There is, of course, a long tradition in my country of sympathy for the South. Our own Confederation – note the similarity in the term used for the union of the provinces of British North America into the Dominion of Canada to that chosen by the Southern states after secession – occurred in 1867, two years after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. The triumph of the North in the American internecine war was the catalyst for the Confederation of Canada. Only five decades previously the United States had failed in an attempt to conquer British North America, they had declared their “Manifest Destiny” to rule all of North America, and now, the side that Britain and its North American provinces had openly sympathized with, had lost. Confederation was considered a prudent move to ward off another invasion by Yankees drunk with their own victory over their Southern brethren …
The Christianity that had formed and shaped the culture of the states below the Mason-Dixon line was a better form of Christianity than that which had formed the culture of the Northeast. Puritanism, a fanatical form of non-conformist, Calvinist, Protestantism that had banned Christmas and Easter, closed theatres, outlawed games and other amusements on Sunday afternoons, and otherwise tried to make life miserable for everyone, during the brief period in which they had been allowed to govern England, was the religion of the Yankee. Its adherence to the orthodox doctrines of Nicene Christianity had atrophied by the nineteenth century, but the ugly Pharisaic and Philistine spirit of Puritanism still lived on and can be detected in every word of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” in which the Yankees announced the imminence of the pouring out of the grapes of God’s wrath on the slaveowning South by their own self-righteous hands. By contrast the South, whose Christianity was more traditional and orthodox, in “Dixie” sang of their love for the land that was their home, and that they were fighting to protect. – Gerry T. Neal
Somewhere around 1951 or so when I was 8 years old, the Woolworth’s five and dime in Stratford, Ontario was selling Civil War caps to the kids. The blue Union cap had a Stars and Stripes flag on the top and the gray Confederate cap had the Stars and Bars. My instant demand to my mother was for one of the Confederate caps which I thereafter wore everywhere until it disintegrated. That instinctive love for the Lost Cause has stuck with me to the present day. It’s interesting how common that experience must be for old-stock English Canadians and other British-descended peoples. – Andrew Fraser.
Read the whole of the original essay and following discussion here.
Originally published on Throne, Altar, Liberty 11 and 14 July, 2015.