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Skip to comments.Confederate States Of America (2005)
Posted on 12/31/2004 2:21:30 PM PST by Caipirabob
What's wrong about this photo? Or if you're a true-born Southerner, what's right?
While scanning through some of the up and coming movies in 2005, I ran across this intriguing title; "CSA: Confederate States of America (2005)". It's an "alternate universe" take on what would the country be like had the South won the civil war.
Stars with bars:
Suffice to say anything from Hollywood on this topic is sure to to bring about all sorts of controversial ideas and discussions. I was surprised that they are approaching such subject matter, and I'm more than a little interested.
Some things are better left dead in the past:
For myself, I was more than pleased with the homage paid to General "Stonewall" Jackson in Turner's "Gods and Generals". Like him, I should have like to believe that the South would have been compelled to end slavery out of Christian dignity rather than continue to enslave their brothers of the freedom that belong equally to all men. Obviously it didn't happen that way.
Would I fight for a South that believed in Slavery today? I have to ask first, would I know any better back then? I don't know. I honestly don't know. My pride for my South and my heritage would have most likely doomed me as it did so many others. I won't skirt the issue, in all likelyhood, slavery may have been an afterthought. Had they been the staple of what I considered property, I possibly would have already been past the point of moral struggle on the point and preparing to kill Northern invaders.
Compelling story or KKK wet dream?:
So what do I feel about this? The photo above nearly brings me to tears, as I highly respect Abraham Lincoln. I don't care if they kick me out of the South. Imagine if GW was in prayer over what to do about a seperatist leftist California. That's how I imagine Lincoln. A great man. I wonder sometimes what my family would have been like today. How many more of us would there be? Would we have held onto the property and prosperity that sustained them before the war? Would I have double the amount of family in the area? How many would I have had to cook for last week for Christmas? Would I have needed to make more "Pate De Fois Gras"?
Well, dunno about that either. Depending on what the previous for this movie are like, I may or may not see it. If they portray it as the United Confederacy of the KKK I won't be attending.
This generation of our clan speaks some 5 languages in addition to English, those being of recent immigrants to this nation. All of them are good Americans. I believe the south would have succombed to the same forces that affected the North. Immigration, war, economics and other huma forces that have changed the map of the world since history began.
Whatever. At least in this alternate universe, it's safe for me to believe that we would have grown to be the benevolent and humane South that I know it is in my heart. I can believe that slavery would have died shortly before or after that lost victory. I can believe that Southern gentlemen would have served the world as the model for behavior. In my alternate universe, it's ok that Spock has a beard. It's my alternate universe after all, it can be what I want.
At any rate, I lived up North for many years. Wonderful people and difficult people. I will always sing their praises as a land full of beautiful Italian girls, maple syrup and Birch beer. My uncle ribbed us once before we left on how we were going up North to live "with all the Yankees". Afterwards I always refered to him as royalty. He is, really. He's "King of the Rednecks". I suppose I'm his court jester.
So what do you think of this movie?
It'll be a hack job. Hollywood is not going to be able to say anything nice about the south. Especially after the election.
Southern Mississippi Ping (not USM)
They made such a big deal after the election on how the "red States" map looked like the "Slave States" map before the civil war. I suspect it won't be pretty at all.
As a historian, I find counterfactuals (alternate histories) fun to play with but the danger is maintaining any sort of REAL objectivity is impossible.
I suspect this will be an opportunity for the left to rant about how evil the south (and thus red-staters) are.
Slavery was not the primary reason that the vast majority of people fought for the Confederacy. Very few people even owned slaves, perhaps 5% or less. Back 140 years ago people were MUCH more dedicated to their state and region than now. The heavily populated and insudtrialized northern states were doing MANY different things that were intended to enrich the northern states at the expense of the southern ones, such as putting high tarrifs on imported machinery so that Southern states would be forced to buy inferior northern machinery.
The issue is much as it is today with liberals; they continually try to spin every issue to make it something that it is not. BTW, if slavery was the issue, why did Lincoln wait two years to sign the Emancipation Proclamation (which did not free a single slave)?
"I suspect this will be an opportunity for the left to rant about how evil the south (and thus red-staters) are"
Exactly. I question the director's motives in making such a flick...is he/she liberal/leftist/race baiter?.
That's a refreshing idea on this subject. Too often people forget that what we currently accept as being obvious, in an ethical sense, only became the standard response after much thought, blood, and change. I loathe Hollywood's incessant anti-South position, but I equally loathe some of the sentiments of some southerners on this issue, too. People today have the benefit of hindsight, but also of not having their entire lives ripped up--something Hollywoodies should think about re: Southern society and individual lives and property, and Southerners should think about the slaves whose lives we all know about.
Also, we can't ignore the fact that MANY NORTHERNERS CONTINUED TO PRACTICE SLAVERY. It's not as if they're necessarily on the moral upside, they just happened to be losing and needed the manpower along with a perceived moral arguement to continue to wage war.
No one bothered to free the slaves before the war. It was all talk.
Churchill wrote such an account, I wonder if they'll borrow from him. As I recall, it all ended up pretty much the same anyways, after all was said and done.
That's what I like... a man that knows his history.
Executive Producer: Spike Lee
aka Shelton J. Lee
March 20, 1957
Full blown hatred of white people packaged as introspection.
Harry Turtledove has a whole set of novels with this premise.
Lee hasn't really done that sort of thing for a while. His last film, 25th Hour was awesome. And executive producers have no say in what a film is like. By the way, this film, which was made by a small indie outside of the Hollywood system, is apparently a comedy/satire.
"It's an "alternate universe" take on what would the country be like had the South won the civil war."
Given the feelings blue-staters have for
red-staters, not to mention Southerners,
you just KNOW it won't be pretty.
Guess I'll be looking out for Shrek 3...
What's wrong about this photo? Or if you're a true-born Southerner, what's right?
I love The South as much as the next guy, but this picture is a slap to the US Marines. The original is of the United States Marines, not the Confederate States Marines.
BTW, if slavery was the issue, why did Lincoln wait two years to sign the Emancipation Proclamation (which did not free a single slave)?
Hell, the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slave in the Confederacy! Maryland was a slave state and in the Union yet they retained their slaves.
Yea, I knew it was propaganda. The Emancipation Proclamation only "freed" slaves in the south while ignoring the slavery that existed in Maryland.
Very few people even owned slaves, perhaps 5% or less.
It's mearly presented as fodder for discussion. I thought the moon shot was pretty cool. Don't care for the shot of Abraham Lincoln at all.
In any scenario that sees the South as the victor one has to ask what was the purpose of its army before it was engaged by the Union army?
If it was an army mainly for the defense of the southern states its "victory" would be limited to the security of the borders of the Confederacy, and it would have gone no further north unless attacked by the Union army.
If it was an army of expansion of southern ideals then it would be an army of invaders pushing north. It would have preemptively attacked the Union army along a broad front, and its "victory" would only be complete when it took the New England states.
So, the question comes back to: What was the purpose of the Confederate army?
I don't see any movies anymore, but Spike Lee believe it or not would be much better making a movie like this than a typical hollywood player.
I saw 25th Hour and was impressed. My question is, "How did we all get so immune to the horrors of movie reality, that I actually enjoyed a film that featured a drug dealer as a hero, a pedophile as a sympathetic character, a teenaged Lolita, a coward as best friend, a useless father figure, and a love intrest who is never to be trusted?"
That's Spike Lee for ya'....
The other issue was pure cultural, where we still find the war raging, the socialist anti god elitists of the New England States could not tolerate the God fearing South.
Can you understand his anger at such self-serving excuses and evasions, at the waving away of a century of conflicts and problems like they didn't exist? Can you see that he might have some reason to be angered or saddened by such a brushing under the carpet of some of the hard realities of American history?
Of course, we don't know what America would have looked like had the Confederates won. And the filmmakers do exaggerate things for effect. They're not writing a thesis or making some mathematical model of an alternative universe. They're not trying to be fair-minded above all else. They're using a certain amount of absurdity to point out the absurdities in another point of view.
Most people who know the history will likely leave the theatre recognizing that the movie exaggerates and isn't entirely fair, but perhaps they'll question some of the assumptions of the neoconfederate propaganda of recent years. We can recognize the absurdity and exaggeration, but also see the point. By contrast, some of today's Confederate propaganda is absurd, but pretends to be true. I don't know if the film works or not, but good satire can have a cleansing effect, but deflating some of the bad arguments that come to predominate in public controversies.
I love the South and my heritage ...all of it.
I have never insisted others feel the same way.
Lincoln? I'm ambivalent....he was a damn sight better than his radical republican brethren but I often wonder if he couldn't have done better at putting the flames out.
As for lampooning him or anyone.....I can think of anyone but Spike Lee who I would rather do that.
Spike is still sore his daddy went all "jungle fever" with a white broad.
For how long? Do they still have slaves there? Was slavery ever abolished in Maryland? If so, how?
Slavery was officially abolished in the United States when the 13th Amendment was passed in 1868. An interesting bit of history, when the southern states refused to ratify the 14th Amendment because in it was language that prohibited any ex-Confederate soldier or politician from ever holding any public office, the Northern dominated Congress refused to seat any of the Southern reresentatives or senators, declaring them "illegitimate holders of the seats". They then put in political hacks that could be counted on to be good little yes-men and proceeded to institute Reconstruction which was a continuation of northern appointed political hack carpetbaggers who made sure that NORTHERN interests were of top priority while the interests of the Southern states and people were ignored.
Can you begin to understand why Southerners were so pissed at the damnyankees for so long?
And KY, DE and MO.
BTW, Missouri and Maryland freed their slaves by state action before the federal government did. The actual constitutional amendment therefore only freed the (hundred or so in) Delaware and those (a much larger number) in Kentucky.
In 1860 Ohio, Illinois and Indiana were not slave states.
You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.
At one time was not the entire Americas part of the trans Atlantic slave trade...even Canada?
Not counting the indig slaving, but that's another thread
shame how so many folks under middle aged think slavery is the worst thing ever foisted on mankind...for some it's turned out to be a blessing.
I suspect there were a few black slaves in French Canada, but they would hardly have been common. French Louisiana, of course, was another story.
One statistic you may not be familiar with: Of all the slaves transported across the Atlantic during the black slave trade, only about 10% were taken to what is now the United States. 90% went to Brazil and the Caribbean. The slaves in these areas had a much shorter average life, as the closer distance to Africa made them cheaper to replace than to maintain. Slaves in America were more expensive due to distance and "shipping losses," and were therefore on average much better treated.
IL, OH and IN never had slaves, as the Northwest Ordinance (passed by the Confederation) banned slaves from settling in the territories that later became these states. Same is true of MI and other states that were entirely or in part included in this area.
This Ordinance, of course, was passed when even southerners still agreed that slavery was a bad thing and the only question was how to get rid of it. Over the decades after about 1820, the South gradually developed an ideology of slavery as a positive good, which would have made the southern founders imitate a lathe. The proponents of this racist and inherently anti-democratic ideology were the most forceful proponents of secession.
Happy New Year.
btw...I am very familiar with slavery. I am a 7th generation Mississippian and was once married to a Brasilian and have lived throughout the Carib Basin and South America and West Africa.
The reasons slaves fared better in North America was not simply economic or climatologiocal but cultural as well.
There are reams of works out there detailing that mistreatment of slaves was frowned upon here for the most part.
The great irony is that slavery in Brasil where it was harsher inadvertantly resulted in a more mixed race society ultimately even under harsher conditions....
Yes...there were some slaves for a time in Canada.
The brakes on slavery began with the UK if I'm not mistaken and involved recompense...an idea that never got very far here.
Too many zealots on both sides....not unlike today actually but of course I feel as right now as they did then..lol
Human slavery had been installed within the borders of what now is the state of Illinois by the early French colonizers in the eighteenth century. Amazingly, the institution was never legally abolished before 1818 under French, British, or American administrations. During the American territorial administration, slaves had been brought into the Illinois by some of the most prominent officials of the territory and state, and remained in bondage until and after the admission of the state into the Union. To understand why the institution remained in existence for such a long period of time, the patterns of migration which brought the vast majority of European settlers to Illinois must be understood. The great majority of the residents of the state who arrived before statehood in 1818 came from slave-holding states located below the Ohio River. These settlers were accustomed to and comfortable with the terms of the institution of human slavery. Therefore, there was no attempt or even a thought to abolish slavery before the territory became a state. Those who held slaves and brought them to Illinois favored and encouraged the system while the majority of those people without slaves tolerated the system. In fact, during territorial days, the issue did not become a vital question of subject of controversy for the citizens living within the future borders of Illinois.
Even though the prohibition of slavery in the Northwest Ordinance seems clear, it must be emphasized that this provision did not affect slaves already living in the territory and did not prevent some slaveholders from bringing slaves into Indiana and Illinois territories. In parts of the Old Northwest, there was strong pressure for slavery. In 1802, a convention in Indiana Territory asked Congress to allow slaves to be brought into the region. Later, an indentured servant act allowed de facto slavery in the territory. It was only in 1823 that Illinois defeated the efforts of a proslavery party. These antislavery victories drew heavily on the precedent of the Ordinance of 1787.
http://www.bccns.com/history_slavery.html (Canada slaves)
I have always been of the opinion that the North never took to slaves like the South simply for one reason....they simply did not work well there...no Cotton, Indigo, Rice or SugarCane and these new Ibos and Yorubas and Coramatees did not much cotton to the cold. Course...both north and south had tried Injun slaves aplenty but the Red Man was less pliant.
Do-goodery only ever counted for the abolitionists and it was a self virtue enhancing moral superiority thing...not unlike today's lefties. Praise murdering John Brown, scold the South, meanwhile commit genocide against the Indig Indians with glee and rationalization aplenty. Southerners have never cornered the market on rationalization.
Funny how history repeats isn't it? We still loathe Yankees preaching to us down here or moving here to force on us their "ways" they purport to have escaped from.
Alas...it should also be noted that plenty of Yankees came south during the antebellum days to plunder white gold from the slave's sweat....even old Roundheads.
I have a new book about Lost Mansions of Mississippi...one really has to study these things to see what a long lasting upheaval the war had on this region for all down here and it is still in high frequency doppler even now. Like Mississippi....40% black....down there, it actually matters a whole lot how blacks vote and govern. It's more than just a well intentioned ideal...it has real ramifications.
The solid South means the white Solid South obviously...and a handful of brave blacks. Course 40% of them voted to keep the MISS flag....I think they resent Yankees too a bit..lol
Sorry for rambling.
Sorry for rambling.
That'a OK we're used to it. :>)
The 13th Amendment was ratified and became law by 6 December 1865. In 1859 or 1860 slavery was firmly established in a large part of the United States, by 1866 it was gone. That was quite an achievement. I certainly wish it could have been accomplished without war, but it won't do to minimize or demean what was done.
Lincoln couldn't free all the slaves by executive proclamation. That would have been unconstitutional, and would have been regarded as tyrannical, so the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to areas in rebellion against the US. It derived its legitimacy from the President's war powers, and those wouldn't have applied to areas not actively in rebellion.
But three years later, the remaining slaves in America were freed by a constitutional amendment. It was the only way it could have been done. Lincoln had pushed for it, and the Republicans urged ratification of the amendment as a tribute to him after his assassination. Well before 1865, slaveowners could see the "handwriting on the wall" and chose a side to fight on accordingly, effectively choosing slavery and rebellion or emancipation and union.
If they'd had their way, the Confederates might have waited generations before freeing all the slaves on their territory, and you complain that three years elapsed between the Emancipation Proclamation and the final emancipation of the last slaves. That looks cockeyed.
Frederick Douglass, no fan of Lincoln's, summed up: "Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined."
So many of the "arguments" made by defenders of the Confederacy are false or weak. People blame Lincoln for not having felt a certain way or done a certain thing at a given point in time, ignoring the real progress that he made in his lifetime, and give Confederates or Southerners an eternity to get "right" on questions like slavery, segregation or racial equality. Or they blame Northerners for having slaves in 1770 or 1820, and absolve Southerners who had slaves in 1860 and weren't going to get rid of them.
So much of the talk of "Northern hypocrisy" just amounts to Southern hypocrisy. We've had faults and weaknesses as a nation, but there's no justification for the kind of slight of hand that some people practice to make Southern slaveowners come off looking better than they should and better than their opponents.
As it was, Southern planters tried hard to institute means of control over their labor force that came close to reestablishing slavery. I think we can understand, why, from their point of view they wanted to, or felt they had to do that. Just don't think that you can make them look better than those who actually did get rid of slavery and not have people argue with you.
If it is in fact true that no slave ever arrived under the Confederate flag, that may have something to do with the fact that the CSA was under blockade throughout its history, and had few merchant ships to spare on unnecessary operations. As for illegal slave traders, really, how large a portion of the Northern population were they? Certainly far more Southerners would have been connected with the illegal importation of slaves -- taking delivery, keeping the slaves in bondage, selling, buying and transporting slaves -- than Northerners were.
I suppose we can take some comfort in the success of many American Blacks, but the price of that shouldn't be ignoring their case against slavery or making slavery into a particularly benign institution. It wasn't simply a question of participating in slavery and the slave trade or letting slaves rot. The hated "do gooder" spirit of Britons and Americans did a lot to break up the slave trade.
And Maryland? These Border States are bleeding under Lincoln's "oppression" until you need them to make a point, in which case they become "Northern" States. If you want to argue that Marylanders were Southerners held in the union by force, it won't do to attack them for "Northern hypocrisy." But it might get us further to consider Maryland a slave state that had made the right choice, for union and in time, for emancipation.
I've seen it. It was done by a Kansas University professor and has had a limited run at film festivals and the like here in the Kansas City/Lawrence area. It's a satire, not too bad but you can tell it was made on a small budget. Still, I pretty much guarantee that the southron contingent will get their shorts in a twist over it.
But it is by far the single most important reason why their political leaders dragged them into a war in the first place.
As did Missouri, Kentucky, and Delaware. Slavery wasn't unconstitutional, so only a Constitutional amendment could end it. If you read the Emancipation Proclamation you would notice that it merely freed the southern slaves, it didn't outlaw slavery. That may seem like a minor difference but what it meant was that southern slaves fleeing the confederacy wouldn't be returned to their owners as the Fugitive Slave Act required. It was also issued by Lincoln in his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy and as a war-time measure.
You've got that backwards. Lee managed over 60 slaves left to his wife by her father, and didn't free them until December 1862. Grant owned a single slave in his life and freed him in 1859 before moving to Illinois.
And this Yankee has known for many years that the War of the Southern Rebellion wasn't about slavery. At least, not from the Northern side.
And I see that you've been guzzling the Konfederate Kool-aid by the gallon.
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