The Theme Of Patriotism In What They Fought For?

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In “What They Fought For”. James McPherson engages the reader with the general themes of what motivated the individual soldier to enter to fight in the Civil War. The book is divided into three chapters, giving the insight of many soldiers being divided by the border between the north and south. The lack of censorship at the time allows the reader to clearly see the insight of what these soldiers were trying to display. Although the soldiers are not equally represented by these few letters. There are still a lot of factors that could ultimately affected the overall believes of the soldiers. For example the opinion of the illiterate soldiers were not disclosed because they lacked the ability to write, the unskilled and farmers were also under…show more content…
Each side felt connected to the previous debates made from the Founding Fathers when trying to separate from the power of the British. The Confederates would refer to themselves as rebels, like the name given to the patriots in the revolutionary war. While the Union soldiers would also feel that they were upholding the Revolutionary war, wanting to feel worthy of that heritage. The initial patriotism and ideological commitment of many soldiers resulted in transforming into hatred and a passion for revenge. The Confederate soldier’s looked into destroying the property and homes of the Union soldiers. The same attitude of revenge as seen by the confederate soldiers was mostly noted by the east Tennessee Union soldiers. But there was a more demonic take in how the Confederate soldiers wanted to take upon actions of revenge. Mentioning the need to exterminate all of the confederate soldiers and writing that “we should take horses; burn houses; and commit every depredation possible upon the men of the North… slay them like wheat before the scythe in the harvest time. I certainly love to kill the base usurping vandals, if it is sin to hate them; then I am guilty of the unpardonable one” (22). The vibe of hatred could be detected. There was definitely a lot of common characteristics among the Union and Confederate…show more content…
The plantation owners with slaves began to look into purchasing slaves quickly after the intuition of the war to avoid the price increase that they was suspected to arrive. Confederates believed that they were fighting for liberty and slavery. Slavery abolition wasn 't exactly what the Union soldiers were fighting for as it was embedded into our heads throughout the school years. As the years went on and the Union soldiers began to move south, runways attached to the Union soldiers, by the summer of 1862 the thoughts of slavery abolition have become greatly noted, especially after the Emancipation Proclamation. Many soldiers began to see the abolition of slavery as the only way out of the war, as seen in the quote "The only way to put down this rebellion is to hurt an instigator and abettors of it. Slavery must be cleansed out... The time has come to march through this infest of vipers with fire and sword, to liberate every slave”

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