[Ansteorra] How the Civil War Applies to Us (LONG)

estarkey at camalott.com estarkey at camalott.com
Tue Jan 29 16:39:18 PST 2008

yeah, what she said.  and i got a D on my first history paper at Northern 
Illinois University on the causes of the Civil War because I held forth on 
the economic struggle and not slavery as the root of the confilict.  Winners 
write history<G>.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martha Elliff" <polera001 at hotmail.com>
To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 3:09 PM
Subject: [Ansteorra] How the Civil War Applies to Us (LONG)

I’ll start out by saying that I am a firm believer in treating everyone 
equally regardless of where they had the fortune, or misfortune, of being 
born. <G> Please try to remember that as you read on.

Yes, the Civil War does have a lesson to be learned and applied to those of 
us within the SCA.  You just have to read all the way down to the bottom to 
find it.  You didn’t think it was going to be easy, did you? ;)

There were a number of fundamental differences in the Northern and Southern 
cultures that did not include slavery.  These differences were a result of 
who colonized those areas, the type of businesses that resulted in those 
societies, and how much outside contact they had.  The Southern society was 
slower paced and agrarian focused.  This societal norm resulted in the 
famous Southern Hospitality.  How often have you seen pineapples used for 
decoration?  They are the symbols used for, and the legacy of, Southern 
Hospitality.  Your family’s untarnished name was your primary concern.  Your 
honor and integrity were your lifeblood.  Those are two very different 
things.  Manners were taught in more than a passing fashion.  They were 
drilled into you from infancy.  Those manners governed everything you did. 
How you walked.  How you ate.  How you talked right down to which name you 
gave first when you introduced two people to each other.  These rules were 
adhered to very strictly among the old moneyed families and they felt it was 
their duty to help those less fortunate.  The Northern states were more 
business oriented and faster paced.  The lines have been blurred some by 
technology but as a general rule, those from northern states still tend to 
talk faster and more bluntly.  The Civil War was the result of the clash 
between these two very separate societies.

How do I know the parts of history that aren’t widely taught in public 
schools?  My great grandmother’s roots were deep in Alabama and the four 
inch thick etiquette book I balanced on _my_ head as a child had been handed 
down for generations.  I am sad that there are not more people of my age 
group with those experiences.  A good deal was gained in that war but oh so 
much was also lost.  There are few vestiges of the Southern cultural 
interaction remaining.  Do I think that we shouldn’t progress?  Are you 
kidding?  If we hadn’t, I wouldn’t be about to get my Master’s.  I wouldn’t 
be able to be a businesswoman, a fighter, an equestrian, a metal and wood 
worker, a dancer, and an artist. <G> By the same token, I think that 
learning the basics of needlework at your mother’s knee is priceless because 
if you can’t learn a little patience there, you never will ;)

I promised I’d tell you how the Civil War related to us.  I’ll admit that 
what I’ve written seems very tangential to our purpose in the SCA.  Note the 
difference between what I have told you and the things that you have often 
heard.  The winner writes history and it’s going to be a little biased 
regardless of all efforts made to be impartial.  When we look back at the 
research of the medieval times, we need to remember that the winners of each 
struggle wrote the descriptions of the losers and that there is precious 
little about them that we can accept as absolute and unchallengeable fact.
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