Wednesday, October 25, 2017
How Southern Socialites Rewrote Civil War History
They say history is written by the victors, but that ain't necessarily so. In the United States, the education of children is a responsibility of the individual states, and this shows up most obviously in how the history of our Civil War is taught. If you are of a certain age, what you learned was largely dependent on which state you were in.
I grew up in Kentucky, a border state, meaning it was a slave state that did not secede with the Confederacy. In school we had textbooks produced for nationwide use that addressed slavery as the main reason for the secession. But teachers made it clear that if we wanted to pass the test, the reason for the war was "state's rights." Still, we knew better. It was an early lesson in political disconnect from reality.
Vox takes a look at how a deliberate push for "The Lost Cause" affected educational materials that have shaped opinions for decades and left effects we still feel 159 years after the war.