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Did Lincoln really want to free the slaves - Research Paper Example

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"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or 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." (Lincoln 1862) …
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Did Lincoln really want to free the slaves
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Did Lincoln really want to free the slaves

Download file to see previous pages... "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or 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." (Lincoln 1862) President Lincoln wrote these words in August 22, 1862 to journalist Horace Greeley, an abolitionist who wrote for the New York Tribune. This was one month before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. It is clear from this dialogue that Lincoln’s main concern at that time was to preserve the Union at all costs and not a sweeping condemnation of slavery. Even though The Emancipation Proclamation was a historic event and precipitated the end of slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery. This was because Lincoln did not have a deep conviction for or against slavery. Lincoln's objective was to preserve the Union and not to free the slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation was a historic event and precipitated the end of slavery. It was the first time that blacks could serve as militia. Blacks were allowed to enlist in the Union Army and Navy and consequently became agents of their own liberation. Lincoln needed extra troops on the ground in order to defeat the Confederacy and preserve the Union. Over 200,000 black troops were added to the Union Army. (US National Archives & Records Administration n.d.) 3 It is clear from his actions that Lincoln’s primary concern for issuing the proclamation was to build up the Union army in order to defeat the Confederacy. Since the Union prevailed in the war, Lincoln succeeded in his goal for a Union victory. Another example that shows that The Emancipation Proclamation was a historic event and precipitated the end of slavery was the subsequent passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Emancipation Proclamation was a precursor to the thirteenth amendment which made slavery illegal in every state, not just those affected by the Emancipation Proclamation. Congress ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution on December 6, 1865. (13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery n.d.) Without the Emancipation Proclamation mandating freedom for some blacks, there would not have been the impetus for Congress to pass sweeping legislation mandating freedom to all blacks in the form of the Thirteenth Amendment. Even though The Emancipation Proclamation was a historic event and precipitated the end of slavery, The Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery. This is because Lincoln did not have a deep conviction for or against slavery. The following is an elaboration upon the correspondence quoted in the beginning of this essay. 4 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 save slavery, I do not agree with them. 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 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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