Glory Movie Analysis

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The federal government placed many restrictions and discriminatory actions on the black troops. At the beginning of the Civil War, African Americans were not allowed to serve in the U.S. military. By the summer of 1862 it was clear that additional troops were needed. To meet the need, Congress passed two bills that allowed the participation of black soldiers in the Union Army. The Government established segregated units called The Bureau of Colored Troops. The measure lacked popular support and the U.S. Army did not begin recruiting black soldiers until 1863. One of the worst forms of discrimination was the pay differential. For example, in the movie in response to unequal pay, Shaw and the black troops of the 54th regiment decided not to accept any pay at all until they were treated and paid as equals. Despite Shaw's protests to the War Department, the regiment did not receive the "white pay" until 1864. At the beginning of black enlistment, the War Department thought that blacks would be kept out of direct combat, and the men were paid as laborers rather than as soldiers. They served as carpenters, chaplains, cooks, guards, laborers, nurses, scouts, spies, steamboat pilots, surgeons, and teamsters also contributed to the war cause. Black soldiers therefore received $7 per month, plus a $3 clothing allowance, while white soldiers received $13 per month, plus $3.50 for clothes regardless of rank. White soldiers would be paid $6 more than blacks. Not only did this make it difficult to support themselves or their family, but it also made them feel unequal and gave them motive to fight for equality. Black soldiers faced discrimination because of their race/ethnicity. They began volunteering and trying to enlist, but everywhere they went they were rejected. In general, white soldiers and officers believed that black men lacked the courage to fight and fight well. For example, in the movie a black solider was quarrelling with a white officer. Even some...
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