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The Red Badge of Courage

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Henry Fleming is a young farmer who decides to leave his work in the farm to join the American Union Troops fighting in the civil war. He does this with a lot of anxiety that he will be able to prove the courage he has as well as patriotism to his beloved country. When he first meets the confederate soldiers, he opts to run and save his life but does not want to be considered a coward by the fellow union soldiers.  Later on he understands that his decision was right as those who did not run ignorantly exposed themselves to danger. Fleming does not withdraw from the Union Army but builds on his self-esteem something that greatly contributed to gaining his courage back. Then he gets to the battle field believing that he was courageous and good enough to be in front fighting for his country.

The movie has a strong support to the theme on American civil war. More interestingly, the movie entails some sort of realism that highly influences those watching it. It tells of a life of a young determined and inexperienced man who despite seeing the dangers of the war is still willing to go ahead and fight for his country. It is the kind of motivation that hugely acts as our strength and drives when matters of our nation arise. The movie is capable to influence the way we view and understand the history of the United States of America. However, there are still some weaknesses that are evident from it. One such weakness is that the movie seems to be based more on imagination than on the real truth of what had actually happened.

When I saw the movie, thoughts of how shocking the battle field was criss-crossed my mind. Both sides seemed to have military power and were well determined that they would win the battle. However, despite being in the battle field for the first time, Fleming is driven by love towards his country to overcome fear. He believes that what he is doing is worth doing for his country.  This is an inspiration of how patriotism can drive our urge to save the nation. Again, in battles both wisdom and courage must be fairly exercised.

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“Battle Cry of Freedom” Novel

The novel starts by the coverage of the events that led to the American civil war. The book depicts the cleavages of the American society during the period before the start of the civil war. James McPherson focuses on changes that were occurring in the social, family and economic life. He also looks into the deserted slave laws as well as the refusal by the southern states to let go of slavery. The books state clearly it was slavery that actually led to the civil war. Though other issues of freedom and power came to emerge, they actually originated from the differences on how slavery was handled and whether the federal government had a say over the issue. The book portrays slavery as a bad thing and censors those who advocates for its continuity. There is joy in the areas where the war has been won by the Union Forces.

The novel is expressed in a manner that shows the actual strength it bears. Some of those strong characteristics it possesses include the following: the ability of the novel to move the reader emotionally, the base of the novel is focused on what used to happen, that is, the actual occurrences as they had occurred. From the book, the writer is able to make a distinction of issues and make his stands known. A major weakness of the novel is that it is viewed as being biased towards the Unionist. The writer supports the position held by those who fought for the union as well as backing their opinions and actions; while he condemns the confederates and even censors them for favouring continuation of slavery.

When I read the novel, many things came clear and certain in my mind. First, Lincoln believed in the freedom of Americas and appreciated the need of states to have independence. However, he would not have allowed the freedom and rights of some of the American citizens to be violated. Again, those who fought for Union were determined to see a country of equals. The cheers to Lincoln upon he visits of the areas that had been liberated were the proof of what most Americans wanted then. This has become a painful battle in the American history, but it was the one that I consider the source of the American liberty rights.

“History Net” Magazine: Women Soldiers of the Civil War

 The article is a sum up of various articles from different magazines that were written on civil war and precisely emphasizing the women’s role in it. The article recognises that both warring sides during the civil war had female soldiers who had disguised themselves as male soldiers. These women joined the war for different reasons. For instance, some wanted freedom from their family, while others made an entry to the battle field to fight for the issues that caused the war. Furthermore, it was not necessarily that they had to go to the front line during the war. Women took responsibilities that were earlier done by men who had abandoned these duties to allow them join the war. As well, they provided services to the soldiers who were in the battle. These services included: provision of food supplies, treating the injured, supply of clothing and money which they obtained through fundraising as well as acting as spies for their respective sides.

The article bears a lot of strength. Based on the various sources it quotes, the article gives a rich opinion on the topic. Again, it has a good flow and is able to connect fairly well with the readers. Furthermore, the writer was able to stick to the topic and provide a lot of information in a relatively small article. Nonetheless, it has a weakness as well, as it can easily be viewed as a summary of other articles and nob original thoughts. Failure to pass freshness test, would make readers to form a wrong perception about the article.

While reading the article, I feel that women, though lowly regarded in the society then, felt the need to support both the cause they were fighting for as well as their husbands and sons. This shows that they really wanted to engage into the affairs of the state and not just be viewed as ones who should do domestic chores. Such courage and willingness to serve a country is a sigh of true patriotism that we all need to exercise. Finally, from a society where the women in battle were not being appreciated for their role, President Andrew Johnson broke the norm and praised Sarah Thompson as being a respectable woman for her work as a spy. This gives an inspiration of why we need to work for the country together and appreciate each other’s work.

The New York Times: American Civil War (1861-1865)

The article gives an overview that the cause of discontent in the union was the rapid growth both political and economic that the northern states was experiencing in comparison to the southern states. Further, the article blames the hot issue of slavery as what actually fueled this animosity. On being elected the president, Lincoln was to uphold his promise of blocking all efforts that intended to expand slavery. This eventually rubbed the proponents of expansion of slavery, who raised the issue of powers that were actually vested in the union government and those that were vested in states. When this happened, those who were for slavery threatened to quit the union and be a confederation; something that was rejected by unionist and thus triggering the civil war. Lincoln had to mobilize the resources as well as the military to fight the resistance and impose the authority of the union government over the issue of rights and freedoms of the American people. 

This is a strong source, as it is well organized and there is a proper flow of the information. At the beginning, the writer gives a highlight of the case of Sparta in Greece which he uses to compare to the Americas during the civil war. This creates attention and attracts readers to the story as well as gives them a wide range of thought.  Again, the article captures the issues as they happened; thus, not exaggerating the events. Nevertheless, the article has one weakness. It seems to act more in favor of the unionist and could easily be accused of being biased. From the article, I see Lincoln as a statesman who believes in equality of citizens and that inequalities should never be used as the means to separate the people. He has actually become the icon for the American people. His determination to lead free citizens and commitment he makes during his campaign, have actually been supported. Finally, the modernity has contributed greatly in what led to a difference between the civil war and the previous wars. 

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