Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Conveniently, the Response to Both is "We Won"

Today marks a couple of rather different milestones. Fifty years ago today Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth, a perceived Soviet victory in the Cold War. One hundred years prior to that man shot 'round the world, a less cutting-edge (but for its time impressive) ballistics demonstration was initiated against Fort Sumter, resulting in victory for those endorsing the right to buy and sell other human beings. We know how well that turned out, don't we.

It's late and I am negotiating the terms of surrender to tree pollen, but I did not want to let the double anniversary pass without snide comment.


jjv said...

Little known fact, the defender of Fort Sumter was a Kentucky slave owner. Given the effect on the North this was easily the most costly victory since Pyrrus.

Anonymous said...

Widely known fact but conviniently forgotten, the war wasn't about slavery until it was politically expidient.

Dave P.

JCC said...

If you read the actual secession documents passed by the Southern States attempting to leave the Union, it's very clear that the was was about slavery. South Carolina, Mississippi, etc - they knew what the war was about.

Was the North fighting to free the slaves? Nope. They were fighting to defend the Union (short for "the United States of America"). But the reason the Union was threatened? The Southern states seceded to defend the right to own slaves. It wasn't even States' Rights, because among the things that they objected to was the actions of non-slave states to impede slavery (slavery transit, blocking the recovery of runaway slaves, etc).

Dave S. said...

JCC has written the next blog post for me, even after I drafted mine. Stand by for battlefield promotion!