Given current events, I find myself asking how one will be able to write about the American Civil War now and in the future. This question has been brewing in my mind since 2015 when the debate over statues began in earnest. However, only now do we see the implications of the debate going beyond select statues.
On this blog and elsewhere I have identified the current consensus of the Civil War as the Just Cause. This interpretation, like the Lost Cause, has different varieties, but on a whole can be identified by a belief that the Civil War was inevitable, just, and/or necessary. It admits, either tacitly or overtly, that some questions cannot be solved by reform, elections, or even peaceful protest, but only by war. It also holds that the Confederates were not merely misguided, but one of the greatest villains of American history, beaten only by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, with the Soviet Union and George III’s Britain in distant fourth and fifth places. Continue reading