Civil War Essay
Brothers fighting brothers, a country imploding in itself, the world is an antithesis of what auspicious t it is today. A country separated by gender, race, religion, and class is that really a Union? The Civil War has begun, a fight not yet for the freedom of slaves but a fight to mold two sides of a coin into one. The oppressed brethren are reluctant to fight and why shouldn’t they be through all the injustices the Union has placed upon them? Regardless, Alfred M. Green delivers a speech in an effort to persuade his brethren into fighting for the right to join the army that empathizes with his fellow brethren’s inundation, that promises commemoration and recognition for his fellow African Americans, and that promotes the Union’s battle as a righteous one. Green starts his speech down on the mat with a crowd that holds the candid opinion of not wanting to join a fight for a country that oppresses its people, enslaves its people, and imprisons its people. Nevertheless Green acknowledges his brethren’s suffering and injustice caused by the “fugitive slave-laws” and the “Dred Scott decisions” and states that ‘[their] duty is not to cavil over past grievances” but to aid the country with “burning zeal and enthusiasm”.
By empathizing with the injustices the Union has committed towards the black community, Green preemptively dismisses the crowd’s probable argument and establishes a common ground to build upon later in his speech. Likewise, Green mention’s that “the brave deeds of our fathers… have failed to bring us recognition” which quickly refutes the future argument that the Brethren have already sacrificed their share and establishes the point that it’s up to the blacks of that era to bring “honor” and “glory” to the African American race. After acknowledging the mistreatment the Union has committed to the free and enslaved blacks, Green emphasizes that joining the war against the South will “improve the present auspicious moment creating anew [the brethren’s] claims upon the justice and honor for the Republic”. This quote suggests that taking up arms for the Union will secure the future of free African Americans with freedom and honor.
In addition, Green says, “let not the honor and glory achieved by our fathers be blasted or sullied by a want of true heroism among their sons”. Green invokes “filial piety” in the crowd by ultimately saying that the good reputation their ancestors had laid out in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 should not be “sullied” or “blasted” and should be preserved and built upon for this time they may secure a free future. Towards the climax of his speech, Green promotes the Union Army as God’s Army and “[he or God] will defend the right, remembering that these are other days than those of yore.”
By stating God wants the audience to “take up the sword” ultimately encourages the religious brethren to join this “army of God” and gives these mistreated people hope because God wants them to succeed and gain freedom from judgment and racism imposed on their race. Green also says “[their] very presence among the troops of the North would inspire [their] oppressed brethren of the South with zeal… and confidence.” Green’s intention for this quote was to evoke the righteousness of the northern audience to fight for the southern slaves who are enduring far worse hardships.
Alfred M. Green recognizes the hardship his race has endured but insists that their involvement in the war will secure a future filled with honor and glory and insists that God sides with the North and trusts them to fight for and free the enslaved south. In essence, Green convincing blacks and whites to work together as equals was the leap of mankind that inspired the many immigrants and future generations to see the United States of America as the land of freedom and the home of the brave.
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