The American Civil War And Great War


Many articles regarding the analysis of social development in the United States have focus mainly on the pre-Civil War and post-Civil war, they rarely analyzed the Civil War itself because of the perception that Civil War was a sort of a watershed. Therefore, this essay will analyze the consequences of American Civil War and Great War as watershed of a moment in relations to the military, political concerns, impacts on the public life, methodologies, values and cultural concerns(Eicher, & David, 2001). From the military history American Civil War armies were drawn from three groups of manpower: the white conscript, American African volunteers and the white volunteers. First, it is important to understand the factors that led to Civil war between the Southern and the Northern states. The major cause of the American Civil War was the issue of slavery, in the sense that Southern States were against the abolition of slavery, while the Northern states perceived slavery as not an act of civilization.

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            Between 1861 and 1862, white volunteers were the only manpower available for both the Confederation and Union force. Initially, American Civil War was considered as a “white man’s war, however, African American volunteers their military services to the Northern States. Very few African American volunteers agreed to fight alongside the Confederation forces. The Northern States began to increase the recruitment of the African American troop beginning January 1863 when the final Emancipation Proclamation was issued(Dew, 2001). The number of African American soldiers expanded rapidly until it reaches approximately 186,000 colored soldiers serving in Union ranks. By 1865, the proportion of the African American soldiers serving in Union army had reached 10 % of the total Union forces. However, the regiments of the United States Colored Troops were led by the white commanders. When the Southern realized that the number of Colored Troop in the Union was increasing rapidly, they began to recruit and arm the African American troops, but the idea came too late because the Civil War was coming to the end.

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            After the Civil War ended in spring 1865, the Southern and Northern States for the first in history of American history started conscription as a process of recruiting the soldiers. Since the Confederacy side had already started by process of conscription in April 1862, the adopted the process more easily, unlike their counterpart in Northern that felt conscription was a threat if the northern communities failed to meet the required quota of volunteers(Levine, 2006). This made the northerners to use incentive to attract men to volunteer for military services. These include payment of bonuses known as bounties for every volunteer joining the forces from the African American. The recruitment of men to join forces was done at the community level by the community leader. Most of the volunteers joined the force because of the privileges and entitlement they receive being a military personnel such as freedom to drink alcohol at any time.

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            Many American scholars have argued that the Great War also known as World War I was the war of Europe and not America. These argument seem valid because during the First World War, no single attack was carried out in the American soil. Also, most American did not felt the devastation and atrocities of the Great Warsince the battle field was in Europe. Studies indicated that America entered into the war after successful propaganda perpetuated by the British about the telegram and the unrestricted submarine warfare Germany was employing(McKinney, 2004). At first, the American citizens were against American military getting involved in warfare that was affecting them, since they had hold neutral position for the past three years. Especially the Irish-American who were anti-British and the some Germany speakers who were living in various towns. The government resorted to use of propaganda through the media and magazines to sway the minds of the people.

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            The American engagement in the Great War might have been short, but it left behind impacts that shaped American way of thinking. For instance, most of the men that were enlisted to fight in the Great War left their work in the industrial Northern state. This made the African American in the southern to migrate and take up these jobs in the northern. As a result, there was migration of blacks from southern to the northern because jobs in the industries and factories were paying well than in the farms(Black, 2009). At the end of Great War, the white came back and demanded back their jobs and required the black to return to the southern. These conflicts led to racism and discrimination that saw many black lynched. Statistics indicated that the number of blacks that were lynched were more than the number of African American soldiers that were killed in the battle field. This made the government to reconsider the standardization of the economy and creating national mindset.

Methodologies of The American Civil War And Great War

            Historian have identified three methods that American military employed to fight in both Civil War and Great War: strategy, operations and tactics. Strategy involves the process combating the enemy in manner that can be defeated without incurring more casualties. This include strategizing the soldiers to attack the enemy from different fronts simultaneously. This also surprising the enemy through ambushes and hitting on the strong holds(Black, 2009). This was evident when the confederacy forces massacred the African American soldiers that were fighting alongside the Union forces. Also, the strategy that American forces employed when they fought alongside the allied forces in World War I by deploying Colored Troops to fought under the command of France forces.

            Operations and tactics in the hand include the movement of the soldiers in the battle field. For example, one infantry can be utilized while the other regiments engage the enemy from different fronts such as air attack, artillery and from the sea. However, in the Civil War two major operations were used the infantry and the artillery because forces were not well equipped with modern technology weapons(Eicher, & David, 2001). While in the Great War, there was the use of submarine, armored tanks and machine guns that were very deadly weapons that could cause maximum damage and death. Tactics involves the use of intelligence, logistics, technology and combat power. In the Civil War, women were used to gather intelligence from the enemy.

The Impacts of the American Civil War And Great War

            Wars have negative impacts to the society in various perspective which include social, cultural, settlement, psychological and politics. During the war, the population in the communities are displaced, as a result, there is concentration camps were the displayed people seeks shelter. Also, as communities run away from the war, they change settlement patterns. For example, the Great War led to mass migration of the African American from southern to the northern states to take up job left by the white American who were enlisted to fight alongside the allied forces in Europe(Levine, 2006). These mass movement have negative and positive impacts in the economic growth of the country. Similarly, during the Civil War, settlement of the African American in the southern states were as a result of slavery which was permitted by the laws in the southern, while the northern states were against the slavery.            

From the psychological perspective, the people that are directly or indirectly affected by the warfare may experience psychological problems related to loss of love ones, destruction of property and witnessing atrocities. These effect may lead to mental problem especislly in the case of soldiers in the front line. In relations to the culture, both American Civil War and the Great War shape the cultural thinking of American presidency. For example, President Wilson changed the way of thinking when he observed the destruction resulted from World War I. in addition, American relied in civilian-soldier for quite some time when they were fighting the colonial. This changed the way of thinking for most American about patriotism and defending the nation. The aspects of politics is evident in the sense that president Wilson decided to remained neutral in the Great War for three years because the American was benefiting from the two side by selling weapons and supplies. However, he changed the stand after he was elected as the president.

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