The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863

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Was the emancipation proclamation more a military tactic rather than based-feelings towards the slaves? Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 during the civil war, as main goal to win the war. Some historians argued that it was based on feelings towards slaves because not only it freed slaves in the South; it was also a huge step for the real abolition of slavery in the United States. While other historians argued that it was a military tactic because it strengthened the Union army, because the emancipated slaves were joining the Union thus providing a larger manpower than the Confederacy . The Emancipation Proclamation emancipated slaves only in the Confederacy and did not apply to the Border-states and the Union states. At this point of time of the war; in 1862/1863 the Union army was losing against the Confederacy; the Confederacy was leading the war. The number of Union’s casualties was twice the number of the Confederacy’s casualties. Lincoln waited to issue the proclamation because when announcing out loud his first draft, his cabinet suggested him to wait so that it would not be seen as a desperate act. That is why, in September 17, 1862, when the Union army won the battle of Antietam that 5 days later, Lincoln said that if the Confederacy army has not surrender by the New Year, all slaves in the Southern states would be free. Different opinions over the cause and impact of the proclamation can be found in political cartoons. In a cartoon by John Tenniel, it shows that the Emancipation Proclamation was seen as an act of desperation and was his “last card to play to win the war” . The purpose of this cartoon, drawn in 1862 is controversial as to what Lincoln wanted initially, when he issued his em... ... middle of paper ... ...h the Confederacy. Even if the goal of the Emancipation Proclamation was to win the war, it was also a moral value because at the end of the war, Lincoln supported the 13th amendment, which ended slavery in the USA. Looking at different sources such as Eric Foner’s “emancipation proclamation” and McPherson James’s “how president Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation” , it is clear that opinions differed regarding the purpose of the emancipation proclamation, but both of them argued that it was both a military tactic but had also a moral value behind it. Works Cited Susan Schulten “map Courtesy of Geography and map division”, Library of congress, NY times, December 9, 2010. “Slavery in America” the history channel (n.d)

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