Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

History and Philosophy

Committee Member

Steven J. Ramold, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jesse Kauffman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard F. Nation, Ph.D.


Edward A. Pollard’s The Lost Cause first appeared in 1866. Although it established the Myth of the Lost Cause, it was widely read, not as myth, but as history, especially in the South. Then, after 1900, it was largely forgotten. However, starting in the early 1970s, historians began to investigate the Myth of the Lost Cause as a myth. Pollard’s name and the title of his book finally came up again, but usually just in passing. Except for occasionally getting credit for coining the term “the Lost Cause,” his contributions and popularity remained largely ignored. The purpose of this thesis is to enumerate the contributions that he made to the myth in terms of the causes of the Civil War, the military history, and the rationalizations for how a supposedly superior society could suffer a disastrous defeat. It will also establish the wide popularity and influence of Pollard’s work.