How America's Civil War Defines the U.S. South, and Perhaps One Day, Europe
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."
With Mo and Addie, I spoke of 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.
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"
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.
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
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.'
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.
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.
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.
And When I asked if the South has its own political
identity, he replied:
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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."
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