Abraham Lincoln-Emancipation Proclamation vs. Previous Quotes

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"I am not nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races." How can this 1858 statement of Abraham Lincoln be reconciled with his 1862 Emancipation Proclamation?

After reading this quote, how can one think of Abraham Lincoln as the great man he is said to be? It has become very clear that Lincoln was not thinking of blacks as people when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. He was thinking of what was right in the eyes of others. He was under pressure to do what the majority of the country wanted, and to do what seemed right in the eyes of the more developed super powers of the eastern hemisphere, like England. What Lincoln really wanted was what was extrinsicly morally right. Not what was necessarily best for the people of his country.

So one might ask: “How could he take a country to war if he wasn’t deeply dedicated to his cause?” He did not plan to. Things just happened that way. How is Lincoln, “Honest Abe,” supposed to look out into the faces of American knowing that slavery is wrong? How is he supposed to ignore the issue with radical abolitionist parties raiding armories like Harpers Ferry, writing newspapers like Garrison’s “The Liberator,” selling books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe? How does he justify the selling of people to English tourists who come to America and leave with horrific memories of the experience? He couldn’t. The pressure was on and he wanted to slowly wean the South away from slavery.

That, Lincoln knew, would not be easy, and lacking the foresight of John Brown who, until his untimely death prophesied that the sins of this country wouldn’t be purged without much bloodshed, didn’t think it would mean Civil War. Not even after the South seceded did he think it would be really bad. The boys in blue, Union soldiers, all lined up on a sunny day in July singing patriotic songs of triumph and glee, with their wives and...
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