It seems like every institution of American society and every voice of the political establishment is "honoring" the Great Emancipator on his th birthday.
But he also warned that if the slave states seceded from the Union they would forfeit the constitutional protection of slavery, including any claim to the recovery of their fugitive slave. The American Civil War began in April,and by the end of May the Lincoln administration approved a policy of not returning fugitive slaves who came within Union lines from disloyal states.
Such slaves were deemed "contraband of war," or "contrabands. By the end of the year thousands of slaves were being emancipated.
Concerned not to alienate the loyal Border States, Lincoln was careful to ensure that his generals followed the letter of the law. He encouraged General James K.
Lane in western Missouri to emancipate thousands of slaves of disloyal masters who came voluntarily within his lines. But in eastern Missouri, when General John C. Fremont issued a decree emancipating the slaves of disloyal owners in areas the Union did not control, Lincoln ordered the general to revise his decree to conform with the law.
Lincoln promoted Lane to Brigadier General, but would later fire Fremont for corruption and military incompetence.
The care Lincoln took to distinguish legal from extra-legal emancipation was reaffirmed in May,when Hunter issued two emancipation proclamations from the area his troops recently occupied off the coast of Georgia.
The first proclamation, which was legal, freed all the slaves who came within his lines. The second proclamation freed all the slaves in free states, most of them beyond the reach of the Union Army. By the end of tens of thousands of slaves were emancipated as they came into Union lines at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, the Sea Islands off South Carolina, and in western Missouri.
In December the Lincoln administration announced its emancipation policy in a series of annual reports by the president as well as several of his cabinet secretaries. By January Lincoln himself declared that no federal authority, civil or military, could legally return fugitive slaves to their owners.
A few days after Lincoln signed the law--known as the Second Confiscation Act--he drafted the first version of what would become his Emancipation Proclamation.
Because the Constitution could sanction emancipation only as one of the war powers, freeing slaves could only be justified as a means of winning the war and suppressing the southern rebellion. As a result, until the very end of the war Lincoln claimed that the purpose of the war was the restoration of the Union.
Southern leaders denounced Lincoln as a bloodthirsty revolutionary whose emancipation policies proved that the secessionists were right all along about those they labeled "Black Republicans. But Lincoln never deviated from his official position, that because the Constitution recognized slavery in the states the only constitutional justification for freeing slaves was the restoration of the Union.
On August 22, Lincoln published a letter in response to an editorial by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune in which the editor asked why Lincoln had not yet issued an emancipation proclamation, as he was authorized to do by the Second Confiscation Act.
In his reply Lincoln differentiated between "my view of official duty"—that is, what he can do in his official capacity as President—and his personal views.
Officially he must save the Union above all else; personally he wanted to free all the slaves: I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was.
If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them.
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. 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.
What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.
I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.
Therefore, this letter, was in truth, an attempt to position the impending announcement in terms of saving the Union, not freeing slaves as a humanitarian gesture. Rather, Lincoln was softening the strong Northern white supremacist opposition to his imminent emancipation by tying it to the cause of the Union.
This opposition would fight for the Union but not to end slavery, so Lincoln gave them the means and motivation to do both, at the same time. Since slavery was protected by the Constitution, the only way that he could free the slaves was as a tactic of war—not as the mission itself.
Late inLincoln asked his Attorney General, Edward Batesfor an opinion as to whether slaves freed through a war-related proclamation of emancipation could be re-enslaved once the war was over.
Bates had to work through the language of the Dred Scott decision to arrive at an answer, but he finally concluded that they could indeed remain free. Still, a complete end to slavery would require a constitutional amendment.Abraham Lincoln Essay.
Lincoln's success. On November 6, , Abraham Lincoln was elected as the sixteenth president of the United States. The outcome of the election directly led to the secession of seven states and ultimately, the Civil War.
Since the southern states did depend on slave labor so much, Abraham Lincoln knew that these would be key reasons as to why abolishing slavery would be incredibly hard. Zinn talks about how the majority of slaves would either run away from their masters or physically revolt against their masters.
Abraham Lincoln and Slavery Essay example - Abraham Lincoln and Slavery Many Americans believe that Abraham Lincoln was the “Great Emancipator,” the sole individual who ended slavery, and the man who epitomizes freedom.
Feb 12, · Lincoln and the struggle to abolish slavery.
book of essays, Abraham Lincoln and the slaves as a military measure against Southern forces. But Lincoln . ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE END OF SLAVERY; Abraham Lincoln's Secret Visits to Slaves; Belz, Herman.
Abraham Lincoln, and Equal Rights in the Civil War Era () Burton, Vernon. The Age of Lincoln () DiLorenzo, Thomas J. The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War (). ISBN The free Slavery research paper (Abraham Lincoln And Slavery essay) presented on this page should not be viewed as a sample of our on-line writing service.
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