On May 9, 1865, the American Civil War ended, or did it? Historians acknowledge that exact starting and ending dates of wars are open to debate, and likewise, so are the causes and reasons those wars were fought. In the case of the American Civil War, April 1861 to May 1865, the “cause” of Southern independence is a controversial and contentious subject even to this day. The main debate centers on whether or not slavery, that “peculiar institution,” was the main cause of the war and the reason for fighting such a costly conflict. Revisionist “historians” have tried mightily over the years to justify the Confederacy and their “Lost Cause,” which serious historians have repeatedly debunked.
The so called “Lost Cause” is a construct of revisionist history that makes the case that slavery as practiced in the American South was a benevolent institution that was mutually beneficial to the master and the slave, and furthermore, contributed to the general wealth of the United States. A mythology about the chivalrous nature of the Southern gentleman farmer and general social superiority of the Southern White population was promulgated and reinforced by a vigorous campaign over several decades to erect Confederate monuments and name many places after Confederate heroes. Statistics about how few Southern White people actually owned slaves was used to undermine the notion that the Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery, although such numbers grossly misrepresent the reality of the situation in the South. Since only the head of the household was likely to be listed as the slave owner, the several others in his family that benefited from the slave holding were technically not slave owners, but in reality were indeed people that were benefiting from the institution of slavery and living the lifestyle afforded by such human bondage.
Another fact that belies the storyline that slavery was not the main or even a main issue leading to the secession of the Confederate States from the United States is found in the documents announcing the secession of those various states. In fact EVERY Southern state that seceded to join the Confederate States of America prominently cited slavery as an issue of contention leading to secession.
Link to article titled "The Lost Cause? No!"
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