The Effects Of The Emancipation Proclamation

Good Essays
Abraham Lincoln is commonly praised for ending slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation, issued on September 22, 1862 and effective on January 1, 1863. However, despite the popularity of this belief, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves, nor did it simply signify Lincoln taking a noble stand against slavery. Lincoln himself proclaimed, "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that" (Burton). The issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation was a calculated political and military strategy to preserve the Union that was secondarily able to offer a pathway to freedom for America 's enslaved.
Upon reading the text of the Emancipation Proclamation, it becomes clear that the purpose of this document was not to abolish slavery in the United States-or at least this was not the immediate or primary goal. It states 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…forever free" (The Emancipation Proclamation). However, it takes no action against slavery in the border states, including Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland, and Missouri, where a true impact could have been made. Because the Confederacy no longer abided by U.S. law and the Union army was not in the position to enforce it, the
Get Access