Debating The Role Of African American’s Regarding Race And Reunion

2033 words - 9 pages

1. As Union troops and soldiers advanced to the Southern frontiers slaves took the risk and crossed over to the north to escape into Northern freedom. Their gamble proved successful but their status however was raised to a very small level. When the Civil War surfaced to a visible standpoint, Major General Benjamin F. Butler pondered whether or not, fugitive slaves would be the receivers of imputed protection from the menacing South or adjust to a different form of servitude. He exposed the failures within the system of the government and the constitution of the America, due to the fact that previous measures have never been taken to define the purpose of freedom seekers in society and their function as “contraband of war”. For much of American history slaves were considered as property with no rights, the Civil war was pivotal in changing this. He quickly assumed that as former laborers of the south, the suitable and most adequate new profession would be that of laborers of the war for the North. Union Generals would also assume the same definition of freedmen but the Federal government had the final say over the topic.

2. Newly freedmen occupied the roles of trench diggers, and amounted to the status of no more than property: able to aide and respond to the efforts of the Union forces without question. Men, Women, and Children would share the obligations of advancing the Union struggle for restoration and reunion. Under this personal theory the slave is in fact still considered property but falls under the duties of complying to the authority of the Federal Government. The new supply of labor for the North benefitted the Slaves slightly but was more of a counter tactic that would be necessary for the victory of the war.

3. As a majority of the military officers noticed how the question of slavery should be addressed, political initiatives to define the condition of blacks was widespread. The Confiscation Acts were a postlude to this general theory of using escaped slaves for a labor force. Congressional efforts to confiscate former captives of the Confederacy began in 1861 by freeing African Americans from servitude if they were used for rebellious strife of the South. The government was now fully aware of the capabilities that the military would have with the assist of the blacks. In 1862, they went to the extent of abloitionshing slavery in Washington D.C. and the West. The 2nd Confiscation Act allowed blacks to serve in the Union and aggregated a new cause for the war: the abolishment of slavery.The parallel thinking shared between Major General Benjamin F. Butler and the legislation that would produce the Confiscation Acts were both predecessors to the formal acceptance of the slaves as freedmen into society.

4. The subtle rejection of the possibility of relocation was dismissed immediately at the mass meeting held on August, 20 1862. The community of free Blacks in Queens, New York responded critically of the proposition...

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