Nope, the social politics of the American civil war cannot be associated with the social politics of American society today


People often try to associate the politics of the civil war with the politics of today. American left wingers just love to paint the Union as being the political left of the 1860s and the South as the political right of the 1860s. And as such, the present day American left likes to consider the civil war a “Left wing victory”. Likewise, present day republicans often like to consider the Union one of their own since they were republicans as well. But in reality, the social politics were so much different back then, that they cannot be associated with the social politics of today.

Nope, the social politics of the American civil war cannot be associated with the social politics of American society today

Both sides had similar values: Both sides considered themselves to be true Americans and as such they both had similar values

Nope, the social politics of the American civil war cannot be associated with the social politics of American society today
  • Both respected the constitution(Confederacy had a modified version)
  • Both respected religion
  • Both supported a strong military
  • Both employed ethnic diversity in their armies(The Union did it more)
  • Both respected tradition
  • Both had gender roles
  • Both were patriotic

Both sides did some messed up things: While the North was the more moral of the two, there were still some hiccups as Lincoln suspended the Habeus Corpus, which infringed on the civil liberties of the people. While the South blatantly supported slavery. And both sides committed war crimes against each other.

Confederates executing surrendering black union soldiers
Confederates executing surrendering black union soldiers

A war of politics but not a war of the political spectrum: Many like to assume it was a left wing vs right wing war but it wasn’t. It was a war between regional military factions based on much different disagreements than the disagreements between the left and the right of today.

Battle of Fort Sumter
Battle of Fort Sumter

Civil war ≠ revolution: Some think the civil war was a revolution just because the confederacy is referred to as the “rebels”. But in reality it wasn’t a revolution. In a revolution there is a civilian population going up against their own government in a David vs Goliath struggle and if the civilians are successful they get a regime change. In a civil war it’s two or more factions of a country’s military duking it out over a disagreement. The confederates despite being called rebels did not want to push all the way to the Canadian border but instead wanted to secede. Likewise the North only wanted to end slavery and bring the South back into the Union. Hence it being a civil war rather than an all out revolution to install a new government. Neither side wanted to radically alter the status quo of American society.

Nope, the social politics of the American civil war cannot be associated with the social politics of American society today

Both the Union and confederacy would shun the modern day liberals and conservatives: If the Union and confederacy were around today, they would not be pleased by what has become of American politics. The Union would be horrified by the radicalization of the modern left who have been tainted by foreign communist and socialist ideals. While the confederates would consider the modern day conservatives to be “too soft” and “turncoats”.

Nope, the social politics of the American civil war cannot be associated with the social politics of American society today

The modern day American conservatives and liberals didn’t become a thing until the 1930s: What we like to call the liberals and conservatives today didn’t become a thing until the 1930s when the conservatives within the Democrat party broke away due to differences in opinion with FDR. And since then, both the conservatives and liberals would continue to gradually evolve and clash to this day in 2020.

Josiah Bailey, one of the earliest modern conservatives
Josiah Bailey, one of the earliest modern conservatives

The North’s battle song glorifies the Christian God: Anti theistic left wingers today would find that their attitude towards God and religion in general would be incompatible with the North’s attitude towards religion, considering that many of the Northerners were part of the Christendom. Even the non religious Northerners respected religion. As a matter of fact, the North’s “Battle hymn of the republic”(melody by William Steffe, lyrics by Julia Ward Howe) glorifies the Christian God with every phrase. The only reason why this song doesn’t get criticized as much by the American left wing is due to the fact it was used by the Union. If it were composed by a present day Christian then it’s almost guaranteed that the American left wing would be criticizing it for “dissing non Christians”.

Most German-Americans fought against Slavery: Over 500,000 German Americans fought for Union, while only about 100 fought for the Confederacy. German-Americans were known for being abolitionists. The reason I bring this up is because of how much unwarranted Germano-phobia is present amongst the radical American left wing who likes to unjustly attach negative labels to anything that is German. And to top it off, the Nueces Massacre was an incident involving Confederate soldiers massacring 34 German Texans who refused to fight for the Confederacy. Sadly, trying to praise anything that is German today is enough for the SJWs to incorrectly call you a “Nazi”.

Franz Sigel, German-American Union officer
Franz Sigel, German-American Union officer
George Armstrong Custer of the Union army was also of German ancestry
George Armstrong Custer of the Union army was also of German ancestry
Monument dedicated to the German Texans who were massacred by the confederates
Monument dedicated to the German Texans who were massacred by the confederates

Post civil war society: After the civil war, people could still own guns, freely practice their religion, listen to whatever music they want, say whatever they want, read whatever they want, buy property, wear what they want, eat whatever they want, choose whatever job they want, etc. The only difference was that slavery was abolished and regardless whether you are left or right wing, we can all agree that any type of slavery is an immoral practice.

The colt single action army revolver, an icon of the post civil war American frontier.
The colt single action army revolver, an icon of the post civil war American frontier.

Social politics today: Social politics of the 21st century are so much different that they cannot be associated with the social politics of the 1860s. Social politics back then revolved around territory expansion and slavery. While many of the social politics of today revolve around political correctness and gun laws.

21st century Politics
21st century Politics
Nope, the social politics of the American civil war cannot be associated with the social politics of American society today
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Most Helpful Guys

  • HelloThereAwesome
    Well Said!!

    I think both sides have tended to be quite unfair on this topic to one another..
    Republicans love to highlight how the Confederacy was dominated by the Democratic Party (even the KKK after the war)
    Democrats love to highlight how both of those parties seemed to switch positions over the decades and therefore the Democratic Party was the most "Conservative" and the Republican Party was the most "Liberal"

    The issue (as you have highlighted) is that those terms in the modern sense, mean nothing to the past.

    as a society we have the need to look at the past through the lens of today... which often creates misleading comparisons and assumptions..

    Take for example the issue of slavery? CLEARLY its not acceptable today (though most people fail to recognize its still being practiced in certain parts of the world... but no one really cares about that)...
    OBVIOUSLY its a terrible thing...
    but we also fail to realize that much of the world practiced it throughout most history? It wasn't necessarily always viewed that way... be it spoils of war... or in some cases as a "positive" to the slaves (Many Southerners viewed slavery as a more positive alternative to freedom for the African communities...)
    So then we are more apt to judge the people on the past on the values of today... without recognizing that what they were fighting for was very UNIQUE to history on that scale
    yet we are more than happy to ignore those vast changes... because we live in a time where Slavery is clearly a negative (Therefore those people of the past who fought for abolition must have been monsters.. who were just accepting a little bit of common sense)

    TRUST ME WHEN I SAY... in the future... people are likely to view us the same way
    and many of the things we find acceptable today might be viewed with that same ridicule in the future (I have a suspicion the handling of Social Media might be an example of that)
    Is this still revelant?
  • monkeynutts
    Thanks for the read, I agree it is presumptuous, and incoherent to try and draw conclusions between different societies, and different times, Slavery does still exist in Illegal forms all over the world today, perhaps we should combat this injustice together, instead to arguing about other ridiculous issues. Abolitionists have also existed for centuries, Spartacus is a good example of what happens when you Treat others unjustly, one hundred thousand people marauding back and fourth across the country of Italy, creating mayhem and murder, that is an interesting story people should talk about.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Girther10
    No, I’m sorry but the entire premise of your narrative is just plain wrong. The confederacy became the democrat party. The Union was , and became the Republican Party.
    It seems like you made most of this crap up.
    Until you begin noting actual history, and it’s all there in black and white, there is no reason for me to read your narratives.
    What’s shocking to me, is that no one else has called you out for this nonsense.
    Disagree 4 People
    • @girther10

      I don’t think you really seem to understand that politics tend to change over time. The Republican and Democrat parties of back then were different than what they are today in the 21st century.

    • Girther10

      Know what you don’t seem to understand is that history is what it is and the parties have not changed over time to something different then now in the 21st-century the Democrats have always been the confederacy and has always been the party of slaves and now the party of racism that has never changed Joe Biden spoke at one of the leading clan members that’s the KKK clan members who was a senator Senator Byrd that is again just more left over evidence of the Democrats and the source being cut the confederacy and racism

    • Girther10

      Here’s a fun fact every single slave owner was a Democrat every single one that’sA matter of history and I dare you to prove me wrong

    • Show All
  • Trena_Bell
    Here's a history lesson for some of you.
    England brought slaves and slavery to the colonies not the United States because as a newly minted year to remember 1619 and it's associated project states that slaves were first brought to the colonies which as we all know were British, peopled by British subjects loyal to the crown.
    The United States of America didn't exist in 1619 and in fact would not exist until 1787 a full 168 years after England first brought slaves to the colonies.
    When the United States of America came into existence slavery was primarily focused in the southern states.
    It was a lingering legacy of colonialism brought by English slave merchants and promoted and maintained by wealthy southern farmers.
    It took the United States 78 years, from 1787 to 1865 and a civil war of 500,000 mostly white soldiers to end it. The United States wasn't the problem, it never was, it was the solution. Sometimes good deeds for your fellow man take time. (***fact check this bitches***)
  • Citizenkirk
    If the issue that set the whole conflict into motion, unequal representation of taxation in federal government revenue caused by southern states having smaller populations than the north, representing human population rather than equal state representation, than the answer is yes. Political arena then no different than now. People still splitting hairs over what they think issues are about, losing track of what started them and what added fuel too the fire.
  • QuietRunner
    This is probably one the most important ideas on the Internet today.

    Many people do not fully understand the fundamental differences between the Antebellum and Present day America.

    The hyperbolic discussions is extremely uninformed.

    Also German-Americans and German Immigrants were leading the opposition to slavery through out the world of the 1800's. Prince Albert is a fine example of this also.
  • joesheks
    Interesting but ethnic diversity was never a “value” of the United States.. second, the politics today have no values — the left is run by identity politics and the right is influenced by money.
  • Tiffyk
    I don't think it's a bad thing for confederates to consider today's conservatives too soft... i mean they did beat the shit out of their slaves.

    by the way is that fritz segal or leonardo dicaprio? 😂
    • If they ever make a movie about Franz Sigel, Leonardo DiCaprio should play him.

    • Girther10

      @Tiffyk - Your comment makes absolutely no sense. The confederates were today’s democrats. They, the democrats, fought for slavery,, they didn’t want to let it go. If anyone beat the shit out of their slaves, it was the democrats, the confederates, because conservatives, the union, fought against slavery.
      Those are the historical facts. You seem real, y mixed up.

    • Tiffyk

      @Girther10 I I think I'm confused. The confederates were from the south and fought to keep slavery right? Well they did beat up and rape their slaves. So I'm trying to say o don't think it would be an insult for them to call today's conservatives weak being that the confederates were barbaric

    • Show All
  • OurManFlint
    Both parties are ruled by neo liberal economic ideology, their social ideologies are just grounded in different places.
    Like 1 Person
  • Massageman
    Somehow, it seems that as time went on, the beliefs seemed to morph into the other.
  • ttnnkkrr
    except that you portray as only difference being ending slavery as a minor thing that didn't have major social and economic ramifications. and emancipation was a northern republican effort and the south was mostly democrats. other than that i have little counter commontary. but ill add this. unlike any point in human history we are also experiencing a censorship and propaganda war that for the first time is run by business and corperations instead of government. most of the government stupidity is driven by media and corp censorship and propaganda and most not all of the polititions are doing little more than getting on the bandwagon
  • DeltaCharlieEcho
    The civil war as taught in the US K-12 system is so simplified that it is functionally incorrect. The revisionist history has been so deeply beaten into Americans minds that it's almost not even worth giving people the actual history lesson. I once took a formative history class, and the dude was awesome explained everything really well, and he still couldn't get half the class to understand that history isn't right or wrong, it just is.
    Good luck with your mytake, I'd be surprised if you get anything positive.
  • Jack9949
    I really appreciated this read. It really opened my mind.
  • bluetoblack99
    Very good
  • SomeGuyCalledTom
    Well written take, I learned a thing or two
  • worldscolide
    Yeah you're not wrong.
    it's a very different time
  • ProfessionalMusician
    The times were far distant from today's time