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James m. mcpherson crossroads of freedom antietam - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date James M. Mcpherson: Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam Introduction September 17, 1862, is arguably the Americans bloodiest day. The war is commonly referred to as the Battle of Antietam whose aftermath left more than 6,000 soldiers dead…
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Download file to see previous pages McPherson lay out a chronological account of this battle starting with the events that prompted the war, how the battle was fought, and its aftermath. This paper seeks to explore how the battle of Antietam changed the course of America’s Civil War in accordance with McPherson views. The battle of Antietam is indeed remembered as the deadliest and bloodiest day in America’s history. However, this day also has a lot of significance in civil war since it changed the course of the war completely as pointed out by McPherson (2). This is seen right from the first chapter where McPherson lays out shifting fortunes witnessed during the early years before the conflict. Here, McPherson reveals how both the Union and Confederate and European powers were affected by the events of the first years of the battle. In this regard, McPherson Juxtaposes the success of Union forces in the early months of the conflict to Lincoln government’s poor handling of ‘Trent Affair’ and failure of Union forces to conquer the Southern Army. Reflecting the failed Union efforts in the ‘Trent Affair’, McPherson argues that the failure of Confederates to use King Cotton to mount a blockage marked the turning point of the war in its early years of 1862. This is because it gave the Union soldiers the opportunity to repel the Confederate invasion of the north. In this regard, McPherson mentions the usual sources, which included Mary Boykin Chesnut, John B. Jones, Charles Francis Adams, and Elizabeth Blair Lee (McPherson 6). Chapter two of the book gives accounts of the increasing southern fortunes and the tensions that resulted thereof. McPherson titled this ‘Taking off the Kid Gloves, June-July of 1862’ (McPherson 17). In this regard, McPherson gives an account of how growing support for the views of Confederates among European powers turned the course of the battle. McPherson argues that failure of Federals to succeed increased the commitment level of Union forces to wage a different war. This is because the failure by the Federals pointed the weakness of the confederates thereby increasing the morale of the Union forces to continue waging a strong battle, according to McPherson (19). In fact, McPherson noted that the battle of Antietam gave signs of Union’s victory in the war with many Confederate forces perishing in the war. McPherson argues that the battle of Antietam also changed the course of the war since it marked the point where the European powers began seeking for diplomatic recognition, which later resulted in a negotiated settlement leading to the recognition of independence. McPherson also argued that the victory of the Union soldiers in the battle of Antietam also changed the course of the war in the sense that it resulted to the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln, which changed the war into a war against slavery (McPherson 26). According to McPherson, Emancipation Proclamation increased the need to re-ignite Northern enthusiasm through radicalization the war. In fact, McPherson argues that the establishment of an army under Union General John Pope was a move towards a total battle on the interest of the Southern, particularly property. McPherson noted that this entirely changed the course of the civil war to war against slavery and property (McPherson 41). McPherson explains this giving an account of the events that took place in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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