The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students learn Civil War has more than two sides to story

By Aubrie Graham/reporter

The Civil War was not a war between the North and the South, contrary to what many students were taught, a NE history instructor said April 9.

“It was actually between the North, South and the Confederate states,” Andy Hollinger said during 150 Years After: The Enduring Legacy. “Four hundred Yankee forces were from the South.”

This Civil War-era painting showed Yankee volunteers marching into battle in the South. Photo courtesy Library of Congress
This Civil War-era painting showed Yankee volunteers marching into battle in the South.
Photo courtesy Library of Congress

Economic downfall began. Before the war, the South was richer than the North. The South’s largest asset — 55 percent — was in slaves. Cotton accounted for 75 percent of the world supply. The top 1 percent of the South controlled 25 percent of Southern wealth, and 30 percent of Southern whites had nothing, Hollinger said. The war wiped out cotton-retained earnings and the South’s asset base.

“When Lincoln took slaves away, the South’s wealth was gone,” he said

Cotton prices lowered tremendously. After the war, the South was dirt poor.

However, between 1865, when Lee surrendered his army, and 1890, a “new market” was born, Hollinger said.

“There was an opportunity for great investment in the world,” he said.

Railroad companies faced a massive infrastructure opportunity. Also, the cattle industry boomed between 1867 and 1876.

The “new South” was born to “out-Yankee the Yankees,” Hollinger said. The goal was to keep a low tax rate.

“We hate taxes,” he said. “Americans have thought this way since the 1860s.”

At this time, competitive racial labor groups kept costs low but provided a basis for racial friction spawning Jim Crow political and social legalism in the 1890s, Hollinger said.

Modern warfare was born. The Civil War radically accelerated Western military development and practices, Hollinger said. Large-scale armies were dependent on fast-moving, long-range logistics, centrally coordinated through real-time, high-speed communications over hundreds and thousands of miles using telegraph and railroads, Hollinger said.

The object of the military force is to destroy the supportive society and infrastructure maintaining the opposing military force.

Today’s middle class was formed, Hollinger said. The North’s banking innovations expanded the ability to fund business growth. This led to a rise in the size of the American urban middle class allowing the “knowledge worker” to get ahead.

“We started spending money on public education,” he said. “We invented the middle class. We also invented the national bank, thanks to the middle class.”

In the home, child-centered families devoted resources for children’s success. Women were the center of the family life, and urban living developed in self-segregated neighborhoods of people dividing themselves on ethnic, education and economic strata.

“The idea was not to transfer skills to children,” he said. “It was to build character.”

National companies began to rise using their experience in mass production and long-range logistics to become major players in the middle-class consumer market defeating regional players.

Among those were Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Pillsbury and the National Biscuit Company.

“Did the Southerners quit easily?” he said. “Hell, no, they didn’t.”

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