If you think about it, the textbooks we study from kindergarten through 12th grade and then in college are basically the compilation of the history we are supposed to know, yet there are so many people who have been turned off from history because of the tedium of those textbooks. Those books focus on certain people, certain sides and usually include enough date memorization requirements to make people’s eyes glaze over.
I have an interest in many periods and places in history. I have chosen to focus this site on American history and while I will post on matters throughout that history, there is no avoiding that much of it will be about the War of Southern Secession/American Civil War. This is a period of our history that is hard to discuss because most discussions are driven by emotion. While it’s not a negative thing to feel an emotional connection to our past, I do believe there is much that needs to be said on it. People on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line seem unwilling to address the causes of the War of Southern Secession because one side wants to maintain that slavery was the only real issue involved and the other side is so consumed with whitewashing the slavery issue that it undermines credibility when speaking of anything else. Combine with that the racists who have decided to make Confederate symbols represent their cause, and it makes for a frustrating situation.
We are able to discuss the American Revolution without bringing up slavery and racism in every single discussion. We know there were racists then and that slavery was an issue, with multiple disagreements surrounding it, yet we can still discuss the merits of individuals from the time without the entire discussion hinging on whether they were slave owners or whether they were racists.
Why then are we so unable to do that when it comes to the War of Southern Secession? Yes, slavery was a major issue. It was not the only issue. Yet somehow we are unable to discuss anything else without being condemned for failing to mention slavery. Why? What benefit in that is there? Unless it is because once we are allowed to discuss something other than slavery there is information they don’t like that tends to surface.
There are issues in our past that need to be addressed, because we have to know where we’ve been to see where we are going. Certainly I see online many comments from people here, elsewhere in the country, and around the world which don’t align with the information I have found when studying our history. For us to get along as a country, finding ways to live alongside one another and respect each other, we much start acknowledging what got us here rather than clinging to the hurt and distrust I’ve seen from many people.
In another example, often we hear about our “Judeo-Christian” origin and many use that to justify behaving as though there is room only for Christians in this country and that any other faith should be seen as a threat. This is completely overlooking that some of our Founding Fathers spoke of welcoming Muslims. Completely overlooking that the Christian denominations of that time hardly considered each other equals. Overlooking that not everyone who contributed to our founding supported organized religion at all. This is a source of more hate and more division which is not needed and not helpful.
Due to all of that and more, these topics are extremely controversial and emotions run high. I respect that and hope that this site can be a source of a new perspective for those who are open to it. I don’t know how often I’ll be able to add new content because I have a lot on my plate right now, but I wanted to have a drama-free platform to discuss some of these topics which I feel are often overlooked.
If you aren’t sure which post to start with, here are a few I’d suggest:
- On Slavery – This is something I originally wrote for posting elsewhere and it inspired me to start this site. This will give you a good idea of the perspective I’m writing from.
- What’s In A Name? – An explanation of why you’ll see me refer to the American Civil War as the War of Southern Secession.
- The Intent of the Second Amendment – Looking at the debate around the wording of the second amendment in a historical context.
- The Faith of the Founding Fathers – The beginnings of a series showing the range of religious beliefs and opinions held by the United States of America’s founding fathers.
If you’d like to send feedback or suggestions more privately, you can use the contact form here to message me directly. I hope we see more of you around!
“I tried all in my power to avert this war. I saw it coming, and for twelve years I worked night and day for twelve years to prevent it, but I could not. The North was mad and blind; but it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came; and now it must go on until the last man of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize his musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self-government. We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for independence; and that or extermination we will have… ”
President Jefferson Davis of the C.S.A., to Rev. Jacques of Illinois and John R. Gilmore of New York, 17 July 1864