride. In a June 1990 speech in front of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, posted on his personal website, he lauded the rebels’ “gallantry,” which he said “is still misunderstood by most Americans.”

Webb, a descendant of Confederate officers, also voiced sympathy for the notion of state sovereignty as it was understood in the early 1860s, and seemed to suggest that states were justified in trying to secede."

Defending the South has practially been a life’s work for Webb - a DEMOCRAT. Yet the WaPo, Capehart, Lane, the bigotted King, as well as all you hypocritical and intellectually dishonest liberals didn’t see fit to explore Webb's love of Confederacy to any significant degree or to attack him as you have McDonnell

Democrat who suppports Confederacy - Kool
Republican who supports Confederacy - Bigots.

Major Asshattery!!

Posted by: HarleyQuinn1 | April 8, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The pre-emininent cause of the Civil War WAS differences in opinion on SLAVERY between the North and South, revisionist modern-day Confederatism, notwithstanding. The papers and speeches back in 1861 were not clamoring primarily about tariffs or other issues -- slavery was always front and center. It absolutely was a state's rights thing, yes -- A state's right to keep people in slave bondage.

No one likes to hear their grandfather was a rapist. He may have been a good grandfather and provided well for his family and was loving and affectionate, and even fought for rights, so you have to love him, ok, we get it. But he went around raping other little children in the neighborhood. Instead of accepting it for what it is, now you have to go up and make up some offensive backstory excusing his behavior that the little children wandered on his land, and since a man is master of his land, it was his right to do whatever he wanted, and it was the bad, evil police who came and tried to interfere with his exercise of his rights. Maybe the police didn't get a warrant, maybe they used excessive force. BUT THE GRANDFATHER WAS RAPING LITTLE CHILDREN.

Now, just for argument's sake let's say that Grandfather turned out to be Martin Luther King, Jr. and he raped your child. How would you feel if they devoted a whole month exhalting him and didn't mention anything about his crimes? Or dismissed them, and begrudgingly acknowledged them when a major donor objected?

Posted by: xandersun | April 8, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

This proclamation is also an affront to any American who believes in the United States, which would have been destroyed by the success of the confederacy. Anyone who claims to be a patriot, and admires the confederacy is a hypocrite.

Posted by: scvaughan | April 8, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell’s proclamation has been called an affront to the state’s African-American population, past and present, which it is. But it’s also an insult to the not-insignificant minority of white Virginians who remained loyal to their country and their flag.
_____
I'm sorry but doesn't this mean Independence day is an affront to African-Americas also??? I mean the Declaration of Independence did allow for slavery. In fact the British said any Blacks who fought for them against independence would earn their freedom so thousands of Blacks joined the British side... And your other part.. well a not-insignificant minority of white Virginians remained loyal to Britain and their KING then to!!! So I guess since it doesn't include everyone we should throw out that whole 4th of July celebration while we are at it.. huh???


Posted by: sovine08 | April 8, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

army164,

i knew it! - you do NOT KNOW what the Stars & Bars looked like!

the Stars & Bars was the FIRST flag of the new Confederacy (there were THREE National flags over the 4 years of the life of the southern nation).

the Stars & Bars was a blue Union of SEVEN STARS with THREE horizontal bands of RED/WHITE/RED (the bars).- it was replaced because, at a distance, it looked too much like the US flag!

the S&B had NO CROSS at all! = the flag that you described was a UNOFFICIAL battle flag,which carried by some, but far from all, Confederate units.
it was never officially accepted by ANY portion of the Confederate government, ever.

so since you post NONSENSE about the First Confederate flag, we will all discount the rest of your posts to the posts true value as fact. = ZERO, ZILCH, NOTHING.

as i told someone else here, you might go learn some FACTS & stop believing the SELF-serving nonsense that (today) passes for "knowledge".

and as for "revisionist", i'm sorry but i'm NOT going to let you get away with that silly/ignorant FICTION. words (among professional historians & other educated persons) have meaning. - they are called" TERMS OF ART that have FIXED meanings that are agreed upon by scholars.

"Revisionist"/"Revisionism" is one of those "Terms of Art". those two words, now and for at least 3/4 of a century have meant the "radical historical views of the most extreme leftist's of academia about the war between the north & south".= in point of fact, most REVISIONISTS are not only northerners, but are also MARXISTS.
(therefore, whatever else southerners may be, we are not and will not be: REVISIONISTS.)

fyi,if you onto any university history department & describe the traditional historical view of southerners as "revisionist" you would have (rightly) been laughed OFF the campus & made to look like a "historical idiot"/fool.

go learn the FACTS & then come back & we'll talk about the REAL war between north & south, rather than about the "comforting, sanctamonious, SELF-righteous, FICTION" that you've been spoonfed.- i do not have time to educate you on the most basic of FACTS.= after you learn the FACTS (FACTS are FACTS; they are NOT "opinions".), we can talk resonably about what those FACTS mean.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Now, just for argument's sake let's say that Grandfather turned out to be Martin Luther King, Jr. and he raped your child. How would you feel if they devoted a whole month exhalting him and didn't mention anything about his crimes? Or dismissed them, and begrudgingly acknowledged them when a major donor objected?
Posted by: xandersun
_____
So you consider a child rapiest the same as a slave owner huh??? In that case when do you want to tear down the Washington and Jefferson memorials??? For that matter when should we change the name of the Capital of this country?? You surely wouldn't want the Capital named after a child rapiest now would you???

Posted by: sovine08 | April 8, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

So, that means 54 percent approved... about the same percentage that you claim makes Obama overwhelmingly the choice of Americans.

My ancestors fought and died for States Rights, not Slavery... as sharecroppers, they were little better than slaves themselves. The 31% who were black have a History Month. So, why should Confederate ancestors be denied a History Month when every other group seems to have one? Your Liberal BIAS is showing!

Virgina and the other Confederate States seceded from the Union, as was their right under the U.S. Constitution; so they WERE being loyal to their Country and their Flag... and to the principles of Federalism and States Rights this nation was founded on; those same principles that the present regime seems to disparage and ignore.

Posted by: BoKnows | April 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

########################################

Nobody dies for states' rights, then or now. You need to look at all the battles that took place in this country in the preceding decades regarding runaway slaves, prohibiting the importation of slaves, allowing slavery in the Midwestern and Western states.

The Southern states seceded because their entire economies were based on slavery, and they feared that the North was soon going to force an emancipation of the slaves.

Posted by: maggots | April 8, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I guess Virginians like to "honor" those who kill soldiers who fight under the U.S. flag. Bravo Virginia. Maybe next month you can honor the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 8, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Governor McDonnell has given the state a truly un-Hallmark Card moment--from someone who cares to give the very best but is too cheap to do it!

Posted by: Clio5 | April 8, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Suppport our troops!!! Do not honor those who kill U.S. soldiers!!!

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 8, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Support our troops!!! Do not honor those who killed U.S. soldiers!!!

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 8, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

For those who question whether the Civil War was prompted by slavery I ask, what was the rhetoric of the people who lead the South into that disaster? Were they accusing Lincoln of being a tariff monger? Not in any books I've read. Did Lincoln take great pains in his inaugural address to try and calm fears that he was not going to impose unfair tariffs? Can't find that either. It was all about Slavery. John Brown, Dred Scott, Fugitive Slave Act, Bloody Kansas, were the incendiary events of the decade preceding hostilities. The election of the "Black Abolitionist" Lincoln was merely the final straw.
Posted by: trk113
_____
Hate to break the news to you and the politically correct history books you were given but Lincoln didn't run on ending slavery. In fact while Lincoln was against slavery the issue was the expansion of slavery at the time.. NOT ending it in the South. Lincoln also said he would be happy to continue slavery if it meant saving the Union. In fact if the war ended BEFORE Sept 1862.. A YEAR AND A 1/2 after the war started... slavery would have continued in the South. Slavery might have divided the North and the South but the war was over the South's right to secede...

Posted by: sovine08 | April 8, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

truly1,

FIRST, let my congratulate you on the service of your adoptive son. - he is to be HONORED for his SERVICE in time of war.
(tell your "new soldier" that this "old soldier" says that he is PROUD of him. - fyi, i'm a retired commissioned officer of the Army.)

also, you really should go read the TRUTH and base your opinions, about the WBTS on FACTS, rather than "convienient/comforting FICTON", which is spoonfed to students to HIDE the uncomfortable TRUTH about the war. = the TRUTH is about a 100 times more complicated than your simplistic/false views.
(one of those FICTIONS is that EITHER side planned to abolish slavery!- not even many northern people in 1861 favored manumission of the slaves & over 90% couldn't have cared less whether slaves were ever freed or not; they SHOULD have cared; they did not.
abolitionists were FEW & LOUD in propounding their opinions, but at best they were a SMALL minority of the people of the USA.)

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"My ancestors fought and died for States Rights, not Slavery... as sharecroppers, they were little better than slaves themselves."

My ancestors fought and died for slavery, and they only THOUGHT they were fighting for states rights. For their rebellion, they lost everything and became sharecroppers after the war.

"Hate to break the news to you and the politically correct history books you were given but Lincoln didn't run on ending slavery."

Every politically correct history book I ever read says this. He said the nation would not remain half free and half slave. None of this changes the fact that the Confederacy was an evil institution, gross violator of civil rights, and after the war the die-hard Confederates organized themselves as the KKK. The Klan's mission was to restore the old Confederacy way of life or as close to it as they could. If you want to see the Confederacy today, go to a Klan rally.

Posted by: leftcoaster | April 8, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Yes ,slavery was a terrible thing,,as a member of the sons of union veterans I agree.Revising history or trying to ignore it is as idiotic as ever.Following the emancipation there should have been compensation followed by repatriation of the slaves to their homelands,,completed by 1868.

Posted by: gonville1 | April 8, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

For those who question whether the Civil War was prompted by slavery I ask, what was the rhetoric of the people who lead the South into that disaster? Were they accusing Lincoln of being a tariff monger? Not in any books I've read. Did Lincoln take great pains in his inaugural address to try and calm fears that he was not going to impose unfair tariffs? Can't find that either. It was all about Slavery. John Brown, Dred Scott, Fugitive Slave Act, Bloody Kansas, were the incendiary events of the decade preceding hostilities. The election of the "Black Abolitionist" Lincoln was merely the final straw.
Posted by: trk113
_____
Hate to break the news to you and the politically correct history books you were given but Lincoln didn't run on ending slavery. In fact while Lincoln was against slavery the issue was the expansion of slavery at the time.. NOT ending it in the South. Lincoln also said he would be happy to continue slavery if it meant saving the Union. In fact if the war ended BEFORE Sept 1862.. A YEAR AND A 1/2 after the war started... slavery would have continued in the South. Slavery might have divided the North and the South but the war was over the South's right to secede...

Posted by: sovine08 | April 8, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

#######################################

Sorry, but nobody dies for the right to secede or for states rights. It is always something more immediate and threatening.

Why do you think the Southern politicians fought so hard for slave states located hundreds of miles away from them? Because they wanted more slavery-friendly senators and congressmen in Washington to protect slavery.

Every other civilized nation had abolished slavery by 1860 - the South knew that pressure was growing year by year in this country to do likewise.

Sure, Lincoln said he didn't want to abolish slavery, but the South didn't believe him. Southern politicians were convinced that Lincoln was going to limit or abolish slavery, and they had no legal way to stop him.

Posted by: maggots | April 8, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

BoKnows: state's rights? as in the right of the states to be wrong about slavery? if you want to argue that on principle, great, but it's not going to get you very far. And if I am reading the rest of your remarks, you are suggesting that armed insurrection is a patriotic duty, constitutionally sanctioned, whenever you feel that the duly constituted government is acting unconstitutionally. Using force to overthrow a government (as opposed to using the court system as it is designed to vindicate a position) is called treason. sometimes history vindicates the treasonous as being morally justified. sometimes not. don't beat around the bush. If you want to suggest that the south should have won, and that we need another civil war, just do it and expose yourself as a lunatic.

Posted by: JoeT1 | April 8, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

celebrating Black History month isn't exactly the same as celebrating white confederate month, is it? the former is the history of a race in a country. nothing negative about celebrating it. the latter is the history of a specific agenda.

It would be just as logical for neo-Nazis to argue that if you can have a German-Jew history month, you can have a Third-Reich month.

Posted by: JoeT1 | April 8, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

So, I guess Republicans, and Virginians inparticular, feel that its ok to kill U.S. soldiers if you are fighting for what you believe is your economic and territorial rights. I had no idea Republicans and Virginians shared the same values as Bin Laden and Al Queda. I suppose if you were born in the U.S. then joined Al Queda to fight U.S. economic and political policy, the Republicans and the state of Virginia would honor you too. If you want to honor those who kill U.S. troops... leave the country and join Al Queda. Bin Laden will heap praise on you for every U.S. soldier you kill.
Support the U.S. and our troops!!! Stop honoring those who killed U.S. soldiers!

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 8, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Slavery was wrong. Just imagine how much better the country would be today had not a single slave set foot in the country. Those poor people did not want to be forced to leave their homes. We are paying dearly today for something that should have never been.

Posted by: fastaire | April 8, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

xandersun,

"just for the sake of argument", lets say that some "war criminal in blue" raped/tortured/assaulted you great grandmother, how would feel about honoring him & his "cause"?

for all too many southern slaves, the only thing that the "Billy Yanks" freed them from was BEING ALIVE.

during the four years of war between north & south, more slaves were raped/murdered/tortured than in ALL the years of legal chattal slavery. - that is DOCUMENTED FACT, whether you wish to believe it or not. to quote one lady professor of the University of CT: "The invading union army came south and acted like a herd of rabid swine, raping, robbing civilians, burning private property, as well as torturing and killing unarmed/helpless civilans of the south, with gleeful abandon. their behavior was atrocious, as they felt free to do as they wished. it must also be admitted that a central portion of the overall union strategy to win the war was to utilize crimes against civilians as a weapon of war"

the MAIN reason that well over a hundred thousand Black men (and NOT a few Black women, btw - yes there were numerous female soldiers who fought for southern freedom & for their family/homes/farms/etc.) volunteered/fought for the south is that they were horrified/angered by the war crimes committed against "persons of colour" (& other racial/religious minority groups) by the invading yankee soldiers.
(had the invaders NOT committed so many attrocities against unarmed/helpless civilians of all colors/races/social classes, the free Blacks of dixie might well have "sat out the war", as neutrals.)

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I imagine all the "pro" McDonnell comments will be what I hear if I ever try to explain to a new business-owner in my very tourist-dependent town why his confederate flags and decals (in his restaurant, no less) are offensive to Native Americans in our state (Montana), not to mention other "nonwhite" visitors to our very tourism-oriented town, and to many of us "white" residents. Confederates, you need a large dose of compassion and common sense.

Posted by: cd55 | April 8, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Booby McDumbell has proven to be as "moderate" as the old-time Southern "moderates," who supported segregation but opposed lynching. What courage!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | April 8, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Funny how many of these posts mistake "political correctness" for simple "correctness"--this isn't anything political about being correct, accurate, right, truthful.

Posted by: writinron | April 8, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This whole notion of the war not being about slavery is Great Southern White Lie to perpetuate the Lost Cause theory and propaganda. All you have to do is read South Carolina's original statement on leaving the Union, and also read the Official Constitution of the Confederacy. If slavery weren't THE issue, then why is it mentioned so prominently in both documents? And even if you don't want to argue that it was the root cause, you CANNOT ARGUE THAT CONFEDERATES DID NOT WANT TO KEEP SLAVERY. OR CAN YOU? Can anybody debate that if the South had won slavery would have continued? So by default, whether you say it was fought because of slavery or economic reasons, if you would undoubtedly keep it if you won, and the other side will kill it if they win, they you are indeed fighting for slavery. Yes, the confederacy was controlled by a powerful few, as are most wars and atrocities. so what. It was still horrible. Some of you need a class in critical reasoning.
And by the way, how far do you think a month celebrating folks who weren't racist but who fought in Hitler's army? How would that fly?

Posted by: ksanders32 | April 8, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Virginians of all people should have an understanding of the devastation brought by slavery and the Civil War, especially to Virginia. For McDonnell not to understand is inexcusable.

Blessed be the Peacemakers.

Posted by: chucky-el | April 8, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

BoKnows says:
"Your Liberal BIAS is showing!"

Why yes it is, I have a bias against traitors.

You contend the U.S. constitution allows secession.

NOPE!

Chap. LXXIV.—An Act in addition to the act, entitled "An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States."

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, Penalty on unlawful combinations to oppose the measures of government, &c.
Ante, p. 112.That if any persons shall unlawfully combine or conspire together, with intent to oppose any measure or measures of the government of the United States, which are or shall be directed by proper authority,

July 1798

By the way Virginia opposed the Sedition act as did Kentucky, why was that? they already showed their traitorous acts and apparently can't stop, big on Tea Parties are ya?

Posted by: ORNOT | April 8, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

BoKnows says:
"Your Liberal BIAS is showing!"

Why yes it is, I have a bias against traitors.

You contend the U.S. constitution allows secession.

NOPE!

Chap. LXXIV.—An Act in addition to the act, entitled "An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States."

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, Penalty on unlawful combinations to oppose the measures of government, &c.
Ante, p. 112.That if any persons shall unlawfully combine or conspire together, with intent to oppose any measure or measures of the government of the United States, which are or shall be directed by proper authority,

July 1798

By the way Virginia opposed the Sedition act as did Kentucky, why was that? they already showed their traitorous acts and apparently can't stop, big on Tea Parties are ya?

Posted by: ORNOT | April 8, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

cd55,

fwiw, my ancestors fought against the USA, before, during and long after the WBTS because they were NA/AmerIndians & we had been treated as badly as the slaves were in the antebellum USA (both north & south).

have you ever heard of: SAND CREEK, PALMETTO SPRINGS,FALLEN TIMBERS, WILLOW POINT, LOCKSLEY GAP & thousand of other MASSACRES of unarmed/helpless/peaceful AmerIndians (i don't care for the PC term "Native American", unless you only mean a person born in the USA.) by men in BLUE UNIFORMS.
the mistreatment of "persons of colour", whether slave or free, is the PRIMARY reason that well over 80% of AIs "sided with" & in many cases fought WITH the GRAY-clad army against the "bluebellies".
(it was a case of" The enemy of my enemy is my friend.)

is that a simle enough answer for you to UNDERSTAND & ACCEPT the TRUTH, or shall i use simpler words & more actual EXAMPLES of why your expressed opinions are SILLY, fact-FREE & IGNORANT?

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

...during the four years of war between north & south, more slaves were raped/murdered/tortured than in ALL the years of legal chattal slavery. - that is DOCUMENTED FACT.

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

##########################################

If this is a DOCUMENTED fact, you can provide us with the source, please. Frankly, I don't believe it for a minute.

Also, the vast majority of blacks who served in the Confederate Army were FORCED to serve in supply and support roles. Although several confederate generals requested black combat troops, the political establishment wouldn't agree to it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_African_Americans_in_the_U.S._Civil_War#Confederate_States_Army

Posted by: maggots | April 8, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

This whole notion of the war not being about slavery is Great Southern White Lie to perpetuate the Lost Cause theory and propaganda. All you have to do is read South Carolina's original statement on leaving the Union, and also read the Official Constitution of the Confederacy. If slavery weren't THE issue, then why is it mentioned so prominently in both documents? And even if you don't want to argue that it was the root cause, you CANNOT ARGUE THAT CONFEDERATES DID NOT WANT TO KEEP SLAVERY. OR CAN YOU?
Posted by: ksanders32
_____
With this argument you can say the American revolution was about KEEPING SLAVES!! It was right in the Declaration of Independence!!! In fact the British offered Blacks freedom if they fought for them against independence and thousands did!!! BTW we won and we KEPT SLAVERY!!! Does this mean we should cancel the 4th of July celebrations???

Posted by: sovine08 | April 8, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

So, I guess Republicans, and Virginians inparticular, feel that its ok to kill U.S. soldiers if you are fighting for what you believe is your economic and territorial rights. I had no idea Republicans and Virginians shared the same values as Bin Laden and Al Queda. Posted by: mdmtnbiker
_____
And I had no idea Democrats thought Native Americans were the same as al Queda. Didn't they think it was ok to kill US solders fighting for what they believed were there economic and territorial rights????

Posted by: sovine08 | April 8, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Slavery was wrong. Just imagine how much better the country would be today had not a single slave set foot in the country. Those poor people did not want to be forced to leave their homes. We are paying dearly today for something that should have never been.
Posted by: fastaire
_____
I agree 100%

Posted by: sovine08 | April 8, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Some of you, including Charles Lane, need a Confederacy month since you obviously don't have a clue about the reasons behind the Civil War. The war was really about State's Rights and Northern aggression. Slavery was a very small part of it. I agree with BoKnows...my children know everything there is to know about Rosa Parks and MLK, but can't tell you about the Civil War or WWII, since Black History month lasts all year. Is THAT fair?
Posted by: tarheelgirl1
----------------------------
States Rights and Northern Aggression? Sure.
Let me enlighten you tarheelgirl... Black History Month started out as Black History Week in the African American community. It was started because your ancestors gave Black Americans credit for NOTHING but picking cotton. It was our way to teach our children that yes, we had contributed in great and positive ways to this country and that they should be proud of their ancestors. We have been forced to learn all about your ancestors but that is OK because we are part of the American fabric and need to know it's history. So... don't have a hissy because we want to celebrate our contributions to America. If your children don't know anything about the Civil War and WWII, that is YOUR fault, not ours. We teach our children history. And btw, it is Black History Month not year and no one is forced to celebrate it. But, if you'd like to make it a year of celebration, please sign me up.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | April 8, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The invention of "political correctness" was the fiction that the South seceded for any reason other than to protect slavery. From some of the comments, that peculiar form of political correctness has effectively brainwashed a large number of people. I would recommend reading the secession resolutions of the various rebel states to find out the real reason why they seceded. (Hint: it was slavery.)

Posted by: sdeleve | April 8, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Virginians forget about the loss of land mass and people because of the war. West Virginia was formed becaused that portion of Virginia seceded from the state.

Posted by: deloresclaiborne1 | April 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Some of the history on here is extremely poor. To focus on any reason for the Civil War other then slavery is incorrect. It is analogous to focusing on the cause of a fire by examining the furniture while ignoring the faulty wiring and the open gas can. Did other problems exacerbate the differences between the North and the South? Yes. But without slavery none of those differences would have led to secession. Once the initial state seceeded Lincoln was faced with only 2 possibilities. One, allow those states to go their own way and accept their secession (as one poster suggested). This would have prevented the deaths of over a million people but that is 20/20 hindsight. No one expected what happened the war to last as long or be as bloody as it was. Or, two treated secession as an act of rebellion against the US gov't and taken action to supress the rebellion. The South clearly hoped for #1 but knew #2 was much more likely. In the end Lincoln chose #2 and at a terrible cost the rebellion was suppressed.
The Civil War was a pivotal moment in this countries history. The stories from the war are etched in our collective memory. We want to honor the sacrafices and deeds performed by our soldiers. For the North it is easy. They fought to preserve the Union and end slavery. But for the South it is so much more difficult. They can't argue they were defending slavery and rebellion. So they argue they were defending their homes and states against invaders. It is understandable but a distortion. The Civil War was a tragedy for the South. Any method chosen to honor the memories of the Southern soldiers risks raising the spector of slavery and Jim Crow. It is a path that must be tred lightly by both sides. Certianly few of the comments on here even attempt to do that.

Posted by: kchses1 | April 8, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

...and isn't it interesting today that the descendants of the 54% majority of white Virginians are proud present day Tea Party "American patriots" who have always voted with the conservative party of their time, whether Democrat in the pre-voting rights South or Republican in the post-voting rights South.

Posted by: dc1020008 | April 8, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@boknows...if Blacks have their "history month" every February, why can't white...

geez, talk about stoopid...white people have their "history month" EVERY FREAKING MONTH!

Posted by: dc1020008 | April 8, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The issues which were central to the Civil War and NOT complicated.. The North fought to preserve the Union and end slavery- the South was defending slavery and rebellion - since Mcconnell and his right wing, frui(Tea)Party loon cannot say the were fighting for the rights to enslave human beings, instead they argue they were defending their homes and states against invaders. It is a lie, and a deception to say the Civil War was about 'states rights,' not to mention the decades of Jim Crow laws which were designed specifically to oppress blacks after the war ended, including denying them the right to vote. I urge everyone who's as sick of this disgrace as I am to look up "Boycott Virginia Now!" on Fb and join.

Posted by: paulserrano | April 8, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Personally I find Confederate History Month a refreshing change. I'm tired of heritage and soldiers being ignored and forgotten. It will also make people aware that slavery was not only NOT what the war was about, but barely an afterthought. The War Between The States was as much about slavery then as the next will be which is nil. It's about States right to choose, and Federal Involvement in day to day issues of each state. There's another coming let there be no doubt, though the lines may not be as clear as the Mason Dixon this time. You don't need to be a southerner "this time" to see what Federalizum has done to this country nor to see your rights vanishing one by one.

Posted by: dlpartyka | April 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

_______________________________________

Are these more Apocalyptic threats with further romaniticization of secession displayed by the South in the 1860's?

No, my friend, the Civil War WAS about slavery. It was not an afterthought as you state.

"States rights" have been invoked for the most part only twice in American history - once during Secession and once during the Voting Rights Act.

I find it amazing that in a democracy like ours, that as soon as the opposition party takes control, the new Republican Party threaten Secession.

There's a basis for "peaceful revolution" called the ballot box.

For EIGHT LONG YEARS OUR COUNTRY WAS HIJACKED BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. I was ready for "peaceful revolution" as well, a revolution of the liberal kind and if you didn't wake up and smell the coffee, you might have missed that revolution. That revolution occured in 2006 and 2008 with the Democrats winning both houses of CONGRESS and the PRESIDENCY.

If you're so fed up with liberals being in charge for only TWO FRICKING YEARS, then stand up and make your vote count in 2010.

OTHERWISE - SHUT THE FRICK UP OR LEAVE THE COUNTRY!!!!

Posted by: dc1020008 | April 8, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"The People" only need a 51% majority to make a decision. So it's entirely legitimate to say that "the people" chose to join the Confederacy.

What a silly article.

Posted by: ZZim | April 8, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives try to discredit liberals by making "progressive" a dirty word. But let's not forget that conservatives proclaim to be the opposite of that, which is "regressive."

And let's also thank our embarrassment of a governor Bob McDonnell for proving this to be true.

Posted by: tomguy1 | April 8, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Confederate History.

A bunch of slave holding, treasonous, terrorists attacked America.

America kicked their butt. - see Sherman's march to the sea.

Their treason cost us greatly in blood and treasure.

Antetam was the single bloodiest day in American history, when you include the domestic terrorists.

Though the Confederacy only lasted 4-5 years, the legacy is a deep-seated hatred all things American by the descendants of the traitors.

Slavery was abolished as a result of the bloodiest treason America has endured.

That is the history of the Confederacy.

Still think it deserves to be commemorated?

Posted by: jvburke | April 8, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing happy about the Civil War or the history of the confederacy. It happened and is well-documented in textbooks and other media forms. One doesn't need a proclamation to remember the Confederacy unless you also have a remembrance month for slavery. The Confederacy was a blight on American history along with slavery, and we need only look at its legacy of division, states' rights, denial, and human suffering to "remember" the role of the Confederacy.

Posted by: collinsbs | April 8, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

One excellent use of Confederate History month would be to actually study Confederate history. This would allow the public statement of the fact that slavery and its perpetuation was the cause of secession, the formation of the Confederacy and the ensuing civil war. Further that the Confederacy was fighting for the extension and perpetuation of slavery, and that such perpetuation and continuation was the only States' Rights issue of any consequence in bring on the war. A public recognition of this simple set of facts by the Governor of the Old Dominion would be well worth the formal recognition of Confederate history month.

"...One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease..."
-Abraham Lincoln-
Second Inaugural Address

Posted by: DavidWilliamson1 | April 8, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing about the Confederate States of America that warrants any sort of celebration. The Confederacy warrants only condemnation. Its principal purpose was to protect the rights of white men to own black men, women, and children and to force them to suffer the worst indignities imaginable. McDonnell's month long celebration of the Confederacy is likely to make the Republican party a party of white men only.

Posted by: esch | April 8, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

maggots,

OK - start with the well-known book: THE UNCIVIL WAR. then go to the public files of the US Army's Provost Marshal at the US Archives & read what they say about courts martial of union "war criminals", doing EXACTLY what i stated.

but of course, you will NOT believe, no matter what, as you are (based solely on your posts) either IGNORANT and/or DISHONEST & a PROPAGANDIST FOR the "yankee apologists".
(i think it highly likely that you are one of those LEFTIST persons, who will in spite of all evidence to the contrary, cling tightly to your ignorance & will continue to wear your tinfoil-lined hat.= i.e., everyone who disagrees with your PREJUDICES & "strange notions" will be scoffed at, accused of racism & "called names".)

furthermore, MUCH of the information is referenced in DA PAM 19-31-6-2 (an official US Army Military Police publication).

NOW go do some reading & leave this discussion to the adults & to those who have OPEN MINDS.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I read an early comment where a poster says his sharecropper ancestors fought for State's Rights. He is sadly mistaken. Lincoln was elected on a pledge not to interfere with existing Slavery. The Slave States were so afraid that they were going to eventually lose power [they had pretty much run the country for 80 years, that they began a pre-emptive war. The only rights that this poor soldier fought for was the right to hold human beings in bondage forever. By the way there was little or no sharecropping till slavery was abolished and it was instituted to replace the slave system, by the same powers who maintained plantations. Sharecropping kept whites and blacks in a state of serfdom but the powers played the poor whites against the blacks. Much like the McDonnells of this world play on the fears of the White middle class to their own economic detriment.

Posted by: jpatuto11 | April 8, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

jpatuto; all,

as "an enrolled member" of one of the "300 Nations" & a member in goodstanding of The Tribal Cultural Committee, let me tell you my opinion of Lincoln & his opinions on race/religion/ethnicity.

inasmuch as Lincoln was himself a STONE RACIST, i'm sure he had no problem keeping his "campaign promise" to not "interfere with" slavery.

Lincoln, by his own words, said that he HATED & FEARED Blacks, Catholics, Jews, "muddy-colored people" (i.e., mixed-race), Asians (he called them "Chinamen"), Hispanics AND us AmerIndians.
(btw, he repeatedly called us: Red Savages, who are without either humanity or souls.).

face it, Lincoln was nothing more than a prejudiced, shyster railroad lawyer & a cheap scheming politician, not at all dissimilar from some of the worst "public servants", that we've had in our lifetime, like Robert (KKK) Byrd,George Wallace, J. William Fulbright, Bull Connors & others of that sort.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

To jvburke,

I think I took your history class at UC-Berkeley!

Thank goodness you were kicked out for gross incontinence.

Go back and read your post in about a week's time. You'll want to kick your own a$$ for posting such idiocy.

Anyway - when you call EVERYONE terrorists - then like monetary inflation, the meaning as applied to real terrorists gets diminished.

I guess the American British colonists were "terrorists" and "traitors" too for breaking away from England. See son, I am a realist: Winners write the history and simpletons believe what they are told.

You are the type that won't see the hypocrisy in American colonists not being traitors for doing essentially the same thing that the Confederates did (breaking away from their government). The British called us "rebels" and "traitors" as well. In addition, what do you say about the "West Virginians" who "seceded" from Virginia with US government approval during the Civil War because they did not like their State government? Virginia has a constitution just like the federal government. And the realist in me says that the winners of wars write the history and determine what is "right" so that you will know what to think.

I saw that first hand in Iraq. So as I point out to you the case of the "American Rebellion" and the West Virginia case, I am positive that you are stumped in trying to reconcile how the Southerners can all be "terrorists" but not the other cases I have highlighted.

Because you don't have the sophistication and learning to independently evaluate these complex issues is clearly shown by how you like to label everything and call everyone names. It is alot easier to just call all the Confederates "terrorists" than it is to actually educate yourself on the topic and think about it.

You, and those like you, on both sides, are the reason we can't have a conflict free Confederate History Month. You've drank the cool-aid and can't get beyond simple name calling. Ironically, if you did some research, you might find that some of the "terrorists" were your ancestors. Then you could write them off as well. I have ancestors on both sides and honor both.

Please don't stay up too late tonight trying to make sense of how some "traitors" can be real "traitors" but other "traitors" really aren't "traitors" because it will give you a headache.

Posted by: DimWit | April 8, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

DimWit,

may i also say that the LEFTISTS, ANTI-Confederate History Month people & the "progressives" have NO FACTS, just ignorant, uneducated, silly, prejudiced opinions & "name calling" but nothing of MERIT about their "subject"?

otoh, some few of us have gone out of our way to post DOCUMENTED FACTS/SOURCES, with no intelligent, thoughful, or even educated opinions/retorts from the lunatic fringe.

NOT even one "progressive voice" has answered me, except to say that they disagree and to say that the DOCUMENTED FACTS are wrong. - FACTS are FACTS, they are no more subject to opinion than the rules of arithmatic are.

therefore, i see no good reason to TRY to reason with the BIGOTS on the left. therfore, i will continue to posat the TRUTH & ignore their silly name-calling.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

DimWit,

may i also say that the LEFTISTS, ANTI-Confederate History Month people & the "progressives" have NO FACTS, just ignorant, uneducated, silly, prejudiced opinions & "name calling" but nothing of MERIT about their "subject"?

otoh, some few of us have gone out of our way to post DOCUMENTED FACTS/SOURCES, with no intelligent, thoughful, or even educated opinions/retorts from the lunatic fringe.

NOT even one "progressive voice" has answered me, except to say that they disagree and to say that the DOCUMENTED FACTS are wrong. - FACTS are FACTS, they are no more subject to opinion than the rules of arithmatic are.

therefore, i see no good reason to TRY to reason with the BIGOTS on the left. therfore, i will continue to post the TRUTH & ignore their silly name-calling.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Rylin,

your post to me has just ONE basic "problem" = it does NOT conform to any of the DOCUMENTED FACTS about what Lincoln, himself & in his own handwriting, SAID.

furthermore, it makes utterly NO differnce whether you wish to accept what he undoubtedly believed or whether you do NOT, as it is FACT, which is NOT subject to your/anyone's opinion/wishful thinking.

therefore, unless you can find other DOUCUMENTED FACTS to support your opinion, you have just lost the argument & been unmasked as one who "feels" rather than "knows".

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 8, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Came back to check out the firestorm. All in all, I think this is a worthwhile discussion board. There are some of the usual name-calling folks on here, but most posters seem genuinely interested in discussing this bit of Americana.

thrh wrote

"True, as far as it goes. But the economy of the Old South was wholly dependent upon the preservation of slavery."

Although I may not agree that the economy of the Old South "was wholly dependent upon the preservation of slavery” as you write, there is certainly an argument to be made that the landed aristocratic planter classes were dependent upon both slaves as un-free laborers and the slave trade itself for economic sustenance. The problem was this was an unsustainable economic system. The southern aristocrat classes of the antebellum were preventing the industrial expansion that could move the southern states into a true capitalist economy which would, ultimately, improve the lives of all citizens of the south.

I am not denying that slavery has a racist base. I just want people to look at all the facts about the Civil War. But everyone on this discussion board arguing about slavery as the main cause of the Civil War seems to be uninterested in the economic aspects of slavery. The interest here, along with the arguments, appears to revolve entirely around the ethical arguments against slavery. Once that nerve is touched, there appears to be no stopping the pain and howling. Either this is due to an accidental misreading of my own arguments or, if deliberate, a good example of the straw man fallacy.

Look, slavery happened. It happened here, in the United States. It did not just happen in the southern states. That the south had built a class of planters whose economy revolved around slaves as labor and property is unique. Still, the southern slavery phenomenon was never the beginning or the end of racism. If this phenomenon is truly what is meant to be celebrated by a Confederate Heritage month in Virginia, that is wrong. It is also wrong to refuse to look objectively at the whole picture, to listen to all sides; to look at all sources, to try to learn from the whole experience that is the United States of America as we know it.

Posted by: cholliet | April 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

This guy must have been asleep in history class.The war was about states rites.Lincoln violated the constatution (cant spell sorry,but i do know history)States had rite to leave at anytime if they were unhappy.Slavery was a minor issue.Sorry but that is the truth.A yankee aka white guy was not about to die for a black mans freedom,they were just as racist as the south.More so actualy wich is why most free slaves or slaves on the run went to canada.Their were even freed slaves in the south who joined the confederate army.Lincoln used the freeing of the slaves to say to the south your loosing the war.He never liked them and had he lived they would have been deported.In fact when he was a lawyer he actualy wanted usa to rent slaves to various island states.He got shot down on that thank god.Lincoln,FDR,and now obama all have tried to destroy states rites.Lincoln even ordered shelling of ny city over draft riots.Murdering union civilians.I dont recall president of the south bombing cities on his side.
And their were plenty of slaves north of mason dixen line.These soldiers were usa heroes.As were the union.They should be honored to.

Posted by: nathanlong20000 | April 10, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

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