Exam #1: Demand for Equality
In the United States, it can be said that slavery and wars have shaped our nation for the good and the bad. According to some ideas of “history”, the African American soldiers were treated as equals during wars such as The Revolutionary War, The Spanish-American War, The Civil War, World War I, and World War II. There we no wars that no African Americans did not participate in some shape or form. However, many historical remembrances, might be classified as mis-remembrances, also known as myths. The true history behind these soldiers showcase the African American soldiers being discriminated against in terms of treatment, opportunity, and wages.
Gordon Wood said it best when he stated that “in the early 18th century, very few were complaining about slavery.” At about 1619, many slaves were brought over to North America to help in the tobacco fields. Slavery at the time of the early 18th century was just starting to get going. When the slaves were brought over to America, they were no laws, no rules, and no regulations. It was around 1640 when the African Americans started being discriminated against. According to the film “Slavery and the Making Of America”, it was established that the ideology about slavery around this time, could be simply put as “the work was important but the being was not. “ As slavery slowly progressed, you notice a the treatment getting much worse. Slaves being forced to work extreme hours, and preform every tedious
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Before WORLD WAR I, military service represented a source of black pride. Black educators, clergymen, and the press frequently referred to Negro heroes of America’s past wars. After the Civil War, the U.S, Army maintained four regular Negro regiments –the 9th and 10th Calvary and the 24th and 25th Infantry. These units included veterans of the civil war and the frontier Indian fighting regiments. Retired sergeants often became respected, conservative leaders in their communities. This history set a foundation for black support and involvement in America’s future wars.
W.E.B. DuBois’ “Returning Soldiers,” an editorial piece written in May of 1919 for the NAACP’s publication The Crisis lays out for not just returning soldiers, but for African-Americans as a whole that the war is not over. While the Great War of 1914-1918 may have ended, there is still a greater war to continue to fight on the American homefront. “Returning Soldiers” calls out the United States government on the charges against its people as seen by DuBois and reiterates and rejuvenates the reader for the fight it still needs to take on. The black man soldier may have escaped the battlefields of France and now be able to shed the uniform that symbolizes the systematic injustices he faced, but upon returning, in his “civil garb” he is still a soldier, only in a different military.
Today, slavery is not something you see in modern day society. For the most part, people are treated fairly while working, are given benefits such as holidays and the option to take a sick day when feeling ill, and are paid a good wage for their services as an employee. But unfortunately this was not the case back in the 1800s where slavery was popular among the southern parts of the United States.
Throughout my research about the importance of African Americans in the American Civil War, I realized how our modern society underappreciates the involvement of African American soldiers in the Civil War. Although the involvement of African American soldiers in the American Civil War is depicted in various ways in multiple sources. The main difference is the amount and the thoroughness each source provides. However, what they do have in common is that during the Civil War, African Americans played a huge role in the victory of the Union. In an article by Thavolia Glymph, she quotes Henry L. Abbot about what it means to be an soldier in war. He wrote that the authority and symbol of a soldier is a gun, not a shovel. Despite the fact of being full-fledged soldiers, African American soldiers were often ignored and extremely mistreated by white soldiers. They were given menial tasks such as digging trenches and were constantly degraded by Union soldiers. They scarcely held guns, but rather held shovels and sent to noncombat labor As a result, African
Slavery was essentially an institution in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The southern states would rely largely on slavery for their agriculture such as the cultivating and tending of their crops. Many Americans of the time viewed blacks as primitive savages who were not worthy of equality and freedom. It is hard for people of today to understand how the
As David Blight says in his novel, Race and Reunion, after the Civil War and emancipation, Americans were faced with the overwhelming task of trying to understand the relationship between “two profound ideas—healing and justice.” While he admits that both had to occur on some level, healing from the war was not the same “proposition” for many whites, especially veterans, as doing justice for the millions of emancipated slaves and their descendants (Blight 3). Blight claims that African Americans did not want an apology for slavery, but instead a helping hand. Thus, after the Civil War, two visions of Civil War memory arose and combined: the reconciliationist vison, which focused on the issue of dealing with the dead from the battlefields, hospitals, and prisons, and the emancipationist vision, which focused on African Americans’ remembrance of their own freedom and in conceptions of the war as the “liberation of [African Americans] to citizenship and Constitutional equality” (Blight 2).
For centuries African American have been struggled against racial in America. During World War II the U.S. government asked for volunteers to join the army of defense, over 2.5 million of black men registered for the draft World, around 1 million served as draftees or volunteers in the armed forces within all branches. But didn’t received the same opportunity to serve in the same manner as white soldiers. They were to segregated combat support groups. In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt and civil rights organizations pressured U.S Navy to recruited blacks for service.
During American involvement in the war, African Americans were listed and reenlisted on the military draft at higher rates than any other nationalities including whites and Latin-Americans (Westheider 9). As a result, more African Americans than any othe r minority fought and died in combat. In addition, they constantly faced racism. One militant protested forcefully against the unfair conditions: “You should see for yourself how the black man is being treated over here and the ay we are dying. When it comes to rank, we are left out. When it comes to special privileges, we are left out. When it comes to patrols, perataions and so forth, we are first” (Gallagher). According to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., black youths represented an unequal share of early draftees and faced a significantly higher chance of seeing combat. “Rumors abounded that the U.S. government were using the Vietnam War as a form of genocide. Money was being pumped into Vietnam instead of poor black communities in America” (Gallegher).
Throughout history many people, places, and ideas have been forgotten, and then there are some that we can never forget. These memories can be different for all societies and cultures. The events that are remembered not only affect those living today, but changes the way future generations live. This type of memory was especially prevalent during the American civil war. It affected the soldiers fighting in the war as well as the children of those who fought. It is vital that we have an awareness about the role of children in the Civil War. The understanding of the children in the civil war is important because it shaped the variety of individuals’ affected, motivated troops to continue fighting, and formed race relationships that would define our country for decades to come. It also helps to show how it is the responsibility of historians to inculcate their audiences to the consequences of past events on all levels to influence decision making on contemporary issues.
Throughout American history, African Americans have had to decide whether they belonged in the United States or if they should go elsewhere. Slavery no doubtfully had a great impact upon their decisions. However, despite their troubles African Americans made a grand contribution and a great impact on both armed forces of the Colonies and British. "The American Negro was a participant as well as a symbol."; (Quarles 7) African Americans were active on and off the battlefield, they personified the goal freedom, the reason for the war being fought by the Colonies and British. The African Americans were stuck in the middle of a war between white people. Their loyalty was not to one side or another, but to a principle, the principle of liberty.
Many African Americans served in Civil War alongside the Union army for many reasons. Through the tough times, everyone has that one thing they hold onto. Lots of the soldiers got good pay, whether it was for food, uniforms, or the aid for their families, but that was not the only benefit that drew the soldiers to volunteer. For example, Private Trip was a former slave, and fought for his and his family’s freedom. The soldiers fought for respect to prove they are capable for what was ahead of them. They had fought for honor, pride and glory.
There were numerous groups such as the NAACP and The Deacons for Defense and Justice who actively defended the Freedom Movement by protecting blacks who were under attack by the Ku Klux Klan. What many Americans do not realized, which Cobb highlighted in this book is that there are many Black veterans who fought in both World Wars and the Korean War that are completely against white supremacy. Veterans hoped to reshape the the nonviolence civil rights struggle that was happening in the South. Some even took greater political risks because of their ability to serve in a racist military they developed and/or already had personalities of a leader and took on the role. Amzie Miller who is a wartime veteran explained during his travels in the war that, “All civilization was black….And I was so surprised. And since then, I have not had [an inferiority] complex.” It was as if the wars had woken up the black veterans that everyone is
In France during the time of 1918, Henry johnson and Needham Roberts were guarding a post. Needham Roberts heard clicks, and was injured, not able to fight. Henry Johnson fought a battle of 100 germans leaving 4 dead. When Henry Johnson returned home, he was hurt and ill but still was not honored because there was segregation during that time. There was segregation between Black soldiers and white soldiers.This topic is connected to conflict and compromise because there is segregation for conflict and for compromise they finally realized blacks should have the same rights and freedom as whites.
What this research is intended to do, is bring a high ranking officer’s view point of a group of people, who others believed they were incapable of preforming, on the battlefields, while incorporating studies of other scholars done on them separately. The objective and focus of the study, is to take General Butler’s perfective of blacks, from his time at Fort Monroe; dating from the time he encountered contrabands of war, viewing them as incapable of fighting to the Battle of the Crater. This research will demonstrate the objective of how whites in this case Butler used USCTs to advance the union forces, how Blacks not only self-emancipated, but fought for their emancipation and how together, they proved that Blacks indeed were a strong fighting force, capable of fighting the same way, white regiments would. Historians have separated Butler and African Americans, into two separate subjects; Butler as a war general and African Americans and their struggle for emancipation, but rarely are both combined.