Thursday, November 05, 2015
Edited "Victors Write the History" (?)
I see a lot of folks using the old saying "History is written by the victors."
However, the saying is not always true. It is a lazy way of dealing with issues. Since the invention of the printing press, the internet and in American with freedom of speech and press, it is even less true than before.
With regard to the controversy over the "Lost Cause" delusion, its advocates say it is a necessary correction to history written by the victors. However, a look a historiography shows that, in general, the losers of the Civil War were the first to get out their books, articles and movies.
"An example would be the American Civil War and the Lost Cause movement, a term borrowed from Edward Pollard's 1866 book The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates : Comprising a Full and Authentic Account of the Rise and Progress of the Late Southern Confederacy--the Campaigns, Battles, Incidents, and Adventures of the Most Gigantic Struggle of the World's History." This was probably the first book to come out after the end of the war.
According the Wikipedia:
Edward A. Pollard (February 27, 1832–December 17, 1872) was an American journalist and Confederate advocate.
Pollard is most famous for authoring The Lost Cause in 1866, followed up by The Lost Cause Regained in 1868. His work argued that the primary reason for Secession was not slavery but the preservation of state sovereignty, although he clearly supported the institution of slavery. The Lost Cause and The Lost Cause Regained also advocated for the supremacy of the white race, supported the relegation of blacks to a second class status, and took the government [Union] to task for excesses committed during and after the recent war."
The lost cause also had it's movie. "Another prominent use of the Lost Cause perspective was in Thomas F. Dixon, Jr.'s 1905 novel The Clansman, later adapted to the screen by D. W. Griffith in his highly successful but controversial Birth of a Nation in 1915." And, of course, "Gone With the Wind" ignored the dark side of slavery. See Wikipedia.
Confederate VP Alexander Stephens also had books. "He wrote A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States (1867–70, 2 vol.) and History of the United States (1871 and 1883)."
Don't have time for more research but may get back to this later.