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Thread: Is the American civil war really over??

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Is the American civil war really over??

    Not to derail this thread but, having been born & raised in the "North", I was amazed to go to the "South" once years ago, and to see a monument to the Confederate States in front of the capitol in Austin, Texas; it was almost as if, as 7thsfsniper said, the War was still being fought, 125 years later. I supposed in some parts of the country it IS still being fought. . . .
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    Not to derail this thread but, having been born & raised in the "North", I was amazed to go to the "South" once years ago, and to see a monument to the Confederate States in front of the capitol in Austin, Texas; it was almost as if, as 7thsfsniper said, the War was still being fought, 125 years later. I supposed in some parts of the country it IS still being fought. . . .
    What I find particularly fascinating about this is the disconnect between how some Americans feel about their own history & how they expect others to feel. How often have you heard Americans dismiss the anger of foreigners at past American behaviour (often within our own lifetimes) with a 'just get over it'? The other reaction I notice is amazement that people who have themselves or whose families have suffered under a US-backed dictatorship or even at the hands of the US might harbour distrust, resentment or worse. Curious indeed.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    Not to derail this thread but, having been born & raised in the "North", I was amazed to go to the "South" once years ago, and to see a monument to the Confederate States in front of the capitol in Austin, Texas; it was almost as if, as 7thsfsniper said, the War was still being fought, 125 years later. I supposed in some parts of the country it IS still being fought. . . .
    It is. Despite all the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg (some of them are more recent, so I don't know if it was a funding problem or an opposition problem - I believe it would be funding since some of the other ones are nearly a century old now), NC recently defeated a measure that would have allowed a monument to Sherman be erected at Bentonville. Ironically, Sherman's march was actually much more gentle than accepted practices as evidenced by similar marches in Europe in recent history, and Sherman's desire to do large turning movements instead of stand up fighting reduced overall casualties in his campaign. However, the image of Sherman "burning down the South" was too powerful of mythology to be overcome.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    What I find particularly fascinating about this is the disconnect between how some Americans feel about their own history & how they expect others to feel. How often have you heard Americans dismiss the anger of foreigners at past American behaviour (often within our own lifetimes) with a 'just get over it'? The other reaction I notice is amazement that people who have themselves or whose families have suffered under a US-backed dictatorship or even at the hands of the US might harbour distrust, resentment or worse. Curious indeed.
    Everyone looks at history and events through their own glasses, no one else's. I met a Pole in (American) college that at that time (2002 or so) still disliked Germans. I also met a Croatian that had the same view on Russians. You as an Aussie probably have a different point of view on Churchill than an Englishman. Am I as an Irish descendant allowed to hate the British even though the thing that supposedly pisses me off happened more than 150 years ago?

    Honestly, if we're discussing suffering under a foreign-backed dictatorship and how that harbors distrust in the current day, where would colonial powers France and Britain rank compared to the U.S.? Does that mean, like Mugabe did in Zimbabwe, that said distrust is used as a crutch by the leader to deflect criticism away from himself among the less-educated? Of course it is. There are some genuine criticisms of actions taken by countries in the past, including my own, but that doesn't mean it has any relevance toward what Hugo Chavez says nowadays.
    Last edited by rj1; 13 Nov 09, at 15:00.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    What I find particularly fascinating about this is the disconnect between how some Americans feel about their own history & how they expect others to feel. How often have you heard Americans dismiss the anger of foreigners at past American behaviour (often within our own lifetimes) with a 'just get over it'? The other reaction I notice is amazement that people who have themselves or whose families have suffered under a US-backed dictatorship or even at the hands of the US might harbour distrust, resentment or worse. Curious indeed.
    Good point BF! I guess when a govt, any govt, decides to rule by force and be the agressor and conquer, those scars will never heal for some or even most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    It is. Despite all the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg (some of them are more recent, so I don't know if it was a funding problem or an opposition problem - I believe it would be funding since some of the other ones are nearly a century old now), NC recently defeated a measure that would have allowed a monument to Sherman be erected at Bentonville. Ironically, Sherman's march was actually much more gentle than accepted practices as evidenced by similar marches in Europe in recent history, and Sherman's desire to do large turning movements instead of stand up fighting reduced overall casualties in his campaign. However, the image of Sherman "burning down the South" was too powerful of mythology to be overcome.
    Our county is planning on placing a memorial on the site of a raid/massacre about 3 miles from my house. I think it will actually commemorate the local confederate partisans that attacked a union foraging party as well as about 250 civilian confederate sympathizers and the town that exists no more. The union commander in nearby Baxter springs, Kansas, when notified, sent troops and literally erased the town of Sherwood, MO, the third largest town in the county, from the map. Things like that are hard to forgive, even over time.

    Here's the story as told by a local Historian............




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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj1 View Post
    Everyone looks at history and events through their own glasses, no one else's. I met a Pole in (American) college that at that time (2002 or so) still disliked Germans. I also met a Croatian that had the same view on Russians. You as an Aussie probably have a different point of view on Churchill than an Englishman. Am I as an Irish descendant allowed to hate the British even though the thing that supposedly pisses me off happened more than 150 years ago?

    Honestly, if we're discussing suffering under a foreign-backed dictatorship and how that harbors distrust in the current day, where would colonial powers France and Britain rank compared to the U.S.? Does that mean, like Mugabe did in Zimbabwe, that said distrust is used as a crutch by the leader to deflect criticism away from himself among the less-educated? Of course it is. There are some genuine criticisms of actions taken by countries in the past, including my own, but that doesn't mean it has any relevance toward what Hugo Chavez says nowadays.
    rj1,

    I think you are getting more defensive than you need. My point wasn't that the US is more deserving of criticism than others or that people don't have their own perspectives on events. Personally I think that 'historical memory' is one of the most abused notions in human consciousness, but that does not mean it can be overlooked in dealing with the wider world.

    My point was really that a nation that still retains the right to involve itself pretty much anywhere in the world might better understand the attitudes of others by looking more closely at its own history.
    Last edited by Bigfella; 14 Nov 09, at 00:54.


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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7thsfsniper View Post
    Good point BF! I guess when a govt, any govt, decides to rule by force and be the agressor and conquer, those scars will never heal for some or even most.

    Sniper,

    My personal attitude is that you get to hold onto the genuine bitterness for about two or three generations after the event (at most). This basically means that the last participants are dying or dead. This would cancel out a goodly percentage of this sort of carry on. This doesn't mean forgetting, but rather removing most of the deeper emotions.

    Remarkably enough this generally seems to happen. Unfortunately some nations or cultures like to cling to their victimhood for longer. This rarely serves any good purpose.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Sniper,

    My personal attitude is that you get to hold onto the genuine bitterness for about two or three generations after the event (at most). This basically means that the last participants are dying or dead. This would cancel out a goodly percentage of this sort of carry on. This doesn't mean forgetting, but rather removing most of the deeper emotions.

    Remarkably enough this generally seems to happen. Unfortunately some nations or cultures like to cling to their victimhood for longer. This rarely serves any good purpose.
    Unless it never really ended?

    I wouldn't describe how I feel as bitter. It is more oriented to never forgetting the human rights injustices and the violations of our constitution, lest history repeat itself.

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7thsfsniper View Post
    Unless it never really ended?

    I wouldn't describe how I feel as bitter. It is more oriented to never forgetting the human rights injustices and the violations of our constitution, lest history repeat itself.
    My question is: do you extend this memory to your attitude to the way your nation behaves toward others & to an understaning of how others might feel about America?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    My question is: do you extend this memory to your attitude to the way your nation behaves toward others & to an understaning of how others might feel about America?
    You know BF, I feel i have derailed the hell out of this thread. I think you ask a great question and I have a lengthy answer, I just don't want to carry on here. I think this is a question worthy of its own thread.

    How bout thinking of a title and see if the mods could help moving our posts to the other?

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7thsfsniper View Post
    Our county is planning on placing a memorial on the site of a raid/massacre about 3 miles from my house. I think it will actually commemorate the local confederate partisans that attacked a union foraging party as well as about 250 civilian confederate sympathizers and the town that exists no more. The union commander in nearby Baxter springs, Kansas, when notified, sent troops and literally erased the town of Sherwood, MO, the third largest town in the county, from the map. Things like that are hard to forgive, even over time.

    Here's the story as told by a local Historian............
    7th,

    For such a thing to be "hard to forgive", there'd have to be somebody around today to hold a grudge against. Key thing is, there isn't. I don't mean to make light of such a subject, but who's there to not forgive, or hold a grudge against? The 23 states that comprised the Union then? The Union commander's elderly great-grandson?

    Pearl Harbor happened just 68 years ago, but I don't hold a grudge against the Japanese. I don't think I have a right to either.
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    7th,

    For such a thing to be "hard to forgive", there'd have to be somebody around today to hold a grudge against. Key thing is, there isn't. I don't mean to make light of such a subject, but who's there to not forgive, or hold a grudge against? The 23 states that comprised the Union then? The Union commander's elderly great-grandson?

    Pearl Harbor happened just 68 years ago, but I don't hold a grudge against the Japanese. I don't think I have a right to either.
    I don't mean to butt in and "derail," but maybe this is what he means Matt.

    My father took a job offer in Wildwood, NJ. We moved up to New Jersey, for a short time, when I was in the Fourth grade, so I was 10 years age at the time. Matt, you and I have talked on the phone before, and you can immediately tell by my accent that I am from the South. Well, so was the case when I was ten.

    Long story short, when I went to school the very first day there, the children would huddle, stare at me, whisper and snicker, and none of them would sit by me, nor talk to me. The teacher treated me as if I had the cooties, and I'm not exaggerating. After a couple of months of this, I remember it was February, and we had this Valentine's party. When I got my bag of candy and Valentines, there were only 3 Valentines and two small pieces of candy in my bag, and everyone else's bags were filling over with stuff.

    My older sister was in middle school, and was suspended to or three times for fighting, going through the same things I did at school. After the last time, my mom said that's it, we're going back to Georgia. Luckily, we didn't live there but 5 months.

    I don't know if you would describe it as "hard feelings," in these days and times, as it is maybe "culture profiling."

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I'm sorry that that happened to the two of you. Maybe it had to do with where you were or the times. Before I went to high school in a farm town, the middle school I went to had a considerable number of people who came over from southeast Asia or Central America as kids, I don't recall them every getting treated that way. To be honest, they were pretty integrated into the culture though.

    Being from Minnesota however, there is a stereotype of Southerners that isn't altogether that favorable. It's not particularly pronounced, really more latent (rednecks, ignorant, backward, etc.) Myself, I have a pretty favorable attitude toward Southerners on a personal basis. I don't see what's not to like about them ("hey, he's from down South, just by the accent, he must be a great guy!") Where I'm from we have a tendency to be more icy toward outsiders though outwardly nice when we talk with them. The way they treated you in NJ definitely fits my stereotype of what NJ/NY people are like though.
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7thsfsniper View Post
    You know BF, I feel i have derailed the hell out of this thread. I think you ask a great question and I have a lengthy answer, I just don't want to carry on here. I think this is a question worthy of its own thread.

    How bout thinking of a title and see if the mods could help moving our posts to the other?
    OK, I'll put on the thinkin' cap & get back to you.


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