Status of the Black Man: How the Civil War Changed It Essay

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Although the Civil War is celebrated as the time of emancipation, emancipation was not the primary issue at stake. This leads to wondering how the Emancipation Proclamation and the 14th amendment actually affected the life of the average black. If emancipation was a side effect or an afterthought, what did it really mean? Truly, although blacks were legally freed after the war, they were in many ways still enslaved to the white man. But although the majority of whites in the South did desire and often succeed in keeping the “freedmen” under their control, some few truly did desire to see blacks succeed in the world. Also, the status of blacks during the war was intriguing; for the North, blacks from the South and Northern blacks were …show more content…
Once the war started, Northern soldiers would invite the blacks to rebel and run away from slavery. By a Southerner’s account, “negroes are bringing fine prices, a great many have gone to the Yankees,” . After the Emancipation Proclamation, blacks in the Southern states were still as oppressed as ever. The U.S. government did not have the power to free the slaves, except as an afterthought as they progressed through Southern territory. Also, the Emancipation Proclamation served as a method to replenish the ranks of the Union army as they progressed through the Confederacy. “such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States…” Now, instead of being unpaid slaves of white men and working on plantations blacks were paid slaves of white men fighting on the battlefield. Although it was a point of contention for some, black men were allowed to fight in the Union army. Northerners in support of the blacks fighting would claim “that the United States knows no distinction in her soldiers,” although the black soldier was paid less than the white soldier. The black soldiers were valiant “ready to follow wherever [they] were led.” The Union army embittered their black soldiers by lumping them all together. There was no differentiation between the contraband and the freedmen by birth. It did not matter whether a black signed up for the army or was

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