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Reconstruction and the New South

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Dr.Liamvan Beek

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HIS271Y Reconstruction and the New South November 24 2010 As the civil war progressed, the purpose of the war began to change Articulated in terms of wanting to preserve union against rebellion In the south, the war was about protecting their way of life Casualties were high Principles behind reconstruction: fix the divisions in society, reorder the south, increase the standard of living for African Americans Did the Civil War resolve national divisions? Memory and Identity In commemoration day, we can see many different interests at play Memorial day, first known as Decoration Day First occurred in 1866, Waterloo, NY, historians debate, it may have been 1865 th General John A. Logan declared that May 30 would be known as Memorial Day He hoped that this occasion would be one where veterans would organize ceremonies to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the war While memorial day was celebrated in both the north and south, each area put emphasis on different things Northern commemorations emphasized a desire for national unity, optimism and hope about the future, democracy and diversity, and emancipation was often a central story Southern commemorations came in the context of defeat, tended to celebrate memorial day on different days, emphasized the struggle of reconstruction, played off of an emerging narrative of the lost cause The lost cause emerged as a way to rationalize the southern war experience, justifying southern secession, argued that the war wasnt about protecting slavery but their way of life, suggested that slavery had been used by northerners and
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