Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why does no one write about the Civil War like this today?

From a Denver Post front page editorial, April 24, 1861:
The full particulars of the taking of Fort Sumpter by the Charleston traitors, together with the intense excitement created all over the country in consequence, occupied so much of our space Saturday, that we were unable to comment upon that affair as its merits demand. We are at a loss for language sufficiently strong and condemnatory to characterize as it deserves this greatest outrage ever committed against the Republic. The treason of Benedict Arnold, — all the sympathizing efforts of the tories of the Revolution, to give aid and comfort to the British cause, — assume a virtuous hue when compared with this last crowning treachery of the Slave oligarchy.

2 comments:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Query if the South was more oligarchic than our existing political arrangements, there or elsewhere? If so, why?

Seth said...

Obviously, this all depends on your definition of oligarchic. You could probably make a fair case that a slave in Mobile had a similar standard of living to a factory worker in Lowell in the 1840s. On the other hand, given that the poorest classes in the South -- along with their progeny -- were literally owned by custom and law by the wealthiest classes kind of sets that region apart in an oligarchic sense.