Sunday, April 17, 2011

The North is Falling Behind

It has been apparent throughout my lifetime that the South takes the Civil War and the remembrance of it far more seriously than the North. With the majority of battlefields and without question the better stories being located south of the Mason-Dixon Line it is no surprise this is true. As we start the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War the disparity between the North and South is becoming more apparent. In states like New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania the celebrations of the Civil War are lacking compared to Virginia, South Carolina, and even western states such Tennessee and Missouri. True there are not a lot of battles to reenact in these Northern states like the South but the richness of the history is there. Hopefully we will see a revitalization in the Civil War by people all around the country and better learn who we are as a people based on where we came from.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Our Nation Divided: Fort Sumter

Examining the newspaper articles from New York, to Kansas, to South Carolina it was very apparent that no matter where you went in the country everyone was waiting for a confrontation to break out and the focal point was Fort Sumter. Today marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the battle to take Fort Sumter. The Fort meant so much more than a strategic military complex. For the North it was a symbol of maintaining the integrity of the Union. To lose it signaled a need to confront the Southern rebellion by force, that diplomatic solutions were at an end. it signaled a loss of control, a loss of public property owned by the United States. For the South it represented their independence. To take control of it would legitimized their secession from the United States and solidified their position as an independent power. So it was no surprise that all eyes of the nation were focused on Charleston harbor in South Carolina.

This "Pro-Slavery War", as a Northern paper proclaimed, will forever define our country's future. This act of hostility by the Confederacy at Fort Sumter forced the hand of the United States to confront the issue of Southern secession with military action. It put this country into a war that although many in the country at the time thought would end in a matter of months, lasted four years and took the lives of hundreds of thousands of American men, women, and children. Stories of heroism, tales of valor, and so much more from this war has contributed to defining America, our way of life and most importantly changed the course of our future for the better. 
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