University Press of Mississippi
“The Lost Cause, and white Mississippian adherence to its doctrine," argues Michael J. Goleman, "has done more to unify conservative Mississippians than any amount of pseudo-ethnic homogeneity or regional patriotism that swelled during the sectional conflict and Civil War" (131). He earns this conclusion by devoting the first two of his six chapters to the politics of the 1850s and the secession crisis and the third to the war years, in each of which he points out divisions within the state that white Mississippians tried to resolve by stressing conflict with northerners. Goleman invokes group identity theory, and especially the works of social psychologists Henri Tajfel and John Turner, to present the vilification of northerners as the construction of an "other" that offered a basis for coherent state character. The Lost Cause transformed that identity by aligning former Confederates with white northerners as heirs to the American legacy of a heroic civil war, establishing African Americans as the principal "other" for a more profound and durable white Mississippi identity.
Brown, Thomas J.
"Your Heritage Will Still Remain: Racial Identity and Mississippi's Lost Cause,"
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 20
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol20/iss4/21