Discuss the Relationship Between Lincoln's Goals of Preserving the Union and Freeing the Slaves.

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 1193
  • Published: March 13, 2011
Read full document
Text Preview
DBQ Civil War Essay

In the time period of 1862 to 1865, when Lincoln takes office in March 4th to his assassination, the United States was dealing with the issues of preserving the Union. In determining whether Lincoln’s goals to preserve the Union by freeing the slaves, one must assess the knowledge of their relationship. Politically, President Lincoln tried to convince the political groups that abolishing slavery would help preserve the Union; intellectually, he gave the idea of ending slavery to the citizens through speeches; and socially, after Lincoln freed the slaves, they were pursued to join the war for the Union’s cause. In order for Lincoln to save the Union, he would find it inevitable to end the slavery issue.

Politically, Lincoln used his political skills to gain support for his beliefs with the issue of slavery. Lincoln had to deal with the issue of slavery anyways, so he took the political approach by pursuing political and religious groups. In Document A, Lincoln was convincing Congress to resolve the slavery problem within the Union. In March 1862, Lincoln told Congress that “The Federal government would find its highest interest in such a measure as one of the most efficient means of self preservation.” Lincoln plants the idea of an Emancipation Proclamation be put into effect so Congress can resolve the issue of freeing the slaves. The “most efficient” way, quoted from Document A, would be the best way to preserve the Union. Lincoln then begins to sell the idea of the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 in Document B. Lincoln knows that they will have to free the slaves; it seems that he has to deal with it. However, he believes that they have to be smart about setting them free, for Lincoln states in Document B that “...I am not so sure we could do much with the blacks…” Lincoln feels if they armed the slaves, the weapons would soon be in the hands of the rebels, which he wants to prevent from happening. Lincoln does not want another John Brown event (Harper’s Ferry) to occur, because it would all lead back to Lincoln and his wrong decisions/ actions. He is taking precaution, but he still is using his knowledge of being a lawyer to help gain the support of the religious groups. He also brings up the fact that freeing the slaves could help them with their political issues with Europe. France and Britain would certainly be affected if the United States were to end slavery; if so they would back off from entering the war. The Emancipation Proclamation was put into effect in order to trick/mislead France and Britain into thinking that Lincoln was doing well in the war, which meant that the South was losing. However, at this time of 1863, the South is winning the war. They have been beating the North, which feared Lincoln because he did not want Europe to interfere with his nation. Putting the Emancipation Proclamation into effect would buy Lincoln some time to resolve the issue. Then again however, Robert E. Lee wants to beat Lincoln in the war of Gettysburg to prove to France and Britain that Lincoln is wrong. However, overall Lincoln had to end slavery anyways because that was the only solution left. The United States had already tried compromises that never lasted/worked. The only solution left to face was just freeing the slaves. Because Lincoln planted the idea of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was difficult to get into the heads of others but ended up working, he then pursued what was acquired in Document D to occur. It is a recruiting poster for the 54th Massachusetts Regiment in 1863. This shows that the freed slaves are able join the war; which can also tie into Document B when Lincoln recites his speech for the option of having the blacks join the war. This poster was a motivation/ propaganda tactic for the freed blacks to finally take part in the war effort. This was all achieved politically in order to preserve the Union.

Intellectually, Lincoln...
tracking img