Friday, August 18, 2017

History Revised - The Civil War




By the time the news media and the revisionist historians get done, the Civil War will not have happened and the reasons for it which resulted in the death of 620,000 soldiers will be long forgotten.

Some of the things that I have heard during the past few days border on craziness. People are creating reasons and situations with little basis in history or fact.

How is it possible, for instance, to compare Robert E. Lee to George Washington? But yet, it was done.

What was the cause of the Civil War? Surely everyone knows, but yet apparently very few people really know. If it were only one thing, I'm sure public knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the Civil War would be better known.

While the issue of slavery was a cause of the Civil War, it was not THE cause. An interesting article discusses five other causes of the Civil War to amplify that it is a far more complex issue than just slavery.

Another thing that is lost in the current spate of revisionist history is context. We do not take the time to understand the history and context of the period of time. I wonder how many people knew that Abraham Lincoln was elected President and he was not on the ballot in deep southern states. Lincoln won the election with less than 40 percent of the popular vote.

All of that written, I still do not know how I feel about the reactionary removal of Confederate related statues from public areas. The well-intended people behind the decisions are trying defuse a situation which has spun hopelessly out of control by removing history. The Civil War happened and we remain are a country of diverse opinions. Taking down statues will not heal the divisions nor will it solve the current crisis. I worry that the past will be forgotten and that we will be doomed to repeat it.

Statues help us recall history. Destroying statues does not change anything dealing with the social issues behind the current unrest. But removing statues removes some of the impetus to be inquisitive and learn about why thestatue was emplaned in the first place. 

The country needs to embrace diversity and remember its history--no matter how difficult or even unpopular. It is by understanding our past in context, that we can move forward into the future. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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