African-Americans Shaping Course and Consequences of Civil War

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The lives of African Americans were different depending on where they lived. African Americans in the North were free, while African Americans in the South were slaves, but no African Americans were equal to the whites. The Civil War started in 1861, because the South wanted to secede from the Union in order to keep their slaves, the North on the other hand wanted to preserve the Union. African Americans played a big role in the Civil War. African Americans shaped the course and the consequences of the Civil War by fighting in the military. One way in which African-Americans shaped the course of the Civil War was by serving in the military and winning important battles to help the North win. African Americans did not at first have the right to join the military. By the end of the war, African Americans had served as a major part of the Union military forces in the Civil War. About 10% of the Army and 25% of Navy was African American. Two key battles fought by the Union were the battles of Charleston, South Carolina and of Richmond, Virginia were fought by African American troops. In 1864 the New York Times commented on how “astonishingly” things had changed- before “the African race… were literally hunted down like wild beasts” and less than a year later “. The same men now march in solid platoons… and everywhere are saluted with waving handkerchiefs, with descending flowers and with the acclimations and plaudits of countless beholders.” (Document F) The documents express the importance of the victories won and sacrifices by African Americans in the military. The gestures of “salutes and descending flowers “shows how African Americans started to change the perceptions of White Americans thus recognizing African Americans’ role in the war. The African Americans helped shape the reconstruction of the South by making sacrifices to be free and active in politics. Reconstruction was the plan to rebuild the South after the war. And not this man” (Doc G). Expresses a...
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