League of the South
The League of the South is a Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 organization, headquartered in Killen, Alabama
Killen, Alabama
Killen is a town in Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". As of the 2000 census, the population of the town is 1,190.-Geography:...

, which states that its ultimate goal is "a free and independent Southern republic." The group defines the Southern United States as the states that made up the former Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. It claims to be also a religious and social movement, advocating a return to a more traditionally conservative
Traditionalist Conservatism
Traditionalist conservatism, also known as "traditional conservatism," "traditionalism," "Burkean conservatism", "classical conservatism" and , "Toryism", describes a political philosophy emphasizing the need for the principles of natural law and transcendent moral order, tradition, hierarchy and...

, Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

-oriented Southern culture. It advocates a "natural societal order of superiors and subordinates", using as an example, "Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 is the head of His Church; husbands are the heads of their families; parents are placed over their children; employers rank above their employees; the teacher is superior to his students, etc." The organization is labeled a hate group
Hate group
A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other designated sector of society...

 by the Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit civil rights organization noted for its legal victories against white supremacist groups; legal representation for victims of hate groups; monitoring of alleged hate groups, militias and extremist organizations; and educational programs that...

 and has been accused of being white supremacist and white nationalist.


The organization was formed in 1994 by Michael Hill and others, including attorney Jack Kershaw
Jack Kershaw
Jack Kershaw was an English soccer center forward who began his career in England and ended it in the United States. He was born in Lancashire, England...

. The League of the South was named in reference to the League of United Southerners, a group organized in 1858 to shape Southern public opinion and the Lega Nord (Northern League), a very successful populist
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 movement in northern Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...



As noted, the League promotes the "independence of the Southern people" from the "American empire
American Empire
American imperialism is a term referring to the economic, military and cultural influence of the United States on other countries. The concept of an American Empire was first popularized during the presidency of James K...

" and this on a variety of levels: culturally, economically, socially, and politically. It has been described as using English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Celtic
Celtic nations
The Celtic nations are territories in North-West Europe in which that area's own Celtic languages and some cultural traits have survived.The term "nation" is used in its original sense to mean a people who share a common traditional identity and culture and are identified with a traditional...

 mythology "belligerently against what is perceived as a politically correct
Political correctness
Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts,...

 celebration of multicultural
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

 Southern diversity".


The League defines Southern culture "in opposition to the corrupt mainstream American culture." It sees Southern culture as profoundly Christian
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

. Furthermore, the League believes that Southern culture places a greater emphasis on immediate relationships than on abstract ideas (the nation, the environment, the global community, etc.) and that Southern geography "defines character and worldview."


According to the League, Southern society differs greatly from what it sees as the Marxist
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 and egalitarian
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 society lacking "any grace or charm" that its "alien [American] occupier" seeks to "impress upon it." Southern culture, for the League, is hierarchical, based on the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, and decidedly anti-feminist. While the League's Core Beliefs Statement does not mention gay rights, it notes that Southern culture "stigmatizes perversity". It also values politeness — which it characterizes as "Southern Hospitality."


The League of the South's economic views are best characterized as free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

. It is opposed to fiat currency, personal income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

ation, central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

ing, property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

es and most state regulation of business. The League supports sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

es and user fees. However, some League members, such as John Cobin, support the use of voluntary taxes like user fees and lotteries to finance government.


Seeking support in the United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

, the League believes the "Southern people" have the right to secede
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 from the United States, and that they "must throw off the yoke of imperial [federal, or central government] oppression". The League promotes a Southern Confederation of sovereign, independent States that "work together... to conduct foreign affairs". It believes that the South's foreign policy should favor neutrality and trade with all states. Furthermore, the League favors strictly limited immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

, opposes standing armies
Standing army
A standing army is a professional permanent army. It is composed of full-time career soldiers and is not disbanded during times of peace. It differs from army reserves, who are activated only during wars or natural disasters...

 and any regulation whatsoever of firearms. Though the ultimate goal of the League is to create an independent Southern nation, it sees this aim as the final step in an ongoing process:
The League's current official activities focus on recruiting and encouraging "cultural secession" and "withholding our support from all institutions and objects of popular culture that are antithetical to our beliefs and heritage." In November 2006 its representatives attended the First North American Secessionist Convention which brought together secessionists from a broad political spectrum. In October 2007 it co-hosted the Second North American Secessionist Convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...


Racism controversy

The issue of race has become a source of controversy about, and dispute within, the League of the South. In the summer of 2000 the Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit civil rights organization noted for its legal victories against white supremacist groups; legal representation for victims of hate groups; monitoring of alleged hate groups, militias and extremist organizations; and educational programs that...

 (SPLC) labeled League of the South a "racist
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 hate group" and issued a report filled with allegations of racist statements, especially by the League's President Michael Hill. According to a news article, Hill "welcomed the designation as a 'badge of honor and stated SPLC has "a very leftist agenda, these sorts of things are designed to discredit you publicly."

During the 2006 First North American Secessionist Convention, when the issue of the League of the South and racism was raised, Don Kennedy, identified as "a leader of the League of the South", stated: "How can you believe in liberty and discriminate against your neighbor? Equality before the law is something we want, and we're on the record for that." News stories about the Second North American Secessionist Convention also mentioned the SPLC's allegations, as well as skeptical responses from convention attendees. Convention organizer Kirkpatrick Sale
Kirkpatrick Sale
Kirkpatrick Sale is an independent scholar and author who has written prolifically about political decentralism, environmentalism, luddism and technology...

 responded: "They call everybody racists. There are, no doubt, racists in the League of the South, and there are, no doubt, racists everywhere."


The League's Board of Directors is composed of Michael Hill, Franklin Sanders, Rev. Eugene Cas, Mark Thomey, Mike Tuggle, Mike Crane and Dr. John Cook. Among the founding members were Thomas Fleming, Grady McWhiney
Grady McWhiney
Grady McWhiney was a historian of the American south and the Civil War.McWhiney was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and served in the Marine Corps in 1945. He married in 1947. He attended Centenary College on the G.I. Bill and earned an M.A. in history from Louisiana State University, working with...

 and Clyde Wilson. Other prominent individuals who have been LoS members include Constitution Party
Constitution Party (United States)
The Constitution Party is a paleoconservative political party in the United States. It was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party by Howard Philips in 1991. Phillips was the party's candidate in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections...

 presidential candidate Michael Peroutka
Michael Peroutka
Michael Anthony Peroutka is a Maryland lawyer, the founder of the Institute on the Constitution. He once held a position in the United States Department of Health and Human Services and was the Constitution Party candidate for president in 2004. He is co-host of The American View radio...

 (who was endorsed by the League), Michael Andrew Grissom and Thomas Woods
Thomas Woods
Thomas E. "Tom" Woods, Jr. is an American historian, economist, political analyst, and New York Times-bestselling author. He has written extensively on the subjects of American history, contemporary politics, and economic theory...


See also

  • List of active autonomist and secessionist movements
  • Military Order of the Stars and Bars
    Military Order of the Stars and Bars
    The Military Order of the Stars and Bars is a fraternal organization for documented descendants of men who served as commissioned officers in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America or who are descended from members of the Confederate Congress, or any elected or appointed member of...

  • Separatism
    Separatism is the advocacy of a state of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. While it often refers to full political secession, separatist groups may seek nothing more than greater autonomy...

  • Sons of Confederate Veterans
    Sons of Confederate Veterans
    Sons of Confederate Veterans is an American national heritage organization with members in all fifty states and in almost a dozen countries in Europe, Australia and South America...

  • Southern literature
    Southern literature
    Southern literature is defined as American literature about the Southern United States or by writers from this region...

  • Christian Exodus
    Christian Exodus
    Christian Exodus is a Christian secessionist group. Initially, they attempted to organize a mass movement to South Carolina and later Idaho. Currently, the goal of Christian Exodus has been to pull members together into micro-communities, through social networking, and encouraging its members to...

External links

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