Opinions about the war were much more polarized and more obvious, too. In the South, the words "Dixie" or "Rebel" were everywhere in the names of motels, restaurants, and gas stations. Confederate flags and Rebel characters like Gen. Jubilation T. Cornpone were incorporated into ads and signs.In sharp contrast, In the North it was as though that war never happened. There were no Yankee Gas stations or Bluebelly Motels.Yet before the WBTS, there was a "commonality" that bound us together:
America was colonized by small groups of people from England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands with very common characteristics of race, religion, morals, ethics, education, and stations in life. They were nearly all from the working class --- farmers, tradesmen, soldiers, and speculators. There were few aristocrats. They shared a common grasp of man's responsibility to family and community and man's role in the scheme of things.Note the pecking order of priorities in that last sentence. This still holds true for many Americans, despite what is often portrayed in the elitist trinity of government, the media and academia.
This commonality was the grounding basis for America. It probably accounts for the fact that the colonies never went to war with one another. Instead they labored at communication and compromise and never forgot that their neighbors had the right to govern themselves by their own needs and wants. This was the basis for states' rights, a concept little understood by most Americans today.
The colonists followed a basic understanding about priorities. With some variations, an individual was faithful to God first, family second, community third, colony next, and nation last. This order of loyalty began with ancient man's simple recognition of allegiance to family and clan out of self defense. Thousands of years later the structure of loyalties persisted. In 1861, most men still adhered to that pecking order of fidelity: God, family, community, state, region, and nation. [Emphasis mine.]
It occurs to me that in our zeal to understand other nations and other peoples, we have lost sight of our own past. As a result, all too often people blindly accept the nonsense of agenda-driven revisionists who have erroneously retrofitted America's complex historical figures and events into convenient pigeonholes.One of those historical figures is, of course, Robert E. Lee. And Sylvia rightly concludes:
From Lee's perspective, the US was about to wage war on his home, his people, and his family. Even though the basic principles of the Republic had been compromised, Lee agonized over the decision and made his choice reluctantlyIf you are interested in the WBTS beyond the social justice perspective that you read on so many CW blogs today, you will find North South Trader's Civil War an oasis. I highly recommend it for CW buffs as well as scholars and collectors.
Once committed, he fought like a lion. Once defeated, he was without rancor. Such a man is not a traitor but a role model for all.
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