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How Northerners Think Of The Civil War


Carol in Cal.
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So you are saying that ALL northerners think as you do and ALL southerners have some sort of deep connection to the Civil War?  Is there some particular reason you are making a rather sweeping statement?  Is this JAWM?  Are you seeking discussion?

I saw it as a PSA.

 

Not particularly a JAWM.

 

I don't think people who have been taught to pay a great deal of attention to the Civil War necessarily realize that those who don't probably haven't been taught that way, and that it is really, really common not to be taught that way in the non-South.  

 

We all tend to generalize from our own experiences, I think.

 

I used to think that people who flew confederate flags were hearkening back to family stories and such.  It wasn't until I started homeschooling and looking at textbooks from all over that I realized how much emphasis the CW gets in actual school teaching in some areas.  

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Does The Dukes of Hazzard count?

 

 

JK.  I have seen a few Confederate flags over the years but very, very, very rarely.  I went to school all over the U.S.  What I came away with the most was how much our nation was ripped apart by the divide and that it was about the North not wanting slaves and the South wanting slaves.  Way oversimplification, but that was how it was presented.  What was interesting to me was learning more as an adult.  In school it was emphasized that this was a war about slavery.  It was actually a lot more complicated than that and ties directly into how the nation was formed in the first place.  THAT was very interesting to me.

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The Confederate Flag currently has two main meanings, IMHO.

 

1. Rebelliousness.

2. Hatred.

 

I am fine with the former if it is a symbol that means struggling against someone or something. I would put it in the same category as the "Don't Tread on Me" flag flown in the Revolutionary War (the one with the snake). But it is now tainted by the latter second point - it is too pervasively a symbol of hatred and now is in the likes of the Nazi flag, which always means oppression and hatred.

Edited by MommyLiberty5013
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I've never seen a confederate flag around here.

I've only seen them in reenactment circles, which is pretty uncommon here.

 

We have an old railroad museum park that is usually very expensive where someone got a special homeschooling deal on entry tickets the same (long) weekend as a Civil War reenactment.  I think the expansive rolling hilly terrain with some trees is good for those demos.  For the homeschooling day there was a big set of encampments there, and demo battles, and instructions in things like how hoop skirts were supported and such.  Each of the reenactors was supposed to take on the character of a specific type of person--a specific role but not a specific character.

 

We went around and asked various soldiers how they ended up in the military and why they were fighting.  The guys with Union uniforms on said they were drafted and couldn't get out of it.  The ones in Conf. uniforms said that they were fighting for their homes.  No one mentioned slavery.  I kind of pressed the point, and finally one of the Union guys said, 'Look, hardly anyone in the south actually owned slaves, and if I had my choice I would be wearing the other uniform because it is noble to fight for your home and family.'  So that was interesting--the Union guy wasn't actually a Union guy--which I think was fairly pervasive in that grouping.  

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Kinsa, it's just not taught that way here.  That's what I don't think everyone knows.  In fact, it's hardly taught at all.

 

I was really surprised to gradually learn how it is taught in the South, mostly from these boards.  I don't know that people realize the extent to which it's not taught elsewhere.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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Honestly, I find it sad that a balanced presentation in school of our country's Civil War is not emphasized at all.  It was a really important part of our history, regardless of whether someone was in the north or the south or whatever.  And it had lasting impact.  If it isn't even really being covered, like what happened didn't matter, that's just sad.  At least when I was in school it was covered.  Not in a lot of detail, though.

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The Confederate Flag currently has two main meanings, IMHO.

 

1. Rebelliousness.

2. Hatred.

 

I am fine with the former if it is a symbol that means struggling against someone or something. I would put it in the same category as the "Don't Tread on Me" flag flown in the Revolutionary War (the one with the snake). But it is now tainted by the latter second point - it is too pervasively a symbol of hatred and now is in the likes of the Nazi flag, which always means oppression and hatred.

 

Well, I don't know.  If I saw one around here I'd think someone was a history buff or something.  I'm just a dumb northerner though.  :laugh:

 

Maybe I wouldn't think so NOW.  I did have one teacher in elementary school who had a huge confederate flag in the classroom.  At the time I figured he was just a history buff.  I now have to wonder what his intentions were with it. 

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I was having a discussion with a friend of mine.  I was aghast to find her seemingly defending the confederate flag.  I was rather heated and pointing out that it's pretty much like defending a swastika.  

 

We went round and round for a bit, but in the end this is what I came away with:

 

*  She is from the south.  Her family lived there for a couple hundred years and then she moved all the way north to Maryland.  

*  Her family was poor and they were pretty much forced to fight in the Civil war as they couldn't move away from the south (too poor).  And pretty much no one could just decide not to join the military without being thrown in prison or something.

*  The family didn't have slaves, didn't want slaves, but really couldn't see a way out of not joining the military, as they were poor and had no other options.  And they had to defend their families against northern armies that were coming.

*  After the war, the north committed atrocities against her personal family members (if you've read other threads, a poster here talked about the same thing in her family.  I'm not referring to that poster.  I'm referring to someone else that I talked to about this yesterday, who had the same basic story as that WTM poster.)

*  She has read letters and journals from her own family members about what it was like in the Civil War, including the atrocities they suffered after the war.

*  She recognizes that people outside of the south don't get that kind of perspective on the CW and the people in it, because they don't have access to actual family letters and journals, so they don't really understand how it impacted millions and millions of people in the south.  It is not in the history books.

*  To her, the Confederate flag represents her family that was forced to fight and then beaten afterwards (literally--tied up and beaten by northern soldiers after the war).  To her it is a remembrance of her family history and the men in her family who died.

*  She is well aware that the Confederate flag has been taken over and means something entirely differently now and she said that she knows that her initial feelings of honoring her long-dead relatives is not the "right" way to feel, but the feelings linger.

*  The reason that she has these feelings is because they have been passed down to her over and over and over from all sides of the family.  

* She wishes everyone could just forget about it and move on, but at the same time, she hates it that people don't hear what happened to her family and all the other families in the south after the war.  But...she wishes we could just all move on at the same time.  It's confusing.

 

It just seems to me that in the north, no one bothered to pass this sort of stuff down.  Maybe because they won and were able to move on, while for a lot of years in the south they lost and were NOT allowed to move on, because the north punished them.  Dunno.  

 

 

I went to school in Maryland and the Civil War was taught, but I pretty much never think about it.  I'd consider myself a northerner, but not sure why.  My parents were from California and Colorado, I lived in Maryland until age 29 and am now in PA.   But I know a bunch of people from the south who get all passionate when they talk about the Civil War and love that confederate flag and cannot see it as a symbol of oppression.  

Edited by Garga
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Honestly, I find it sad that a balanced presentation in school of our country's Civil War is not emphasized at all.  It was a really important part of our history, regardless of whether someone was in the north or the south or whatever.  And it had lasting impact.  If it isn't even really being covered, like what happened didn't matter, that's just sad.  At least when I was in school it was covered.  Not in a lot of detail, though.

 

History was so glossed over when I was a student.  Pretty much all of it.

 

Like the part about all the natives and the TRUTH about the explorers?  Wasn't even really mentioned.  Or I don't remember it.  I'm leaning towards it being glossed over though because really how could anyone forget that if it was ever talked about? 

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The Civil War was mostly fought in the South.  In Gettysburg, one of the few places in the North where the Civil War was fought, there are significant monuments from all over the country memorializing that event.  But beyond Gettysburg, most in the North did not have either their homes or their way of life threatened.

 

General Sheridan burned a significant portion of the barns and other buildings in the Shenandoah Valley where we live and General Sherman burned a significant portion in other areas of the South.

 

In the end, the South lost the Civil War.

 

So, yeah, there ARE significant differences in how the Civil War is viewed in the South and in the North.

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I grew up in Atlanta. My only real thought of the confederate flag is it reminds me of the laser show at Stone Mountain. I also think of a man at church that has a huge collection of confederate war stuff. (Uniforms, guns, cannon balls, bugles & much more). He's 70 and from New York, retired now in FL.

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I see quite a few confederate flags when I drive out in the country. I highly doubt these are all history buffs. I also see them on pickup trucks. Sometimes accompanied by stickers that strongly suggest a sentiment of "leave me alone, government" and "somebody should shoot all the damned liberals and gays". 

A combination of general pissed-off-ness (rebellion) and hate.

 

 

Edited by regentrude
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I've only seen them in reenactment circles, which is pretty uncommon here.

 

We have an old railroad museum park that is usually very expensive where someone got a special homeschooling deal on entry tickets the same (long) weekend as a Civil War reenactment.  I think the expansive rolling hilly terrain with some trees is good for those demos.  For the homeschooling day there was a big set of encampments there, and demo battles, and instructions in things like how hoop skirts were supported and such.  Each of the reenactors was supposed to take on the character of a specific type of person--a specific role but not a specific character.

 

We went around and asked various soldiers how they ended up in the military and why they were fighting.  The guys with Union uniforms on said they were drafted and couldn't get out of it.  The ones in Conf. uniforms said that they were fighting for their homes.  No one mentioned slavery.  I kind of pressed the point, and finally one of the Union guys said, 'Look, hardly anyone in the south actually owned slaves, and if I had my choice I would be wearing the other uniform because it is noble to fight for your home and family.'  So that was interesting--the Union guy wasn't actually a Union guy--which I think was fairly pervasive in that grouping.  

This is true. To own slaves, which were property (ugh), one had to be wealthy and have a plantation (large farm) to grow crops. Most people in the south did not own slaves as they had no need to - their plots of land were not large enough to need forced labor. And, they did not have household servants/slaves either because they did not have the money to buy slaves.

 

When the southerners joined up, they were fighting against a mass of drafted soldiers who were marching on their homes. I have heard the Civil War referred to as the War of Northern Aggression. I have also seen Confederate flags in many states, including Colorado.

 

I don't know why people fly them with the American flag...

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I see quite a few confederate flags when I drive out in the country. I highly doubt these are all history buffs. I also see them on pickup trucks. Sometimes accompanied by stickers that strongly suggest a sentiment of "leave me alone, government" and "somebody should shoot all the damned liberals and gays". 

A combination of general pissed-off-ness (rebellion) and hate.

 

yuck

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In every war, atrocities are committed on both sides. In every war, innocents and civilians suffer, on both sides.

I do not understand that it would require specific teachings to pass on that this has repeated time and time again in every single war throughout the ages.

 

My German home town was bombed to ashes and 35,000 people killed in a single night by Americans and British. I cannot fathom flying a Nazi flag to commemorate that.

 

I can guess where your hometown is.... my grandmother, with her 3 children, had some kind of crazy female intuition and left said town (if we're talking about the same place), the day before it happened. Every time I read her memoirs, I think that had it not been for that female intuition, I might not be here. And there is NO WAY in Hades my grandmother, or anyone on mom's side of the family would fly the Nazi flag.

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In every war, atrocities are committed on both sides. In every war, innocents and civilians suffer, on both sides.

I do not understand that it would require specific teachings to pass on that this has repeated time and time again in every single war throughout the ages.

 

My German home town was bombed to ashes and 35,000 people killed in a single night by Americans and British. I cannot fathom flying a Nazi flag to commemorate that.

Symbols change meaning over time.  The swastika was not always tied to Hitler and Nazis.  And IIRC there were several versions of the Nazi flag? They probably all started out with a bit different meanings. 

 

While I have never flown a Confederate flag and would not do so, I do have family that are from the south that see it as a symbol of the Civil War and their attempt to defend their homes as those homes were burned to the ground.  None of them owned slaves.  None of them had the need, desire or even the financial means to do so.  The flag was never tied to slavery or bigotry in their minds.  It was tied to their attempt to defend themselves.  They don't fly the flag nor do they oppose removing it (most of them), but they also very much understand that for many it does not symbolize what others are using it for now.

 

And yes in every war atrocities are committed on both sides.  Does that mean wars should never be studied? Are you saying it should be BTDT,  who cares?  I'm puzzled by that and think I must be misunderstanding you.  Wars are a part of our history.

 

With regards to which wars as mentioned up thread I don't see why the Revolutionary War and the World Wars should be thought of as worthy of study but not the war that was within our own borders.  Why take a BTDT attitude for any of it?  Wars don't start in a vacuum.  They aren't one off games people played and won or lost one afternoon.  I think that is sadly not emphasized in school.  Wars start because of what came before.  And affect the future in many ways.  WWII happened because of the results of WWI.  WWI happened because of other events that happened prior.  It is interwoven.  I very much do think history should be taught as the interwoven tapestry it actually is instead of as isolated incidents.  That includes the wars.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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So we are all dealing with sets of alternative facts when we talk about this.

No wonder we talk past each other and step on each other's toes without even realizing it.

 

I don't think there are alternative facts.

 

I do think there are plenty of facts on both "sides" that the other "side" doesn't want to acknowledge as legitimate. That shuts productive discussion down right then and there.

 

I think I see more Confederate flags when we travel north (as in north of the Mason Dixon line) than I do here in NC. The most godawful rolling monument to the Confederacy (i.e., a decorated vehicle) I've ever seen was in Pennsylvania.

Edited by Pawz4me
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And yes in every war atrocities are committed on both sides.  Does that mean wars should never be studied? Are you saying it should be BTDT,  who cares?  I'm puzzled by that and think I must be misunderstanding you.  Wars are a part of our history.

 

Yes, you completely misunderstood. Of course wars need to be studied, and history needs to be taught.

I was puzzled by the sentiment "but we were not taught in school that atroities have been committed by Northerners on Southern families." 

To a student of any history that would be a pretty obvious conclusion, without explicit teachings, because that is the pattern in every war - so I don't get how one would not expect this.

 

And I completely agree that history should be taught as an intervoven fabric of causes and effects, not as events in isolation.

 

ETA: There are manythings one can criticize about Gone with the Wind,  but it does have a very moving portrayal of the aftermaths of war and the effect on innocents. The depiction of the waiting for the casualties lists, the field hospital, the plundering and famine... how can anybody claim not be aware this happened, too?

Edited by regentrude
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This is true. To own slaves, which were property (ugh), one had to be wealthy and have a plantation (large farm) to grow crops. Most people in the south did not own slaves as they had no need to - their plots of land were not large enough to need forced labor. And, they did not have household servants/slaves either because they did not have the money to buy slaves.

 

When the southerners joined up, they were fighting against a mass of drafted soldiers who were marching on their homes. I have heard the Civil War referred to as the War of Northern Aggression. I have also seen Confederate flags in many states, including Colorado.

 

I don't know why people fly them with the American flag...

 

You should know that the term "War of Northern Aggression" is dog-whistle for white supremacists. 

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I don't think there are alternative facts.

 

I do think there are plenty of facts on both "sides" that the other "side" doesn't want to acknowledge as legitimate. That shuts discussion down right then and there.

 

 

I agree--that's a more precise elucidation of what I was trying to say.  So thank you!

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I don't recall seeing any Confederate flags in my part of the country either.  (Nor Nazi or KKK symbols or similar.)

 

I am aware that the Civil War had many causes, chiefly economic, and that a war was not necessary to end slavery, as it ended without a war in many other countries.  While slavery was relevant to the south's economic concerns, the fact that the government was favoring the north in making major investments, such as building the railroads, was a big deal.  If the government had done as much for the south, possibly the economics of slavery would have fizzled fairly quickly without a war.  It's hard to say right now which issue was the biggest one, and even if we could, it would vary from state to state, from individual to individual.  One can also say that southerners - most of whom did not own slaves, some of whom WERE slaves - suffered a lot more from the war than northerners did.

 

But no, other than some re-enactments that some folks do for fun from time to time, the civil war isn't a big topic of discussion up here.

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While I have never flown a Confederate flag and would not do so, I do have family that are from the south that see it as a symbol of the Civil War and their attempt to defend their homes as those homes were burned to the ground.  None of them owned slaves.  None of them had the need, desire or even the financial means to do so.  The flag was never tied to slavery or bigotry in their minds.  It was tied to their attempt to defend themselves.  They don't fly the flag nor do they oppose removing it (most of them), but they also very much understand that for many it does not symbolize what others are using it for now.

 

 

Yes, to the above. That's what I walked away with from my conversation with my friend.  She never flies the thing.  But she said that inside of her, when she sees it, she does not tie it to slavery or bigotry.  She only ties it to her family defending themselves.  And yes, she was taught her family history quite heavily.  And people in the north just don't talk about it, pretty much ever.  But they do in the south.  They just do.

 

She understands that the flag now means something entirely different (the hatred, etc), but it doesn't mean that *to her*.  And she wishes we could all just put it away and stop waving it around. 

 

This thread was about how the people in the south view the war vs the people in the north and why.  Not about whether they're right or wrong.  It's just what is.

Edited by Garga
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This is true. To own slaves, which were property (ugh), one had to be wealthy and have a plantation (large farm) to grow crops. Most people in the south did not own slaves as they had no need to - their plots of land were not large enough to need forced labor. And, they did not have household servants/slaves either because they did not have the money to buy slaves.

 

When the southerners joined up, they were fighting against a mass of drafted soldiers who were marching on their homes. I have heard the Civil War referred to as the War of Northern Aggression. I have also seen Confederate flags in many states, including Colorado.

 

I don't know why people fly them with the American flag...

Here is a sermon from the time period

 

http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/samson/samson.html

 

This article also utilizes sermons that were given during the time period to get a feel for common public opinion.

 

https://www.civilwar.org/learn/articles/why-non-slaveholding-southerners-fought

 

 

They agreed with slavery.

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Where does the term come from, seeing that the confederates fired the first shots?

 

Sherman, his war crimes, and turning his back when he knew the soldiers under him were murdering people, stealing everything, and raping people.  And Sherman wasn't simply emancipating slaves the way people think.  He thought they were slowing his army down, so he left thousands of freed slaves on other side of a river and then destroyed the bridge, and watched as hundreds drowned trying to escape the confederates they were afraid of behind them.  It's the destruction, theft, starvation, rapes, and murders that people hate.  They hate Sherman, they hate the yankees that did it on his behest, and they hate Lincoln for ordering it all and sending letters to Sherman thanking him for it.

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I've never seen a confederate flag around here.

 

 

Same here. I've lived in several northern states and can't remember ever seeing a confederate flag.

 

I live in the dead center of NY, and I see them almost daily. It's a bright red (rural) county in a blue state. I sometimes refer to this area as the Deep South of the Northeast because of the attitudes I encounter. 

 

A neighbor around the corner has a Confederate flag painted in the back window of his pickup. I passed another flying "proudly" on my way to a state park twenty minutes away on Tuesday. One of the workers at the racehorse farm across the road has that flag on his belt buckle. He grew up in a neighboring town, not a transplant.

 

I also see "Don't Tread on Me" flags flown on my road, though not as much since the election.

 

I see quite a few confederate flags when I drive out in the country. I highly doubt these are all history buffs. I also see them on pickup trucks. Sometimes accompanied by stickers that strongly suggest a sentiment of "leave me alone, government" and "somebody should shoot all the damned liberals and gays". 

A combination of general pissed-off-ness (rebellion) and hate.

 

Exactly.

 

ETA: There is also a large Civil War Weekend hosted nearby, complete with reenactments. It's held near the home of a prominent abolitionist.

Edited by Zuzu822
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Sherman, his war crimes, and turning his back when he knew the soldiers under him were murdering people, stealing everything, and raping people.  And Sherman wasn't simply emancipating slaves the way people think.  He thought they were slowing his army down, so he left thousands of freed slaves on other side of a river and then destroyed the bridge, and watched as hundreds drowned trying to escape the confederates they were afraid of behind them.  It's the destruction, theft, starvation, rapes, and murders that people hate.  They hate Sherman, they hate the yankees that did it on his behest, and they hate Lincoln for ordering it all and sending letters to Sherman thanking him for it.

 

Thanks for explaining. I knew about Sherman, but did not know that this coined the term.

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In every war, atrocities are committed on both sides. In every war, innocents and civilians suffer, on both sides.

I do not understand that it would require specific teachings to pass on that this has repeated time and time again in every single war throughout the ages.

 

My German home town was bombed to ashes and 35,000 people killed in a single night by Americans and British. I cannot fathom flying a Nazi flag to commemorate that.

 

 

 

I think things are different now, but when I was in school in the 80s and 90s, things were whitewashed.  Columbus was still a huge hero back then.  

 

I was not taught that atrocities were inflicted on the south.  I was NOT taught that.  I was taught that slavery was bad, that the north fought to end it, and the south wanted it, but the south lost.  We probably talked about a few battles that turned the tide, and that was it.  

I didn't know about atrocities until in my 30s.  You can't blame a kid for not knowing what she doesn't know.  My history lessons were very "America is awesome and so Americans never commit atrocities.  What an un-American thought!  Anyone who says otherwise is a commie!"    

 

That all started to change after I got out of school.  Probably colleges taught a much more realistic view, but I didn't go to college and my middle and high schools didn't touch on the hard stuff.  When they talked about atrocities, it was always in WWII and not anywhere else.  WWII was made out to be a huge anomaly of atrocities that the world had never seen before and hopefully would never see again.  

 

Things started changing for me when some books were made popular about Columbus and how he wasn't a good man and committed atrocities.  I remember honestly thinking that when people started saying Columbus was a bad man that they were trying to re-write history.  I had never heard such awful things and honestly thought it was a chilling, manipulative rewrite of our glorious past.  It was about that time, that I started finding out I hadn't been taught the whole story.  

 

I know that you are better educated about things like that and it's strange to you to hear it, but that's what I experienced.  

 

I've filled in the gaps since then, but if you're a kid and not specifically taught these things, you don't know them.  You don't make leaps that "well atrocities always occur, so I'm sure the south had atrocities inflicted on them" if you aren't told the whole story.  You believe what your teachers tell you for the most part.

 

Then again, the world is different.  There was no internet back then and everything was made nicey-nice on purpose. 

Edited by Garga
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Sherman, his war crimes, and turning his back when he knew the soldiers under him were murdering people, stealing everything, and raping people.  And Sherman wasn't simply emancipating slaves the way people think.  He thought they were slowing his army down, so he left thousands of freed slaves on other side of a river and then destroyed the bridge, and watched as hundreds drowned trying to escape the confederates they were afraid of behind them.  It's the destruction, theft, starvation, rapes, and murders that people hate.  They hate Sherman, they hate the yankees that did it on his behest, and they hate Lincoln for ordering it all and sending letters to Sherman thanking him for it.

It's a modern term. It isn't about Sherman.

 

https://deadconfederates.com/tag/war-of-northern-aggression/

 

https://deadconfederates.com/2011/06/27/war-of-northern-aggression-cont/

 

Much of what you are saying is exaggeration but it was, no doubt, horrific.

Edited by Slartibartfast
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I will answer for myself as someone who grew up in the Northeast and moved to the South for college. 

 

We studied the Revolutionary War over and over wash rinse repeat.  The CIvil War got a brief overview. It was clearly over and settled the way it was presented in public school. 

 

When I moved to the South, I was truly shocked at the number of my classmates for whom the war wasn't over. It was still being carried in their psyche. I learned that most of them had been taught it was fought over states' rights and was referred to as the War of Northern Aggression. I had never heard that explanation for the cause of the war nor that name for the war. (I wonder what the Brits call what we refer to as the Revolutionary War or the War for Independence.) 

 

On a personal level, it was not uncommon for a new classmate's parents to convey their disdain for me as a damn Yankee. 

 

I ended up mostly hanging around with other students from "up North."  I ended up settling here and the area is very mixed now. I haven't run into the damn Yankee stuff for a long time, but I don't have much contact with people outside the bubble of the area I live in. I don't doubt I would find it if I traveled a bit. 

 

PS Never saw a Confederate flag being flown growing up. Have never seen them when I am back in my home state. My guess is that may vary by region in the north. 

 

I do see them flying around the perimeter of where I live---generally more rural. When I was a outreach mental health social worker and had to go to someone's home, a Confederate flag would put me on high alert. (I'm white)  Anywhere I was sent, there was a likelihood of aggressive behavior because of the population I worked with. The Confederate flag would make me cautious that there was an increased probability of guns and alcohol. 

 

 

Edited by Laurie4b
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  And Sherman wasn't simply emancipating slaves the way people think.  He thought they were slowing his army down, so he left thousands of freed slaves on other side of a river and then destroyed the bridge, and watched as hundreds drowned trying to escape the confederates they were afraid of behind them.  

See, even though I have heard of Sherman's brutality, that is a story that I have never heard before.

We have different sets of facts that we know of.  

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I think things are different now, but when I was in school in the 80s and 90s, things were whitewashed.  Columbus was still a huge hero back then.  

 

I was not taught that atrocities were inflicted on the south.  I was NOT taught that.  I was taught that slavery was bad, that the north fought to end it, and the south wanted it, but the south lost.  We probably talked about a few battles that turned the tide, and that was it.  

I didn't know about atrocities until in my 30s.  You can't blame a kid for not knowing what she doesn't know.  My history lessons were very "America is awesome and so Americans never commit atrocities.  What an un-American thought!  Anyone who says otherwise is a commie!"    

 

That all started to change after I got out of school.  Probably colleges taught a much more realistic view, but I didn't go to college and my middle and high schools didn't touch on the hard stuff.  When they talked about atrocities, it was always in WWII and not anywhere else.  WWII was made out to be a huge anomaly of atrocities that the world had never seen before and hopefully would never see again.  I remember honestly thinking that when people started saying Columbus was a bad man that they were trying to re-write history.  I had never heard such awful things and honestly thought it was a chilling, manipulative rewrite of our glorious past.  

 

I know that you are better educated about things like that and it's strange to you to hear it, but that's what I experienced.  

 

Thanks for explaining, This is truly shocking to hear (and explains a lot)*

The Indian wars are full of horrible things committed on buth sides. That was not taught either?

The history of western civilization is full of horribleness. I assume the 30 year war was not taught either? What about WWI? 

The atrocities of war permeate literature. So literature that depicted war was not studied either? All Quiet on the Western Front?

 

I understand that European countries may put more emphasis on their history (even though this is also the history of founders of this country, so they should teach it here, too), and having wars fought on one's own soil alters perspective. This said, the Indian Wars were fought on American soil, so they should have been thoroughly covered.

 

*My own history education was sorely lacking, due to having grown up under a communist regime that twisted history and used it as a propaganda instrument. But part of that propaganda was drilling into every fiber of us that we had been a country of aggressors twice, and war is horrible. Some of the literature we were forced to read in school would have American parents protesting that the content was too gruesome for their kids.

 

War brings out the worst in human nature. That should be a universal lesson students need to learn.

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There is one house here that will put both a full sized Confederate flag, and a full sized US flag on the back of their truck for the week of 4th of July. It's a very strange thing for me to see. Most of the year, they fly a regular US flag outside their house, sometimes they put a POW/MIA flag with it. Otherwise, my neighborhood is FULL of US flags. One house flies TWO, every day. They have a full sized pole on one side of the house, then another flag on their light pole on the other side of the house. But yeah, this house that does a US and a Confederate flag together...on the 4th of July, that's really the only time I see a Confederate flag, and it's just weird to me.

Got a year round truck like that that drives by my house every day. The us flag is an altered *thin blue line* flag which aggrivates me. Do the thin blue line thing all day every day but either the flag is semi-sacred or it isn't.

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You should know that the term "War of Northern Aggression" is dog-whistle for white supremacists. 

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by "dog-whistle" in this context. Do you mean that the phrase "War of Northern Aggression" is cause for white supremacy to get upset? I'm just not following you can you give some more explanation.

 

And to clarify, I don't use the phrase "War of Northern Aggression." I call it the Civil War. But, I have heard the term "War of Northern Aggression" used. I used to live in Richmond, VA for 6 years.

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I don't think there are alternative facts.

 

I do think there are plenty of facts on both "sides" that the other "side" doesn't want to acknowledge as legitimate. That shuts productive discussion down right then and there.

 

I think I see more Confederate flags when we travel north (as in north of the Mason Dixon line) than I do here in NC. The most godawful rolling monument to the Confederacy (i.e., a decorated vehicle) I've ever seen was in Pennsylvania.

I saw way more Confederate flag in Ohio than in the south where I grew up, and my hometown is *incredibly* racist.

 

As a rule though, I do not feel the compulsion to give the benefit of the doubt to people flying Confederate flag jic they're super into family history. Things change meaning, and now that thing is incredibly hurtful to a huge swath of the population.

 

Plus people who joined the Confederate army just because there was a war on and they were southerners', which was no doubt a ton of people, wouldn't be super proud of what the Confederacy stood for which was, in part, absolutely the right to own human beings.

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