Historians and the history-minded began having persistent Reconstruction flashbacks even before last week, as Democrats discussed how far to take the many possible future investigations and prosecutions of Donald Trump. With the Capitol riots and related events of Jan. 6, those flashbacks got more vivid. Would stronger punishments for the figureheads of secession have worked? I asked Cynthia Nicoletti, a historian at the University of Virginia who wrote a book about why the North failed to bring the leader of the Confederates to trial (Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis), to explain how Southerners who led the rebellion managed to escape punishment and to speculate as to whether that move might have made a difference. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
They staged a musical performance and a chrysanthemum show to raise money for a Confederate statue, according to Tuskegee News accounts. Then, two months after the Tuskegee Institute anniversary, leaders of the white-controlled county government gave the United Daughters the main downtown square to serve as a "park for white people" around a memorial to Macon County's Confederate veterans, city records show.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. You've heard of defund the police. Congressional Democrats are on the march against Confederate symbolism inside the U.S. Capitol and on military bases across the country. They're targeting annual spending bills which fund the government.
In November, 1989, when the Berlin Wall suddenly began to crumble and then fall, much of the world watched in awe. Could it be true that Communism was about to collapse? For seventy years, it had been a system, an ideology, that ordered large swaths of the globe. Now a whole vision of history--a vision meant to maximize freedom, but which had turned, over time, into tyranny--seemed to be leaving the stage. Many people still possess, as I do, little pieces of concrete from the Berlin Wall.
Radio host Dana Loesch criticized the toppling of Confederate statues around America, telling Fox News that "we can't refuse to acknowledge history because those who refuse to acknowledge it, they're doomed to repeat it." Loesch, who appeared on "The Story" Tuesday alongside political consultant Gianno Caldwell, said that local communities should have the final say over whether statues honoring Confederate soldiers should remain standing. "This idea that we're just going to go out and start busting up public property, I think that does set a very dangerous precedent," Loesch told "The Story" host Martha MacCallum. "I think the bigger question is, too, at what point do we draw the line?" The issue of Confederate monuments took center stage last week after deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va.