The Emancipation Proclamation
The emancipation proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1,
1863, during the American Civil War, declaring all “slaves within any State, or
designated part of a State… then… in rebellion,… shall be then,
thenceforward, and forever free.”The states affected were enumerated in the
proclamation; specifically exempted were slaves in parts of the South then held
by Union armies.Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation marked a
radical change in his policy.
After out break of the Civil War, the slavery issue was made acute by
the flight to Union lines of large numbers of slaves who volunteered to fight
for there freedom and that of there fellow slaves.In thesecircumstances, a
strict application of established policy would have required return of fugitive
slaves to their masters.
Abolitionists had long been urging Lincoln to free all slaves, and
public opinion suported that view.Lincoln moved slowly and cautiously nonethe
less; on March 13, 1862, the federal government fforbade all Union Army officers
to return fugitive slaves, thus annulling in effect the fugitive slave laws.On
April 10, on Lincoln’s initiative, congress declared the federal government
would compenste slave owners who freed their slaves.All slaves in the District
of Columbia were freed in this way on April 16, 1862 .On June 19, 1862,
Congress enacted a measure prohibiting slavery in United States territories,
thus defying the supreme court decision in the Dred Scott case, which ruled that
Congress was powerless to regulate slavery in the territories.
Finaly, after the union victory in the battle of antietam, Lincoln
issued a preliminary proclamation on September 22, declaring his intention of
promulgating another proclamathion in 100 days, freeing the slaves in the states
deemed in rebellion at that time.On January 1, 1863 he issued the Emancipation
proclamation, conferring liberty on about 3,120,000 slaves.With the enactment
of the 13th ammendment to the U.S. Constitution in effect in 1865, slavery was
The results of the Emancipation Proclamation were far-reahcing.From
then on, sympathy with the Confederacy was identified with support of slavery.
As further result of the proclamation, the Republican party became
unified in principle and i