Throughout history, people have debated whether Abraham Lincoln should be considered the Great Emancipator or not. Due to many factors that influenced his reasoning for his actions, his legacy has been greatly questioned. The freeing of slaves was not all because of one person but this act of great change in history would not have occurred without Abraham Lincoln and all his contributions to the cause. I argue that Abraham Lincoln, although at first his intentions to abolish slavery may not have been due to the moral issue of slavery, should still indeed be considered the Great Emancipator because he played a large role in the freedom of slaves. In order to support this claim I will first explain how Lincoln’s view on the moral issue of slavery changed over time, followed by the careful steps Lincoln took to ease the nation into the emancipation of slaves, and lastly how some decisions and changes made in the nation by Lincoln, made him a great leader and one that pushed for the end of slavery.
Throughout the civil war period Lincoln came to a realization that he should not just abolish slavery for the interest to protect the union but more so because of the moral issue of slavery. At first, his goal was strictly to preserve the union in any way possible and at the time, states in the South were choosing to succeed and emancipation was the way he believed would stop that. Lincoln believed that succession was not the states rights but slavery was. 1 This was one of the reasons Lincoln did not feel it was his right to take away slavery from slave states. Lincoln stated, “If I could save the union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it with freeing all the slaves I would do it.” 2 This proves that his main goal in the beginning was purely to save the union. As the war continued, Lincoln then issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which promised freedom to slaves in the areas that continued to be in rebellion on