Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Underground Railroads Essay

Essay on Underground Railroads

The Underground Railroads were not exactly railroads that went under the ground. These railroads were simply the pathways, which led enslaved Afro-Americans to freedom. The other name for these routes is Liberty Line. Escape tracks ranged all over the North American continent from South in Mexico to North in Canada. The history knows that one of the railroads led to Caribbean islands. Since no one exactly knows the details it is hard to tell when the help to runaways started but some reports say in could happen in the very early 1700’s and ended only after 1856 the Union’s victory in Civil War. Many people involved in helping the Underground Railroads sometimes even did not realize their participation, however the notable movement made its impact on the development of proslavery argument.

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The people who were against the slavery in the United States and managed the underground railroads were called abolitionists. This people aimed to reach a goal of proclaiming the slavery law in America illegal. This certainly wasn’t making the slave-owners positive about the loss of their ‘property’. The slave-owners treated the process as “organized theft”. The money invested into slaves and now being lost made slave-owners very unhappy about Northern helping Afro-Americans. To arrange some sort of official decision about the Railroads the South determined to pass the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. The Act prescribed the slaves to be an eternal property of their owners and allowed slave-owners to recover underground railroads anywhere in the United States (Gara, p. 83). However the North would not refuse its plans to help the slaves flee from their owners.

Confederate Policy on Afro-American Soldiers in Civil War
To the surprise of many historians the Southern slave-owners have managed to utilize their slaves during the Civil War fighting on the side that supported and protected slavery in the United States. The Africans fought for a quarter of a century against the Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Apache, Ute and Sioux. At the end, thirteen major black campaigners, which were called ‘buffalo soldiers’ by Indians, were awarded the Medal of Honour as part of a national movement to celebrate the struggle against genocide of Native Americans, underlining the U.S. government’s policy of manifest destiny.

The oppressed Africans where taken by force from their homeland to fight in America against another oppressed race. The fighting, for the Buffalo Soldiers, began in their homeland. Africans where fighting for their freedom when they where in Africa. In fact, Africans have been struggling for their freedom for centuries. However, they were taken by force in ships while resisting in pro of their freedom. The struggles for survival continued: upon being captured they were put in ships bound for Jamaica and America, in the harshest conditions. They persisted to fight after their appearance in America against the Native American Indians. It’s ironic how the minority group of African-Americans has been helping others, in various ways; in this case they helped the Americans conquer their freedom yet Afro-Americans are still fighting for equality and suffering discrimination.

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