Abraham Lincoln will forever, and rightly so, be known as the great emancipator.
The one thing that everyone knows about Lincoln is that he did, indeed, free the slaves.
In fact, it was on September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, freeing more than three million black slaves in the Confederate states as of January 1, 1863.
It was the culmination of the efforts of so many abolitionists. It was in 1861 that there was a bifurcation within America. One of these two groups were the collection of southern states known to history as the Confederacy. The second group was, of course, the collective of northern states known as the Union. It is fairly well known to even those ignorant of history that it was the Confederacy that had to be convinced of the inherent and endemic evils contained within the industry of Slavery and the, to put it this mildly, disagreement, was one of the underpinnings that led to the American Civil War. By the beginning of 1863, the Union had been so successful in its wartime endeavor that Lincoln was bolstered to the point of codifying the repudiation of the evils of slavery in what is now the Emancipation Proclamation.
It was reported by the archives that from the first days of the Civil War, slaves had acted to secure their liberty. The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed their insistence that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union’s cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. As a milestone along the road to slavery’s final destruction, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human freedom.
According to history.com, Lincoln didn’t free all of the approximately 4 million men, women, and children held in slavery in the United States when he signed the formal Emancipation Proclamation the following January. The document applied only to enslaved people in the Confederacy, and not to those in the border states that remained loyal to the Union. But although it was presented chiefly as a military measure, the proclamation marked a crucial shift in Lincoln’s views on slavery. Emancipation would redefine the Civil War, turning it from a struggle to preserve the Union to one focused on ending slavery, and set a decisive course for how the nation would be reshaped after that historic conflict.
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