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The Won CauseBlack and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic$
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Barbara A. Gannon

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834527

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877708_gannon

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A Story of a Slaveholding Society that Became a Servant of Freedom

A Story of a Slaveholding Society that Became a Servant of Freedom

The Won Cause in the Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.178) 13 A Story of a Slaveholding Society that Became a Servant of Freedom
Source:
The Won Cause
Author(s):

Barbara A. Gannon

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807877708_gannon.17

This chapter argues that an American living at the beginning of the era of Jim Crow could not have imagined its end less than seven decades later. As the Civil War generation passed into Memory, most white Americans seemed satisfied with the southern solution to the race problem. Scholars have argued that accepting Jim Crow required amnesia about slavery and emancipation and that this Memory loss served the interest of national reunion and reconciliation. However, white Americans did not forget slavery; they remembered a romanticized version of it, and they seemed comfortable with this institution. Reunion and reconciliation required amnesia, but not about race and slavery. If any aspect of the war needed to be forgotten, it was secession and disunion. Had they not minimized the threat of the South's actions to the survival of the American nation, northerners could not have reframed the Confederate military experience as an example of American valor and patriotism.

Keywords:   Jim Crow, Civil War generation, white Americans, southern solution, race problem

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