By BJ Bjornson
It has been mentioned already in a few places, but if you haven�t had the chance to read Ta-Nehisi Coates� article in the Atlantic on the U.S. Civil War, you�re missing out on an excellent read. A short quote:
In April 1865, the United States was faced with a discomfiting reality: it had seen 2 percent of its population destroyed because a section of its citizenry would countenance anything to protect, and expand, the right to own other people. The mass bloodletting shocked the senses. At the war�s start, Senator James Chesnut Jr. of South Carolina, believing that casualties would be minimal, claimed he would drink all the blood shed in the coming disturbance. Five years later, 620,000 Americans were dead. But the fact that such carnage had been wreaked for a cause that Ulys�ses S. Grant called �one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse� invited the damnation of history. Honor is salvageable from a military defeat; much less so from an ideological defeat, and especially one so duly earned in defense of slavery in a country premised on liberty.
Read the whole thing, it�s well worth it.