The Lost Cause of the Confederacy, or simply the Lost Cause, is an ideological movement that describes the Confederate cause as a heroic one against great odds despite its defeat. Read a book excerpt: https://amzn.to/2RzkM8M
The ideology endorses the supposed virtues of the antebellum South, viewing the American Civil War as an honorable struggle for the Southern way of life while minimizing or denying the central role of slavery.
The Lost Cause ideology synthesized numerous ideas. Lost Cause supporters argued that slavery was not the main cause of the Civil War, and claimed that few scholars saw it as such before the 1950s. In order to reach this conclusion, they ignored the declarations of secession by the seceding states, the declarations of congressmen who left Congress to join the Confederacy, and the treatment of slavery in the Confederate constitution. They also denied or minimized the wartime writings and speeches of Confederate leaders in favor of postwar views. (See Cornerstone Speech.) Supporters often stressed the idea of secession as a defense against a Northern threat to their way of life and said that the threat violated the states’ rights guaranteed by the Constitution. They believed any state had the right to secede, a point strongly denied by the North. The Lost Cause portrayed the South as more adherent to Christian values than the allegedly greedy North. It portrayed slavery as more benevolent than cruel, alleging that it taught Christianity and “civilization”. Stories of “happy slaves” were often used as propaganda in an effort to defend slavery. These stories would be used to explain slavery to Northerners. Many times they also portrayed slave owners being kind to their slaves. In explaining Confederate defeat, the Lost Cause said that the main factor was not qualitative inferiority in leadership or fighting ability but the massive quantitative superiority of the Yankee industrial machine. At the peak of troop strength in 1863, Union soldiers outnumbered Confederate soldiers by over two to one, and financially the Union had three times the bank deposits of the Confederacy.
Critics of the ideology have stated that white supremacy is a key characteristic of the Lost Cause narrative. Supporters typically portray the Confederacy’s cause as noble and its leadership as exemplars of old-fashioned chivalry and honor, defeated by the Union armies through numerical and industrial force that overwhelmed the South’s superior military skill and courage. Proponents of the Lost Cause movement also condemned the Reconstruction that followed the Civil War, claiming that it had been a deliberate attempt by Northern politicians and speculators to destroy the traditional Southern way of life. In recent decades Lost Cause themes have been widely promoted by the Neo-Confederate movement in books and op-eds, and especially in one of the movement’s magazines, the Southern Partisan. The Lost Cause theme has been a major element in defining gender roles in the white South, in terms of honor, tradition, and family roles. The Lost Cause has inspired many prominent Southern memorials and even religious attitudes.
George Washington’s Fugitive Slave: Ona
A little-known story of how one woman stood up to one of the most powerful men in American history. Her story comes to us from Uncivil, a history podcast from Gimlet where they go back to the time our divisions turned into a war, and bring you stories left out of the official history.
Sessions’s Use of Bible Passage to Defend Immigration Policy Draws Fire
Many were concerned that Mr. Sessions’s chosen chapter, Romans 13, had been commonly used to defend slavery and oppose the American Revolution.
.. The directive has led to the fracturing of hundreds of migrant families, funneling children into shelters and foster homes.
Mr. Sessions said, “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.”
He added: “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak, it protects the lawful.”
.. “The founding fathers created the criminal justice system to be a largely secular criminal justice system,” he said. “They didn’t have in mind punishing criminals and condemning them using Bible verses.”
.. Before the nation’s founding, it was frequently used by Loyalists to oppose the American Revolution, Dr. Fea said. And in the 19th century, pro-slavery Southerners often cited the chapter’s opening verses to defend slavery — in particular, adherence to the Fugitive Slave Act, which required the seizure and return of runaway slaves... Outside the United States, the passage was used by Christians in Europe to defend Nazi rule and by white religious conservatives in South Africa to defend apartheid.. “It’s an endorsement of empire,” Gay L. Byron, a professor of the New Testament and early Christianity at the Howard University School of Divinity, said of the passage on Friday. “Whenever governments need to try to gain leverage in a debate, they say something like that.”.. Mr. Sessions cited the Bible in his speech because he was responding to religious leaders’ criticism of the zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration... Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, addressed the issue on Thursday in response to a reporter who asked, “Where does it say in the Bible that it’s moral to take children away from their mothers?”
Ms. Sanders responded that she was not aware of what Mr. Sessions was referring to but added that it is “biblical” for a government to enforce the law. “That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,” she said.
.. Dr. Byron, the divinity school professor, said Mr. Sessions’s use of the passage is a classic case of a politician “cherry-picking” the Bible for statements that match their policy. “What’s missing is the fact that there are so many other biblical statements and mandates to take care of children and take care of those who are marginalized,” she said. “We don’t hear Sessions referencing those texts.”
Edward Gorsuch: Fugitive Slave Claim in Pennsylvania
As a wealthy Maryland wheat farmer, Edward Gorsuch had manumitted several slaves in their 20s. He allowed his slaves to work for cash elsewhere during the slow season. Upon finding some of his wheat missing, he thought his slaves sold it to a local farmer. His slaves Noah Buley, Nelson Ford, George Ford, and Joshua Hammond, fearing his bad temper, fled across the Mason–Dixon line to the farm of William Parker, a mulatto free man and abolitionist who lived in Christiana, Pennsylvania. Parker, 29, was a member of the Lancaster Black Self-Protection Society and known to use violence to defend himself and the fugitive slaves who sought refuge in the area.
Gorsuch obtained four warrants and organized four parties, which set out separately with federal marshals to recover his property—the four slaves. He was killed and others were wounded. While Gorsuch was legally entitled to recover his slaves under the Fugitive Slave Act, it is not clear who precipitated the violence. The incident was variously called the “Christiana Riot”, “Christiana Resistance”, the “Christiana Outrage”, and the “Christiana Tragedy”. The Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society helped provide defense for the suspects charged in the case.
The event frightened slaveholders, as black men not only fought back but prevailed. Some feared this would inspire enslaved blacks and encourage rebelliousness. The case was prosecuted in Philadelphia U.S. District Court under the Fugitive Slave Act, which required citizens to cooperate in the capture and return of fugitive slaves. The disturbance increased regional and racial tensions. In the North, it added to the push to abolish slavery.
In September 1851, the grand jury returned a “true bill” (indictment) against 38 suspects, who were held in Philadelphia’s Moyamensing Prison to await trial. U.S. District Judge John K. Kane ruled that the men could be tried for treason.
The only person actually tried was Castner Hanway, a European-American man. On 15 November 1851 he was tried for liberating slaves taken into custody by U.S. Marshal Kline, as well as for resisting arrest, conspiracy, and treason. Hanway’s responsibility for the violent events was unclear. He was reported as one of the first on the scene where Gorsuch and others of his party were attacked, and he and his horse provided cover for Dickerson Gorsuch and Dr. Pearce, who were wounded. The jury deliberated 15 minutes before returning a Not Guilty. Among the five defense lawyers, recruited by the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, was U.S. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, who had practiced law in Lancaster County since at least 1838.