The Emancipation Proclamation – a freedom for slaves
On January 1st, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as the nation approached its third year of the Civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves, within the rebellious states are, and henceforward shall be free.” But the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways, it only applied states that was untouched by slavery. It also exempted some parts of the Southern states they were under the control of the Northern states.
The freedom that was depended on the Union military victory. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery, it gave some hope to the Africans Americans that were fighting in the war. “In the army black soldiers received counterparts. Organized into segregated units under sometimes abusive white officers, they initially received lower pay.” ( Give Me Liberty An American History: Chap 14). The African Americans were treated unfairly. This is so because they were assigned to do manual labor rather than fight in combat, and they were confined to ranks below that of a commissioned officer in the armed force. In this quote “and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”( American Battlefield Trust: Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation). This demonstrates why the African Americans were so eager to join the fight in a war. Joining the armed forces would guarantee ones freedom from slavery.
Unfortunately, it was freedom for a small number of slaves. Prior to the American Civil War in 1860, there were about 14,000 African Americans residing in Washington D.C. Of that number, approximately three thousand of them were slaves. In 1861 seven Southern States succeed from the Union and created their own government. President Abraham Lincoln did not initially plan to free the slaves in rebelling southern states. The Congress passed a Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862 that paid slave owners to release their slaves. After two years of war, President Lincoln enacted the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in rebelling Southern states. He was concerned that freeing all slaves would disrupt the slave-holding border states. President Lincoln repeatedly stated he had no intention of abolition. President Lincoln also stated he wanted to avoid military emancipation of Southern states. This factor leads me to believe that the Emancipation Proclamation was intended to be a political movement against the rebelling Southern states rather than an act of advocacy for African American rights. President Lincoln was concerned that the total rejection of slavery would alienate border states. Because so many border states had slaves, Lincoln wanted to use a gradual, compensated, and most importantly voluntary emancipation. The Emancipation Proclamation did not bring an effective end to slavery, but it did initiate the process and established a way for minorities to attain equality.
The Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment went hand in hand because of the Civil War. It was the major turning point in history that brought the long process of ending legal slavery in the United States. On April 8, 1864, the US Senate passed a resolution that would bring an amendment to the Constitution that would end slavery, but the House of Representatives failed to pass it. A month later on Jan 31st, 1865 the resolution was succeeded. The Amendment force Congress to enforce the amendment with the appropriate legislation. The amendment was sent to the states ratification office on Feb 1st, 1865. The Emancipation Proclamation was a firm Demonstration of President Lincoln war powers. At first, he didn’t get the support from his advisors, it wasn’t until the success of the Battle of Antietam that he gain the support of his cabinet members. The battle between the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil war was the Bloodiest day that the day nation has an ever seen. After the Union victory, it resulted in Pres. Lincoln the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on Sep 22nd, 1862. The impact of the Emancipation Proclamation was not in full effect until after Jan 1st, 1863, because the rebelling states were not under Union control. However it did add a purpose for fighting in the war, the Union was now fighting to end slavery.
The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t have many accomplishments but it was a stepping stool for the more major events that took place after. It did not put an end to slavery but it was a turning point. It freed the enslaved, but slaves that ran away were held as contraband with no guarantee that they won’t be returned to slavery. But they were held and paid for their labor. It opens the door to black soldiers volunteering to fight in the army. Lincoln declared that African Americans would be received into the armed services by the end of the war African Americans would serve in the navy and the Union army. The Emancipation Proclamation helped lifted the ban on enticement and put in place the Confiscation Act. Which was put in place to liberate slaves in seceded states, It’s stated that Confederate military official or civilian, who did not surrender within the 60 days of the act would have their slaves freed. Which weaken the Southern states. It pushed the slave-holding border states loyal to the Union.
The proclamation declared “That all persons held as slaves “ within the rebellious states” Are, and henceforward shall be free. But the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways, it only applied states that was untouched by slavery. In 1861 the Southern States succeed from the Union and created their own government. President Lincoln did not initially plan to free the slaves in rebelling southern states. After the war, President Lincoln enacted the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in the Southern states.
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