It’s the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and we’re discovering that for some Americans there are still lots of unresolved feelings around the event. A new CNN poll released this morning states that nearly one in four respondents sympathize with the Confederacy over the Union, and when only white Southerners are questioned that number jumps up to 38 percent.
When asked the reason behind the Civil War, whether it was fought over slavery or states’ rights, 52 percent of all Americas said the leaders of the Confederacy seceded to keep slavery legal in their state, but a sizeable 42 percent minority said slavery was not the main reason why those states seceded.
“The results of that question show that there are still racial, political and geographic divisions over the Civil War that still exists a century and a half later,” CNN Polling Director Holland Keating said.
What’s most interesting about the polling is that the sympathy for the Confederacy is actually growing rather than diminishing over time. In the details breakdown of the poll, 22 percent of those over 50 sympathize with the South, a number that grows by three percent when those under 50 are questioned.
As Care2 author Judy Molland wrote earlier today, the Civil War in many cases isn’t just still alive, but is beginning to replay itself in our culture today, even if we don’t have a formal schism declared or guns pulled on each other. The question is can we learn from the past, or will we simply repeat it?
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