View single post by ashbel
 Posted: Tue Jun 17th, 2008 03:46 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 25th, 2008
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 165

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Read the article.  It seems to me the "interpretations" are a justification for Jarvis's political agenda.

For those that haven't read the article the four interpretations for the causes of the War are:

1. Nationalism - saving the Union

2. Economic conflict - trade, tariffs, taxes, etc.

3. Inflexibility of the leaders - both North and South

4. "Social Justice"

Number 4 Jarvis explains in the following way:

"The decades preceding and following World War Two included a Marxian push for egalitarianism that wrought a significant change in the thinking of historians.  They decided that history should be written in a way that promotes "social justice."  So a fourth version of the causes of the war developed; a "neo-national" point of view.  According to this interpretation, the War is portrayed as a collision of conflicting social values; a culture of stagnating, repressive traditions (the South) versus a progressive and virtuous culture (the North).

"This clash of disparate social values, especially views on how to deal with slavery, culminated in the War.  Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. maintained that the institution of slavery was so inhuman that the violence of war was necessary to end it.  This school of historians claims that the War eliminated slavery in the South, dethroned an aristocracy; uplifted the less privileged and opened the door for the creation of a classless society for all races and groups.

"This is the version that is currently in vogue; favored by many contemporary historians, PBS, the History Channel and other media "experts."  This version will be frequently cited during next year's Lincoln Bicentennial celebration."

Jarvis goes on to explain that teaching this interpretation has led to our government's use of armed forces to "impose its concept of democracy upon other nations" and to excessive Civil Rights legislation.

I think Jarvis's own words do justice to his own "misinterpretation."  I don't blame those who have chosen not to take his article seriously.

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