The Emancipation Proclamation Book Review

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The Emancipation Proclamation. John Hope Franklin. Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, 1963, 1965, 1995. 155 pp.

In the book The Emancipation Proclamation, the author John Hope Franklin, tells a story of the emancipation of slaves through the trials of then, President Abraham Lincoln. He leads us through the action before, during, and after the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation in an attempt to give us a greater understanding of the actions taken by President Lincoln.

In the years prior to 1862 and 1863, many people were calling on President Lincoln for the emancipation of the slaves. Many felt that slavery would be the evil that would bring the country down. But at that time Lincoln didn't think it wise to emancipate them for a several reasons. He knew that the emancipation would develop into a crisis in the Border States because many weren't willing to fight to free the slaves. He also doubted the legality of emancipating the slaves and he also wasn't real sure if whites and blacks could coexist in peace. For this reason, Lincoln promoted the idea of colonization after the emancipation.

As the war moved into its second year, the pressure on Lincoln to free the slaves increased and he had decided to put some sort of policy toward the war and toward slavery. In September of 1962 Lincoln issued the preliminary proclamation. He did not ask the advice of his Cabinet, but he did tell the members what he intended to do. Lincoln declared that all slaves in states, or parts of states that were in rebellion on Jan. 1, 1863 would be free. He issued the final proclamation on January 1. Lincoln named the states and parts of states in rebellion, and declared that the slaves held there "are, and hence-forward shall be, free." Several foreign governments sympathized with the South. But they condemned slavery as evil, and thus did not support the Confederacy. Freed slaves could serve as Union soldiers. Many Northerners who had been indifferent to slavery now...
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