Alle origine delle cause perdute: la lost cause confederata en le sue riletture Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2017

start page

  • 41

end page

  • 60

issue

  • 88

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 0394-4115

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1973-2244

abstract

  • «Lost cause» is the particular version of collective memory of the South of the United States related to its defeat in the Civil War (1861-1865), speci cally post bellum writings and civic activities aimed to the perpetuation of the Confederate memory. With this purpose, Civil War was interpreted as a struggle for the sovereignty of the secessionist states, an alleged pre- war racial harmony was exalted, and the inevitability of defeat face to immensely superior forces was recognized. These millenarian, victimizing and conspiratorial ingredients contributed by the end of the 19th century to the becoming of «lost cause» as the «New South Creed», based on nostalgia and the cult of heroes and fallen. From the beginning of the 20th century, a falsely reconciling version of «lost cause» allowed the consolidation of racism with new segregationist laws. The «lost cause» experienced an ephemeral revitalization during the struggle for Civil Rights, and since the 1980s there has been a neoconfederalism close to groups of Christian identity, that have recovered the «lost cause» in its most belligerent version.

keywords

  • Lost Cause; Confederate; Civil War; Rebellion; Myth of Dixie