Civil War Dbq

2014 Words9 Pages

America endured blood-stained fields and constant death during its bloodiest four years in the Civil War. Brother fighting against brother, the North and the South participated in a gruesome war. Despite that the war was largely based around the controversial issue of slavery, African Americans were unable to participate; the fighting was left in the hands of white men. For the first half of the war, only white men were granted permission to enlist. The Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln in January of 1863 allowed African Americans to be able to participate in the Civil War and fight for the United States Army. Now with the opportunity for African Americans to volunteer to participate in the fighting, the course of …show more content…

The “Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators.” This allowed African American men to enlist in the Union army and “was among the most radical provisions” of the Emancipation Proclamation. The arming of black soldiers was just as controversial as the Proclamation itself because it recognized the black man as a man, they were more recognized than they had ever been before. Now legally able to participate in the war, this gave African American men motivation to fight for the Union army. While some may have already had motivations to fight, a lot of them had to be recruited by people such as Frederick Douglass, the most successful black recruiter whose own two of his own sons were in the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts. The Emancipation also ensured that “slaves who enlisted would become free, as would their families, with the government paying monetary compensation to loyal owners.” This gave the men an important reason to enlist, as it would guarantee their freedoms as well as their …show more content…

Though it was a failure, the battle that the Fifty-fourth had fought and the courage and determination that they exhibited was an inspiration to other African Americans. The Fifty-fourth had proven that they were just as capable as any other soldier and were “among the bravest of the brave in fighting for the Union.” The experiment in having African Americans fight in the Civil War had proven their abilities and was successful. By the end of the Civil War, “almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.” Their fight for equal pay and participation in the Civil War resulted in the first time in American history that African Americans were being treated as equals before the law, even if it was only military law. By volunteering to fight in a war that was not required of them to participate in, they demonstrated their display of determination and fearlessness. Glory brilliantly encaptures the tale of the first African American soldiers in the Civil War, recounting their display of bravery and

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