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Word Count: 860
The Black Soldier in the Early Republic From the beginning Black Americans have had to deal with the dual expectations that were expected of them by the United States Often there was resistance to allowing blacks to join the military and when they were allowed they usually drew the most distasteful and dangerous assignments In addition they were given a less pay and were still treated as second class citizens at best However despite their troubles African Americans have made great contributions to our armed forces starting with the Revolutionary War The Afro-American has fought for his country to preserve the Union and he has also fought against his country to gain the right to fight and for freedom The United States its first war for independence despite overwhelming odds Yet it may not of been won without the black soldiers in the armies The first American to shed blood in the revolution that freed America from British rule was Crispus Attucks Wilkes 24 He along with four white men were killed in the Boston Massacre of March 5 1770 Attucks a fugitive slave was protesting against the perceived English occupation of Boston along with other whites not realizing he would give his life and become a symbol for generations of African Americans to come At the battles of Concord and Lexington in 1775 black soldiers fought alongside white soldiers Yet even though the Afro-American soldiers clearly distinguished themselves as soldiers they still met resistence from the white colonist When Washington assumed command on July 3 1775 he issued an order prohibiting the enlistment of any Negro Moore 5 It was a British officer Lord Dunmore who inadvertently advanced the cause for the acceptance of black troops He declared all Negroes free that would join his Majestys troops The Americans realized they couldnt afford to deny Black Americans the right to join the army Less than a month following Lord Dunmores proclamation General
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