Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 8: No 2) >> The Mother Land: The Southern Nationalism of William Gilmore Simms >> Page 19

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Page 19

Secondary Scholarship | 2000
Transcription years between the late 1830s and the mid 1840s that the North would not treat the
South with justice or fairness and that the South could protect and increase her
manhood, her honor, her securities, her prosperity, her creativity, and her future
better in an independent nation of her own rather than in union with a hostile North
which continually sought material advantage over the South and disparaged her
history and the abilities and character of her people. Simms moved from cultural
nationalism to political nationalism for the South because of a growing awareness of
incompatibility with the North over a wide cultural and political spectrum, an
awareness that arose out of and was grounded in differing identities and mental
attitudes. Simms, the Southron personified, pursued what his heart, mind, and soul
informed him was best for the people among whom he was raised and nurtured,
among whom he lived and for whom he ceaselessly struggled, and with whom he
identified to the very core of his being. His loyalty to the United States was a loyalty
born of admiration for the abstract ideals of republicanism, for honored memories of
Revolutionary glory in a common struggle. His loyalty to the South was loyalty
born of a Mother's embrace, the blood, bone, marrow, and Mother's sustaining milk
of a nurturing culture.