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 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2012 04:14 pm
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JG6789
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Savez wrote:
Because McPherson's is a liberal pro-Lincoln revisionist. Plus he criticized Alabama girl Condoleeza Rice. McPherson's only redeeming quality is his work on battlefield preservation. I put very little stock in his cherry picked research in works such as For Cause and Comrades.

Cheers, mate. I figured it was something like that.



 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2012 07:51 pm
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HankC
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you disapprove of his methods or his conclusions?

IIRC, he studied thousands of primary documents - mostly letters from the soldiers...



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 Posted: Sat May 19th, 2012 04:42 am
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Joel Smith wrote:
History being what it is we, as in United States citizens, tend to think of the war monolithically in terms of a block of good versus a block of evil.

That seems to be how the war is taught to us from an early age in school. I've lived up and down the east coast from just a few weeks of age (yes, just a few weeks of age, I was born in California and we moved back east when I was like two or three weeks old). We moved from NC to New England just before my 12th birthday and I had kids taunting me because of my accent and because I'd come from down South. The South was taught to them as being something to be hated for the watr and the North to be lauded for winning the war. So they felt the need to pick on this Southern boy as being from the South and thus being illiterate in comparison to them. They did get surprised when I knew more on certain subjects than they did and wasn't the illiterate they expected.



 Posted: Sat May 19th, 2012 01:35 pm
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JG6789
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People are tribal and can be very proprietary about history. Just consider how many say “we” and “us” while discussing events that happened long before they were born.



 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2012 02:09 am
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Savez, can you provide a specific example of what you mean when you say that "McPherson's is a liberal pro-Lincoln revisionist." History by its very nature is "revisionist" since new generations ask different questions about the past. Thanks.

Mark



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 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2012 01:42 pm
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9Bama
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Savez wrote: I've never read Shelby Foote's books although I enjoyed his commentary on Ken Burns's series. The reason I haven't read them is because they are narratives. However, I would put more stock in Foote's "narratives" than I would James McPherson's "scholarly works".
AMEN!



 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2012 07:58 pm
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HankC
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obviously the call for troops was not the primary reason for the first seven states to secede and they certainly seceded over the slavery issue.

when the first 3 tires leave the road the fourth is not far behind ;)



 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2012 09:57 pm
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JG6789
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HankC wrote:
obviously the call for troops was not the primary reason for the first seven states to secede and they certainly seceded over the slavery issue.

The same is obviously true for Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The thing is states are not people. There were plenty of fire eaters in all of those states who were ready to secede early. The only real difference between the upper South and the lower South was in the number of conditional unionists—many of whom were ready to secede over slavery but needed a bit more of a nudge.



 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2012 10:06 pm
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JG6789
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Food for thought:

State - Percent Slaves - Number per Owner

Deep South

S. Carolina - 57.2 - 15
Mississippi - 55.2 - 14
Louisiana - 46.8 - 15
Alabama - 45.1 - 13
Florida - 43.9 - 12
Georgia - 43.7 - 11
Texas - 30.2 - 8

Upper South

N. Carolina - 33.4 - 9
Virginia - 30.7 - 9
Arkansas - 25.5 - 9
Tennessee - 24.8 - 7



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 01:35 am
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HankC
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in freehling's books on the secession crises, he makes the excellent point that the lower south had to do *something* to keep the upper south 'in line'.

the history of states abolishing slavery shows that the emancipation movement gains enough momentum to win as slave-owning drops to 10% of the population.

the upper south, due to slave sales farther south and immigration, is fast approaching the 10% threshhold in 1860.

this accounts for the frenzy of attempts at such things as re-opening the international slave trade, enslaving all free blacks and expansion into central america and the carribean...



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 02:37 am
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Sorry, I didn't mean my question to turn into a discussion of the causes of the war. Savez, you are correct when you state that, politically, Jim McPherson is a liberal. I fail, however, to see how this matters to his credentials as a historian. He examines his evidence, comes to a conclusion based on that evidence and presents his argument to readers. Revision of existing historical assumptions by looking at new evidence or old evidence in a new way is the essence of historical research. He has studied literally thousands of primary sources and formed his conclusions from those. I'm not aware of any point in his published works (and I have read them all) where he suggests that every Southern soldier was fighting to protect slavery. The closest you would come to that would be in Joe Glatthar's works. As to Lincoln, I would point you to "Tried by War: Lincoln as Commander in Chief." In that work, I think you will find that he paints Lincoln not as a demigod or a devil, but as a man, with both flaws and good attributes. For instance, McPherson castigates Lincoln for his deference to McClellan and for appointing many generals to positions well above their competence levels. I think you may find this passage of interest, "Whether...violations of civil liberties constitute a negative legacy that offsets the positive legacy of the Union and emancipation is a question everyone must decide for himself or herself." (pp. 270) I doubt we will come to any conclusion here, but I do hope you will eventually give him another chance. While you may not agree with his arguments, McPherson is the major Civil War historian of our time and cannot simply be dismissed.

Mark



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 01:30 pm
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HankC
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all generalizartions are false, including this one, but men tend to fight who their leaders say to fight...



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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 05:21 pm
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HankC
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That fairly sums up the entire secession experience. A small number lead the party, state, region and country to destruction.

 

A small group breaks up the Democratic party in Charleston, South Carolina (the 2nd smallest southern state of free population).

 

SC leads the charge out of the union, followed by Mississippi, the 3rd smallest southern state, and then Florida, the smallest southern state.

 

It’s the best historical US example of front-loaded, wedge issue, momentum politics. The early ‘leaders’ have the smallest population (SC, MS and FL) but momentum gains with each secession. It’s truly a masterful job of political maneuvering ;)

 

When Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas join the CSA they add 4 states to 7 but more than double the free white population…



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