The Downfall of Man Power Essay

The Downfall of Man Power Essay

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The need to be powerful has plagued many in history. Once the taste have been had, the drive to continue for more power cannot be stopped. Power twisted and shaped the designs of those who sought it out. Many had risen with their new found power and then fell quickly once it collapsed in on them. General Benjamin Franklin Butler is just one of the many who had lost their power by clawing their way to get more. The continued orders that he placed during his time as military commander in New Orleans eventually led to his downfall. His story is one that is arguably important to understanding how the minds of some men were warped by power throughout the Civil War era.
Benjamin Franklin Butler did not start out as a general from the Civil War. Growing up, Butler was described as being "a reckless, impetuous, headstrong, boy...who regularly got into fights” (West). He had always been one to do his own wishes, even from a young age. Later in life after studying law, he became an attorney from Massachusetts who advocated for the working class, even helping them to have ten-hour work days, and promoting against labor strikes (Hearn). Gaining his strong Northern Democrat views from his time in college, he easily backed Jefferson Davis and a proslavery stance even though he was not for the spread of slavery. Butler also served as a member of the House of Representatives and was a governor of Massachusetts. When war broke out he was not one of the first nor would he be one of the last to be appointed as a general due to his political standing (Gauthreaux). The problem with his being a politically appointed leader gave him the idea that he was able to do whatever he wished when it came to battles and orders from his superiors. ...


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...e U.S. Civil War. http://www.libraries.uc.edu/libraries/arb/exhibits/civil-war/butler.html. 23 March 2014.
Faulkner, Carol. "Prostitutes and Female Patriots in the Civil War Era." Reviews in American History, Volume 38, Number 1 (2010): 87-92. Academic Search Premiere.
Faust, Patricia L. "Benjamin Butler's New Orleans "Woman's Order"." 13 January 2002. Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War. 24 March 2014.
Gauthreaux, Alan G. "The BEAST Turned Loose in New Orleans." America's Civil War (2012): 30-35. Academic Search Premier.
Hearn, Chester. "When the Devil Came Down to Dixie: Ben Butler in New Orleans." Louisiana State University Press (2000): 13.
Lardas, Mark. "Beauty and the Beast." American History 37.6 (2003): 26. Web.
West, Richard Sedgewick. "Lincoln's Scapegoat General: A Life of Benjamin F. Butler, 1818–1893." Houghton Mifflin (1965): 9-10.


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