After the Civil War, Confederate supporters wanted to make sense of the great toll and violence of the war and rebuild the old South by telling a false story about the causes of the war. So, they invented a story that justified the war, known as the Lost Cause.
Promoters of the Lost Cause myth convinced the public that:
The term Lost Cause is believed to have first appeared in print in 1866 when Richmond journalist, Edward Pollard, published The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates. Since then, these ideas spread through educational textbooks, Confederate monuments and other sources of media that were available everywhere.
Primary sources surrounding the war make it clear: the Lost Cause ideas are a lie. Still, this myth became, and remains, dominant across the nation – not just in the South – for generations.
Sculpting History at the Valentine Studio: Art, Power, and The ‘Lost Cause’ American Myth explores how Edward Valentine, leaders in Richmond and others around the country contributed to this national effort to reframe the reality of the Civil War and uncovers stories of resistance to the Lost Cause and its legacy.
Learn more about the Lost Cause and Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia.
|Authors||Valentine Museum Staff|
|Work Title||The Lost Cause Myth: How the South Flipped the American Civil War Story|
|Published||October 31, 2023|
|Updated||November 17, 2023|
|Copyright||© 2023 The Valentine Museum|