Skip to main content

tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  March 31, 2016 10:55pm-11:46pm EDT

10:55 pm
racializing of the north -- you'd begin to see some steps in that direction, but the end of the civil war cuts that off. all right. [ applause ] friday night on "american history tv" road to the white house rewind. at 8:00 p.m. eastern, the 1960 west virginia democratic primary department between john f. kennedy and hubert humphrey. at 11:00 p.m., a 1968 film about richard nixon's campaigning in the new hampshire primary. "american history tv" in primetime begins at 8:00 eastern
10:56 pm
here on c-span 3. ♪ every election cycle we're reminded how important it is for citizens to be informed. c-span is a vehicle for empowering people to make good choices. it really is like you're getting a seven-course gourmet five-star meal of policy. boy, do i just sound like a nerd right there, but it's true. >> to me, c-span is a home for political junkies and the way to track the government as it happens whether it is on capitol hill or the agencies. >> most staffers seem to have a television on their desk and c-span is on. i think it is a great way for us to stay informed. >> i urged my colleagues to vote for this amendment. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues, when i go back today, they're going to say i saw you on c-span. >> you're going to get something like the history of grain
10:57 pm
elevators in pennsylvania or landmark supreme court decisions. >> i believe that we will win. i believe that we will win. >> there's so much more that c-span does in terms of its programming to make sure that people outside the beltway know what's going on inside it. >> i am proud to announce -- >> i announce my candidacy. >> i am officially running -- >> for president of the united states. >> i'm a reporter who covers politics. for so many of my stories in "the washington post," c-span has been part of my research, providing me with quotes and insights about people. >> there are so many niches within the political bl blogosphere. >> it's a place i can go that lets me do the thinking and do the decision making.
10:58 pm
>> we follow tons of c-span here. >> good morning, everyone. phone lines are open, so start dialing in. >> the interaction with callers on c-span is great. you never know what you're going to get. >> you're right i'm from down south. >> oh, god. it's mom. >> and i'm your mother. i disagree that all families are like ours. i don't know many families that are fighting at thanksgiving. >> and welcome to book tv's live coverage of the 32nd annual miami book fair. >> c-span 2 on the weekends, it becomes book tv. >> and it's been a wonderful way of accessing the work of those folk who are writing really great books. >> every weekend c-span 3 becomes american history tv. you're a history junkie? you've got to watch. >> whether we're talking about a congressional hearing or we're talking about an era in history, there's so much information that
10:59 pm
you can convey if you've got that kind of programming. >> whether it's at the capital or on the campaign trail, they have a camera. they're capturing history as it happens. it brings you inside of these chambers and lets you have a seat at the table. you can't find that anywhere else. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> i am a c-span fan. >> yes, i am a c-span fan. >> and that's the power of c-span. access for everyone to be a part of the conversation. next, author and historian caroline janney discusses national reconciliation and its limits in the post-civil war era. she argues the spanish-american war bonded form white confederates and unionists into
11:00 pm
one national army helping to reunite the country. she says this reunion came with restrictions that denied equa y equality for african-american soldiers. this talk was part of a day long symposium held at the library of virginia in richmond. it's about 45 minutes. >> next speaker dr. caroline e. janney is professor of history at perdue, but she'll always be a virginia girl. she received her ph.d. from the university of virginia. go hoovs. she's also a familiar face to museum audiences. she delivered the 2013 elizabeth lecture at the university of richmond on the subject of her latest book, "remembering the civil war, reunion and the limits of reconciliation." then she returned to richamond
11:01 pm
the following june for that same book. caroline's first book "burying the dead, but not the past" which came out in 2008 is a personal favorite of mine, as she well knows. she also edited an edition of john richard dennet's "reconstruction era's travel account, the south as it is 1865-1866," which is out of print and unavailable. i have given a talk on her first book i think as many times as you have because it's a great chapter of history that's unknown to so many people. given the fact that we're now into that post-war period, it is so very important. i even titled the talk "burying the dead, but not the past." hold up the book and tell the
11:02 pm
audience i'm plagiarizing her speech. yes, we do keep it all in the family here at the museum, don't we? we do offer a chance today, if you're interested in getting that book. you can get both editors to sign it at the same time and it is available for sale during the break that follows carrie. today, carrie will be speaking about the civil war, the spanish-american war, and the limits of national reconciliation. ladies and gentlemen, one of my personal favorites, carrie janney. [ applause ] >> thank you to waite so much. it's always a treat to get to come back to virginia, to richmond in particular. and i used to joke that people
11:03 pm
thought i worked at the museum of confederacy when i was in grad school because i was there every day and the staff started letting me in before people were supposed to be there, so it is like coming home, so thank you very much waite. also thank to john kosky. anyway, today i'm going to talk about the spanish-american war and civil war memory. so we're not going to be talking about the spanish-american war but the way in which veterans of the civil war thought about their role in the spanish-american war and vicerer is a. the spanish-american war has often been described as that moment that knit the nation back together. this very popular image that's on the front of nina's really great book "romance of reunion." of course this tableau depicting the confederacy and union veterans coming back together. you can see the little girl with cuba and the crown on her head.
11:04 pm
this war bringing the sections back together. the popular narrative is that by 1898 white northerners and southerners locked hands together in reconciliation to fight together as white americans. historians have said that in doing so this is the moment when union veterans forgot that they had fought a war ignited by slavery, that they remained silent on the fact that union victory had resulted in emancipation. in doing so, they sold out to confederate memory to the lost cause. but this afternoon i hope to convince you that the place of the spanish-american war and the story of national reconciliation is much more complicated than this. today, i'd like to talk to you about the ways in which various groups talk about the civil war to reflect back on the civil war
11:05 pm
and vice versa. former confederates argued that their service in the war proved that they were loyal americans, and it simultaneously emboldened their defense of the lost cause. while white union soldiers agreed that former confederates might now be committed to fighting a common foreign foe, union veterans had not forgotten that there had indeed been a right and wrong side in the civil war. in order to put all of this in context, i want to give just a brief background on the role of reconciliation and the place of reconciliation as we get to 1898. so in the years of the civil war, former confederates and unionists worked tirelessly to make sure their respected memories of the war, what the war had meant, would dominate. they did so through the creation
11:06 pm
of national cemeteries. national cemeteries exclusively for loyal union soldiers. here you can see a memorial day observance in ohio. they did so through the creation of veterans organizations such as the grand army of the republic that's already been mentioned today. here's another group from st. mary's, virginia. of course, here in richmond the r.e. lee camp of armored veterans were no less dedicated to protecting their memory of the lost cause. this is an image from gettysburg in 1888 where union veterans gathered to dedicate one of the many monuments at gettysburg. african-americans for their part celebrated emancipation days. for the most part, confederates lauded the lost cause. unionists the union cause. and african-americans along with
11:07 pm
their abolitionist allies the emancipationist cause. despite the fact there were these very distinct memories of the war and very concerted efforts to protect what they saw as the truth of the war, despite this, by the 1880s and 1890s there was a culture of reconciliation. americans were celebrating the fact that they had come back together. the creation of the first military park authorized by congress in 1890 and dedicated in 1895. this is proof that the nation has come back together. here we had union and confederate soldiers united to dedicate a national military park. a popular play, musicals at the time, celebrating the reunion of the nation, even political campaigns. the populist campaign celebrated reconciliation. in all of these efforts, there was a focus on the bravery and
11:08 pm
valor of the american soldier, not the union soldier or confederate soldier, but the american soldier. and often, but not always this culture of reconciliation tried to stay away from the topics of slavery and reconstruction for that matter. nothing brought more ire from former confederates, be they women or men, than discussions of reconstruction. all of this helped convince americans on both sides of the mason-dixon line that the horrors of war, the upheavals of reconstruction, were behind them. and the very height of the spirit came the spanish-american war. in the spring of 1898, theodore roosevelt, william randolph hurst, and other militaryists got their splendid little war. these imperialists understood expelling spain from cuba would
11:09 pm
open up markets and extend u.s. power around the world. when the battleship mne exploded in 1898 killing 260 american sailors, the drum beat for war grew louder. congress would join newspapers in calling for a war, in calling for retaliation. president mckinley, who was the last union veteran to hold the office or to hold the white house, was not yet convinced. i have been through one war, he famously wrote a friend, and i have seen the dead piled up. i do not want to see another. nevertheless, by april 11th he ak. the president called for 125,000
11:10 pm
volunteers to fight for the freedom of cubans. the u.s. army at this point is about 28,000 men if that gives you a sense of what he's calling for. throughout the spring of 1898, letters poured into mckinley, letters from union and confederate veterans. these letters are in the national archives. you can look and see what types of things they're writing. on one hand, there are many veterans who very much were like mckinley. they said enough bloodshed. we don't need to go to war again. others, however, recognized that war with a foreign foe might prove useful beyond the so-called purpose of liberating the cubans. for confederate veterans, the war offered them the opportunity to prove their allegiance and loyalty to the united states. again, countless letters -- i'll give you an example from just one. a veteran of hood's texas brigade offered to raise a
11:11 pm
regiment of former confederates. the loyalty of ex-confederates to our government has been for years made the subject of criticism. all we ask is an opportunity to let our actions speak for our loyalty. there are countless letters along these same lines. there's also letters of union and confederate veterans writing in together to form blue-gray regiments. mckinley and others recognized as this envelope should suggest that the war was, in fact, perfectly positioned to capitalize on the existing reconciliation sentiment to end sectional bitterness. the war was very brief, as i'm sure all of you know. lasted only 114 days. would claim the lives of 460 americans in battle and approximately another 5200 ended by disease. but regardless this was a war that was to be fought by a
11:12 pm
united, by a reunited nation. as such, mckinley appointed both union and confederate veterans to key positions. most prominent among the white southerners was none other than fitzhugh lee. 63 years old at this point. this picture does come from the virginia historical society. [ laughter ] >> you can see he was a rather marshal looking character by that point. maybe it's the fact that he'd been a governor of virginia by that point. might be the reason for his repose. he was currently serving as consul in havana at the time. joseph wheeler also named a major general. he was chosen more for political reasons than his experience. he was a former confederate calvary leader, but a democratic congressman from alabama. in the first major engagement,
11:13 pm
many of you have heard his alleged quote. let's go, boys. we've got the damn yankees on the run again. whether or not that's true, you can see how that fuels this notion of confederates now part of this fight. again, i don't have an 1890s picture of thomas rosser, but he's another interesting one named a brigadier general. he was one of the fellowes that refused to surrender at appomattox courthouse on may of 1869. he would train recruits at the new battlefield that's been dedicated. it would be a training ground for new recruits at the beginning of the spanis spanish-american war. william c. oates best known for his attempts at little round top. another former governor, another former governor of alabama. he was really a surprising choice considering the fact that
11:14 pm
he had viciously attacked union veterans and their cause at the 1895 dedication of chattanooga, but now he's changed his tune. along with these men and other former confederates from the ranks as well as their sons who had not yet achieved glory on the battlefield, these former confederates, these white southerners, joined forces with their former enemies under the stars and stripes. general nelson miles perhaps best known for his wars against the native americans who would lead the invasion into puerto rico. general wesley merit, another survivor of gettysburg. someone who had been present at appomattox. here second from the left, general arthur mcarthur who i always thought had a great name. you probably know who his son was. these are union veterans who are
11:15 pm
now in key leadership positions in the spanish-american war. newspapers across the country gushed that the mason-dixon line had been obliterated by the war. they also talked about the fact that white southerners in atlanta and vicksburg celebrated july 4th for the first time since the war. for t they saw this war as much as liberating cubans as an opportunity to bind the nation back together. but for white southerners, this was an opportunity to do more than just relish reconciliation. in fact, it also vindicated the things they had been saying about the confederate cause, their lost cause, for years now. now say said, look, the words
11:16 pm
traitor and rebel no longer apply to us. former confederate general stephen lee. it is a source of no small pride that the country has last learned its true value, the depth and fervor of southern patriotism. indeed the lost cause was in itself in many ways a justification for fighting. white southerners reminded those from other regions that their motivation was the same motivation that had motivated them in every other war in american history. the same patriotism that prompted them to fight in 1776, in 1812, in the mexican-american war, and even in the great struggle between the states had motivated them. in each instance they had fought for the principles that were constitutional and unequivocally american. they fougt in 1861 as they did in 1898 now in the name of cubans for the principle of
11:17 pm
self-government and liberty. so the lost cause they are holding up the reason they went to fight in 1861 is the reason that they're fighting now. surely no one could argue that the lost cause was immoral when couched in such terms. by highlighting their own fight for liberty, albeit now on behalf of cubans and opposed to union veterans so-called claims of fighting to free the slaveries, white southerners could simultaneously claim loyalty to the united states flag and to their confederate heritage. the war with spain allowed former confederates to accomplish on an international stage when the lost cause had been claiming for years, a vindication of southern honor, manhood, and loyalty. they weren't the only group, though, that looked to the spanish-american war and made connections with the civil war. african-american men did the
11:18 pm
same. black men likewise looked to cuba as another opportunity to prove their patriotism, to prove their masculinity. just as they tied their civil war service to a demand for political rights, in 1898 many african-americans hoped that their participation might help turn back the growing tide of disenfranchisement, turn back the growing tide of segregation. the iowa state bystander, a newspaper noted, quote, our fathers labored, fought, and died to perpetuate this country and leave a heritage to us. harkening back to 1863, 65, the paper continued, let us be men and show loyalty and we will be rewarded. now not everyone was on board with this. numbers suggest that most of the 10,000 african-american men who did volunteer for the war were from northern states as opposed to southern states. and much of that might be because of the efforts of men
11:19 pm
like john mitchell, again right here in richmond, editor of the richmond planet. he insisted that black men should fight only in they did so under black officers with the ranks of colonel and major. of course, a departure from what had been the case with the united states colored troops. no officers, no fight, demanded mitchell. we will wait the change. of course, many white southerners were content to wait, responding to mckinley's call for colored troops. the new orleans times democrat insisted on the expediency of enlisting african-american and it urged the president to, quote, allow the white folks to handle this war without their assistance. invoking the civil war's memory, mitchell responded that in fact this was the same logic issued to lincoln. even robert e. lee had, quote, recommended that the confederates arm these same negroes and use them to fight
11:20 pm
for the united states. quote, lincoln enlisted these niggers and won. mr. jefferson davis would not enlist them and lost. history repeats itself, warned mitchell. and it seems hardly coincidental that thomas wentworth higgenson wrote his article detailing the valorous contributions of the south carolina volunteers during the midst of the spanish-american war. the heroices of the u.s. ct should not and cannot be forgotten. black soldiers assigned -- and here's a link with mark's talk -- black soldiers assigned
11:21 pm
to, quote, passfy the indians in the american west, the buffalo soldiers, were among the first to be mobilized in 1898. this was in part -- there's the scientific racism that goes in with that that many white americans thought physiologically and bilogically they were better suited to fight in the caribbean. 10,000 african-americans served. many of them to much acclaim. news of the 9th and 10th calvaries heroics along roosevelt's rough riders under the command of former confederate general joseph wheeler filled newspapers throughout the nation. booker t. washington likewise chimed in. just as he had praised the 54th massachusetts for their civil war service, he lauded the service of civil war -- excuse me of african-american soldiers during the spanish-american war.
11:22 pm
he addressed the largest audience he had ever spoken to at the chicago peace jubilee in october of 1898. this image actually comes out of his autobiography. it's in it that he claims this is the largest audience he had ever talked to, and in it he celebrated the heroic sacrifice of african-american men throughout the nation's history. the brave colored troops at fort wagner and fort pillow to the heroism of black regiments who stormed santiago in all of these victories black men had fought for their nation. he looks at mckinley as sitting up in a box and he looks up at him and thanks him for recognizing the black contribution to the war. people are standing up and
11:23 pm
waving handkerchieves and clapping and washington gets them to settle back down. he continues reminding them there is yet one more victory for americans to win. we have succeeded in every conflict except in the effort to combat ourselves for racial peac peace. the trenches that we have dug together around santiago shall the eternal resting place for all that separates us in our business and civil situations. here's booker t. washington offering the ultimate reconciliationist message trying to unite the united states in sectional and racial peace, not in a purposeful forgetting of the past, but in acknowledgment
11:24 pm
of the sacrifice of the devotion of black men that they had always shown to the united states. of course, this reconciliation between the races was not to be at that moment, but neither was there as much reconciliation between north and south as popular images would have us believe. popular images even from the time such as this cover of "puck" suggesting former confederates and former union vets had reunited. in 1865 the refusal of the united states government to bury confederate dead in national u.s. cemeteries alongside the concurrent development of confederate national cemeteries by the lady's memorial associations in the south, the dead in other words had served to hinder feelings of reconciliation in the immediate post-civil war period. that the dead had served to keep sectionalism alive. but in 1898 the dead became the
11:25 pm
chief symbol of a reunited nation or at least that was the hope of many. once again, the blood of north and south flowed. yet this time it did not do so under the name of contending sections, but beneath the same flag. when newspapers learned that one of the first war deaths was worth bagley, a sailor from north carolina and the son of a confederate veteran, they raved with sentiment. there is no north and no south, wrote the new york tribune. we are all worth bagley's country men. so his death was going to reunite the nation. from tennessee came the story of two fathers, one a union veteran, the other a confederate, who met at the graves o haf their sons who had fallen together. men who had once fought against each other now mingled their tears over sons who had
11:26 pm
sacrificed their lives on the altar of the united states. invoking the so-called new birth of freedom that lincoln had spoken of at gettysburg countless orders suggested the new nation might in fact be born from the spanish-american war and from the dead in particular. here again is steven lee, former c confederate general. he said, quote, the last hateful memory that could divide our country is buried with them. about their graves kneels a new nation, loving all her children everywhere the same. at the atlanta peace jubilee that december, this is when the peace treaty is finally signed by december of 1898. president mckinley uses this image of the dead reunited the nations as a symbol of a reunited nation and in part a gesture of reconciliation but also a very savvy political bid
11:27 pm
to get southern support for overseas expansion. many congress members were not on board with this. he proposed the federal government should assist, monetarily, assist in caring for the graves of all civil war soldiers. sectional lines no longer mar the united states, mckinley asserted. sectional feeling no longer holds back the love we bear each other. i want you to listen to this next passage because in fact i read it as him invoking the union cause as much as reconciliation. he rejoiced that the most recent war had proven that, quote, the union is once more the common atlas of our love and loyalty, our devotion and sacrifice. the time has now come in the evolution of sentiment and the uf lugs of feeling under the providence of god when the spirit of fraternity we should share with you in the care of graves of confederate soldiers at this, newspapers report that
11:28 pm
the old men who had fought for the confederacy in the audience leapt to their feet, that they applauded madly, and congratulated mckinley on binding the nation together, but this was a short-lived victory for mckinley because again the limits of reconciliation would bear their teeth. hoping to capitalize on such sentiment, a southern congressman and senator proposed bills that would do two things. they would open the national soldiers' homes to confederate veterans and they would offer pensions, federal pensions. yes, you all know where this is going. he says the federal government is willing to shell out money for the confederate dead. why not the confederate living? union veterans would have none of this. they found the idea of
11:29 pm
confederate pensions insulting. here's t the editor conceded that he didn't have a problem honoring the graves of those who, quote, were deluded and deceived into joining the rebellion. again, listen to the language there. they are americans and our countrymen, and helping them to tend to the places where their fallen were buried he said was an act of brotherly sympathy. he added, though, that it didn't mean that there would be no distinction between union and confederate graves. union graves should get more money and distinction because there should be distinction between those who fought for the flag and against the flag. admitting them to soldiers homes would be, quote, subversive to every principle upon which the war for the preservation for the union was waged. in fact, many confederate
11:30 pm
veterans in fact agreed with him albeit for different reasons. the united confederate camps in the south along with the southern press issued statements denouncing pensions for ex-confederates, denouncing their admission to soldiers' homes, even the care of the confederate dead belonged to the south in particular, belonged to the noble women who cared for the dead since 1865. after a spirited debate at the uvc's annual reunion, the confederate veterans declined mckinley's offer. the care of the south's dead, was quote, a sacred trust dear to the hearts of southern women and we believe it can safely remain there. to accept aid for either living or dead confederates from the
11:31 pm
federal government would be a concession, would be a failing of the honor and pride among those who had fought and died for the south. it would be a failing in holding up the lost cause. but even as former confederates rejected federal pensions, even as they rejected cemetery aid, the color line was in fact more readily pareapparent in the wak the spanish-american war. this is the national union cemetery in florence, south carolina. like florence and in other national cemeteries throughout the south, for years after the war, the primary people who had showed up for memorial day had been african-americans. they had been the ones to show up and place flowers and other markers on union graves. but in 1899, memorial day in 1899, white leaders of south
11:32 pm
carolina's gar post observed that the african-americans who so long participated in the day had failed to decorate the graves of florence. so in the name of reconciliation, white gar members called for the formation of a florence blue and gray association. this is directly responding. their founding documents say they're responding to mckinley's call for a joint nation. their goal was to sponsor memorial days and decorate the graves of both union and confederate soldiers in the area. but perhaps most significantly the group elected to bar african-americans from the days observances. again, this is in the south. i want to make it clear, as doug pointed out earlier, there there were integrated gar posts, namely in new england at this point. but nevertheless what we start to see is increasingly white only affairs that occurred at
11:33 pm
the same time that northern and southern whites were talking about reconciliation, talking about the spanish-american war. they all revealed a heightened sense of anglo saxicism in this period. despite the presence of african-american troops, the spanish-american war seemed to confirm the national unity of southern and northern white people uniting for imperialistic ambitions. the war and the colonial expansion that followed in the philippines and puerto rico seemed to confirm the backward characteristics of nonwhite people and the superiority of anglo-saxons. so to return to our starting point, white unionists had not forgotten that african-americans or slavery had been part of the war and is just one of many,
11:34 pm
many examples i could get of this. this is the soldiers and sailors monument in indianapolis outside of the lincoln memorial. this is the largest civil war monument in the country dedicated in 1902 and dedicated to all hoosiers in every war they fought. this did not mean, however, that most white union veterans or white northerners in general sought civil and political rights for african-americans. in recent years, historians seem to have forgotten that racism and remembering that slavery was part of the war did in fact go hand in hand for many union
11:35 pm
veterans. slavery and race were not interchangeable in the minds of white union veterans and we need to be careful about conflating them today. just to wrap up, even though americans had come to the defense of the nation in 1898, they had not done so by merely agreeing to remain silent on the memory of the civil war or the ideas of white sprem si. indeed the spanish-american war -- here we'll return to our first image -- left a mixed legacy for the reconciliationist spirit of the age. finding a common history with white neighbors was imperative. for others, they fiercely challenged the burgeoning reconciliationist narrative. neither had sectional reconciliation truly triumphed for white union and confederate veterans. even the spanish-american war long championed as evidence that the white north and the white
11:36 pm
south had reunited to fight a foreign foe, a non-whitne foe a that, could not bind up the nation's wounds. thank you. [ applause ] >> i want to make an observation and then pass on to a question. one of the most prominent monuments at arlington cemetery is fighting joe wheeler's oblamist. you mentioned near the last couple sentences of your remarks
11:37 pm
that you reminded us that the common enemy here was a swarthy pigmentation of the spanish. is there any evidence that part of this reunion between north and south was subliminally coming out of their common racism toward people of color or even at this time a sort of shar shar shared prostestant roman catholic empathy. >> there is a confederate section in arlington. that's a whole other story.
11:38 pm
there's a great deal of debate about whether wheeler should be buried in arlington or not, but in fact he is there. you asked about whether the north and south came together over common issues of race. that's very much been a predominant argument in recent years in historiography. they agreed to let bygones be bygones. while that is certainly a thread of it, i don't see that as the main impetus for reconciliation, that both sides had been racist by our 21st century terms well before the civil war. they didn't somehow discover they had this common idea of white supremacy in the aftermath of the civil war. if we think back to a lecture this morning where he shows us
11:39 pm
how divisive the north and white is, they have nothing to do with race while they have everything to do with the race. i think it is a far too simplistic way of looking at how deep and how long sectional bitterness lasted, and it lasted well into the 20th century. again, complex ideas about race are part of that, but that's not the whole story. the question is about protestant and anti-catholic sentiment. i'm going to punt that one. that's not something i found a great deal of and don't see that as part of the reconciliationist
11:40 pm
story. >> thank you, dr. janney. it seems to me that our culture today in historical memory is almost obsessed with the good guy versus bad guy narrative. you see it in all the comic book movies. can you validate that and also do you see that as a roadblock in the spanish-american war efforts in reconciliation, needing to have one construct of good guy versus bad guy and that hampering the efforts of reconciliation? >> i'm not sure i can speak to the comic book part of the question. i admit i'm not an avid comic book reader, but i will say that essential the notion of the righteousness of one cause and which cause was righteous is something that is fought about even during the war of deciding how do you explain what it is that you're fighting for. are you fighting to save the union? are you fighting to free the
11:41 pm
slaves? are you fighting to protect your home? are you fighting for states' rights? all of this is very much part of the 150 yearlong discussion that we're still having about what the civil war meant is very much a question of who is on the right side of history, right? who is on the moral high ground? i mean, that's at the heart of the debate. that's at the heart of what union veterans are saying about and to confederate veterans throughout the 1860s well into the early 20th century. they're saying, you might have fought honorably, you might have been brave, but what you fought for is morally repugnant. confederate veterans will say, well, you weren't actually fighting to free the slaves approxima. you might recall that now. but you raped and pillaged the
11:42 pm
south. those questions of who's the good guy so to speak and bad guy are absolutely what motivate and what really propel forward much of this discussion about civil war memory. >> have you found any comments from spain on any of the comments you made about this subject? >> no, i have not, but i haven't looked either. that would be a really interesting question to look at. >> beginning about the late 1880s roughly through the turn opposite the century there was an increasingly explicit institutional racialization in the south of virginia. to what extent was there a cause and effect relationship either way between this burst of desire for a national reconciliation and these hardening racial attitudes as expressed in
11:43 pm
specific in things like state codes and municipal codes? >> that's a great question. i don't see that as being the motivating factor of shaping civil war memory. if confederate veterans had never been allowed to form their organizations or have their semitosem cemeteries i cemeteries, if the confederate battle flag has been senscensor those things probably still would have happened. i'm not sure seeing a cause and effect and that segregation how that plays out. >> you alluded to the south really was not on board with sort of the imperial future of the united states. could you elaborate on that a
11:44 pm
little bit? >> sure. one of the thing that is white confederates are talking about is to what extent -- they harken back to reconstruction. they use reconstruction in two very different ways seemingly. on one hand, they say if we look at the history of reconstruction, we can say it's not right for a government to come in and try to tell other people what to do. look at our own experience. why is it right for us to do that? on the other hand, they also start talking about the fact that -- they talk about whether self-rule is appropriate for people of color. do they have the capabilities to run their own governments? again, they point back to reconstruction and they say to their white northern compatriots, they say, look, we were right about reconstruction. black men weren't able to run the show. they weren't able to run governments, so we need to be careful about how we think about what's going on in cuba and
11:45 pm
puerto rico and the philippines. so they use reconstruction and the memory of that in two opposing ways, but it's very formative in their minds of how they think about the role of the united states in these colonies. thank you all. [ applause ] american history tv on c-span 3. this weekend saturday night at 10:00 eastern on real america. >> all such farm jobs which are tough dirty or unpleasant, are generally referred to as stoop labor. understandably this is the only area in which the american farm labor supply falls short and is supplemented by mexican citizens called nationals or mexican nationals, but the term most

3 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on