role of women and blacks in the civil war

Role of Women and Blacks in the Civil War Essay

This example essay paper discusses the role of women and blacks in the civil war

The civil war in the United States of America broke out in 1861 with an attempt to protect the Union but ended up as a combat to end black slavery. This combat for freedom many would argue was accomplished by the black slaves rendered (Voegeli & Vogeli,1967).Though open to debate, it is undisputed that the blacks did fight for their liberty. From fighting in the background as the war raged on to putting their lives in danger at the battle fields, blacks were crucial to the conquest by the North.

Slave owners in the South created stricter laws to deal with their slaves, pushing their farms and ranches inland to elude contact with the Northerners. These stricter laws led to mass escape by the slaves and demand for liberty by the remaining. The blacks acquired some control in the circumstances, compelling the bosses to start paying for the labor services rendered (Voegeli & Vogeli,1967).

As much as the Northerners were trying to avoided the matter of slavery in the war, sooner, they enrolled blacks to help fight in the war. Lincoln signed an act that further strengthened the blacks place in the US. The blacks joined the war fully, engaging in battle both as army troops as well as in the background as servicemen. Several blacks went back home to liberate their next of kin and companions. Others even claimed possession of their former bosses farms and started extensive farming. These plantations had been left under custody of women, the frail, old and crippled. The owners had joined up in the Confederation army. This whole situation led to rebellion and decline in discipline and work ethic in the South.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a bill that led ultimate liberty of all black slaves. This further boosted the efforts by blacks towards emancipation from the chains of slavery. This made free all the slaves that were bound in the Confederacy but were in revolt. By end of 1865, slavery was abolished. More than half a million slaves had fled to the North and joined the Union army, giving it a boost in manpower.

Before the war, women in America dedicated their lives to setting up a clean, relaxed, fostering abode for their families. After the war erupted, women joined in and did more than just take care of their families. Several women in both the North and South linked up with helper teams and engaged themselves as nurses. In American history, this was a big step and the first time women had taken a pivotal part in the war (Faust,1996).

When the war broke out in 1861, men and women joined in to help their cause. In the North, women decided to team up and form societies. These societies were intended to provide the fighting union troops with attire, medical care, food and even funds. It is also claimed that about 400 women masqueraded as men to battle in the Union and Confederate troops.

By the seventh month of 1861, women had managed to convince the federal state to set up “The United States Sanitary Commission”. This body was tasked with dealing with avoidable illnesses and contagions by raising the conditions in the troop sites and infirmaries. The body was also to offer respite to ailing and injured militia. The Commission amassed a lot of resources, most of which were provided by women.

In the South, women joined the war with as much enthusiasm as those in the North. The south however had meager resources compared to the north. The women provided clothing, bedding among other supplies to the fighting troops. They as well provided medical care to the wounded.

Works cited

Faust, Drew Gilpin. Mothers of invention: women of the slaveholding south in the american civil war. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

Voegeli, V. Jacque, and V. Jacque Vogeli. Free but not equal: The Midwest and the Negro during the Civil War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967.

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