The American Revolution never ended.
The War Between the States was a true extension of the American Revolution, not a second revolution, and certainly not a Civil War.
Most do not think this way. Most will not either read written history, or write history this way.
Yankees and Southerners, for instance, will take the same historical event, or different sources about a specific event, and spin very different conclusions in their honest (speaking for myself, at least) pursuit of an objective truth.
What someone considers to be true is based, and can only ever be based, on the sum total of his/her life experiences. This is individual by definition. I thought otherwise when I decided to major in History at 18 or 19 years old, oh, it seems about a hundred years ago now. I thought with enough research, I could come to a more complete understanding of an issue of dispute in History, and help to convince others to think another way (i.e. the way I thought about a subject). Now, almost 30 years later, I know that historical study and publishing is only ever a polemic exercise. It just seems extreme or reasonable by how the author presents the material. The end result is bias.
The historian is never able to be truly objective, only objective insofar as his/her individual life experience will dictate--they are being "true" and seeking "truth", but only within their own mind. Each historian brings a specific agenda and perspective when they open up the first source to research a topic. The volume of information on certain subjects is too vast or sometimes too sparse to form a clear sense of the events as a whole, or the thought processes of the participants.
As Mises states below, the historian does not report facts, only facts that that historian considers relevant. One might argue that the most reasonable historians start a project with no preconceived notions, brings as much balance to the subject as his time dictates, and something approaching "truth" of an historical event will be the result. I would argue that if you analyze that historian's life experiences and know his basic beliefs before the project begins, you might be able to predict how that one person will conclude his research--even if that person is convinced that they had no preconceived notions at the outset.
|My bias: Original intent favors the Confederate stance on secession and the role of the Federal government as very limited in our lives.|
People who favor the Union perspectives, and version of the events of the War Between the States will therefore never find much, if any, common ground with the likes of Thomas DiLorenzo or other historians who shine favorable light upon the Confederacy. I think people who respond to anti Confederate rants on other blogs and newspaper articles have experienced the reality of this, but may be didn't think of it in these particular terms:
Human Action, Ludwig Von Mises, 1949
Part I., Chap. 2, Sect. 7:
History is not an intellectual reproduction, but a condensed representation of the past in conceptual terms. The historian does not simply let the events speak for themselves. He arranges them from the aspect of the ideas underlying the formation of the general notions he uses in their presentation. He does not report facts as they happened, but only relevant facts. He does not approach the documents without presuppositions, but equipped with the whole apparatus of his age's scientific knowledge, that is, with all the teachings of contemporary logic, mathematics, praxeology, and natural science.
It is obvious that the historian must not be biased by any prejudices and party tenets. Those writers who consider historical events as an arsenal of weapons for the conduct of their party feuds are not historians but propagandists and apologists. They are not eager to acquire knowledge but to justify the program of their parties. [Mea culpa!] They are fighting for the dogmas of a metaphysical, religious, national, political, or social doctrine. They usurp the name of history for their writings as a blind in order to deceive the credulous. A historian must first of all aim at cognition. He must free himself from any partiality. He must in this sense be neutral with regard to any value judgments.
This postulate of Wertfreiheit [value or bias free] can easily be satisfied in the field of the aprioristic science—logic, mathematics, and praxeology—and in the field of the experimental natural sciences. It is logically not difficult to draw a sharp line between a scientific, unbiased treatment of these disciplines and a treatment distorted by superstition, preconceived ideas, and passion. It is much more difficult to comply with the requirement of valuational neutrality in history. For the subject matter of history, the concrete accidental and environmental content of human action, is value judgments and their projection into the reality of change. At every step of his activities the historian is concerned with value judgments. The value judgments of the men whose actions he reports are the substratum of his investigations.
The import of this subject in our day is clear to me:
We are in an ongoing Constitutional (and possibly existential) crisis in this country that parallels, or is identical to, the fight between the Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians.
This is the same Constitutional fight (morality of slavery arguments set aside as given) as between the Confederacy and the Union,
The same fight as the New England States and the governments of Jefferson and Madison in the years of the War of 1812,
The same fight as the collectivists/socialists and the laissez faire classical Liberals of the 19th Century,
The same fight as the Statists/Progressives and the Old Right of the Republican Party (which includes to some extent, the supporters of Goldwater, Reagan, the Congressional elections of 1994, the Tea Party, and supporters of Ron Paul),
and our fight--the Constitutional Conservatives against the end game of Crony Capitalist Statist Power--a moribund but huge Empire.
Ours is the fight to free the small units of government--State, town, family, and self, from the large far-away faceless power who has no connection or interest to local events or to you.
It is the fight between the producer of wealth and the confiscator of wealth.
It is a fight between the thief and the owner of private property.
It is a fight between those that say I own my own life, and those that say the purpose of your life is to serve others.
It is ultimately the fight to be left alone to literally mind one's own business.
The American Revolution never ended; it's just had a few cease fires...