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Men Is CheapExposing the Frauds of Free Labor in Civil War America$
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Brian P. Luskey

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469654324

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469654324.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Draft, Popularized

The Draft, Popularized

(p.143) 5 The Draft, Popularized
Men Is Cheap

Brian P. Luskey

University of North Carolina Press

Benjamin F. Butler’s ideas about how to “popularize” certain types of coercion—the Federal draft—unfolded at the end of 1863 on the Virginia coast as he and his subordinates defined the parameters of wage labor in their military department. That was a process dependent upon the intersecting imperatives of coercion and consent operating within the army. The ways white officers, recruiters, and black soldiers experienced and understood wage labor during the war was through the filter of force, obligation, and free will. Union Army officers and recruiting agents sought access to laborers and tried to harness them to the nation’s—and perhaps their personal—benefit. These men did so in different ways, and they came into conflict with each other because they disagreed about the legitimate balance of consent and coercion in a wage labor economy.

Keywords:   Draft, Benjamin F. Butler, wage labor, Union Army, recruitment, coercion, consent

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