Abraham Lincoln and the Struggle for Union and Emancipation

Topics: American Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 2 (946 words) Published: March 22, 2013
DBQ: Abraham Lincoln and the Struggle for Union and Emancipation, 1861-1865 Lincoln began the civil war claiming to want only to preserve the union, and I think that saving the union was his main goal, but I think even from the beginning, slavery played a part in the start of the war too and another one of his goals was to gradually get rid of slavery. I think as time went on, it started to have a bigger and bigger role in the war, but I don’t think the goal of ending slavery every surpassed his goal of saving the union. He did whatever he thought it would take to save the union, and he also managed to end slavery while doing it. Lincoln knew that slavery was an issue from the beginning, and he wanted to stop it, but wasn’t making an incredibly big deal out of it at first. in March of 1862, Lincoln addressed congress (Doc A), and was encouraging congress to offer compensation to any state that was gradually abolishing slavery, which showed that he didn’t want slavery anymore, but wasn’t pushing too hard for it and was making it so that there wasn’t any punishment for not abolishing slavery, but that there was a reward for those that were trying to abolish slavery. In a letter to Horace Greeley in August of 1862, he said, “if I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all of the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others I would also do that.” this again proves that he knew that slavery was a problem and was an inevitable part of the war, but that his primary focus was to save the union, and then worry about the slavery issue later on. He was also trying to keep the Border States happy, not obviously just focusing on freeing the slaves. He did want to gradually abolish slavery but it wasn’t his main goal at the time. Lincoln came to believe that the emancipation proclamation would actually help save the union. There are several different things that the abolishment of...
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