Jefferson Davis was undoubtedly an important figure in the Confederacy. Davis was placed in charge of nation that had very few soldiers, little industrialization, and a lack of unity. Many historians blame the defeat of the South on Davis for being a “hot-tempered micromanager”. After the war, Davis was made into a scapegoat; a symbol of treason and racism. Who was Jefferson Davis as a person, solider, statesmen, and leader? A focus on Davis’ life, leadership skills, speeches, and actions before, during, and after the war may offer evidence to show who Jefferson Davis truly was. Also, it is crucial to take into account circumstances that affected Davis and his decision making before, during, and after the
From the beginning of the war, the Confederacy placed great hope in being recognized and supported by Great Britain and France. European intervention in the conflict remained a strong possibility, but when it did occur, it was not in a way anticipated by either the Confederacy or the Union.
So, the war had begun, the Confederacy had their army, and everyone prepared for what they believed was going to be a short conflict. Four years later, they realized how
Later in life I moved South of the Mason-Dixon line to Richmond Virginia which was the one time capital of the Confederacy. Here I learned an alternate version of history, one of states’ rights against an oppressive government. What once I knew as the War on Slavery was here called the War Against Northern Aggression
The tensions of the Civil War are very much still alive in the Southern United States one hundred and fifty years after the Confederacy surrendered to Union forces to end the war. While the tensions may have mitigated away from full-fledged war between North and South, there still remain tensions along racial and cultural lines well beyond the war. In Tony Horwitz’s Confederates in the Attic these long standing tensions left over from the war are delved into by Horwitz as he makes his way across the south to see how the old Confederacy is viewed in the modern world of the United States. What Horwitz found was a dualistic society differing views on the Confederacy and the events of the Civil War. Dualities left from the war in aspects such as racial tensions, the meaning of the Confederate flag even between North and South entirely. Those living in the South can be seen holding a resonating connection to the Civil War. It becomes clear in Confederates in the Attic the Civil War not only became the catalyst of such dualities in Southern society, but still further shape and perpetuate these dualities long after the Civil Wars conclusion.
The romanticized version of the Civil War creates a picture of the North versus the South with the North imposing on the South. However, after reading “The Making of a Confederate” by William L. Barney, one can see that subdivisions existed before the war was declared. The documents analyzed by Barney primarily focus on the experiences of Walter Lenoir, a southern confederate and a member of the planter elite. His experiences tell a vivid story of a passionate and strongly opinioned participant of the Civil War as well as demonstrate a noticeably different view involving his reasoning when choosing a side. Between analyzing this fantastic piece of literature and other resourceful documents from “Voices of Freedom” by Eric Foner, one
The American Civil War has become a point of controversy and argument when discussing key events in shaping America. The arguments that arise when discussing the war tend to focus on whether the Confederate was constitutionally justified in seceding, or whether the North had the right to prevent the secession. However, when discussing the America Civil War and the idea of separation, it is important to be mindful that separation did not simply end at the state level. Letters written by Jesse Rolston, Jr. and Jedediah Hotchkiss portray two significantly different attitudes toward the war, despite the fact that the writers both fought for the Confederate States and give accounts of the same battle, one of which ended in the Confederate’s favor. When examining the documents, both writers express different viewpoints on life on and off the battlefield. This significant difference represents a division amongst the Confederate army.
Through examining the letters of a Confederate surgeon, the main motivation for Southerners to both fight and continue fighting in the American Civil War was hope. From the inception of the war, the South had major disadvantages compared to the North in almost every aspect of war; however, Confederates had remarkable confidence in the face of such weaknesses. The Union did have similar sureness in themselves, but the Confederacy displayed noteworthy hope throughout the entire war that was not expected under their circumstances. The Confederacy was outnumbered in men, weapons, food production, transportation, and so on, yet they had hope until the end. Each Southerner had faith that compelled them to fight in the war, but each Southerner had faith in different places. Confederates held onto different sources of hope – hope that the Union would quit, hope that the Confederacy would prevail, hope that they would return to their homes – but hope nonetheless was what drove Southerners in the war.
In 1861, the first drastic steps toward the American Civil War were taken when South Carolina decided to secede from the Union. However, several factors led this state as well as several others to realize that they had no purpose to remain in the Union. One main reason that these states decided to leave was their belief of constant oppression and attacking of their Southern pride by the North. The idea of “Southern pride” was defined by the constant beliefs of the region to express its uniqueness and prove its importance to the nation and perhaps the world. This Southern pride existed in several forms, including in the their asset-based economy and their status quo, which in turn lead them to feel degraded in the United States and obligated to secede; this pride also helped the Southern states, as a part of the Confederacy, gain an advantage over the North in the beginning stages of the Civil War.
The South vs. The South by William Freehling is a narrative that focuses on the civil war that affected a vast number of Southerners who opposed the Confederacy regardless of whether they were white or black. These “anti-Confederates,” as termed by Freehling comprised Slaves and Boarder state whites who together formed half the southern population and were significant to the Union victory. By weakening the Confederacy military, contributing manpower and resources to the Union and dividing the southern home front, the anti-Confederates made a critical contribution to the Union war efforts that hastened the end of the war leading to the Union’s victory. The U.S was not the only house that was divided; Divisions between pro-and anti-Confederates, white and black, and the loyalty of both upper and lower states to slavery contributed a lot to the downfall of the confederates. “Divisions within the South helped pave the path toward war. The same divisions behind army lines helped turn the war against the slaveholders.”(p.10). William Freehling argues that more than 450,000 Union troops from the South, especially southern blacks and border state whites, helped in the defeat of the confederates. Further, when the southern Border States rejected the Confederacy, more than a half of the South’s capacity swelled the North’s advantage.
If the north was to succeed, they would forever be oppressed by their victory, and slaves of their achievements. The Confederates fought to promote the wellbeing of their family and the protection of their land “from Yankee outrage and atrocity”(Mc.Pherson 20) .
1 Historians assess numerous reasons in assessing North’s success over the South in the Civil War. North was more developed and industrialized like factories and workshops, had definite edge in manpower of military age males, transportation, railroads and resources. Some historians blame on weak southern economic demographics and psychological reasons for the confederate defeat. “The south “whipped itself” because it did not believe strongly in its cause... While the North could allegedly call on the full fervor of American nationalism and antislavery idealism, the south was saddled with the morally dubious enterprise of defending slavery and was engaged in breaking up a union of hallowed origin for which many southerners still had a lingering reverence. It has even been suggested that large numbers of loyal confederates had a subconscious desire to lose the war”. (Source-1) North’s victory is due or ascribed to its better cause and morale.