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Emancipation and the Middle East War


It is at the heart of the war; the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln is faced with a tough decision of whether to sign or not to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. If he does, all the slaves (African –Americans) would leave their masters and possibly join forces with the Union and help the country win the war. The president did abhor slavery, but he feared offending some Americans in his administration which was formed on a coalition basis. There was also a feeling that the Proclamation would make the Confederate Army strengthen their hold to keep the slaves from being freed, hence having an upper hand in the war (Brennan, pp.14-16). This paper will identify the concepts followed by the above effect and its eventual outcome. The paper will zero in on the main idea of redressing physical and structural violence that rocked the state during the struggles and further proceed to give highlights on the Gettysburg and Vicksburg victory by the Union Army under General Meade.

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The War Redefined

Slavery and issues related to emancipation made the main theme that characterized the entire Civil War. This led to the review of a lot of policies by Congress and the White House to allow for the freedom and participation of the Black Slaves in public affairs. There was a profound social struggle to resolve the issue of slavery in the United States during that time; this proved a contentious issue that revolved around the Congress, the military, and the president together with his allies. There was the need to resolve huddles in the political landscape as well as the hitches in the social setup. No single slave was happy with their subjective predicament and several of them struggled to free themselves by all means; so when they felt that the war might offer a way out into freedom through emancipation, they held onto it by both hands. Reports indicate that well over 20,000 blacks escaped from, the detention camp via the Underground Railroad between the year 1850-1860 (Donald, p.330).

The Concept of Emancipation

The Emancipation concept took broad coverage based on the need to streamline the security situation in the country. First, there was a notable difference in stands between the proponents of the system and its opponents. They failed to agree on the way forward to approach the issue, and the fate of slave owners once the slaves have been freed. Lincoln made his position very clear on the matter during his inauguration speech by stating that the whole idea of the war was to solidify the union and not to change the political or social landscape (Donald, p.235). He said that he neither had the power nor the interest to interfere with the institution of the state, slavery included; Congress sided with him then. Nearly all Democrats and a sizable number of Republicans opposed the idea of freeing the slaves and much less, incorporating them into the Union Army. Though the state tried so much to ignore the biting issue of slavery, it came to a point where the matter had to be given full attention. As the war progressed, the Union Armies reached areas that were full of slaves and the Union saw the potential in them; a potential which they wanted to integrate into their troops and utilize in the war against their rivals. The African-American slaves on their part felt that by being allowed to join the army, they will bid bye to slavery and America would be forced to note their importance in society. The slaves fell for the proposal and boldly matched to join the Union Forces (Donald, p.336). The president later gave in to the pressure and drew a program that would eventually see all the slaves set free and all their former owners. He received a lot of resistance from slave owners who wanted to retain the status quo, so he sought congress’ help. Lincoln figured out that emancipation was vital if the Union had to be spared defeat minimize rebellion and end animosity among the races. This realization came true on 1st January 1863 when he gave an ultimatum on proclamation (McPherson, pp.26-28).

Emancipation and the Freedom of Blacks

The proclamation of emancipation recommended the freedom of then the Black slaves into free citizens. But Lincoln could not enforce the proclamation leading to the French and Briton’s refusal to support the South due to their opposition to slavery. Despite this, the state went ahead with the emancipation program and the war to slavery received great victory. There was jubilation among the African-American Community upon the affection of the emancipation program. Most blacks, particularly the ones on the border areas walked heads high for the first time in their lives and felt the happiness of being free citizens…there was an exodus to Washington to celebrate the liberation (Donald, p.339). At last, the blacks could till their lands with subsistence crops and directly benefit from them, thanks to the emancipation program. Soon they moved to odd jobs like barbers, hackmen, mechanics, and nurses and continued to advance with time. Despite the great forward leap, backs were still not fully free to consider they free American citizens. They were still not allowed to own private businesses…and so far, so good by the then standards. The blacks were freed but still in bondage (McPherson, p.29).

The real turning point that came with the Union victory at Gettysburg and the events involved in the fall of Vicksburg

The outcomes of the Gettysburg war dealt America the greatest number of casualties. The war has been mainly referred to by historians as the American Civil War Turning Point. The Union cavalry division and the infantry successfully defeated Gen. Lee’s men of Northern Virginia. The war raged for several days and the Union suffered several great losses, but they held their lines and never gave up (Busey, pp.65-67). After three good days of real confrontation, Gen. Lee still held up strong, he lined his men hoping that Gen. Meade would attack, but this was not to be. Instead, Gen. Meade decided to withdraw from the attack but time refused to grant Lee a request for a prisoner exchange. After what seemed like an end to the war, and every army headed towards their territory, Meade ordered his men to follow, corner, and attack the rival army at the Fallen Waters region. But Mede’s men were late, they did not catch up with Lee’s men, and neither did they pursue further. This attack ended the Gettysburg Campaign with victory on Gen. Meade and the Union, though with a long list of casualties (over 51,000) (Longacre, p.6).

The Naval Battles and their impact on the Total War

The Naval Battles were fought uniquely to those done on the land. They were very aggressive where it involved hitting the enemy so hard then splitting up and isolating the enemies’ forces before regrouping and ganging upon them. Naval battles are done in the waters, not land. When it involves the application of the naval tactics in the Total War, the army is supposed to fully focus on the ship and not the surrounding (water). Whether using submarines, sailing ships, battleships, or aircraft carriers, the mode of operation of naval battle has remained the same all through. The most important principles that have been wholly integrated with the Total War are that of maneuvering before finally coming upon the enemy and that of breaking the combat off to avoid losing the fleet. Since Total War calls for destroying the rival’s capacity to hit back, applying the naval tactics would be effective in a total war (Eicher, pp.42-57).

The Role that the election of 1964 played in Decision making by the Commanders

The United States Presidential election of 1964 has been said to be the most lopsided in the history of the Nation. President L.B Johnson assumed office within less than a year after the assassination of his predecessor J.F. Kennedy. He associated himself with Kennedy and talked against the Goldwater strategies, which he said had the capability of plunging the country into nuclear warfare. Everything worked well for him and he ended up scooping 44 out of the possible 50 states. The election showed that with a willing public and an equally willing Commander in Chief, the needs of the people can surely be satisfied simply by the commander ensuring that public friendly policies are passed in good time. L.B Johnson managed to put into effect all the 35 bills that J.F Kennedy had initiated within his tenure, with quite a good number of them in his first two years in office. Congress on its part gave the president unlimited powers to run several programs that he felt were good for the country. He was also at liberty to oppose anything against his wishes; L.B. Johnson particularly was against the “Communist Aggression”. The decision of the Commander also seems to be vital in all other matters touching on the security of the state.

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Work Cited

Brennan, C. Mary. (1995). Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the G. O. P. University of North Carolina Press.pp.14-17.

Busey, W. John W., and Martin, G. David. (2005). Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg, 4th Ed., Longstreet House. pp.65-67.

Donald, Baker. (2001). The Civil War and Reconstruction. WW Norton & Co. pp.329-341.

Eicher, J. David J. (2001). The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, Simon & Schuster.pp.42-64,

Longacre, G. Edward. (1986). The Cavalry at Gettysburg, University of Nebraska Press. p.6.

McPherson, M. James. (1988). Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), Oxford University Press.pp.26-29.

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