Wednesday, December 26, 2007


EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION Drafted in 1862 and put into effect on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln in which he declared that "all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free."

Contrary to the popular view that the Emancipation Proclama­tion was an abolitionist-inspired effort to summarily destroy the institution of slavery in the United States, its terminology leaves little doubt that it was basically a strategic military maneuver to save the Union during the Civil War. It was hoped that the Proclamation would have the effect of creating a climate of confusion in the Confederacy, and that southern slaves would lay down their tools, escape, and ultimately rally to the Union forces as enlistees. In fact, the Proclamation contained an open invitation to this effect — an invitation that was designed not only to cripple the southern labor force, but to strengthen the Union's manpower military position as well. Further evidence that the Emancipation Proclamation was not an abolitionist-inspired document relates to the fact that all slaves were not freed by it. Only slaves in those areas still in rebellion against the United States were af­fected. Excluded from its provisions were nearly one million African American slaves in the four Union slave states (Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky and Delaware), as well as those slaves in large portions of Louisiana and Virginia (including West Vir­ginia), which were then under Union control. See also: GREAT EMANCIPATOR.

1 comment:

rlowmanj said...

Tennessee was excluded in hopes of joining the Union. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation premitted retention of slaves in states fighting for the Union and those parishes and counties in sympathy with him. In the words of the Proclamation these states were to continue holding their slaves"percisely as if this proclamation was not issused".(Proclamation of January 1, 1863). The British Emancipation Proclamation allowed the masters to keep their slaves as apprentices.They were not really free until 1838. So, in a nut shell slavery was abolished, not by the Emancipation Proclamation, but by the Thirteenth Amendment on Dec 31, 1865, eight months after Lincoln's death.