For most of our country's existence, Americans have been proud of the United States. But during the social upheavals of the 1960s, things began to change. These changes influenced how history was reported. Remember that history is not an exact science like mathematics where 2 plus 2 always equals 4 . The history of events varies depending on the prevailing sentiments of the time, and the ideology of the person doing the reporting. For example, when two nations are at war, each will report events in the way that favors their cause and each will claim that God is on their side.
Current versions of history do not portray America favorably or honestly. Some historians imply that in our entire 244 year existence only two significant things occurred : slavery and racism. These historians rarely mention that slavery existed for thousands of years before the birth of Christ and only began to be eliminated in the last 200 years. It was inevitable that thousands of years of slavery all over the globe made its way to the American colonies.
In early America there were few objections to slavery where it existed as abolitionists were only a small percentage of the population. There were, however, objections to slavery's expansion into the Western territories, and these objections were economic rather than moral. The territories wanted to keep out slave labor because it could produce and sell products more cheaply than small family-owned farms. Although the territories opposed slave labor, they often had black codes that excluded blacks from settling there
Today's Left claims that the Confederacy committed acts of rebellion and treason against the United States. But in the mid-1800s, there were only about 30 states, and not the 50 we currently have. ( All states were essentially located east of the Mississippi River, and slavery was legal under the Constitution.) When the Civil War ended, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was arrested, accused of treason and imprisoned. But, after two years of legal wrangling , Union forces begrudgingly admitted that treason couldn't be proved. So Jefferson Davis was released from prison and treason charges were not brought against any other Confederate leaders.
Some current historians wants us to believe that the North was so morally opposed to Southern planters using slave labor that Northern husbands and grown sons were willing to risk their lives on battlefields to prevent it. But if you study history you know that wars are never fought for moral reasons nor are they fought over a single issue. Wars usually occur after economic or territorial conflicts have lingered and festered for long periods.
Midway through the War, as Union forces were not doing well, President Lincoln became concerned that Britain and France might aid the Confederate war effort. Hoping to avert such action was one of the reasons for his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. It gave the appearance that freeing slaves was a goal of the War which appealed to the anti-slavery sentiments in those two nations. For whatever reason, Britain and France decided to remain neutral.
The Emancipation Proclamation was simply a war measure and actually didn't free any slaves. The four slave states that fought on the side of the Union were exempted from its edicts, and Confederate states were allowed to keep their slaves if they would agree to stop fighting. Also, the issuance of the Proclamation provoked indignation among Union soldiers who felt deceived. They were told they were fighting to “Save the Union” which they were willing to do, but they were reluctant to risk their lives to prevent Southern planters from using slave labor.
The Northeast not only imported the slaves to America, its commercial organizations financed Southern plantations, and Northern textile mills were one of the largest consumers of slave grown cotton. Yet the North is absolved of any culpability with slavery, and the Confederacy is held solely responsible for it. So the North can honor its ancestors, while the South cannot.
Today Confederate memorabilia is being eradicated not just by anti-American terrorists but by self-anointed ideologues who only present one side of the story. So the Confederate Flag can only be interpreted as representing hate and the word “Dixie” is forbidden and the song “Dixie” cannot be played or sung. These are just two examples of innocuous aspects of Southern heritage that have been banned.
These cancel culture zealots want us to believe that this is what the black community wants. Actually blacks are primarily concerned with practical issues like jobs, healthcare, food, and shelter, - not symbolic cultural cleansing.
The Left portrays the Confederate States of America as only plantations and slaves, despite the fact that most ante-bellum Southerners did not own slaves. In fact, before the War there were several hundred thousands of freed slaves in the South, earning their living as tailors, carpenters, barbers, butchers, shoemakers and more. After the War, freed slaves and former masters reunited and negotiated sharecropping arrangements that lasted well into the mechanization of the 1950s.
Descendants of the Confederacy take pride in their ancestors and should be allowed to honor them as New England and other regions honors their ancestors. But the Confederacy is being unfairly disparaged by today's cultural genocide that is also degrading the Founding Fathers and other once-esteemed aspects of American heritage.
Gail Jarvis is a Georgia-based free-lance writer. He attended the University of Alabama and has a degree from Birmingham Southern College. His writing is influenced by years of witnessing how versions of news and history were distorted for political reasons. Mr. Jarvis is a member of the Society of Independent Southern Historians and his articles have appeared on various websites, magazines, and publications for several organizations. He lives in Coastal Georgia.