The Collapse of the Confederacy (Southern Classics (Univ of South Carolina)) (Paperback)
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In 1937, in his groundbreaking The Collapse of the Confederacy, the African American historian Charles H. Wesley (1891-1987) took a bold step in rewriting the history of the Confederate South by asserting that the new nation failed because of underlying internal and social factors. Looking beyond military events to explain the Confederacy's demise, Wesley challenged conventional interpretations and argued that, by 1865, the supposedly unified South had "lost its will to fight." Though neglected today by scholars and students of the Civil War, Wesley ranked as one of the leading African American historians, educational administrators, and public speakers of the first half of the twentieth century. This edition of Wesley's The Collapse of the Confederacy includes a new introduction by John David Smith that examines Wesley's interpretation of Confederate defeat, contextualizes it within contemporary writings, and analyzes its significance for modern scholarship on the experiences of African Americans in the Civil War.