A paragraph on "The Great Experiment" or the The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry explaining how it was successful during the civil war

Essay by phonzHigh School, 11th gradeB, December 2003

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The Great Experiment

The "great experiment" was a successful in a way. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry did eliminate some of the hardships African Americans had to go through. This Volunteer Infantry was able to show people, with their actions in combat, that they were not animals and deserved to be treated as equals. This opened many people's eyes to the concept that African Americans are of racial equality to White people. An example of a person who opened up to this concept was their commander, Robert Shaw. By reading his letters, it shows how he slowly stops using derogatory terms like "nigger" or "darky". The Volunteer Infantry also helped in obtaining equal citizenship rights for all African Americans. This did not come until later on in history. But, not all good things happened for the men of the 54th Massachusetts regiment during the war. In fact, most of the things they went through were not all that great.

One incident is their loss in two consecutive battles. After these battles African Americans still were not treated equally since the men in the regiment were only paid $10.00 instead of $13.00. In addition to this, $3.00 was subtracted for the cost of uniforms. But in the end, the war they fought was worth while since their efforts helped African Americans obtain racial equality, thus making the "great experiment" successful.