Sunday, August 28, 2005


Judge Roberts is no Copperhead

A Washington Post article notes that during the Reagan administration John Roberts crossed out “The Civil War” in an article he was editing and replaced it with the phrase “The War Between The States.” They then quote history professor Sam McSeveney from Vanderbilt University* who suggests that Mr. Robert’s use of that phrase might indicate sympathy for the Confederacy. Bah. If Mr. Roberts really was sympathetic to the Southern cause he would have called it “The War of Northern Aggression” like all the other Confederates I know. Personally, though, I prefer the phrase “The Late Unpleasantness.” I really don’t care what Judge Robert’s opinions are on secession, since I doubt the topic is likely to come up again during his lifetime, but I do hope that he is a believer in State’s Rights and an opponent of slavery. I think the odds are good on both counts.

*Even though it’s in Nashville, Vanderbilt may not be the best place to find faculty who understand Southern history.

Update: Done With Mirrors has a good post along similar lines that goes into much more detail on the problems of what to call The War.

Vanderbilt eventually decided NOT to drop the name Confederate from one of its dorms after it discovered that changing the name would cost the university over a million dollars. Apparently, they only care about political correctness when they are spending other people's money.
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