Never once have I heard the phrase Northern Pride relating to Civil War. Bostonproud, Celtic Pride and Red Sox Nation yes. Yet even in New England being taught about the Civil War in 70s and 80s there was a sense the North went a bit overboard with burning of Atlanta and the March To The Sea. Let’s face a dirty New England secret sometimes you will see the Confederate flag on car bumpers.
How many best selling novels create heroes of Northerners besides Lincoln? Gore Vidal’s Lincoln was a huge seller and quite good. Yet the CW megaseller is Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. I wonder how her novel and book colored how CW was taught in the North.
Another best seller was John Jakes North And South and he went overboard presenting two families who were main characters and there was this moral equivalency about them. One family was a slave owner who was a “good guy”. In the miniseries Patrick Swayze was the slave owner. Was it even possible to make him a villian in the 80s? My late grandmother looooooooooooooooovvvvvvved Swayze, she taped this miniseries and watched it many times and saw Dirty Dancing way too many times. Actually the worst character in the two families was the one played by the actor who played Riker on TNG a northern.
Let’s face it culturally it seems the south rewrote the war from agressors and traitors to victims. Even comedies Beverly Hillbillies Granny was a devout Confederate she was not shown as a racist like they wanted to sterilize that.
Yet this Southern Pride has had a profound affect every where. Not just culturally but historically. They argue the war was not about slavery but states rights and economy. Well state rights involved the state right to let citizens own slaves and economy their economy was linked almost totally with slavery. This denies the history of fact but makes what African Americans went through seem like they never existed. Well let’s face it by decoupling state rights and economy with slavery it makes those slaves as nonexistant.
I do not believe we should have Northern Pride. That leads us down a path of division. We needs just to end this notion of southern pride. History and culture needs to be about facts not glorifying one side by hiding the filth. Actually Mitchell did far worse she created this notion of benevolent slave owner and their relationship should not have been meddled with. John Jakes carried that idea with him.
At least Alex Healey (sp?) did have Roots about the history of slavery and his family. That helped in dispelling somewhat the benevolent slave owner myth but Jakes books were published after.
I assume all are familiar with books I mentioned. Vidal’s Lincoln is actually worth reading but I read it 20 plus years ago. North and South I read the first two and got bored this too was 20 plus years ago. I suspect his moral equivalency would anger me more today. Mitchell’s novel I read in the eighties was angry then probably be angrier now.
Oh I wrote too much.