There was no way that the statues could have been erected right after the war as the Southern states were occupied until the mid 1870s. And while it is a loud, if inaccurate, refrain that the statues were erected as protests to racial equality, it is more accepted that they were the result ofEagle, I would have more sympathy for your point if most of these monuments have been erected at the time the events happened, or shortly afterwards. As it stands, many were built at the height of Jim Crow to make a political stand that blacks should continue to be seen as inferior people and that the South should still be managed by their superiors. They were not erected to commemorate US history, but to make a political point to the "lower races". I am absolutely in favor of taking these pieces into museums, where proper context can be given, instead of their current places in public spaces.
The south emerging from its financial devastation of the war
The dissatisfaction with the way that they were treated during Reconstruction
The appalling way that the confederate veterans were treated by the federal government
The economic pillaging of the South by the North
The general gloating and attitude of assumed superiority by the North.
There is a school of thought - and I happen to agree with it - that the south did not recover from the Civil War until the 1950s. There was no Marshall Plan undertaken for the South.
And, like it or not, that led to some pretty bitter feelings from southerners and was a major cause of the birth of the Lost Cause movement (which I don't accept) and that was the more likely inpetus for the statues.