How the South Won (This) Civil War
Monday, April 28, 2008
This may be just another anti-Southern rant, but with a subtitle like “Maybe it’s time for the North to secede from the Union,” it’s at least worth reading. The other noteworthy feature of this odd mix of history and personal hostility is that he at least understands our actual origins:
This region was heavily settled by Scots-Irish immigrants–the same ethnic mix King James I sent to Northern Ireland to clear out the native Celtic Catholics. After succeeding at that, they then settled the American Frontier, suffering Indian raids and fighting for their lives every step of the way. And the Southern frontiersmen never got over their hatred of the East Coast elites and a belief in the morality and nobility of defying them. Their champion was the Indian-fighter Andrew Jackson.
The outcome was that a substantial portion of the new nation developed, over many generations, a rather savage, unsophisticated set of mores.
The problem, according to the author, is that those terrible Southerners have managed to escape the restraints imposed on them by their enlightened Yankee conquerors, and have transformed America into a — brace yourselves — less “tolerant” nation:
Traditionally, it has been balanced by a more diplomatic, communitarian Yankee sensibility from the Northeast and upper Midwest. But that latter sensibility has been losing ground in population numbers–and cultural weight.
The coarsened sensibility that this now-dominant Southernism and frontierism has brought to our national dialogue is unmistakable.
But if all this fuss enables us to free ourselves of Chablis-sipping social engineers, we’ll gladly endure a little name-calling. We’ve been through worse.