On the eve of the American Civil War, the key issue in the run up to the election was whether or not slavery would be extended into the new expanding territories and states opening in the West. (McPherson, 1988) This same issue sparked the misguided attack upon the South by John Brown and a few of his supporters, joined together into a group called the Secret Six in 1860. (McPherson, 1988) The same issue, the containment or expansion of slavery into new parts of America would cause Lincoln, a relatively unknown politician, to win the Republican nomination in Chicago in 1861, and the Presidency in the general election. (Jaffa, 2000) The election would begin the process of Southern states ceding from the Union. In the last days of Buchanan's presidency, the ineffectual, corrupt Buchanan stood by as Southern states started to leave, frightened the election of Lincoln would bring about the end of their cherished institution -- slavery. (Marvel: 7-10).In 1862, Lincoln, who claimed before the election to be a moral supporter of abolition, instituted the first of his Emancipation Proclamations, which would eventually end slavery in the U.S. However, as Marvel writes when the Civil War had already begun, radical politicians and military in Lincoln's administration complained he was not doing enough to address the need to end slavery directly. (Marvel: 264-265) This paper will examine this Proclamation and why Lincoln pronounced it when he did. How far did it go? What were the grievances of the South that caused them to cede from the Union in 1861? Was the Civil War really fought over the issue of slavery, and if so, to what extent was the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862 a key moment in Lincoln's shift to greater awareness of the need for a direct statement against slavery? Why did it take him till near the end of the war to actually enact a 2nd Proclamation that abolished slavery in the entire U.S.?
[...] (Moseley: 16) Most blacks in song are made fun of; and a ‘mongrel' as she notes, is a black person with white blood in them, who is often described in songs as more attractive or perhaps emotionally and intellectually mature than other blacks. (Moseley: 14-16) If this is a true characterization, then it is clear that whatever reason Lincoln may have had for issuing the first Proclamation, a year into the war, and into his administration, it was not formed from an anti-racist perspective. [...]
[...] Thus, he is a man of his time, and the ending of slavery by the Emancipation Proclamations were more about gaining military advantage over the South during the Civil War's long duration then they were sincere desire to free black people and allow them equality with whites in America. Bibliography Andrews, Susan and Fenton, James, “Archaeology and the Invisible Man: The Role of Slavery in the Production of Wealth and Social Class in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, 1820-1870, World Archaeology, Vol No pp. [...]
[...] (McPherson: 211) In order to distance themselves from Brown, even the newly emerging Republican party leaders argued against the Harper's Ferry attack, with Abraham Lincoln, not yet the Party nominee for President, stating that while Brown was correct to oppose slavery, it was wrong to attack slavery through “violence, bloodshed, and treason.” (McPherson: 212) In the South, Lincoln's guarded statements against slavery on moral grounds were met with angry attack. A leading Atlanta, Georgia newspaper argued, regard every man who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral and political blessing as enemy to the institutions of the South.” (McPherson: 212) The Republican Party was branded by Conservatives throughout the South and the North as the “Black Republican Party.” (McPherson: 212) In 1861, McPherson likens the mood in the South to the fear found in the French countryside prior to the French Revolution, when rumours that the King was about to or had already begun attacking the countryside, were spreading, increasing tensions. [...]
[...] Why did it take him till near the end of the war to actually enact a 2nd Proclamation that abolished slavery in the entire U.S.? Events quickly spiraled in the direction of a major war, erupting and engulfing the entire nation in the three to four years leading up to it. One of the catalysts for the South ceding from the North, although not a direct one was the attack by John Brown, a black Northerner, and his “Secret conspirators, on Harper's Ferry in Oct Believing that his attack would provoke a rise of the entire slave population, Brown sorely misguided, with his small army of a few men, was captured within hours by the U.S. [...]
[...] To conclude, this paper has examined the events leading to the first Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln a year into the Civil War. The reasons are primarily political in nature; to help the Union cause to defeat the South, rather than an example of legislation which is intended to actually free black people and grant them equality in America. Even towards the end of the war, Lincoln was considering colonizing the black population when the war ended. Lincoln's personal conflicted views regarding slavery show that he was morally opposed to it, but would not have done much to end it, if he had not been forced by circumstances. [...]
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