Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government


I don't know how this tome stacks up with Gibbon's classic text, but Jefferson Davis seemed intent on drawing a parallel. David Blight notes how Davis compared the Confederacy, albeit a very short-lived one, to the Greek and Roman Empires. At 1200 pages it would take an incredible amount of patience to go through a book like this, but I thought it was worth noting, as Blight states that this pretty much served as the base text for the Southern Redemption after Reconstruction.

Blight notes that Davis was one of many unreconstructed Southern leaders, and how he and other former Southern Leaders (Breckinridge to name one) saw Reconstruction as the second civil war with the redemption of the Southern states seen as a victory over Northern "industrial imperialism." Rather than promoting a "Lost Cause," per se, they promoted "Redemption," which in effect they won, considering their cause noble and true.

Ironically, his brother, Joseph, turned his plantation over to his emancipated slaves, who briefly made it into a thriving cooperative farm before Davis' heirs challenged his will.

4 comments:

  1. http://edgeofthewest.wordpress.com/

    The link above is to a good blog, Edge of the American West. There you'll find a lengthy post about The State of Jones.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, there was an interesting story in the Times about that book and movie yesterday I think. Talk about fighting over memory.

    I will try to keep an eye on that blog -- is that Barton by any chance? He's sort of the edge of the West.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't know. Carol Polk thinks highly of the blog if that helps. She sends me an email now and then but can't seem to access my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure who pointed me in that blog's direction, but I know I've been there before. Interesting mix of history and philosophy.

    I'll try to remember to check it from time to time. Anyone who appreciates Maira Kalman is okay with me.

    ReplyDelete