The Vintage Mencken - 40-44 Summary & Analysis

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The Calamity of Appomattox:

Mencken imagines the "what if" scenario had it been the North surrendering instead of the South in the Civil War. He believes the two separate countries would be getting along just fine by now. The lamentable thing about the North winning was that it destroyed the South's aristocracy. The aristocracy crumbled, and as a result the South degenerated quickly, strangled by the north economically with its best men either dead or moved to the North, and culturally devolved to the level of the Klu Klux Klan and lynchings. Mencken maintains that the South would have gotten rid of slavery regardless of the war and were already moving in that direction. Had the South won, cities like Richmond and New Orleans would be the envy of Europe. As it stands now, with no aristocracy in the United States, the cities have become...

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This section contains 742 words
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Buy The Vintage Mencken Study Guide
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