Moon and the Mars

The North’s utilization of former slaves as a means of gaining an advantage over the South during the Civil War was a reluctant but necessary decision. The North initially hesitated to arm former slaves, but it ultimately recognized the potential of their participation and thus saw it as a crucial factor in winning the war. One substantial factor that contributed to the North’s determination to enlist black people in the Civil War was their incentive to fight. As the quote states, “Black people have the strongest incentive towards action”, indicating that they were more likely to fight for the Union if they believed it would benefit them in the long run (305). The promise of liberation and the potential for reparations were powerful motivators for former slaves to join the Union forces. Reasonably so, most slaves were incredibly optimistic about their future. However, Theodora brought up a very interesting idea that most Black people did not think about with the question “How can liberated people survive and thrive if there’s no provision for reparation of the damage inflicted? (305)” This provides a more complex, critical view of the long-term implications of abolishing slavery rather than only a short-term one. I would argue that this is significant because it still applies to Black people today, granted it is within a different context. For example, the government commonly offers money to combat problems such as racial disparities in wealth accumulation by offering grants to small businesses or colleges. While this is certainly helpful, I believe teaching students about the importance of personal finance is vital since money can only be used for so long before it is gone. Money is the short-term solution, and changing behavior is the long-term solution.

One Reply to “Moon and the Mars”

  1. I think that your blog post about the inclusion of former slaves in the Civil War is really interesting and important, especially in the context of this novel. The fact that Lincoln initiated the war not necessarily as an attempt to free all slaves is not a widely-known fact. It is not exactly what they teach us in our middle school U.S. history classes. Even for those who do already know this, it is still often overlooked. Theo’s perspective really reminds us of the frustrations of Black people and former slaves at the beginning of the war, because they are so willing to fight for their own cause of abolitionism, even if it does not align entirely with Lincoln’s intentions at first. This makes it all the more significant, and perhaps gives the war a nobler purpose, when the North does arm former slaves.

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