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Race in the Military

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:30 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.9 
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For as long as man has been alive he has waged war against his enemies for a multitude of reasons.   Unfortunately, in war it is not the politicians or the bureaucrats that fight but the lowly soldier.   The soldier is a diverse tool that is a necessity to combat even in the most technologically advanced armies.   The men and women who make up these armies have varied over the ages, based on the then, sociological beliefs of who the best fighters would be, based on social views, economics, and physical ability.   Three different wars have been selected to show the changing attitudes of race in the military.

The Revolutionary War

The Revolutionary War was a key point in the history of American, and of racism.   The Revolutionary War was fought over the independence of the American Colonies, and started in the year 1770, and lasted until 1783.   It was fought primarily between the colonist of American, and the British.   The goal of the colonist was to gain independence

from the British, and form their own country.

It was during this war, that many blacks, both slave and free, saw the opportunity to finally get ahead.   Blacks saw the end of this war as though it would be an end to slavery, however, they were split on whose side to fight for.   On one hand, there was the well-known desire of Thomas Jefferson to end slavery when the nation of America had gained independence and was officially formed.   Whereas on the other, many blacks felt that siding with the promises of freedom that the British had gave, would guarantee and end.

Originally, blacks had trouble joining the Continental Army. George Washington forbid the enlistment of blacks, slave or free, into the ranks of the Continental Army due to personal reasons.   It wasn’t until military intelligence was recovered by the continental army, that showed that the one of the British leaders, John Murray, was not only recruiting blacks into his army, but offering them freedom in exchange...

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