Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

Topics: American Civil War, Confederate States of America, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 3 (1023 words) Published: October 27, 2010
Will Gilbertson
Period 1

The Emancipation Proclamation consists of two executive orders issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. The first one, issued September 22, 1862, declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. The second order, issued January 1, 1863, named ten specific states where it would apply. Lincoln issued the Executive Order by his authority as "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" under Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution. Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free all the slaves, but it kept critical border states from seceding and it was a great political move in general.

At first, the president (Lincoln) resisted pressure to make the abolition of slavery a union war goal. He insisted that under the constitution he was bound only to preserve and protect the nation. Lincoln explained this view in a letter to Horace Greeley, an abolitionist newspaper editor. Although Lincoln personally opposed slavery, he did not believe that he had the legal authority to abolish it. He also worried about the effect such as an action would have on the loyalty of the border states. However Lincoln recognized the importance of slavery to the South's war effort. Every slave working in a field or factory freed a white southerner to the fire a gun at union soldiers. Gradually, he came to the regard slavery as one more strategy for winning the war.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and from now on shall be free." Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery...
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