The lost cause proponents also maintained that prostrate south after the civil war was victimized by unscrupulous carpetbaggers, scalawags and barely civilized blacks 'the lost cause' was a historical myth which persisted for many years in american history. The myth of the lost cause was a series of myths constructed around the war designed to make so much sacrifice seem worthwhile, even enobling simplified, the myth argues that the war was not about slavery , but slavery itself was good. The lost cause, the title of edward a pollards 1866 history of the confederacy, first referred to the south's defeat in the civil war, but in time it came to designate the regions memory of the war as well.
The effect of the lost cause on family experience was recalled by a southern writer, katharine du pre lumpkin (1897-1988), whose father had served in the confederate army at the age of 15 and indoctrinated his children in the mythology of the lost cause. The lost cause was a vital force in the lives of post-war confederates, elevated above the realm of patriotic impulse making it perform a clearly religious function. The ideas about the civil war associated with the lost cause myth have remained a viewpoint accepted by many arkansans into the twenty-first century the story of the lost cause began to be written almost immediately after the civil war, outside of arkansas.
In the myth of the lost cause and civil war history, nine historians describe and analyze the lost cause, identifying ways in which it falsifies history—creating a volume that makes a significant contribution to civil war historiography. It looks like you've lost connection to our server please check your internet connection or reload this page. Beyond the immediate effects, all of these threaten the myth of the lost cause for southerners, the memory of the confederacy is part of our fierce regional identity. The lost cause of the confederacy, or simply the lost cause, is an ideological movement that describes the confederate cause as a heroic one against great odds despite its defeat.
And in fact, because the early lost cause had grown out of even earlier white southern advocacy, this paper will push further back, tracing the ideas of the early lost cause to wartime confederate morale-boosting and to antebellum efforts to promote a vision of white southern identity and pride. A controversial museum tries to revive the myth of the confederacy's lost cause the ideology has been used to whitewash slavery's role in the civil war for generations. According to this lost cause mythology, the south went to war to defend states' rights, slavery was essentially a benevolent institution that imparted christianity to african savages, and. As gary gallagher notes in his introduction to the myth of the lost cause, white southerners emerged from the civil war thoroughly beaten but largely unrepentant some proponents of the lost cause remained candid about the racial ideology that sustained the confederacy. The lost cause the image fabricated during the reconciliation period that portrayed the confederacy as a virtuous loser of the civil war romanticized the world of the dixie south, made slavery seem less worse than it was, and adopted the views of states' rights and overwhelming manpower as southern causes and reasons for war.
The myth of the lost cause and civil war history, eds gary w gallagher and alan t nolan references [ edit ] ↑ 'we can't walk away from this truth': new orleans mayor mitch landrieu explains to his city why four monuments commemorating the lost cause and the confederacy had to come down. Confronting slavery and revealing the lost cause by james oliver horton, professor emeritus, george washington university while slavery was not the only cause for which the south fought during the civil war, the testimony of confederate leaders and their supporters makes it clear that slavery was central to the motivation for secession and war. Human confederate flag postcard the lost cause contributed by caroline e janney the lost cause is an interpretation of the american civil war (1861-1865) that seeks to present the war, from the perspective of confederates, in the best possible terms.
The myth of the lost cause following the defeat of the confederacy and to lift the morale of a shattered people momentum gathered to enshrine the myth of the lost cause which would transform the southern soldier living and dead, into a veritable hero. The myth of lee goes something like this: he was a brilliant strategist and devoted christian man who abhorred slavery and labored tirelessly after the war to bring the country back together. The lost cause is the name commonly given to a literary and intellectual movement that sought to reconcile the traditional white society of the southern united states to the defeat of the confederate states of america in the civil war of 1861-1865. Proponents knew well the power of myth the main components of the lost cause myth, repeated in writings, sermons, lectures, and speeches by scores of postwar southern figures, are easily identified first, the prewar south—the old south—was a place of nobility and chivalry.
All of this was romanticized under the rubric of the lost cause, in which a martyred south was defeated by a rapacious north solely due to the weight of numbers the yankees had the bigger. The term lost cause first appeared in the title of an 1866 book by the historian edward a pollard, the lost cause: a new southern history of the war of the confederates however, it was the articles written for the southern historical society by lt gen jubal a. Confederacy essay examples the main reasons why the confederacy lost the war the effects of the myth of the lost cause in the morale of the confederacy.
The myth of the lost cause and civil war history is an excellent book, but it is probably not the best book to read if you are unfamiliar with civil war history generally or lost cause mythology specifically. Lost cause the term lost cause emerged at the end of the civil war when edward pollard, editor of the richmond examiner, popularized it with his book the lost cause, which chronicled the confederacy's demise. Battle of shiloh: shattering myths the battle of shiloh, which took place on april 6-7, 1862, is one of the civil war's most momentous fights, but perhaps one of the least understood the standard story of the engagement reads that union troops were surprised in their camps at dawn on april 6.