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North Against South: Could this happen in Europe?

 

 

Rue 89, France

How America's Civil War Defines the U.S. South, and Perhaps One Day, Europe

 

"Imagine that France, for example, were to secede. The European Union would assimilate it by force. There would no longer be truly separate countries; there would just be the European Union as a country in its own right. This is something like how it could turn out for you. And language is unlikely to prevent this. In the U.S. at first, there were the languages of the migrants, and then English was imposed."

 

-- Mo, a citizen of the American South

 

By Damien Spleeters

 

Translated By Mary Kenney

 

September 28, 2010

 

France - Rue 89 - Original Article (French)

I spoke with Mo and Addie about the South and its identity, forged by the War of Secession, the American Civil War of 1861-1865. "The South," as it is simply called here.

 

In general, this refers to the southeastern states of the USA: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

 

"Since independence," begins Mo, "it's the only war ever fought inside the country. It left a deep scar. You still have people here with the old flag of the South - because the South had its own flag, the rebel flag"

 

You belonged to a state and you fought for that state. The state had its own army. And then there was the American government, the federal government. It's a bit like Europe is now.

 

Eventually, the federal government became more and more powerful and at a certain point, the Southern states decided they didn't like having the central government imposing decisions, so they left the union. Secession. And the federal government said: "No - you can't leave." The South really didn't appreciate that.

 

They felt very American. But they were also Southerners. Since the Civil War, the federal government has continued to strengthen. Imagine that some countries want to leave the European Union and the rest of the E.U. refuses and says: "We're going to invade you and assimilate you.'

 

Imagine that France, for example, were to secede. The Union would assimilate it by force. There would no longer be truly separate countries; there would just be the European Union as a country in its own right.

 

This is something like how it could turn out for you. And language is unlikely to prevent this process. In the U.S. at first, there were the languages of all the migrants, and then English was imposed.

 

I think the European Union is engaged in the same process as the United States. It's just a matter of time. You'd be surprised.

 

When I asked if the South has its own political identity, he replied:

 

At the time of the Civil War, the South was Democratic. The Republicans were the ones who freed the slaves. Many of the values that defined the two parties have since changed, of course.

 

Today, we can say that Republicans are more socially conservative and economically liberal. For the Democrats, it's quite the opposite. They're more open socially. Abortion, alcohol, religion. But they want stricter economic controls."

 

There will soon be elections [the midterms], and he says, "it'll be very interesting."

 

People don't really know what they want. They elect someone, Democrat or Republican, and then if they aren't happy, they elect someone from the other party. And if they still aren't satisfied, they return to the first.

 

There are regions where we always tend to vote for the same party. The South, for example, generally votes for Republicans - sometimes for a Democrat if he comes from the South. But a Southern Democrat, that's a rarity.

 

Perhaps Republicans won't control the whole Congress after the next election, but I think many Democrats will lose their seats. And if things continue this way, I don't think Obama will be reelected.

Posted by WORLDMEETS.US

 

Despite the fact that he was so popular at the beginning, I would say that things aren't looking bright for him in the next presidential election. Things are underway to take things in another direction.

 

People generally tend to blame the president for everything, even if it's not his fault. The problem that Southern people have with Obama is that he promised change and people were expecting to see that change right away, because that is how he presented it. People haven't yet felt it, haven't yet seen it."

 

CLICK HERE FOR FRENCH VERSION

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US October 9, 2:02am]

 







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