Review: America Aflame

David Goldfield's, "America Aflame: How The Civil War Created a Nation"
David Goldfield’s, “America Aflame: How The Civil War Created a Nation”

United States, 1834-1876

David Goldfield’s America Aflame: How The Civil War Created a Nation is a sweeping antiwar take on the Civil War era and a throwback to Avery Craven’s “blundering generation” thesis.

Goldfield sets the “Civil War” with the Confederacy in the context of other perceived threats to mid-nineteenth century America: Roman Catholics, Mexicans, Indians, and labor unions. The preferred solution by Yankees to each of these threats was the use of violence.

Far from being an “Irrepressible Conflict,” Goldfield pins the blame for the War Between the States on the intolerance and fanaticism that was injected into the political process by the rise of evangelical Christianity during the Second Great Awakening.

Northern evangelicals like Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Lloyd Garrison transformed “political issues into moral causes” which “poisoned the political process,” undermined the political center inhabited by moderates like Stephen Douglas and Alexander Stephens, created an atmosphere of moral certitude in which compromise was impossible, and finally alienated the South to the point of destroying the Union.

Confident of their personal relationship with the Almighty, the Saints of New England tragically marched off to wage their crusade to “save the Union” against the wicked “Slave Power” which had thwarted them for so long. Southern evangelicals were no less certain that God was on their side. Somewhere in the midst of the carnage of battles like Cold Harbor, Northerners were chastened by Confederate guns and their religious fervor began to subside.

The “Civil War” created a “nation”: Goldfield argues that this nation, modern America, a consolidated activist government supervising an industrialized economy in which national citizenship in the sacred Union has replaced state citizenship in a loose confederation of sovereign states, was synonymous with the Republican Party and the victorious Northern states, which dominated the country until the Great Depression.

The North, or postbellum “America,” lost its religious enthusiasm and embraced the gospel of science and material progress. Northerners moved on into the Industrial Revolution of the 1870s and lost themselves in the consumer cornucopia that emerged in its wake. Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of the incendiary antebellum anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, moved to Florida, converted to Episcopalianism, and spent her elderly years writing books on interior design.

The South became an internal colony of the United States, a much larger version of Cuba or Puerto Rico, in everything but name. 1 out of every 4 White men between 20 and 40 had died in the war. Two thirds of Southern wealth was wiped out during the War Between the States. The South was reduced to political, cultural, and economic irrelevance within the Northern-dominated Union and wouldn’t even return to the level of per capita income it had in 1860 until the 1920s.

Like the Irish or the Poles, Southerners did not move on from the war. Evangelical Christianity wasn’t discredited in the South. It became synonymous with an emerging Southern folk culture, the Redemption movement, and the Lost Cause. The years between the end of Reconstruction and World War I was a period of intense nation building in “Dixie” in which the South developed a sense of national consciousness that had barely existed at the outset of the Confederacy.

The North quickly lost its zeal for imposing Reconstruction on the South. In particular, the emerging “Celtocracy” of Irish Catholic immigrants in Northeastern cities such Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City created a new sense of sympathy among Northern Protestants for White Southerners whose intelligence and property was also being swamped by the misrule of inferior races.

In the Western states, the energies of William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip Sheridan, and George Armstrong Custer were redirected from Georgia and the Shenandoah Valley and turned toward the pacification and annihilation of the Plains Indians. The Sioux and the buffalo that sustained their savage way of life were exterminated and the vast Midwestern agricultural empire which is dominated today by agribusiness was created in the Plains from the Dakotas to Kansas.

Goldfield closes America Aflame with a look at the Centennial Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia which closed the first century of America’s existence: a continent had been conquered, the Union had been preserved, slavery had been overthrown, and America seemed to be on a dizzying upward trajectory with everything from steel to electricity to the telephone to Heinz’s ketchup making its appearance.

Somehow the “Civil War” had made it all possible. But at what cost?

Proud Globalist Race Traitor
Guest
Proud Globalist Race Traitor

Linda, a bunch of my Latino immigrant friends went to the March for Life or the West Coast Walk for Life. Us white Catholics are grateful for their support. There will be no room for racism in the pro-life movement.

Denise
Guest
“Proud Globalist Race Traitor says: January 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm Linda, a bunch of my Latino immigrant friends went to the March for Life or the West Coast Walk for Life. Us white Catholics are grateful for their support. There will be no room for racism in the pro-life movement.” Until the dwindling handful of Whites finally understand that THEY wil lpay for the feeding and breeding of all those Darling Pet Darkies, who grow up, and hang around outside, all over the place, and make those lovely tolerant I’m NOT a Racist Whites terrified to leave thier homes.… Read more »
John Thomas
Guest

Alex Jones video–Obama and The Royalty Factor is good video. Call him a fat Buffon or whatever—its still a great video. These Judeo Masons are a big problem and its no conspriacy—its fact-. Alex is right about these Royal jerks. Proud Globalist Race Traitor is out of his mind wanting to be a loyal SUBJECT and Slave/Serf of the CROWN. Piss On The NEW WORLD ORDER and their World Slave Plantation—they are Mutants. You are right Denise…

Dixiegirl
Guest
Proud Globalist Race Traitor says: Dixiegirl, there are enough differences between the two parties that it can be considered a free democratic system. True that there should be more parties like in western Europe, and as I’ve said before, I agree with you about the problems with consumerism. Yet, even if our freedom is partially an illusion, it must be maintained because it’s sure a lot better than what we had before. As you read from comments like Svigor and Tamer of Savages, they want a world where people can be discriminated against simply because of skin color, where the… Read more »
Dixiegirl
Guest
Joan of Arc’s post is very good. Always wondered why more religious folks (trained preachers) have not taken on Hagee. You’d think young seminarians of all sorts would want to do so. One of the things they seem to be taught (that is the worst) is defeatism— that events are “inevitable” and they are supposed to just “take it” and be “martyred” and not fight. And that’s what God wants. A totally anti-life idea. Seminary should be an interesting place (where so much of the fight is going on). But young people don’t see that.
John Thomas
Guest

Everyone going crazy about attack on Southern Border States by Chinese from Mexico. Linda Newkirk has Prophecy on this. Alex Jones in on this subject also: Obama: High Treason Closing Air Defense System on Mexican Border http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vob7JDgr6gY Is this Conspiracy Theory of what? We already have alot of Asians in San Fagfrisco and Hongcover (Vancover) plus they own all the properties for miles and miles on Chicago Main thru Street..Hum??? Plus the Asians are swamping the top colleges–they are taking all the Administrative Positions and so on—NO YELLOW PERIL? Bull–its real……..

John Thomas
Guest

In the late 70s a book was written by Eric Thomson called CHINA, THE JEWS and WORLD WAR 3. The Venice Khazars financed ther Mongols to invade West. They did same thing with the Moors. Now they are doing same thing with China to sic em on us. Terrible Tommy Metzger of White Aryan Rersistance has a good book on Marranos and Jews in China. Its under Publications. Jack Ryan–whats your views on Chinese in Mexico to invade us? This is hot topic now…..

Will Raleigh soon end its reign as the last safe Southern City
Guest
Will Raleigh soon end its reign as the last safe Southern City
Now that folks in Raleigh have decided to go with the girl already in the office as Chief of Police and african american Raleigh has some choices to make. Here is what folks used to say. Raleigh was the last of the safe american southern cities. Great place to drop some cash before hitting the beach for vacation season. Black police chief=black crime =black takeover of Raleigh. It won’t work out like the liberals who pulled this fiasco planed. There is no such thing as White priveledge when there is a black president in office. Folks won’t be able to… Read more »
Pastor Martin Lindstedt
Guest
Free Book of the Day — Searching for George Gordon Meade: The Forgotten Victor of Gettysburg [Kindle Edition] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CBX00SG/ref=cm_cr_error http://whitenationalist.org/forum/showthread.php?p=9395#post9395 My Review: , Three out of Five Stars; Other than THAT, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the Play? by Pastor Lindstedt I make a review of when I get a free downloadable book for my Kindle. I’d say that fewer than one in a hundred do I actually read, and of them that I quickly scan over in order to make a quick review to my friends is more like one oi a couple of hundred. The point of my review… Read more »
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