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Week 12 - Essay Example

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The United States is one of many countries which has long been divided by racial tension: persistent concepts of superiority and inferiority on the basis on skin color have even today not been truly eradicated. Fortunately, though, we have moved on from the legal enslavement of…
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Week 12 essay
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Week 12

Download file to see previous pages... residential Directives”, Gaziano), it was originally intended to strengthen the weak original model of government developed by the Founding Fathers according to the Articles of Confederation in 1783. Executive orders allow presidents to create law without the agreement of Congress, and is rarely used to maintain a sense of fairness and to avoid controversy in the workings of government. However, three times in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, presidents made executive orders which helped overturn the accepted institution of racism against black Americans. This paper will look at Abraham Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, Franklin Delanor Roosevelts Executive Order 8802 of 1941, and Harry S. Trumans Executive Order 9981 of 1946, to show that these three situations were ones in which the executive power was used to create the less racist society of modern America.
In 1863, the United States was in a horrific racial situation: it was the year of the New York Draft Riots, in which countless black people were murdered and lynched on the streets of the city; on a larger scale, the country was torn in civil war over the fate of black slaves. It was into this context that President Lincoln introduced the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, an executive order which was more symbolic than effective: the Proclamation stated that slaves in the Confederate States of America were to be set free, an area over which Lincoln had no practical power at the time. Furthermore, it specifically did not suggest emancipation in the northern states which, ironically, were fighting in order to obtain the freedom of black slaves. Lincolns aim was to starve the southern forces of free labor by popularizing this message to encourage black slaves to escape and be granted their freedom in the north – it was a purely tactical manoeuvre, and really not much more than a stepping stone on the way to true abolition, which was achieved with the Thirteenth Amendment at the end of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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