Abbeville Institute

19 12 2009

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting story about American academics who are attempting to rehabilitate the reputation of the Southern secessionists. A group of “neo-Confederate” academics who believe that the South’s cause in the Civil War was justified have established an organization called the Abbeville Institute.

The Abbeville Institute claims that its members study the attempted secession of the slave states so as to better understand secessionist movements in the modern world. However, a quick glance at the titles of papers delivered at its conferences suggests that it is actually a very parochial body concerned only with the American Civil War. There are very few papers of a seriously comparative nature and little discussion of secessionist movements in other countries (e.g., Canada). Moreover, the organization appears to ignore the more recentĀ  secessionist movements in Alaska and Hawaii.