Jefferson Davis Analysis Research Paper by Nicky

A historiographical analysis of Jefferson Davis.
# 151282 | 2,391 words | 10 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on May 31, 2012 in History (U.S. Civil War 1860-1865)

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This paper examines how Jefferson Davis graduated from the United States Military Academy and went on to contribute to the development of the early United States in a number of meaningful ways. By the time 1861 rolled around, though, Davis was thrust into a position of political leadership that he was ill-suited for, but which he believed he was obligated to fulfill to the best of his ability. The paper also discusses how Davis was easy enough to dislike based on the characterizations presented by several biographers who insist he was an arrogant and pretentious individual who believed he was better than others. In particular, the paper looks at how hundreds of thousands of American lives were sacrificed at the altar of secession, how someone had to be the scapegoat and how Davis was the natural outlet for the hostility on both sides.

Review and Discussion

From the Paper:

"In an essay by Dirck (2002), the point is made that Davis remained unrepentant for his role in the South's defeat. In this regard, Dirck notes that, "In 1881 Jefferson Davis published The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, his contribution to the growing literature of the Lost Cause. As the Confederacy's ex-president, he was in a unique position to write an insider's account of the short-lived Southern nation" (p. 237). Although the book by Davis had a number of literary and moralistic flaws from Dirck's perspective, the overriding issue that emerged from this book was its self-serving purpose. According to Dirck, "Dry and colorless in its narrative, legalistic and utterly without humor in its style, Rise and Fall was most of all self-righteous. Never once in nearly thirteen hundred pages of text did Davis admit a mistake, either by himself personally or by the Confederacy" (p. 238). Although the Union's track record was certainly not spotless when it came to, for example, the defense of civil liberties during the Civil War, Dirck emphasizes that Davis engaged in many of the same violations but that the former president simply overlooked these transgressions in his book."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brick-Turin, A. S. (2004). Jefferson Davis, Confederate president. The Historian, 66(3), 585- 586.
  • Cooper, W. J. (2003). Jefferson Davis: The essential writings. New York: The Modern Library.
  • Davis, J. (1881, 1971 reprint). The rise and fall of the Confederate government. New York: Da Capo Press.
  • Dirck, B. R. (2002). Posterity's blush: Civil liberties, property rights, and property confiscation in the Confederacy. Civil War History, 48(3), 237-238.
  • Eckenrode, H. J. (1923). Jefferson Davis: President of the South. New York: Macmillan.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Jefferson Davis Analysis (2012, May 31) Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

MLA Format

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