Lincoln the Emancipator

456px-abraham_lincoln_portraitSlavery was not totally abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862. The document was effective January 1, 1863. It was a good start to the end of a barbaric practice, but slavery still persisted in the Confederate States of America and some areas of the North.

The Proclamation did pave the way for the eventual total abolition of slavery. Lincoln was not an abolitionist per say, but he saw slavery as the cancer eating away at the Union. He strongly believed in equal rights for all men. He issued the Proclamation at great political risk. Many in his own party didn’t see slavery as a major issue. Certainly the South wasn’t bound by it.

Lincoln believed his powers to end slavery were limited by the Constitution. His strategy for ending slavery was this,

  • stop its further expansion into any U.S. territory.
  • convince states to accept compensated emancipation, if they outlawed slavery.

Lincoln and Cabinet discussing Proclamation

He hoped by shrinking slavery it would become uneconomical and eventually become extinct on its own.

After Lincoln’s death in April 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was adopted on December 6, 1865 and declared on December 18, 1865. This Constitutional amendment abolished slavery and involuntary indentureship in the United States.

Lincoln was a courageous man and when he believed strongly in something, he pursued it. This trait is what true leadership is built on.


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