War & Military

The American Civil War: Finally Passing?

The Economist  is better at synthesis than breaking new ground. Whatever you think of the message, it’s written with an elegance and economy which is  a model for the profession. And it has a sharp eye for how past and present intertwine.

The latest issue turns The Economist’s laser eye on the legacy of the civil war, as the US prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of what’s described as ‘America’s bloodiest war’. The first shots were fired at Fort Sumner in South Carolina on April 12th 1861. In all, according to the article, 620,000 soldiers were killed.

Here’s the link to the article.

The argument makes much of the comparison between the southern revelry and public endorsement of the Confederate cause on the centennial of the start of the civil war and the hugely more restrained commemorations this year.

But back then [in 1961]’, the article asserts, ‘the war’s fundamental question – whether all American citizens are equal, regardless of race – was not fully answered. Today it is.’

Fair comment?

Andrew Whitehead

One Comment

  1. Following the US Civil War, many slaves who gained their freedom acquired land which their family had worked for generations. Over the years these holdings have been whittled away – through population movement, legal disputes, by developers – but a growing number of ancestors of former slaves are now returning to seek new lives on these properties.

    More of this from South Carolina here …


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