Thursday, November 23, 2006

Remembering the American Civil War

The Washington Times has an interesting article reviewing how long it took the U.S. to get over the Civil War, even after it officially ended in 1865:

Although the Civil War was not fought -- at least initially -- to destroy slavery ... after the firing on Fort Sumter, the president invaded the South and after four years of horrendous and costly struggle (nearly 700,000 soldiers and civilians lost their lives) the South was conquered and after Lincoln's death, only five days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the Era of Reconstruction began.


During Reconstruction there were many Southern "insurgents" who totally rejected the new social order (Gen. Robert E. Lee, along with many of his followers, not among them) that the war had brought about and consequently they formed al Qaeda-like terrorist groups known as the Ku Klux Klan and numerous other such organizations, all determined that the new racial reality would not be respected, much less sustained. Members of these insurgent groups permeated every level of state governments, economic and social organizations. They were "states" within their respective states and feared by nearly everyone. That fear translated into force, a force only a few were willing to resist.

Union troops were removed from the South after the 1876 presidential election. After that, blacks and their small number of sympathetic white supporters were the constant victims of unimaginable horrors (mass lynchings, church and home bombings, etc.) which most of the elected civic authorities pretended were not even occurring. can be argued that the American Civil War really did not effectively conclude until a century after the fighting had ended with the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).

Although comparisons to Iraq more than minimize the cost of the Civil War, the full article is worth reading.

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