Southerners have a double history in that they have been Americans and Southerners at war with Americans. They have both a revolutionary and constitutional history, and a confederate history. In the post‐Reconstruction South, speakers used those histories rhetorically in order to guide Southern development. John Hampden Chamberlayne illustrates one approach in his speech Public Spirit. He employed the rhetoric of monumental history, using revolutionary and constitutional history as a model for the South’s future, and the rhetoric of critical history as a means of disassociating the South from its confederate history. The case demonstrates the risks inherent in the rhetoric of critical history.
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