Over One Third Of White Southerners Sympathize With the Confederacy Over The Union

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?

Related Stories:

On This Day, 1861 – Confederacy Attacks Fort Sumter, Civil War Begins

Sesquicentennial Of The American Civil War – But Is It Still With Us?

Photo By Harper's Weekly (Library of Congress Prints & Photos Online Catalog) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

surprised number wasn't higher i guess some just wouldn't admit it.

Barbara S.

It wasn't just Tariffs, it was also States' Rights. Uncle Tom's Cabin simply became the best vehicle to consolidate all of the Northern States enough to go into a war that most of them thought would last 4-6 hours. There were even picnics being held on the hillsides by families, at the time the first shots were fired, because no one believed either side was serious enough to actually KILL someone over this. When the fighting began, and men began dying, the picnickers ran for their lives.

I live with a Southern person who has done a great deal of research into the War Between the States, in the past 50 years. It's truly amazing how much information is available that's never taught in the North (at least I never learned of it!), and would behoove all of us to read in order to have a proper understanding of why it happened. By the way... the North kept their slaves, when the war was over. Lincoln only freed the slaves in the District of Columbia - everyone else in the North kept their slaves for several years.

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y6 years ago

Surprised the percentage isn't higher.

Krystyna H.
Krystyna H6 years ago

Does that mean the South wants to return to an agricultural economy and throw out capitalism? That was one of the issues. Southerners liked their plantation way of life and did not want to change to a capitalist economy. Northern capitalists lusted after Southern resources they could use to make their products. But Southerners thought Northern manufacturing plants were foul and not a decent way to make a living, and they did everything possible to keep the factories and manufacturing plants out of their borders.

Chad Mccrory
Chad Mccrory6 years ago

I sympathize with the confederacy mainly because the south was fighting against Tariffs that hurt the cotton business, not fighting to preserve slavery. Lincoln had said the south could preserve slavery as long as they stayed in the Union. Though the South still rejected it. What is this about the South being third world? If you want to see third world, then I suggest you check out northern cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Bronx in New York and others.

Rie Rie T.
Ria T6 years ago

Sound Mind,
You got that right.
Always remember when I was speechless.
Breaks my heart.

lyn L.
l L6 years ago

Some people don't want the truth spoken. They feel offended and call it attacking them. They are not being realistic. To be mistreated hurts. To be cheated out of life, is unfair. For families to be broken up or see daddy killed and mommy raped and kids sold makes people wonder where is God? Why did he allow this to Happen?. Its mankind that is the problem and mankind has a responsibilty to run this planet in righteousness and in understanding what it means to love thyself and they neighbor. But we have it twisted. I can see here from many, that you still won't get it. You think it is alright to allow this behavior to continue and thrive, by staying in denial and rightfulness. You have a right to behave like this. Then who puts a stop to it?

lyn L.
l L6 years ago

People love their own families and ya better not mess with them. Unborn activist kill to protect the unborn or new borns but why do we downplay the horrors of the south as it was merely this or that? It's about a perceived right to bully another human, rape helpless women, men,or children if the owners saw fit and yes kill them for the thou shall not kill crowd. To merely dismiss these legalized horrors cause it neither affected you or yours is damning and an open door to say go ahead do it ago. It's like we value some and play sport with the others. What real God fearing man would keep themselves in denial about this matter. I have witnessed these behaviors in people who know they are untouchables and want to be untouchables again. I saw pictures blacks hung on a tree for sport for death bells. I read and saw anyone who stood up for right beat down and destroyed. Poor whites are miss treated but the subject matter is how much evil; blacks were treated over an ideology. Nothing anyone can say can diminish or downplay the logical complaint. It was wrong, it was inhumane and we should not go down this rabbit hole to give warranty to deadly hatreds but call a spade a spade.And since that time nothing has changed but the methodology of delivering the fatal blow to a culture that is despised by these supporters of that ideology. Many from most cultures understand what it means to love.Yet that hateful group is hardhearted and simply refuse to change. Some people don't want the --

Past Member
Past Member 6 years ago

Many here have eloquently expressed the real reasons and issues behind the Civil War, but I am shocked by the bigotry and cruel prejudice expressed by some of the Yankees in this thread. (Yes, some of the Southerners expressed it too; that just surprised me less, because anyone over about 30 suffered from the poor schools and other social poverty issues which lasted well over 100 years during the "punishment" of the South, and yes, there is resentment).
The new point I want to make is to suggest you have a look at Scotland and, especially, Wales: nations which have taken 600 years to gain a level of independence from the conquering English, who wanted "one union". Should they have remained conquered lands? It should be the right of a people to determine their own government, not to be subject to a conquering people.
(Still, the resulting ignorance made the South uninhabitable until quite recently, and I moved to England 25 years ago. Such are the vaguaries of real life.)

William Y.
William Y6 years ago

Like I said in another thread, to some people it is still 1861. ^¿o