CEHSS IRC Brown Bag Lecture Series
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- January 30, 2013 Check for other dates
- W from 12 N to 1:00 PM
- Janice Owens
Sorry, this course is inactive. Please contact our office to see if it will be reinstated, or if alternative classes are available.
The year 2013 is the sesquicentennial of the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation- the presidential decree that "declared" African Americans in the rebellious states of the Confederacy "forever free". Historians and other scholars have long pointed to the fact that the Proclamation did not free a single slave since the Federal government had no ability to enforce it. Nevertheless, the real importance of the Proclamation lies in the fact that it official allowed for the enlistment of African Americans in the Union army. We now know that more than 200,000 African Americans served in the Union army and navy. Many historians have pointed out that focusing only on the North's use of African Americans tends to omit a critical role that they played in the South's war effort, and thus only tells part of the story. The maintenance of slavery was at the core cause of the war. How could the South expect its black population to willingly support the war? What was the sociological and political consequences of using black soldiers? What role did "free" southern African Americans play? Could the black soldier be trusted in combat? This discussion will assess the myths and realities of the Confederacy use of African Americans to help wage a war that appeared to be clearly against their own best interest.
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