Author Topic: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?  (Read 5601 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline quadrapiper

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 12,870
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 408
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2020, 23:06:15 »
This article in the Atlantic takes down a lot of the myths of Lee including his attitude after the war.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-myth-of-the-kindly-general-lee/529038/

Sometimes it isn’t presentism.  It’s just recognizing that some people’s hero was really just an a hole back then even by that time’s standard and was that his perceived persona was just a thing of fiction to justify some narrative.
IIRC Washington and (again IIRC) several of the other big names among his peers also qualify for that distinction. Is there something peculiar to the US cultural milieu encouraging lionization? It's hard to do a Canadian comparison, given the long, gradual nature of the current country's development and the much less story-friendly nature of most of the potential historical pantheon. "Mostly-elected politicians politiced for decades, then more of the same type had a conference in PEI" isn't quite armed rebellion.

Online tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 129,510
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,662
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2020, 02:44:48 »
Sadly on the left the goal is to destroy historical figures by painting them as slave owners. Washington was a slave owner. It was what was done in the West Indies as well as in the colonies. A war was fought to correct the evils of slavery in our part of the world although slavery persisted in Africa and the middle east.

Offline mariomike

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 576,210
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,053
  • Keep 'em rolling.
    • The job.
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2020, 09:49:25 »
Washington was a slave owner.

For reference to the discussion,

Quote
What Trump — and his critics — get wrong about George Washington and Robert E. Lee
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/08/23/what-trump-and-his-critics-get-wrong-about-george-washington-and-robert-e-lee/
The two men owned slaves — but at vastly different moments in American history.

Quote
Why Trump is wrong to equate George Washington with Robert E. Lee
http://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-george-washington-lee-slavery-20170820-story.html
George Washington was a patriot and Robert E. Lee was a traitor. Washington led his countrymen in battle to win the independence of the United States, while Lee did his utmost to destroy our "more perfect Union" for the sake of chattel slavery.





 
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 10:05:08 by mariomike »
In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Myth
  • *****
  • 328,695
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 16,575
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2020, 10:05:58 »
Sadly on the left the goal is to destroy historical figures by painting them as slave owners. Washington was a slave owner. It was what was done in the West Indies as well as in the colonies. A war was fought to correct the evils of slavery in our part of the world although slavery persisted in Africa and the middle east.

An interesting little 'myth buster' article on the Civil War:

Myth #2: The Union went to war to end slavery.

Sometimes, Loewen said, the North is mythologized as going to war to free the slaves. That's more bad history, Loewen said: "The North went to war to hold the union together."

https://www.livescience.com/13673-civil-war-anniversary-myths.html

https://www.livescience.com/13673-civil-war-anniversary-myths.html
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline mariomike

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 576,210
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,053
  • Keep 'em rolling.
    • The job.
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2020, 10:18:48 »
Myth #2: The Union went to war to end slavery.

Sometimes, Loewen said, the North is mythologized as going to war to free the slaves. That's more bad history, Loewen said: "The North went to war to hold the union together."

https://www.livescience.com/13673-civil-war-anniversary-myths.html

https://www.livescience.com/13673-civil-war-anniversary-myths.html

Quote
And make no mistake, the very purpose of the Confederacy was to perpetuate and expand slavery. The Confederate Constitution, which Lee took an oath to uphold and defend, prohibited laws "impairing the right of property in negro slaves," meaning that no state could ever abolish slavery even if it wanted to. In all, there were 10 specific references to slaves or slavery in the Confederate Constitution. The 11 state secession conventions focused on Abraham Lincoln's election as a threat to slavery, and declared the need to leave the Union to create a slaveholders' republic.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-george-washington-lee-slavery-20170820-story.html


In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Online FSTO

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 64,690
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,155
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2020, 11:00:13 »
For reference to the discussion,

Well if you want to be technical, both Washington and Lee were rebellious traitors. It's just that Washington was successful and Lee wasn't.

Offline mariomike

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 576,210
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,053
  • Keep 'em rolling.
    • The job.
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2020, 11:16:41 »
Washington was a slave owner.

If comparing the two,

Quote
It is true that Washington was also a slaveholder, but that is where his resemblance to Lee ends. As Matthew Yglesias pointed out in Vox, we revere Washington today because of his many accomplishments on behalf of the nation that had nothing to do with slavery. He was the military leader in the Revolutionary War, he presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and, perhaps most important, he established the precedent of peacefully leaving office at the end of his term.

Lee, in contrast, had virtually no achievements other than the military defense of slavery, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. If Washington is remembered despite his connection to slavery, Lee is remembered only because of it. To be sure, Washington's slaveholding is, and must be, an indelible stain on his reputation. Lee, by contrast, would have no historical reputation at all if he had not committed treason to defend human bondage.

The lives of Washington (1732-1799) and Lee (1807-1870) did not overlap, and they were divided by a crucial inflection point in American attitudes toward slavery.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-george-washington-lee-slavery-20170820-story.html



In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Online FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 314,075
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,796
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2020, 19:09:55 »
Just to jump off on a tangent. I get the above arguments re slavery but to call Washington a patriot and Lee a traitor is glibly glossing over the fact that Washington too was a traitor.

His grandfather was born in England and immigrated to the English colonies. All his offspring, born in Virginia were born as British subjects of the King of England and served as an officer in the British colonial forces.

Much of the Revolution had its genesis in commercial aspects (such as the Declaration of 1763 which reserved much of the West as Indian Lands something which the colonies vehemently disagreed with) rather than personal freedom issues. (Let's face it the period after the revolution was one massive American grab of western lands including its rapacious war with Mexico)

The Civil War was also a commercial enterprise whereby the more industrialized and mercantile North differed sharply with the agrarian South. Think back to Hamilton and Jefferson and the "centrist" Federalists and the "states-rights espousing" Democratic-Republicans.

To call Washington a patriot only works when you factor in the end result of the War of Independence being successful. Had the colonies lost, chances are Washington would have been treated as a traitor.

So much of the decision as to who to call a patriot or a traitor depends on the result of the conflict.

 :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline Rocky Mountains

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 5,035
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 310
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2020, 16:51:59 »
Slavery was but one factor in the Civil War.  It was tied in with the fact that the North treated the South like Trudeau treats Alberta.  Economic imperialism was what the Civil War was about.  One of ways economic imperialism presented itself was opposition to slavery.  There were many others.  Import duties and restraint of trade were others.

As a soldier Lee had no need for slaves.  He purchased none and freed many.  He was not a poster child for slavery.  Grant was a slaveholder of circumstance too.  Something to do with the times.

Offline mariomike

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 576,210
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,053
  • Keep 'em rolling.
    • The job.
Re: Is the myth of Gen Robert E Lee starting to crumble?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2020, 16:59:57 »
It was tied in with the fact that the North treated the South like Trudeau treats Alberta. 

If the Civil War were fought today, the number of deaths would total 6.2 million.
https://www.history.com/news/civil-war-deadlier-than-previously-thought

Hopefully, that won't happen over Alberta.
In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER