American Civil War Fortifications (2). Land and Field by Field R., Dennis P.

By Field R., Dennis P.

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E rise of social history, beginning in the 1960s in the United States, promised access to questions of pressing importance regarding class, race, gender, and region. Traditional as they usually are, Civil War historians resisted the opportunities promised by social history for longer than did researchers in most other fields. Historians of slavery, race, and emancipation led this disciplinary shi with careful studies of how and why the process of emancipation happened. 45 Scholars of Civil War soldiers followed, writing the history of the war and the nation based on the experiences of the men who fought it.

Williams and the Roots of Black Power (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999). 47. Scholars who pursue this route can tap into a number of recent studies that explore gender and warfare in other periods. See Kristin L. Hoganson, Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the SpanishAmerican and Philippine-American Wars (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), and Christina S. Jarvis, e Male Body at War: American Masculinity during World War II (De Kalb: University of Northern Illinois Press, 2004).

Even if he and others took black inferiority for granted, they did not accept inferiority as license to enslave. Simply stated, many Union soldiers held antislavery and racist views at the same time. Pro-emancipation sentiment did not banish racism any more than continued racism invalidated support for emancipation. White Union soldiers’ distancing of slavery from race allowed many to call for an end to slavery regardless of their own ambivalent racial attitudes and therefore heightened support for emancipation within the Union army, but it also limited the rank and file’s willingness to face complicated questions about racial justice.

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