Tag Archives: Emancipation Proclamation
Recruiting Poster for the Excelsior Brigade (Civil War Treasures from the New York Historical Society)

‘The Fight Was for the Union, Not for the Abolition of Slavery’

A previous post began to examine the fractious relationship between the Irish-American and African-American communities during the Civil War era. The majority of Irish were supporters of the Democratic Party, and many retained strong views in later years about why the war was fought. The pre-eminence of the preservation of the Union as a motivator for Northern […]

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Draft Rioters Burn the Colored Orphans Asylum, New York, July 1863 (Harper's Weekly/Library of Congress)

‘To Hate And Despise The Negro': Towards an Understanding of 1860s Irish Attitudes to African-Americans

150 years ago this month the one of the defining moments in nineteenth century American history occurred, when the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. Abraham Lincoln shifted the war from one to preserve the Union to a struggle to both restore that Union and free the enslaved African-American people. Perhaps the most challenging task when looking […]

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Civil War Citizens

Book Review: Civil War Citizens- Race, Ethnicity and Identity in America’s Bloodiest Conflict

The Irish experience of the American Civil War was not necessarily the same as that of the native-born white American majority who bore witness to the conflict. As a distinct ethnic grouping within 19th century America they often had different motivations for engaging (or disengaging) with the war, which tended to be grounded in their […]

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