Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation Proclamation (Essay Sample)
The paper adressed the significant role of abraham lincon in slaverly and the legacy he left on american history. It dscribed the emancipation and proclamation act that was advocated for by lincon.
it also outlined different perception of various scholars and their critics on the act. The impact it created on american history and also how the slaves involved benefited along with the general public
Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation Proclamation
Introduction and Thesis
Abraham's Lincoln position when it came to slavery in the United States is one of the most discussed issues in the American history. He was born on February 12, 1809, in Kentucky and served a four-year presidential term from March 4, 1861, to April 15, 1865. He died on April 15, 1865, in Washington, D.C. In his proclamation, Lincoln issued a presidential order on January 1, 1863, that changed the status of more than three million out of four million enslaved people in the southern parts of the United States. This was a measure to prevent civil war and protect the United States from European international restrictions. While most people across the world consider him a great leader who brought an end to slavery, some historians have different views about the leadership of Abraham Lincoln and the reasons behind introducing emancipation proclamation.
The order included a provision known as compensated emancipation whereby a person who was recognized as the owner of a slave was to be compensated by a period of labor or monetarily for releasing the slave (Vorenberg 27). Both black and white abolitions supported the immediate emancipation of all enslaved African Americans however, slaveholders in the Border States did not support this idea (Masur 521). In addition, the proclamation also ordered that suitable persons among those freed to be enrolled into paid service, to be recognized and to maintain their freedom. However, this was not the case because the proclamation did not compensate the owners, neither did it grant citizenship to the freed slaves nor outlaw slavery completely. In this paper, am going to look at Abraham Lincoln's emancipation proclamation act, his position on slavery, and how the historians view emancipation proclamation and factors that led to this move.
Lincoln's Position on Slavery and Emancipation Proclamation
Literally, slavery was a term used in ancient America to mean an unqualified and unfair evil to the Negro, the white man, and the State at large. Although Lincoln as an individual hated slavery, in his inaugural speech he stated clearly that in his plans as the president, he had no purpose of interfering with slavery in the United States (Campbell & Tanya 137). However, this was because he was bound by the constitution that protected slavery and also, he feared that some states that embraced slavery would turn against his presidency. He also had little knowledge of military affairs in case a war started (Vorenberg 36). These were some of the factors that hampered Lincoln's fight against slavery.
President's role as the commander in chief of the defense forces was divided between supporting the Union and empowering the slaves who were the main source of income to the States. This is because, the slaves worked on cotton and corn farms to raise fiber and food, worked in factories and served in the army which strengthened the Southern war. In addition, General Benjamin Butler, commander of the Union forces made it even harder for anyone to fight against slavery (Chambers 26). In fact, he declared those slaves who ran away as contrabands of war and never allowed these fugitive slaves to return to their owners. However, the slaves made internal unions that in addition to federal government support empowered them to force a war for freedom.
On January 1, 1963, the final proclamation was issued by Lincoln which committed the government and federal forces of the United States to liberate the slaves in all rebel states. This act was passed by the justice law courts and incorporated in the United States Constitution. The proclamation exempted the Border States and Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri that had remained loyal to the federal government (Masur 527). Although Lincoln pursued various plans to voluntarily colonize free blacks outside the United States, none of these efforts had a major effect. It will go down in the books of history that Abraham Lincoln made emancipation proclamation a central war intention so as to free slaves. In addition, he wanted to prevent the involvement of foreign nations in the United States Civil War.
Eventually, through emancipation proclamation, the international political mood shifted from supporting the unions that had won the war and decide to assist the federal government that had lost. Another reason Lincoln had in mind while striving to implement emancipation was to pave way for African-Americans to fight for their freedom (Masur 529). He knew by empowering the slaves and providing them with suitable working conditions, they will be more willing to join the US army. According to a study carried out on the United States Colored Troops (USCT) after the war, showed that over 20,000 African-Americans were serving in the Union navy and army (Chambers 52). When his move for Emancipation Proclamation led to the total abolition of slavery in the United States, Lincoln considered it the crowning achievement of his presidency. While signing this act he declared, "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper. If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act of Emancipation Proclamation, and my whole soul is in it” (Chambers 54).
Other Historian's Perspectives on the Emancipation Proclamation
Not surprisingly, historians have different perspectives when it comes to interpreting Abraham Lincoln's emancipation proclamation act and the reasons he had as a president while doing so. For instance, Campbell and Tanya support the idea of Lincoln that ending slavery and empowering slaves was the only way the country could achieve equality through the rule of law (Campbell & Tanya 160). On th
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