Abraham Proclamation, officially granting freedom to all slaves

Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States is considered one of the greatest in our history… but why?  What set him apart from the others?  What made him an upstander?  There could be many answers to these questions but I am going to cover two.There were multiple ways in which President Lincoln represented the qualities of an upstander.  Firstly, he stood up for his country, as should any good president, but Lincoln’s situation was different.  The nation was split in two.  He was in a time when millions of people relied on him to bring the nation back together, and he came through.  He took many actions to accomplish this goal, including issuing a threat toward the rebel states that all slaves would be freed if they did not put an end to their rebellion.  This threat was never really taken seriously as southerners did not believe that they were bound to rules and regulations put into effect by Lincoln or any other Union officials.  However, this action was done in attempt to preserve the Union rather than done in sympathy for the slaves.  With no success ever coming of his threat,  he then, months later issued the Emancipation Proclamation, officially granting freedom to all slaves held by slave owners in the rebel states.  The Emancipation Proclamation drastically changed the meaning of the war from simply the preservation of the Union, to a battle against slavery.  Still, the fact that the slaves in the loyal states were exempt from emancipation shows that President Lincoln’s priorities remained set on the former goal, and that freeing slaves was merely an attempt to bring restoration to the Union.   That said, Lincoln was not a slave owner himself,  and was not necessarily in favor of slavery either.  He took a great stand for the Union by issuing the proclamation, but, perhaps more obviously, had a great effect on the African- American slave community.  While slavery in the rebel states wasn’t immediately gone, as the Union forces regained territory, slaves were gradually freed.  The Emancipation Proclamation also changed the entire meaning of the war for the North.  While the goal was originally to take back the southern territory,  this helped it to become a fight against slavery.  It integrated a moral aspect into the Civil War that was not there before.  The Proclamation also gave the Union a significant advantage by allowing black men to fight in the war.  So, as slaves were being freed, they were able to help contribute to the freedom of other slaves.  By the end of the Civil War, almost 200,000 black men were fighting on the side of the Union, all thanks to Lincoln’s Proclamation.      While the wording of the Emancipation Proclamation itself gives us very few clues as to what President Lincoln’s true views on the subject were, we know that he had a major impact on the issue of slavery during the era of the Civil War.  We know that he stood up for the Union as President, and we know that he stood up, possibly unintentionally,  for the abolition of slavery.  Eventually, more laws came into effect completely abolishing slavery, and finishing what Lincoln had started. Had it not been for Lincoln’s revolutionary decision, the North may have even lost the war, and slavery could quite possibly still be active in the South today.


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