The Emancipation Proclamation


The Emancipation Proclamation Essay, Research Paper

The Emancipation Proclamation

The emancipation proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1,

1863, during the American Civil War, declaring all “slaves within any State, or

designated part of a State… then… in rebellion,… shall be then,

thenceforward, and forever free.” The states affected were enumerated in the

proclamation; specifically exempted were slaves in parts of the South then held

by Union armies. Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation marked a

radical change in his policy.

After out break of the Civil War, the slavery issue was made acute by

the flight to Union lines of large numbers of slaves who volunteered to fight

for there freedom and that of there fellow slaves. In these circumstances, a

strict application of established policy would have required return of fugitive

slaves to their masters.

Abolitionists had long been urging Lincoln to free all slaves, and

public opinion suported that view. Lincoln moved slowly and cautiously nonethe

less; on March 13, 1862, the federal government fforbade all Union Army officers

to return fugitive slaves, thus annulling in effect the fugitive slave laws. On

April 10, on Lincoln’s initiative, congress declared the federal government

would compenste slave owners who freed their slaves. All slaves in the District

of Columbia were freed in this way on April 16, 1862 . On June 19, 1862,

Congress enacted a measure prohibiting slavery in United States territories,

thus defying the supreme court decision in the Dred Scott case, which ruled that

Congress was powerless to regulate slavery in the territories.

Finaly, after the union victory in the battle of antietam, Lincoln

issued a preliminary proclamation on September 22, declaring his intention of

promulgating another proclamathion in 100 days, freeing the slaves in the states

deemed in rebellion at that time. On January 1, 1863 he issued the Emancipation

proclamation, conferring liberty on about 3,120,000 slaves. With the enactment

of the 13th ammendment to the U.S. Constitution in effect in 1865, slavery was

completely abolished.

The results of the Emancipation Proclamation were far-reahcing. From

then on, sympathy with the Confederacy was identified with support of slavery.

As further result of the proclamation, the Republican party became

unified in principle and i

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