The Lost Cause

Description “As casualties mounted, Americans felt an increasingly desperate need for a coherent narrative to justify the horror. Preachers, politicians, and journalists on both sides deployed narratives of triumphant nationhood to meet that need. Still, nationalism by itself was an abstraction; what mattered was how it entered the viscera of the people, how it became part of a narrative that made sense of mass killing” (Lears 17). “The ideology of reunion was millennial nationalism , celebrating blood sacrifice but adding a racial component of Anglo-Saxon supremacy” (Lears 21). “But this reconciliation required intellectual effort and left its adherents with a universe in which the place of both humans and God had changed” (Faust 173).  1) The dying and killing in the Civil War had an enormous effect on all segments of American society, what Lears has called “the long shadow of Appomattox.” How did that dying and killing change life in America during and after the war? What were some of these effects? How did people respond to the carnage and draw some sense out of it? How did soldiers’ views of slavery on both sides change or develop as a result of the slaughter? How did views of religion change? How did the killing and dying affect the Lost Cause and how was it used to support the Lost Cause?

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