Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Andrew L. Slap

Committee Members

Dale J. Schmitt, Stephen G. Fritz


The Myth of the Lost Cause is an inaccurate account of the Civil War that remains prominent in American society. The myth alters key aspects of the war such as its cause, participants, and outcome. It is my hypothesis that one reason many Americans misunderstand the war is because they learned inaccurate information as children. Most children first learn of the war in school textbooks. I became curious as to the accuracy of Civil War information. As there is little research on this topic, this paper begins the process of bridging the gap between education curriculum and the Lost Cause.

I examined textbooks used in Tennessee schools between 1889-2002. I discovered that the Lost Cause is most prominent in textbooks used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century but remains present in modern textbooks. I conclude that material will continue to correct itself as the twenty-first century continues.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.