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"The Difference of Race": Antebellum Race Mythology and the Development of Southern Nationalism

"The Difference of Race": Antebellum Race Mythology and the Development of Southern Nationalism “The Difference of Race”: Antebellum Race Mythology and the Development of Southern Nationalism by Ritchie Watson In January of 1860, less than one month after John Brown’s ex- ecution and less than a year before the fateful election of Abraham Lin- coln, the influential New Orleans periodical, De Bow’s Review, presented for the edification of its readers an article entitled “ The Basis of North- ern Hostility to the South.” The author advanced a provocative thesis that would explain, he contended, the widening chasm of opinion and sentiment between the northern and southern states. The article argued that the antagonism between northerners and southerners, which had most recently and dramatically manifested itself in the trial and execution of John Brown, constituted more than a mere disagreement over slavery. Indeed, the writer maintained, Yankees would remain eternally hostile to the South, even if they could be brought to agree with southerners on the issue of slavery, for the dispute between North and South was not merely political and economic in nature. It also reflected a deep cultural and racial division that had originated over two hundred years ago in England in the antagonism between Puritan and Cavalier. “ The cavaliers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

"The Difference of Race": Antebellum Race Mythology and the Development of Southern Nationalism

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 35 (1) – Mar 6, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

“The Difference of Race”: Antebellum Race Mythology and the Development of Southern Nationalism by Ritchie Watson In January of 1860, less than one month after John Brown’s ex- ecution and less than a year before the fateful election of Abraham Lin- coln, the influential New Orleans periodical, De Bow’s Review, presented for the edification of its readers an article entitled “ The Basis of North- ern Hostility to the South.” The author advanced a provocative thesis that would explain, he contended, the widening chasm of opinion and sentiment between the northern and southern states. The article argued that the antagonism between northerners and southerners, which had most recently and dramatically manifested itself in the trial and execution of John Brown, constituted more than a mere disagreement over slavery. Indeed, the writer maintained, Yankees would remain eternally hostile to the South, even if they could be brought to agree with southerners on the issue of slavery, for the dispute between North and South was not merely political and economic in nature. It also reflected a deep cultural and racial division that had originated over two hundred years ago in England in the antagonism between Puritan and Cavalier. “ The cavaliers

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 6, 2003

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