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How Did Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

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At the time of Lincoln's inauguration in 1861, seven states had seceded from the Union. Lincoln’s anti-slavery platform made him extremely unpopular with Southerners. He won the presidential election without the support of a single Southern state. Lincoln felt it was his sacred duty as President to preserve the Union. His first inaugural address was an appeal to the rebellious states to rejoin the nation. He did not issue the Emancipation Proclamation until January 1, 1863, which was after the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam. The Emancipation Proclamation was legally based on the President’s right to seize property of those rebelling against the State. To Northerners, the Civil War was a fight to both preserve the Union and end slavery.
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