Talk:Copperhead (politics)

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I agree71.231.140.145 (talk) 04:45, 18 May 2010 (UTC) The warning here is not needed. We should assume that readers are relatively intelligent and mature enough to deal with strong language.

I have tried to bring in the latest scholarship and much more detail about the Copperheads, along with a solid bibliography and reference to a fascinating online primary source. Rjensen 17:45, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Good day Gentlemen and Ladies.

I think the following section of a sentence near the opening of the entry should be modified;

"[Copperheads]...hated Blacks, blamed the abolitionists, ".

"Hated" Blacks is not necessarily a very professional nor explanitory choice of words. "Were extremely predjudice towards Blacks", "Were vociferous defenderds of chattle slavery (or of the subjecgation of Blacks". Anything else but "hated".

"Blamed the abolitionists" should read "held the abolitionist responsible for initiating the sectarian tension which ultimately led to secession" or something similar would be appropriate. <p. Just wanted to run that by people before I made the changes. Thoughts?

--JohnFlaherty 20:55, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

"hated" seems the right word. And "Blamed the abolitionists" also seems accurate. Let's be plain, simple and accurate about the past. It is highly misleading to suggest the Copperheads used language like ""held the abolitionist responsible for initiating the sectarian tension which ultimately led to secession"" -- they did not talk that way. To put their hatred into high-falutin words is very misleading to readers. Here's how Copperhead leaders talked: "A large majority," declared an Ohio editor, "can see no reason why they should be shot for the benefit of niggers and Abolitionists." If "the despot Lincoln" tried to ram abolition and conscription down the throats of white men, "he would meet with the fate he deserves: hung, shot, or burned." [quoted in McPherson Battle Cry p 560] Rjensen 22:37, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

You're reading too much into my comments and motivation. When it comes to the Civil War, my blood runs Yankee Blue and abolitionist red.

My suggested wording is NOT "highly misleading". On the contrary, it is more accurate, it is more descriptive, and IMO more professional. I doubt the wording as it is now would apear in Brittanica or World Book.

--JohnFlaherty 23:51, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

we should not give the readers the impression that Copperheads talked nice and sounded like Taney. That is quite false. Wiki is professional when it gets the nuances right, not merely the dates. Rjensen 00:42, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I disagree completely.

By any objective standard, the Nazi's hated Jews. No professional, non-fiction resource would state that "The Nazi's hated Jews". I explains nothing. It is amatuer. They would discuss anti-Semitism and Aryianism, pogroms and the diaspora.--JohnFlaherty 11:32, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I think you should read the studies of Copperheads -- that's more useful than Nazis or World Book.

But let's try a quote: "Hitler was a twisted product of anti-Semitic Austria, of the front lines in World War I, and of a ruinous and vindictive imposed peace. He was also a consummate demagogue, a hypnotic speaker, who recognized and brilliantly exploited popular rage, despair, and hatred of the scapegoat Jews, for whom Hitler himself had a psychotic hatred. He had a ferocious lust for power, not only national but also global. He was utterly false in his promises. He was insatiably murderous. And by early 1933 he was in absolute control of the great German nation. " hatred used twice. War Comes Again: Comparative Vistas on the Civil War and World War II (1995) ed Boritt p 17. Rjensen 11:42, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Civil war examples: "Even Frémont's father-in-law Thomas Hart Benton, despite his hatred of the Democratic leadership, urged his followers to vote for Buchanan. " [McPherson Battle Cry p 158] " Butler in New Orleans presented a paradox. On the one hand his Woman Order, his hanging of a southern gambler who had torn down the U. S. flag at the beginning of the occupation, and his imprisonment of several citizens who defied or displeased him earned everlasting southern hatred of "Beast" Butler" [ibid 623] . Or this "In The Diary of Miss Emma Holmes: 1861-1866 ( 1979) the author discusses a host of issues and individuals, and a constant theme throughout is her intense hatred of the North" [Woodworth Am Civ War Handbook p 67]; "The enemy was now personal, and hatred of him intensified to become a prime motivator in continuing the struggle. " [ibid 463] "His [writer Edmund Wilson] struggles with the Internal Revenue Service caused him to hate the U.S. government and to compare it readily to fascist or communist regimes." [ibid 190] Ot this"Rochester has its full share of the Ku-Klux spirit.... It is the spirit of hate, the spirit of murder."(Frederick Douglas in "The Spirit of Hate" and Frederick Douglass. by Richard H. White in Civil War History. Volume: 46. Issue: 1. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: 41. Rjensen 11:50, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Copperheads as anti-war[edit]

Yes, the Copperheads were pimarily united by their opposition to the war and all its manifestations (like draft and taxes), and continuously pushed for compromises, negotiations and peace candidates. Rjensen 02:20, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


I've noticed that this article tries to imply that the Copperheads committed treason. Making such a claim is borderline defamatory. If it were valid about the Copperheads, its also valid about the Anti-Vietnam and Anti-Iraq movements. I would have fixed it, but I'm unsure how to reword the reference. 01:42, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

the issue of treason by Copperheads was raised at the time, and by historians today. If you listen you will note that anti-Iraq protestors rarely claim kinship with the Copperheads. Rjensen 03:30, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Which is exactly why the Democrat-Communists of today would want to rewrite this little bit of history. I'm suprised the Communist operatives haven't deleted this yet. 12:57, 10 July 2007 (UTC)


Reptilian connotation[edit]

Is there any truth to the claim that the name "Copperhead" gained political currency in no small part because its association with the feared and despised pit viper species also so called? If so, wouldn't that negative connotation warrant mentioning in the article? --Ziusudra 12:40, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Editorial & cartoon in Harper's document that the value of the image was exploited.
--Jerzyt 19:30, 29 December 2007 (UTC)


I replaced [[Three-cent piece (United States coin)|copper indian-head coins]] with "three-cent copper Indian-head coins" and tagged it with {{fact}}, since the lk'd article describes no such coin. Cent (United States coin)#Designs does describe Indian-head pennies of the period. My recollection is that the head was of Washington, but i found some support via Google for a Liberty-head coin, perhaps the 3-cent copper-nickel alloy one in the article whose lk i rem'd.
--Jerzyt 19:30, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I just deleted the entire sentence. A quick visit to reveals that there were no copper/nickel three-cent pieces minted during this era. There were copper/nickel pennies. I suggest finding an authoritative reference for the use of a coin as a badge.Jarhed (talk) 10:30, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I inserted a reference to the coin pins today, along with a citation. --Geometricks (talk) 05:19, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Iraq War/War on Terror[edit]

It is of course obvious the amazing similarities of the "Peace Democrats" of the civil war who felt it was immoral to have a war to free slaves in the Confederate States of America and "Peace Democrats" of today who feel it is immoral to help Muslims in Iraq to have a democratic government. It is so obvious that it might not need to be mentioned, but I think it should be. The techniques and objectives are exactly the same then as they are now... Any objections to a section pointing out the similarities.Mantion (talk) 11:36, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

The most obvious objection is the fact that ths article is about events from 1861-1865, and you propose to inject into it a debate about events in 2007. An additional problem is that while you may find current bloggers or news columnists makng an occassional, superficial comparison, I doubt you will find such comparisons in reliable historical sources. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:41, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but sadly Wikipedia is full of opinions not based on reliable historical sources. I thought it might be in poor taste but it is very interesting to think about. Seeing that it is a comparison with a current event if I were to find a reliable print article that made the comparison would it be worth including?Mantion (talk) 13:57, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
You sound less sad, than enthusiastic to join the injection of opinion. Fix the PoV, but emulate only the WP:NPoV. If you think "full of" is accurate, you have a proper calling before you.
--Jerzyt 19:40, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
If you can find reliable doc'n of significant current use of the analogy, then mention it in Iraq-war articles, & lk them to (not from) the accompanying Copperheads article.
--Jerzyt 19:40, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Specific politcal aims[edit]

While the article speaks vaguely about "peace at any price", what exactly were the specific aims of Copperheads? Did they explicitly advocate ending the war and recognizing the Confederacy as a separate nation? Did they believe that if they gained power, their attitudes towards slavery would be enough to conciliate the south into rejoining the Union? Or were they not united on a specific program? --Jfruh (talk) 00:27, 16 October 2008 (UTC) əə

The main political platform was peace. Technically it was peace and union, but that was mostly for propaganda purposes and I doubt the average Copperhead really cared what happened to the South after the war. They just wanted to stop dying for a war they saw as pointless and benefiting only the Bankers and Railroad titans.Bogan444 (talk) 15:36, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
yes but the Copperheads were not "dying" --they avoided the draft--and they were as hostile to blacks as to bankers. Rjensen (talk) 20:08, 4 October 2010 (UTC)