Abraham Lincoln Great Emancipator Analysis

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Lerone Bennett Jr. argues that Abraham Lincoln is not the Great Emancipator. He claims that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation with misgivings and reservations. Lincoln shared racial prejudices with the majority of his fellow white Americans and never pretended to be a racial liberal or social innovator. A firm believer of white supremacy, Lincoln believed that whites and blacks would be better off separated. His character, eloquence, assassination, and the psychological needs of a racist society has obscured the reality of Lincoln’s motives and emotions towards abolition in Americans’ eyes. A real emancipation proclamation is matter of national survival and no one has issued such a document in the United States. Lincoln’s Emancipation…show more content…
Even after the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln wanted to colonize blacks in the Southwest United States. England and France being close to joining the Confederacy and Northern casualties forced Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln was not happy that he had to do this saying he had “been anxious to avoid it”, that he was “driven to it”, that it was painful, and he was trembling while signing the document. The Emancipation Proclamation freed few slaves since it did not apply to slaves in the Border States and areas under federal control in the South. Lincoln freed slaves where he had no power and did nothing where he had power. He never intended to free slaves, at least not immediately, and had suggested a system of apprenticeship. In his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Lincoln said he would recognize any rebel state in which one-tenth of the voters took an oath of allegiance to the United States and renounced slavery, but he said nothing of the blacks. At the unveiling of Lincoln’s monument after his death, Frederick Douglass told of Lincoln’s white supremacy by saying that he was devoted to the welfare of the white men, and he was willing to sacrifice the rights of colored people to promote the welfare
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