Emancipation proclamation

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The Emancipation was issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The emancipation was issued after the Union Victory in the battle of Antietam. The declaration of the emancipation was an order to the armed forces and the entire government to unconditionally liberate all the slaves of the rebel states. The directive was aimed at the achievement of justice and fairness to the suffering slaves in various rebel states. The effect of the emancipation declaration was wide-spread given that the Border States, which were perceived to be in rebellion, were recognized as cooperating with the US government. The emancipation was also extended to some three Confederate states. It was a culmination of a long period of Lincoln’s persuasion of the border state to have the emancipation done on a gradual basis. The other effect of the Lincoln emancipation is that the slaves were able to take positions in the Union military as soldiers.

According to McConnell, more than 180,000 freed slaves took part in the Union army operations while more than 10,000 freed slaves participated in the Union navy. In fact, the issuance of the Lincoln emancipation led to the Union’s freedom and boosted the stakes of the war. The declaration was akin to a reconstruction of the southern society in the process of reforming the society. The process of emancipation was proposed in the past by supposing that the slaves to be compensated for giving up on their properties. All the states, which were actually and perceived to be against the United States were free and fully incorporated in the new dispensation. However, the emancipation did not lead to the freedom of all slaves in America. The fact that only the states, which were not under the Union control, were freed from slavery means that slavery still existed in some states.  This is because the states that were already loyal to the Union were also practicing slavery. For this reason, the initiative was hypocritical to some extent. This is because the emancipation declaration was perceived as a means of achieving unity and the support of the Union by the states, which were rebellious.

The emancipation made slavery subject to war. In addition, the emancipation was a source of soldiers given that the Union had already been starved of soldiers. The inclusion of the Blacks as soldiers was a monumental step because it underscored equity and fairness in the access to service delivery in the military. The move marked a critical step towards the achievement of equality in all the states and the subsequent ending of slavery. The slaves, the Confederate State slaves, who were not freed during the Lincoln emancipation, were eventually freed in 1863. The secession of the Southern States was one of the factors that led to the emancipation proclamation. Slavery was a subject used to extend statehood during the period. For this reason, Lincoln faced challenges in the bid to remain objective in all his agendas. The freeing of the rebellion state slaves while leaving the Union States to continue with slavery was seen as hypocritical at first although the latter slaves were also liberated.

The emancipation proclamation was a culmination of many efforts towards the achievement of statehood in America. The agenda was used to achieve unity among the people. The fact that slavery was not a crucial political factor, it decreased the stakes of slavery in the US. This is the reason for the success of the emancipation. Although the president of the United States had limited powers with regard to the territorial matters, nevertheless the emancipation proclamation had substantial influence across the North and Southern States. The president only had the power to extend the border lines of the states rather than the territory of the Union. According to White, the emancipation served as policy initiative for the Union military and the navy. The membrane of the Blacks was a significant move in ensuring equality and bringing an end to the slavery menace in the US. The cotton supply was substantially disrupted by the emancipation proclamation because slaves were responsible for the ginning of the cotton. However, in the absence of the slaves, the British and the French cotton industries were greatly affected.

This prevented the two nations from joining the war against slavery in the US. The fact that the slaves of the Confederate States were not adequate to work in the various cotton plantations meant that the beneficiaries of the cotton could not back up the agitation for the freedom of slaves. According to McConnell, the inclusion of the Blacks in the Union army was a frustration of the rebellion among the Southern States. The emancipation proclamation led to the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. Furthermore, the emancipation proclamation was a remedy to the civil war that had negatively affected the US for two years. The military played a pivotal role in the civil war; hence the inclusion of the Blacks in the military was significant with regard to the unionization of the states. Slavery was committed against the Blacks; hence the inclusion of the Blacks in the military served to dissolve the common hatred against them. The move also showed that the Blacks are equally able to perform duties in the military.

Krug asserts that the success of the emancipation proclamation was manifest in the participation of more than 200,000 Blacks in the civil war, which specifically fought for the freedom and the survival of the Union. The Blacks ensured that the civil war was fought on the grounds of the clamor for freedom rather than for the expansion of the Union. The other crucial effect of the emancipation was the boosting of the military and the political stability of the Union. Despite Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to the emancipation proclamation, some of his advisors were antagonistic about the move. The emancipation proclamation showed the power that the executive wielded with regard to the administration and demonstration of justice. In fact, the emancipation proclamation portrayed Lincoln as the noblest president the US ever had in power. The president’s commitment to justice and fairness for the enslaved was manifest in his declaration that the emancipation proclamation must be implemented during his reign as president, and ensured that the emancipation to be maintained by any successive government of the US. The other achievement of the emancipation proclamation is that it prevented the participation of foreign nations in the civil war. The French and British governments were likely to intervene in the civil war because of their vested interests in the cotton supply, but the emancipation proclamation locked them out. The emancipation provided a platform for the African-Americans to fight for their rightful rights and freedom.

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  1. McConnell, Roland C. “From Preliminary to Final Emancipation Proclamation the First Hundred Days.” The Journal of Negro History 48:4 (Oct., 1963), 260-276.
  2. Krug, Mark M. “The Republican Party and the Emancipation Proclamation.” The Journal of Negro History 48(2) (Apr., 1963), 98-114.
  3. White, Richard. “Civil Rights Agitation: Emancipation Days in Central New York in the 1880s.” The Journal of Negro History 78:1 (1993), 16-24.
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