Part 1: 1450-1750
<---Part 2: 1750-1805
Part 3: 1791-1831
Part 4: 1831-1865

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Modern Voices
Colin Powell on blacks fighting during the Revolutionary War
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Q: Late in the war, America who had previously banned blacks from the military service began to let them in. Can you talk about how necessity has always pushed change?
Colin Powell

A: When war comes and blood is being shed and casualties are being experienced, you really have to start looking for manpower. And by now, it is known that slaves can be soldiers. Free black men can be soldiers. And the British were trying to recruit blacks, promising them their freedom. So as was often the case in our history, market forces -- isn't that a horrible way to put it? -- market forces became operative for purposes of strategic necessity. And so black men were recruited, and it was determined that they could be good soldiers. So necessity has always pushed us along.
General Colin Powell
Former Head of The Joint Chiefs of Staff

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