Emancipation Proclamation Dbq

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President, Abraham Lincoln, in his “Emancipation Proclamation” declares “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The proclamation was issued on September 22, 1862 following the events that transpired at Antietam. Although the battle was tactically indecisive, it had unique significance as enough of a victory to give President Lincoln the incentive to announce his “Emancipation Proclamation.” Lincoln’s main purpose was rather simple, to deliver the coup de grâce to the already weakened Confederacy. In doing so, Lincoln hoped to practically decimate a large portion of the Southern armed forces leading to a strategic victory over the Confederacy and putting an end to the issue of slavery …show more content…

Lincoln’s message was delivered amidst the Civil War, therefore, it was imperative as to not anger the American public. Despite the expansive wording of the proclamation, it was in some ways very limited more so by the fact that the proclamation only applied to “states in rebellion against the United States.” Excluded were the border states between the Confederacy and the Union, as well as any territories taken from the C.S.A. Such was the case in Virginia, to which the proclamation would apply to, but excluded West Virginia who seceded from Virginia shortly after succeeding from the Union. Although providing many exceptions, the proclamation was concise and pleased everyone by addressing the problem at hand – slavery. With the delivery of the proclamation, the issue of slavery still remained unresolved long after the war had concluded. Yet, Lincoln’s delivery of the “Emancipation Proclamation” was key during a time of major crisis and dismay. It was ahead of its generation in the sense that the nation was still struggling to keep itself united. The language of the text is formal in trying to unite the tattered and broken nation with phrases such as “necessary self-defense” and “an act of justice.” In doing such, Lincoln sheds a light to a hopeful future for many African Americans after the Civil

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