A Refusal to Compromise? Civil War Historians Beg to Differ – The New York Times – Still trying to normalize slavery and anti-Americanism?

After Reconstruction was rolled back and Jim Crow segregation instituted in the South, a growing number of white Americans depicted the Civil War as a tragic family disagreement, rather than a battle over principle.In 1913, veterans from both sides gathered at Gettysburg for a “Great Reunion,” where President Woodrow Wilson gave an address that included no reference to slavery or secession. The era also saw a surge in the construction of Confederate monuments, including many outside the former Confederacy.Mr. Blight, the author of “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory,” said that Mr. Kelly’s remarks were themselves part of this “reconciliationist” tradition.“It reflects a very old set of ideas about the meaning of the Civil War,” Mr. Blight said. “Everybody was right, and nobody was wrong. Everybody was noble, everyone fought for their conscience, you don’t have to worry anymore about what they fought for.”“It takes all responsibility away,” he said. “That’s your compromise.”