Wednesday, December 21, 2005

CSA and Native Americans

Recently a number of bloggers have expressed surprise that a Confederate textbook had a favorable entry on Native Americans. It is only surprising because the politically correct leftists who dominate the US universities have brain washed so many people into thinking Jefferson Davis was a 19th century version of Adolf Hitler. It is a well documented fact that the CSA had a more favorable policy towards Native Americans than the Union. Only American academics seem unaware of this fact. Foreign historians seem to have no difficulty grasping it. For instance British historian Nicholas Hobbes has the following entry in his small book, Essential Militaria: Facts, Legends and Curiosities About Warfare Through the Ages(New York: Grove Press, 2003), p. 139.

The Five Confederate Tribes

The Native American tribes given rights by the government of the Confederate States of America, which were denied them by the U.S. government. They served in cavalry units and as scouts. The Union victory deprived the tribes of their remaining rights, leaving them worse off than before their involvement in the American Civil War.



Sara Mathewson said...

I think of myself as a politically correct leftist. But, I am glad for this tidbit of information.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Well I think we are using these terms differently. The politically correct that I am speaking about seek to wipe out all historical references to the Confederacy that are not explicitely negative. Hence their successful supression in popular culture of the fact that in general they treated Native Americans better than the Union. You point this out and they get very upset because it screws up their anti-Southern morality play. They do not believe in shades of gray.

Danny Horchato said...

I'm curious--what is your REAL agenda in defending the confederacy? This is not the first time you've done it. I hope it's something more than simply sticking it to "leftists." That's not much of a reason.

Your crowing about the Liberals and the Confederacy offends me because of what the Confederacy stood for, and what it still means to those who defend it today. I don't care if Jefferson Davis was good or bad as a politician or policy maker. I don't care if Lincoln was not a saint, or if he did things for political expedience. And I don't care for getting into games about whether the Union was crueler to Indians than the Confederacy was to slavery. That's not an either or proposition nor should you set it up as such. Don't construct me so quickly and so easily.

I don't reject the Confederacy because I'm a latte drinking liberal snob from New York who hates the Red state south. I live in the South and appreciate its diversity and beauty as much as you appreciate Arivaca. I listen to country music. I read southern literature. I respect some of my Christian neighbors, the ones who are intelligent, good people, as opposed to narrow minded Talibans.

I reject the Confederacy because its defenders are racists. I reject it because to apologize for the Confederacy is an insult to black people. I reject the Confederacy as a citizen with a conscience, not as a historical nit-picker.

I have no rosy illusions about the Union. I am probably willing to concede every crime against humanity you wish to attribute to the Union or to this nation. But I CHOOSE to reject the Confederacy on the grounds that to defend it is to ultimately make an apology for slavery and racism. I reject it because I don't wish to travel in the company of racists. I reject it because the Confederacy is inextricably intertwined, as a symbol, to slavery and racism. That is an incontrovertible fact about life today in the south.

What's interesting is that I really don't believe you are a racist Otto. My guess is that what you really care about is sticking it to liberals.

The Confederacy may have treated American Indians better. Does that mean that to fly the Confederate flag I am defending American Indian rights? Come on!

Finally, don't get ahead of yourself when you generalize about U.S. historians of the Civil War and the Confederacy. Have you ever heard of Shelby Foote?

Nathan said...

Your crowing about the Liberals and the Confederacy offends me because of what the Confederacy stood for, and what it still means to those who defend it today.

You see, I think you...

I reject the Confederacy because its defenders are racists.

Yep, you're conflating what it represents to its current defenders (and really, they come in many flavors) and what it represented to its supporters in the 1860s. I do not claim to be an expert on Confederate society, but I have a sneaking suspicion that to most of those who supported the CSA at the time did not do so primarily because they, for example, believed blacks to be inferior.

But still, bravo for the stirring statement of conscious. Truly courageous string of PC niceties. I too reject the Confederacy, but I'll spare you a long statement of conscience.

Really though, Danny, as an academic, one would hope that you would be able to tell the difference between "defending" the CSA and giving it a serious, depoliticized historical examination.