50 to 80 million Americans are descendents of a Confederate soldier!
150 years after the War for Southern Secession, a conservative estimate would say 1 in 6 Americans are southern by blood!
by Mark Vogl
Friday, June 17, 2011
The numbers are stunning, but the formula to get them is pretty conservative.
To begin with, the estimate assumes 500,000 as the number of Confederate veterans who had children. This reflects half of the actual number of Southerners who served, close to one million. And though 300,000 died during the war, many could have had sizable famlies before the shots at Ft. Sumter were fired. Then one must estimate the number of children he had. This estimate is six in the first post veteran generation; from here to the next generation, and so on. We are presently in the sixth generation after the war. But, if you only use five generations and the numbers of children per generation as follows, six x five x four x four you come up with eighty million! Again, these numbers are based on half the number of men who fought for the south, and one generation shy of what is living. So the estimate is fairly conservative.
80 million Americans could be descendants of Confederate soldiers who fought for the South in the great war. If just one of your grandparents was born in the South the odds are in your favor that you are kin to a Confederate soldier!
Because of historical revisionism, the great tragedy of slavery, and the mobility of the American public interest in ancestry back to the time of the American war has faded somewhat. The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a heritage organization composed of lineal and collateral descendants of Confederate Veterans is the largest Southern heritage organization with about thirty thousand members. The comparable Union organization is only about one fifth the size!
But with the Sesquicentennial Anniversary interest is rising. And, as more people begin to study why the nation divided they may be stunned by the Southern accuracy in predicting the problems of America today. A study of the Confederate Constitution is worth the time. Why? Because the Confederate Constitution is substantially different in many ways. For example, in the Preamble the Southern nation called for the protection and guidance of Almighty God. Thus the Confederates included God at the table of governance. This combined with a much less powerful central government all but eliminates the chance of a Roe v. Wade decision in the South, and thus abortion would be illegal in the Southern nation. But other parts of the Southern Constitution prohibit bail outs for industry, and earmarks for Congressmen. And lastly, and most importantly, the Confederacy was caused by the third series of secession between the sovereign states and a higher government. The first secession came when the colonies left the British Empire. The second secession came when the original thirteen states individually withdrew from the Articles of Confederation to form the United States under the Constitution. And the third secession occurred when Southern states and territories formed the Confederacy. Secession would have been a recognized political act in a Southern nation, and thus would have placed a great restraint on over reach by the central government.
The issue of slavery has been an intellectual black hole in American schools when discussing the Causes of Secession. A study of early American politics and political theory, and the events which led to secession, combined with the Confederate Constitution point to many reasons for secession, not the least of which was a commitment to the original compact known as the Constitution. Limited government, the sovereignty of the states, and individual liberty were all fundamental to the Southern view of the Constitution. An original view of the government, where government did not control and redistribute wealth, but rather sat a neutral arbiter, concerned with fairness and providing opportunity to anyone willing to take it. And a governemnt where God was not only recognized but included in the decision making process. Known as the Bible Belt, the South is still committed to the Christian God.
The Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the War for Southern Independence provides an opportunity to look an alternative form of American democracy, one where the states retained the power position, the central government formed for defense and interstate commerce purposes. And since so large a segment of the American population today are related to the men who served under General Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the other heroic warriors of the South it might be time to take a look at what they were fighting for, and not be blinded by the one issue which certainly was a black mark for the Europeans and northerners who brought the slaves to America, and sold them to the South, and then purchased the products produced on Sothern plantations. There is enough fault for all when discussing slavery, but the there are other issues which could help us find our way to the future.
©2011 Mark Vogl