Ap World History: Changes Over Time Due to Us Civil War

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This is example of one of the "Change Over Time" essays which provides a captivating narrative of the dynamic transformations, social shifts, and historical developments that shape the US. The aim for this paper is to dive deeper into the history of the war between the Southern and Northern states.</p><p>On April 12th, 1861, the war between the Southern and Northern states of the United States of America emerged. The states fought in controversy to the enslavement of black people. On May 9th, 1865, the war ended with the Northern states taking the victory. Since the end of this Civil War, many diehard Southerners worked on maintaining Confederate memories for future generations. In chapter 8, “The Lost Cause and Causes Not Lost,” from Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory by David W. Blight, Blight discusses how the Lost Cause of the Confederacy began as a thing to help early Confederates remember the early Southern. However, Blight explains how overtime Southern commemorations of the Civil War have changed over time.

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Change Over Time: the Shift in American History

After the Civil War, the Southern Confederate generals and politicians like Charles T. O’Fferall, Bradley T. Johnson, Jubal Early, D. H Hill, and others worked to conserve Confederate traditions in the 1860s and 1870s. They shared their own beliefs and ideas on why the Southern states did what they had done with why the Civil War occurred. While many were set to believe that this war arose due to slavery, Blight states that Southern confederates said otherwise, “The earliest Confederate veterans’ groups formed around two aims: charity to family members and families, and as the Charlestown, South Carolina, Survivors Association put it, to create “a Southern history.” (pg. 261) For instance, they argued that slavery was not the reason they fought. To tell their “truths” the Southern commemorations would come in various magazines and newspapers. Blight explains how the SHS papers would help spread the awareness that these diehards would speak about. “The SHS worked from the assumption that the war’s victor would never do them justice in the history books or in the emerging memoir literature.”(page 262) therefore, they would focus on publishing documentation to support their reasoning on how they weren’t the bad guys.

Over time not only did Southern confederates speak about the history, but they had evolved into doing much more. Many great voices that advocated for the “true” history of the Southern states passed along how. “This Virginia coalition of mystic diehards sought through the SHS and the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia to create a memorial to Lee that would actively revive Confederate history and memory.” (page 267) Many attended the event. The event also created controversy in the country. This brought attention to the Confederates. Along with how, the United Confederate Veterans, a magazine, Confederate Veteran, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy took over the Lost Cause. These organizations helped big time, “Eight books, all written by Southerners, made the recommended list.” (page 282) they were able to remove Northern textbooks that talked bad on them and were able to input theirs into schools. This event educated the students on their side of their story. “Festivals under such titles as “Old Plantation Days,” at which ex-slaves would swap staged stories with Confederate veterans, became common in Southern public culture.” (page 286) They created plays to demonstrate what occurred behind what everyone else said. The Southern commemorations of the Civil War did what they could to establish that the Northerners were lying on them and hiding the truth. To enlighten everyone with their truth they eliminated whatever they came across that talked bad on the Southern states and persuaded people of how the slaves lived through a variety of ways.


The Civil War was a war that would forever change America. The result of the war resulted in the Union taking the victory, but how do people commemorate the Civil War exactly? Well, in Susan Delly-Swearingen's article, “How do we Remember the Civil War,” Swearingen’s responds on how it is remembered. Swearingen starts off by establishing the fact that there are a variety of monuments from both sides. “A monument in and of itself is an endorsement of cultural values,” Swearingen goes onto explain how the Southern monuments like Lee’s stand for maintaining slavery. On the other hand, she goes off to speak on the Union’s monument and how they won, and the others lost. The author argues that these monuments don’t create the union in which they fought for. To further support her argument the author also states, “The north is depicted as the land of preppy, ivory-tower intellectuals, whereas the South is the land of badly dressed, cousin marrying, morons with terrible teeth.” This creates a barrier of cultures. Each side has developed into having its own stereotypes, and as Swearingen argues instead of bringing them together it separates them.

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