The South is morally superior. It always has been and, looks like, likely will be. It all started when the Yankees showed up in 1620 to be the second English-speaking people here. The pilgrims were absolutist, stiff-necked, uncompromising, dissenting Puritans. They were different from the start. They mostly came from East Anglia and the ancient Danelaw. The Puritan’s religion, ideas, attitude, and accent were different from Virginia from day one. Virginia, where America and the South began, was more about individual rights and ‘live and let live’. The South had a better culture and way of life.

Two separate sub-cultures became the first four basic American cultures – Puritan New England, Quaker and Mennonite Mid-Atlantic, Anglican Tidewater, and Presbyterian, Scot-Irish Frontier. For almost 250 years the cultures evolved broadly into the regional ‘South’ and the ‘North’. Neither region was homogeneous. Diversity abounded, but core cultures created two separate regions. And the South was the moral master with greater freedoms and opportunities.

The year Yankeedom just began in the North was a year after representative democracy started in the South – in a church.

Also, it was a year after slavery started in the English-speaking colonies. Yet, the moral stain of slavery went north fast. The Yankee slave ships made a lot of money, as Yankee banks financed more slavery, and, later, Yankee factories got rich using slave-produced cotton and other raw materials. There were fewer slaves in the North because of climate and agriculture, not from any moral sense of right and wrong. The sin of slavery was all-American.

New towns were planned in New England with careful care that no one settler got more than another. In the South, if you worked hard you could buy more land and provide for your family with wealth a commoner could never get back in England.

By the time of the Revolution, the regions had grown apart independently enough, for the Father of the Country, George Washington, to express his immediate distaste and disgust for the North when he went to Boston for the first time – to command all the Patriot soldiers.

Right after the Revolution, Virginia led, as usual, to change the state right of religion to separate church and state. The Massachusetts legislature was last.

The state right for chattel slavery was ended over a period of decades where it was easiest first. Canada and some places in the North offered refuge for escaped slaves, but the Northern states didn’t offer for the wholesale migration of almost 4 million persons to their home. The abolitionists didn’t offer a path, or to pay for the means, to elevate humans up from slavery. Some Southerners, like Stonewall Jackson, taught slaves to read and write. Some abolitionists advocated wholesale murder, like Nat Turner – killing babies in the crib, women and old people.

No one in power had a plan to end slavery well. Just as no one really has a satisfactory plan for 20 million illegal immigrants in America today. And, as today’s advocates for open borders and amnesty demand the insanity of America’s suicide with great moral preening, abolitionists pushed murder in the name of freedom. Interestingly enough, even the Leftist icon, W.E.B. DuBois, said that slavery wouldn’t have lasted in the South because Southerners held too great of an innate sense of fairness and justice. Culture commands.

Then, awful war came.

The South truly earned its moral laurels during its heroic defense against invasion. April’s celebration of Confederate History Month is all about valiant Confederate soldiers and their families. Southerners who know their ancestors’ names and regiments – enriched by tales of oral history – take pride in their courage, honor, and fidelity. Winston Churchill wrote the most profoundly Christian army that ever marched was the Army of Northern Virginia.

People who defend their homes against invading, robbing, looting, burning soldiers have the moral high ground. Pretending the Recent Unpleasantness was a moral crusade all about slavery, all the time, bar everything else in conflict and sad step-by-step political stumble into war, is like saying WW II in the Pacific was because of the “Rape of Nanking” by the Japanese. No, the Japanese invaded and the Germans invaded in WW II. The Yankees invaded the South.

After the Yankees won, the Union Army occupied the South for 10 years. They stole everything they could. Oddly enough, they didn’t invite all the freed slaves to move North. Go figure.

Reconstruction begat Jim Crow segregation. This second American moral stain, segregation, falsely makes the South the perpetual tar baby, like slavery, because of de jure segregation. Yet, the real vicious, personal racism of de facto segregation thrived in the North. The last riots over racial integration of schools were in Boston, Massachusetts in 1974. Racism doesn’t have a regional home, it lives in the hearts of all kinds of people.

The victory of the Civil Rights movement, inspired by a Christian Southerner, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his ideas of non-violence, transformed the Nation. Today, the South is different from other regions of America. The better universities offer courses on Southern literature, art, music, history, politics, etc. And, the South is better. Why else, would so many Yankees move south to overwhelm too many, formerly Southern communities?

The absolutist, self-righteous, our-way-only, Puritan culture of the North slowly walked away from the God of the Bible after The War. Today, the Yankees who worship the small god of “Self” and cherish the liberal trinity of race, class, and genders are dangerous Human Secular Totalitarians. The Sissy Christians still up North who support them are their useful fools. The ideas changed over 150 years, but the culture is the same. The North is a pushy, money-grubbing, rude, arrogant, historically ignorant, tribal and socialist, absolutist culture. Yet, many good Americans live there, no thanks to the culture.

The Bible belt is buckled in the South. A Southern, Biblically-based, moral majority culture cherishes the Rule of Law, not men. Southern Conservatism holds dearly to the same ideas as the American Revolution. Southern culture is family-family-family, faith, and freedom. It’s still live and let live. It still places personal and family honor highly. In fact, the differences in culture are too many for this piece. Yet, some bad Americans live there, no thanks to the culture.

In the future, the South will remain the moral master, because the ultimate defense of American and Western Civilization will be soldiered by stalwart Southerners more than anyone else. Conversely, while the defense of Christianity against Islamist Totalitarianism may come from Africa, Eastern Europe, Western Europe – if a miracle happens, or Asia, Southerners will be prominent among Americans willing to fight the good fight for generations.

God save the South!

James Atticus Bowden

James Atticus Bowden holds advanced degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is an independent historian and Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Virginia First Foundation.


  • James M Persons says:

    Great column, and accurate!! HUZZAH. Thanks Mr. Bowden.

  • William Quinton Platt III says:

    MLK didn’t believe in the divinity of Christ. MLK was no Christian.

    • I’ve never seen anything to support that.

      • William Quinton Platt III says:

        Besides cheating his way through college, cheating serially on his wife, cheerleading for a rapist, he also wrote a few pathetic papers which are not very difficult to find on the internet.

        • William Quinton Platt III says:

          Truth resides on the internet, even on long weekends.

          The empire is scared. It’s losing a war in Ukraine and now wants to throw us a bone by saying racial discrimination is no longer compatible with the 14th Amendment. The same Amendment which stripped Southern white males of their citizenship rights.

          Ironic is hardly the word I’d use to describe the latest SCOTUS ruling. Only 50 years late…

          Truth on mlk is out there…but for some reason you have not been able to find it.

          How about this one? There’s this thing called the Corwin Amendment (one of only 6 unratified Amendments to the US Constitution)…it’s fairly important but it too has been hidden, almost as carefully as the mlk truth.

          AI is nothing to be feared unless you’ve been living the lie…as most of our elected have been for decades. AI is logic based…not lie based…I say to bring it on.

    • I trust that you know the truth about Misster King (Michael King). Meanwhile, I will find the reading material that I have on the subject and I will be happy to post it to you.

      • William Quinton Platt III says:

        Yes. He knows. It’s not hard to find.

        To give the benefit of the doubt…the government wouldn’t lie to us would they?

        William Platt
        USAFA ’87

  • Billy P says:

    Wholeheartedly agree. Well stated.

    The north is still so hungry to impose its own ways on us (those of the greedy globalist, the individual freedom-hating marxist) that it is flooding our beloved and occupied south with outsiders who have zero cultural ties, who for the free government handouts will fall in line, vote as told, and water down on our voting strength.

    Our ability to curb the impact of northern corruption and greed upon the last few remnants of a once great southern designed republic is being diluted. All that I fear will remain is just another broken, godless empire. A convention of states and a separation in the future will be the only way out.

    I also believe the south is “better”. Generally (always some exceptions) we are nicer, we have better manners, we open doors for the ladies or our dads will gladly correct us, we pray and say amen, we believe in individual responsibility, we have ties to the land, we find value in simple things and we put our faith in God not man….generally this is true and still is, but it is being gradually dissolved by the northern migration and the southern migration.

    It’s why I feel like I’m in a different country when I fly up north. I find there is no heart there, no sense of belonging. I am bombarded in business with their never-ending, childish love of money, wanting more and more, their predictable avoidance of anything Godly, their laughter at a pre-dinner prayer, their shortness and rudeness repulsive and frankly, it’s boring and all beneath a real southerner.

    As for our newly invited border hopping arrivals, the rat never knows why the cheese is free until it’s too late for the rat.

    • Thanks. As an Army Brat with two Southern parents, I had lived over 6 years of my life in Europe by the time I was 14. I felt like an outside observer even though I was thoroughly American. One observation that still applies now – after living in the North for 9 years and another 5 years overseas – and much older at 72. I get the same feel of being out of my native country in the North and Far West as I do when I’m in Europe. I feel comfortable in the North and in Europe, but it “ain’t” home.

    • Very well stated and expressed. I am happy that I did not post my reply before you.
      I liken the War of the Northern Aggression to the recent influx of illegal brown people into our South; to dilute our little
      republic into those unknown and unrecognizable, knowing little of kith and kin.

  • Paul Yarbrough says:

    Well said.

  • Great insight about the four distinct cultures which came to the colonies. From England. I assume you have read David Hackett Fisher’s book Albion’s Seed.

  • Ross Massey says:

    The sin of slavery wasn’t all-American. It was all-African. They sold their own race because they didn’t have silk, rugs, perfume, etc. They were up to about nothing then and nothing today; about 3% of world trade is there. But they are not at the bottom. Antarctica is in about 0.

  • David says:

    It’s an overstatement that the “South is morally superior.”

    North Carolina legalized abortion up to twenty weeks in 1967, at least five years before Roe v. Wade was decided.

  • Cody Davis says:

    The hatred for Yankees in this article is totally repulsive to me. I am completely against the violence and abuse and harassment and evil that the Yankees have perpetrated or allowed to be perpetrated against the South, but the fact is that at one point, we were in a union with them, and the founding generation thought it wise to be in a union with them. To throw their entire culture all the way to its foundation under the bus like this is vile and, I would say, truly racist. I guess it’s not too surprising that this kind of rhetoric would be coming from an ivy league graduate.

    I would point out a few things that would seem to indicate you are not really much of a Southerner either. You use the term “chattel slavery” as if that is an accurate representation at all of the way slavery was in the Antebellum South, which is not true, and is just a Yankee canard. You also indicate segregation was some kind of moral evil when it was a morally neutral compromise between the South and North following the war. This compromise was unsustainable in the long run, but the temporary solution to North/South tensions was a great boon to the South as they rebuilt after the war. Lastly, Martin Luther King Jr. was neither a Christian nor a Southerner. He hated the South; it’s culture, it’s values, it’s history, it’s people, and his “Christian pacifism” was just another word for cowardice and anarchy. Southerners and Christians have always understood that violence is sometimes necessary.

    • James M Persons says:

      King hated the South? “The racism and segregation in Chicago is worse than anything I have ever seen in the South. Never in my life have I seen such hate, not in Mississippi or Alabama.” MKL, Jr. during the Chicago Open Housing marches in 1966. I guess he hated the North more than the South after 1966. Yes, no? Chicago was as emblematic of the North as Birmingham was of the South. B’ham was my home town and I lived in the North in the 1960’s and saw first hand how the North was even more segregated than the South, and just as racist – if not more so.

      King was faking being a Christian for decades too I guess. The ultimate deep cover Satanic cell, eh? Was that the ‘true’ King?

      One other matter and I’ll leave you to your opinions, I don’t read any hatred of Yankees in the facts presented here by Mr. Bowden. Telling the truth about essential facts is not hatred: and I say, FINALLY the Ivy League turned out a normal person in Mr. Bowden. How can we repeat that miracle?

      • Cody Davis says:

        Saying Yankee culture is morally inferior, self-righteous, our-way-only, pushy, money-grubbing, rude, arrogant, historically ignorant, tribal and socialist, and absolutist, and then tying that culture all the way back to the second they stepped foot on the North American continent came off to me as hateful, but maybe you see it differently.

        Anyone can say they are a Christian, but I measure someone’s belief by how they live. Jesus told us there would be weeds sown among the wheat. MLK Jr. may have believed the North to be worse than the South, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t hate the South too.

      • William Quinton Platt III says:

        The “ivy” league is responsible for most of the insanity we’ve seen erupt in this nation for the past century. They believe in evolution and same sex marriage…apparently, humans evolve into homosexuals and die out…

        That’s one hell of a theory…it fails 99.9 percent of the time but maybe, just maybe, it will work this time and we can hang our hats on that maybe.

        Here’s a non-ivy leaguer for you…Einstein lied about his theory of the universe…in 1915. He put a “cosmological constant” in his equations to force the universe to be static. Einstein was called out on his lie by Le Matre and Hubble. Einstein admitted his “error” and now most “physicists” adhere to the expanding universe theory.

        Einstein couldn’t support the expanding universe because it implied God as Creator. So the lies have been coming from “scientists” for hundreds of years…they don’t even have to be “ivy” leaguers to lie to us.

        Happy 4th of July and remember…every colony on 4 July 1776 was a slave colony and on 5 July 1776, every State was a slave State.

    • sachaplin says:

      Cody, I am a northerner by birth; grew up there and married there. I have lived in the South for several decades now. The North is a rat-race, while life in the South is lived at a slower pace. Folks are more polite in the South. They know more accurately the history of the “Civil War.” They honor traditions and their ancestors more than northerners. That said, here in the Capitol of the Confederacy, the combination of northern migrants and (mostly young) wokesters has resulted in the tearing down of our Confederate monuments. Sad indeed.

      • Cody Davis says:

        Take out the “rat” in rat-race and you have a race, which is exactly how St. Paul described our life on earth. I greatly enjoy the value of Southern culture and its greater emphasis on rest relative to Yankee culture, but in the future, when Yankee culture is very discredited, we may find ourselves in a position where we are being oppressed by the potential excesses of Southern culture. The competing cultures have had a moderating influence on each other in the past, and without this moderating impulse, we can see what has happened to Yankee culture. We shouldn’t think that Southerners are invincible to the vices that have gripped every other culture throughout history.

  • Kane says:

    I have been unable to find a citation for Winston Churchill’s quote about the Army of Northern Virginia. Could you cite that?

  • Joe Blow says:

    I am greatly offended by the ruination and elimination of Holidays celebrating Southerners such as Robert E. Lee and others. These holidays are replaced
    by communists in order to emulsify the colored race while insulting and excluding the White Race. Basically, you may have studied this at the Point, it is to foment hatred, mistrust, chaos and generally divide the people in order to conquer America from within. This is a well known, by the common folks that can read and were schooled before that wrenched woman made them stop praying in school, communist tactic to divide and conquer. They are aided by the Democrats whom they keep as useful idiots. Jeff Davis is my 19th cousin. They changed the name of Jeff Davis street here recently without a vote or any input by the civilian population. I called one of the oligarch offices and asked why. I was told by a woman with a sickening yankee accent that we can not honor slave owners
    I hung up the phone and vomited.
    Semper Fi Deus Nobiscum Est Good Night Chesty Puller Where Ever You Are
    Joe Blow

  • tony says:

    Dear Cody
    Reread and look again. You’ll find no repulsive hatred written or implied that I could find in this excellent article. Truth yes, inconvenient maybe but repulsive no way.

  • Nonnie says:

    Northerners live in a dependent climate, dependent on the seasons, on a summer crop sustaining them through the winter. Southerners have better growing seasons. And proximity to *even better* growing seasons. In the North you must work hard for those months that provide to endure through those that do not. And the weather is cooler generally, which makes it easier. In the South ( generally speaking ) the longer growing season and warmer weather afford and demand a slower pace.

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