Topics: American Civil War, Confederate States of America, Emancipation Proclamation Pages: 5 (1989 words) Published: December 6, 2012
The Emancipation Proclamation was introduced in 1863. The proclamation had many short-term effects in terms of how it affected the lives of Americans these effects can be broken down into the civil war, African Americans, the confederate states and people’s perception of Abraham Lincoln. However the effects of the emancipation proclamation can be regarded as insignificant in terms of the scale of the effect. The emancipation proclamation changed the civil war drastically. It gave the union a more moral position in the civil war and also gave them the upper hand in terms of military as it allowed black people to join the union army, which would of increased the amount of soldier they had. It improved foreign relations to the extent that Britain and France could not help the Confederacy as Britain had abolished slavery in 1833 and France in 1818, this would of helped the union get more powerful as the two super powers at the time could not help the confederate states. This can therefore be seen as a great tactical move from Abraham Lincoln to minimise opposition to the union also helped to secure allies and therefore secure a victory in the war. For this reason the Emancipation Proclamation can be seen as having short-term significance in terms of if it affected the civil war. The emancipation proclamation can also be argued as being un-significant enough to of won the union the war. It is estimated that over 20,000 slaves were freed immediately after the Emancipation Proclamation this therefore suggests that the short-term effect was insignificant as it freed very few slaves. Many slaves tried to escape from the south to the union – the south however hunted down runaway slaves and put them back into servitude or even kill them, “ You will oblige my by sending instructions in reference to the manner of disposing of negroes” (Okolona Miss Jany 8th 1863) this would furthermore suggest that the emancipation proclamation had little significance in terms of the confederate states and how they lived their lives and treated black Americans. In summary it is rather apparent that the union were much better off with the emancipation proclamation due to black Americans joining the union army to fight the south and consequently the confederate states suffered a loss in several directions – mainly economy and manpower The Emancipation Proclamation had a great effect on the south’s economy as it was mainly agricultural and they needed the slaves in order to keep the economy going, however when Abraham Lincoln introduced the proclamation it drastically effected the south’s economy as they had lost a great proportion of their manpower. The Emancipation Proclamation also proved costly, as the south could not rely on slaves to produce cotton to trade to other countries and weapons to fight the union. “The use of the colored troops constitutes the heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion” Abraham Lincoln’s letter to James C. Conking (26th August, 1863) this quote agrees with the idea that the Emancipation Proclamation greatly damaged the south. This therefore would suggest that the Emancipation Proclamation had short-term significance in terms of how it changed the confederate states. The emancipation proclamation was a significant document to America however it could be argued that it was more important to the confederate states in terms of the effect that it had on them. Although the emancipation proclamation changed their ways of living forever it is however unclear how much significance it had in the short-term. The south was very much dependant on agriculture in fact they thought that they were going to win the war as they were America’s main producer of cotton – this lead them to believe their economy would boost. This all changed when Abraham Lincoln introduced the emancipation proclamation in 1863. This document freed slaves within the confederate states therefore it meant that the south could not use slaves to produce goods for them...
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