Melting Pot Soldier


Melting Pot Soldier Essay, Research Paper

email: Mjfxtitle: Melting pot soldierI found that Melting Pot Soldiers ,by William L. Burton, displays the American Civil War, and its participants, from three views. Firstly, it addresses events of the time by discussing the beginnings of the war and how ethnicity played a role in people s feelings towards the conflict. Secondly, the book moves towards a more personal view by discussing many of the techniques used in getting different ethnicity s to fight in the war, their relationship to the region they fought for, and how these groups were treated. Lastly, Burton addresses the outlook on the war and currents events through the literature and songs of the war s key player, the soldier. Burton describes the ethnic scene in America through immigrant men and their letters. Many immigrant groups had significant numbers of representatives in the political realm. These men used their clout to round up support for their party. The foreign vote was formidable in Lincoln s home state and in some states the vote was divided within one ethnic group. For example, the Irish of New York had little respect for Lincoln and much contempt for the union following the election of 1860. While in lincoln s home state of Illinois the German population were strongly pro-union. The politics of, and support for, leaders and issues were skewed in direct relation to the makeup of the immigrant population in any given region. Following secession the need for larger armies grew by the day. To a large extent, recruiting appeals to ethnics were exactly the same as those for all Americans. The appeal from various government entities for the enlistment of soldiers were the same. The union was threatened and patriots should join up and fight to defend that Union . There was no shortage of men willing to fight for their country. American recognized the need to attract the ethnic of their nation and some techniques used were different from those used to get other men to join. Burton mentions Cultural chauvinism as the most common method to recruit the ethnic. For example, What ever the ethnic group, posters and news papers tried to convince members of a group that their background made them excellent military material. Many of the posters are displayed in this book and show how they appeal to a persons sense of nationalism. Not only for the union but also for that persons country of origin and its honor.

One of Burton’s last chapters are filled with songs from the regiments and the significance that these had to one another and to the men within. All were equally poignant though some were loaded with misery and reviled the want for peace while others were lighter and showed the fighting spirit was still left. The Ethnic in the Civil War was crucial to the Union s victory. That becomes evident in throughout this book, but it is brought into a different light where that the Civil N *

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