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If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory… Jefferson Davis


Writing about the Articles of Confederation John Jay observed, In short, they may consult, and deliberate, and recommend, and make requisitions, and they who please may regard them., and a reading of the Confederate States of America’s Constitution and the daily observation of its operations as a government reveals exactly the same flaws. What had become apparent to several generations of statesmen philosophers was the irresistible trend towards the centralization of power in the rapidly developing industrial north and its unwillingness to consider the needs of the agrarian South. An ill prepared South that never gathered the political cohesion necessary to prosecute the war effectively had essentially lost before the first shot was fired.


Normally Davis does an excellent job of pointing out that the victor in a contest of arms is not necessarily right. No legitimate constitutional scholar could argue that the South did not have the right to secede, that Lincoln did not start and prosecute the war by extra-constitutional means, or that the reunification of the nation by altering the Constitution with the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments – at the point of a bayonet – did not forever destroy the plan of the founders. Unfortunately in this case Davis is blinded by the myriad failures of the South into not pointing to those fundamental truths. Like Lee he may have grown weary of the battle but theconsequences of surrender are horrible to contemplate.


Look away!: a history of the Confederate States of America New York: Free Press, c 2002 William C. Davis Confederate States of America History Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xi, 484 p., [16] p. of plates: ill.; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 468-478) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Drawing on decades of writing and research among an unprecedented number of archives, ranging from the 800-odd newspapers in operation during the war to the personal writings of more than 100 leaders and common citizens, Davis reveals the Confederacy through the words of the Confederates themselves.

Look Away! recounts all the epic sagas — as well as those little-known and long-forgotten — about a desperate government that socialized the salt industry, rangers and marauders who preyed on their fellow Confederates, and the systematic breakdown of law and order in some states. A dramatic, definitive account of one of our nation’s most searing episodes, Look Away! shows us a South divided against itself, unable to stand.



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