Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


Polarizing Figures - Other Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 03:50 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
1st Post
TimK
Member
 

Joined: Thu Apr 10th, 2008
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 311
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

It has been said that if you don't want to start an argument, don't bring up religion or politics. I think that if you don't want to start an argument concerning the Civil War, it is not a good idea to bring up whether you like or dislike certain personalities.

With a Mount Rushmore type theme, I think the four most polarizing characters of the Civil War era would be John Brown, Nathan Bedford Forrest, William T. Sherman, and probably Abraham Lincoln. These people are either loved or loathed. Are there other people that you would replace any of these people with - or maybe just like to add to the list?



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 06:24 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
2nd Post
fedreb
Member


Joined: Tue Jan 16th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 239
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I would add George McClellan to that list and possibly Dan Sickles.



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 06:31 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
GeorgeM
GeorgeM
 

Joined: Sun Mar 16th, 2008
Location: Gilmanton, New Hampshire USA
Posts: 21
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I would add the guerrilla leaders William Clarke Quantrill and Wiliam T. "Bloody Bil" Anderson.



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 07:57 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
javal1
Grumpy Geezer


Joined: Thu Sep 1st, 2005
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 1503
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Braxton Bragg. And why Lincoln and not Davis?



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 08:19 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
5th Post
TimK
Member
 

Joined: Thu Apr 10th, 2008
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 311
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

javal1 wrote:
Braxton Bragg. And why Lincoln and not Davis?

Good question. I thought of Davis. My answer would be that Lincoln just evokes more pure emotion. People either seem to believe that he was the second person that could walk on water (unfrozen water that is), or he was a despot and tyrant. Do people have the same emotions concerning Davis?

I also thought of Quantrill.

What about Longstreet? Is he either a love or hate guy?



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 08:56 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
Texas Defender
Member


Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

  When Abraham Lincoln was elected president, it resulted in the secession of several states from the Union. Since Mr. Lincoln would not accept secession, and the seceding states would not accept reunification, the war was inevitable.

  The war was the ultimate polarization of one section of the country from the other, and thus Mr. Lincoln was the ultimate polarizing figure. On the question of whether or not there would be war, it didn't really matter who was elected President of the CSA.

  If you wish to make a list of polarizing figures who were less so than Abraham Lincoln, then of course Jefferson Davis makes the list. It would be an understatement to say that Mr. Davis had some critics within the Confederacy.



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 09:09 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
7th Post
javal1
Grumpy Geezer


Joined: Thu Sep 1st, 2005
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 1503
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I understand that rationale TD. That's the Southern view. What isn't shouted quite so fervently is the nothern view - that Davis led a government of traitors who resented the threat that they may lose the right to hold others as slaves. Now you may agree or disagree, and it may or may not be my view. But the fact is that many northerners believe that and they're as sure of it as you are of your beliefs. To ignore Davis as a polarizing figure would be to ignore 1/2 of the views out there.

I don't want this to become a discussion on causation. I find them monotonous and boring. But Davis' position and his views on whether there should be a guerilla war after J Johnston's surrender qualifies him as polarizing to many.

Good topic Tim!



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 09:39 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
8th Post
Texas Defender
Member


Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

  I haven't overlooked Jefferson Davis as a polarizing figure. I'd place him very high up on a lengthy list if I made one. I simply said that Mr. Lincoln would occupy the number one position.

  Mr. Lincoln had aspirations for years to become President of the United States (Second only in zeal to those that Mrs. Lincoln had for him). When he was elected and the Union came apart, he led the northern war effort with considerable enthusiasm. As I've said before, a lesser man most likely would have failed in the attempt to bring the war to a successful conclusion from the northern side.

  Jefferson Davis had no aspirations to become President of the CSA. He dreaded taking on that duty, and would have been happier, I am certain, to have been appointed a Confederate general.

  As for: "Southern view" and :"Northern view," people will have their beliefs regardless of whether or not the facts back them up. Many in the north believed the story that Jefferson Davis was captured while wearing one of his wife's dresses. The truth of a matter is often less important to many than the: "View."

 Certainly, many northerners were able to carry the war to the south with great ferocity because they regarded the Confederates as being traitors. Some even wanted to hang not only Mr. Davis, but also General Lee and many others. If that had happened , then they would have gotten the guerrilla war that you alluded to.



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 09:59 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
9th Post
TimK
Member
 

Joined: Thu Apr 10th, 2008
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 311
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I think I'm okay with TD's rationale that Lincoln could be the most polarizing figure - I'm not looking for who was right or wrong - just the personality that evokes the most emotion. Lincoln certainly could fill that requirement.

But who would be next? Would it be Davis? Or would it be somebody like John Brown? I still like the list I put in the first post.



 Posted: Mon Aug 29th, 2011 11:26 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
10th Post
Doc Ce
Member
 

Joined: Mon Jan 3rd, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 76
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

How about Jubal Early?

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Sep 1st, 2011 11:54 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
11th Post
pender
Member


Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 148
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

TimK, I will agree with your list. The only change I would make would be to substitute John Brown for Phil Sheridan.

Pender



 Posted: Fri Sep 2nd, 2011 12:20 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
12th Post
PW Hess
Member
 

Joined: Wed May 18th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 24
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

WT Sherman on the Union side, and NB Forrest on the southern side
Nearly 150 yrs and people are still carping about the 2 of them........



 Posted: Fri Sep 2nd, 2011 12:22 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
13th Post
PW Hess
Member
 

Joined: Wed May 18th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 24
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

And what about US Grant??
The Grant/Lee arguments will go on forever
(I'm a Grant man myself...)



 Posted: Thu Sep 15th, 2011 02:15 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
14th Post
Mark
Member
 

Joined: Mon Mar 30th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 434
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I would just add two to your list Tim. They were a lot more polarizing then than they are now. Benjamin Butler and John C. Fremont.

Mark



 Posted: Thu Sep 15th, 2011 03:08 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
15th Post
Old North State
Member
 

Joined: Fri Feb 20th, 2009
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

As polarizing figures, I would add to Jefferson Davis all the others of our Southern leaders in Congress who, I believe, saw the establishment of a separate country as a way to elevate their own status (power) -- bigger fish in a smaller pond. {That goes double for some of the S.C. leaders.)  As the war began, Stephen A. Douglas noted that he had observed them plotting this within the halls of Congress.  This realization was one factor in his strong support for the war.  Douglas knew about political power and recognized grabs for such when he saw them; i.e. 'it takes one to know one.'



____________________
"While we live we will cherish, protect and defend her."


 Current time is 05:55 pm
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.3867 seconds (9% database + 91% PHP). 26 queries executed.