Lincoln, evil? Our certainties of 1865 give us pause today

3 posts


Or how the goddam limey faggot Guardian supported the Confederacy back in the day ...

Mention the American civil war in Britain today and you are likely to encounter something close to a unanimity of views. The north were the goodies. The south were the baddies. The northern states had history and right on their side, whether on slavery and race or on the question of maintaining the union. The south, by extension, was wrong and against history on both counts. So, in short, the right side won. Moreover, in Abraham Lincoln the federal side had one of the greatest leaders America has ever produced, the man who rose to the occasion in deeds and words to save his country, and whose murder was one of the greatest calamities in the republic's history.
Those are almost certainly, in broad terms, the views of the conflict held by most readers outside parts of the American south, just as they are, equally broadly, my own. They are indeed the official version. Happily, there is a good amount of truth in them. Yet not only was the civil war less straightforward than this benign retrospective view suggests, it was also a much more divisive conflict in Britain than the received pro-northern and anti-southern consensus lets us see. The imminent 150th anniversary of the start of the war is a good time to venture out of our comfort zone.


War doesn't determine who is right or wrong. It only determines who is left.

Only the victors write the history books.

Dr. Heywood R. Floyd

The Confederacy lives on. Her borders will be re-established, albeit perhaps only to break up again into two or more independent nation-states, but when the coup de grace looms for our Federal regime (and rest assured, that perverted institution has a lifespan measured in just a few decades, or possible even years), it will be entirely natural for the Confederate member states to cooperate militarily and otherwise against their old, and now enfeebled enemy.