The Great War And The Crisis Of American Nationality

1034 Words5 Pages
Valerie M. White
Dr. Raul S. Chavez
History 8: US History 1865 to Present
February 13, 2017
Lost Battalions: The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality
The book is written by, Slotkin, Richard. Lost Battalions: The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality. New York, N.Y: Henry Holt and Company, 2005. Print. During the Great War, American Nationality and a nation struggling with inequalities came to the forefront. Slotkin concentrates his writings on the heroic African American troops of the 369th Infantry and the legendary 77th “lost battalion” composed of New York City immigrants. These brave men fought in a foreign war they didn’t even believe in; what they were really fighting for was the right to be treated equal
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Wilson would bargain with theses soldiers that if they would commit to fighting this war it would show that they were true Americans and would earn the respect and freedom of such. Theodore Roosevelt had success with his Rough Riders, who were a diverse group of volunteer cavalry soldiers of different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Roosevelt would help pave the way for the legendary 77th “lost battalion” division, also known as the “Melting Pot” division, due to the diversity of immigrants from Italian, Irish, Jewish, and Chinese decent. The 77th was led by Major Charles White Whittlesey. The 369th Infantry was made up of African American men also known as the “Harlem Hell Fighters”. Both groups had to try and overcome the prejudices of America; the 77th was the object of suspicion due to their ancestry. The 369th Infantry had to deal with a personal disrespect and humiliation so deep they had to deal with segregation and degradation of the Jim Crow laws. All these men yearned for and needed to prove that they were worthy of being called an American Citizen. They deserved to be treated equally and accepted amongst men. While America had their suspicions of these soldiers, the belief that they would equal failure due to their ethnicity was great. Nevertheless, the 77th division and the 369th Infantry were
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