Talk:Lost Cause of the Confederacy

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Attempts to insert United Daughters of the Confederacy promotional claims[edit]

So, Cjhard and Rjensen have both tried to insert wording to the effect that "Today higher education is a priority of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which collects documents and gives aid to historical researchers and top college scholars."

At first it violated WP:RS's WP:SPS section as it was sourced to the UDC's own website and was needlessly self-promotional material. Rjensen attempted to claim to add a RS for it but Peterson's the testing company is not as far as I can tell any sort of journalistic entity; while it might vaguely serve as a source to reference the existence of specific scholarships, it in no way is a Reliable Source for the wording "Today higher education is a priority of the United Daughters of the Confederacy".

Also as Aquillon pointed out, this is an article on the Lost Cause and while the UDC are purveyors of same, inserting their promotional claims into the article seems highly irrelevant. [1]. Morty C-137 (talk) 19:58, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Agreed, the line treads too close to being promotional. Further sources would be needed, along with a reword if the content in question is necessary.--SamHolt6 (talk) 20:55, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Description of slavery's "racism, brutality and dehumanization"[edit]

User:Edward321 what is your reason for reverting my removal of this description of slavery from the tenets section? The tone isn't encyclopedic, and I don't think it's appropriate to debunk the tenets of a set of beliefs when explaining what those beliefs are. Any such criticisms should be in the appropriate section ("Contemporary historians" in this case.). Cjhard (talk) 05:35, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

I am watching and pondering.....can see both sides of this edit dispute. It has an analog in the bullets above when Grant is "falsely" described as a drunk. If all we're doing here is listing the tenets of this (abhorrent) belief system, then the word 'falsely' should come out and Cjhard is right about the slavery statement. OTHO if the 'falsely' qualifier stays on the Grant sentence, then the slavery correction should be there also, IMHO. Regards, DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:49, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree that the "falsely" needs to go too. Cjhard (talk) 16:11, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

The whole Tenets section needs a rewrite. It's using inconsistent voice, and it should be worded to clearly contrast the tenets (all of which are either outright fictional or gross distortions of historical fact) with reality. Morty C-137 (talk) 17:34, 26 June 2017 (UTC) Suggested wording to make consistent:

Some of the main tenets of the Lost Cause movement are:[1][2]

  • Losses on the battlefield are portrayed as being inevitable due to Northern superiority in resources and manpower. Conversely, victories on the battlefield are portrayed as being a result of Confederate generals' moral or intellectual superiority.
  • Battlefield losses are also sometimes portrayed as the result of betrayal and incompetence on the part of certain subordinates of General Lee, such as General James Longstreet, who was reviled for doubting Lee at Gettysburg. The Lost Cause focuses mainly on Lee and the Eastern Theater of operations, and often cites Gettysburg as the main turning point of the war.
  • Algood identifies a Southern aristocratic ideal, typically called "the Southern Cavalier ideal" in the Lost Cause. It especially appears in studies of Confederate partisans who fought behind Union lines, such as Nathan Bedford Forrest, Turner Ashby, John Singleton Mosby, and John Hunt Morgan. Writers stress how the subjects supposedly embodied courage in the face of heavy odds, as well as horsemanship, manhood and martial spirit in a literary mythological tradition of the "knightly hero" that traces to the 17th century and the English Civil War.[3]
  • States' rights: Lost Cause proponents claim that defense of states' rights, rather than preservation of chattel slavery, was the primary cause that led eleven Southern states to secede from the Union, thus precipitating the war. This claim is in direct contradiction with almost every record of the time, including the declarations of secession by multiple states.
  • Claims of northern aggression: Lost Cause proponents claim that secession was a justifiable constitutional response to what they deem Northern cultural and economic aggressions against the Southern way of life. Oftentimes phrases as "The War Between The States" or "The War of Northern Aggression" are substituted for the title of the American Civil War.
  • Defense of slavery: Lost Cause proponents claim that slavery was a benign institution, and that the slaves were loyal and faithful to their benevolent masters.[4] Proponents portray northern abolitionists as trying to provoke problems in the South, and minimize or ignore the realities and brutalities of slavery as it existed. Lost Cause portrayals of slavery are also used to make the claim that freed slaves and their descendants remained inferior to whites and could not handle freedom, blaming freed slaves and their descendants for economic and social hardships that were perpetuated through segregation and continue in modern times.
Whatever is done, the sections has to commit to either being exclusively about the views of the lost cause, or also throwing in the actuality of the situation. There is no middle ground in this case.--SamHolt6 (talk) 18:20, 26 June 2017 (UTC)


Agree with SamHolt6; per my comment above - either make it all one thing or all another. A list of tenets divided against itself cannot stand ;) DMorpheus2 (talk) 19:59, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
It is best for wording to preface each appropriately, to be certain that there is no confusion or implication that the Lost Cause claims are said in Wikipedia's voice. "Lost cause proponents claim", or similar, makes it clear that these are the things claimed by those promoting Lost Cause mythology rather than wording that implies it's a statement-of-fact by wikipedia. That's why I am suggesting the wording above. Morty C-137 (talk) 20:12, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
We do not pigeonhole criticisms in a separate section. See WP:CRITICISM: In most cases separate sections devoted to criticism, controversies, or the like should be avoided in an article because these sections call undue attention to negative viewpoints. Articles should present positive and negative viewpoints from reliable sources fairly, proportionately, and without bias. Claims of The Lost Cause believers may be stated, but those claims have to be presented in context and with balance. It is a historical fact that slavery was brutal and racist. We can and do include claims otherwise, but those claims are a fringe minority viewpoint and we are required to present such claims in context with mainstream scholarship. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 15:30, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
    • ^ CarolineJanney, E. "The Lost Cause." Encyclopedia Virginia(2009)
    • ^ Gaines M. Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause and the Emergence of the New South, 1865–1913 (1988) pp 4–8
    • ^ Colt B. Allgood, "Confederate Partisans and the Southern Cavalier Ideal, 1840–1920," Southern Historian (2011) Vol. 32, pp 28–42.
    • ^ Gallagher and Nolan p. 16. Nolan writes, "Given the central role of African Americans in the sectional conflict, it is surely not surprising that Southern rationalizations have extended to characterizations of the persons of these people. In the legend there exist two prominent images of the black slaves. One is of the "faithful slave"; the other is what William Garrett Piston calls "the happy darky stereotype."