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"The new Civil War death toll numbers (up to 850,000 deaths) have stirred the pot afresh. In reporting the new statistics, the Times, for example, took an unexpected pot shot at veteran historian James M. McPherson, one among countless scholars who have long accepted the earlier 620,000 number. The article called out the dean of the field for using that number “without citing the source in Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer-winning 1988 history of the war.” The fact that no one else has ever “sourced” the figures did not seem to matter in the new rush to up the gruesome ante..

"McPherson, in turn, had a bone to pick with yet another great historian, Mark E. Neely, who once convincingly argued that the Civil War was not a total war in the 20th-century sense. McPherson com­mented that the revised numbers suggest that Neely was wrong after all—for what else but a total war could produce such staggering casualty figures?"
Civil War Casualties | History Net: Where History Comes Alive – World & US History Online | From the World's Largest History M
i recently made a toungue in cheeky comparison between ISIL and the 19th Century CSA.  Our victory over racism, ignorance, aristocracy, and sussession was short lived, to say the least.  I would argue that the United States today is much more like the South of 1860 than it is like the Union.  In this "free" State of Idaho i feel surrounded by symbols and attitudes of the antebellum South: in religion, politics, idiology.  War. and even less, victory in war does not change the basic structure or culture of societies.  Ten years after a revolution, the forces and systems that prevailed before the revolution are back in the saddle.  This was as true for the United States in 1800 as it was for Albania in the 1920s.

Ideas and ways of life do change, slowly and by an evolutionary process (or much too rapidly through technological change).  War and revolution simply add another layer of violence atop the realm of sorrow that already exists withou substantially changing  anything.  The worser angels or the nature of the Old South, and the "Old North" seem to have combined to create our current culture.

Calls to "action" are a hallmark of modern society.  Wisdom says wait.  There are ways of solving problems without getting everybody killed in the process.



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