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Understanding Civil War Balls and Other Things


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All of this discussion regarding the pro-slavery leanings of Douglas Wilson has me wondering. Is this thinking somehow connected to the popularity of the Civil War ball among homeschoolers and some churches?

 

Our area has these dances, and my son has Facebook friends across the country who talk about them as well.

 

How is Andrew Pudewa's use of the phrase "War of Northern Aggression," during the 3 Andrews conference part of this? The other Andrews did not argue...

 

Is there something I have been missing? Why so much Confederate sympathy and longing for the antebellum south?

 

Are these things coincidences?

 

If you know of other writers (not Doug Wilson) and historians who use the "Northern Aggression" phrase or have this stand, would you please share the information.

 

I am feeling very uneasy and do not know where to look.

 

Thanks in advance...

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_the_American_Civil_War

 

Those who call it the War of Northern Aggression believe that the United States Army fought a sovereign nation. (The CSA)

Those who call it the Civil War believe that the this war was fought in one country between two groups of people in that country.

Those who call it the War Between the States believe that this war was between the Confederate States, and the United States.

 

 

Of course, if you refer to it as anything other than The Civil War, you are obviously racist. :rolleyes:

 

 

 

(Did I get it right?)

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Those who call it the Civil War believe that the this war was fought in one country between two groups of people in that country.

Those who call it the War Between the States believe that this war was between the Confederate States, and the United States.

 

I'm such a pragmatist, I call it The War Between the States because civil wars happen all the time, and I'm betting some country somewhere calls one of theirs The Civil War, too. TWBtS seems to really name it as that thing that happened mid-19th century in the USA, to me.

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It is called The Civil War because they lost.

 

Had they won it might have been called The War for Southern Independence, which was popular among southerners but they lost.

 

"War of Southern Aggression" or "War of Northern Aggression" is just people getting airs.

 

The outcome has an effect.

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First point, I've never heard of a Civil War ball, so I have no idea what is going on there. Second point, I don't know anything about Doug Wilson, so I can't speak to that. I do live on the site of a Civil War memorial--there was a battle here during the war and our memorial actually commemorates the fallen of both armies. Third point, I, like many other southerners, love and appreciate our history and heritage and it makes me sad when it is misunderstood and vilified.

 

My love for our culture has absolutely nothing to do with racism or slavery. You can't define the entire history and southern culture by slavery alone. Yes, it did happen down here, but there was also slavery in the north and in a lot of other countries. The southern states didn't invent slavery and we didn't corner the market on it.

 

Yes, we do often refer to the Civil War as the War of Northern Aggression and we smile when we do. It's a colloquialism. It's not meant to be ugly. But, frankly, let's look at it from a southern viewpoint. The majority of battles were fought on southern soil. That would make the Union seem like more of an aggressor from our point of view, right?

 

I've lived in towns much of my life where, as a white person, I've been in the minority and I have often been on the receiving end of racism. There are racists in all ethnic groups. You just can't assume that someone who is proud of their southern heritage and who can see the good things that were part of the antebellum period is a racist person. And you can't assume that they approve of slavery either. (I saw in another thread today that apparently all "rednecks" are racist too? You can't make that assumption either.)

 

I have a friend who grew up in the Russian Jewish community in New York and is proud of her heritage. I have another who came from the Polish community in Chicago and is equally as proud of his heritage. I have friends who are very proud to be Texans and all of the culture that surrounds that. I happen to be a girl from the deep South and I'm proud of it. I love being southern. I love our customs and mannerisms. And it has nothing to do with racism or slavery.

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Yes. *Any* country can have a Civil War. The particular horrific war being disussed here is the American Civil War.

 

Civil War happens when members of the same country fight against each other. Internal civil conflict/war can happen for a myriad of reasons: to gain control, to become independant of the government, to be released to form a new nation etc etc.

 

There are civil wars happening all over the world, at any time. If my memory doesn't bite, the term civil war, named for the Latin 'bellum civile' was first used to describe the warring within the Roman Republic. (Don't worry, I'll google to double check. lol) Everyone has heard the phrase 'Antebellum', right? It simply means 'before the war'. So, when the phrase 'antebellum south' is used (often in romantic terms), it is simply speaking to the time period in the American south which predates the American Civil War. Antebellum is Latin, not English, and is not particular to the southern American states.

 

So no, Americans didn't invent Civil war. :)

 

 

 

I'm such a pragmatist, I call it The War Between the States because civil wars happen all the time, and I'm betting some country somewhere calls one of theirs The Civil War, too. TWBtS seems to really name it as that thing that happened mid-19th century in the USA, to me.
Edited by LibraryLover
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How is Andrew Pudewa's use of the phrase "War of Northern Aggression," during the 3 Andrews conference part of this? The other Andrews did not argue...

 

 

It is code to his intended audience. No one mistakes the meaning.

 

Bill

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It is code to his intended audience. No one mistakes the meaning.

 

Bill

 

Well, you might laugh at my naivete, but if I were in an audience listening to Andrew Pudewa, I would have no idea that he was speaking a code. I am not from the south, and if I thought he was from the south, I might only assume he was referring to how the war looked from his eyes. I had absolutely no idea that there was a special meaning to that phrase. My knowledge of history is severely lacking and my understanding of racism is very limited. I truly thought racism was dead (all I knew was my little rural-suburban corner of the PNW) and was shocked when people I knew objected to me dating a black man. I sincerely thought the world had outgrown racism. (Wouldn't that be nice???)

 

So, please don't be so quick to assume. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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Bill wrote:

 

"It is code to his intended audience. No one mistakes the meaning."

 

Who is this intended audience? What information do they share? To whom are they listening? What is the greater meaning? Was I the only one in the room not in on it?

 

I have been enjoying a course on the Civil War on academic earth by David Blight at Yale. This other viewpoint fascinates me. It's a whole universe to which I have never been exposed. My exposure to this period of history has been very mainstream--a few books, etc.

 

Thanks for your help.

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I suppose if you're Southern you can feel nostalgic about a romanticized version of the antebellum South, just like we Westerners feel nostalgic about a romanticized version of the pioneer era. Pioneers were dispossessing Native Americans all over the place, but that's not what we're celebrating when we do re-enactments at Sutter's Fort or whatever (though what was happening to Native people is taught there too).

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I suppose if you're Southern you can feel nostalgic about a romanticized version of the antebellum South, just like we Westerners feel nostalgic about a romanticized version of the pioneer era. Pioneers were dispossessing Native Americans all over the place, but that's not what we're celebrating when we do re-enactments at Sutter's Fort or whatever (though what was happening to Native people is taught there too).

 

:iagree: People from every country celebrate their heritage, despite the fact that they (or their family) came to America because there was something going on in their "home country" that they didn't like.

 

My family all lives in the south (I didn't grow up there) and several of my cousins participate in Civil Was Reenactments and Civil War Balls. It's not my thing, but whatever. They aren't celebrating slavery (which as someone pointed out was not invented in or exclusive to the south), but rather the history of the south, which is long and rich. It's not all tied to slavery.

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It is code to his intended audience. No one mistakes the meaning.

 

Bill

 

You are assuming way more than what is there. Saying "War of Northern Aggression" is not some racist code that means something to the people "in the know." It's just something we say down here. And your assumption that "States' Rights" is another code word for racism is also in error. In any war their are multiple points of view and layers of complexity to the causes and results of that war. You can't boil the entire Civil War down into a simple little sentence or pat statement. It's more complex than that.

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You are assuming way more than what is there. Saying "War of Northern Aggression" is not some racist code that means something to the people "in the know." It's just something we say down here. And your assumption that "States' Rights" is another code word for racism is also in error. In any war their are multiple points of view and layers of complexity to the causes and results of that war. You can't boil the entire Civil War down into a simple little sentence or pat statement. It's more complex than that.

 

:iagree: It's a rather simplistic, myopic view, and the only way (at least that I can think of) to reach that conclusion about the use of the term States' Rights is to presume to judge other people's motives and assume the worst about them.

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A fascinating read on this topic is the book Confederates in the Attic. Really interesting stuff. One of the things he mentions in the book is something like 1 in 4 people living in the South today have direct ancestors that fought in the war, whereas in the North it's something like 1 in 20. So for people in the south, it's directly related to their history, so it's something they want to keep alive.

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I would go to a Civil War Ball for the beautiful period dresses! The "Southern Belle" imagery is close to American royalty, imho. I also love the period dances! Can't that be enough of a reason to do it? I would also go to an American Revolution ball, but then again, I'm American and not English :tongue_smilie:

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Thank you all.

 

Were I to participate in a Civil War ball,it would be to experience the gentility, courtly manners, lovely costumes, delightful music and gracious dances. It sounds like fun.

 

I think all of these things just converged in my head and lead to scary thoughts. There are clearly as many ways to view this war as there are to view anything else.

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We're Northerners who had an ancestor who died in Andersonville. My Dad is very interested in Civil War history and enjoys going to reenactiments. A local Museum recently had a Civil War exhibition and he was very excited to go. I'm really into genealogy so I love learning about all this stuff too. I also LOVE costuming and sewing so if I ever had the opportunity to go to a Ball I'd be there in a heartbeat.

 

I imagine a Southern version of me could be interested in Civil War history and Balls and such for the same reasons without there being some underlying racist motivation.

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