The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 636
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil
War South. By Drew Gilpin Faust. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State
University Press, 1988. Pp. 1 lo. Preface, acknowledgments, con-
clusions, notes, index, illustrations. $19.95.)
This slender book is a revised version of the Walter Lynwood Flem-
ing Lectures Faust delivered at Louisiana State University in 1987.
While its brevity precludes definitive answers, Faust, like other Fleming
Lecturers, dares to grasp the big picture, providing bold, thought-
provoking assertions concerning the nature and importance of Con-
Faust begins with a reminder that the study of Confederate ideology
and identity must be divorced from postwar judgments concerning the
legitimacy of a slave-based society's right to autonomous existence, and
that nationalistic movements, far from being spontaneous develop-
ments, are more often conscious creations of the persons involved.
Within this context she presents evidence that Southerners worked to
establish symbols that would inspire and unify their nation. Faust's ex-
ploration of Confederate literature and music is particularly interesting.
But because nationalism by its nature rests upon a consensus of the
majority, from the very first, attempts to formulate Confederate na-
tionalism undercut the primary purpose of the war-the maintenance
of the status quo. The common soldiers on whose shoulders indepen-
dence rested were, Faust contends, evangelical Christians who placed
Confederate nationality in a religious framework. Viewing the war it-
self as evidence of divine disapproval, they saw moral and social change
as prerequisites of victory, particularly relating to two issues: "extor-
tion" (a term for any sort of excess wartime profiteering) and slavery.
Both undercut the planters' traditional hegemony.
The war forced the South to embrace industrialism and a market
economy on a unprecedented scale. Wartime profits brought into the
monied classes persons whose values and social background did not
match the planters', while wartime shortages lessened the planters' abil-
ity to help their poorer neighbors and thereby earn their deference.
Faced with overwhelming evidence of "extortion," some Southerners
advocated price controls, while others embraced a laissez-faire free-
market philosophy. Both threatened the paternalistic patterns upon
which the plantation system depended.
Moreover, while Southerners portrayed Confederate independence
as the fulfillment of a divine mission to uplift and Christianize African-
Americans, criticisms of the abuses of slavery mounted as Confederate
military fortunes sagged. Calls for "reforms" such as the recognition of
slave marriages, greater slave literacy, fewer restrictions on slave preach-
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/714/?rotate=90: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.