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"History is written by the victors," said Winston Churchill. Do you think the people of the South get a fair shake when causes of the U. S. Civil War are discussed in our history books? Please comment.

Roy Munson 2007/07/10 02:39:02
Yes
8 votes
53%
No
6 votes
40%
Undecided
1 vote
7%

Question Closed

Top Opinion

  • 20218 2007/07/10 14:45:39
    No
    20218
    +6
    No, most certainly not. I myself am a born yankee lol - but I don't think that the losing side in almost ANY war will ever get "honest" representation in history books - because Churchill's statement is 100% accurate. History IS indeed written by the victors, and the victors are always going to write from THEIR perspective. I'm not saying that they might write the history books to intentionally mislead - but let's be honest - each side in the conflict has obviously seen the conflict differently. The only way to ensure honest representation of history is to include the view point from both sides. Examples of this are easy enough to find in our history books - The American Indian was villified for many, many years (still is in some areas). The South was relagated to being nothing more than wealthy, slave-owning plantation owners - when they actually made up a very small minority of the south lol. All german soldiers from the second world war were grouped together as "nazi's" when actually - again - the greater majority of them were NOT members of the nazi party and did NOT participate in the ghastly crimes against humanity that hitler and his cohorts orchestrated. The Japanese were all grouped together and villified as well, when a great many of them were likewise not involved i...
    No, most certainly not. I myself am a born yankee lol - but I don't think that the losing side in almost ANY war will ever get "honest" representation in history books - because Churchill's statement is 100% accurate. History IS indeed written by the victors, and the victors are always going to write from THEIR perspective. I'm not saying that they might write the history books to intentionally mislead - but let's be honest - each side in the conflict has obviously seen the conflict differently. The only way to ensure honest representation of history is to include the view point from both sides. Examples of this are easy enough to find in our history books - The American Indian was villified for many, many years (still is in some areas). The South was relagated to being nothing more than wealthy, slave-owning plantation owners - when they actually made up a very small minority of the south lol. All german soldiers from the second world war were grouped together as "nazi's" when actually - again - the greater majority of them were NOT members of the nazi party and did NOT participate in the ghastly crimes against humanity that hitler and his cohorts orchestrated. The Japanese were all grouped together and villified as well, when a great many of them were likewise not involved in the cruel and inhumane acts committed by the minority. History is always seen in the eyes of the victor - it's sad, because it's so inaccurate and you miss a lot of the underlying motivations for events that might actually help you have a better understanding of "why" - but it's true.
    (more)

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  • The Hand of John 2007/09/13 17:38:19
    No
    The Hand of John
    +1
    Old Winnie was right of course. Rarely do we hear both sides of any war or conflict. I know the history I was taught was taught through the prism of the Northern New England so I was always missing the other side of the Civil War debate. I think the entire war has been generalized over the years.
  • roger 2007/09/09 00:26:33
    Yes
    roger
    +1
    Having relatives on both sides during the civil war. My family stems back to mountains of Virginia before Civil War. The civil wars main issues was states rights; with slavery mixed within as time went on.
    My great grandparents; which I was fortunate to know. Both said that states rights was the real issue; and then slavery issue started to creep in. The one said is father had fought for north was loyal to the Union, believing in the Union. The other his grandfather fought for confederacy; he said that his heart was for Virginia; but he did'nt want to fight for confederacy...but was compelled because they had pushed Virginia into a corner. Studying history I have found out it is not necessary true "That history is written by the victors" especially since there is so much media coverage since WWII from all over the world; and with the documents that are recovered, actions of leaders noted, videos, films and all of the archives, and those involved. Churchill making this statement and not realizing all the media and exposures that would occur after his demise.Civil War is one of the most studied conflicts and social strifes; it's not really one sided. There's too much data to collaborate it. Beg my pardon I did'nt want to write this thesis. TY for your time.
  • <--That guy 2007/07/25 19:50:21 (edited)
    Yes
    <--That guy
    I think they get a bad rap today because of what history says. I'm sure things in the South are different than how they used to be, and hopefully it's been for the better. It's unfair to assume that everyone from the South is evil, still bitter, and wants slaves
    However, I think they are getting fairly accurately depicted. Like it or not, they did start it. It was the South that ceceded the Union and wanted their own states' rights to be exempt from the rest of the country. After South Carolina, a few other states jumped on board. So they wanted to be their own country. Good for them! Unfortunately for them, they lost the war and were forced to return. (Not so you'd really notice though. The few times I've been to Dixie, the people down their already act like they're their own country.)
    I do agree with what Churchill and Howard Zinn say about history though; that it's written by the winners. Had the Confederacy won the war, the story would be much different. I'm sure their side is of how it actually went down is different from the rest of the country. Still, I don't find their portrayal to be all that unfair.
  • Patrick 2007/07/11 10:37:48
    No
    Patrick
    +3
    Both Lee and Jefferson Davis predicted what would happen, that is why in 1898 the Sons of Confederate Veterans was organized, to teach the Children of the South and North the real reasons for the War.
  • laughenatlife 2007/07/11 02:43:05
    No
    laughenatlife
    +2
    I think that the South gets badmouthed for standing up for what they believed in and even if my feelings are not the same or if the views are considered politically incorrect respect should be given to them because they were willing to sacrifice everything for what they believed in. Few people have the courage to do that.
  • Teedee 2007/07/10 15:02:26
    No
    Teedee
    I think Go one day..said it best.
  • 20218 2007/07/10 14:45:39
    No
    20218
    +6
    No, most certainly not. I myself am a born yankee lol - but I don't think that the losing side in almost ANY war will ever get "honest" representation in history books - because Churchill's statement is 100% accurate. History IS indeed written by the victors, and the victors are always going to write from THEIR perspective. I'm not saying that they might write the history books to intentionally mislead - but let's be honest - each side in the conflict has obviously seen the conflict differently. The only way to ensure honest representation of history is to include the view point from both sides. Examples of this are easy enough to find in our history books - The American Indian was villified for many, many years (still is in some areas). The South was relagated to being nothing more than wealthy, slave-owning plantation owners - when they actually made up a very small minority of the south lol. All german soldiers from the second world war were grouped together as "nazi's" when actually - again - the greater majority of them were NOT members of the nazi party and did NOT participate in the ghastly crimes against humanity that hitler and his cohorts orchestrated. The Japanese were all grouped together and villified as well, when a great many of them were likewise not involved i...
    No, most certainly not. I myself am a born yankee lol - but I don't think that the losing side in almost ANY war will ever get "honest" representation in history books - because Churchill's statement is 100% accurate. History IS indeed written by the victors, and the victors are always going to write from THEIR perspective. I'm not saying that they might write the history books to intentionally mislead - but let's be honest - each side in the conflict has obviously seen the conflict differently. The only way to ensure honest representation of history is to include the view point from both sides. Examples of this are easy enough to find in our history books - The American Indian was villified for many, many years (still is in some areas). The South was relagated to being nothing more than wealthy, slave-owning plantation owners - when they actually made up a very small minority of the south lol. All german soldiers from the second world war were grouped together as "nazi's" when actually - again - the greater majority of them were NOT members of the nazi party and did NOT participate in the ghastly crimes against humanity that hitler and his cohorts orchestrated. The Japanese were all grouped together and villified as well, when a great many of them were likewise not involved in the cruel and inhumane acts committed by the minority. History is always seen in the eyes of the victor - it's sad, because it's so inaccurate and you miss a lot of the underlying motivations for events that might actually help you have a better understanding of "why" - but it's true.
    (more)
  • Roy Munson 20218 2007/07/10 15:04:35
    Roy Munson
    Well said !
  • jackrorabbit 2007/07/10 11:48:08
    Undecided
    jackrorabbit
    They used too when I was in school, but who knows now that government
    is towing the line on what is and isn't taught, and how it is supposed
    to be understood, due to the "No child left behind" crapolicy.
  • Boopie 2007/07/10 04:47:45
    Yes
    Boopie
    +1
    The South preferred to part company with the Union rather than part with their slaves, so we had to fight a bloody, brutal war to bring them back. During the war, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, a move that cost him his life. Are history teachers no longer teaching that? Interestingly, Winston Churchill himself was a noted historian, and he wrote a book about the American Civil War. I bought a used copy in a London book store about 10 years ago, and unfortunately haven't gotten around to reading it yet.
  • jackror... Boopie 2007/07/10 11:51:54
    jackrorabbit
    +3
    It was over states rights vs. US government rights first. And the
    reason that the north went to war, was to preserve the union, not to
    free the slaves. That was an after effect that didn't happen until
    Gettysburg.
  • Roy Munson jackror... 2007/07/10 12:00:34
    Roy Munson
    +2
    You're absolutely right. Slavery was a major factor, but not the only factor.

    The reason our country chose its official name to be what it is was because our founding fathers were concerned about preserving states' rights. The official name of our country is not "America," but the "United States of America." The South did not want distant northerners exercising federalism and controlling their lives from far away (as the British had done just a few generations prior). That memory was still reasonably fresh in their minds in the 1850s and 1860s.
  • jackror... Roy Munson 2007/07/10 12:02:42
    jackrorabbit
    +1
    Slavery was just the arguement that started the real battle between state rights and federal rights.
  • Patrick jackror... 2007/07/11 10:42:00
    Patrick
    +1
    It was about money, if slavery was the issue why did he free only the states in the so called rebellous states. The South was forced by the Armys of the North to stay in the Union when they had a perfect legal right to leave it! The story of a Union Soldier when he asked a Southern Soldier why he was fighting them....his answer "because your here!"
  • jackror... Patrick 2007/07/11 14:22:06
    jackrorabbit
    Because they were the only states using slaves. The north was an
    industrial base, so they had hired workers to use. The south needed
    "slave labor", or cheap labor, to get their stuff to market and still
    make a profit. That is why I said the major reason for the war was to
    "preserve the union". That was the first rally cry of the northern
    armies.
  • Patrick jackror... 2007/07/11 16:02:10
    Patrick
    The North also had slaves and even the white house had slaves!
  • Boopie Roy Munson 2007/07/11 03:55:02
    Boopie
    "Far away"--Washington D.C. was largely carved out of Virginia, a "Southern state."
  • Ang Roy Munson 2009/01/05 18:29:37
    Ang
    The Abolitionist movement was separate from the war until the end.

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