The Emancipation Proclamation Essay

1193 words - 5 pages

The Emancipation Proclamation was an enormous incentive for the Union’s victory in The Civil War because it freed slaves to be put in the Union army, which was an advantage for the Union victory. It was also the most important aspect of Lincoln’s legacy. The proclamation was important to history because it paved the way for the abolition of slavery in the United States.
“Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd 1862. The document states that if the states in the rebellion didn’t cease, the proclamation would go into effect” (10 Facts). When the rebellious states decided not to, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation on January 1st, 1863. The proclamation only applied to the states in rebellion. In fact, the proclamation declared, “that all persons held as slaves, within the rebellious, are and henceforth shall be freed” (The Emancipation Proclamation). During the war, the Southern states used the slaves to support their armies in the field and to manage the home front. Lincoln justified the proclamation as a war measure intended to cripple the Confederates use of slaves in war. The book, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End Of Slavery in America, says “No single official paper in American history changed the lives of as many Americans as Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. But no American document has been held up to greater suspicion” (Guelzo 12).
When Lincoln first proposed the Proclamation to his cabinet members, they didn’t support it; Lincoln’s advisors believed it to be too radical. However, regardless of what his advisors said, Lincoln still stood behind the proclamation. For example, Lincoln wrote a letter to James Conkling regarding his views on the proclamation, he said, ‘you dislike the emancipation proclamation; and, perhaps, would have it retracted. You say it is unconstitutional -- I think differently.”
Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward suggested for a Union victory to enforce the proclamation. The victory at the Battle of Antietam finally changed the minds of his cabinet members they were persuaded to support him. That victory provided the necessary Union Victory to issue the Emancipation. Although the Battle of Antietam ended in a draw, the Union was able to push the Confederates out of Maryland; Lincoln issued the Proclamation 5 days later.
The Proclamation was a firm demonstration of the President’s executive war powers. The Proclamation also enforced Lincoln’s power as commander- in- chief. Furthermore, the executive government of the United States would maintain the freedom of slaves. The Emancipation changed the complete focus on war; its first focus was to preserve the Union, but with the Proclamation, the new main focus was freedom for slaves.
The most immediate effect of the Proclamation was that it put the U.S Government against the institution of slavery, placing a barrier between the South and European nations against slavery. As a matter of fact,...

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