The ongoing purge from the South of Confederate symbols also reflects the triumph of Brown’s totalitarian utopianism over novelist-historian Shelby Foote’s “Great Compromise.”
I have used, on a number of occasions and in a number of fora, the term “Great Compromise” or “Great Truce” to describe the situation that existed between the South and the rest of the United States from approximately the time of the Spanish-American War until fairly recently – certainly until the 1960s, and arguably (in somewhat more attenuated form) until 2015, when the current age of persecution of all things traditionally Southern and Confederate began.
But if I ever knew it had been originated by author and historian Shelby Foote, I had long forgotten it. In any case, an excellent article on the subject, and on our current distressing state of affairs, by the Abbeville Institute!
“For those unfamiliar with Foote’s expression, the term Great Compromise here refers to an unspoken understanding which supplemented the formal peace treaty signed by the opposing generals at Appomattox.
“The idea was that Southerners would accept the reality of their defeat and render dutiful service to the Union, especially in the military, even as Northerners agreed to honor Southern heroes and admitted that Southern culture and principles had made valuable contributions to America’s development.
“As a result, former Confederate general Joseph Wheeler served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War, while the Kansas-born President Eisenhower generously praised Robert E. Lee as a man ‘selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God.'”
That we seem to have lost that sense is one of the great tragedies of the contemporary era. As this essay points out,
“A case can be made that American society is becoming increasingly coarse, sordid, and perverse precisely because America’s leaders have in recent years decided to define the South as ‘the Other.’
“The result of defining America in opposition to the South has been the rejection of Southern values like honor, Biblical tradition, forms and courtesy, and deference toward the female sex and its unique role in sustaining civilization.
“Likewise, the large-scale rejection of Southern political ideals – states’ rights and decentralization, rurally-rooted republicanism, modest and constitutionally-restrained government – has played no small part in transforming American politics into what could be best described as a cold civil war.”
Read the whole essay. It’s worth it!