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African Americans And The Civil War

802 words - 4 pages

From the inauguration of Lincoln and the secession of eleven states to the Union to the first exchange of fires at Fort Sumter, the inevitable Civil War began. Ever since America began to expand as an independent country, sectionalism (where the North wanted the abolition of slavery while the South wanted slavery) and growing conflicts between the north and south has always closely revolved around the issue of slavery. This long due problem finally blows up in the “United” States of America’s face as the Civil War. Conflicts relating to African Americans caused the war, changed the course and complications of the war, and shaped the war results in both informal and formal ways.

African Americans also participated actively in the military during the Civil War. After Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, African Americans were officially allowed to enlist in the army. Most of the slaves remained in the south while tens of thousands abandoned southern plantations to join the Union (Doc A). About ten percent of the total Union enlistments on both land and sea were consisted of blacks. African Americans joined and fought willingly (Doc B) and bravely now that they had a cause to fight for—the removing of slavery. More than thirty-eight thousand died in war for the Union, suffering in the Fort Pillow Massacre and serving in units such as the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts regiments and other black military units. Due to prejudice and ideas, the Confederacy did not enlist slaves into the army until the war was nearly over; confederate slaves worked on farms while white men joined the army. The novel idea of African Americans engaged in the war, marching and fighting for the Union, changed many whites’ view and treatment of blacks.

African Americans shaped the road of the Civil War as much for the Confederacy as the Union. Lincoln strengthened the moral cause of the Union for Civil War by augmenting the issue of slavery to this war (which has always been an issue but not officially what the war was for until the Emancipation Proclamation). Despite some northerners refused to fight for the cause of slavery, Lincoln still issued the promise of freedom to African Americans (Doc C) After emancipation, the Civil War was a battle for both preserving the union and removing slavery. Slavery was now officially and agreed by the Republican Party to be the reason for the war (Doc D). The...

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