Sometimes the meanings die off. More importantly, the government needs to … These guys in Charlottesville are seeking to restore white supremacy. User Info: supercurrymax. The monument in question, in the clip shown here, is the so-called standing soldier statue, a symbolic monument to local individuals who fought in the Civil War. Confederate statues removed in Virginia, Kentucky following George Floyd's death. Are there union statues in … Confederate monuments have always been symbols of white supremacy. Baltimore — It has been 3½ years since Baltimore officials removed four Confederate monuments from public land. Allen Guelzo: It’s curious to say this, but sometimes ignorance can be a good tonic. If you’re in a state like South Carolina or Virginia, in many places, African-Americans before the Civil War, after the Civil War, in 1890 are if not a majority of the population, near a majority, a substantial percentage. Once you’ve smashed things, they’re gone. Union monuments vs Confederate monuments: the numbers. Here in Indianapolis in the ce3nter of the circle downtown is the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument. We are now part of one country, and we have to live that way.”. Longstanding calls on government officials to remove statues associated with pro-slavery figures have given way to protest-fueled iconoclasm–statues and monuments once protested are now defaced and toppled in convulsive anger. What they really were, was a coalition of some very ideologically pointed people, democratic socialists, organizations of that sort, Triangle People’s Assembly, the Workers of the World Party. This flag was designed to have a distinct difference from the Union's Stars and Stripes. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within itself, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.”. Most of these were put up in the 1880s and the 1890s, about the same time as the Confederate statues we’ve been talking about, and those were really put up as monuments. Go back to the statue of the generic Confederate that was torn down in North Carolina. Sometimes, they’re very generic. They came back maimed, or disinherited, or psychologically mauled, and in a way what they’re doing is they’re putting up monuments as last hoorahs to their own youth. It is not possible to capture every dimension of monument construction from a strictly empirical approach, as a detailed examination of specific monuments reveals. Each of these monuments acquires and loses stories over time. The post-1954 spike in Confederate-named schools suggests an unsettling political reality. So, can you just give us an overview of how cities ended up erecting Confederate statues after the Civil War? New Orleans' … These are symbols of a particular version of the Civil War, a particular memory of a certain subset of Southerners in the Civil War, but very much not part of the memory and the meaning of the war that African-Americans would have for it. Southerners were outraged by the election of Lincoln, who opposed slavery in territories and new states. In fact, there are two such monuments located in Arizona, quite far from the Confederacy, and even one in Massachusetts — which, during the Civil War, was known for being a loyal Union … Controversial statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Charlottesville, Virginia. Many purporting to speak in the name of fighting racism present the monument controversy as a cut and dry issue. A black Confederate soldier is depicted marching in step with white Confederate soldiers. There are monuments, and then there are memorials. Get notified of new articles from Phillip W. Magness and AIER. History’s not supposed to be a photo album. He said, “History does not refer merely or even principally to the past. We are circling back in many ways to many of the worst trends of the Gilded Age, of the Reconstruction period, where we’re seeing efforts to consciously take the vote away from certain segments of our population. The slave states were all in the southern US, giving them the name “the South”. In 1911, the U.S. government erected a 15-foot-tall granite obelisk as a memorial to 15 Confederate prisoners of war buried in Union Cemetery. The first differences between the Confederate and the Union Constitution already appear in the preamble. I have two real big problems with iconoclasm. Sometimes they’re insurgent groups like abolitionists, who are fighting against slavery, which they ultimately triumph in, but sometimes they are also insurgent groups that are, depending on how you want to label them, neofascist or fascist. The database also contains Confederate monuments found in a 2017 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center; however we are in the process of expanding it to include battlefield memorials and a number of sites that they missed to ensure a comprehensive accounting of markers and designations associated with the war and the struggle over slavery. This spike persisted for another 15 years, with at least 48 out of roughly 110 Confederate-named schools being built in this narrow period. All right, which Confederate flag? Phil Magness is a Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. I cant seem to find a comparison of these 2 things. The other is to carefully remove them and then put them in a warehouse and think, like in Baltimore and other places, “What are we actually going to do with these in the future?” Some answers to that are to put them into a current museum or actually to build a museum of Confederate memorials and monuments, so that people can go and learn about them but not have quite so many of them in the public square. Often, statues reflect the time period in which they were erected, more than the statue itself. They formed the Confederate States of America, even before Lincoln became president on March 4, 1861. In fact, there are two such monuments located in Arizona, quite far from the Confederacy, and even one in Massachusetts — which, during the Civil War, was known for being a loyal Union state. In some cases, it’s hard to disentangle this, but clearly these monuments go up as symbols not just of memory of the war but also of the restoration of some kind of society that somewhat looks like the pre-Civil War period, where African-Americans have almost no power whatsoever, and are living in great poverty, and in fear of retribution if they try to exercise any of the rights that they won at the end of the Civil War. (Many Union markers reside on former Confederate soil, and vice versa.) Which Confederate emblems, the Confederate flag? That Virginia monument at Gettysburg has a flag on display, but it’s not a Confederate flag. Are we entering a time of iconoclasm, or do you think we’re going to enter a dialogue that saves us from that? Other researchers have documented the role of these same constituencies in securing pensions for Union veterans and their dependents, creating a direct precursor to the modern social safety net in the process. I think that, along with voter problems, that culture problems, speech problems are also matters of concern. One is to tear them down like they did in Durham not long ago. Is that something that we look back on now with a lot of pride? In light of this movement, we're resurfacing a … These discussions are made all the richer by the scholarship of you and Ed. The place that I always turn is to a great quotation by James Baldwin. Allen Guelzo, Ph.D. History is supposed to include the triumphs as well as the mistakes. At that point, the whole idea of what particular individual it represents starts to get very vague it becomes a mass-produced thing, at which point specific means start to get very hard to pin on things. Our politics are very fraught and very fractured at this point, but we also see certain trends taking place in our politics that are pretty alarming and should be alarming to anybody who cares about democracy, that principally being voter suppression efforts taking place. As of 24 June 2020 , there are at least 205 public spaces with Confederate monuments in Texas. The Great Courses: Absolutely. I sometimes hear Southern heritage or Southern identity talked about as though it was something emerging from a foreign country. The Confederacy dissolved and the country was reunited. Joe Dzikiewicz: Apr 25, 2000 12:00 AM: Posted in group: soc.history.war.us-civil-war: Hawk writes: >The next time you go to Richmond, Va you may see a glorious statue >of General Lee sitting on his horse Traveler. The fact that that’s on display there does reflect a larger political cultural shift in the last 30 years or so, but there were white nationalist, white supremacist organizations in the 1960s exerting violence and doing whatever they could in the name of maintaining white supremacy. Again you’re dealing with the multiplicity of meanings. Ed O’Donnell: I would add to that also that not only just remembering what happened in the past, but also seeing how what happened in the past is directly connected to the world that we live in today. What we saw in Charlottesville is in many ways a continuum of that tradition. Some of those factors are going to be there. Allen Guelzo:Right. The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales, https://www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/The-torch-Guelzo-and-ODonnell.mp3. We could say the same thing about Ulysses Grant, because Ulysses Grant before the Civil War was a slave-owner. It’s really the Virginia State Monument. What exactly do you mean?” Because there’s more than a few souths, so whose heritage are we talking about? However, the exact location of the gravesites was lost. He fought for a cause that was fundamentally designed to protect and perpetuate and even expand slavery on into an endless future.” There’s a question about whether or not it’s appropriate to honor somebody like that now, regardless of the motivation that went into putting his statue up. Memorials are simply remembrances that something happened to these people in this place. Earlier this month, the last major Confederate monument in California came down.It was a curious one: a nine-foot granite pillar in an Orange County … The dead end of mutual recrimination to which this choice leads is already clear. There’s an additional multiplicity in the role of just public statuary art in general, because as Ed pointed out, you have the meaning that’s captured by the content of the statue, or you have the meaning that’s captured by the moment in which it was erected, but you also have the meaning in its persistence and current culture, which is I think part of what we’re grappling with now. After the collapse of “Massive Resistance” in the wake of subsequent court orders and civil rights legislation, the number of new schools bearing Confederate-themed names dwindled away to a trickle. Monument has a way of fading into memorial, and sometimes memorial has a way of feeding into simply being a marker. You see conflicting numbers, but there seem to be about 1,500 Confederate monuments of some sort, statues and memorials, throughout the country. I think you’re right. It was a way of putting a marker down and saying, “Over our dead bodies.” Even those flags are freighted with a history that’s worth knowing. Iconoclasm is irreversible and often, doesn't age well. Someone who wants to either add to or subtract from that fundamental reality of citizen seems to me is starting to push things in directions that I’m not terribly happy to see us go in. Ed O’Donnell: It’s been a great conversation. About half a mile away at Monument and McPherson Avenues, a similar monument marks the spot where Union General John B. McPherson was killed by Confederate forces the same day. They’re about making statements about who is in charge in the South. It really made a mark in that effort. Part of the whole point about whether or not a Lee memorial was erected as a symbol of white supremacy or fondness for remembering what happened during the Civil War, there are a lot of people that look at that memorial today and say, “Americans have been taught for more than a century that the Civil War was about states’ rights and about honor, and had essentially nothing to do with slavery.”. Find out what divided the men of the Civil War, and how in many ways they were more alike than different. Yet, he creates the language of natural rights that other generations of Americans will have the space in which to pour new meaning into that, so that women at Seneca Falls, for example, can take that Declaration of Independence and make it a document that is a declaration for women’s rights. The influx of public and private expenditures on monuments coincides with the lifespan of veterans from the conflict, as well as a pattern witnessed in other wars that commemorates major anniversaries. The trefoil (some would say a shamrock) in the middle of the Celtic cross is the symbol for the Union 2nd Corps. At the same time, the statistical patterns for both types of monuments likely has a deeper explanation tied to the influence of Civil War veterans as a sizable political constituency. We are full, in our history, of people who took wrong turns. If you went to South Carolina 10 years ago, you had to ask where to find it. That is a very, very big question, simply because there are so many statues that are erected in the post-Civil War years in so many different places serving so many different interests. Whose heritage? supercurrymax 5 months ago #1. Although this narrative tapped “reunification” and a nationalist concept of the union, it was also intertwined with the elevation of the southern “Lost Cause” myth that intentionally downplayed slavery. I don’t mean ignorance in the sense of never having learned anything. Why did Charlottesville happen now? One is that you can’t reverse it. When someone looks at Robert E. Lee, they say, “A, he fought for a cause that was fundamentally designed to destroy the Union. The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy, was a government set up in 1861 by seven slave states in US. A number of journalists and commentators have even embraced the politics of vigilantism associated with statue destruction. There’s a time in which, as each era evolves, where people look differently at things because of our changed understanding of history and our deepening understanding of history. I suspect that partly that’s true, but at the same time, the meanings shift over time. With no small irony, these new targets include figures that several leading historians and journalistic outlets took pains to differentiate and insulate from the Confederate statue controversies only a few years ago. The Great Courses: Since there’s a lot of debate going on now in the country about the status of Confederate statues, we thought it would be interesting to talk to you both about some of the historical background of these statues. By looking at the history of these monuments we see even more clearly the dangers of ignoring the legacy slavery, the points of our past when reactionary forces gained steam, and more recently some cause for hope. Following the war, slavery was outlawed everywhere in the United States. Allen, your take on that? What do we do now? It was 1948, ’49, ’54, because that’s when the civil rights movement was gaining traction and it was becoming a national political issue about endorsing civil rights. When you play the thing out over time, when you play it out over location, when you play it out over the contestation of meanings, then suddenly the whole business gets very messy, and it’s not nearly so straightforward as people would like to say when you put it to a binary situation where it’s take it down, it’s evil, keep it up, it’s our life’s blood. Monument construction dates also clearly cluster in the years around this period, as depicted below. In Duluth, Minnesota they even targeted a memorial to three African-American lynching victims. Very, very illuminating. The heyday of monument building, between 1890 and 1920, was also a time … At left, a Monumental Bronze Co. sculpture of a Union soldier, erected in Westfield, N.J., in 1889. There’s certainly a sense in which, for instance, the African-American population in the South has no interest in receding into ignorance about some of the meanings of these statues, There are, in the South, the slave market in Charleston, South Carolina now has a current use, and there are spaces that have moved on, but it seems like in the South now that there’s something asking to be acknowledged that hasn’t been yet. Union monuments substantially outnumber Confederate monuments in total, although the annual number of Confederate statues briefly overtook the Union totals in the cluster of dates around the 1911 anniversary. One of the most prominent Confederate monuments—the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia—is set to be removed by order of Gov. When I hear that, that poses a problem for me, because I decline to recognize a definition of American beyond citizenship. Below is an overview of the status of just a few Confederate monuments around the country. 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