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How American Immigrants Played A Crucial Role In Battle And The Home Front Of The American Civil War

1174 words - 5 pages

Immigrants have always wanted to come to the United States of America in search of the American Dream of wealth, a family, and a steady job. Sometimes the immigrants found the American Dream that they were looking for and sometimes they did not. In the case of the American Civil War, the immigrants had to help the Union win so that they could pursue their American Dream.
Many immigrants when they came to the United States got involved in the total war of the Civil War. Every person whether they were living in the North or South had to do their part to help their side win. A great amount of immigrants were even forcefully conscripted into military service for the Union Army. At the ...view middle of the document...

” The nativists forgot that they themselves were in fact immigrants and the only people that were the true “Native Americans” were the Indians. These political parties were also very close minded because of their hostility toward immigrants because of their religion and race. Even with these differences the people of the Union were much better off than the Confederate people.
The Union army had special brigades that fought for them composed only of immigrants. Young (2013) comments on how a young Irish Colonel commanding the 140th New York Brigade named Patrick O’Rorke turn the Battle of Gettysburg in favor of the Union. O’Rorke managed to act on a military opportunity when he saw it and do it successfully. This decisive quality was a special trait that O’Rorke had that many of the other earlier Union generals lacked. Had more of the other earlier Union generals been as decisive as O’Rorke the war may have been shorted because of more early Union successes. Many American immigrants that fought in special brigades along with O’Rorke though that the American Civil War was going to be much shorter than it actually was. O’Rorke, like many immigrants would give his life in battle so that he could pursue his American Dream. O’Rorke’s brigade was able to push on and make a difference in the Battle of Gettysburg.
When it came to forced conscription, tensions sometimes reached a boiling point. Only certain people were targeted by the government to be conscripted into military service. Maranzani writes about how not even the African Americans of the North were subject to conscription because they were not yet immigrants, and the New York City Draft Riots were the largest civilian rebellion in American history. This fueled the desire of the American people to rise up against the government because they felt that they were being oppressed. Many African Americans and abolitionists were actually targeted because the white mob of people felt that they were the cause of them having to go to war. The outcome of the New York City Draft Riots was largely political. The politicians that were in Tammay Hall had started to receive overwhelming support because they opposed the Draft (maranzani.) The politicians who were in control of Tammay Hall did manage to do some good things for the people with their extra support, workers rights for the poorer immigrant...

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