The Old South Shall Rise Again?

Yesterday I told you about my latest class at McClanahan Academy, Radical Republicans, and how it was essential that you understand that group of men.

Why? Because so many modern “conservatives” simply regurgitate what these leftists had to say about the War, the South, and American society.

Charles Sumner, for example, wanted to remake the United States in the image of New England. He believed that nothing good came from the South, that South Carolina was an inferior and evil place, and that if Massachusetts could lead the way, America would become the shining city upon a hill.

The Radicals believed that in order for America to survive, the South had to be purged from society. And by purged, they literally meant it.

“Reconstruction” had real meaning. The South had to be remade politically, socially, and economically. It could not just resume its place in the American federation. That federation no longer existed. The new nation required unquestioned obedience to the way the Radicals interpreted the Constitution and formed American society.

This is why James Innes Randolph wrote “Oh, I’m A Good Ol’ Rebel.”

Radicals did not want to accept that level of defiance. They were overruled by the majority of the American public in the years after the War, particularly with the end of military Reconstruction in the 1870s.

But the Radicals found new life in the modern “conservative” movement of the 1970s. Harry Jaffa’s insistence that equality be classified as “conservative” blasted traditional American conservative positions.

And every Jaffaite since has been told that the South tradition is anathema to real American conservatism.

Take for instance our old friend Victor Davis Hanson, a man who hasn’t yet found an antebellum Southern institution he can’t denounce as being anti-American, or at the very least, anti-conservative.

In a recent piece at the New Criterion, Hanson proves once again that he has no clue about the South, American conservatism, or American history in general.

You see, Hanson argues that everything bad about the modern progressive Democrats is based on the Southern tradition: economics, labor, government, law, race.

If only they had good Radical Republican New England values, everything would be fine.

But Hanson seems to forget–or perhaps he never knew–that “Jim Crow” was born in New England.

Or that New England was the first section to discuss secession. Or that New England originally favored free trade only to drop it when tariffs were seen as the path forward to enrich their ruling class.

I could go on, and I will as I cover his piece in two separate episodes of The Brion McClanahan Show this week.

The first, episode 695, is already up.

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