History Is Bunk

Many of you may not be aware, and many will not even care, but there has been a great deal of controversy in America of late. Besides the antics of Mr Trump, his cabinet, and his family, or the bluster and counter bluster with North Korea, something else has been going on.

Some states have decided to remove statues and memorials dedicated to people who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, from 1861-1865. Famous generals like Robert E. Lee, and some statues of other officers, as well as memorials to fallen Confederates are being removed by the authorities. The reasons given for this vary, but the overall idea is to stop ‘glorifying’ people who fought in a cause that supported slavery. I could add quotes, or write all day about the many other reasons why that war happened, but there would be no point. It has become seen as a war against slave states, by states who did not support slavery, and that seems to be the end of it. In other places, the display on public buildings of the Confederate flag, the famous ‘Stars and Bars’, has been outlawed too.

Much of the reason for this backlash can be explained by the fact that Far-Right groups in the USA, including the KKK, and other White Supremacist organisations have ‘hijacked’ this flag, and used it for their own reasons. Also that these monuments are honoured by these same groups, some of which would like to see Secession from the Union happen again. It is claimed that the descendants of slaves, the modern day African-American citizens, are offended by having to walk past statues of Confederate generals, reminding them of the enslavement of their forefathers. The issue has been warmly embraced by Liberal white groups too, and pressure applied to get these monuments removed.

Just yesterday, I became drawn into a heated ‘blog argument’ on the issue, on the site of a very nice lady. I don’t intend to do that again, so no need to look away now…

So, why do I care? I am English after all. American history is for Americans to sort out, surely? Best if I kept my nose out, and let them remove what they want, without me antagonsing their citizens on the blogosphere. But I do care. I care because it is history. Not just American history, but world history too. I care in the same way that I cared when ISIS destroyed religious monuments in Iraq and Syria. When the Taliban destroyed ancient art in Afghanistan, or when the post-soviet Russians pulled down statues of Lenin. Taking away any memorial does not make the history go away, or become any more acceptable to future generations. Something else has to happen, before that is complete.

That something else is the gradual erosion of history by default. Not bothering to stock the books in the library. Removing the teaching of the period from the school syllabus. Forgetting to report on the anniversary of a significant event. It is so easily done, and has been done many times before. In a few generations, it is all forgotten, like it never happened. There is nothing left to remind us, after all. And what about the double standards? Slave-owning Andrew Jackson is on the US $20 bill, and his former plantation home is a ‘national monument’. (Jackson is to be removed from the currency, by 2020)
Mount Rushmore is built on land stolen from Native Americans who were driven off of it, and Florida’s Disney World was once home to the proud Seminole people. How do their descendants feel about those reminders of the desecration of tribal lands, I wonder?

Every nation has an uncomfortable past. My own country spent centuries conquering foreign nations, and reducing their people to little more than servants. But the history of that is still there to be seen, with the statues of colonialists like Cecil Rhodes and Robert Clive sitting proudly on their plinths. It doesn’t mean that the later generations were unaware of their shortcomings, and for all I know, may well provoke debate about their actions. Tens of thousands of people from an Indian or South African background walk past such monuments in London every day. Yet there are no cries to have them taken down. Trying to remove ‘inconvenient’ history is the first step down a very slippery slope that has no end. It was an American, Henry Ford, who once declared that “History is bunk.”

Let’s hope he is not proved right.

63 comments

  1. greenpete58

    I came over from “torrito.” You have a nice blog here, Pete (or “Re-Pete”). Many thoughtful ideas and responses. As a liberal, northern American (“Yankee”), and one who’s read a lot about the American Civil War, visited the country’s battlefields, and even written a book partially dealing with that war… I honestly don’t know the answer to this wave of Confederate monument and flag removals. I think both sides are wrong. Removal of this stuff will not erase any hate. On the contrary, it merely stirs up the muck, and the cockroaches then crawl out, as we’ve seen happen in Charlottesville. Removals are a symbolic gesture. Also, figures like Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson were products of their time. Lee was extremely intelligent and had a lot of depth, from my limited knowledge. He was mistaken for choosing his state (Virginia), a slave state, over his country, but the “country” was still just a loose confederation of different states. I have a feeling if Lee (and others, like slaveholder President Thomas Jefferson) were alive now, they would be as appalled at slavery and Jim Crow as the most activist liberal Yankee.

    That being said, and as I mentioned on another blog… it helps to walk in the shoes of those who are most affected by these reminders of an evil institution. If I were an African-American, I don’t think I’d want to have to see a Confederate flag flying over my statehouse. Or a Confederate general proudly riding his steed in my town’s square. Removing these symbols isn’t an “erasure” of history. The history is still there. It’s just not flaunted. And as someone else here said, these KKK and neo-Nazi protesters care nothing about history, or worldly and significant men like Jefferson and Lee. They merely want to be able to flaunt their hate, in whatever fashion they’re able.

    So… don’t know the right answer. Here’s a recent post of mine (shameless plug) about REACTING to displays of hate: https://peterkurtz.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/staring-down-the-ugly-american/

    Again, great blog, and thanks for listening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      Hi Pete. Many thanks for your considered reply, and your kind words about the blog. This post really stirred up something I hardly expected, and it taught me a great deal about the people of a country ‘owning’ their history, as opposed to the views of foreigners who do not have to live with the consequences of it. I learned a lot, both from this reaction, other blogs, and emails I received too.

      As someone who thinks of himself as a Londoner first, English second, and not remotely British, I could see the appeal of fighting a federal government to preserve a feeling of belonging. So as a youngster, like many others here, I became somewhat infatuated with the Confederacy. What I could not have known was the deep division and bitterness that continues as a legacy of that war, which I had always assumed was fought between men reluctant to take up arms in the first place, then locked in a struggle from which there was no escape but defeat. Even after decades of reading about that war, I was still left with the feeling that there was a great deal of mutual respect between the combatants, and never expected to see such a turn of events, in 2017.

      I will happily read your post, and thanks for sending me the link.

      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      • greenpete58

        You’re right, there’s still a lot of division, but today it’s less regional than ideological (somewhere on my blog, I wrote about “damned Yankees” versus “unreconstructed rebels”). If you get a chance, and haven’t already, check out the book “Confederates in the Attic” by Tony Horwitz. The author (a liberal, Yankee, Jew, and Civil War buff) toured the South and met all sorts of people still “fighting the war.” They ranged from hilarious to downright scary.

        Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      I have heard of that book before, and will check it out. Thanks very much for your input, and for following this blog too. It only pops up now and again, secondary to my ‘main’ blog.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  2. johnrieber

    Pete, I agree that we can’t “forget” inconvenient history – the controversy here is whether these statues “honor” those who attempted to tear our country apart – and as you saw, I posted my observations from strip I took to Stone Mountain Georgia – I had no idea there was a memorial to the confederacy there, and it’s unsettling that it appears to honor these people – I didn’t grow up in the south, but most people here in the US see these as promoting racism, and it’s hard to see otherwise…here is that story for anyone who wants to see what I mean – https://johnrieber.com/2017/08/16/georgias-enormous-confederate-memorial-at-stone-mountain-the-controversial-robert-e-lee-stone-mountain-carving/

    Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      Thanks for the link, John. I appreciate your views on the issue, and I wonder if you would agree with the removal of monuments to all those who profited from slavery in the first place, long before 1861? Or is it the secession and Confederacy that you find most upsetting? I am always interested in different viewpoints.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrieber

        Pete, I read through all of your comments and you are certainly correct: there is a lot of discussion going on – as I said, I completely agree that we MUST acknowledge our past – the only way to avoid doing the same horrific things all over again – here in the US we are SO polarized…a bad time for us

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ian Gibson Photography

    Hi Pete

    I had a similar argument with my nephew over the “Rhodes must fall” debate last year.

    You are correct that we choose the history that we celebrate. The fact that the UK doesn’t celebrate the invention of concentration camps, or its role in slavery is perfectly understandable.

    However there is a huge difference between remembering what took place in the past, and celebrating it. Statues and monuments are part of that celebration, like it or not, and questioning whether that celebration remains relevant today is perfectly understandable as well.

    Interesting post

    Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      Thanks for your thoughts, Ian. Though we may not have any monuments to those early Boer War concentration camps, at least we know about them. It is the longer-term possibility of writing things out of history that really concerns me.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Eddy Winko

    Thinking about the removal of statues and Russian iconography that is going on in Poland at the moment I have to say I am sad to see this nationalistic destruction of history, much in line with your point. However I would agree with the removal of anything that has become a symbol of hate. I don’t believe we have nor will ever forget about the Nazis and I cant remember the last time I saw a statue of Hitler or a swastika flying.
    Mind you the irony did hit me, that a nation that has turned its back on the theory of evolution in favour of creationism has little regard for history, well at least about the same proportion of the population that voted for Trump, I wonder if there is a link!

    Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      I take your point abut Hitler and Swastikas, but there is no comparison between the Confederate Army and the evil regime in Germany under the Nazis. (I don’t actually think it would have been a bad thing to preserve some of that Nazi construction and iconography, as a lesson to the future.) People don’t forget about that period because of Holocaust memorials, concentration camp museums, and countless TV series and films. What concerns me is that this movement in the US will become a gradual ‘watering-down’ of historical unpleasantness, until everything they don’t like has been given a ‘makeover’.
      Cheers mate, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eddy Winko

        Maybe that is the best place for them, in museums. It struck me, whilst picking tomatoes, that by becoming an icon of hate and racism they are rewriting their own history and the truth will soon be forgotten. At least in a museum then can have a factual text attached to them, out in the wild they are a symbol to follow, the history distorted to fit the cause they represent.
        In saying all that and considering the General Lee was simply the design on the roof of the car in the Dukes of Hazard TV program of the 80’s I should probably shut up now 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ros

    A couple of other thoughts occurred to me while sleeping:

    Doug said, ‘The interesting thing to this debate… the contemporary North does not nearly have as much alleged passion for having “won” that war as much as the South has in having lost it.’

    Again, this is something I have witnessed. Whilst Texans are very proud to be Texans, Yankees may be viewed with a certain amount of antipathy and resentment over even relatively ‘small’ issues as the dearth of Southern accents in the media. All of which provides fuel for the fire of Southern (and hence white) supremacy in the wrong kind of people.

    Meanwhile, having a Confederate statue right outside a court house presents a double symbol of injustice as far as blacks are concerned.

    I can’t help drawing comparisons with the destruction of buildings, icons and paintings during the Protestant Reformation. As Brits, we lost a fair bit of our ‘history’ back then. But, then again, the evidence of their loss is itself part of our history. Easy to see now. Not so easy, perhaps, at the time. In future generations, a statue that has been moved or broken will say at least as much as one that survives intact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doug (FPS/DougLite.com)

      It’s interesting you mention about the “loss of southern accents in the media”. I can’t generally speak for regional broadcast media but I do know there’s trends where local TV and radio stations do tend to be less specific in their hiring folks from outside their regional dialects. But network media… cable, and TV… do tend to not hire strong domestic dialect accents of any kind for their news people (unless its European). Studies have been done going back to the early days of TV and radio that there is a general domestic acceptance and understandability in the broadcast world in using midwest states dialects given there were less drawls and twangs and generally more pleasant to listen to. In fact, Bell Telephone had done similar studies for their telephone operators but they applied it regionally; southern phone operators would have the relatively slower tempo southern accents. The east would have the slightly faster eastern accents, and etc. for other regions. The idea of course was that people in those regions found that operators with the local dialects were understood locally better. So I am not all that sure that there’s some racial reason for having less southern accents in broadcasting. But you should also note.. that there are very few, if any, black American broadcasters with the heavy Black American vernacular (which is chock full of double negatives) and muffled phonetics. Again, not racial but likely might be interpreted that way these days.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ros

        As you say, it’s all down to how these things are interpreted and by whom. Which is not to say that there aren’t any issues, but that all sorts of things get tacked on that have nothing much to do with them. Especially when emotions run high.

        Liked by 1 person

      • beetleypete

        At one time here, Doug our TV news was presented by men wearing dinner suits, speaking in an accent that sounded like Noel Coward talking. It took all my own lifetime to see that replaced by ‘ordinary’ men, and the later addition of women too. We now have regional reporters with appropriate accents, as well as many black and Asian presenters and reporters too. There are even disabled journalists, reporting from their wheelchairs. But I don’t think any of this was generated by public protest, rather than by the organisations seeking to bring a reflection of modern society into their programming.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Like

    • beetleypete

      We had an equally bitter civil war in this country of course, from 1642-1649. Not only was this longer than the US civil war, it was equally divisive and destructive at the time, and ended with the execution of the reigning monarch. Yet statues of Cromwell remain, including one outside Parliament. I don’t know for sure if our attitude to this war is because it happened so long ago, or if we are more tolerant of history, but surely education is the key, rather than removal or destruction?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

      • Ros

        Perhaps the issues are less ‘live’. I imagine that a statue of Oliver Cromwell would go down rather less well in Ireland, for example, because Cromwell’s legacy is felt much more profoundly over there.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Doug (FPS/DougLite.com)

      You’re right, Arlene… history, in all its form, is here to stay.
      Here’s a little more detail to add to my elongated reply to Pete, above (or below?). You might not see it from your overseas vantage point but this was a bit more than just objecting to the removing a statue of Robert E. Lee and renaming the park with his name. It’s one thing to admire the statue and reflect on the man’s contribution to the Southern Cause of the day. In fact, he was a great military strategist for those times, an admired hero, even to some measure with folks in the North. He was one of the few personages of that struggle that became literally legends in their own times. Now.. that’s the history in which we pay homage to the man. No question about it.

      So… who shows up to object to the removing of a statue to his honor for re-location elsewhere? Neo-Nazis who have absolutely not one damn thing in common with the man or his history. They demonstrated yelling Nazi chants from the 20’s, anti-Jewish chants… parading carrying torches like someone was making it look like a Nuremberg rally in the 30’s…. or in the least, trying to give the image of Krystal Nacht.

      My point is… things have to be placed in some measure of perspective. The Neo-Nazis could care less about a statue of a notable person… or the history. They were there for what Robert E. Lee was defending… slavery…. and the idea to them is that Lee represented that opinion. Hell, if Lee were alive today I guarantee you that man of basic honor would not have any white supremacist allegiance.

      But you are absolutely correct.. it’s a very complicated issue because people are all using that history to promote their own.. here it comes… agendas.

      Liked by 2 people

      • arlene

        Are we going backward? I wonder, here in the Philippines we have a president who curses and utter bad words, blames everyone but himself every time he opens his mouth. so appalling. It seems that time is really changing the world over. We should not forget those years that made life what it is right now. History makes the future, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • beetleypete

        Of course the nasty racists are going to use any excuse or opportunity to promote their ideas, and the removal of these statues has given them what they must think is a perfect opportunity. As you say, Lee would be turning in his grave, and would have had no truck with such people. Another of the reasons why I feel this should not have been done in the first place, and why the continuing programme of removal will generate even more unpleasantness, and further division.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Like

  6. Ros

    It’s certainly an interesting debate. After spending nearly three weeks staying with a family in Texas, I became much more aware of some of the sensitivities involved and hence would hesitate to pass judgment either way.

    One thing that hasn’t been noted yet is that flags and statues are taken a good deal more seriously by Americans (white ones at least) than Brits. Also, public space is viewed somewhat differently. So the argument that there are no cries to take British statues down doesn’t really work. Most Brits have little or no interest in them in the first place!

    It was also fairly clear to me that racism is still much more marked in the American South than it is in the UK. Anyone doing menial labour was likely to be black and that’s where most black people were to be found. Still. So I think it’s fair to say that these issues are much more highly sensitive in the US at the moment than they are here. As Doug suggests, it’s time of transition. Prejudices are being challenged in ways that they haven’t before. And that’s bound to result in a considerable upheaval that has more to do with where the power lies now than it does with which bits of history we want to remember or forget.

    That said, beneath all that, there *are* the deeper issues of Confederate family pride that doesn’t want to see ‘white’ history erased vs the erasing of ‘black’ history that such statues can be seen to represent. It’s about me and my identity – where I have come from and what that means. And that’s something that both blacks and whites need to work out together. (And, yes, Native Americans, too). What is public space? Who does it belong to? Whose history should it celebrate or remember? If a confederate statue is to remain in a public space, is there a statue of a black freedom fighter or Indian totem to balance it? Or should both be found in the local museum?

    And I think these kind of questions are probably much more important in the US than they are here because their history is so much shorter. So, instead of old buildings, their history is all wrapped up in statues and plaques and flags…

    I think what I’m saying is that it’s complicated. But, yes, history is important and it shouldn’t be erased, however unpalatable modern sensibilities find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      Thanks very much for your thoughtful comment, Ros. I have referred to the American ‘obsession’ with flags on many other blogs, though not my own. I have also mentioned that despite the Far Right also ‘hijacking’ our own national flags, they are still proudly flown on public buildings here. I have never been to America, and do not claim to be an expert on anything, but you make a very good point that their history is a short one, and that they may retain past allegiances in a way unknown here.
      What we have by comparison is the continuing class system, where our menial jobs are primarily taken by the so-called ‘lower classes’, trades carried on by ‘the working class’, and most wealth held by the ‘upper middle class’, and the aristocracy. Colour is less of an issue perhaps, but there is still overt racism to be found, especially in rural areas like the one we live in.
      Your input to this debate is most welcome.
      best wishes, Pet.

      Like

  7. By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff

    Thanks for the “nice lady” comment Pete😊 I swear that’s been the most excitement my blog has gotten since I started it!😁 I won’t rehash what I already said yesterday. I think you already know that I’m torn about this. I do agree with everything Doug said above though. These statues are not being destroyed. They’re just being put elsewhere until a solution can be decided upon. As I said, maybe historical parks and museums?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Doug (FPS/DougLite.com)

    Lord Almighty, Pete. Have you been watching our news? Just when you think you can dismiss Trump’s crap.. he does it again.. and this time he’s a racist. When will this all end. All we are doing is waiting for the first Republican to acknowledge he’s got to go. Can I defect to England?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. PARTNERING WITH EAGLES

    Except for your quoting a virulent anti Semite, who was Hitler’s inspiration for his “final solution”, this is an excellent post.
    Indeed, we’re seeing Orwell’s 1984 becoming a harsh reality; revisionist historians invaded our school system long ago, more then one generation has already been subjected to a false, modified history, and common core has even been so bold as to revise the wording of things such as the second amendment. Here is your Henry Ford:
    https://partneringwitheagles.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/do-you-give-a-cp-about-veterans-dont-talk-to-me-about-henry-ford/

    Like

    • beetleypete

      I just felt sad, watching the exuberance of those thoughtless people, Doug. I wonder just how many of them know anything about the Civil War, and the people who fought in it? It wasn’t in 1971, but in 1861. The world was a different place then.
      Thanks for the link.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  10. Pingback: Making a Measured Mess, Sunset in the Cascades, Confederate Memorials & 055 A Visit to the Tailor | DearTedandJody
  11. Doug (FPS/DougLite.com)

    I also failed to mention, Pete.. those monuments that have been removed have been generally stored for safe keeping, to be re-located to non-public areas. So.. none of these things are being torn down in some grand defiance.. like the image of Saddam.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Doug (FPS/DougLite.com)

    Pete, my friend.. an outstandingly written post and of anyone outside the U.S. I would recognize as an amateur historian as qualified as any one of us who actually live here in the States, it would be you. You have a far greater knowledge of American history than, sadly, most Americans (and I include our Dear Leader in the top of that group), and far more knowledge than most Americans have of British history. Now.. that acknowledgment having been willingly and fondly made, there are a few issues that many American folks (conveniently?) forget in this argument… and you have left out simply because you are not “inside” to make the grasp. Sorry.. this may be a long-winded reply.

    I have replied and maybe posted here and there that my personal feelings on this issue are a tad divided. Of recent note, I have been discussing this issue inside Citizen Tom’s blog. I think the main part of this debate is that no one is trying to remove some “inconvenient” history. There is not widespread disregard for Civil War history nor anyone wanting to chastise descendents and impose the guilt in their forefathers defending slavery.

    Here is the core of the recent movement… political correctness, pure and simple. This idiotic compulsion that “free speech is wonderful but YOUR free speech better damn well not infringe or offend me in any way” crap. We are in a phase, around the world, where people are watching what other people say under a microscope, making sure every nuance, period, question mark in place does not serve to suggest any sort of discrimination toward any group, race, religion, political ideology, yada, yada, yada. Fear is so great that people are afraid to exchange ideas, debate, or simply communicate with some level of tolerance and understanding. We are in an age where it’s all about, “Fuck you.. I’m important.”

    Ok.. that part being said (and hopefully understood in the great picture of this topic), it’s very easy to see this debate as “they are taking away our history and the bastards won’t stop there as they will ultimately take away all our freedoms and fascism will take over”. Now.. THAT is bunk.

    Here’s the facts (I am sure some ignorati will want to change them). The monuments, plaques, flying the stars & bars… are being challenged… in being displayed ON PUBLIC PROPERTY. That means public parks, government buildings, etc. Any property being underwritten, built, created, using public monies.. tax dollars. There is NO threat to the general display of these things off government property. That means, private organizations, veterans groups, civic charitable organizations… cemeteries, private battlefield landmarks… none of that changes.

    Now.. it makes PERFECT sense to me for someone objecting to the slavery nature of the Civil War walking past a statue of General Lee in front of the local county courthouse and thinking, rightly so, that their tax dollars are being used to represent a fellow who defended a way of life that included slavery. Also keep in mind.. many of these monuments are themselves well over 100 years old and were placed there in a post-Civil War environment in the South where there was a natural collective anxiety to the defeat of the South… the complete physical and economic collapse of the Southern economy.. and these monuments served to provide a measure of coming to grips that their cause was not in vain and meant something. I can understand this all too well.

    But here’s the thing…. those monuments were for THAT generation as it adjusted to a complete upheaval in their way of life. No history books are being re-written, schools are not “cleaning” history or teaching blame (any more than they always have).
    The stars & bars? If a state has incorporated it in their design, so be it. Democracy calls for the people to change that if they so wish and apparently enough people have been doing just that. There is NO way on this blue planet that contemporary supporters of flying the stars & bars can even get close to understanding the life and times that called their ancestors to want to fight for it. So to me it’s damn bogus to even think flying that flag now somehow represents some current bastardized concept of what the 1860’s South was like. The war is over.. the flag should come down on public buildings. It’s not there to be some hope that the South will rise again or some historic reminder of a way of life that included enslaving fellow human beings. It can be flown in other venues for historical remembrance… like cemeteries, etc.

    So, Pete… my initial concern has always been “is this some suppression of history”.. but… there is nothing like that going on. In the vast majority of locations where the monuments and flags have been removed it has been at the democratic will of the people… not some arbitrary decree by some local mayor or governor.
    That’s the rest of the story. But… you made a good post, sir.

    Liked by 2 people

    • beetleypete

      Hi Doug. There are few American bloggers I respect as much as you. I am sure you know that well enough from our association. However, this is a real issue for me, along the lines of a ‘make or break’ matter. I am happy to take on board your valued arguments, as long as they also involve the destruction of monuments to those who fought, killed, and then suppressed Native American peoples. Add the Puritan settlers, who subjugated yet more Indians, and stole their land, prior to declaring independence from Britain. Perhaps the Stars and Bars no longer represents anyone who fought in the Civil War. But does Scottish pride mean nothing to those who fought at Culloden? Does the celebration of those who fought in the French Resistance in WW2 mean anything to modern day French people? I could go on, but I know you see my point by now. History is what it is. It should be celebrated, discussed, and appraised. But it must never be removed, not for any reason on earth.
      Deep down, I feel that this is the beginning of ‘sanitising ‘ history in your country. Driven by the guilty conscience of the Liberals there, who want to hide their own history under a blanket of concealment.
      I fear for the future, I honestly do. But I respect your right to disagree, because history has taught me that you have that right.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

      • Doug (FPS/DougLite.com)

        hehe.. I appreciate your diplomacy. Something of late us Americans seems to be lacking.
        Anyway.. we can let this be until another day, although a continued discussion would be nice someday.
        I will submit this much for further “digestion”. Our Civil War was indeed a civil war. This wasn’t “just” another national struggle against a foreign foe or some united effort to displace royalty and install a democracy (we did that once with you guys). This was a rebellion against our established Constitution… technically a traitorous act against our Constitution. The secession of the states involved was also an illegal act. I can go into greater legal detail.. but just tossing this difference out your way for thinking. It’s very much a critical part of our history as a nation.. but certainly nothing like a nation united in a common cause against fascism or something similar where we can thump our chests.
        The smartest thing done in our Civil War was Grant, Congress, etc. just letting everyone take their horses and weapons and simply go home… no reparations, no vendettas. As now, in spite of our differences, we are all still Americans. The interesting thing to this debate… the contemporary North does not nearly have as much alleged passion for having “won” that war as much as the South has in having lost it. Regardless of the fact no one today fought on either side.

        Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      Thanks very much, Sarah. As you will see from the other comments, some Americans agree, but others do not. I cannot shake this one. I had to take a stand, and I’m sticking to it, whatever the outcome.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

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