Essay: The Neo-Confederate Movement

Proponents of neo-Confederacy typically look to the antebellum South and the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.) for lessons on leadership, values, morality and behavior. The C.S.A., which existed during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865, and its leaders Jefferson Davis, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest, are venerated as working to uphold the U.S. Constitution by preventing Abraham Lincoln’s federal government from maliciously revising its provisions. Neo-Confederacy thus promotes a perspective that claims that the Civil War, often termed the War of Northern Aggression, was an unconstitutional invasion of southern states by aggressor Union forces. In this interpretation, President Lincoln is understood to be a war criminal and key amendments to the U.S. Constitution, most pertinently the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clauses, are illegal and their implementation is therefore illegitimate.

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